A Place to Grow

I took this photo during my time in Tokyo. It is of a lotus about to bloom. I’ve always loved the Buddhist view of a lotus - as a lotus can grow out of mud and blossom above the muddy water, we too can rise above the mire and messiness of our lives. We can … Continue reading A Place to Grow

The Sea, it Calls.

It’s the second day of Summer and the kids are swimming while I stand with my toes in the sea, enjoying the water lapping against my skin and dividing my gaze between the girls and the notebook I write this in.  It’s moments like these that I realize I should have pushed myself harder in … Continue reading The Sea, it Calls.

Why I Travelled Eight Hours in a Car to See a Lady I Don’t Know

“These are no ordinary watersWe are not ordinary beneficiaries. We are kaitiaki in the truest sense.We are tangata whenua.Anything that upsets these waters or interferes with their flow should never be permitted. ”Ron Wihongi, Ngawha Kaitiaki (1924-2016) My flatmate gave me a strange look as I opened the car door. ‘Why are you going there … Continue reading Why I Travelled Eight Hours in a Car to See a Lady I Don’t Know

Birth Pangs

I’ve been struggling with my writing lately. I’m working on a story set in the Hokianga in the 1950’s, based on true events that I am reshaping. Reimagining. I wasn’t there, obviously. James George (mentor): This is the strongest opening to any of the stories so far. Has real punch, and the economy, almost flatness … Continue reading Birth Pangs

Changing in Unexpected Ways

I’ve never been a very confident person. Even when I was very young I was timid. My little brother seemed to get all the courage, and he approached the world like it owed him – the world responded as if he was right. I envied him that, wished I could feel like I was worthy … Continue reading Changing in Unexpected Ways

Writing to Catch the Imperfection

Ataria reading Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie This journal entry for Te Papa Tupu is a week late. Late, late, late, late. As one of the selected writers for Te Papa Tupu, we have only a few jobs. To work on our manuscript and write one blog post per month. ONE. You … Continue reading Writing to Catch the Imperfection

Te Maunga Teitei (The Pinnacle)

The National Writer's Forum, Auckland.L-R: Nadine Anne Hura, Brannavan Gnanlingam, Anahera Gildea and Vana Manasiadas (Photo supplied) For the briefest moment last month I felt like I belonged to an exclusive club of writers. All six writers on the Te Papa Tupu programme were flown to Auckland for the National Writers Forum. They put us up in … Continue reading Te Maunga Teitei (The Pinnacle)

Being the Change

Te Papa Tupu attend the National Writers Forum in Auckland.L-R: Shilo Kino, Jacquie McRae (Shilo's mentor), Cassie Hart, Hone Rata, Ataria Rangipikitia SharmanPhoto supplied by Shilo. I was fifteen when I first met Maya Angelou. Imagine my surprise. I was so used to reading books from authors who were white, and here I was reading … Continue reading Being the Change

The Three Ed’s and a Bit of CD

Editing, editing, editing. The three Ed’s and a bit of character development. You see a month, or so ago, I had finally finished the manuscript to my YA fiction novel. The elation that I felt at that time, it was real. There I was, staring at that beautiful final sentence couched in clouds of are … Continue reading The Three Ed’s and a Bit of CD


I’ve known fora while now that my biggest weakness when it comes to writing is in the detail. I mumble through stories using broad strokes rather than a fine haired brush, and in doing so I lose something. Part of methought none of these details mattered because they have no relevance to readers outside of … Continue reading Specificity