Memory and experience are fertile places for writers. I always think the stories and poems we react most strongly to are the ones that strike a chord of empathy or understanding, because we have experienced similar things or thoughts ourselves. One of my favourite poems is Originally, by Carol Ann Duffy and One Art, by … Continue reading Writing from Memory and Life
The clock has struck midnight and all is quiet in our neck of the woods. But there was a time, a few years back, a certain small girl (she knows who she is) thought midnight was not a time for sleeping, but singing. It's actually more like a quarter of a century back, and now … Continue reading At Midnight
An envelope fluttered into my mailbox yesterday. When I was a kid, getting post was one of the most exciting things ever. That sense of wonder and anticipation fizzing when you saw your own name on the front of the envelope. Inside was always something worth the fizz - if it wasn't birthday or Christmas … Continue reading Getting Mail
Tomorrow is National Poetry Day for New Zealand. For the last month, my Facebook feed has been full of information about all the different events happening around the country. If I had limitless funds, and could either clone myself or time-travel, I'd be racing around to poetry readings from in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, New Plymouth … Continue reading Poems, Prompts and Plums
Where I live on the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand, towns are the filling in a very beautiful sandwich. One slice of bread is the turquoise Tasman sea, which is garnished with Kapiti Island, a bush-clad native bird sanctuary and reserve 5km off shore. The other slice is the perpetually green slopes of the Waikanae … Continue reading Editing Poems with a Giraffe and an Ostrich
Last night was a crap-television night. We haven't signed up to Netflix or Lightbox, so rely on whatever offerings the free-to-air channels serve. Yesterday's menu looked more like leftover crusts of sandwiches from lunch than carefully prepared cuisine. Often I'd just tuck right in to a book instead but last night we treated ourself to … Continue reading Creating Soundscapes: 9 Ways with Words
Notes jotted in the margin in a different colour ink reminded me of ways of crafting early drafts of stories that I'd learned at a writing workshop by Vivienne Plumb, a New Zealand poet, playwright and author. She shared some great suggestions, and I have subsequently added more of my own ideas for writing short stories, such as character development, enriching themes and meanings in stories, and writing dialogue.