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: JULY 2020
I’ve been living in New Zealand with my husband and two boys for almost 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, so as horrible as that has been for my family, it has forced us all to slow down and take a good, hard look at what is important and necessary. He is slowly recovering and able to do more work, but he is still not 100%
Despite the stress and fear around COVID-19, and the subsequent countrywide lockdown, my life didn’t change all that much. My family and I adopted a new routine as best we could but 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. New Zealand came out of lockdown and entered Level 1 on the 9th June. However, due to new cases still entering the country, 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 for a Sir Julius Vogel Award in the Best Collected Work category.
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” — will be 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.
Since September 2019 I worked with a team of eleven other people to collate and edit a canine-themed charity anthology to support the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. This was released in May 2020 and was celebrated with a virtual launch party. 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
I’ve been engaging in “composting time” and taking a moment to slow down while also writing articles for other blogs and sending off the occasional short story. 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 which will be available online soon.
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 book reviews for other blog sites, but my plans for the collaborative horror-based project HorrorFic21 are on pause for now as instead I will be releasing two brand new books.
‘All the Laird’s Men’ is a post-apocalyptic creature-feature horror novella which will be available as an ebook from the 22nd August, while ‘Beach Glass and Old Bones’ is my second short story collection which will be released in November (exact date TBC).
I also aim to finish my YA elvish fantasy novella which I have been writing for my children, on and off, since Christmas 2018.
Later this year I will be returning to Well-Written and writing for wellness by offering a new, short, online course for all, which will focus on “Finding Your Wildness.”