Sunday, November 27, 2022

When the post is more of a poem ...

Walking in Circles

This is a weird time of year. There are still things to be done. Little jobs to be finished. All the things you kept putting off which can be avoided no longer. And you never stop turning ideas over in your mind and trying to push them out into the sunlight like little paper boats. But things are also winding up. Folk are hurrying to get work completed as quickly as possible because there are festive preparations to be made and end of year functions to attend and holidays to be anticipated. And then there will be the complete silence of empty offices for a month. It is my annual limbo. It is my fever dream when I fantasise about who might invite me to talk at their event in the coming year and do they live in another country. I imagine chatting on stage with an interviewer like the grown ups do. I plan my response to an eager media keen to talk about my latest titles: where they sprung from, why I write them, what motivates me, what I worry about at night. And then late January I will wake up and go about my usual business. I have been wondering about reinventing myself. Perhaps it is already happening. Certainly writing poetry is a sort of new path. It might have started in a limbo time fever dream years ago. Maybe I am just walking in a circle and I will come back to the beginning again. Like when you are lost but not really. I am taking the appropriate steps ... perhaps next year will be different after all.


Friday, November 4, 2022

I'm back...

Hi there folks (waves) - I apologise for the prolonged absence. I had very good intentions of posting before I went away on October 1st but you know what they say about good intentions. Things got busy with preparations and work needing completion before departure and then suddenly it was time to go. Back now. We were away for nearly a month visiting our daughters and having a bit of an adventure. It was travel of the good brain-fillery sort. We hung out in the Californian desert (do NOT touch the Joshua Trees) and wandered around Hollywood. We went to the theatre in the Westend, took in a feminist art exhibition at the Barbican, explored castles, ruins and ruined castles. We checked out the roman baths at Bath, several henges (Avebury and Stone) and the pier at Brighton. I think the creative well is well and truly filled.

Here we are outside Grauman's Theatre in Hollywood 

Travelling is an odd sensation when you are creatively inclined though. The creative brain is always at work so it's hard to leave the job at the office. A lack of pause in the proceedings of travel usually means that I don't get the chance to sit and write while away but exploring poetry over the last wee while changed that this time. Things I saw and heard on our journey inspired me and I jotted down several poems. I also made a start on a small new project I was given not long before we went away. It was so good to be able to scratch the creative itch without compromising the trip.

What has truly surprised me is that while away and since I got back, I have written some rhyming children's poems. And they have turned out well (not just my opinion). I mean, who even am I? I have always felt that rhyming was beyond my reach but it feels like I just might have my finger tips on it now. It might turn out to be a brief relationship but I am optimistic I might be able to take a few more turns around the literary garden with this particular art form. I shall keep you posted and maybe share one of them soon. I guess it goes to show you never stop learning and developing. I think the trick for me was that I didn't look at it directly - I just let it play in some unobserved corner of my brain where it felt no pressure and it figured things out all by itself. Never say never ...

I was thrilled to see that Storylines has named our new BatKiwi book There Are No Moa, e Hoa (illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White, pubbed by Scholastic NZ) as a Storylines Notable Book for 2022. You can read all about this year's Notable Books here. This picture book, in both English and Te Reo Māori, was scheduled to be released November 1st but is unfortunately delayed. I so hope it is not stuck in the shipping doldrums for too long. Pre-Christmas is a great time for a book to step out for the first time and I have everything crossed it is here in time to wear a little tinsel, hum a little carol or two and win over some gift shoppers. As soon as it makes it ashore I will be introducing you to this fun story. Talk soon!