Kotahi Bay, Uncategorized, writing


A few weeks ago I read through my draft for the second Kotahi Bay book, Beneath Broken Waves, and it felt like coming home. There are really no other words to describe it. I couldn’t stop grinning. I knew these characters intimately, I knew the town so well, it was like kicking around a familiar neighbourhood and seeing a bunch of familiar faces.

Not long after that we went to a homeschooling camp and got to hang out with a huge portion of our crew from back home and it was fabulous, but then I had to come back here, to my new home, without them. And that sucked.

I’m homesick in a pretty big way. And I’ve really struggled to make myself work on Beneath Broken Waves. In fact, it was only a couple days ago that I actually started to make progress, and that was only due to finally making the extremely obvious connection – Kotahi Bay is like home, and any thoughts of home induce massive waves of sadness for me right now. No wonder I don’t want to work on the bloody book!

At the launch of Serafina’s Flame last weekend a friend told me he was surprised about the move because he’s always thought of Taranaki as my tūrangaewawae. If you’re not familiar with this concept here’s a handy link, but basically it translates to ‘a place to stand’. And he’s right, Taranaki is my tūrangaewawae. It’s where my family is, where I have lived the longest, but those aren’t the things that make it my place to stand, it’s hard to put that into words.


I didn’t appreciate it like that when I was a teen – desperate to get out and experience the world – but I did when I came home again in my mid twenties. My maunga was always there, a steady figure that dominates the landscape even when obscured by clouds. The beaches with their black sand and their wild coastal winds. The forest, the birdlife, the raw power you can feel in the area. My tribe of family, both blood and those I’ve chosen.

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized how important the concept of tūrangaewawae is to the Kotahi Bay books, but I do now. And even though it might hurt to do the work I’m going to pour my feelings into these books and hope that it pays off. And maybe I’ll find a way to ease the pain in my heart and a new way of standing.


another ‘ah ha!’ moment

So, I’ve not been keeping up with my writing. I have some really great excuses for it – this weekend was majorly disruptive and while the kitchen looks fab now that I’ve finally cleaned all the dust and junk out of it, I simply didn’t have the time or energy to work on anything at all over the weekend.

Now it’s Tuesday, and my stack of crit work has piled up again and I’m contemplating the best way to get through it all so that I can get back to my novel.

And then it hit me. MY novel is just as important as this crit work, in fact, in some ways it’s MORE important. Why on earth am I not putting it first?

Yeah… very good question. On examining it a little further, I realize that I feel an obligation to turn around these crits in a timely manner, and the only way to really do that is to put my own work on the back burner. Then I have to ask myself why I don’t feel like my writing is important enough to be my number one priority (in the writing part of my life anyways).

I’m not sure.

I think maybe I feel a little like I am ‘better’ at the crit stuff than I am at writing – or at least, I’ve had more recent validation in the critique area than I have had in regards to my writing. It has a quicker feel good effect. I email off my crit, I get back some thanks fairly quickly – almost instant gratifcation. That’s a nice thing.

For my writing? Other than the pure and simply enjoyment I get out of it, what else am I getting? I’m not published, I’m not even pursuing publishing right this minute, I’ve got no fans other than some friends and family – there is not the same level of gratifcation coming from it. And maybe that is why I put the critting first. Maybe right now I need to feel that little bit of appreciation, need to feel like I’m good at something (other than being a Mum and wife).

Anyway, when it comes down to it, I need to put my writing first. Even if what that means is that I get just 500 words done before I so much as look at someone elses work. Even though that will mean my turn around time on them is longer than I might like. I don’t have a million hours in the day, I can’t do everything I would like to. It’s that simple.

I’m writing now, and then hoping I have some time later to get a crit done… lol