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42nd Parallel Launches

Yesterday, the first post went live on a new project I hinted at in my first post of the year – 42nd Parallel, a group blog about all things SFF, which will feature posts from a range of fantastic writers I know, both in NZ and Australia. You can check out the contributors page here.

So, what IS the 42nd Parallel? Here is the guts of it, straight from the about page:

Welcome to the 42nd Parallel. We’re a group of bloggers and authors who are passionate about science fiction and fantasy in all styles and forms. We’re particularly interested in promoting SFF from Australia and New Zealand as it tends to be lesser known and, we believe, different. We’re also interested in SFF that explores race, gender and locations that aren’t euro-centric.

Don’t get me wrong, we all grew up on Tolkien and Eddings and McCaffrey and other classics. But the world has grown and expanded, and we want to look further, to works that explore different cultures and viewpoints.

Coming from the culture that brought the world such seminal works as On The BeachMad Max and Under the Mountain, we believe there’s more to SFF than ancient kings and white men in space.

We want to build a community of passionate fans who love to explore new worlds and new ideas. So come and join us.  Have your say. You can even contribute to the blog with news or articles if you like.

The first entry is Sci-Fi in need of a good laugh? by the awesome Graham Storrs, and today my first post about Hearthstone will be going live. We’re going to be having a slew of posts in the first weeks, after which you can expect about 2 updates per week on a whole range of things – movies, games, books, anything sff.

Personally I’m very much looking forward to having a place where I can get all fangirl about whatever takes my fancy 😉

If you’re on facebook, come on over and give us a like!

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Found my groove!

Well, it took a little bit, but I finally got there! Have been managing to revise at least a scene a day for these last few days – and worked out the main issue getting between me and working. 

I had to pretty much rewrite the entire beginning of this novella. Five brand new scenes, which changed a whole lot. The story is much better for it, but it was hard slog, and I was feeling pretty low energy about it all. Of course, now that it’s done, I love it 😉 I guess after spending so much time deep in assignment writing, I wasn’t quite ready for more hard work. Very pleased that bit is over with though, and now I can get to the less difficult task of revision rather than rewriting.

There are still a few new scenes to go in, because I decided to add a second pov. I think it will give me wider scope for the books to follow and am enjoying fleshing Noah out a little more now that I have room to do that. 

I’m really super excited about this series. It’s really fun writing in a New Zealand setting, and tapping into my heritage has been a blast. All the weird, quirky stuff that happened while I was growing up is finding a way into these books which just makes it that much more fun to write. I hope that people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

One day, I’ll get to find out!

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Sunshine in winter

School holidays hit, and so did the sunshine! After almost a month of rainy days, the clouds cleared and we have been given the best of winter – frosty mornings, followed by gorgeous, sunny, warm days, and chilly evenings.

And it’s simply too lovely to spend time inside blogging. Or writing. Or anything else much…

I am enjoying this set of holidays more than any that has come before. I’m not sure why, but my best guess is a combination of the great weather, and the fact that every round of hols, the kids get older and our ability to do stuff increases. While we’ve not ventured far from the house just yet, we’ve been utilizing the trampoline, the sandpit, the swing, weeding gardens (clearing the backlog of washing! lol), and otherwise just hanging outside, enjoying the sun. Oh and we washed the car – well overdue, and lots of soapy fun at a friends house. The kids got saturated, and loved every minute of it.

We’re off to the zoo this morning with Mil and GrandMiL – they arrived yesterday afternoon and its been so cool having them here. The kids are loving it 🙂

I am hoping to sneak in some writing later today when the littles sleep, and our big girl is out with her Nana’s. Wish me luck! I have a challenge story to finish and a fire inside me. I got another acceptance email yesterday morning and it has me itching to get more stories out on submission.

Today, I might actually take some pics to share with you. I keep meaning to, but then…I’m having too much fun to stop and think about it 😉

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That old familiar itch

I can tell when my babies are getting easier by the fact that I start thinking about gaming. Of course I tell myself that I should not game, because I should be writing, but the reality is that I do the bulk of my writing stuff during nap time, not in the evening. I’m going to admit now that for the most part, at night I sit on the couch with Hubby and watch movies or TV – it would be nice to spend the occasional night playing games.

So I’m on the hunt…

We’ve been browsing the free games, and we’re going to have a fiddle with Champions Online because it’s free to play now. I’ve never played a super hero game, so it’ll be fun and something a little different for me. See I’m what is called a “newb”, I don’t know much and I don’t know how to do it well, I certainly don’t need cheap gaming chairs with outstanding performance. I need hand eye coordination, and game multitasking is not the same as multitasking.

Hubby has said that when Star Wars: The Old Republic comes out he wants to play that for a little while and by the time it is released, I’ll hopefully have plenty of hands free time and will be able to play too. It looks pretty awesome, and now that I know it’s coming and that we’re in I can start obsessing 🙂 Oh, obsession, my old friend.

It’s been too long since I’ve played World of Warcraft to go back to it. Our old guild has fallen apart well and truly by now (it managed to stay mostly together, in various forms, for several expansions, and several of our quitting and restarting episodes), and for me, a great deal of the fun is in the social side of things. If I’m going to have to re-network, I want to do it in a new game, with a new character.

I miss gaming with Hubby. We make a good team, and it’ll be nice to be doing something more mentally stimulating than watch TV together from time to time. (Not that we lack mental stimulation! He is one of the smartest guys I know, and I love discussing all kinds of things with him. Not to mention that he’s cute, and has a wicked sense of humor – P.S he doesn’t read my blog, so no, I’m not fishing for brownie points! lol).

Yay! It feels like I’m reclaiming another part of myself. I have often said that I’d not be gaming again, but you know what? That’s just a part of who I am. A gamer chick. I can love and accept that.

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Let the reading commence!

So, the first story from the latest Search Term Challenge has gone up over at ErgoFiction. YAY!

And it’s a doozey, make sure you’ve not recently eaten, and are not feeling squirmish or anything before you pop on over and take a read. It’s titled ‘Cleaning the Sty with a Jigsaw Homemaker’, quite delightful if you’re into that kind of thing (which I kind of am…), let’s just say that I am pleased I had a nice bland cereal breakfast this morning!

I can’t wait to see what the next one is like. The beauty of this kind of challenge is that despite the fact you are all given the same jumping off point, the entries are generally incredibly different from each other, proof that we are diverse and unique creatures. Actually, kind of reminds me of Tama‘s Chapter One Rewrite Club – despite the fact we were all rewriting the first chapter of the same book, the way we did so was completely different to each other.

Anyways, there will be a new story posted daily, other than Wednesdays, which means that we have two weeks of short fiction reading ahead of us. I wonder who will be up next? I wonder who wrote the piece that is up now? Such delicious fun, seriously, if you didn’t participate this round, I encourage you to do so next time around and I hope you’ll stop by, give the stories a read and vote at the end for the one you liked most.