Things I Love Thursday

New poster

Buying things off Felt! This reprint of a WW2 British ‘comfort’ poster was off there.

I have a growing obsession with The Big Bang Theory. Lee and I are nearly finished watching season 2. Can’t wait to get to Wil Wheaton. I am pleased to find this website Sheldon Shirts, because I frequently want Sheldon’s shirts. I’m also pleased with the idea that I can cosplay Femme!Leonard now with my new glasses. If I should want to. Which I kinda do. I love Leonard and Raj the best, character wise, but Sheldon is very sweet when he wants ‘soft kitty’ sung to him.

OMG a 48hour magazine? I am so submitting to this. Awesome fun.

I want home made pop tarts. They look awesome.

My new glasses! I got them for free with a facebook promotion from clearly contacts. I just entered in my prescription, chose the frames and a couple of weeks later I got new glasses! I’m really enjoying them. I’ve been told I look more intelligent, more like a writer, called Lisa Loeb and Catwoman.

Honourable Mentions: New spotty boot slippers from Cotton On, shopping at Lush, steaming my face with a toner tab from Lush, personal librarians, pretty flowers from my mum, new Glee, Supernatural and BBC’s Life, good books, lovely friends, Kick-Ass the movie, naps, weird dreams, Lemon Ale, Peachee, home made pizza and slow cooked tacos. Oh, and another session of Fall tomorrow, heading into the end of the season. Plus superhero silliness roleplaying on Monday and working on the superhero LARP Paul and I are writing.

What are you thankful for this lovely Thursday?

Wednesday Writing

Feeling good this week. Finally kicked the ass of my Pestilence story (Now called, I think rather temptingly “He could be a super villain”) and submitted it to a magazine. It’s a non-paying zine, but exposure is exposure. Not sure how long it will take them to get back to me but it’s out of my hands now anyway.

I also went through a few chapters of Rain and edited and adjusted. I will do some more of that this evening maybe. Went out for some retail therapy and bought new slippers and a soap dish. Also, Too Cheap has tiny hats now. I bought a white one. $3.90.

Um, writing though. I’m getting back into the swing of things, which is a relief, although I have enjoyed these weeks ‘off’ it’s nice to know that I haven’t lost all my abilities. Ha ha. Um, excuse me, nervous laughter there. Ahem. Apparently I was quite worried on a low level somewhere deep down.


A YA writer whose book is about calling a version of yourself, younger, asks Twitter what would you tell yourself in high school? Selected highlights including Neil Gaiman’s, but you can see them all by looking up the gimmeacall hashtag on Twitter.

Some stuff that middle grade kids love in stories.

I got a lot out of this article which gives permission to take a break. Made me feel a lot better.

A rather cutesy-wutesy but kind of useful article about negotiating with the idea fairy.

Also, you might like to consider spending ten minutes or so re-writing this handy quick submission template and submitting it to the Government. If, that is, you oppose the mining of our National Parks. If you don’t care then don’t bother.

Awesome YA books

Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen

This book really reminded me of Meg Cabot’s work, also Debbie’s writing, and to a lesser extent, my own. For that reason I insist that Debbie tracks it down and reads it.

Story: an ordinary, slightly geeky girl discovers when she turns 16 that her absentee father is actually a king of a demon dimension and she is coming into insanely powerful magical half-demon powers. There’s a neat relationship with her best friend at school, a fake-out popular boy and a darkly mysterious hottie who it turns out, is only stalking her because he’s working for her father.

Pretty light weight, but great fun. Great first love, fluttering kind of relationship stuff plus neat alternate universe stuff and a very promising cameo from a rather sexy Faerie King. First in a series, can’t wait for the next one.

Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin

Parker broke up with her boyfriend because she wasn’t ready to have sex with him. Except she keeps going to his house and making out with him. Then one day he comes by her house with a pair of handcuffs. Naturally her parents come home early and she gets in massive trouble.

