Thursday, 30 April 2009

  • 13:17 Yesterday was so full-on - finished movie shoot plus 8hrs paid translation. Now back to your regular crazy schedule. Hmm, what next? #
  • 15:53 I've organised my current movie into 9 scenes. Most are shot already. Now to organise the mpg and mp3 files accordingly, preparing to edit. #
  • 16:54 Got my movie files sorted. Just awaiting 4 more shots from the USA. Keen to get started on edits but no point till I have all the parts! #
  • 16:58 Well...I suppose I could start work on the still-shot slideshow version of the movie, or even do the bloopers first. I like bloopers! #
  • 17:29 @hellonearthis on pc: MPEG Streamclip, Power Director, and Audacity for audio, yeah I know, I'm a hack! About to try out Animoto slideshows. #
  • 17:37 Did I mention that I spent an hour making a new twitter avatar, and then found out that the avatar upload function is disabled? Sigh... #
  • 18:18 I've decided it will be better use of time if I work on the cover design for @frederation 's "The Muse" since I need that in the video. #
  • 20:04 There are now fifteen people in my living room. Guess I better switch off the machine and be sociable! Got a lot done today in any case. #
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Wednesday, 29 April 2009

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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

  • 08:36 Good Morning World! It's a gorgeous day in Auckland. Today's exciting - book trailer shoot later on! #
  • 10:24 Right, I'm off to the shops to hunt for movie props - a nice shirt, some batteries, and a pile of good books... #
  • 13:09 Back from my foray. Got a slightly pricey shirt, but my bro gets to keep it after the movie shoot, so he's worth it! #
  • 13:10 At the Christian bookshop, just placed orders for the three new sci-fi and fantasy novels from Marcher Lord Press, and a couple others too. #
  • 13:14 @ChristnBookVids please add me to the author list under sci-fi! Thank you so much, this is a great thing you're doing! #
  • 13:33 Just adjusted my twitter bio. Does it say enough about me? I want people to be well informed when deciding to follow. #
  • 13:42 @wendywings thanks! the colour is fine on my screen but I will see if I can tweak it a bit. #
  • 22:06 You know, Twitter puts a whole new twist on the old saying "a little bird told me..." #
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Monday, 27 April 2009

  • 12:57 Translating from German, legal text. Abbreviation KZV without context - what could it be? Surely not the rabbit breeding club! #
  • 12:59 And it's not the Union of State Dentists either, though that's what comes up on Wiki for KZV. #
  • 13:01 RT: @PureNewZealand To all North American Tweeters, win a holiday to New Zealand courtesy of @flyairnz and Orbitz! #
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Sunday, 26 April 2009

  • 09:16 All right. 1000 words before church this morning? I think I can. #
  • 09:17 @triciagoyer I gave up last night, got so tired - funny, I'm not a morning person but the AM is still the best time to churn out 1st drafts! #
  • 10:00 OK I wrote 500+ words in 20 minutes. Have to go to church now; another 500 later, methinks. Feels so good to write again after 7 month gap! #
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Saturday, 25 April 2009

  • 09:38 It's Write or Die time! I'm setting the specs for 1000 words in 1 hour. Will tell you how it goes! #
  • 10:25 I wrote 1126 words in 43 minutes with Write or Die! #
  • 10:28 I'm doing it again! Think I can get 3000 words before lunch? #
  • 10:30 RT: @theskypirate: John Brunner coined "worm" in proto-cyberpunk novel The Shockwave Rider for software reproducing itself across a network. #
  • 10:30 @idahoguy yay, you're back a-tweeting! how goes it? #
  • 11:43 Enough messing around. It's definitely bad to stop writing. I'm aiming at 2000 words in next 2 hrs. #
  • 13:24 RT: @Raquel_Soto: LOL RT @understandniche: twitter <-- the truth flashed by so fast... and now I cant find it anymore.. [100 words to go] #
  • 13:32 I wrote 2025 words in 90 minutes with Write or Die! #
  • 20:53 @vye oh yes I do I write another 2000 words, or watch a movie? Such a tough decision... #
  • 21:02 @kenarmstrong1 Thank you. I needed that! Hmm...sounds like Tweep Accountability :) #
  • 21:03 Right. One piece at a time. 1000 words in an hour, coming right up? Watch this space. I want to get to 5000 for today. #
  • 21:05 @triciagoyer me too! 3200 words today so far and I want to make it 5000!!! #
  • 21:06 @onejan84 don't be jealous, we all know the first draft is tripe... #
  • 21:09 @vye well it looks like you and @kenarmstrong1 are going to hold me to it, so I'll gladly return the favour. Anyone else want to join in? #
  • 21:10 @vye Write or Die is brilliant. Stop writing for seven seconds and the most horrendous auditory punishment begins. #
  • 21:34 Argh! I have been staring at the Write or Die start screen for a half hr. Too scared of hard work that will follow once I click that button? #
  • 21:51 Aw, I give up. I got up too early today to be writing at this hour. Tomorrow's another day. I WILL get my 5000 words before Sunday night. #
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Friday, 24 April 2009

