Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Surfacing ...

Months since I have blogged here, and at last life seems to be re-settling into some sort of happy pattern. We moved house twice over spring/summer - the 2nd time unexpectedly ... long story!

People said it would take a while to recover and get back to routines, but I didn't believe them. (Kind of like when you have your first baby and you think you will be back at work again straight away!)

All sorts of things didn't go as planned last year. I didn't even do any solar cooking. Not sure if that was the unpredictable weather, the moving, or both.

As for my grand plan to go fridgeless last winter ... The youngest member of the family experienced her first big hail storm and fell in love. She gathered 3 big bowlfuls of hail to keep forever. How was I supposed to turn the fridge/freezer off after that? :)

Some good things that happened last year, and that I somehow managed to crowbar in around moving ...

For the second half of 2009 I worked on the writing of a pretty disturbing exhibition at Taranaki's Puke Ariki - about the Taranaki Wars. Maybe I'll write a separate blog post on my thoughts about that.

I'm so grateful for the experiences and insights I gained on this job. I felt as if I had been gathering pieces to a jigsaw puzzle for years, not realising they were all part of the same picture. Then working on this exhibition suddenly I saw that they were.

Colonisation, along with industrialisation, capitalism, and the different facets of human nature ... that's the picture I mean. I know the total interconnectedness of these things has been obvious to lots of other people for a long time, but not so for me.

Less unsettlingly, in spring I helped on the organising committee of Spinning Gold - the first children's writers and illustrators conference held in NZ for many years.

The culmination of the committee's work was an intense, amazing, unforgettable weekend. I came home on Sunday evening in a euphoric daze. People involved in children's literature are, as a group, just so darn supportive and lovely. And a live-in conference venue full of over 100 of them is almost too much support and loveliness to be true.

(Sorry, it's nearly midnight; I tend to gush when I'm tired.)

Oh - and I also learned to spin for real - not just metaphorically.

For about 5 months now, under the expert tutelage of my mother, I've been working at trying to acquire and improve various spinning skills - at times feverishly and to the detriment of my sleep patterns.

Whew. Still a long way to go. I wrote about the embryonic beginnings of my spinning obsession in the final issue of the late, lamented World Sweet World.

I have another new hobby too, but that's whole other story.

Next, I'm hoping to find a way to bring all my scattered passions together into one overarching project, before my head explodes. Preferably in a way that might add the odd extra dollar to the family coffers. I think I have hit upon it, but there's a load of prep to do.

Right now I'm looking forward to getting back into reading some of my favourite blogs again.


Sharonnz said...

Super to be able to read you again, Johanna. Maybe this will be the year when we actually meet and have a conversation;-)

Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred said...

Wonderful to read your news Johanna. Looking forward to your post on the exhibition project.

Nikki said...

Hi and welcome back Johanna! Oh, and two of my favourite peeps commenting above me too! xx

Anna said...

Nice to have you back :) Now don't go letting your brain explode, someone will have to clean it up.

Johanna Knox said...

::happy sigh:: Thanks a lot you four. Had no idea if anyone would even still be reading!!

Argh - Sandra - now I'm going to have to write that post aren't I. :) Going to require some thought ....

Shell (in NZ) said...

Hiya... sounds like you have a lot going on, I hope the preps come off well.

I went to the very first Young Authors Conference when I was maybe 10 or 11(?) was superb. I met Margaret Mahy and Gavin Bishop, and many others. I was only disappointed i took it as more of an extra "job" and the book I wrote was a class project that was a bit naff (Why the kiwi can't fly), not at all like stories I usually wrote.

And yes please- I want to see the exhibition post too- maybe send me a link, I'm a bit out-of-touch-with-blogs atm :0)

Heather said...

excellent to hear your news!

Johanna Knox said...

Thanks Lishelle and Heather!

Ruth said...

wow johanna! you have a blessed life with wonderful experiences it seems. i would be in a euphoric daze also - what a magical event that must have been. Interesting to read about your hobbies. Am interested in your new one too.