Writing magic: an elixir to happiness

We have only a few weeks left on the Te Papa Tupu programme. I am still grateful to have been picked for this programme and know that these six months have given me the tools and insight I need to be a writer for life. I spent quite a bit of time over the past … Continue reading Writing magic: an elixir to happiness

Eru shares snippets of past and present

I’ve recently had broadband connected at my house. The digital revolution finally revolved its way to my place, flashing its light speed optics in my direction. It was a bit of a mission. First of all Telecom refused to set up an account in my name. I have a credit history as peppery as the … Continue reading Eru shares snippets of past and present

Larree makes a stand on unsteady ground

A few Sundays back we went to the Art Show in Wellington and I bought a picture. A small black and white print by Joe Wright of a figure standing on this very precarious base of branches like a kereru nest, holding a megaphone up to the sky, and out of the megaphone comes all … Continue reading Larree makes a stand on unsteady ground

Learning new tricks (and old ones)

This last month has been such a rollercoaster ride but I’m loving it. I’ve had to learn to be self-disciplined (I’m 46 and have never felt the need for it until now). I’ve learnt to say no to people when they want me to do something (something I should have mastered years ago) and that … Continue reading Learning new tricks (and old ones)

How Jekyll and Hyde help refine writing

I am experiencing the dual identities of writing – which I affectionately think of as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – two different personalities sharing the one body. I refer to writing for pleasure – a sudden rush of great ideas in a story that lives and breathes as it passes from your imagination to … Continue reading How Jekyll and Hyde help refine writing

Planning a story to relish

Years ago I had a career change from commerce to cooking. My first job was in a restaurant called The Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow. Quite quickly I determined their menu was too big, too many choices, and too many ingredients piled onto the plate, smothering and confusing the flavour of the primary fare, be it … Continue reading Planning a story to relish

Tania Butcher builds on memories of Maketu

The beginnings of writing the Maketu warriors’ story cropped up five years ago in a conversation with my cousin Huia Tapsell who wanted something concrete to remember all those men who lived in Maketu during the warring years.

Jeremy Latimer and the Joys Of Writing

Well - here is my first journal entry and for the first time I have no idea of what I want to write. Oh, the joys of writing! The whole experience has been a bit of a whirlwind affair, and the prospect of having a "completion date" is daunting. It's funny to think that I have dreamed … Continue reading Jeremy Latimer and the Joys Of Writing

Mark Sweet wakes the sleeping Zhu Mao

Brian Bargh of Huia left a message. He asked I return his call. 'It's good news,' he said. I went all goose pimply, and great gulps of excitement came tinged with fear.
I began writing Zhu Mao three years ago at the start of the Diploma of Creative Writing course at Whitireia Polytechnic. When I applied I submitted a short story, one of many, inter-connected, which I wanted to shape into a novel.