This book is an awesome examination of the powerful pull of lust and first love, power imbalances in relationships and continuing to return to someone who you know is bad for you because you love the way he makes you feel. There’s also some really strong minor plot stuff dealing with Parker’s relationship with her older sister and her younger brother who has ADHD. This book is compellingly written, a bit sexy and funny and I really recommend it.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I haven’t finished reading this one, because I had to return it to the library but I want to finish it. Set in the American South it’s the story of a boy who’s lived all his life in a small town, dreaming of getting out. A new girl comes to town who dresses differently to the others, she’s lived in all these different countries and she plays beautiful music.

And the real kicker? Ethan has been having these really vivid dreams about her where they are drowning, he wakes up with bruises on his arm from where she’s been holding onto him. Or his bed full of dirt from the mud they fell through…he didn’t think she was real until she appeared in school.

Thornspell by Helen Lowe

I finally got around to reading this book, after buying it on the night I saw Helen and Tim talk about spec fic last year. It’s a twist on the sleeping beauty story, in that it follows the path of the prince. Sigismund is coming of age and coming into some magic powers as well, he walks the sleeping castle in dreams, for example. A paladdin-ish hero knight called Balisan is sent to him to be a mentor. I liked Balisan, he reminded me of the best male characters in Tamora Pierce books.

I enjoyed it immensely. Helen easily creates a world you want to stay in and explore. It feels comforting, familiar while somehow being new to explore as well. The story was strong all the way through and there were some very nice and neat twists I didn’t see coming.

One little thing

Here’s one little thing you can try to ensure that you are only doing things in your life that you really want to be doing.

No more yes. It’s either no or Hell yeah!

Basically, if you aren’t super excited to do it, say no. Then you free up more time to those things that you are super excited about.

Things I Love Thursday – Power cut edition

Wellington had a massive three sub-stations down power cut this afternoon, lasting over an hour. We got to come home early from work, which was awesome.

I also enjoyed: seeing police officers controlling the traffic at the big intersections, speculating with workmates about how soon looting will start, the candles in Hashigo Zake to light the stairs (didn’t drink there though since I had no cash) and the general oddness of something massive going wrong. I like to blame the cut on Godzilla, or the monsters from The Event. Haven’t seen any of them though.

Writers interview Skip McDoole

I really love the 48 hour film competition for these reasons: hanging out with my amazingly creative friends, messing around behind the scenes, creating new bizarre in-jokes, writing something that then gets filmed and edited, seeing it on the big screen (tonight!) and the sense of everyone coming together to do something fun.

My new Threadless shirts. My black Zombie foodchain one has got a lot of comments and is snuggly and warm. I’m wearing it’s toile about you tonight and in the photo above you can see part of the secretly geeky Darwin shirt as well.

Random weird internet stuff: Nimoy Sunset Pie, Sleeveface and Cleolinda’s Pallas Cat photos. Adorkable.

Tim Bronson wrote another awesome article What do you really really want? I like to be inspired by him.

Honourable Mentions: 2 for 1 Steak night at Four Kings. OMG. Such good steak. Talking to my Mum for 45 minutes and laughing so much I cry, new awesome books to read, rewatching the Lord of the Rings movies, in character roleplaying dreams that are so real I wake myself up from them, Pretty photos of Kirsten Dunst, messing about with facebook roleplaying, Glee, The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, hot baths, ice cream and new music downloads from

How about you guys? Thankful much?

Writing what?

Brain no worky. Still frazzled from the 48 hour film competition. Tried to do some editing yesterday, tried to do some short story writing today. Time to admit it just ain’t happening. I simply need more time to recover from being head writer, helping out with filming and then having a massive (low key) crisis at 4am Monday about how I was terrible at being head writer. (Obviously 4am freak outs are not to be taken all that seriously, but until I catch up on sleep I’m not going to be able to look at anything with perspective or reason.)

Anyway, I have one little linky which is a good linky, so here you go:

Learning about chapter endings from The Hunger Games.

Now I’m gonna close the blinds and watch some TV. Maybe Buffy. Maybe The Secret of Kells on repeat which I have just purchased.

