For me, the love of reading began at an early age, largely thanks to my mother. The story goes, I was sitting opposite my teacher in primary one. She was reading the paper and being curious (read nosy minx) I read it too. Except I read it from my desk, upside down. Thinking she would teach me a valuable lesson she asked me to read one of the news pieces back to her and explain my understanding of what I’d just read. No problem! When I think back now, she must have thought I was a right little smarty pants.

A love of reading turned into a love of writing. I wanted to create worlds where I could escape and lose myself, take myself away from whatever was going on in the outer world. I suppose looking back, I wanted to transform my reality.  It started as apologetic poetry, mainly to my mother, and grew into short stories delving into the quagmire of our brains and personality. I found I could write far more easily than I could express feelings verbally.

For me, writing is a necessity to make sense of it all. That magical, yet oftentimes awful, mess we call life.

After being accepted to Napier University for a Bachelor of Arts in Publishing and Editing, I thought my course was set, but ‘life’ intervened and my path took a different route. It took me 10 years to get back on that path and I was in my late 20’s before I found myself working in a publishing house – initially across a range of titles and then as Deputy Editor of an international natural health publication.

I don’t regret those ‘in between’ years. I learned much about myself, and I gave birth to my daughter, who to this day, is the source of great pride and wonder. I put myself through college and began the long climb up into the world I felt I should have been a part of years earlier. Clearly, I had a few life lessons to learn before I set upon that road. I learned that if you want something bad enough, no matter what obstacles you have to overcome, you’ll get there. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

It seems apt the overarching message driving all my writing seems to be transformation,  so as well as advice on how to transform your own writing and perhaps even your writing career, I’ll also be sharing ideas and opinions that shape and inspire transformation in others. I would love for you to share your own views and your own stories of transformation (they would make great prompts for your fellow writers).

I wanted to finish by giving credit and huge thanks to my extremely talented sister Emma Airnes. The brief was simply ‘transformation using nature’ as it’s a key theme in my writing. She came back with the beautiful artwork I have used in my banner above. I think you’ll agree she’s nailed it. Incidentally, my brother Stephen Langtree is ridiculously talented too so I can’t leave him out. And in case you are wondering – the talent for creating fine art skipped me completely God damn it!