2018, butcherbird, july, New Zealand, Te Papa Tupu

Office in a Bag

Sometimes, you just have to upgrade. I feel like I’ve been doing that a lot lately – I got some new clothes for the first time in ages. I got a haircut for the first time in almost year. A drink bottle that was mine and not a tomato passata jar I’d washed out.

And I got a new computer.

Now, I loved Mal, but it was just time. She’s slowed right down to the point where I spend more time being frustrated than working painlessly. There were other niggles in the household; a constant tech battle over who had access to what and where. I decided that I deserved to have a computer that could not only run the full gamut of author processes, but also run the games I like to play. And it would be mine. All mine. No sharing.

Enter Indi. Yes, partly because of her delicious colour, but also because it makes me think of ‘independent’ and I am, and also, India Jones, and who doesn’t want to be reminded of adventuring, action and excitement? I’m bringing that to my writing in my own way.

Indi is a little bigger than Mal was, which meant upgrading my bag as well.  I needed something that could fit all the things I needed. Something that calls to my geeky side, but that’s also not too in your face. With Te Papa Tupu I’ve got a lot more travel lined up than ever before, so it needed to be sturdy as well. I got the Horizon: Zero Dawn messenger bag, and I love it.

20180721_115023So here is my office in a bag! This is my ‘work for hours at a time while out’ set up and it’s all the same stuff I use at home, which makes for a nice easy transition. I’ve got a space-saving set up too, but we’ll leave that for another time. I think having the backing of Te Papa Tupu has given me that little boost that says it’s okay to spend money on things that will help push my career forward. A little validation can go a long way in this business.

Mostly, I just wanted to gush about how freaking much I love my new computer 😉

Shiny!

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2018, books, butcherbird, july, Sun-Touched, Uncategorized, writing

July, already?

Hello!!

Well overdue for an update, I know. So, let’s get into it.

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Back to my weekly sessions at the library – yay!

Back in April I submitted Butcherbird to Te Papa Tupu – which is an incubator for Māori writers. And at the end of May, I found out that I’d been accepted into the programme! I was blown away. I’d managed to convince myself that there was no way I would get in, so it was a total surprise when I got the call. There were tears of joy. (I have a great many feelings about this which are hard to put into words, but I will be doing my best soon.)

What this means is that I’m going to be working on Butcherbird for the rest of this year with the help of my lovely, intelligent, funny and amazing mentor, Whiti Hereaka. She’s given me oodles of notes, highlighted all my problematic spots, and given me a tonne of wonderful resources to help me make the story as amazing as I can. I’m over the moon to have been paired with her and can tell already that this process is going to level up my writing in a big way.

What else does that mean? I won’t have anything to release this year, probably. And that’s okay. I mean, it grates at me, but I’ve been feeling like I needed to skill up and this is the perfect opportunity to do that. I have faith that every book I put out from here forward is going to benefit from this experience, so I’m investing my all into it.

There are still other projects on the go… My partner in crime, Meryl Stenhouse, has been busy moving houses, but we’re hoping to make some progress with our shared world books really soon. Juniper keeps knocking on the door in my brain. She wants to come out and play again and I want that too! She’s so much fun to hang out with.

And of course, there is that sequel to Sun Touched that people keep asking me about… It is going to happen. I’ve got some required reading to get through, but then I’m dragging a copy of Sun Touched from my bookshelf and I am going to mark that sucker up, full of things I need to correct and notes for the next book – and then once I’ve got those all written down somewhere else, I’m going to give that copy away to one of the loyal fans who have been asking about the sequel basically since the first book dropped 😉

The last few months have been all over the place, but I feel like we’re finally getting settled in and starting to get some good rhythms in place. Having moved cities with kids twice, I now know that it can literally take months to get back to that place, even if the move is one everyone is happy about.

Let’s not do that again for a while huh?

july, life, Uncategorized

On the Move

Once again, it’s been a long time – I have a really good reason this time, though it’s by no means ‘over’ and will mean I lack any rhythm for… well, until whenever it is that things stop being all up in the air.

You see, we’re moving cities! We’d talked about this in the past – I’d said Wellington was the only other place I’d live, he said that he’d be pretty depressed if we still lived in Taranaki in ten years time – and we made a plan. It was a five year plan. It was a plan that meant our eldest would be old enough to babysit the other two, and he would be finished the degree he started working on part time by the time we moved.

That was a year ago.

A few months ago a job cropped up that he was seriously interested in. I said he could apply. He didn’t get it, but by the time that happened we’d all had a massive brain shift which saw him applying for more jobs, me beginning to get my head around the fact this might happen, and the kids bursting at the seams for a move.

And then last week he got an amazing job. And that means we ARE moving, and all of the things that come along with that – prepping our house for sale, house hunting in another city, research research research into good places to live with a family, homeschooling groups, lifestyle, packing, decluttering, crying, saying goodbye – are now here. Big time.

I’m still getting my head around this. It’s not something I have any experience with, but it feels like it will all have happened in no time at all – we’ll be living in a new house, in a new area, far away from our friends and family (well, most of them) before we even really know it, and I have a feeling it’s going to take several months after that until it’s really sunken in and we’re feeling settled. Or me, at least, the kids are busting a gut to get on with it – let’s hope their enthusiasm lasts!

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