Fall actual play report – ‘The lull before the storm’

Sunday. First thing in the morning, Calvin’s bedroom. The sun is shining through the windows, Calvin starts stirring, turns over. Alex is sitting on the edge of the bed. Calvin sits up, there’s a pause.
Alex: It’s kinda early, I should get going.
Calvin: OK, um. Do you want a ride?
Alex: No, it’s alright. I could use the air.

Calvin shifts towards her, slowly, uncertainly. Alex doesn’t move, Calvin hesitates then leans over to give her a kiss. She kisses him back and then stands up, grabbing her jacket (she is already dressed). She backs across the room, uncertain. Alex: So, I’ll call you later?
Calvin: uh huh.
Alex hesitates a moment longer and then rushes across the room, gives him a kiss and then flees the scene. Calvin kind of goes ‘huh’ and then slumps back in the bed, a slight smile on his face.
On the stairs Alex runs into Martha, who is just back from jogging.
Martha: so were you guys doing…work?
Alex: Yeah.
Martha: does he have any fresh injuries?
Alex kind of blushes: Uh, no.
They make polite small talk a while longer and then awkwardly try to get out of each other’s way. Both stepping the same way at the same time and then Alex flees the house. Martha knocks on Calvin’s door.

Martha: So what was that about?
Calvin: what was what about?
M: With Alex?
Calvin smiles and shrugs.
M: So…coffee?
C: sure.

At home Alex climbs up the tree, leaps the gap to her room and gets into bed. Shortly after Jared calls out ‘Alex, breakfast!’ Alex gets up, puts on pyjamas and a robe and heads downstairs.
Mum: He’s very tall isn’t he?… Would you like some more syrup?
Alex double takes, she’s imagined it.
Dad: How’s Mason these days?
Alex: Uh, we don’t see each other much any more.
Dad: Oh, that’s a pity he’s a nice boy.
Continue reading

48 hours film comp happened again

I am in shock.

I keep forgetting how hard it is to do this thing where you write and shoot and edit a film in 48 hours. It’s awesome fun, and I love collaborating with my friends in such a creative way, but it really is very hard. Or maybe I’m getting older? Hard to say.

This year our genre was sport movie, which I was pretty happy with. The character was Sydney Manson: a fabricator, a broken toy for the prop and the line “When you look at it that way…”

We ended up playing to our strengths and made an American Gladiators/RAW style TV show in which ordinary humans fight supernatural creatures. It was the season finale and had Jon fighting Kerina. There were two commentators who got voice overs and cutaways and overall…yeah, it was a very Jenni’s Angels film.

I stayed up writing with Sophie and Amphigori til 3am on Saturday. I got up again when Lee did, having pretty much failed to really sleep. I lay in bed, but I was tense and nervous and I basically kept falling asleep and then waking right up again. Like the opposite of that nightmare where you keep thinking you’ve woken up but you haven’t.

Saturday morning I was at the big meet up to work through Norm’s concerns with the script, add some stuff, alter some other stuff. People kept asking if I was ok and I had to honestly say that I didn’t know. I did know that my hands were shaking and some concepts were difficult to understand…the read through was great, it was awesome to see everyone and I was really happy with how things were shaping up. I drove to the location (The Rock), dropped off all the lunch and snack foods, left my video and still cameras with Debs and came back home to crash. I managed just over an hour of awesome deep sleep.

After that I was awake again for sure. I tried to sleep again, oh how I tried, but I just kept wondering what was happening on set, how far through they’d got, if I should be there to help out…I drove back up around 3.30 and hung around until after dinner, helping out in small ways, making sure people had juice boxes, taking photos and laughing with Prodney.

Lee and I had made lasagnes the day before and we were able to heat them up on location. People helped themselves to meat or vege lasagne and we all ate together in the cafeteria. It was really good. Real, home cooked food is so much more comforting than junk food and at 6.30 after a hard day’s filming everyone needed comfort. Plus, it’s good filling food that gives you lasting energy so all round a winner.

