Me, last night, trying to look clever yet friendly...
it didn't work :)

Finally, finally the last book of the trilogy is done, finito, ka mutu.  'Thread through the Whāriki' 
It has been a loooooooooooooooooong process.  A lot fecking longer than I thought it was going to be. 
This book was a lesson in focus, trust and the ability to know when I am writing complete crap and make myself rewrite...rewrite...rewrite without feeling like a complete and utter failure. 
Tying up the ends of a lot of stories, and knowing which ones to leave flapping in the breeze, (to revisit at a later date...maybe) is not hard.  The hard thing is other people's expectations of what they think is going to happen.  Especially if you've created some characters that people really love (or hate). 


about 10% of the books I have in my house, I now am
the proud possessor of an actual Library.

I, like a lot of writers, (should be all writers) read a lot, and I mean a LOT.  If I like what I read I will email the writer, if they are still alive and tell them.  If I don't like the book I don't bitch about it, I don't talk about it and I certainly don't rant at the writer.  They fulfilled their contract with me when they wrote the book.  Anything beyond that is my problem.  If I love what they write that is a bonus.
I came to that conclusion after reading a new book by one of my favourite writers and being under-whelmed by it.  It wasn't terrible, it had all the right bits that the writer usually shoved into her plots and characters etc, but I was left feeling kind "eh" about it all.  Then I read it again three years later and loved it. 
Why?  The words on the pages were the same.  The characters and plot hadn't changed. 
No...but I had.  I was in a different place, metaphorically and physically, I'd moved to a sun soaked Otaki and was spending time outside.  I was healthier and fitter.  I wasn't on whacky brain meds anymore and this meant that I was able to read about a suicidal bi-polar drug addicted middle aged woman without taking it all so personally :) 
So, if you like my book yay, if you don't like it yay, if you hate it and are offended by everything in it (especially the cussing, I get a lot of complaints about that) yay,
 if you send me a shitty review after you borrowed the book and not even paid for it, you can go forth and multiply with great abandon, in other words, fuck off :) 
Yeah I said it.
I just want to write, that's it, that's all.  I want to be a good writer too of course, but that is totally subjective.  If I worried about what people thought about what I wrote, I wouldn't write anything.  I'd be too busy curled up in a corner sucking my thumb listening to Whale song.

My first published book :) The six year old boy in that picture
is now 22.  This is the book I get the most calls about as
every kid in New Zealand has read it.

Now, I write what I want to read.  I write the books that I want to buy and get out of the library by the dozens.  I also write about things that are important to me.  So I am at the point in my writing life when I am thinking of trying something totally different also with the idea of doing the same stuff but under another name.
There are books I want to write, different Genre like Romance, Crime, Detective, Supernatural thrillers and Horror.  That is where I see myself going in the future.  I don't know how well that is going to go down with an audience I don't even have yet, the only thing I can do is just give it all a go. 
 No one will ever need to know.  I'll get myself a few non de plumes.
I know I can do it, I'm an optimistic, glass is perpetually overflowing, girl, I always have been and that's probably why I have so much anxiety (I don't think pessimists get anxiety, since they're never disappointed.)
I have wanted to write books since I could write words. 

Parkway Intermediate Mr John (beautiful) Reynolds class
the absolute last year I enjoyed school, I am 13

If wrote a letter to my thirteen year old old self it would say.

Dear Aroha, 
Boys are morons...punch Virginia Stevenson in the face when she pulls your skirt down in front of the class and don’t start smoking, it’s gonna take you 24 years to quit.
Now take a deep breath and relax, because most everyone around you is as totally terrified of everything and everyone as you are. 
You are far cleverer than you think but right now most of your teachers believe you are an idiot, even though you write amazing stories and poetry, they are more focussed on the fact that you can't spell.  By the way you will never learn how to spell, it isn't necessary as they invent a thing called 'Microsoft Windows Word'.  Your teachers (apart from the beautiful Mr John Reynolds)  will try and shove you into a box, in which you are never EVER gonna fit and will spend a lot of years crawling out of. 
You are different and I mean way, way, WAY, more different than you ever thought possible.  Your brain doesn't work the same way as anyone-elses.  You have flashes of genius, which would be great if you didn't have long spells of crazy, stupid and dumb in between them.  Of course you won't find this out until years later because right now you are a young girl who is constantly being told to shut up, sit down and you're not pretty enough, skinny enough or talented enough to be of use to anyone.   
You are gonna be hurt by people who don't even know that they are doing it and some other who know exactly what they are doing, and do it anyway. 
These people are broken and they don't know dick; you will work this out also.
Be prepared; you are going to spend a lot of your life not knowing what the hell is going on and faking your way through that.
Hang in there kid, it will get better. 
All the far fetched dreams you've ever had in your life will come true.  You will spit off the Eiffel tower and you will sing 'New York New York' in New York, you will even meet Elvis Presley in Elgin, Scotland (long story) 
You will have amazing kids that will turn out GREAT with little interference from you.
You will meet the man of your dreams (quite a few of them actually) and the one you end up with will be much more than you could ever dream up all by yourself. 

The guy I love

But better than all of that, you will become what and who you were supposed to be.  You will know this when you start 'Not giving a flying fuck' about other peoples opinions and being happy and grateful just to be alive.
So just hold out for that and don't get too stressed about it, you will get everything you ever wanted and way, way, way more.  
Lots of love
your very happy future self