A racy title is one thing, but what’s the book actually about?

A fantail doing some of the aerial acrobatics it is known for at Anzac Park, Palmerston North. Wind turbines can be seen on the Tararua Ranges in the background. Anzac Park is a significant – but little celebrated – historical site; known as Motu o Poutoa, it was a strategically important Rangitane pa before it was destroyed by an invading tribe. Photo by Paul Knight.

It occurred to me that readers might want to know more about the book before offering an opinion on a title for it! (See: What’s the best title? Please vote! and What’s in a title? Your ideas please!) So here is a synopsis:

Few today would describe the Manawatū as spectacular or iconic – it is unlikely to adorn a tourist brochure promoting New Zealand. But behind this domesticated landscape is a story of transformation so dramatic that few could even imagine how “wild” – primeval, even – this landscape was only a little more than a century ago. Continue reading

What’s in a title? Your ideas please!

The moa footprints discovered in 1912 on the banks of the Manawatu River. This photograph was included in the report of the discovery, published in the Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

It’s been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately, as I have been busy getting as much writing done on my book as I can before the Claude McCarthy Fellowship I was so fortunate to receive finishes. The book examines the environmental history of the Manawatu Region, in the lower North Island of New Zealand, from pre-history through to today (see: Manawatu’s environmental past to be documented), and I have been working on it (between work, family and life) for a couple of years now. (See: A racy title is one thing, but what’s the book actually about? for a synopsis of the book.)

Making progress on writing has been further challenged by the arrival earlier this year of our baby girl, Caitlyn. Caitlyn is known to make her feelings very clear when I spend too much time staring at the screen of my laptop, rather than gazing at/playing with/talking to her. Continue reading