The Wordinary: Entry No. 15


fan-i-mals [fˈæn ə məlz]

1. Super enthusiastic supporters of anything from basketball to burlsesque, whose over zealous dedication makes them appear feral to outsiders.  Primary example: Twihards (which, I might add, is a most excellent example of word amalgamation.) 

For more about The Wordinary click here.

In Collusion

Thought I'd share the completed abstract compositions project I recently took part in; called "In Collusion", it was a poetry/collage project put together by writer and artist Makyla Curtis which required collaborators to create poems from a series of words provided, accompanied by pictures sourced from anywhere that had had to fit within the squares of the paper booklet.  Here are the pages from my contribution...

I really enjoyed this process - I cut up all the words and played around with them, and it was interesting to see how the various words and pictures I chose (from an old tourist book about Amsterdam) kind of started to bounce off each other and inspired different themes and ideas for each page.  Now, back to that last essay of mine...

In Bloom

My break from my last essay assignment for the year had me enjoying the spring sunshine in our neighbourhood and taking a few pics of the gorgeous flowers in bloom at the moment.  Here are a few of the faces that greeted me today...


The Wordinary: Entry No. 14

a crapella

adverb or adjective

1How you actually sound when you attempt to sing without the usual backing of your super-loud stereo system or other musical accompaniment.  Most evident when one sings with ones head phones in - i.e. your performance may be X Factor material to you, but a crapella to everyone else in your vicinity.

For more about The Wordinary click here

Abstract Compositions Project

This is what my Saturday looks like (in between editing photographs and working on an English essay...)

I'm taking part in writer/artist/editor Makyla Curtis' "In Collusion" project and have been spending the day cutting and pasting my way through my own little book of poetry and pictures.  You can find out more about Makyla here on her blog and information about the project here.

The Wordinary: Entry No. 13


con-green-ient [kuhn-green-yuhnt]

1Used to describe persons who appear to be environmentally friendly only when it suits them.  (Arch enemy of the recyclopath.)

For more about The Wordinary click here

Poetica: The Reveal

Yesterday I got to meet Elise - Founder of the Poetica Project in Christchurch, and sign my name to my poem the wall; I'm so grateful that I've been able to get involved in such a great scheme to spread poetry around this changing city.

Thanks to my fab friends for joining me. Here's hoping I'll be partaking in more Poetica projects in the future.

Link Love

I thought I'd share a few of my favourite links I've encountered on the web of late.  Enjoy!

Ideas about what to do when you wake up at 6am and feel like you're alone in the world with time to kill...
A Guide to Literary New York (anyone keen to sponsor me on an educational excursion?)
A great Guardian piece about Literary Non Fiction
This inspiring video of Dr Ryan Reynolds speaking at the recet Tedx EQChCh Conference
An easy literary D.I.Y.

Check out more awesome literary photos here.

"Sam": A Short Story

Today I throw caution to the wind again and share another short story; this is part of a longer project, a set of five short stories, which explore themes of identity and voice.  While I was writing this collection, I was experimenting a lot with different character voices, and looking at the construction of identity; how it is influenced by other people's ideas, memories and experiences and how our own ways of telling stories can often be both supported and negated by others.  My work also deals with post colonial issues, which is something I want to explore more in my poetry as well.

Here is the link: "Sam" (a Short Story)

Once again, I invite your comments, criticism etc.  Enjoy your weekend!

The Wordinary: Entry No. 12


in-tro-douche [in-troh-doosh]
Pretty self explanatory really.  You know those awkward moments when you:

a) Have to introduce a douche; or

b) Make yourself look like a douche whilst attempting to introduce yourself...

For more about The Wordinary click  here

Sun and Sumner

A beach excursion (in which we reacquaint ourselves with sunshine).

It's so good to feel the sand between my toes and start planning our next adventure...


Poetica is the Christchurch Urban Poetry Project: an initiative which aims to brighten up our earthquake stricken streets with poetical inspiration.  There are park benches poised for reinvigoration with poetry, blank walls awaiting new found lyrical lives, and spaces where poetry can be read aloud and enjoyed by passers by; in short, it's a pretty cool creative collaboration to be a part of so I decided to get amongst it.

 Members of the public are encouraged to write their own poetry, take a photo, and upload it onto the Poetica Facebook page for others to enjoy.  In addition, the poem with the most "likes" at the end of September, will be painted permanently on the wall. 

On the left, is my little contribution, inspired by the earthquakes our city has experienced and is still working hard to recover from.  Much to my surprise, it's gaining a lot of support and just might be the one chosen to be painted. 

Click here to see more and here if you'd like to "like' mine and help me get mine painted on the wall!  (Or like, feel free to like another one of course!) (Ok, enough with the likes, I promise...)                   
UPDATE: It's going to be painted on the wall! Exciting!

The Wordinary: Entry No. 11

shelf esteem

shelf es-teem [ʃɛlfɪˈstim]

1. A favourable image of oneself gained from various self help books.

For more about The Wordinary click here


Reading: Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron.  (Just finished Dave Eggers' "You Shall Know Our Velocity".  Highly recommended).

Watching: "Old" Disney films (The Lion King and Aladdin down, The Beauty and the Beast up next)

Working on: The finishing touches to the Stranger & Co Poetry Project - all will be sent out next week!

Laughing at: family photographs with Mum.

Preparing for: six more weeks of school and a wedding photography assignment (can't wait!)

