30 October 2010


I am definitely a writer who needs quiet time and space when working.  But I also enjoy the occasional excursion to a workshop or writing group, and the opportunity to talk shop with other writers.
This week has been busier than most in that respect.  I recently found out about a thriving group of writers in my own community, who meet once a month to share their work.  I went along on Wednesday, and had an enjoyable time listening to readings, and finding out about the projects they are involved with.
Yesterday I attended a publishing workshop organized by the NZSA.  It was an interesting day with some good presenters, and new information.  With so many new avenues opening up in e-books and print-on-demand it is an exciting time to be a writer, though the odds of being picked up by a major publishing house are still as nebulous as ever. 
It's a good thing that writers have vivid imaginations and dream big dreams.

28 October 2010


Here in the southern hemisphere we are enjoying spring, and lighter evenings.  We have just had our first long weekend of the season, Labour Weekend, and many New Zealanders like to take this opportunity to get away and celebrate the end of winter and the hope of a good summer.  
I spent the weekend in Sydney, a city I love visiting.  Walking around Circular Quay and the Opera House I couldn't help but be reminded of a visit I made to Sydney while I was writing Driftwood.  I had decided to set part of the book there and spent quite a lot of my trip making copious notes, and deciding on settings for various scenes. 

20 October 2010

Beginnings and Endings

I'm a details sort of person.  One of the ways this shows up is that when I'm writing I like to keep a note of my word count.  More than a note actually, a spreadsheet, along with dates.  Recently I looked at the spreadsheet I kept for Driftwood and saw that I started writing it in 2005.  Five years ago - for those who need my help with the maths!
I am still working towards many of the goals I had then.  I've been able to tick of a few: being accepted by a publisher and holding my first book, but there are still plenty more dreams to turn into reality.
Talking to other writers, and listening and reading interviews makes me realise, that like most things, there is no one route to publication.  We all find the path that works for us.  
Ultimately we have to believe in ourselves, and keep on writing.

12 October 2010

The Book - at last

I finally held a copy of my first novel, and I have to say there is nothing quite like it.  Thinking about the moment now makes me smile.  
Driftwood has been published in the UK, and given that I live in New Zealand there is a slight distance involved!  Due to email this hasn't seemed like such a distance until waiting for THE book.
Ironically the copy I held wasn't my copy, but one a member of the writing group had ordered.
It has reminded me though of all the times I wandered around bookshops picking up books and reading the back cover, the first page, and imagined how it would be to see my book on a bookshelf. 
At the moment, for New Zealand, Driftwood is available through online retailers only, so the delight of seeing it on a bookshop shelf is another first I have to come.   

06 October 2010

Other writers

I've spent most of my Wednesday evenings this year (well since April), in Devonport at the Michael King centre, as part of an advanced writing course with The Creative Hub.  In an earlier post I mentioned the good points of being part of a writing group. 
This course has been part learning experience through workshops with New Zealand writers, and also learning through sharing work with the others in the group and getting feedback from them.  It has helped me tremendously with editing a 3rd or 4th (I don't remember) draft of my second novel. 
I'd urge anyone who writes to join (or start) a writing group, or find a course like this.  It's invaluable for finding out what works, and what doesn't.