• books

    Reading Log – January 2019

    A new year, a new list. Up until a few days ago, I felt like I’d hardly ready anything this month, but apparently I’ve cranked out quite a few novels! Only five non-fic books made my Jan list; the rest was genre fic, mostly mystery stuff. All in all, I finished 32 books in January. I’m making my way through Michael Connelly’s back catalogue after picking up “The Late Show”, which was published mid-2017. The old stuff is a little dated, but in a very entertaining “L.A. noir in the ’90s” way. I also stumbled across Steven Saylor’s Roma Sub Rosa novels, which are mysteries set in the ancient Roman…

  • books

    Reading List – December 2018

    Another year done and dusted. This one was a big reading year, although I didn’t add many titles to the list in December itself – too busy with everything else. I’m not complaining! Lots of work, sunny days, and holiday celebrations took up my time instead. The yearly total came to 368. Most of those were eBooks borrowed from Auckland Libraries and read on my iPad. A slight majority were fiction, and the vast majority were first-time reads. The list for December: Death Message by Kate London Resolution by Denise Mina The Spirit Almanac by Emma Loewe Brightly Burning by Alex Donne Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop Etched in…

  • books

    Reading List – November 2018

    I managed to squeeze in some extra reading time this month by lugging my iPad everywhere with me. Honestly, Auckland Libraries OverDrive is one of my favourite uses of the internet. It’s free to use once you sign up/in with your library card, and the selection is actually pretty damn good. I make sure to recommend books for them to purchase regularly too. I received some books on my birthday so this month I have actually read some analogue novels too, but it’s hard to beat the convenience of digital. That being said, I’m not sure it’s done my eyesight any favours. Lots of crime/suspense/thriller/mystery stuff this month, including some…

  • books

    Reading List – October 2018

    October is always a busy month for me – and with low mood issues, it’s also been a difficult one. But I still managed to squeeze in 18 books, which I feel good about. It’s quite a collection too. Spec fic (I think I love Jo Walton), romance, crime thriller, fantasy, and the odd non-fic for research purposes. Short month, so short recap. Here’s the list: The Just City by Jo Walton The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz The King’s Name by Jo Walton Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter The Celtic Goddess by Trevor…

  • books

    Reading List – September 2018

    September was Comic Book month at Auckland Libraries, so I tried a bunch of graphic novels, and found some amazing stories. I liked comics as a kid (particularly X-men and Catwoman) but always kinda wished the stories were longer so I became a fan of collected editions and graphic novels. My first G.N. was “Dragonflight” by Anne McCaffrey – I’d read and loved the series beforehand, so the graphic novel was a wonderful find (at Rotorua Library back in the ’90s). As an adult, I became obsessed with Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” overture, and I’ll admit there are lots of online comics that I regularly ready. So finding “The Wicked +…

  • writing

    NaNoWriMo: Writer’s Agreement

    In November 2018, I will participate in NaNoWriMo, with the goal of completing 50,000 words by midnight of 30/11. This averages out to 1667 words per day. I know that I can accomplish this because I have done it twice before, so I will not let  anxiety or negative self talk try to convince me otherwise! I will write every day, between noon and 5pm, with no exceptions barring serious illness or natural disaster. Playing catch-up is hard, so my actual daily goal will be 2k words just in case the serious illness or disaster does occur! If the worst happens, I will not give up just because I’ve fallen…

  • books

    Reading List 2018 – August

    Well, Jesus fuck me gently with a chainsaw: this month I finished 53 books. FIFTY THREE! It still counts if much of that was volumes of poetry, right? Actually, I feel like I should get bonus credit for reading poetry. I enjoy it occasionally, when I’m in the mood, but since August 24th was National Poetry Day, I pushed hard to try works from a wide variety of poets (and squeezed in a few of my faves too – I’m looking at you Rupi Kaur and Selina Tusitala Marsh, with heart eyes!), with a focus on including Kiwis, women and people of colour. The rest was a fairly typical mix…

  • books

    Reading List 2018 – July

    July was a bad month for my mood, so my read list mostly consists of the comfort of fantasy and spirituality, although I did manage to pound out a few Ruth Rendell’s too. Props for Robert Dinsdale’s “The Toymakers”, which is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. Loved it. I Am Rebecca by Fleur Beale How to Start a Red Tent by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost Simisola by Ruth Rendell Road Rage by Ruth Rendell Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon by Lisa Goldstein Aromatherapy for Women by Maggie Tisserand Not her real name by Emily Perkins The Greek Myths by…

  • books

    Reading List 2018 – June

    Still making my way through Ruth Rendell’s Wexford novels. It’s fascinating to watch as both Rendell and her main characters adapt to the changes of time: the first Wexford novel was published in 1964, and the one I just finished, “Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter“, came out in 1992. A lot happened in real time over those ~30 years, but Wexford only ages about a decade (maybe? she’s left it pretty vague) so it would’ve been a challenge to update her characters for more modern audiences without totally changing their personalities. It’s indicative of Rendell’s skill as a writer that she accomplished this so smoothly. Speaking of writers, I spent June…

  • self,  writing

    What and Why I Write

    For me, writing is a method of learning about myself and the universe at large. “Know Thyself” instructed the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, and Socrates declaimed, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” In a modern life full of distractions, we can hit retirement age before realising we’ve not once paused to ask these most important of questions: who am I? why am I? how can I become what I desire? All things change as they age. This change is inevitable (and vital!) – so I believe it’s important to embrace it, and choose how to shape it for ourselves. One of the key methods of doing this, for…