‘Social Distancing’ and other forms of ‘Newspeak’

How are you coping as the whole world moves widely into the ‘new normal’ of dealing with the flow on effects from the coronavirus pandemic?

We are all being effected in some way, whether it is the lack of toilet paper, hand sanitiser, pain killers or other basic grocery items that we have all taken for granted.

To the social distancing isolation policies that are sweeping our society in it’s many forms, e.g. tourists being quarantined, doctors seeing patients in the medical centre car park; cafes, bars and restaurants closing, cruise ships being turned away and sporting, music and literary events being cancelled.

The popularity of the zombie apocalypse genre of movies and books is probably also feeding into the panic buying as unschooled ‘preppers’ waste their money on toilet paper.

Okay, and the world financial markets may be in free fall, but to be fair, they have been overdue for a correction for a decade now.

However, it is not all doom and gloom!

Collectively, we can still maintain social connectivity through various social media.

Stay positive and strong, don’t panic and look out for our neighbours. After all, it is the strength of our diverse communities that will help us all to survive.

And of course, you may get a chance to get stuck into that good collection of unread books on the bedside table!

So join Goodreads, and share what you are reading with your friends and let us take a leaf out of the Italian’s book, where they are having neighbourhood sing-a-longs from their apartment windows. (Not that you would want to her ME singing!)

Mandy Hager On The Evil Politicians Do

Reproducing this with kind permission from the President of the NZSA, Mandy Hager. An article from the Kāpiti Independent News today.

Mandy Hager On The Evil Politicians Do

The questions that keep me awake at night . . . 

As a writer of fiction, I spend my days thinking myself into the heads of others, in order to understand their values and motivations.

Over the years, I’ve placed myself in the minds of unhappy teens, colonised populations, cult victims, 12th century French nuns and misogynist philosophers, rabble rousers, environmental activists and even orca! 

But, try as I might, I can’t understand the people who have systematically pillaged our environment and natural resources, and who continue to feed the flames of climate denial and do everything in their power to halt mitigation measures in their tracks.

What future can they imagine?

Believe me I’ve tried. I’ve asked myself what they must think as they look at their children and grandchildren and imagine their futures?

Have they so thoroughly insulated themselves that they believe they will somehow be immune to the horrors downstream?

Perhaps they have.

Perhaps they think their underground bunkers, excessive hoarding of wealth, total emotional disconnection from the suffering of ordinary people, or dreams of escaping to Mars, will protect them?

But what do they tell themselves when they know that millions of people will be displaced, die terrible deaths, starve, dehydrate, burn, drown, and be caught up in the conflicts that will inevitably erupt? How does someone justify this to themselves? I truly don’t know.

Are our politicians exempt?

It would be easy to dismiss these worries on the grounds that they are the few — the one percent — and that our own politicians, in our safe little country, hold the lives and futures of their constituents in much higher regard. But do they? 

As the election year kicks in and our political parties start to position themselves, what is one to make of people who continue to back fossil fuels and intensive, agro-led farming over the health, wellbeing and futures of our young people?

The dollar signs that blind

Do they truly believe this is the right path? Do they truly think that somehow they, in their great estimation, know more about the climate and the health of our natural systems than those who have spent their lives becoming experts in their fields? 

Or do they only see as far as the dollar signs that blight their eyes?    

And what are we to make of people who announce themselves as upright citizens, yet undermine our democracy with misinformation, attacks, dirty money and lies?

Do they look at themselves in the mirror and see virtue? Really truly? If so, how did we create such people? And why do we privilege them with representing us, when it’s clear they’re only representing the interests of a chosen few?

Or what of those who hold themselves as better than another person, another race, another gender, another belief system?

Do they ever question whether they might have got it wrong? Or those who withhold information from police, when they know someone has committed an appalling crime?

What goes on in their heads? And how did our society do such a terrible job of socialising and educating our citizens, that they could possibly think that leaving a four-year-old boy with permanent brain damage, or raping and killing a young woman, or setting your children and ex-wife alight, is something they can countenance?

Kindness, compassion and those who sneer

When our Prime Minister speaks of kindness, and models her compassion for the world to see, what is going on in the minds of those who sneer and call it posturing, as if it doesn’t reflect the core values of the country they were raised in? What’s hardened them? What’s made them so angry and ideologically driven that they can spew out hate and feel secure in doing so?

I don’t have these answers. I find I can’t even begin to understand. But I do know that if we allow these kinds of destructive behaviours to continue to infect our politics and decision-making, and/or our day-to-day lives, we’re well and truly fucked.

Overcoming Back to Work Blues…

How are you feeling on the eve before many of us head back to work, after the holiday season?

