My new website! Come on over – click on the picture…


Ready to move

Well I’ve been using WordPress for exactly two years and now I’m ready for a change. I had been looking at all the lovely Typepad blogs out there and was seriously considering trying one when Mr SYW suggested a Drupal site. We are big fans of Open Source software so it seemed like the logical step. When you go over to look at the new site you’ll notice that there have been some changes but it looks almost exactly the same, that’s because all the whizz-bang stuff hides behind the scenes (like Mr SYW). So please come on over and have a look around, update your rss feeds and settle in.
I have some great vintage give-aways lined up for 2010 – including new ephemera scans along with new sewing and knitting patterns for all you crafters. For the readers why not join in my Book Club? We are starting with a new New Zealand novel – Somebody Loves Us All by Damien Wilkins.
Of course there will still be my ramblings as usual on writing, life and craft, no change there!

Oh sweet neglected blog!

I haven’t forgotten you, I’ve just been really busy – you know – writing a book and all that.

By the way I have finally loaded the darling little chapbook onto Etsy (here’s hoping it doesn’t find it’s way onto Regretsy!)

Thanks again to the most lovely Helen Rickerby, who has hand crafted each of these little works of art.

You’re invited

Seraph Press invites you to celebrate the launch of

Watching for Smoke

by Helen Heath

on Sunday 18th October at 3.30 pm
in St Peter’s Hall, Beach Road, Paekakariki

This hand-bound poetry chapbook will be launched by Dinah Hawken, and will be available for sale at $15 (RRP $20)

The Home Stretch

So we finished classes yesterday and now have just over 3 weeks of editing before we hand in our books. Everyone is a bit nervous.

I guess because the MA is nine months long there are inevitable analogies of pregnancy and childbirth connected to the process. A couple of months ago I started feeling like I was in labour with this book. I was pushing and huffing and hurting. I don’t know what’s going to come out, or if it will have any birth defects.

There’s a point in labour called transition, you can tell you’re in it when you start whinging “I can’t do it, I caaaaan’t!!! I never want to do this ever, ever again!” It’s the most intense part of labour; some women vomit or shake all over. Midwives like this point because they know it means any minute a head will be making its way out.

I wonder if Chris (our teacher) sees herself as a midwife of books? Either way I felt like I was in transition with my manuscript, I’m tired, I caaaaaan’t!

Right now I think the head must be crowning because it hurts, I’m tired and I don’t know what I’m doing but the end is very close.

To get me through I tried to remember how the post-birth adrenalin felt, a massive surge invulnerability and awesome, death defying prowess. ‘I made this!’ And you are looking down at your ugly purple squished up crying bundle covered in cheesy looking vernix, thinking it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. You forget the pain and decide they need a sibling.


Well, how did those weeks fly by so quickly? Next week we are back to our safe little cluster in class. Kay has sent out her next batch of poems for us to read (lovely) before we discuss in class and I’m getting reading to lead a discussion on how poets have been influenced by science, incorporated it into their use of form and language.
I hope I can pull off two hours worth, gulp!

In three weeks I need to hand out my last bunch of work for class discussion, nothing like a deadline to get you going!

Here are some quotes from my reading packet to tease you:

“Only fables present the world as it should be and as if it had meaning,” – Kurt Gödel (Austrian-American logician, mathematician and philosopher)

“The original Muses might be imaged now as little Apples, home-computers wired into the great mother memory bank of the world, promiscuously fingered by the swift digits of the global villagers. But a computer does not a muse or music make.” – Phyllis Webb

“We have to break down poetry into its elements just as the chemists and physicists are doing in order to reform the elements.” – William Carlos Williams

“Sir: In your otherwise beautiful poem ‘The Vision of Sin’ there is a verse which reads – ‘Every moment dies a man, Every moment one is born.’ It must be manifest that if this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill… I would suggest that in the next edition of your poem you have it read – ‘Every moment dies a man, Every moment 1 1/16 is born.’… The actual figure is so long I cannot get it onto a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry. I am, Sir, yours, etc., Charles Babbage”

– Charles Babbage to Tennyson, 1851

And a poem:

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightening to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind—

– Emily Dickinson