About this Blog and a Brief Biography
I set up this blog for two reasons: to connect with others who share my passion for writing, photography, travel, trees, and of course, tree houses, and to share the inspiration these passions bring me.
Dr Trish Nicholson
An anthropologist, photographer and writer of short stories and creative non-fiction, Trish survived careers in Europe as a regional government administrator, a management trainer and an Open University tutor, before spending fourteen years on aid and development projects in the Asia Pacific region, and a year researching Aboriginal tourism in Australia.
A compulsive scribbler, her writings included a monthly magazine column; newspaper features in the UK (The Guardian, The Times, The Times Educational Supplement) and in Australia (Melbourne Age), and three non-fiction books on anthropology, staff development, and responsible travel.
Twenty countries and a PhD later, Trish planted herself on a hillside in the Far North of New Zealand along with a few thousand native trees. Two years ago she started writing short fiction. Encouraged by a flurry of competition short-listings and couple of wins – Flash500 and Winchester Writers’ Conference (both stories published in Words With Jam) – she planned to develop her story skills, but was caught up in the digital revolution instead.
Last year, she signed with Collca, a UK based epublisher, to write a series of eBooks based on her travels. Masks of the Moryons: Easter Week in Mogpog (set in the Philippines) was released in December 2011; Journey in Bhutan: Himalayan Trek in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon came out in April 2012. Her latest ebook for Collca, wearing her anthropologist’s hat, is in the new BiteSize Science series – From Apes to Apps: How Humans Evolved as Storytellers and Why it Matters was realeased February 2013
She is currently writing a travel memoir of five years working in Papua New Guinea, and – indulging a long-standing passion – a historical anthropology of storytelling, for which she is seeking a discerning publisher.
Trish is a member of the New Zealand Society of Authors, a guest blogger for NZ Writers’ College, and chirps on Twitter (@TrishaNicholson) when not hiding in her tree house.
I have scribbled in various forms since childhood. Twice I turned from the beginnings of a writing career to dive into something else: the first time to work overseas on rural aid and development projects; the second time, in 2000, when I emigrated to New Zealand. Writing has claimed me again and I’m not planning to go anywhere else this time.
Being born in the Isle of Man, and of Manx stock, makes me part Celtic and part Nordic. I believe our original family name, Taggart, is a Manx Gaelic term for ‘priest’ or ‘healer’; as most of my forbears were parsons, this seems fitting. Later, like lots of young people, I left the Island to seek tertiary education and never found my way back.
I have since lived in many places in Britain: southeast England, East Anglia, Yorkshire, and the Highlands of Scotland where I lived and worked for 12 years. It is from Scotland that I went to work overseas; first in Papua New Guinea, then in the Philippines, where I completed also a doctoral study in social anthropology. Research in Vietnam and Australia – on indigenous tourism – and many other trips, including unforgettable treks in Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal, brought me eventually back to England, and the decision to settle in New Zealand.
My home is in the ‘winterless’ Far North, where native trees grow even more in winter than summer because they have more moisture. No ‘off-season’ for garden work here – no splendid lacy icicles either, but I have photographs to remind me of those.