Dr. Christina Marigold Houen is a woman who is ageing with style.To begin with, she has recently formally changed her name. How many of us would do that? Her name now reflects who she really is.

Christina Marigold Houen
Christina Marigold Houen

Christina appeared my life nearly fifteen years ago, at a meeting of PhD candidates at Curtin University. She was a candidate and I sat next to her. We quickly became colleagues. Now I am  privileged to call her my friend.

I don’t know how old she is. But I do know that she’s well past the age when many Australians have retired. Not Christina Marigold Houen.

What makes Christina Marigold Houen special?

Here are a few of the things I know about Christina Marigold Houen that make me proud to be her friend.

  • Christina continues to write memoirs and has begun a biography.
  • Before the ink was dry on her PhD thesis, she’d accepted a position in the Architectural Department at Curtin University.
  • Later, she moved from Western Australia where she’d lived for thirty years.  She now lives in northern New South Wales where she has settled into a semi-rural community. To move alone as an older person to a completely new environment is a brave action. Of her hew home, Christina says,

I’m close to the Border Ranges, which provide a dark, moody and often mist-shrouded backdrop to the view from my place, across green rippling cane fields.

Marigold – reflected in Christina’s name
  • Christina Marigold Houen established her own business, Perfect Words Editing. I urge you to check it out. She edits for PhD candidates in many fields, as well as writers of fiction and non-fiction. The testimonials from her  clients take my breath away. She has edited my new memoir and I understand why her clients love and respect her.
  • She is gentle with the tender egos of writers, including mine.
  • She turns work around in the blink of an eye.
  • Every word she writes as an editor is considered, measured. Her suggestions to improve a piece of work are invariably right and always reassuring.
  • Not only does she edit. She also has a handful of emerging writers she mentors.
  • She reviews books for national newspapers, as well as on line.
  • She maintains a blog.
  • She is a member of a local book club and a writers’ group.
  • She facilitates an occasional writers’ class.
  • Three or four years ago, she rekindled her passion for art. She enrolled in art classes. She uses oils and pastels.
  • In 2013 she was a finalist in the Caldera Art Awards.
  • Her work has been exhibited in her local art gallery. Some has been reproduced on greeting cards. You can view her art work at Pastel Paintings of Nature and Wildlife by Australian Artist.

I haven’t asked Christina when she hopes to retire. I already know the answer. Some older people are unstoppable.

4 replies on “Christina Marigold Houen”

  1. Dear Maureen, thank you for this wonderful tribute! If I needed a scriptwriter, I’d hire you! You blow my trumpet better than I could. Not that I need to or want to. But it is wonderful to be recognised and acknowledged by someone who has seen me emerge from a latter day student to my present wonderful life. I have a lovely balance of work, friends and family, and am so fortunate to have the gifts I have and be able to share them, and help others. Some of the things you say I do have changed a little; I no longer review for newspapers, as their book pages have shrunk; and I no longer am a member of book club and writer’s group. but I’m happy to accept all else you say, with pleasure, except to say I’m not always right! Thank you, my friend, who has also aged with style — happy wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, intrepid traveller, published author, teacher and mentor of life writing, still writing, active blogger, and more.

    1. As my brother Peter Stone says, ‘Retire? What a silly idea. What would I do then?’

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