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Saturday, 11 July 2020

It seems to me that:

The world's still crazy but we seem to be safe in our little bubble here in New Zealand. It’s scary listening to our medical experts who warn us that this is only  one of many pandemics we are bringing on ourselves I wonder what the world will be like in 10 years time and feel we are slipping back a few centuries to be like our ancestors who feared the various forms of plague with no knowledge of what it is or how to conquer it. Just like today really as our experts are struggling to find out how to give us a vaccine to protect us.  As a writer the experience of listening to people who have the knowledge and skills to work with this virus and yet hear their frustration as the virus slips away and does something unexpected and they have to add that into their efforts has been a learning process.

The church fiasco remains hanging around the parish’s neck. I do feel supported by the angry three quarters of the parishioners but that means they are set against the vicar and small clique. It’s all a horrible unchristian mess and hurts us all. I’ve put the problem into the Archbishop’s hand. He, at least, has his secretary reply to my letters. The bishop doesn’t, nor does his archdeacon. They’ve just been try to squash the dissent but the rumours fly. More and more parishioners are telling me they believe that the vicar deliberately organized her supported to attack me. It’s a horrific thought and depressing to think that the Anglican church now has different values from the ones I grew up with.

The ‘Tales from Japan’ anthology is now at the pre-order stage. I’ve been doing the preparation work, work which differs from paying the editor and proof reader sand cover designer to do their skilled work. This involves spending hours on websites working out algorithms and key words, sorting out the proper approach by email to my beta readers and reader pals and the most attractive offers for new readers. It’s like painting a room, all that time spent cleaning and masking and taping up, floor clothes down and then it takes a couple of hours to paint. It’s the same sort of preparation work before launching an e-book. Print copies are much easier.

The novel is still at the proof reader, cover designer stage – I’m having problems getting the right people. But it is going out on pre-order for October/November publication. I’m still not sure but the working title is now: Try To Remember  a novel about A Wild Colonial Venture. I shall be pleased to get it out to the readers who’ve been asking for it for a year.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Justice at St Luke's

Questions for the Vestry to ask:

Why was the attacker not spoken to after his first attack?
Why, when the vicar was asked to speak to the attacker after the first attack, did she not do so?
Why was the victim banned from the church and not the attacker?
What did the vicar say to the bishop to get him to agree to banning and trespassing?
Why has the vicar acted as she did?

There's whole church community stunned and upset and wondering what happened to the Christian love and kindness they once shared.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

#StLuke's What is the New Zealand Anglican Church coming to?

An elderly female parishioner is attacked during a church service by another parishioner, a younger male. This is the second attack and the vicar had been asked to speak to the attacker but does not. This time the elderly woman tries to defend herself and there's a bit of a racket, but a lot of the congregation see what happened. Much indignation as the woman is pushed out of the church and later is banned and trespassed off the church property. The attacker smirks and is returned to his pew by the vicar.

So why wasn't he pushed out? The male attacker is the vicar's ardent supporter, there's a strong suspicion she has put him up to these attacks. The elderly woman is spokesperson for a lot of dissatisfied parishioners who are upset by the disorganisation, chaos and lack of spirituality during the communion service. When the congregation is told the woman attacked him and is in need of mental health care they are as stunned as the elderly woman. As so many saw what happened there is now uproar and rumpus and a great deal of disgust expressed over the vicar's  behaviour.

There's a chain of command in the Anglican church from the Archbishop to bishops to vicars. The bishop in this case does not know the elderly woman, hasn't spoken to her, although she has, along with others in that parish, complained about their vicar and her lack of priestly skills and behaviour to him.

So from his secular point of view it's all a great relief to ban this troublesome woman from her church and the communion service which is important to her. As for the male, well perhaps the police will deal with him. The bishop's not going to. I wonder where the bishop's spiritual and Christian morals were when he made that decision. There wasn't much Christian spirit in him when he made it.

Seems to me that the Anglican church in New Zealand has wandered away from the fundamental Anglican beliefs and is in danger of becoming a stand for nothing, meaningless church.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

I Hate Microsoft Word

It seems to me that there must be another sensible and serious word processing programme out there somewhere. If there is, can someone please let me know?

I've been quiet on this blog for a while - nearly a year I'm shamed to say - struggling to make my new computer work. The old one blew up noisily at the beginning of last year, just when I was at an exciting part of my writing. Now I hate computers at the best of times, but this was a disaster. It took seven weeks to sort out insurance and find a decent, large enough memory, no stupid gadgets computer. It's taken the rest of the year to try and make the stupid thing work as I want it to. And it still doesn't!

And a hint about insurance. I had a sweet voiced, sympathetic woman take me through the forms but the questions she slipped in between the chit-chat were all designed to prove I hadn't looked after my computer. Do be wary of not having a single, separate wall socket to plug in your computer. If you have it on a multiboard they won't pay. No, they had to pay me. I knew that and had a special wall socket installed when I moved here.

Anyway, back to the computer. My kindly understanding, does-not-patronise-women-over-forty IT specialist supplied me with a new, business standard HP computer with the new Word and new Gmail programmes. Ah me! The computer is fine, it's those bloomin' programmes.

The new Gmail wanted to take over. It did. It deleted my old emails from my editors which I keep in my inbox as a reminder that I have work on file to write for them. It kept trying to make my unimportant emails important. I got junk and spam saved in the important file. I saved into a special folder my marketing information for my columns for Writing magazine. Two weeks later the whole file was vanished. Apparently I could spend time hunting all my missing stuff in the Google Cloud. Don't people work any more? I don't have time to go hunting things down, especially as I am not tech savvy and don't know where to look in Google's cloud. Even my clever tech man threw up his hands and swore at Google. So now Gmail is out and a local New Zealand company is in as my main email server. At least I can ring them up and get things fixed. But what a frustrating waste of writing time it's been trying to sort it all out and I lost so many email addresses in the muddle up too.
 As for this impossibly dumb Word programme! I don't know what the idiots at Microsoft think people do when word processing. Not serious work obviously. The default font is Calibri, a tiny size 11. That is not a standard business or publishing font. I had to spend hours and money getting a proper standard publishing format  fixed as my default with Courier or TNR 12 point, and with decent margins, indents and header. Even then the bloody programme keeps try to run back to its default.

And I am driven mad by stupid pop ups. I don't need idiot Word to say Hello or show me a note saying 'Welcome back. You were working on this page.' This morning I opened my files and got a huge banner saying 'Relieve some stress. Let's colour.' and offering some sort of colouring game. What the Hell?!!!!! Don't people work anymore?

I don't want or need fancy fonts and layouts. I want a computer to be a serious working tool, not a plaything. I don't want or need a computer to try and think for me. I hate the fact that when I go into Word it gives me a list of what it thinks I want to work on. And it takes several clicks to actually get to what I want to use. And saving is a pain and attaching stuff is a pain as the computer keeps telling me I want to save or attach this or that file when I want another one. Every time I want to do something the computer tries to make me do it its way. I have been so frustrated by the darned Word programme that my actual output of writing has been noticeably reduced. Something must be done. I need a real word processing programme for serious workers!

Anyone out there know a decent, plain, sensible,word processing programme I can have installed instead of stupid Word? 

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Review of 'Book of the Dead' by Patricia Cornwell

I always enjoy the tight, present tense, analytical style of this series. The characters are old favourites who grow and change. The writing, plotting and conclusions are always polished and satisfactory. I enjoy being required, as a reader, to think and read intelligently.

In this novel, Kay Scarpetta has moved to Charleston, in the southern States. There is some hostility to her presence and she has to sort the trivial from the serious. And serious it becomes as it appears there is a killer on the loose and the seeming separate deaths she has to deal with are finally linked.

As usual Kay Scarpetta has to deal with the irritating little problems of every day living, the personality clashes of her colleagues, as well as a nasty murder. She manages to retain her dry sense of humour through it all, solve the murders, and even make headway with the difficult neighbours.

A good solid read and not just one for fans. All the books stand alone although it does help to have read the earlier ones if you enjoy watching the characters develop.

Reveiw of 'The Abomination by Jonathon Holt

A well written tightly plotted novel set mainly in Venice.As the story proceeds so a conspiracy emerges between the CIA, the Italian government and the Catholic Church.

Villains act like goodies and the main characters are people the reader wants to care about. I am puzzled in that the novel is meant to be thee first of a trilogy and I looked for the second part but according to Goodreads there is only that novel and a non-fiction book available. Pity, as Venice is a great setting will used and I want to see what happens to our three main characters.

Well worth a read as it's more original than the usual conspiracy whodunit, Jonathon Holt writes well with a distinctive voice and his plotting is exceptional.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Reveiw: Force of Nature

Finally I've laid hands on number two in the Australian series by Jane Harper. The library had a long waiting list, now it's my turn.

'The Dry' impressed me although I was hesitant about Aaron Falk as a character, but the Australian setting and the tight writing and clever plot carried me along. I'm pleased to say that Aaron Falk is coming out of his shell in this novel and I feel less inclined to shake him!

Working with his colleague, Carmen, for the financial investigative side of the Federal police, Falk is trying to obtain documents from a 'mole'. It's difficult and the pressure is on when the 'mole' goes with her company on one of these management bush treks and disappears. Has she been murdered by the company director? What has happened?

Again we have Harper's tricky plot full of surprises. She writes well and makes the reader feel the Australian bush and the terrors of being lost in it. We have a bunch of complex 3D characters and some raw emotions and it was hard to guess whodunit.

The novel is a stand alone but I'd advise readers to start with 'The Dry' and then read this one just to get a more complete picture of the main character.

A great read for anyone and especially for those who like mysteries.