  • 11:12 I don't care about renaming the islands, but I DO reckon Auckland needs a different name, even if unofficially. Rivendell seems appropriate. #
  • 12:07 Just joined a twibe. Visit to join #
  • 12:17 Who was this fellow anyway? He's got the Auckland Islands named for him, he can keep those, but the City of Sails deserves a prettiertitle. #
  • 12:22 @audaciousgloop I'm glad you agree! Shall we start a movement? #
  • 12:23 @eric55explorer There is no movement yet, but perhaps there will be! I know I hate the name myself even though I love the city. #
  • 12:23 @sonarkaren I dunno about Bucklbod - it's just as ugly as Auckland in its own way... #
  • 12:24 @campmotha I suspect the reason they don't know us is at least partly because our city has such an unmemorable name! #
  • 12:26 There's always the Maori names. But Tamaki Makaurau is more connected to the south of the isthmus while Waitemata would appeal to the north. #
  • 12:29 Psyching myself up to wrestle the Gimp and get the book cover for Legendary Space Pilgrims finished at last. Today's the day! #
  • 12:34 @elpie Yes I always have trouble with the Auckland/Oakland thing when talking to Americans. We badly need a change! #
  • 12:36 Almost drowned a 3-inch spider who'd been snoozing in the toilet brush bristles. Fished him out again though. I guess he's waterproof. #
  • 13:05 @oharris69 don't tell me Georgie Pie is still running out there somewhere? #
  • 13:26 @oharris69 oh wow! the westies are lucky! I hardly ever get out that way but this is definitely worth a look! #
  • 13:45 RT: @jeremydickson: RT squared- Comic Sans walks into a bar, bartender says, 'We don't serve your type' (via @sponno) #
  • 14:45 Awesome...I have two published author reviews of Legendary Space Pilgrims already, five more promised. That ought to be enough. #
  • 16:23 Have you read my review yet? League of Superheroes by Stephen L. Rice #
  • 16:37 Will not blog until I finish this book cover. Will not blog until I finish this book cover. Will NOT... yes I feel like blogging. WILL NOT. #
  • 16:38 @damnfinebooks Legendary Space Pilgrims is my next release. Working on the cover now. The title kinda says it all :) #
  • 21:03 I've finished the book cover - but too tired to blog now. Can't imagine why I was so keen on it before. Probably just procrastination. #
  • 21:18 @missmcj I'm only an amateur geek - yeah, one of those hacks. Do I still count? #
  • 22:07 All right, you convinced me - New blog post! It Never Rains, incl graphic design and other wild things. #
  • 22:54 just realised I spent all day in my pyjamas. even if my PJs are a tracksuit, they say it's bad work ethic. But it was a very productive day! #
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Thursday, 23 April 2009

  • 12:06 Just joined a twibe. Visit to join #
  • 12:54 Thinking of using a circular theme for my new website index. Like a clock face with links around it. A nice pic in the middle. Any thoughts? #
  • 13:02 @damnfinebooks it should be slick, cool, functional, and a little out of the ordinary. Author/geek type theme. #
  • 13:05 @damnfinebooks yes I have a dozen or so copies of Faith Awakened here. Soon switching to another (cheaper) printer under my own imprint. #
  • 13:25 @damnfinebooks yes, the circle would only be for the front page. I was also thinking of the slideshow idea, perhaps in mosaic form. #
  • 13:26 @damnfinebooks I would love you to add my book! However, probably better to wait for the new edition out soon with new ISBN. #
  • 13:41 @damnfinebooks Sounds great! I have two coming out at the same time; one new and one re-release. More to follow. You've seen my reviews? #
  • 13:58 I figure what I want to do on the site will need nine animated gifs at 120px square, and 12 pairs of swap-on-mouseover buttons. & a marquee. #
  • 14:02 @cookieswap depends what you do with them, lol! I used the concept on What do you think? That sort of thing. #
  • 14:10 My favourite word for today: Pie-retentive. Makes me laugh every time I see it. #
  • 14:19 @yomcat naaah...blink is so 90's! :P #
  • 14:32 @cookieswap Are you sure? I checked it in a text-only browser. The alt-text tags are doing their jobs. Thanks for offering your help! #
  • 15:06 @philipnewmannz and it's over 50 years old! my dad used to live at the north end as a kid, moved to make way for demolition & construction. #
  • 15:45 RT: @Kiwiseabreeze: RT @jonoabroad NZ forgets to name its islands - This is crazy. They actually don't have names. #
  • 17:04 @philipnewmannz yeah it's pretty cool. sometimes we go up to the street and he points out where the house used to be. Next door still there. #
  • 21:50 @philipnewmannz have you been on Northcote Point and stood right under the bridge? That's truly surreal. For me doubly coz Dad lived there. #
  • 21:56 very very stoked coz I just made a custom sized pdf using openoffice - for a wraparound book cover. Nearly ready to go! #
  • 22:14 yay I am a Raglanite. Have I ever been there? Dunno. But the idea sure fits. #
  • 22:16 the funny thing is, I am and always have been a Shoreite. It's the only place I've ever lived. But it explains why I'd rather be at Waiheke! #
  • 22:21 @wendywings ooo! and the Raglanites are the self-employed weirdos - Check. Non-consumerist - Check. Likes wildness - check. :) #
  • 22:24 @ksuyin yeah I guess so. "In the Shore but not of it..." #
  • 22:44 @TheWineVault no, not me :) Raglan all the way! #
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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

  • 11:54 Time to go bush again. Hope it's not too muddy down there after the rain the other night. Off to see the fantails! #
  • 11:55 Frank is home from hospital, please show your support and buy his awesome book #
  • 16:38 Priceless! Star Wars retold by someone who's never seen it, The Animated Version! #
  • 18:04 RT: @flyinglens: "In the new digital economy a recommendation from a total stranger is entirely acceptable" @Huxley #
  • 18:11 I just posted a video of tui and fantail singing, from my walk in the bush. Enjoy! #
  • 18:13 @flyinglens @rivettnz says there's a tweetup tomorrow night in Howick, but that's too hard for me without a car. I want more daytime ones! #
  • 18:34 @serendipitynz oh that's amazing! Why don't you leave the camera nearby for a day or two? Your fantail would be awesome to get on video. #
  • 18:35 @wendywings No way! I'm happy to tweetup with you anytime! We had such fun last time :) #
  • 18:54 My old homepage at is looking a bit tired. I feel a revamp coming on! Suggestions? #
  • 20:14 @serendipitynz - That's a gorgeous picture! #
  • 20:47 The lolcat crop is particularly good today. Or is it just me? #
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Tui and Fantail singing

Along familiar themes of sharing my piece of bush with you, here is a short video of birdsong clips I recorded on just one walk. The tui in particular sings all the time - we have them here around the house too. The fantail likes attention and often flies up close to people.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

  • 12:21 My current definition of "friend" is "chronically unavailable". Apparently,self-employed singles are the only people who ever have any time. #
  • 15:10 just created a header graphic for a friend's German site. Used Gimp for some of the text effects, it is getting easier with time. #
  • 15:49 Frank in hospital, no insurance. Pls help - buy his awesome book! my review here: PLS RT #
  • 16:29 @janetursel thanks so much for the RT! It's a really fantastic book, too. #
  • 19:54 @lifeledlearning I don't think we know yet just what happened. Some kind of breathing problem. It sounds pretty serious. #
  • 20:16 Just scheduled 25 posts to appear on the Splashdown Reviews blog between now and June. #
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Monday, 20 April 2009

Review: Daniel's Den by Brandt Dodson

First of all, let me say that this review was delayed somewhat due to my mother's visit on the day the book arrived. She took it home and read it, and although she's not the reviewing type, I have her assurance that she enjoyed it very much. I believe she called it a page-turner. Anyway, last week I got it back and read it myself at last!

This is a very well executed and suspenseful novel. We are introduced to two different protagonists who face increasingly impossible odds before a common enemy throws them together. Then comes a series of life-and-death chess moves as they dodge the strategies plotted against them.

If you like romance with your suspense, you'll find both aplenty here along with a trail of corpses, financial intrigue, a personal look at diabetes, and interesting insights into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans.

It's a nice touch that novel-writing also features in the plot, with a cunning twist of the unexpected. Think road-movie plus on-the-run plus a boy and a dog and villainous framing, and that's a pretty good impression of this book. The suspense factors increase as the story goes on, so that the sense of danger is never absent. Not for the faint of heart!

  • 10:06 @rlcopple - my week's work for Cyn :) what do you think? #
  • 10:35 Did you read my review of "Magic, Mensa & Mayhem" by Karina Fabian yet? A hilarious read you won't want to miss! #
  • 10:36 @terrimain I did what to you? #
  • 10:48 @samnzed that's what I thought too; but an excursion into silliness turned out to be a lot of fun! Plus I know Karina in person. #mm&m #
  • 11:05 @samnzed I think Karina invented Grace way before we met; but it's pretty cool. You don't read fiction?? Man, I feel sorry for ya! #mm&m #
  • 12:12 @TWCP aww thanks I'm so glad you like it! I wonder what Steve thinks? #
  • 12:28 @dominotheory It's about the bush, the trees and birds, the sensations etc. I'll probably post it as a blog shortly. Watch this space. #
  • 14:39 The trouble with tweets being so short is that sometimes I haven't the foggiest what someone is trying to say. Let's hone our word skills! #
  • 17:13 @brianrathbone thanks! You never know with these links... Let's try this one: #
  • 17:16 Goodness! Shoutlife is offline for an upgrade. I feel like I'm missing a body part... #
  • 17:37 @Kiwiseabreeze Yes, it's here: - sorry for the mistake in the first link. #
  • 17:42 Sorry for the confusion. The poem is at #
  • 20:27 I've written 2000 words today, and not showing any signs of stopping. They're articles about marketing for writers, mind you, not fiction. #
  • 21:51 @joegreenz I love the Mitre 10 DIY ads with the little kids. "Hey Jonesy! Give us a hand with a job..." "Mate, yer dreamin!" "...Aussies!" #
  • 22:16 @hellonearthis yep that's it! I first saw it while overseas and felt quite homesick. #
  • 22:58 Two articles completed for courses I'll be teaching for @marketurwriting in a couple of months. Exciting stuff, but I gotta get some sleep! #
  • 23:12 So this is the poem I got my inspiration from: and mine is at #
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Sunday, 19 April 2009

Go Bush

I don't like poetry, as a rule. However, lately I saw one in a magazine that captured my imagination. It was free from the bounds of rhyme and metre, but its words were so intense that they have remained with me and pop up at unexpected moments. So, in a kind of tribute to Takapuna Beach by David Eggleton, here is my attempt at un-verse.

abandon the stream of metal on wheels
escape the exhaust
go bush

cross over and descend into cool green dimness
the muted crunch of biodegradable carpet
releases rich brown scents at every step

the dulled whir and rumble of rubber on tar out beyond nature's bubble
a lone lawnmower drowned in the flow of a foot-wide terranean creek

manuka's spindly arms clatter
and wear snowy clusters of healing nectar
two stories from the forest floor

many-hued tui language
lovers conversing from tree to tree
in a flash of inky green wings they meet

immigrant radiata in ever-radiant Christmas garb
tower over natives that outnumber them a thousand to one

gregarious fantails tweet their sermons to next-of-kin sparrow followers
the winds caress the silver fern


Manuka Flowers


Radiata Pine


Silver Fern tree (Ponga)

  • 16:55 @lifeledleaning I'm glad you approve of the superhero site! do you think it will appeal to kids? It's a YA book. #
  • 16:56 @cindyemmetsmith Thanks! what do you mean you didn't look at the pages? #
  • 16:57 making cookies for #nzcookieswap - plus some extra to keep, and a big loaf of grain bread. #
  • 17:07 I wrote a poem today. Funny I never liked the idea until I escaped rhyme and rhythm, seeking rather after intensity and colour of words. #
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Saturday, 18 April 2009

  • 10:03 @samnzed no actually I don't have any myself, just use other people's ones! I like Scotland Yard a lot, and I always win at Pictionary :) #
  • 10:04 @onejan84 thanks for the recommend! #
  • 10:05 So the news is that Frank is conscious and asking about the hospital bill. Sounds like good news to me, except for the bill... #
  • 10:14 @KarinaFabian Check out the LGG list. We don't know much. Some kind of heart problem, last I heard. Cathi put it all over facebook last nite #
  • 10:19 Just shot some princess-in-the-forest scenes for @frederation 's book movie trailer. That was fun! The girls enjoyed it too I reckon. #
  • 10:35 @macaronique that's hilarious! folks you have to see Cupcakes of Catan! #
  • 11:08 Although he's in hospital, Frank's words are posted today: (planned last week) #
  • 12:45 RT: @cookieswap: "Last call" for #nzcookie Exchange Well not last call really, but cookies are starting to fly Monday. #
  • 13:20 @kalena The shirt just arrived - it's really awesome! Thank you so much. :))) #
  • 14:40 RT: (me too!!!) @markjoyner: Confession: I am totally filled with geekified excitement about Star Trek coming soon. #
  • 14:45 RT: @MichelePWRT @prosperitygal The chief cause of failure & unhappiness is trading what you want the most for what you want now #
  • 15:57 Three web pages done for the current site job; five to go, mostly re-coding image-swap tags but also creating some content. Soldiering on! #
  • 16:23 @terrimain you talking about Trek? I wasn't aware I'd mentioned it today...there's some kind of gmta going on :) #
  • 17:16 @terrimain Goes to show my brain is fried. The League of Superheroes website is coming on nicely though! Just finished the fourth page. #
  • 20:14 Okay I have finished the site - check it out at - I pulled all my tricks for this one! What do you think? #
  • 20:54 @samnzed thanks! It's for teens/pre-teens and I tried to capture the sense of fun that's in the book. Hope the author and publisher like it. #
  • 20:56 @samnzed reversed text? Where? My brain is totally fried but I know I didn't put reversed txt in there... #
  • 21:00 @samnzed ah! I thought you meant some kind of javascript mirror effect, lol! Yeah I get you now. A matter of taste I guess, I like it myself #
  • 21:02 @samnzed the text is actually grey so it should print up ok. White would be too stark. Anyway I hope it appeals to kids. #
  • 21:10 OK, after 3 long days of intense website work it's time to call it a night. Might even go back to eating again, how's that for a novel idea! #
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Friday, 17 April 2009

  • 11:12 Anyone else getting a Twitter login request when opening ? I don't think it should be doing that. #
  • 13:14 @simon_w Ah! That's it! I'll take him off the list until he gets un-suspended. Thanks so much! #
  • 18:00 RT @michellewitte Why is it that some writers think they know everything? I certainly don't, and I hope I never will. #
  • 18:18 RT: @mawbooks: Exactly! RT: @booksliesalibis: @mawbooks I agree. Celebrity tweeting is just more ego stroking via Twitter. Twego? #
  • 18:28 Warning: I might unfollow tweeps who go on too much about celebs. Real life is too exciting! #
  • 18:31 Oh, cool! A writers' festival right here: #
  • 18:49 Good friend Frank unconscious in US hospital, feeling helpless, can only keep working on new site for his wife while my thoughts r with them #
  • 19:49 @natobasso thank you. Much appreciated. #
  • 20:04 Frozen people in Auckland! I even know some of them! #
  • 23:25 Played Settlers of Catan with old and new friends, one wanted a scary book so I lent him one by @jeremyrobinson1 - Goodnight folks seeya #
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Thursday, 16 April 2009

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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

  • 08:56 RT: @michaelpokocky: I was driving when an idea hit me and I wrote it in the dust on the dashboard. Later I wrote the 1st 30 pgs to a novel. #
  • 09:01 Good post by @scalzi on #amazonfail followup - I agree: #
  • 09:03 Quotable quote: "Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity." ~A.K.A. Hanlon #
  • 10:14 @michaelpokocky I don't have a car but the idea appeals to me! And well done for writing 30 pages right off the bat! That's awesome. #
  • 10:17 @lifeledlearning We get sparrows too - and blackbirds, mynas, pigeons, seagulls. Also fantail, kereru, rosella, silvereye. All on Wiki. #
  • 10:18 RT: @FunnyReview: COOL DESIGN: ¨°º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨¸„ø¤º°¨ ¨°º¤ø„¸ „ø¤º°¨ ¸„ø¤º°¨ ``°º¤ø„¸ ¸„ø¤º°¨¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø„¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º ... #
  • 10:44 Motivation and time management tips at Writing Your Book: From Stress to Success #
  • 10:58 @michaelpokocky I think we're all still figuring it out. LOL. But I get valuable input and good links here. Feed to FB & blog is also good. #
  • 11:00 @bumptop how come some of my desktop filenames aren't showing & some are? Both individual files & expanded piles are affected. Still luv it! #
  • 11:05 RT: @Gripnostril: Interesting Twits to follow: #
  • 11:06 RT: @philipnewmannz: The Death of Youtube?? Redesign Coming #
  • 11:12 John Green on the science of time travel: #
  • 11:43 RT: @flyinglens: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill #
  • 12:06 RT: @camytang: Check out my Amish vampire kung fu Asian triad NYT bestseller, a la @CaptCaffeine: #
  • 12:23 All right, time for my walk. See you in an hour - and don't forget to exercise! #
  • 15:06 @lewisbostock oh that sounds cool! is it being recorded? #
  • 15:17 About to start building a book website for @TWCP - starting out with pen and paper as always. Mind-map time! Here we fun! #
  • 19:42 Quick question from current living room situation: If I think Singstar should be illegal, does that mean I'm an introvert? #
  • 20:32 @teachernz Both, i.e. I do not want to sing, nor do I want to hear others singing singstar. But hearing them's the greater of the two evils! #
  • 20:34 @justinflitter @yomcat @rachelkbarnett Phew! I'm not all alone in the world! It was the 80's disc, thank goodness they stopped! #bansingstar #
  • 20:35 Hunted down some simple-but-funky codes for the site I'm building: scrolling text, pauses on mouseover: #
  • 21:08 Ooo! Code for making my link buttons talk! #webdesign #
  • 21:38 @elpie Normally I'd agree, but the site is for a pre-teen audience. Probably just some cool whooshing sound anyway. #
  • 22:35 I'm on a web design high! Javascripts, making animated gifs for a mouseover surprise, sci-fi sound fx - more tomorrow! Night, folks! #
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Tuesday, 14 April 2009

