I’m writing this on the plane home to Auckland. Three days in Melbourne have disappeared faster than the glass of NV Larmandier-Bernier Longitude Brut we downed at Luxembourg on Saturday night. I feel rejuvenated and ready to return to life. I missed my husband and children but know I will return to them a more rested and culturally satisfied woman. My-Friend-Jarrod kept asking if we were doing enough. Darling, if you are reading this, I had a ball. To slow down, to lounge and to talk—about the finer points of grammar, the career success of Barbra Streisand, how to roll perfect seashells of cream with a hot spoon, and the echoes of parallel lives—was the salve this girl needed. [Read more…] about Ten Magnificent Melbourne Moments
Archives for July 2015
My definition of writerly heaven? A dozen of us in a room with Booker Prize-winning author, Ben Okri. His 10 Truths About Writing changed my world. Maybe they’ll change yours too?
Scroll down—my first poll!
I’ve been writing my book since February. But I’d been researching for a year before that. You know how it goes—research is a great way to distract from getting actual words on a page. To tear myself away from such fascinating capillaries of (never ending) research and get my butt in the chair and actually write, was difficult at first. Looking back from the half-way point, I know now I researched too long and too deeply. But I have no regrets—I’ll know for next time, and some of the conversations I’ve had along the way have blown my mind.
People’s generousness and willingness to help is overwhelming: I’ve talked for hours to the 90-year-old Kiwi wife of a Connecticut trumpeter based in Auckland in 1944 (incredible); I’ve had help from experts on war, adoption, jazz, the recording industry, Hawaiian music, local history, dance, military uniforms and, most recently, experts on Auckland’s transport history.
I could even consider myself a fledgling expert on the social and cultural implications of New Zealand’s hosting of between 15,000 and 45,000 United States servicemen at any one time during WW2, while New Zealand men were fighting overseas.