Dreaming about: our trip to Wellington in November to see The Black Keys and Mumford and Son.

Choosing: the design for my first tattoo...

I have three more sleeps until the end of my holiday. (Sigh). It's been so damn good. 

Diamond Harbour

It looks cold.  And it was.  But it was also lovely nonetheless.
(Oh I do love to be beside the seaside...)

The Wordinary: Entry No. 10


lack-ti-vist  [lak-tuh-vist]]

1. A person whose vigorous advocation for a cause can only be traced through their Facebook status updates...

For more about The Wordinary click here

Hey Friends

So.  I've been MIA the past couple of weeks; uni assignments have sucked up the majority of my time, along with life angst, anxiousness, and the usual second-guessing of myself that appears to be occuring more and more often lately.  Quarter life crisis anyone? Whilst I know I've made the right decision going back to school, I still can't seem to rid myself of that annoying little voice in my head that tells me life would be somewhat easier had I continued on the law path (actually, it's not a little voice, it's really rather loud.  In fact, it sounds a bit like an angry Fran Drescher. Cringe...).  I mean, I could be, like, making money right now instead of adding to my student debt...

It's times like these I feel incredibly fortunate to have some pretty awesome people in my life who pat me on the back, come home with giant bags of Maltesers, allow me to vent my often incoherent frustration via phone call / text message / email, and generally put up with my feeling-sorry-for-myself attitude.  To you I say thank you.  I owe you all.  Big time.

I'll be back soon I promise.  Come Friday, I'll have a whole week to myself, my poetry, some flippin' sweet books I've been waiting to read, and some good old quality down home time.  

Thanks for stickin' around...

Blackmail Press (& the meaning of "cool")

Just a quick note to say that Issue 33 of Blackmail Press (edited by Doug Poole) has been released and my poem "Working Class" makes an appearance.  Click on the first link for the author index and read away! 

This is a picture of Ernest Hemingway kicking a beer can.  You are right.  This has nothing to do with anything.  But if the sweet clothing style and impressive leg extention, coupled with the serene surroundings isn't your definition of "cool", then my friends, I just don't know what is.

Happy Sunday!

The Wordinary: Entry No. 9


fat-is-fac-tion [fat-is-fak-shuhn]

(adjective: fatisfied)

That feeling you get when you've just finished a whole packet of Tim Tams / an entire block of chocolate / a family sized combo (insert large portion of unhealthy food here) all to yourself.  Usually followed by slouching under a blanket and watching television.

For more about The Wordinary click here.


I gave myself the weekend off; no writing, no reading.  Just crafting.  Out came the white ceramic cups and mugs I've been saving up to paint, as well as a charity store sweater I've been wanting to spruce up a little. 
The results:

I'm ready for a big week of research and writing now that I've got these projects out of my system...

Happy Sunday!


In lieu of reviews (a book and two films - look at me go!) I thought I'd post a few links to bits and pieces of awesomeness that I have recently encountered on the wonder that is the world wide web.

Please peruse the following at your leisure (or do what I do and save them up for procrastinatory purposes).  Don't say I'm not good to you...

Beloved NZ author Margaret Mahy passed away this week.  This is a great blog entry about the power of Mahy's stories
♥ A Great piece interrogating the "self" in "self-made"
♥ Famous authors and their tattoos on Flavorwire

This sweet online creative mag
♥ A literary print I'm eyeing up
♥ I heart everything Benjamin Law has ever written

♥ Seems everyone knew about this book site except me...
♥ Stuart Evers' Top 10 homes in literature
This website is my current favourite.  (Thanks Hildog!) I dream of writing in places like those...

Dumpster Designers.  Brilliant.
This is what happens when you start paying attention
New Katherine Mansfield stories?!



Today I'm sharing the poem that was recently printed in Issue 9 of Potroast.  The theme was diagrams, how to guides, instructions, components etc.  So I decided to write something based around the idea of distorting the "true" meaning of a word by breaking it up and concentrating on the other words embedded with in it, thereby creating something radically different than what was intended or expected.  This was very much an experiment for me, and it has spawned a few new pieces exploring a similar theme.  Here goes...


An explanation, friend,
                is not
A telling how or why
A former 2D colony,
Lost for scheme, design and strategy
That is now a body politic
With all its bones but buried.

A diagram, therefore,
                is not
a picture, showing
A letter sent to someone suffering
Where stops are small black breaths, for
Ironic font typed names
Behind dull plastic panes

A system, then
                is not
a whole comprised of separate parts
A shaft of growth, diseased
No budding colour at the apex
Just the start of inconvenience
A growth toward the end of ends.

A method, it follows,
                is not
A numbered process or procedure
One’s harsh demise abbreviated
By chemical conspiracies
The true end product of its excess
And networked faulty compass Norths.

So therefore,
it follows,
That context
                is not
                can’t be
Message, sense or point,
                but rather,
Lying, cheating phrases,
With manipulative tendencies,
Absolving themselves of all
Host responsibility.

Copyright: Kirsty Helen, 2012.

The Wordinary: Entry No. 8


bro-fess-or [bruh-fes-er]

1. The most knowledgeable person in your circle of friends.

2. A rather friendly academic.

For more about The Wordinary click here.

Looking Back (2)

In which I share some of my visual journal entries from our unforgettable trip to Cambodia...

This has to be one of the most amazing places on Earth.