This is a Now Page. Inspired by American entrepreneur Derek Sivers it tells you what and how I’m doing, right now.
A Now Page is different to social media. It helps me give you a bigger picture about the projects I’m focused on, the things I’ve achieved, and what my goals are for the future.
LAST UPDATED: AUGUST 2020
I’ve been living in New Zealand with my husband and two boys for over three years (since July 2017) and I can’t imagine living anywhere else now. I split my time between teaching at home and continuing to write. I take myself out for a walk (almost) every day, regardless of the weather, and I spend time every morning documenting the things that are important to me in a physical Life Journal.
My husband suffered a head injury which resulted in a bad concussion in February, and as horrible as that was for us as a family, it also forced us all to slow down and take a good, hard look at what is important and necessary. He is almost fully recovered now and able to do more work, and I am beyond grateful for the excellent health care teams in New Zealand and the support we have received from others.
Despite the stress and fear around COVID-19, and the subsequent countrywide Level 4 lockdown in March, my life didn’t change all that much. My family and I adopted a new routine as best we could but we also gave ourselves permission to take each day as it came. We have tried hard to focus on the positives and keeping ourselves safe and well, as well as being busy, staying connected and keeping our humour about us.
After a 102 days of no new cases in the community, New Zealand is back in Level 2 lockdown (Level 3 in Auckland) and the situation is always fluid and open to change. We remain prepared and vigilant.
Good Stuff Worth Mentioning
I turned 41 at the beginning of April in the middle of Level 4 lockdown, but it was perhaps one of the nicest and most fun birthdays I’ve had in a long time. My family made me special gifts, and my husband grew me sunflowers. I spent time catching up with friends over the internet, dressed up in my favourite clothes, and ate far too much sticky chocolate cake. Bliss.
My debut short story collection Dark Winds Over Wellington: Chilling Tales of the Weird & the Strange was nominated and shortlisted for a Sir Julius Vogel Award in the Best Collected Work category. I didn’t win this time, but maybe next year.
A reprint of “Fake Meat” from Dark Winds… was accepted into a charity anthology Infected, Tales to Read at Home and another, original story — “Long Drop” — has been included in an upcoming antipodean anthology from Things In The Well.
Back in February I wrote an article for Ginger Nuts of Horror to celebrate Women In Horror Month. “Who is Ellen Ripley?” has since been updated and reprinted as the lead story for the Digital Dead Magazine #16. I will be writing a lot more about Aliens and Ripley in the future.
In May 2020, Things in the Well released the canine-themed charity anthology Black Dogs, Black Tales to support the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. I was the head editor with Cassie Hart and a team of ten others on this project. To date, we have donated almost $1000 to the charity. You can find out more about the project here and buy a copy via Amazon: http://mybook.to/BlackDogsBook
This August, I released my novelette All the Laird’s Men, a creature-feature set in a dystopian future Scotland. You can buy the ebook here.
June was Pride month and I have been busy actively supporting Pride in Horror with Dead Head Reviews as much as I could. I contributed a number of pieces for their archives, including an article on Queer Vampires in Modern Cinema.
I was asked to record a short story for the Hutt Zone at Wellington Access Radio, which was a really fun experience. I’ve also done some story narration for another author, was part of a Book Talk video celebrating Pride in Horror for Dead Head Reviews, and I have recorded a story on video for Wellington City Libraries.
My Sir Julius Vogel-nominated short story collection, Dark Winds Over Wellington, has received some excellent reviews recently both on Goodreads, and in Australian speculative-fiction magazine, Aurealis #132. I was delighted to read: “Each story builds the shape of this alternative Wellington, creating a tangible sense of place and a beautiful ode to the environment that shows true promise in Wood’s capacity for world-building.”
I’m still writing essays and reviews for other blog sites, but my plans for the collaborative horror-based project HorrorFic21 are on pause until 2021.
Instead, I will be releasing another new short story collection. Beach Glass and Old Bones — will be released in November 2020 (exact date TBC).
I also aim to finish and publish the YA elvish fantasy novella which I have been writing for my children, on and off, since Christmas 2018, and I have a much larger writing project planned for next year.