Born in Wellington, but raised in West Auckland and educated at Rutherford High School, I always enjoyed Reading. School holidays would be a treasure of reading and visiting bookstores. I guess encouraging kids to read would keep them quiet. I used to enjoy staying with my grandmother at Westmere where there were local second hand bookstores. The city seemed to have more of these things than anywhere out west. There were a lot of world war two stories back then, people like Douglas Bader, writers like Paul Brickhill, and later writers like C.K. Forrester with the Hornblower series. What could be more enjoyable than escaping inside a book compared to say having to do some math homework! Thank goodness for calculators. I would tend to be placed in advanced reading classes and was confident as a student when it came to English in general. So what goes in must come out. I didn't think of doing writing as a hobby until many years after I left school. But in that time I believe ideas and opinions were brewing and forming. I remember my grandmother had a typewritten manuscript of a story she wanted to print. Later I was starting to write poetry and my Uncle in Kawerau admitted he was sending poetry to the local paper. Then my aunty in Brisbane started sending us her poetry. So we had a family full of secret poets. I decided I needed some more structure to my writing so a creative writing class led me into a world of plays, poetry and short story writing. The friendly group of writers at Waitakere Writers has encouraged me to keep exercising my writing as I try to find the voice within. I believe writing can be therapy for the soul. I encourage people I meet to write down their feelings and emotions and ideas, as times when we are feeling low can also be times when we can be at our most creative.