Newsletter: July 2019

India and Daisy

Here’s what we’ve been up to in July …

Working on

India: This month, I wrote a feature about the founder of a new online platform designed to help New Zealanders with their mental health and another about a Te Awamutu-based blacksmith. I reviewed Attraction by Ruby Porter for the Dominion Post. I interviewed Kanoa Lloyd about her home in West Auckland and Monique Fiso about her home in Wellington. I edited three vastly different things: a legal textbook about corporate governance in non-bank financial entities, a collection of essays by migrant women, and the citations for the Queen’s Birthday Honours investiture ceremony. My review of Fake by Stephanie Wood appeared on NZ Booklovers, my review of Daughter of Bad Times by Rohan Wilson appeared in the Sunday Star-Times and on Stuff, and my article about local beer enthusiast Sunil Balu appeared on WellingtonNZ. The July issue of Air New Zealand’s Kia Ora magazine contained my features on travelling in London and on Kiwi singer Teeks.     

Daisy: In July, I edited a document on a new procedure for responding to stroke in New Zealand. I began editing a book on criminal law in Australia, and I proofread a cookbook entirely devoted to beautiful and not-even-that-unhealthy cakes for all seasons (sneakily saving that particular pdf in a prominent place in my work files). I did a little bit of work on two legal looseleaf services, and I began work on a New Zealand company’s annual report. I copy-edited two scholarly reports for Fulbright New Zealand, a document on how water suppliers in New Zealand can protect sources of raw water and another document on the health issues involved in 5G technology (spoiler: they’re minimal). I also took an editorial look at New Zealand’s interim cancer action plan.


India: Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West, Fleabag: The Original Play by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, Less by Andrew Sean Greer, Unwifeable: A Memoir by Mandy Stadtmiller, Attraction by Ruby Porter and Fake by Stephanie Wood.

Daisy: Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery, Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer and City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert.


India: Whether it’s at all acceptable, in 2019, to check one’s emails only once a day. One unexpected perk of my northern hemisphere jaunt (refer May/June newsletters) was being able to spend an hour or so addressing emails first thing in the morning and then have nothing else come through for the rest of the day, because my dear New Zealand clients were all fast asleep. Productivity was at an all-time high.

Daisy: Benjamin Dreyer’s concise description of his job as a copy editor: ‘my job is to lay my hands on that piece of writing and make it … better. Cleaner. Clearer. More efficient. Not to rewrite it, not to bully and flatten it into some notion of Correct Prose, whatever that might be, but to burnish and polish it and make it the best possible version of itself that it can be – to make it read even more like itself than it did when I got to work on it. That is, if I’ve done my job correctly.’ Not only am I feeling more inspired to be the best copy editor I can possibly be, I think I should in fact be aspiring to copy-edit my life.


India: Trying and failing to cheerfully slot back into normal life (i.e. a new time zone, Wellington winter, bills and car problems and seasonal germs ...).

Daisy: Trying and failing not to miss India.


India: Showing off my city – had a friend stay with me for four nights and proudly worked through the Wellington playbook with her (Moore Wilson’s, Red Rocks, Gallipoli exhibit, beer).

Daisy: The love of music India left my daughter Nina with, and the ‘India songs’ that are still on high repeat in this household at cocktail hour (but above all ‘Ah-leavy-doh’, otherwise known as ‘Budapest’ by George Ezra).

Tip of the month

When George Ezra says ‘Ah-leavy-doh’ (‘I’d leave it all’, for those who don’t speak Nina), grammatically speaking, he’s expressing modal remoteness. Outside of a pop song, this and other conditional constructions can be tricky to get right; find out more here.