Three weeks without rain. The motels have had a water tanker in, but all the locals are toughing it out. The air at sea level is hazy with evaporation and the black grid-work of the oil rig they’re building in the shelter of the Bay has disappeared completely. I’m on the beach with David . . . → Read More: Tata Beach, New Years Eve, 1974.
St Jerome in his study by A Durer
I began writing this in October in response to one ‘storm on twitter’ and finished it today, prompted by another.
I’ve been wondering whether, in most people, the instinct for agreement is stronger than the one for self-expression. When people agree they belong. And belonging doesn’t . . . → Read More: Thoughts upon watching people shout people down
For Armistice Day here is my foreword to the Second Edition of my 1987 novel, After Z-Hour. More photos will follow. They are are being scanned by my scanning-elf.
John James ‘Jack’ Knox with son Jack and wife Rose
After Z-Hour is a ghost story in which one character declares, ‘We we . . . → Read More: Don’t say ‘sacrifice’
“Didn’t you know that manuscripts don’t burn?”
I first read The Master and Margarita when I came across it in the Tawa College library. It must have gone deep into me because I didn’t realise until I reread it many years later how much it had influenced me.
It comes at . . . → Read More: Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita
After reading Jolisa Gracewood’s post School Bully on her blog Busytown—an impassioned argument about the wisdom of teaching for testing—I’ve had a number of conversations about the direction and future of education. This guest blog, by a highly dedicated (and now despairing) teacher in the tertiary sector, is the result of one of those conversations.
. . . → Read More: They Come to Class
I wrote this for a Grimm’s fairytale Bicentenary event. It was published in Sport Magazine in 2012, and I think it deserves another outing.
Stargazer is running the meeting. He unlocks the room and puts a fresh bag in the coffee machine. Hansel arrives with muffins.
Stargazer is a pretty smug fellow. Things . . . → Read More: Brothers and Sisters: A Grimm tale
This essay first appeared, in a slightly less finished form, in Canvas. I sat on it awhile before posting.
Horror has been called the most moral of the genres, perhaps because it deals in calamity, in inexorable events and the experiences of small human victims, witnesses, collaborators. Because human existence is prone to repeated . . . → Read More: Why Horror?
I will begin with withered leaves blowing through an empty fairground, tent canvas gulping and gulping, and the seats on the dark Ferris wheel creaking, rocked by ghostly fairgoers. By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
My first encounter with horror was a book of ghost stories I sneaked . . . → Read More: My History with Horror
As a blogger’s introduction to Wake I’ve decided to transcribe what I wrote in my journal some months into my writing the novel. I had returned to it after a break, finally seeing what it was doing and what it might be for.
I have used letters or a long dash to replace . . . → Read More: Where Wake Came From
This is my speech for the launch of Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries at Unity Books in Wellington, 3 August 2013. ‘Fergus’ is Fergus Barrowman, my husband, and Ellie’s New Zealand Publisher. I was honoured that Ellie asked me to launch her novel.
I have a habit from my student days of writing page references . . . → Read More: Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries