Suraya Dewing's blog

A Writers Manifesto/The Story Mint's

In 1914, a group of artists, including American poet, Ezra Pound, founded a movement called Vorticist. They essentially stood for breaking away from traditional forms of art and creating new and energetic art. The First World War was looming and, although this is not stated, there appeared to be a sudden firing of energy within the artistic world that rejected modernism and tried to create a fresh approach to the way artists expressed themselves.

We are in the Transformation Decade

Last week I was in a meeting with a local language school that prepares students from all around the world to enter tertiary education or the work force. Their role is to train students to write and speak English well. We were discussing the next phase of research into how students can use the Style Guide™. The aim is to supplement one-on-one tutoring and set students up to continue practising the fundamentals for writing English when the tutor is not available.

Anatomy of a Start Up

This week I had a series of meetings that signalled a new phase for the Story Mint or, more precisely, the parent company of The Story Mint, Universal

As I drove home from my last meeting, I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of excitement. Behind that feeling, lay a sense that, at last, all the hard work, the blind alleys and the sleepless nights had a reason. They were laying the groundwork for what will undoubtedly be a significant business venture in t the future.

Waitangi Day at Government House in Wellington


On Friday, Bruce and I went to Government House, along with over 3,000 other New Zealanders, to attend the 175th year observation of Waitangi Day. What a wonderful way to observe this truly important day in New Zealand’s history. We were among the invitees because of the work Bruce is doing for World Skills NZ, an international organisation that recognises and encourages excellence in the trades by giving young people the opportunity to meet and compete with the best from over 75 countries.

Strong Nations emerge from Honoured Promises

Another year has passed and we are back debating The Treaty of Waitangi.

Music and style


On my way to Massey today, I listened to a recording by Richard Farrell playing Rachmaninov’s Prelude Number 2, one of my favourite pieces. I found myself thinking about the hundreds of musicians who have played this music and why I prefer some versions to others.

The notes are the same and the instructions on how Rachmaninov imagined the pianist playing it never change. Yet in every version there is something of the pianist in the music that sets it apart from other versions.

Pinker calls it ‘verbiage’

Some words and phrases that slip into our writing really deserve a visit from the delete key. I found myself frequently falling into the trap of being in love with certain words or phrases but later realising they really did not add anything to my piece of writing.

Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style

Over the summer break I found time to read Harvard Psychologist Steven Pinker’s ‘The Sense of Style.

Redefine 'Normal' and get change

This Christmas I have been haunted by one statistic – 1 in 3 New Zealand women are victims of physical or emotional abuse. The figure troubled me because, as I looked at my own family of girls this figure stacked up.

I have only dared to speak to closely trusted friends and family about what happened to me. So for 40 years it has been locked up inside me….my shameful secret…the one I didn’t dare tell anyone because I blamed myself for what happened. I should have known better.

Writing History

The writer’s journey can take many forms and so as a final blog for the year I want to talk about mine. It was, is, without doubt….long and arduous.

Last night our te reo (Maori Language) class had its end of year function. This is Bruce’s and my first year with Haare Williams and before that we had been going to night class for about five years so you might say we are fluent but we are not ….still learning but always gaining insights and confidence….slowly. Haare is a broadcaster, poet and wonderful artist.


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