Queenstown writer Jane Bloomfield has spent the year writing the second novel in her Lily Max series for kids aged 8-12 – the first book was a finalist in this year’s NZ Post Children’s Book Awards, and the sequel is even better. But what else does she get up to in that part of the world? Queenstown – it’s boring and lonely and philistine, isn’t it? With nice views though….Here is Jane’s pictorial account of 2016.
Otago ranks fourth in total numbers of writers in New Zealand. Auckland 700, Wellington 300, Canterbury 150, Otago 100. But where the hell are we? Writing alone in sheds? Probably. Most days – the ones with sunshine in them – I wander down to this bench on the boundary of our property.
This secret track drops down to the Shotover river. Seams of ancient bullock trails, pricky briars and blackberries and small stony tailings are scattered about. In high summer, when I’m feeling brave, I let Star take me across to the other side.
In winter, I long for colour. Like a yellow jacket. On the wall. On the waterfront. Of Queenstown Bay. Where funnily enough, poetry is inscribed in soft stone.
A track cirumnavigates Lake Hayes. It’s a brisk 1 hour 55 minute walk. With okay views. You’ll pass blue teals and young patches of heavily netted kowhai battling against generations of rabbits.
Skipper’s Canyon, 22 kms in length, 73 metres down.
Farmers call freak snowstorms in spring“lamb killers”.
But spring snow melts quickly, and yellow is everywhere….
Lily Max: Slope Style Fashion (Luncheon Sausage Books, $22) by Jane Bloomfield is available in all good bookstores.
The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.