Blog

Networking: the Dark Side of Freelancing

Freelancers work in isolation. I’m not in a studio, or an office block. I’m not rubbing shoulders with other designers. There’s just me. Usually, I love it that way. It’s comfortable. But it does leave me short-resourced — I need to ‘network’ to find collaborators with complementary skills, like...

To Blog or Not to Blog? (My Examination of Motive)

I might quit blogging. It might be a good thing. A healthy thing. There have been a variety of reasons for my blogging, across the timeline, but right now there’s no other reason than this: I’ve published a blog post every week since June last year. That’s not even a...

The appeal behind Apocalypse and Dystopia in fiction

Dystopian worlds are braced within a malevolent system, apocalyptic worlds are breaking apart, and post-apocalyptic ones are picking up the pieces. They’re all hell on earth. And they’re all spectacular. I hadn’t examined the reasons why I like to read novels set in apocalyptic and/or dystopian environments. It simply...

How to read what a job ad’s not saying

Most people understand that when a real-estate advertisement promotes a property as ‘ideal for first-home owners’, they mean ‘nobody would live here if they could afford somewhere else’. And when those ads label a house a ‘DIY dream’, they mean ‘the roof is currently held on by duct tape’....

Poem: Without a Name (A Response to Angsty Heartbreak Poems)

I don’t always agree with with Past-Me. She made some stupid choices, and she thought some stupid things. (Like 5ive being better than the Backstreet Boys. She probably based that opinion more on her own hormonal response than on musical acumen.) But she seemed just as unmoved by angsty...

Your Memories are Lying to You

The grass, apparently, is always greener wherever we’re not. I haven’t lived in Queensland, Australia, for almost 10 years now. But I remember it fondly. Especially when winter hits, and in New Zealand everybody stops ageing for several months. Unfortunately, memories often lie, and if I wasn’t such an...

Book Review: Lexicon by Max Barry

A thrilling novel has to have the right balance of plausibility. If it tips too far in either direction, the thrill is replaced with either revulsion or ridicule. Too much plausibility, and it becomes a novelisation of horrific evening news reports. (I don’t know anyone who watches those for...

What is Christian Fiction?

Every public library I know of has a designation of ‘Christian Fiction’ among their genre sets. Yet ‘Christian Fiction’ seems to be a collection of characteristics that are vague and varying. And a term that can mean several different things isn’t a helpful term at all. For the purpose of...

Learning to Cook by Watching People Who Know

I have many skills. I know how to dance the chorus choreography to 5ive’s ‘Baby, When the Lights Go Out’. I know how to take a blood sample from a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I know how to burp on command. But I can’t cook. I’ve blogged about this frustration before....

Learning NZSL in a real live classroom

I finally did one of the things I’d scheduled for the elusive ‘One Day’: I went to a New Zealand Sign Language class. A real one. With a real live teacher and real live people. People who looked just as fidgety and unsure as I did. I’d already concluded...