The girl with the cheezy grin

The worst thing about being a writer now, in the 21st century, is the fact you can’t hide. 
You can’t lock the doors of your Parisian garret and push your finished manuscripts through the gap under the door. 
You can't be an enigma. 
You can’t let your work stand apart from you and be judged by its own merits. 
Now, our work is judged by who we are and that is awful because I am a boring old twat, and my work isn't.  

My books in an actual bookshop HAZAA

I am a writer.  For years I called myself a writer/artist/designer, but the truth is, I am a writer.  Yes, I do all those other things, but they are jobs, they are not my vocation.  They are not the things that bleed out of my soul.
Writing is the one occupation I can’t put down and walk away from.  It is the thing that revs up excitement and brings me joy, it is the thing that brings out all my “feels”.  Writing can make me laugh, cry, dance; want to murder someone; want to eat chocolate or want to throw everything to the wind and run away with it.  

Where I am supposed to write, I don't use it, I write in bed

Writing can keep me welded to my laptop, day and night, with only tea or pee breaks while the world disintegrates around me.  It is the thing that can lead me into the deepest darkest places a human can dwell in and be the lifeline that hauls me out again. 
All my writing is character led.  The characters arrives and do what they do, and I run along behind them eaves dropping and taking notes.  That is why I write with multiple P O Vs.  The characters want to have a say, and some of them are loud, pushy little bastards. 
The problem is they aren’t polite, they are scrappy, elbowing each other out of the way or yelling over each other, like my family at the Christmas dinner table. 

Me at Woodhatton Primary school, the girl with way way way too much imagination

My writing life started when I learned how to write. 
My first ‘published’ pieces was a poem, stuck on the window of my primmer one classroom, so people could read it when they walked past.  It was about a Morepork.  My next ‘published’ piece got me into a bit of trouble.  It was about pirates, murdering, molesting and hiding their treasure.  I was six, and my teacher, the headmaster and my parents had a meeting to discuss it.  That was the first time I was taken to a specialist, to talk about “things” as my story was a bit too “real”.
I had stories and poems up on the walls, windows of my classroom and best of all the noticeboard in the teachers’ lounge, all the way through primary school.  My most favourite thing at school, was to be read to.  The books my teachers read out loud are still my favourite books. 
This was because, although I could write stories, I had a very hard time reading books, as I was dyslexic. Just like my mother, and my son.  Of course, I didn’t tell anyone words moved around on the page when I was trying to read them, they would have thought I was crazy, and they thought I was weird enough already.
When I hit puberty, around nine years old, I found out that I could pin the words down if I put a ruler across the page.  I would read the text along the top and viola, I was reading like crazy and that was when I discovered my mother’s hoard of Mill’s and Boon books. 


So, why did I go right back to the beginning to explain my writing life now.  Well, I had to give you the whakapapa first.  
I am the same person as I was when I got my first piece of writing stuck up on the classroom wall for everyone to see.  I am the same person as I was when a child psychologist told my parents I was a dreamer with a rampant imagination.  
I have always written, every single day of my life.  Always.  First it was pencil on lined refill, then I graduated to blue ball point pens, and then (when they arrived like they had flown straight out of my rampant imagination) purple ball point pens.  Then I bought my first typewriter for $20, it was gigantic, a hefty imperial that weighed more than my kids.  

Book launch for 'Thread through the Whariki'

I had big, beautiful dreams of being a published author, writing story after story and that has happened.  So now, I don’t really give a flying whatnot if anything gets published any more, because I have been published and it didn’t change anything for me except add an extra great dollop of imposter syndrome to my already fractured personality and an urge to compete with myself.  For what?  Other people’s acceptance?  I’m not that sort of writer anymore.  It’s not worth the heart ache.    
 So back to my writer’s life as it stands now.  I write for my own amusement.  If people like it, cool, if they don’t, well, in the words of the great Nathan Gray, ‘They are just not on the same buzz as me.’

Love Axx