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…


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.


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.


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.


  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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