Dressed in cycling gear, helmets and gloves, Quintana and I pause in the kitchen to listen to a scientist on National radio talk about the melting ice sheets. It’s a loop he describes – the warming oceans melting the ice, the less ice the more the oceans heat up. The warmer the oceans, the stronger […]
The blue hustings have come down from the hayshed down the road, and now the dominant colour all through the countryside is green. The willows have finally unfurled, there are scrawls of willows along the Ida Burn, in paddocks, beside ponds. The lucerne down the valley, where the rainfall is higher, is almost knee deep. […]
Hail for a change, this spring morning. A friend rings and I leave the fire when the sky quietens and go outside to weed the lavender and bulbs while I talk to her. We discuss the coming protest about the big irrigation schemes in Canterbury. She’s unable to go; I will go for both of […]
Sleet moves in a swathe across my paddock towards the Dunstans. Bartali and I sit by my fire discussing the possibility of a bike ride in an hour, when we’ve both done some work. I’m reading Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space (five years after building my strawbale house) for research for an essay. So much […]
It’s not blossom, but the small withered crab apples adorning the trees through the village look like red flowers (without my glasses on), as if the trees have bloomed all winter. It’s a fine, still day and we head up the valley. Neither Bartali nor I have newspapers up our shirts. That’s how we know […]
This morning frost, and yet, beyond the silver sheen of grass and tussocks, a line of eight cyclists. The first group of riders on the rail trail for this coming season. Later in the day, the cyclists safely at their destination, the wind comes up strongly from the north west. The long grasses on the […]
There’s something in the air that has us looking around, thinking maybe the cold is almost over. “It must be spring,” I call across the road to Ken. He’s with his ute and dog outside the general store. “Yes, I was watching the birds flutter around the digger in my front paddock this morning. They […]
The right, imaginative and clear use of details in a book, to me, is the single most important way a writer can improve their writing. What makes a book become real to a reader, what transports them from the reality of their own life to the world of the book, are details. And the way […]
I wrote and sent away seven short stories before my first story was published (Scaredy Cat, in New Zealand School Journals). My first novel took me seven years to write. (I had four small children, no family nearby and no childcare in those days. It was a long process!) I went on to write seven […]
“Sorting words,” poet and neighbour Brian Turner said, “is like choosing stones; setting some aside, discarding some, placing others with care in the right place, to make something of craft and beauty that will last.” We talked about this business of word selection while cementing in the last selection of stones, collected in haste at sunset […]
Jillian Sullivan writes fiction and non-fiction for children, teenagers and adults. Her work has been published for over twenty years and includes four novels, three collections of short stories and over sixty short stories for children and adults, published in New Zealand and America.
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 14: Gravel Roads October 14, 2017
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 13: Green October 14, 2017
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 12: Wind October 4, 2017
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 11: Merino October 4, 2017
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 10: Fields of Lucerne September 21, 2017
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