Writing inspirations – remembering the greatest navigators of the first millennium

Today’s writing inspiration is a photo I took of an ocean going waka (canoe), Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri, in Ahuriri harbour, Napier, New Zealand.

Ocean going waka moored against East Quay, Ahuriri harbour, Napier New Zealand. Earlier in 2012, I spent hours standing in Awarua harbour, Rarotonga, trying to photograph this one.

Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri (‘The canoe of the Maori of Ahuriri’) in Ahuriri harbour.

This is a modern replica of the canoes used by the Polynesians to conquer the Pacific, from Hawaii to Chile  – an exploration largely over by around 1250, when New Zealand became the last major land-mass in the world to be reached by humans. An inspiring achievement – and one that makes us think.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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Writing inspirations – a coffee bar for gentlemen, apparently

Today’s writing inspiration is a photo I took of a coffee bar in central Wellington, New Zealand, with a very – er – unusual brand name.

It's called - er - what?

It’s called – er – what?

I had to look at it twice. And then photograph it. Also intriguing are the silhouettes of old-style police. Inspiration for a story? You betcha.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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How to stoke your Kindle with “Coal”

I’m delighted to announce that my book Coal: the rise and fall of King Coal in New Zealand (Bateman 2014) – which was released in print a few months ago – has also been published internationally through Kindle.

Coal is an irreplaceable resource, formed over millions of years, yet humanity has been burning it as if there is no tomorrow. Today it’s responsible for 43 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. We stand at a cross-roads; and the story of coal – of which the New Zealand side is a microcosm and case-study – plays a large part in the journey.

Reviews of the print edition so far have been excellent:

There have been many books written about coal mining in New Zealand; however this definitive work by Matthew Wright has certainly set a new benchmark” – Robin Hughes, NZ Booksellers, 13 October 2014.

a fascinating read, and it is such a good way of understanding NZ history” – “The Library”, 15 October 2014.

…mines a rich seam of interesting content on many things relative to coal…” – Ted Fox, Otago Daily Times, 24 November 2014.

And so, without further ado – welcome to the Kindle edition:

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

Writing inspirations – the magnificent Buller Gorge, in mist

Today’s writing inspiration is a photo I took of the Buller Gorge, one damp day.

A monochrome Buller Gorge, one wet day early in 2013.

A monochrome Buller Gorge, one wet day.

The gorge and river are both named after Charles Buller, the first pakeha explorer to venture into the district in the early 1840s. The original name of the river, Kawatiri (meaning, among other things, ‘deep swift’), is seldom used these days. It is a magnificent place where the prevailing cloud and mists add drama to a spectacular landscape. An inspiration by any measure.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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Writing inspirations – about to fly

Today’s writing inspiration is a photo I took of a commuter aircraft I was about to get on board at Nelson Airport, New Zealand.

Preparing for take-off...

Preparing for take-off…

Commuter flight has become as routine, these days, as jumping on a bus. A point to ponder – and an inspiring testament to the way technology has transformed – and continues to transform – our lives.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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Writing inspirations – a panorama of Port Jackson from north head

Today’s writing inspiration for writers of all persuasions is a photo I took of Port Jackson – Sydney harbour – looking back from the north head.

Port Jackson - Sydney Harbour - on a sunny Saturday.

Port Jackson – Sydney Harbour – on a sunny Saturday.

The first European to set eyes on it was James Cook, who passed by in 1770 and named it after Sir George Jackson, a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty. It became the centre of a penal colony, 18 years later, partly by chance. The initial effort to set up at Botany Bay, a little around the coast, foundered for lack of water. But a stream was found in Port Jackson – the Tank Stream, running down between what are now George and Pitt Streets in central Sydney.

I find it inspiring to imagine the place as it once was, 250 years ago – a landscape bare to European eyes, yet a flourishing home for the Gadigal people among others.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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Writing inspirations – an old farmhouse, crumbling with time

Today’s writing inspiration is a photo I took of an old farmhouse near Dovedale, Nelson, New Zealand.

Photo I took, by chance, of an old farm building near Dovedale, Nelson district, New Zealand.

Photo I took, by chance, of an old farm building near Dovedale, Nelson district, New Zealand.

The house crumbles with age now, ivy and foliage intruding across its walls. But once it was loved, once it was a home. You can imagine the stories, imagine the history. An inspiration for writers.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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