Monday, 20 February 2017

I now have a website, so you can view all my old blog posts and new art work at: .

Friday, 20 January 2017

This year we spent Christmas back in Hokitika with extended family - so thanks to my sister-in-law Simone for all the photos.

When we arrived on Christmas Eve at lunch time, we could see that the house had been well decorated and the living room was full of lights. However, as it was the middle of the day, none of them were actually turned on. And because Christmas is in summer here in New Zealand, it didn't get dark until about 9pm - but it was certainly worth the wait!

My eldest niece, Amelia, is obsessed with dragons and one of her gifts was a beautiful sparkly dragon mask and tail. It was a very popular present.

Here we are reading 'A Lion in the Meadow' by Margaret Mahy - a book that she loves because it has a DRAGON!

This photo was taken on one of the milder days on a walk along the beach. I don't know what my brother and I were discussing, but it looks engrossing.

The West Coast is notorious for wild, rainy weather. Fortunately, the days we spent in Hokitika were warm and sunny - except for the day we left.

I woke to grey skies and light drizzle, which didn't seem terribly dreadful.

However, the rain keep increasing in volume until, when we were ready to leave in the early afternoon, it was pelting down. In fact, the rain was so torrential that just seeing out of the windscreen was a mission.

I have to admit - even though I have spent the majority of my life on the Coast, I still hate the rain and was relieved to find the sun again in Christchurch.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Last month I made the most of a beautiful late spring morning and drove out to the Ashley River with the family dog Emily. It hadn't rained for a while, so some of the side streams had dried up, leaving dusty tracks between the overgrown banks. This tiny flower caught my attention because of its dramatic colour difference to the surrounding area.

Not all of the tributaries had completely dried up - but I avoided walking through those ones because of their pungent mud-mixed-with-warming-water smell. It looks much nicer in a photo.

At the edge of the main river, there were thousands of tiny fish - cockabullies. This monster (all of 3 inches long) was the biggest one I discovered, having over-turned a large silt covered rock to expose his home. 

I've been toying with the idea of writing a new story set on a riverbank and somehow incorporating all different types of  NZ wildlife. So far though, it remains only a minuscule  idea tucked away in the far reaches of my mind. 

And lastly, here is our dog Emily. In our previous home on the West Coast we lived close to the Hokitika River, so she was often taken for walks along river side tracks. Now that we are in the city, she doesn't have as much opportunity to run and explore like she used to.  

So Emily was thrilled to be back near the water again!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Over the last few months, I've been painting on canvas for the first time. As I haven't worked with this medium before, I'm just using cheap canvases and test pot paints until I figure out what I'm doing. Then I will move on to stronger canvases that don't warp and become impossible to hang on a wall. Anyway, here are my first two efforts.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

I've had a review of my book 'All by Myself' posted on Bob's Books website.

Bob Docherty reviews children's and young adults books, with a particular interest in NZ books. During his 20 year career with the National Library he selected fiction and picture books for the Schools Collection from 1993 - 2003 and from 2005 - 2008 he was Judge and Convenor of Judges for the LIANA Book Awards.

Check out Bob's awesome website here.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Now that my second book has been published, I've been looking for some different artistic outlets to give my brain a new challenge.

My bedroom was redecorated earlier this year and in late summer I became bored with staring at a blank white wall. I had planned to buy a large bright artwork to break things up and provide something more interesting to look at.

Then I thought, why don't I just give it a go myself?

I've always been impressed by trompe l'oeil paintings - images that literally 'trick the eye' - but never contemplated attempting one myself.

However, that blank wall in my room was a tempting canvas.

My niece decided to add her own details to the painting. 
Fortunately, there wasn't any paint on the brush.

The view from my bedroom is now much improved and makes me feel as if it's summer all the time.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The first box of copies of 'All by Myself' arrived late last month and I'm expecting the next lot of books to arrive any day now. I'm working out my plans for marketing and selling and have had positive responses from various online bookstores keen to carry 'All by Myself' on their list.

Here's a screen shot from Real NZ Books. Their first page on the bookshop contains both my titles!

The official date for when 'All by Myself' will be available is Monday 1 February, to coincide with the beginning of Term One of the school year.