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 […]

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How to Avoid Huge Ships

I want to share with you a marvellous book I was gifted earlier this year. I’m the first to admit I am a little anally retentive. That’s one of the reasons being a proofreader is the perfect profession for me – I love finding mistakes and correcting them. (Friends and acquaintances reading this: you may now scrape […]

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Interview With The Author #3

Here’s the third and last instalment of my interview with myself about my first novel, which I hope to finish very soon. You can catch up on the first two parts here and here. You’re a proofreader/editor as well as a writer. Is it difficult to switch between correcting other people’s work and creating your […]

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What Makes a Good Proofreader?

I wrote this article for New Zealand Author, the official publication of the New Zealand Society of Authors. It was published last week. You have drafted and redrafted. You may have had some or all of your manuscript assessed. Finally, with relief and incredulity, you have typed The End and poured yourself a glass of […]

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Descent

We stand together looking at the view. It is more impressive than a Monet, as shattered as a Picasso. I try to tell him this but he interrupts. I may know nothing about “art,” he says, using his fingers as quotation marks, but in my very humble opinion that tree is an eye, that sand […]

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Back to School

This arrived by courier this morning: It’s my “So you Want to be a Student Again Starter Pack”. (Where’s the scarf and cheap booze?) Actually, it’s my textbooks and first two tutorials for the year-long correspondence course I have enrolled in – Proofreading and Editing. The massive grey folder at the bottom will gradually fill […]

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Of Grief and Naked Bottoms

I’ve just been published in a New Zealand literary journal called JAAM. The 2013 issue, JAAM 31, was officially launched on Friday night. For those of you new to my blog who may not have trawled through all my fiction yet, I’m going to post the story here again. I edited it quite a bit before […]

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That “Aha!” Moment

I’ve just had an “Aha!” moment. It was one of those moments we writers live for, when a sudden flash of elucidation sets your writing morning on fire, reminding you why you’re sitting at your desk sweating blood, struggling to get your story down on the page. This particularly sweet “Aha!” moment came as a […]

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The Paperback Collective

A few months ago a very enterprising young woman called Jayde-Ashe (you can visit her lovely blog right here) had an idea. She wanted to establish a monthly online magazine of creative talent, showcasing stories, essays, poems, articles and photographs from contributors around the world. So she did it. And I’m in Issue Four, which you […]

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Grammar – Its important

I am a Grammar Nazi. I am one of those infuriating people who can’t help pointing out the redundant commas, misplaced apostrophes and spelling mistakes in any written document. Some of the authors are appreciative. Others immediately cross me off their Christmas party invite list (I’d point out all the errors on the invitation, for […]

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