gardening and visiting artist-ing

Here’s a recent ‘shop the garden’ haul – most days ‘shop the garden’ is not all that photogenic – silverbeet, spring onions, herbs…but this was a prettier day…

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I dropped some nasturtium seed around in late January and it’s really going for it now. It will die back when the first frosts come. Nasturtiums are my favourite plant.

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My two readings with Maria McMillan are all done now. Thank you so much if you came to listen. It was a lovely experience working with a close friend to create a (hopefully entertaining) reading.

My Massey visiting-artist residency officially begins on Monday, although after this afternoon I would have already met five obligations as visiting artist! I got my temporary library card on Wednesday, which is the thing I am most excited about. The City Library just doesn’t cut it for the kind of esoteric and nerdy reading I like to do. I can’t wait to get in there and borrow a heap of stuff.

Next week is also the second week of the school holidays, so probably the only ‘visiting artist’ thing I will be doing is looking up book titles on the university library catalogue….but after that – yay! I can get stuck in.

This is the first time I have ever received substantial funding/a residency so I don’t really know what I’m doing…..except that I guess the point of it is I get sanctioned time to write, and I know how to do that….so I guess I will just do that. I have had moments of freaking out thinking I have to produce a book in the three months of the residency, then I remember I don’t. Whew. (However I hope I will get a substantial chunk of work done, of course!)

Right now I am reading (among a dozen other things) Jeanette Winterson’s ‘Why be happy when you could be normal?’ – it’s very good….I keep stopping to scrawl quotations down in my journal. Read it if you like gritty, courageous, sparse, beautifully-crafted memoir.

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4 thoughts on “gardening and visiting artist-ing

  1. You’ll be an awesome visiting artist! Go you! Also, I love that book. It felt like so much more than just a bunch of words between covers – or I guess it was a bunch of really special words between covers. I read most of it on the ferry.

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  2. Hello Helen, I have been enjoying your blog for some time now and thought I would say HI. I also love nasturtiums, dahlias and geraniums and have all three growing wild in my garden. ICongratulations on your Massey residency, I tried to buy your book from Unity in Wellington but they had sold out, can I order it directly from Seraph Press?

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