Checking clothing still fits after over-indulging at the festive table?

Making sure your boots or shoes are at least clean or maybe need a touch of nugget?

If you are charging up the work phone and laptop after they have been switched off, don’t be tempted to start scrolling through the hundreds of emails and missed calls… surely they can wait until tomorrow?

Well, you are not alone. Many people are feeling the same way!

The good news for you all, is that our writers have been working every day you’ve been on holiday! Knocking their next projects into shape just for YOU!

Image may contain: text

Keep an eye open for our exciting new releases this year from Hinemura Ellison, Ted Hughes, M.W. Innes-Jones, and Virginia Innes-Jones – their work you are sure to enjoy.

If you haven’t already, check out our Authors and Books tab, for their current releases. Either way, reading is the best way to escape!

Missed… again…

“Where’s the Kiwi Con?”

Kia ora and Welcome everyone!

How’s your October going? Downunder in the Land of the Long White Cloud – Aotearoa, also known as New Zealand, we are now into Daylight Saving. Yay! Ah the joys of spring, the days are getting longer and those barbies will have to be dusted off as we venture back out doors to enjoy barbeque delights and summer salads.

The spring bulbs are flowering and the citrus is looking like a bumper crop, while the Tui are chasing other birds around the garden and even the Kererū are stopping by the Puriri for a snack, watching the Tui antics with amusement.

Anyhow here are a few pics of Freya, stuck on the Levin Railway station platform. Waiting for her trusty Kiwi Con to pull in from Palmerston North enroute to Wellington. Has the train got delayed? Or has Freya just slept in again at the bach and missed her only ride into Wellington.

Looks like she may have to follow in her mate Sven’s footsteps and work from home again today!!

Did I miss the train…?

A Day Out at the Beach…

Books on the Beach, the first of it’s kind held on a mildly windy summer’s day at Paraparaumu Beach and kindly initiated and organised by the Hunter sisters, Sharon and Toni, along with Sharon’s supporting architect husband Darren Hunter.

IMG-7472

We were there early on a Sunday morning, table, umbrella in hand plus our books merchandise and all the other paraphernalia that makes up setting up a market stall.

We had first heard about Books on the Beach while crossing over on the Inter-island ferry and finally all these months later the day had come and what a day, a bit equivalent to the usual inter-island crossing, a strong wind sweeping over the ocean and land.

We managed to keep our stand up for all of five minutes, just enough time to make one sale of our Science-Fiction genre to the local college and catch up with old friends.

IMG-7473

Our backs turned for a couple of seconds talking to other stand holders and unlike the Wahine she was over in seconds. One minute we were all sitting upright and the next we were down, blown down like a pack of cards. We took it as a sign it was time to pack up and leave while we were still ahead.

The flip side of abandoning ship so soon, gave us time to check out the fabulous section of fellow writers and talks and decided it was best to use our time supporting our fellow craftsmen and artists. A quick whizz around the weekend market and then upstairs to Club Vista for a much deserved and needed hot drink and scone to warm up our cockles after coming in looking very windswept and interesting. Club Vista did themselves proud by providing a warm and inviting venue for writers such as Mandy Hager who pulled in a full house into the small nook and cranny of the bar we were assigned to. Much better alternative than on the stage out in the elements. Mandy shared all her pearlers about the intense research and study she had undertaken to write her most recent of books. It was also good to share our own writing stories with a fellow Levin born and bred writer from back in the day.

IMG-7456

Between writers we checked out the local iwi doing a presentation and story telling session beneath a strong sturdy marquee.

IMG-7439

Then back inside in the warmth for Leanna aka Leanne Morgan another local writer and listen to her also share willingly her pearls of wisdom on how she had given up her full-time well-paid job at the local library to take up writing full time and what a success. A real inspiration and happy to share.

IMG-7470

More on Leanne has just appeared in the local Kapiti paper, summing up after achieving her dream of writing one book this led to many, many others being written and to great accolades and success. In fact, in her first year she made $54,000 followed by almost four times that much in the following year. Enough that she could entice her Fireman husband into her taking early retirement from the traditional kiwi office type job and take up writing full time.

Yes – dreams really do come true and all here on the Kapiti Coast!

Sharks With Lipstick – Cover Design Approved!

Here is a teaser for our new book “Sharks With Lipstick” by Hinemura Ellison and Ted Hughes.

The first book in their Trinty Trilogy, which follows three friends, Sven, Clara & Freya’s chaotic misadventures in their professional and personal lives.

SWL ePub Cover_Mark

The art work has been approved and we are pleased to showcase their design, with the book to be launched any moment!