Fear, change, and how to combat the hate

And I know I am solid and sound;To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow;All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.-Walt Whitman I’m thinking today about the enormous upheavals we have all experienced this year, and about my own fear of uncertainty, and the challenge of change. […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

Walk The Track With Me

A while ago I wrote about walking the Milford Track solo. It’s one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and one of the most famous walks in the world. Today and for the next three Fridays it’s being published on Stuff.co.nz: https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/back-your-backyard/122592580/the-milford-chronicles-taking-on-one-of-the-worlds-most-famous-walks-solo COVID-19 has smashed any possibility of international travel for the forseeable future, and Kiwis […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

Loving and losing our children

New Zealand’s appalling youth suicide rate is in the news again, as is our impotency in the face of it. A new UNICEF report has found New Zealand’s youth suicide rate – teenagers between 15 and 19 – to be the highest of a long list of 41 OECD and EU countries. The usual culprits […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

Beginnings

I’m going home next June. I was born in Northern Ireland, and lived with my Protestant minister father and my mother and two siblings in County Armagh, just by the border. In the seventies (yes I am that old) South Armagh was known as “bandit country” because it was such a dangerous place to be during […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

Inaugural NZ National Writers’ Forum

Stuck in a room full of writers for an entire weekend? It would be some people’s idea of a nightmare. It was my idea of Heaven at the inaugural National Writers’ Forum in Auckland. The forum was the brainchild of the New Zealand Society of Authors (of which I’m a member). Sometimes inaugural events have […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

Show Business for Shy People

Lee Child once said that “writing is show business for shy people”. This quote resonates with me, particularly at the moment, as I am performing in The Phantom of the Opera at the famous Civic Theatre in Auckland. I’ve been doing musical theatre for many years, but a year or two ago I pulled back from […]

Continue Reading →

4 Comments

The Book Exchange

I’ve achieved some rather major literary goals this year, and last night I celebrated with two lovely women. There’s me in the middle. (Those holes in my top are a design feature, not a result of drunken undressing in the dark. I wish.) On the right is Joanna, and to the left is Sara: the […]

Continue Reading →

1 Comments

Employing a Professional Proofreader

This is an article I wrote for NZ Business and Management Magazine. It’s in the November issue, which is out now. You’re a business that prides itself on communicating effectively to its clients and prospects. You produce brochures, flyers and other written marketing material. Your website is a major component of your communications plan. Your company produces […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

The Milford Chronicles: Chapter Four

This is the last instalment in my account of walking the Milford Track last month. If you’ve just joined me, you may want to read Chapters One – Three before this one. Chapter Four: Day 4: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point Breakfast was followed by goodbyes. We were all departing at different times for Sandfly […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

The Milford Chronicles: Chapter Three

Chapter Three: Day 3: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut A cheeky committee of keas woke us early on Day Three. They perched on the outdoor tables, eying us as we emerged to go to the toilet. We had been warned to hang up our boots and take all our belongings inside or these mischievous birds could […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment