Friday, 22 May 2009

Book Review: What The Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy

I loved Patti's other book, An Irishwoman's Tale, so it was with pleasant anticipation that I sat down to read her second novel. It was also an honour to meet her during my USA odyssey last year!

I made the mistake of starting to read shortly before bedtime. An hour later I realised how late it was and flipped off the light. Ten minutes after that, I decided it was utterly useless to try and sleep. This book would not let me go until I finished it at an unearthly hour!

Sally, a Southern belle teaching in Illinois, is disturbed when one of her students is attacked. The course of events pulls long-hidden facts to light and forces her to deal with the consequences of her childhood's history.

Sally and Ella's friendship sheds light on the quagmire that hindered multicultural relations back in the 60's. To say that things were difficult back then is putting it mildly. Mistakes were made, lives ruined, childhoods destroyed by acts of violence and hate. Historical events are brought into the present in vivid colour as Sally, age 53, is confronted with her past that she left sunk in the bayou all those years ago.

I am amazed at the huge range of controversial topics the story covers. Abuse, denial, consequences and healing. Racism. Katrina. Murder. The supernatural. Friendship and betrayal. Mystery. Danger. These are disturbing ideas, and this is a highly disturbing story - in a good way, that stirs up emotion and conviction and awe.

Above all, this is a tale of a personal journey. Recovery from abuse is a difficult topic at the best of times, but Patti handles it with tact and gentleness. The consequences ring true for anyone who has experienced emotional pain. That's all of us somewhere, isn't it?

So if you're ready to face some shaking-up for your soul, go read this book. You won't be the same afterwards.

Watch the book trailer here.
Patti Lacy's website

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

More thoughts on Tuck

I've been reading the other bloggers' posts on Tuck and it's brought up a few interesting ideas I'd like to respond to. For a list of reviewers' quotes, please visit the Lost Genre Guild blog tomorrow.

Anyway...first up I just want to mention how awesome the final climax is. You have this incredible buildup to a battle scene, and by now we know what to expect from Mr. Lawhead - and we anticipate the roil of the fight, the zip of arrows, the fall of the dying. But then! Wait for it! There's this amazing twist in the end that totally turns everything on its head. That's just phenomenal.

Regarding the other reviewers, some have commented that the storyteller makes no judgement between the good Christians and the rotten ones. True. But he doesn't need to. It's obvious in the story. If you need to be told "this is bad" then I suspect you're not thinking for yourself. Perhaps it's a symptom of the TV age where folks are used to getting everything fed to them to be swallowed whole as-is.

Not so with Tuck. You have to read between the lines - and not so very far at that - to discover that Tuck is a faithful Christ-follower even though he loves to smash heads in, and that Hugo is a greedy, grasping loser even though he holds great authority in the church. It's not your status, it's what you do - your actions, that define what kind of person you are and I applaud the author in this case for showing, not telling.

Lessons learned are most often successful when we come upon them through our own thought processes. This book does that very effectively. It leaves me with plenty of ponderings, and that's good, because such a book will stay in my mind for a fair long while.

If you haven't already, please visit yesterday's post for my review of Tuck and a list of the other bloggers involved in the tour this week.

Visit My Volcano

So I went to Rangitoto on the weekend. I thought I'd be meeting some friends there, but I never saw any of them. Oh well. I was free to putter around with my camera and alternately cover ground at an alarming pace as I wanted to walk around a good part of the island's perimeter and also get up to the summit and back down again before the last boat out. And all this in five hours. Reckon I walked about four of them, with brief pauses for Tiny Teddies and a tin of spaghetti.

Anyway, I'll let the video tell the story. I have a bunch of photos too, we'll have to see about getting those posted. Watch this space, as always.

You can find out more about Rangitoto Island at and the Wikipedia article.

Monday, 18 May 2009

  • 11:51 Hey @toxaq ! Fine cookies, my friend! I want that recipe! I fear yours won't last the day around here... #nzcookie #
  • 14:28 RT: @ITBrief: NZ out tweets US: Studies show that New Zealanders have a taste for e-commerce and social media. #
  • 17:00 So I need to go cook dinner (it's my weekly turn) but badly want to edit these two new videos. One won't take long at all, truly! Hmm. #
  • 17:54 I went and edited the shorter video - still needs intro reel & music which will cover the whole series. In cases like this, food can wait! #
  • 18:27 RT: @AlohaArleen: Scoop: More Tweet in New Zealand than United States #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Tuck by Stephen Lawhead

In recent years, Mr. Lawhead has continued to set the standard in both fantasy and historical fiction through the first two books of the King Raven trilogy, Hood and Scarlet. Where Hood served as the introduction to this strange new-old world with so much of the familiar in it, and Scarlet as an exhilarating, dangerous dance in the midst of deadly enemies, Tuck now provides the conclusion to the story of Rhi Bran the Hud - King Raven - in a fittingly awe-inspiring manner.

As the title suggests, this is the book in which we get to hear more about that cheery, canny priest who's thrown in his lot with the greenwood outlaws. But this is not only Tuck's story. It's the tale of the entire forest family as they have now fully grown to become - their victories and losses, their skills and vulnerabilities, and the incredible determination of their king, Bran, perhaps familiar to you as Robin Hood.

Much has been made of Lawhead's controversial adaptation of this ancient story and the fictionalised claim that the famous archer came from Wales, not Sherwood. I don't wish to dwell on this, as the author's reasons and research fully back up the concept as well as providing a sound argument for how the tale eventually came to rest in Nottingham. Other than location, you'll meet many characters steeped in the legend - Little John, Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck of course.

Tuck himself is a fascinating character, made all the more so by the intriguing glimpses of his daily life that we see here. A man of true faith, yet highly skilled at clouting knights with stout branches, not above a little pretense for the cause of right, and braver than most monks of his era. Many times we watch as he ventures alone to the camp of the enemy, bringing an offer of peace even though he well knows how soundly he is sure to be rebuffed. And in many of the multilingual situations found in a French-occupied England and Wales, it is Tuck who serves as translator and mediator.

Indeed, as befits the man, it is Tuck himself who owns the single finest scene in this book that bears his name. While telling any more would constitute a major spoiler, let me just say that his early-morning encounter in a quiet church with a troubled man entirely changes the course of history for the Welsh cause. I was utterly breathless. Incidentally, that was the only time we ever saw him in church. Tuck is a practical friar, to be sure, at his happiest praying under an open sky - or indeed thwacking French knights.

This is the third book in a trilogy, and I do recommend reading the other installments first - however, woven through the pages of Tuck is a rhyme that tells of what went before if you are in need of a quick refresher.

May I also take a moment here to recommend the book's soundtrack? Yes, in what is surely one of literature's most unusual ongoing connections, a West Coast USA songmaker and a Dublin bard have joined together to create a tapestry of sound for the backdrop of King Raven's drama.
I urge you to click here, visit and listen to samples of this ethereal music from the greenwood.
Perfect for browsing the other reviews listed below!

Tuck by Stephen Lawhead at Amazon -

Stephen R. Lawhead’s website -

Blog Tour Participants’ Links - please visit for more reviews:
Brandon Barr Jim Black Keanan Brand Rachel Briard Valerie Comer Amy Cruson CSFF Blog Tour Stacey Dale D. G. D. Davidson Jeff Draper April Erwin Karina Fabian Alex Field Beth Goddard Todd Michael Greene Ryan Heart Timothy Hicks Christopher Hopper Joleen Howell Becky Jesse Cris Jesse Jason Joyner Kait Carol Keen Krystine Kercher Dawn King Terri Main Margaret Melissa Meeks Rebecca LuElla Miller Caleb Newell Eve Nielsen Nissa John W. Otte John Ottinger Epic Rat Steve Rice Crista Richey Hanna Sandvig Chawna Schroeder James Somers Robert Treskillard Rachel Starr Thomson Steve Trower Speculative Faith Fred Warren Phyllis Wheeler Jill Williamson
  • 14:41 Went to new local supermarket. The trolleys are as big as buses and the whole place was clogged with them! Cooking for family get-together. #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Saturday, 16 May 2009

  • 08:28 Right folks, I'm off to Rangitoto for the day - might tweet from the top of the volcano if there's phone coverage. Otherwise, seeya later! #
  • 14:39 Hey it's not every day you get to stand atop an icon! For those not in the know, google Rangitoto Island. Woohoo! Beaut day for 4hr walk. #
  • 18:43 Home from Rangitoto - it was phenomenal as always but I'm sooo wasted. Nothing a hot bath won't fix! and hey, it didn't rain once. #
  • 18:49 RT: @FLWbooks: Winners of the Philip K. Dick sci-fi awards: #
  • 18:51 RT: @WeekinRewind: What should be in the Star Trek sequel? (And what shouldn't) #
  • 19:12 Hey @dragonsinger57 @charlief ! Agreed, Star Trek rocks!!! I saw it three times so far and am plotting a 4th. I'm youtubing TOS right now :) #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Friday, 15 May 2009

  • 09:56 Really awesome video on the progression of information technology! #
  • 10:32 Didn't know what to do with myself last night so I put on a dvd of Star Trek IV. Seen it dozens of times but that one will always be legend! #
  • 10:34 I'm crazy. I already have enough new books to read fulltime for 2 weeks, and I'm going out to pick up five more. Yay for good books! #
  • 11:04 RT: @vesselproject: "A Christian is one whose imagination should fly above the stars.""— Francis Shaeffer #
  • 11:05 @kenarmstrong1 yeah and I like how they turned that scenario on Scotty himself in the new movie! #
  • 11:07 So I have to go downstairs where the printer is and do some paperwork to post later on when I go out. Darn taxes! #
  • 13:21 @LauraJeanDavis Yep, I saw it three times so far! It's awesome! My recent tweets all point in that direction :) I want to see it at IMAX too #
  • 13:23 @tonylavoie Sure. But when I was growing up, Khan wasn't parentally-approved so I have yet to see it properly. Don't worry, I'm on it! #
  • 13:26 Finished my tax return, now off to mail it and pick up my order of @marcherlord books! Woohoo! Can this week get any better?? #
  • 16:52 I went and did something definitely not on my huge to-do list. As if I needed ANOTHER blog, lol! #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Thursday, 14 May 2009

  • 08:55 RT: @WeberBooks: Amazon program for new authors & self publishers could bring major exposure, sales & store shelf space #
  • 11:00 @astonwest Yes, you might be right. Typical buy-out-the-small-guy who made his success by himself. #
  • 11:46 I think I'll go see Star Trek in the IMAX next week. Anyone in Auckland want to join me for a daytime showing? #
  • 17:50 Great Star Trek review analysing the Hero's Journey: #
  • 18:54 RT: @BusinessTalk: Funny! "An Engineer's Guide to Cat Yodeling": #
  • 19:13 Seriously mindblown after previewing a new top-secret book. Ask @frankcreed so he won't have to kill me. Ooo I love this job! #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

  • 10:44 I just got a request from a translation company wanting someone to localise Office programs in Maori. Sadly I'm not fluent enough. Anyone? #
  • 10:57 @vavroom French, now that I could handle myself. I referred them to the university, maybe they can find a third year language student. #
  • 11:11 @ConnieBrz Yep, Star Trek gets better every time I see it!! Might go for a fourth time if I can get to the IMAX, just for a change. #
  • 11:12 @JonathanGunson I also demand you go see Star Trek. See my recent tweets if you want any more ranting. I've been three times. #
  • 11:13 @toxaq I sent them to the university because that's where I learned my Maori, such as it is. But the client is in India, not sure if dodgy. #
  • 11:37 @toxaq Inawhea koe i haere ai ki te whare wananga? #
  • 12:03 Isn't it cool that the new Dr McCoy is a Kiwi! Hear his real accent here: #
  • 12:11 Wow, these guys can fly! #
  • 12:31 @sheiladeeth You will love it I'm sure! I think this is one that will just get better with age. #
  • 12:35 Enjoying the sunshine in Auckland today. Dug compost, planted some shrubs, and got in the very cold pool for just a few moments this morn. #
  • 12:37 I agree! RT: @martindolan: Star Trek was lots of fun last night. - GO SEE IT! ...and yes - the curse of the 'red shirt' lives on hahaha #
  • 13:39 RT: @TWCP: "An adrenaline infused, roller-coaster ride into a future . . . " new Flashpoint review #
  • 13:51 RT: @frankcreed: My first novel, Flashpoint, hit #1 in Amazon's genre rankings!! *jumpin on da' bed* #
  • 14:22 RT: @raiaren: New Star Trek movie is FANTASTIC!! For Trekkies & non-Trekkies alike, it is high octane action, funny, surprising - see it! #
  • 14:22 Wow, looking out through pouring rain at the currently sun-drenched slopes of Rangitoto. Weird! #
  • 14:44 @toxaq Tekau nga tau. He kaka, hmm? Kia tika ra! #
  • 15:05 @raiaren Absolutely! So glad that two sequels are as good as confirmed already! #
  • 16:05 @LynetteSowell You're worried about Tuesday? I seem to have mislaid my Wednesday... #
  • 16:29 RT: @philipnewmannz: Retweet this. If you disagree with Twitter's decision to hide replies to people you don't follow. #fixreplies #
  • 16:36 #fixreplies We can always get around the problem by putting something before the @ in replies, if I understand correctly. But it's dumb. #
  • 16:58 Hey @kalena I think if I put Hey before the @ then all my tweeps will get it regardless of whether they follow you. Can someone confirm? #
  • 17:42 Hey @kalena Yes it will be listed under replies (isn't this?) since replies include mentions! That was a tweak they added a few months back. #
  • 17:43 @kalena Doh. Sorry should read all my tweets before replying. #
  • 17:47 Does anyone else find it weird when someone retweets their own tweet as retweeted by someone else? Trying to up the RT rank or what? #
  • 17:51 @wendywings @danjite Sounds like a new type of insult: Go RT yourself. #
  • 17:59 Hey @CustomTees ! RT: @wendywings: @gracebridges It would be a good t-shirt for Twitterers :) "Go RT yourself" #
  • 18:01 Since reading and reviewing four books is the more urgent part of my to-do list, I'll start with that. Seeyas later, or maybe tomorrow! #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

  • 09:37 We had a flat meeting last night with the new crew, sorting out chores etc. It was pretty cool. Our new girl's gonna cook on Wednesdays. #
  • 09:38 @elpie oh good! you like them? @toxaq have your cookies arrived? #
  • 09:45 RT @terrimain I have a sign in my office "God put me in this life to accomplish certain things.Right now, Im so far behind, I'll never die." #
  • 09:50 RT @frankcreed "From the moment I picked ur book up til I laid it down,I was convulsed w laughter.Someday I intend reading it."Groucho Marx #
  • 09:51 @wendywings no it works by regular SMS! I had it in Germany. You choose which tweeps' tweets get sent to your phone as txt for free! #
  • 12:34 RT @gnat: via @disturbyte, has incredible list of Scottish insults from 1653 - lobcocks slubberdegullions.. #
  • 12:35 RT: @Te_Ara: #Fact: Tramping is the NZ term for hiking, trekking, bush-walking, and was a common term by the 1920s #
  • 12:50 @asherbastion I'm a trekkie! I'm pretty sure that's why I write sci-fi today! #
  • 13:54 @lifeledlearning you're welcome! great article! #
  • 14:12 RT: @WeekinRewind: Culture Vulture: Finally, it's cool to be a trekkie #
  • 14:28 RT: @findingnewo: 24 hour eclipse recorded on a satellite, put into a timelapse. Wow.: #
  • 14:30 RT: @Starwise: The IRONY (or: What NOT to Do While Participating in a Writing Workshop) #
  • 14:57 RT: @joegreenz: "Never judge a book by its movie." Eagan #
  • 14:59 Yus! Just confirmed my date with Dad to go see Star Trek tonight for the third time (his first time) oh yeah now I know what to look out for #
  • 15:10 @toxaq is that a problem? lol #
  • 15:14 planned all sorts of stuff for today - just ended up writing a non-urgent blog post for next week, how weird. At least that's up to date. #
  • 15:19 @toxaq yes, definitely! let us know what you think of it! #startrek #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Monday, 11 May 2009

  • 09:17 Morning, all. After my abysmal weekend record, today I intend to ignore my Star Trek distraction and actually get my words written. Woohoo! #
  • 09:39 There must be someone out there who's writing right now like I'm trying to - can we egg each other on? I know it would help! #
  • 09:43 @kenarmstrong1 does that mean you're writing? #
  • 10:14 @kenarmstrong1 @lindsa @yomcat want to share today's goals? so we have something to aim at? I just want to get further along in my novel. #
  • 10:29 @lindsa 200 words? You're kidding me! I want 3000 or 5000...but then I always do, and get it occasionally #
  • 10:54 @kenarmstrong1 Fascinating. Good onya if it floats your boat. Don't think I could do it! #
  • 11:12 @kenarmstrong1 What do you mean, a couple hundred more? I ain't even got started... still trying to plot the scene #
  • 11:40 @JanetUrsel Oh, goody, my best hassler is online to watch me write! #
  • 11:44 @JanetUrsel None yet! But I'm sure we can do something about that. My stories always get stuck at the 20k mark it seems. Just gotta force it #
  • 11:55 @JanetUrsel Yup, as ready as I'll ever be. I've been trying to brainstorm the scene but it's just not happening. I'll have to dive right in. #
  • 12:55 Amazon is a nightmare for us downunder. 4 used books = $12.98. Shipping = $49.90. Do you know that's over a hundred bucks in our currency!! #
  • 12:59 @lifeledlearning total is at 18700. I always get stuck around there. Still fighting it. This is the part I don't like about writing! #
  • 13:01 @NZRob yeah that would rock. What we need is someone in the USA to send bulk shipments to a NZ admin to distribute. Gotta be doable. #
  • 13:06 @NZRob Of course. But how hard can that be? If the US rep buys in batches there should be no freight charge except sending it here. #
  • 13:07 I could always skip writing this scene and come back to it later. Don't feel good about that though. Each scene sets tone for what follows. #
  • 13:11 @dragonsinger57 Call me old-fashioned but I really like to collect actual paper books! #
  • 13:12 @NadVega that's a great point! I wil try that. #
  • 13:20 @dragonsinger57 yeah I am hoping to fins a US friend willing to trade favours. I'd build their websites or something. #
  • 13:21 @JanetUrsel They accepted me, lol. I reckon they should change the A to Association. It's much more inclusive. #
  • 13:37 RT: @jusfox: SNL: STAR TREK Stars Plead With Hardcore Trekkies (vid) #
  • 13:42 @vavroom I know, I know! I am in the most horrible phase of book writing. Trek is a welcome distraction! #
  • 13:43 @lifeledlearning That's a problem when I don't know where the right place is. I do plot, but not in depth, so this scene prepares the next. #
  • 13:44 Maybe I'm just stuck on the fact that I hate the dress she's wearing. If I change that, can I move on? #
  • 13:48 I'm very annoyed that none of the Trek reviewers can spell Khan properly. Fakes, obviously, one and all. No fan would get that wrong. #
  • 13:56 @vavroom no. #
  • 14:07 @ChristinieD you mean you've been missing out all these years? #
  • 14:07 @JanetUrsel Glad you agree. Wordcount? Depends when you're going to sleep. #
  • 14:11 @Frederation A symptom of our times I suppose. They could at least try to get their research right. #
  • 14:14 Enough stuffing around. Setting Write or Die for 200 words in 10 minutes. Place your bets! Back in 10. #
  • 14:24 223 words in 10 minutes. But that's just the start. Let's do it again! #
  • 14:31 @lifeledlearning I skipped about five minutes of timeline and find it's running quite well for now. Just have to fill that gap sometime. Ta! #
  • 14:44 RT: @TeeMonster: Please retweet - and vote for your favs! Speculative Fiction Podcasting Award! #
  • 14:46 What's with all the FollowFridays going around? Hello! It's Monday! Sure I know the US is behind us but that's just too much. #
  • 14:58 202 words in 7 minutes! Pressing on.. #
  • 16:19 I didn't imagine my jailbreak scene being quite so comedic. This is a serious novel after all! I guess it does no harm and is easy to write. #
  • 16:44 RT: @rlcopple: Saw Star Trek tonight, and decided to post my initial thoughts on it. #
  • 16:57 @idahoguy Possibly. I noticed that over the weekend Star Trek was trending much higher than #startrek. #
  • 16:59 Every time it rains like this I get my very own thunderstorm when the roof spouting spills onto the corrugated plastic sheltering my window. #
  • 17:06 Writing by candlelight, my favourite! Going to crack today's first 1000 words in the next 10 minutes. #
  • 22:33 Okay so I got to 1000 words today, only just, and they are awful every last one of them. But they exist and can maybe be fixed! #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Sunday, 10 May 2009

  • 10:49 RT: @jcdelatorre: Star Trek kicked all levels of a$$...fantastic movie, action from start to finish....terrific movie. Go see it! #
  • 10:54 @oharris @dubh @spacegirlnz @jcdelatorre @onejan84 Dad wants to go to Star Trek now too so it'll be my 3rd time, yay! Can't get enough! #
  • 11:19 Loads of interesting links here: 10 Steps to becoming a Trekkie #
  • 11:22 RT: @kdaly100: Wired Story | Star Trek Gallery: Then and Now #
  • 12:18 Want more Star Trek links? You got it! "Of Gods And Men" fan movie with ORIGINAL Uhura, Chekov and Tuvok! #
  • 12:20 Tweeting about Star Trek is getting me connected with a lot of new tweeple - exactly the type I love to meet! Sci-fi geeks rule the world! #
  • 16:08 Ooo I love it when people come asking to borrow books - I can recommend all of my favourite stuff! Okay this time I handed over one I wrote. #
  • 16:11 Come chat with me at! #
  • 16:17 @vavroom great - can you handle sci-fi and fantasy with spiritual overtones? Cause that's pretty much all I've got! #
  • 16:21 @vavroom well if it helps, I can't stand religion either. As in rules etc. But the supernatural, yeah, that's me. #
  • 16:40 @jasonmitchener no I don't believe I know that author. Thanks for the tip, will look that up! #
  • 17:07 @tastekid like Flashpoint by Frank Creed, Empyrion by Stephen Lawhead, Star Trek new movie, music by Ian White, @DrWicked Write or Die !! #
  • 17:28 RT @KleinerWalter: "Doctor McCoy to the bridge." Working Daze #
  • 19:12 RT: @linuxluver: RT @twittelator when we were young, Spock and Kirk were old. Now we are old and Spock and Kirk are young! Nice! #startrek #
  • 20:44 @macaronique Interesting goat blog: #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Saturday, 9 May 2009

  • 08:28 I'm thinking to avoid spoilers in my Star Trek review by telling you a lot of things it WASN'T. Because that in itself was surprising. #
  • 08:28 @marcherlord thanks for the #followfriday recommendation! #
  • 08:32 #followfriday @lifeledlearning @macaronique @spacegirlnz @cookieswap @vavroom @ksuyin @customtees @opalfox @linuxluver @elpie @marcherlord #
  • 14:39 My first impressions of the new Star Trek movie - without spoilers! #
  • 15:05 My Saturday Writeathon is about to begin. Today's novel: GODSPEED. Who's going to bug me to write my 3000 words in the next few hours? #
  • 15:07 @yomcat I was out for brunch, and oddly enough I just got back. About to start the writing now. #
  • 15:39 @JanetUrsel Um...none yet. Smack me! #
  • 15:52 @JanetUrsel Oh, don't let me keep you from your sleep. I now have an hour and a half till I get picked up for Star Trek - yes, again!! #
  • 15:54 Curtains are drawn, candles lit, let's see if I can't get those 3000 words in the next 90 minutes! This is gonna be crazy! #
  • 15:58 @JanetUrsel I know, I know! #
  • 16:00 Now I just have to go to facebook to find what my friends said last week on how to break my heroine out of jail. It was a great idea! #
  • 16:08 @JanetUrsel oh you are? that's great! how many words have you done? #
  • 16:46 50 words in half an hour??? something is wrong here. Maybe I'm Trek-preoccupied. Let's make tomorrow the writeathon instead. #
  • 16:47 So I am going to see Star Trek again tonight. Last night was great but not enough. First impressions here: #
  • 17:07 @yomcat @nadvega I know. I'll do it tomorrow, promise! I'm okay if it gets done this weekend at least. #
  • 17:22 @vavroom there were one or two brief sequences with flashing lights - I dislike them too, but was able to cover my eyes. It's worth it. #
  • 17:30 Going out now folks but I promise you all this Trek is only oiling my sci-fi brain cells! Will write tomorrow for sure. #
  • 21:35 Star Trek again - even better the second time. Good lively crowd too, cheered at the appropriate character moments. An amazing reinvention. #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Friday, 8 May 2009

  • 08:45 Morning, folks! Busy day ahead: cookie mailing, Trek watching! Hope the rain holds off till I can walk to the post office and back again. #
  • 08:46 @toxaq Speaking of cookie mailing! I need your address! dm me so you can get your cookies pronto! #nzcookie #
  • 08:48 @elpie @toxaq Your chocolate shortbread cookies under construction! for @cookieswap #nzcookie #
  • 08:49 Went to a dinner event last night wearing my twittername shirt from @customtees -yes I did figure I'd spend most of the night explaining it! #
  • 08:50 unexpected bonus was that I was able to avoid that awful Hello name sticker, because no one could disagree my shirt did a better job! #
  • 08:51 @lifeledlearning The blog on cover design is at Splashdown Books: - would love your comments! #
  • 09:24 RT: @tashmcgill: Breaking news: over 100 lightning strikes expected in Auckland City over the next hour, asked to turn off computers etc! #
  • 09:57 RT: @tashmcgill: Auckland, my home town, recently won 4th best city n the world - here's a cheeky tribute song! #
  • 10:06 Ok, the rain has stopped. Do I go post @elpie 's cookies or wait till @toxaq sends his addy so I can post both batches at once? #nzcookie #
  • 10:08 In any case I have some serious Cookie Sorting ahead as I figure out who gets what, and it better be fair! #nzcookie #
  • 10:47 @toxaq are you out there? you are in imminent danger of delaying your cookies! I need your address, please. Thanks. #
  • 10:48 @vavroom ah, no wonder, @toxaq is not following me. Would someone please dm him? That pings through to personal email where @ replies won't #
  • 11:02 Okey dokey, got all the addresses I need, thanks folks! Cookies will be on the way shortly, if the rain stays off, wouldn't want em ruined! #
  • 11:02 (that's only coz I will be walking a half hour to the post office! Clean green no-car machine!) #nzcookie #
  • 11:04 Would you please watch and rate my cookie baking movie? Thanks!! #nzcookie #
  • 11:11 @vavroom why thank you, the only person to ever call me a geek before was, um, myself :P #
  • 11:16 RT @hadyngreen: Twitter as a model of recent tectonic movement. Huge surge of #earthquake tweets, series of smaller RTs as "aftershocks" :P #
  • 11:17 Did anyone get any of the lightning that was predicted for Auckland this morning? I heard a rumble of distant thunder once but that was it. #
  • 11:43 @linuxluver thanks...I appreciate it! #
  • 11:45 It appears the dreaded thunderstorm passed through the extreme west of the North Shore before 9am & I guess it passed west of the city, too. #
  • 12:10 @lifeledlearning saw your comment at ning on last week's post - glad you like the new cover! Different newer post at splashdown though. #
  • 12:13 Porridge: the ultimate focus food. Just had my first since being back in NZ (5 months). Reminds me of insane novel-writing in Ireland. Yay! #
  • 12:31 Cookies are packed, rain is holding back, time for a little walk to the P.O.! See you in an hour or so. #nzcookie #
  • 12:32 @vavroom but I just went and read your blog because of it! Is that a bad thing?? #
  • 12:38 @vavroom yes I understand. I don't autofollow anyone for the same reason. #
  • 12:39 @lifeledlearning cool! I follow your other blog but didn't know about this one. Will follow now. #
  • 12:44 Hey @customtees !! @lifeledlearning posted my vid on her blog and said "The T-shirt is such a smart idea!" #
  • 15:36 Hey everybody check out one of the planet's greatest publishers now on Twitter: @marcherlord !! May your tweeple multiply voraciously :) #
  • 15:36 RT: @CustomTees: Confused about twitter? not quite "getting it"? - here's the perfect t-shirt for you: #
  • 15:38 @elpie thanks for the recommend! your cookies are on the way - AND I managed to avoid getting rained on, woohoo! #
  • 15:40 RT: @linuxluver: - The IT Guy's usual posture when needed. :-] #
  • 15:46 just added @marcherlord and @KleinerWalter to the sidebar list of tweeps on - Great authors one and all! #
  • 15:52 So I'm going to go see Star Trek tonight (with Mum who brought me up in Trekdom) and am not quite sure how the world will look afterwards! #
  • 15:56 @lifeledlearning yeah I just collected everyone up, it's a great way to keep track of Guild folks. #
  • 15:57 @vavroom Your cookies are - wait for it - LEGENDARY!!! I hope you enjoy mine as much. Simply amazing. #nzcookie #
  • 16:02 Facebook's Networked Blogs is a great way to get more followers for your blogs. But you can only invite 20 peeps a day, and I have 4 blogs! #
  • 16:27 Tomorrow I think I'll do another mad writing day - are you ready to help keep me at it till I get over 3000 words? Tweep support works!! #
  • 19:59 Time to switch off and go get ready for Trek! I truly hope it lives up to the reviews - tell you tomorrow! #
  • 23:50 Just got home from Star Trek-wow,what a journey! Agree with all prior reviews. So THAT'S what they meant by reboot. My mind is blown. #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Chocolate Shortbread Twirls

250g butter, melted; 1 cup sugar; 1 egg; 1 tsp vanilla essence; 2 cups flour; mix dough and divide into 2 bowls; add a quarter cup of drinking chocolate powder to one, and a quarter cup of flour to the other; knead. I added a handful of choc chips to the dark dough and a half handful of chocolate hail to the light dough. Lay out, roll and chill, then slice and bake at 200°C for about 10 minutes, watching carefully. Have fun!
Note: In the video, I made a double quantity of this recipe.
  • 11:53 Appearing late due to work getting in the way. Don't you hate it when that happens! Anyway, cookie baking coming right up. #nzcookie #
  • 11:54 Chip's 2009 Bad Poetry Contest - Win a Lava Lamp! #
  • 12:00 @vavroom Oh goody, then my baking today can get on the way tomorrow and still be on time! #nzcookie #
  • 12:09 @vavroom maybe I could even reuse your packaging, if I open it carefully! #nzcookie #
  • 12:10 Not that I have a shortage of used bubble envelopes. They are taking over my office! #
  • 13:49 @LewisBostock don't say that! I'm seeing it tomorrow! #
  • 13:57 @vavroom I get a lot of books in the mail and have resisted binning the bubble bags so far - they're perfectly all right & I'll use em 1day! #
  • 13:59 The cookie dough has been sculpted and is setting in the fridge prior to slicing and baking. You'll see when I post the video. #nzcookie #
  • 14:02 RT @egtalbot those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it - James Baldwin #
  • 16:04 @Spacegirlnz is that good or bad? #trek #
  • 16:05 @kalena ooo that's good to know. Only 29 more hours till my turn :) #trek #
  • 16:06 cookies are baked and cooling! definitely better than the last lot. pics/vid upcoming. Sometime. #nzcookie #
  • 16:50 @Spacegirlnz coolness! I'm counting the hours! #
  • 16:57 right let's see if I can get that cookie baking video done before I go out! hmm not sure how realistic that this space! #nzcookie #
  • 17:09 - Two layers of dough make the pattern for this chocolate shortbread twirl. #nzcookie #
  • 17:11 - Both variations rolled up, ready to go in the fridge and chill. #nzcookie #
  • 17:12 - Slicing cookies from the rolled dough! #nzcookie #
  • 17:12 - Ready to bake! #nzcookie #
  • 17:13 - Ovenload of twirly chocolate shortbread! #nzcookie #
  • 18:19 Movie nearly done, have to finish it later on though. Off to dinner now! #nzcookie #
  • 22:20 Okay, I finished the baking video for the Cookie Swap - that was fun! It's uploading now. I'll post a link when it gets done. #nzcookie #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

  • 10:38 - My cool shirt from the awesome @CustomTees and my first proof copy of my new book with the new cover! #
  • 10:39 Okay I am going to go shopping now, hope the rain's gonna stop for a bit. Just got another five pages of translation to do-there goes today! #
  • 14:38 It sure is a long way to Northcote when you're walking. But the op shop there is the baddest in town and the Asian foodcourt's pretty primo. #
  • 14:40 @toxaq @elpie @cookieswap I have all ingredients ready but some urgent paying work came in today - I will bake cookies tomorrow! #nzcookie #
  • 14:41 @toxaq Great! I'm a chocolate fiend as well, remember that when it's your turn to bake :) #nzcookie #
  • 14:42 @damnfinebooks No, why succumb to overinflated panic? They don't make towns like Northcote any more these days. The $2 shop is legendary too #
  • 15:02 @angew poor you! I just got back from my walk not too long ago. I was lucky not to get wet! Poured down before & after. #
  • 15:03 @SarahSumpolec and here's me wondering why everything seems so normal even though that new Trek movie's coming out. I mean, how??? #
  • 15:23 @terrimain yay! go you! #
  • 16:33 @terrimain yes I know - I did 3500 words on Saturday using Write or Die. It's kinda intimidating the more I do it, but it certainly works! #
  • 16:34 Right. Just got a chicken on to roast - something I've never done before, but Google knows everything. Now for that work I have to do. #
  • 16:38 RT @onejan84 RT @JasonBraud: "The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer #
  • 17:29 RT: @AlastairJNZ: Who gains most when major newspaper threatens legal action against lone blogger? #
  • 17:48 @Coachforyou Man nennt uns Verfolger?? Das kommt mir irgendwie etwas ominös vor... ist das der gängige Gebrauch? Ich verließ D vor Twitter. #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

  • 10:48 @BelieversPress Yes I saw that, good going! Funny I can't get to your site again. Something odd going on there. Have a great day! #
  • 12:04 Um... not sure what to do right now... my to-do list is so long. Really want to go for a walk, it's so gorgeous out. Won't change the list. #
  • 12:06 At last count I have 18 articles to write by June; the Space Pilgrims video needs redone; three critiques; one rewrite; a tax return; ... #
  • 12:08 some sewing and sundry online tasks. Oh yeah and I wanted to redo my website. Review 9+ books. Bake stuff. &out every night this wk! #
  • 12:09 @vavroom Would be nice. But that's a form of insanity that somehow only works on the weekend. Not when there's other stuff to keep tabs on! #
  • 12:10 I forgot! I have a two-page translation to get done today. I'll knock it off in an hour or so. Paid work comes first, so here goes. #
  • 12:13 @vavroom @damnfinebooks German to English, as always. It's what I do for dough. #
  • 13:10 @lifeledlearning I have the outlines already. What do I do, write while walking? lol. It keeps raining a bit, but maybe I'll go out now. #
  • 13:28 Ooo I just got 3 books in the mail: my proof of Legendary Space Pilgrims, Amy Deardon's A Lever Long Enough, & Robert Elmer's Beyond Corista #
  • 13:43 ok I am going out for that walk, Steve is taking over the living room to shoot his video anyway. Birds of a feather huh! Well, seeya later! #
  • 15:22 @CustomTees got the shirts - awesome, thank you! Um...they're BIG. The sizing is weird. But that's okay. They look great. #
  • 15:26 @anadav @toxaq would you like your #nzcookie s with chocolate or dates? I'll be shopping soon. No raisins/sultanas/currants for me please! #
  • 15:28 Well I didn't go for a walk, but will be walking to church later on. I did however tidy up and m now about to do some bodhran practice :) #
  • 15:49 I feel a blog coming on. But what...? Not sure. Cookies, book cover design, old shoes, galley proofs come to mind but are not all compatible #
  • 19:27 New blog post on book cover design at Splashdown Books: #
  • 19:28 @lifeledlearning Okay, I did (see previous tweet) but you're talking like you think I actually know something about it? lol. Hope so. #
  • 19:29 RT: @mattNZ: good entrepreneurial therapy #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Monday, 4 May 2009

  • 10:21 @angeldominguez Yep I'm currently going through the TNG series again - love it!! And I've had my tickets for weeks for the new movie on Fri! #
  • 10:28 Good morning may have noticed my absence yesterday, not for religious reasons, but lovely to leave the PC off a whole day! #
  • 11:00 @angeldominguez I have been enjoying the current spate of new reviews for all the old Trek movies. Lots of excitement going round! #
  • 14:57 Been for a long bushwalk, posted four book reviews, did a banner graphic for a German friend, now to tinker with @frederation 's book cover! #
  • 16:12 @lifeledlearning Um...not writing today. No way I can keep that pace every day! Got some critiques and publishing work to get on with. #
  • 17:04 @lifeledlearning Your blog post on story structure was great, but if that was me, writing it would have been procrastination! #
  • 17:07 @icarusforde yeah I really like that one too! Always did wonder who "she" was though... #
  • 17:23 @icarusforde it does indeed! #
  • 17:24 @lifeledlearning oh dear oh dear oh dear. Well if it works I'm happy for you. As long as you know the line where "too much blogging" begins! #
  • 17:26 @lifeledlearning and I thought you said you wanted to veg? If blogging long complex articles = resting, what must your working look like? #
  • 17:52 @sandycathcart Cat's procrastinatory literary blog: #
  • 18:14 @icarusforde you bet! I grew up on @LifeFM so why stop now? I did like the music better in their first year. Shows my age! #
  • 18:15 @lifeledlearning that's long as you have a wall to accommodate it! #
  • 18:39 @icarusforde I remember my bro used to win so much stuff they actually asked him not to call back for a while! Homeschooling has advantages! #
  • 19:39 Off for the evening to watch Trek and read. Thanks to @lifeledlearning @icarusforde @angeldominguez for great talk today! #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Review: Higher Hope by Robert Whitlow

In the best tradition of legal fiction, Robert Whitlow has created an unusual, startling contribution to the legal drama genre. If you like John Grisham but have a hankering for more spirituality plus a little touch of romance, then you will enjoy this book very much.

Tami Taylor is a law student from a strict Biblical upbringing which may seem a bit extreme in the beginning, but as the story progresses it becomes plain that this comes from a true and sincere faith. This is the Bible Belt of course, an unfamiliar setting for me, so I found it interesting how just about every character in the story is a churchgoer and very many are committed Christians. I'd be inclined to disbelieve this if I hadn't been to the area myself[I'll never forget my brief visit there, when my friend's mother leaned over to the people at the next table in a fast-food joint and asked them to pray for her grandson, and they were happy to do so]!

The scene is set for an intriguing case assigned to Tami's law firm where she is a summer intern. A local preacher is accused of defaming a businessman with nutty prophecies she claims come straight from God. The lawyers think the case is clear, but Tami's sensitivity to spiritual things tells her the old lady might not be as crazy as everyone says. While she and her colleagues search for evidence to establish their plaintiff's position, Tami struggles with her conscience after an unusual encounter with the preacher lady, while relationship issues within the company unsettle its internal dynamics. Tami's own family, and the lady she boards with, provide a level of connectedness throughout the story, even in the climactic courthouse showdown.

There's a constant sense that God is in control, even when it comes to greedy clients and cynical lawyers. This is the truth that Tami comes to grasp through the course of events, and the reader is swept up inside this comforting belief, leaving behind a sinccere real-life expectation that God's intervention is never far away.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

  • 09:47 Yesterday was an abjecct failure where writing is concerned, but I did get that long walk. Today...hmm, let's hope things really happen! #
  • 10:14 @macaronique try switching to goats and see what happens! #
  • 10:28 Anyone out there want to hold me to my writing goal today? It'll work better if I know you'll be asking how it goes... #
  • 10:32 Write or Die is certainly brilliant, but I find it increasingly difficult to press start and just do it. Guess I know about the hard work! #
  • 10:38 @NadVega Cool! It's a novel, GODSPEED, sequel to Faith Awakened (2007), sci-fi dystopia. Total length 60k; at 15k now; goal today: 3-5k. #
  • 10:38 Something is wrong when I'd rather blog about writing a novel than actually write the novel. #
  • 10:40 RT: @envirotainment: a doco on New Zild Englush I ♥ NZ (via @gnat) #
  • 10:57 @BelieversPress Yes I am using Write or Die but it's quite terrifying! lol #
  • 10:58 @macaronique much appreciated! I look forward to your bleats! #
  • 10:59 RT: @wendywings: People new to twitter PLEASE put up an avatar and some sort of bio if you expect people to follow you. It WILL help. #
  • 11:14 @lifeledlearning Yes, but I already spend way too much time on marketing. Don't give me any excuses! #
  • 11:15 Okay, @NadVega has promised to tell the whole world if I don't write a decent amount of my novel today. There is hope! #
  • 11:20 Maybe I could try writing a novel scene IN the blog? Naah...not realistic, I know. Better get to work. 3...2...1... #
  • 11:26 @onejan84 thanks for the RT. You have a WIP on the go just now? #
  • 11:27 @PixieVonDust Godspeed is actually my 4th novel. You'd think I knew how to do it by now... #
  • 11:28 @macaronique I never thought about the schwa thing, but yes, you're right. One of those arbitrary spelling situations we must live with. #
  • 11:28 The person on Twitter that I've known the longest is @macaronique - 15 years or so! Just thought you might like to know that. #
  • 11:29 Yes I am still procrastinating. God help me! #
  • 11:34 Did you know that in my whole valley only five trees are going red. The rest are evergreens. Yes yes I know...writing now. #
  • 11:36 Okay so my first task is to get my novel's heroine thrown in jail. I'm on it. #
  • 11:37 @vavroom no no, this is helping, I now have five tweeps hassling me to get it done...this is good! whatever you do don't tell me to give up! #
  • 12:09 Thanks guys - just wrote 515 words in 26 minutes. Pressing on. #
  • 12:14 @vavroom lol no use taking a break before getting started. But I'm started now, thank goodness. #
  • 12:15 @astonwest Well I do know how it's just churning out words that is so irritating, yet tantalising at the same time! #
  • 12:15 @tjmlvs_christ thanks for your support! #
  • 12:16 @NadVega Not quite but she IS in handcuffs and the inciting incident has occurred. Keeping going. #
  • 12:23 @samnzed Let me know when your pic upload works? I want to replace mine but under the circumstances waiting might be a good idea, lol #
  • 12:59 Another 660 words in the last 30 minutes. Total so far: 1175. Not a bad start. #
  • 13:00 @samnzed hmm mine is an animation and over 400kb. Still well under the limit of 700. Should I try? #
  • 13:05 @samnzed well now they are telling me animations aren't supported. Yeah right. I'm jealous of @justinflitter !! #
  • 13:10 I am going to a Ceilidh this evening in Devonport! #
  • 13:16 @NadVega yay! thank you so much, this is really helping! #
  • 13:45 Lunch: my homemade grain bread with spring onion cream cheese, lettuce & mayo; followed by some feijoas and fabulous golden kiwifruit! Yum! #
  • 13:47 People are lighting their fires for the first time; I can smell the woodsmoke wafting through the cracks. Birdnest in our chimney, so no go! #
  • 13:50 @vavroom Eww! Not when their tweets echo down through the hearth... I'll have to make em move out eventually. #
  • 14:19 @LewisBostock Irish tweetup? Pick me! Where & when are you thinking? #
  • 14:20 525 words in 25 minutes. Total for today now 1700. #
  • 14:32 @ProudKiwi @LewisBostock Sounds good! Lewis will you pick me up again? That would rock. @wendywings Thank you! I'd forgotten about that. #
  • 14:44 @LewisBostock Ah, sure. We can take the bus if we have to! After all it is in town this time. #
  • 14:44 RT: @ProudKiwi: Irish-themed tweet-up Wed 10 June, 7pm at Forde's Bar, Anzac Ave, CBD, Auckland, NZ. #
  • 14:46 @NadVega Translating is slower, 300 to 500 words per hour. Stories happen fast when it's straight out of my head! Not unhappy but need more! #
  • 14:47 @onejan84 Yes I understand. Well I hope you can move your novels along again soon! What are they about? #
  • 14:53 Here we go again. Maybe rainy days are good for writing, no wonder I got so much done in Ireland! I'm past halfway to my goal for today :) #
  • 15:28 680 words in the last 30 minutes. Total today: 2380. WIP total: 17500 or so. Let's "go round again!" #
  • 15:51 @NadVega oh wow yeah well you have a good sleep, it's not yet 4pm here, will catch up with you later on! Thanks muchly for your help!! #
  • 15:58 @vavroom well you wouldn't want to drop a regular book in the water either, now would you? Oh I can't wait till we get our spa up & running. #
  • 16:00 Flattie went out & left spooky music running in office. Sounds like DVD menu from the way it repeats. Not bad for writing ambience actually. #
  • 16:37 541 words in the last 30 minutes. Total today: 2921. WIP at 18100. Can I crack 20,000 today I wonder? #
  • 16:47 Well I have 2 hours till I get picked up for the ceilidh. 2000 words in 2 hours is very doable, but can I do it? haha. Worth a try. #
  • 16:58 So the good guys have to break the heroine out of jail now. Wondering how to write that without it seeming too easy. Any tips? #
  • 17:27 @yomcat hmm maybe's a near future hard SF so not really mind control or zombies. Um. #
  • 17:52 This scene might vaguely resemble one in Star Trek V where Scotty busts into the brig to get Kirk, Spock and Bones out. I loved that scene! #
  • 18:32 3508 words today! WIP is 18650. Thx to my tweeps for support: @NadVega @janetursel @onejan84 @yomcat @vavroom @wendywings @ProudKiwi #
  • 18:34 Thanks also to @tjmlvs_christ @astonwest @lifeledlearning @BelieversPress @PixieVonDust ! Off to the Devonport Ceilidh now. Dancing time! #
Posted by LoudTwitter

Friday, 1 May 2009

  • 09:50 RT @jasonmitchener My 20,000th follower will receive two of my art prints free. #
  • 10:17 #nzcookieswap is going a lot slower than I thought. Reckon I better eat the batch I made last week and make fresh ones when the time comes. #
  • 10:28 #nzcookieswap Besides, they'd be better the second time - think more chocolate! Plus this time I can take pics of the process for the blog. #
  • 10:53 @amiemccarron you and me could always do an extra private cookie swap :) #nzcookieswap #
  • 10:56 Aims for today: Write 2000 words. Walk 2 hours. After that, we'll just see what happens! #
  • 11:52 @amiemccarron Guess that means you'll have to ask hubby what he thinks! What cookie flavours does he do? #
  • 12:00 Whew, that was a close call! Couldn't find my document for new novel GODSPEED, it showed up in trash, apparently I binned it on Monday, WTH? #
  • 15:56 RT @tweetmeme 9 Reasons Why You Aren't Being Followed on Twitter #
  • 16:09 #followfriday @theskypirate @damnfinebooks @vye @triciagoyer @PureNewZealand @ChristnBookVids @wendywings @michaelpococky @jasonmitchener #
  • 16:12 #followfriday @twcp @frankcreed @frederation @karinafabian @JRobinsonAuthor @povbootcamp @creativeworkout @samnzed @amiemccarron @Brandilyn #
  • 20:06 #followfriday You're all very welcome. I should do this more often. Thanks for the great conversations! #
Posted by LoudTwitter