  • 09:37 New book reviews, a great contest, and free story downloads both text and podcast: #
  • 10:15 RT: @mdemuth: "We're all travelers in t wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend." RL Stevenson #
  • 10:17 @tf_translate Looks like they didn't like the style of my sample anyways. I'm one of those Dynamic Translators not favoured by non-natives! #
  • 10:21 Just entered the Star Trek Complete Series DVD contest! $250Value! Win by following @WeekinRewind and RT. He follows back #
  • 11:35 RT: @TWCP: Christian superheroes? Read Frank Creed's review of A League of Superheroes #
  • 11:48 Going down for a walk in the bush. Lovely day for it! Hope the tuis and fantails are out in force again :) It's fun to talk to them! #
  • 14:02 @tf_translate Don't think so. The job was very well specified in the ad. #
  • 15:58 Great list of free sci-fi ebook download sites: #
  • 16:56 RT: @duncn: "the Internet is the world's best library surrounded by the world's biggest rubbish dump"… so said someone #
  • 17:05 @lifeledlearning Tui: A gorgeous black-iridescent bird with more than enough phonetics for language! #
  • 17:11 @lifeledlearning here you can sample Tui song - at the bottom of the page: #
  • 18:21 Check it out: 30 free programs for webpage & graphic design! #
  • 18:31 RT: @citypulsenz Tweet YOUR AUCKLAND NEWS to#citypulse - Tell the World whats going on in your City @citypulse #
  • 20:36 @andreawong_nz Yeah! go Zorro! I haven't seen this one before #
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Friday, 10 April 2009

More from the Bay of Islands

Here's one last video with a random clip from the drive up north, and otherwise on the boat again. No commentary this time - just soak up the atmosphere!
Followed by a selection of photography from the same trip. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Sailing in the Bay of Islands

This last weekend I had the opportunity to go with some friends of Steve's (my friends now too!) on a sailing trip up north. For those not familiar with the territory, we first drove about three hours to get to the boat hire place. Anyway, I'll let the videos tell the rest - it's in two parts and yes it is long, but I figured you might find it interesting. In my next post I'll share a slideshow of the still photography from the weekend.

Review: Magic, Mensa & Mayhem by Karina Fabian

Dragon Eye, P.I. I knew from the first page that I was going to love this book. be honest, I knew it before that, from all I'd been hearing about it all over the place, but let's not split hairs, all right? One of the main characters having the same name as me is pretty darn cool, too. Doesn't happen as often as you might think. And while fantasy's not usually my thing, this is definitely not your usual fantasy.

Okay, so we have the dragon and the nun, working together as private investigators. The bishop sends them to accompany a bunch of faeries to a convention, a prospect that doesn't exactly thrill Vern - though Grace is unruffled. But not long after their flying circus leaves the ground, mischievous magicals are already causing trouble. Minor incidents escalate until one of the head elves decides to conquer the state of Florida while his sense of proper oratory etiquette is impaired by a chemical high.

In true intellectual style, many topics are sideswiped, considered, and passed by on the helter-skelter ride to the climax - issues such as temporal philosophy, interspecies morality, the Inner Child, and even semi-professional counselling as Vern comforts a failed wannabe actor. Other gems include quips from TV and movies, a talking purse, respectful nods to Doctor Who and Star Trek (among others), enchanted dancing, dodging the paparazzi, naiads eliminating a case of littering, obsessively tidy brownies, artificial sweeteners, and multifaceted cultural misunderstandings.

Vern the dragon detective is a magnetic character despite his demonstrative cynicism. He made me laugh just about every time he opened his mouth. His partner the nun is almost as funny again, and the two of them make sport of bouncing puns off each other and anyone who happens to be in earshot. Not just any puns, mind you - not the painful kind, but puns that are woven into the story and thus are a force of hilarity to be reckoned with - in any of the numerous languages you'll find in the book.

All in all - a tall tale destined to become a part of modern legend if the reading public has any sense, and a real-world fantasy with a kick that's as funny as it is preposterous.

As I said to a friend recently, this is the only story I've ever read where artificial sweetener is seen for the force of evil it truly is. Ahem.

Don't forget to take a look at all the goodies on

Thursday, 2 April 2009

More on Waiheke

I thought I'd better post the rest of my stuff from Waiheke before the next weekend sneaks up on me. Here you go - enjoy!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

My Weekend at Waiheke Island

This video is quite a long one at 10 minutes, so if you want to see shorter clips, check out All About Feijoas, All About Kiwifruit and Waiheke Map Location. All of these are included in the long complilation on this page.

Anyway, Dad and me went out to clean up my grandmother's house and garden to prepare it for being sold. She passed on two years ago and it's been on the market ever since - any of you want to buy it?