The merry month of May

O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!

‘The Merry Month of May’ by Thomas Dekker (1599)

The month just past (So frolic. Much gay. Many green. Wow.) would’ve warranted a celebratory skip around the maypole, if it hadn’t been a bit chilly and rainy for maypole-skipping in these parts. I’ll make do with a Merry May listicle, instead.

  1. Marking 20 years living in Wellington. We (the husband and I, fresh-faced, fresh from five years in Vancouver) arrived in New Zealand on Anzac Day 1996, and spent a cold and boozy week visiting friends in Dunedin before scooting up to Wellington, where we’ve lived ever since. Cheers, Wellington. You’re ace.
  2. Lena in America. May marked the official US publication date of The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt (in the Aardvark Bureau edition). Her first review from the US is just out, in the Summer 2016 issue of Foreword Reviews. Go you good Gaunt.
  3. Novel #2 is off my desk. I’ve been working back and forth over the last few months with Fremantle Press on final tweaks and edits of The Hope Fault, my second novel. We wrapped that up in May; it’s in their hands, now. The next stage for me will most likely be seeing their cover design(s); I shiver with antici…pation. I’ve written a little bit about The Hope Fault in blog posts over the past few years, though more about the writing process than about the novel itself. There’ll be plenty of time for me to gab on about it in the lead-up to publication in May 2017.
  4. A very merry festival. I took myself up to Auckland for a long weekend in the middle of May, to attend Auckland Writers Festival. This was my fourth Auckland Writers Festival in a row, and once again it was superb. I’ve written about some previous Auckland festivals, but this year I think I’ll leave the writing to others — just for starters, you can find great coverage by Elizabeth Heritage, Claire Mabey et al for BooksellersNZ, David Larsen for Metro, and Renee Liang on The Big Idea. I’m sure the festival website will start posting recorded sessions over coming months if you prefer to see for yourself.
  5. Novel #3 is in front of me. In the last week of May I found some time to slip back into novel #3. It’s at such an early stage, so fragile, I won’t speak its name for fear of frightening it away. But this month, now that my desk is clear (figuratively, not literally; it’s always a tip – see below), I’m looking forward to leaping, boots and all, into #3. Wish me luck.


Dancing round the May-Pole (1767) by Isaiah Thomas (A Little Pretty Pocket-book) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

‘The Merry Month of May’ (1599) by Thomas Dekker (c. 1572–1632)

The author between desks (2015), credit Matt Bialostocki (find him here)


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