Friday, 18 June 2010

Basics 5: Grace's Life

...the education
After rampant curiosity forced her mother to teach her to read at a preposterously young age (the first written word emerged at 18 months and it was the name of her godfather Norman) there really wasn't much point in going to school to start all over again. Thus began a childhood filled with books: reading the Narnia series alone at age five and beginning John White's epic Tower of Geburah series with a three-day 600-page marathon just shy of her seventh birthday. Trips to the library abounded, as did other trips to all manner of fascinating places where people invariably asked why she wasn't in school. Add a good dose of Stephen Lawhead novels, Star Trek in all of its forms, follow that up with a Bachelor of Arts at Auckland University and then a Graduate Diploma in Translation Studies, and you have a pretty good picture.

...the online life
Grace was introduced to the precursors of the Internet back in the days of DOS and Bulletin Board Systems, then had a crash course at university and has never looked back since. She has had about two dozen email addresses, one dozen homepages, and has built many pages for other people, as well as dozens of social media profiles, most of which now lie dormant. Her favoured time-wasters are now Twitter and Facebook, with Shoutlife a close third.

However, that is not where the bulk of the action occurs. As we have already mentioned, there is the Lost Genre Guild, and also the American Christian Fiction Writers (she still can't completely understand why she joined an organisation with "American" in the title), the Christian Fiction Review Blog, the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour, the Anomaly forum at WhereTheMapEnds, and regular contributions at the International Christian Fiction Writers blog. In other writing, she writes a sometimes-regular travel column called Kiwi Come Home at the Colorado City News, in which she describes various places she's been.

...the offline life
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, birth having allegedly been brought on by the sound effects in Space Odyssey 2001, Grace left for London, England, at the tender age of six months. For two years she followed her parents on their gallivants through Britain, France and Germany, and gained a persistent hint of a British accent while learning to speak. The return to New Zealand was followed by the addition of a brother and the abovementioned educational exploits.
During her high school and university years Grace entertained notions of musicality and was involved in the Elkanah Music School for a number of years. She formed bands and played at times in church. After university, she got a very bad case of itchy feet and ran off to Germany, where she proceeded to find a job with the police and stayed for seven years, during which time she lived in a kitchen for a while and later in an 800 year old house with wonky walls, was involved in a church movement and band, security for the Pope, car thief investigations, prayer meetings in a Turkish delicatessen, owned four pet rats, a three-legged cat and a normal one. Some of the songs she wrote at that time were recorded live and rough with the band and can be heard here, here, here, here, here and here. She managed to make a lot of enemies by following her heart and what she believed was right. After this caused the quota of friends to become too low to handle, she decided to go home the long way: five months in Ireland and two in an epic road-plane-train trip across the USA to meet a whole lot of writer friends. You can read about that trip here: (right hand side) and also at the YouTube and blog sites listed above.

Grace speaks good German, passable French, try-hard Maori, and a very little Latin. After playing the guitar seriously for about 15 years, she then switched to the bodhran, because it's fun to hit things. She is owned by a cat, has three housemates who are generous with their baking, and an ancient Toyota Corona pimped up with bathroom paint. Her music of choice is ambient electronica and science fiction movie soundtracks. She goes to Glenfield Presbyterian Church, and spends most of her time there writing, for which she has the express approval and encouragement of a Respected Worship Leader, so nyah.

These days she spends most of her time in her hilltop house in Glenfield, looking at the ocean and dividing her hours between freelance translation work, to pay the bills, and entrepreneurial publishing, which at this writing has yet to earn a bean. But you never know.

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