Once dinner was done and cleaned up I drove Norm home to sleep (he ended up editing until 3am), and then came home to sleep myself. I had a lovely hot bath to get rid of the lack-of-sleep aches and took myself to bed. I was asleep around 9pm. Woke up at midnight when Lee got home, then a couple of other times but overall a lovely deep sleep. I wanted to continue sleeping when the alarm went off but went with Lee back to Norm’s to help film the last scenes: the commentators speaking to camera. That was all wrapped up by about midday.

I saw a rough cut of the film first thing in the morning (just the fight) and then at around 3pm when Norm needed help with the edit. There was too much commentating to go over the fight footage. We had to cut one of my favourite jokes (Viennese style) but hey, that’s what deleted scenes are for. The first safety cut had some problems with it and they had to re-render twice or three times before we had something to hand in. Me and Paul (Team Safety Cut rocks!) drove it down and got to the hand-in point at 6.30. One important special effect was added and a non-essential, but funny sound effect as well and the final cut started rendering.

I had a text from Jon at 6.50 saying that the final cut was being driven down and it arrived with 2 minutes to spare. We very carefully took the safety out of the envelope, Norm put in the final and we were celebrating.

Another awesome weekend. Last night I slept for 11 hours. It was so worth it.

Soon, an update on what I learned about writing for the 48 this year. I just have to get my thoughts in some sort of non-sleep deprived order.

Fizzgig I love Fizzgig. Fizzgig edition.

My roleplaying games are pretty much amazing right now, and if you’re following Fall you’ll know why I’ve been walking around with a goofy grin on my face. In addition to this I’ve been participating in some behind the scenes scheming which is awesome fun.

I really love the You Are Remarkable website and I appreciated this little bit of perspective.

Fizzgig's impression of Vyvian from The Young Ones

If you read Neil Gaiman’s blog or twitter you’ll have already seen this, but I link here anyway. I really love hearing about and seeing pictures of his dog Cabal and this week he has perfected his matter duplication ray. So adorable. Also goofball Cabal. Yes.

Fizzgig's all 'stached up and ready for a date

Have you heard of the KFC Double Down burger? It has chicken instead of bread, and bacon and cheese in the middle. No vegetables, they’d just get in the way. It’s all chicken, all bacon and cheese. I really want one but so far they’re only in the States. Here’s a rather funny review of it from the bloggers at NPR.

Honourable Mentions: Candy, cake, new zombie hoodie and T-shirts from threadless, Ashes to Ashes on DVD, naps, blankies, rewatching classic 80s movies, my new Fizzgig toy, Empire magazine, days off work, the 48 hour film comp tomorrow, Schweppes dry lemonade and socks.

And how about you, what about the world is making you squee today?


First: Happy birthday to my Dad!

Second: Thanks so much for all the writing prompts last week, please feel free to add more if you think of them. I have been writing here and there, little bits of fiction and they do help give me focus.

Now to the blog: This week has been more slacking off overall though. I did do some LARP writing stuff on the weekend though, and this weekend I’ll be writing a 48 hour film, so it’s not entirely slacking.

Today I fought the procrastination bug for a couple of hours and then finally made myself open up Rain again. I am giving it one more going-over before I pass it on to readers. I’ve not been that happy in my head with the way the one-pass editing went. I know I started out pretty mindful of things, but I’ve been feeling that I wasn’t thorough enough. Anyhoo, that’s my mission for the next while: one more edit and then out it goes.

Psyched for the 48 hour film competition. I have Sophie and Amphigori on my team and I’m confident that we can work together to make an awesome script. I have some trepidation (as always) about what genre we will end up with, but on the other hand, I’m excited about getting to drink lots of coke. You can expect some writing lessons learned on Friday night/Saturday morning next week.


Forever Nocturne are accepting submissions right now.

Where a book is placed in the bookshop affects sales. Which, you know, probably isn’t a surprise when you really think about it.

Top 5 Lessons For Writers From Doctor Who. Sadly not written by Dr Who, but lessons from the way the show works.