Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Pause That Refreshes

One downside about living on a Wee Ridge of Island at the Back of the World is that it's a fair hike (and then some) to see art masterpieces. So when a lovely collection of Impressionist paintings comes anywhere nearby, even if it's the next island over, I'm making that trip.

It. Was. Wonderful.

I mean, yeah, the stuff I went to see, the art exhibit, was awesome. So was much of the public art scattered around town. (and Wellington has *plenty of public art, especially down by the waterfront.
(I think if you click on the pix, you might see bigger versions!)

But just as inspiring (maybe moreso) were the activities the Tiny Dynamo picked: an afternoon in a Victorian-era Botanical Gardens up on a mountain overlooking the city and a day at Wellington Zoo.

And the city itself is bloody interesting. Wellington is a city where you really feel the presence of a large, intellectual underclass.

I don't know if it's a matter of size, concentration or profile, but the bohemians in Wellies make their presence felt. Used bookstores abound, their shelves full of Ibsen and Kierkegaard, well-thumbed art books and Victorian sensation novels. Shop windows show few mannequins in pastels and beige, more in knuckle-duster-print jackets and tartan bondage pants. For the serious vintage shopper, the place is a gold mine.

And the grafitti: all I can say is, wow. There's plenty of adolescent tagging, sure, but there's a whole lot more serious work, sometimes whimsical, often political/philosophical in nature. I love the way these folks dig in and 'art it up' on their own!

Being in Wellington always kind of freaks me out. For years, this sort of William Gibson-esque grunge was my world. These little bohemias waited for me everywhere I went, and even today, they remain comfortable and familiar.

Nowadays, I surround my self with green spaces and gardens. I work in quiet, in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. But every now and then, it's sure refreshing to get back to my roots.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The EEE has to be the *teensiest* laptop in the whole, wide world, so small and cute that it made the Tiny Dynamo's eyes sparkle!

At last, a laptop that doesn't make the Dynamo look like a child wrestling with a large folding table. (Well, not *as* much-- she's still not much bigger than that dollar bill!) But the EEE, it fits her wee hands beautifully, folds up in her purse, and takes her wirelessly onto the interwebs without a whole lot of grief and bother.

That's right, the interwebs. Her time in the unwired Wilderness is over, the Racketsport Terror is now plugged in. First it was celebrity gossip. Then the online auctions.

Now, at last, my Dynamo's gone Full Throttle!

By the power of Dynamo, she haaaaaaaasssssss the POWWWWWWWERRRRRRRR!!!!

I haven't heard much from her these last few days. Mostly little giggles, occasional questions or comments on years-old blog posts and the occasional cry of "LIAR!"

To which I humbly explain, I am not a liar. I am a fabulist.

She'll be reading this post, so let's all give the Wonderful Wee Elf a BIG round of applause!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


All right, all right, I admit it: it's been awhile. How are you doing, anyway? Have you lost weight? You look great!

Until I get this current pass done (the last before the new work goes out to the Tiny Dynamo and all the Beta-Readers), internet time is strictly rationed. Strictly. Rationed. My apologies, and you really do look great. Something with your hair, maybe?

The lovely and talented Shauna Roberts and Barbara Martin *both* awarded me the Premier-Dardos. I feel humbled that you find something of worth and value in the clicks of my keyboard. I'm supposed to pass this on to other worthies, but there are simply too many of you, and too few of me doing the typing. Please feel free to accept one on my behalf...

Speaking of worth and value, I recently finished Where Serpents Sleep by our very own CS Harris. Holy Smoking Joes, it was like a master class in how to write a thriller, and how to keep a series thrilling. Pace. Suspense. Action. Intrigue. Heroes. Villains. If I were the type to teach Creative Writing classes, my students would find her work required reading.

And on the heels of my godawful incoherent post (I humbly promise never, never, NEVER again to drink and blog), Candy's historical thriller shows *exactly* how to make research feel authentic without bogging down. Bloody marvelous.

There's more I want to talk about, so much more. Sidney's new podcasts. Wayne's offbeat, lyrical and poetic photo essays. The way that like the cartoon mouse Savoir Faire, Charles Gramlich is everywhere.

Sadly, I'm out of time. I doubt I'll even get to the 103 unread messages in my Google Reader at the moment. Yup, 103. I blame the rationing.

And the war. Always good to blame the war.

I know what it is. You've been working out, haven't you?