Sunday, 19 June 2011


15 June has passed, and I managed two-thirds of the planned activity for that deadline - I've got the manuscript with 2 readers who will offer me their considered opinions. I did ask a third person by the deadline, but the email bounced and I had to find an alternative address.
I'm not making much progress on the books. My father's house has sold and settlement is on Friday 24th, so I've been away from home a lot, selling things on Trade Me, having a garage sale at the house, and packing up everything that's left. One more trip tomorrow, an appointment with the lawyer on Tuesday, and handover on Friday. Then it's all over and I can get on with life again.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Progress report

Just back from being a member of the last ever team to win the quiz at the Black Harp, which is closing down to remake itself in a "modern concept". Fortunately, the nerdy and extremely good-natured quizmaster Andrew, of Quizit, is moving to The Occidental, so all is well. I will miss my monthly dinner of Eton Mess, but no doubt The Occidental will have a suitable dessert I can replace it with.
The Poetry Society competition entries were down this year, due largely to a reduction from our usual Christchurch entrants. The judge of the junior haiku will have an easy time of it especially. Never mind. It did mean I got all the poems recorded, coded and mixed for sending away before Queens Birthday Weekend, and I actually had a holiday. Nice.
So I've done some more work on the books I'm altering - more tearing and glueing, but not much painting yet. Still preparing them for the art work. That's what I'll do at nights - there really isn't anything on tv to keep me from it, other than comedies and House on Sundays and Misfits on Thursdays. And the rugby of course, but the Hurricanes have been a little disappointing. Some of the books I'm recycling have beautiful paper and others are crap. The main pre-requisite is that they're hardback, so a bit of variety in the quality is to be expected.
I'm having a hard time deciding who to ask to read the ms. for me. I need to think of people who know me enough to be bothered, but not enough that they'll steer clear of hurting my feelings rather than offering genuine feedback. Difficult line, really.
Now I've had my cup of tea I'll get on with some more prep work. I'd like to write tomorrow, Wednesday being my nominal writing day, but work's got so behind while I've been doing the competition, and I've got tax records to update so I can get our returns in on time, and all the other things that conspire to prevent me from being the consistent writer I'd like to be. I've decided to start by writing one poem before I do anything else, and that will have to do me for this week.

Saturday, 14 May 2011


I decided at the beginning of the year that this would be the year of my first collection, and that I would hand-make my books. We're half way through May and it hasn't all gone entirely to plan. Some books started, the collection put together as an e-book and sent off to someone for comment. He liked the first half but I think he didn't read the second. So I've put together a proper action plan, with sub-goals and deadlines and all that stuff. To be launched into when I've finished administering the competition and the poems have gone to the judges, ie after Queens Birthday weekend. So here's more or less how it goes:

Overall goal: to complete my collection and launch it in December

Sub-goal 1) ask 3 more people to comment and offer their thoughts on the collection
Deadline: June 15
Sub-goal 2) finish 10 hand-made books I've started so I can transfer the poems into them.
Deadline: 2 per month from June to November inclusive (extra month for contingency)
Sub-goal 3) get quotes for having 100 copies printed, for people who can't afford (or don't want to buy) original one-of-a-kind versions of the collection.
Deadline: 31 October
Sub-goal 4) organise a launch
Deadline: 1 December

So there. I'm going to copy this out and give it to members of The Academy, so they can chase me up and make sure I follow through and give me support and poke me when I feel like giving up. Now it's on the interweb I have to do it.