Lookout world, here I come a-blogging!

29 April 2010. 10,973m above Western Australia. Limbo.

I’ve decided to start a blog. Partly because I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and people keep encouraging me to, and partly because a lot of people don’t believe me when I tell them I write.

That’s right: I write. Affirmation time.

So what’s my spin? What makes my blog different from the bazillions of others on the web? Obviously I’m a different person from everyone else, and I bring my own experience, opinions and style to my blog. But I need a ‘thing,’ as my oldest friend, Ngaio Simpson puts it (you can view her website here).

I don’t know what my ‘thing’ is. Maybe that can be what the blog is about. In the mean time, I’ll get the introductions out of the way.


I’m Emma, a 25 year old Kiwi (that’s a New Zealander, not a fruit). I write and teach and travel. Those are my things. I have others, too, like Guiding and giggling and theatre and saving the world. I’m currently flying over Australia. I left my home town, Dunedin, two weeks ago. I left New Zealand seven hours ago. I will arrive in Singapore in three and a half hours, where I will wait for my next plane, because 10 hours of flying is not enough for one day. I will fly to Barcelona, in Spain. Don’t look at me strangely when I pronounce it Barthelona. I’m trying to do this right. It’s new start, in a way. In the same way that every day is a new start, only today I’m leaving the country, so it seems as good a time as any to start something new.

I have a window seat. I like to watch the world go by. Australia is immense. I’ve never flown over it in the day time before. It’s a red land, streaked with yellow-white, black-green and brown. Ribboned in dry rivers, dusted in rust. The sunburned cliche isn’t enough. One day I will touch down here, visit my cousins and explore New Zealand’s big brother, but not today.

10 km above Australia

I would like to be witty and articulate, but I fear I am not. I’m really rather average in many ways. The twenty-something with a Bachelor of Arts who travels because she’s searching for something, though she can’t tell you what. She dreams of being a writer and making a positive difference in the world. She can’t settle on one thing. She doesn’t really know what she wants.

In this blog I intend to include details of my life that I think others might find interesting, for example what, how and when I write; where I travel and what I think of the places I go; what I read and watch; how much I disapprove of the misuse of apostrophes.

Today I have watched Robert B. Weide’s How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, and Clint Eastwood’s Invictus. Considering its promising title, How to Lose Friends was disappointing, although not altogether terrible. I expected something far more satirical and far less Hollywood. That’s what I get for judging a film by it’s title. Predictability is the standard fare for romantic comedies, so I should have known, but never mind. Invictus was, of course, moving. I used to like Morgan Freeman, before he was in everything. Wait, no, I actually don’t remember before he was in everything. I loved him in Shawshank Redemption but now I’m just sick of hearing his voice-overs. I understand he’s good at what he does, but too much of a good thing… blah blah, it’s been said a kajillion times before. I think the film would have been better with a cast of unknowns. I do like, though, that South Africa has been getting a lot of exposure in film lately. It’s totally the new black. In the fashion sense. That was not meant to have any political or racial meaning.

Another film I’ve seen recently is Taika Waititi’s Boy. I loved it, and I love that Erica Newland’s (how embarrassing! Newlands’ is correct) cast (for the play Joint Ventures, an Honours project in Theatre Studies at the University of Otago) use the Crazy Horses ‘sign’ in their rehearsal warm-ups.

From New Zealand film to New Zealand literature, I’ve begun to binge on home-grown arts. Noel Hilliard’s Maori Girl (1960s) is surprisingly refreshing, given its age and datedness. I began Maurice Gee’s Plumb trilogy, but didn’t get far before I had to return my library books and leave the country. It’s a Kiwi classic and I definitely want to read it. I read a short young adults novel, Out Walked Mel by Paula Boock, one afternoon in February, that I really enjoyed as a light read. The main character takes a trip to Cape Reinga, the (almost) northern-most point of New Zealand and the jumping-off point for spirits on their way back to their ancestral homeland, Hawaiki. I visited Cape Reinga three days ago for the first time in my life, and remembered that book, and Barry Mitcalfe’s poem Lamentation on Ninety-Mile Beach. Literature gives meaning to travel.

Last night I met with an old Outward Bound watchmate and went to see the musical Rent at Auckland’s Civic Centre. It was a really enjoyable evening, though I don’t think it would be wise for me to develop a habit of such nights. It was expensive. On the other hand, I’m über-excited about going to see Avenue Q in London when I get there.

That’s my first blog entry, to be posted when I get somewhere where connecting to the internet isn’t illegal (one of the downfalls of being 36,000 feet above sea level). The clouds have opened below us and I see the sea. It seems limitless.

I appreciate comments, suggestions and corrections to my grammar. I’m an English teacher, but I don’t know all the rules.

x0x0 Emma

Special mention to Ngaio, for convincing me to start this blog and for being an artist, a friend and better than she gives herself credit for.
Categories: Books, Films, Introversion, New Zealand, Theatre, Travel, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Lookout world, here I come a-blogging!

  1. Erica Newlands

    Hey Emma,

    I love Blogs! Yay for this blog. And thanks so much for the special mention re-my play. Its all over now sadly and it’s hard to know what to do with my time.
    I am only doing this because you asked for it at the bottom of the blog. Mostly I was v impressed with writing style and elegance…but FYI the apostrophe needs to go after the ‘s’ in my last name…as the s is part of the name 😉

    Keep blogging. I like your ‘thing’ about identifying with places trough literature and film…i think this is worth pursueing!

    • Oh noes! I feel incredibly embarrassed that I misused an apostrophe in my very first post. I must live with this shame forever.
      Although, I actually did think your last name was Newland and not Newlands. Oops.
      Thanks for the comment. 🙂 Yay!

  2. Emma,

    Welcome to the blogosphere! It’s good to see you here; you’re an engaging writer. Spain is definitely in the top 50 of countries I would have guessed you’d land in next. Pop back over to Korea and see me some weekend; you can drive it! Of course, that depends on how Kim Jong Il is feeling about kiwis this week…

    • Thanks Steve! I’ll txt my good buddy Jong Il씨 and see if he’ll let me through this weekend.
      I’ve been slack at keeping up with reading your blog 😦 but I’ll be better from now on. 🙂
      Take care

  3. Fi

    I love out walked mel, it makes me want to go to cape reinga myself, to run and to be reckless. i’m glad your journey has begun so well. may it prove challenging enough to help show your brilliance but not to overwhelm it. arohanui xx

    • Aww, thanks Fi-dee!
      Keep me updated on all things Madagascar, and I wanna see lots of lemur photos, k?
      Arohanui yoself. xx

  4. Pingback: Origins « I'm writing here…

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