Monthly Archives: February 2016

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an ordinary week (with a few sprinkles)

I am such a routine fiend. I love having a plan and (mostly) sticking to it. Just love it. Lap it up. I get SO MUCH DONE when my days basically go the same, one after another, for four or five days in a row.

Which supposedly looks something like this:

Monday

Morning pages, breakfast, make kids’ lunches, bribe them to dress and eat and put on shoes. Walk Louis to school, Elena to kindy, and then walk home (via The Sign of the Takahe, for a bit of a sweaty but healthy start… if I’m feeling up to it.)

walking home from kindy drop-off

Walking home from kindy drop-off, in the lovely morning sun, with the shiny ocean view.

Next: writing-prompt writing and maybe a poem draft… then emails and social media. And then REAL writing, which at the moment is editing an old manuscript.

editing a manuscript

Lunch, and more writing/rewriting/editing. If I’m on a roll, I’ll run off to kindy pick-up at the last moment. If I didn’t walk after drop-off then this is my other opportunity to leg-it up to Sign of the Takahe and trek down for a work-out-ish-thing before picking up Elena. Then we grab loopy Lou from school and… and then do whatever. If it’s sunny, we often go to the school pool.

Monday night I have my practical theatre studies course so early tea for me and the kids. Luuk has to come home a bit earlier than usual so I can handover the kids. After theatre studies I do the groceries, then head home. The kids are in bed and the newest episode of Madame Secretary is waiting for us.

 

Tuesday

The morning runs the same: writing, food, kids, walk, writing, web stuff, writing, food, writing, walk, kids…

Once a month there’s the Committee meeting for the NZSA Canterbury branch. I often go early to the library where the meeting is held. I almost always forget to return the library books. gr.

 

Wednesday

Ditto the morning.

Ditto the avo.

walking to school

Walking home from school and kindy.

Basketball in the evening, at 6:30 or 7:15 or 8pm… and after yesterday’s game I’m NEVER AGAIN eating dinner beforehand. So Wednesday afternoons will from now on include a mammoth afternoon tea. And preparation of reheatable dinner.

 

Thursday

Ditto the morning.

Ditto the avo.

Plus this is play-date day.

 

Friday

Ditto the morning.

Ditto the avo.

Luuk sometimes comes home earlier on Fridays… but not so much if he has to come home early for me to dash off to my class/basketball.

 

‘Tis the plan. It all goes out the window of course if I get called in to relief teach. But money… so, no complaints. Plus, I love being in the classroom. And I can usually still jam in a bit of writing at lunch time, or while the kids veg in front of a screen, or while dinner’s cooking…

more editing

Editing. And more editing.

Sprinkles

This week is the first week of theatre studies and basketball, so they feel like special glittery things, but on top of that, I’m going to a parenting seminar… which is basically a girls night out because I’m such an old lady. My lovely friend Kirsty got an extra ticket, and I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert in parenting, so sure, I’ll go along.

Also, sprinkles this morning: I took a tour around Ngaio Marsh’s house. We’re planning a writing workshop – make a note in your diaries, for 19th March – and we’re going to have it there. Such a lovely spot!

A portrait of Ngaio Marsh

A portrait of the lady herself, on display in the Long Room.

Ngaio Marsh's writing chair

Ngaio Marsh’s writing chair. She also wrote in green ink, the guide informs me.

ngaio marsh, self portrait

A photograph of her, and a self-portrait. She loved all things theatre.

So much lovely art! The workshop will be INSPIRING and not only because the brilliant Zana Bell is facilitating, sharing her wisdom on ‘World Building’. Seriously, pencil it in. 19 March, from 9-3. Discounted rate for NZSA members.

Tomorrow’s glittery thing is the New Families BBQ up at school, by the pool… so weather, please cooperate.

And on Sunday, for a bit of something else entirely, I’m playing Clarinet at church. I hardly ever play at all so… yay!


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bit of a break

Category : Art

I haven’t taken a proper break from writing since… I started. I mean, I’ve moved countries and had babies, but actually in both cases kept at it, pretty much, as best I could. This summer I took an actual three week break from my novel manuscripts.

I made mosaics.

mosaic lady

I did a bit of gardening – very unlike me.

I read a stack of books – less unlike me.

Okay, I did write, but I played with a bit of poetry instead of my usual long-form-prose. I got Stephen Fry’s book, ‘The Ode Less Traveled’, for Christmas. I’m learning all about the different rhythms and metres and rhyme schemes, and there are writing exercises, and I’ve been having a ball. I know, I’m such a nerd.

But here’s today’s sampling – a little bit nerd and a little bit democracy in action… an attempt at RHYME ROYAL (that is iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ABABBCC… for those of you who are interested… all three of you.)

 

Let’s see some RIGHT and HONOURABLE

Just days before Waitangi Day they sign
away our sovereignty to join the club
Don’t get me wrong, we make a nice white wine,
but in the scheme of things we’re just a bub
to be proud of and protect, aye there’s the rub.
They’ll homogenise the world to make a buck.
I’m worried my P.M. don’t give a duck.

Now there’s a thought – diversify! Farm ducks,
milk sheep and goats, make cheese unpasteurised.
Stop doing what they want – make your own luck.
Trust teachers, feed original young minds,
make good art, save the world, don’t super-size,
don’t strip mall, strip club, strip away bizarre
till all that’s left is cheap and bulk, banal.

Please check your job description, Mr Key,
the people are your first priority.

 

Okay, so the rhyme got a little less-than perfect in the second verse, but I was on a roll. It’s probably too fresh to publish, but I’m standing by it.

It is OF THE MOMENT, if nothing else.