Category Archives: Arts & Culture

The Wind That Slices – Part Two

Part two of my “just do it” university project. If I wait for it to be perfect, it will stay in my laptop forever!

Rulers never die alone

The king was dying. Drako, Ajawal of the City of a Thousand Islands, had lain ill in bed for weeks, barely able to move, but he knew today was to be his last in this life. The cold seeped through his body, turning his bones to ice as he fought to take each breath. Beyond the silken curtains that enveloped his bed, and as befitted a great ruler, he could hear the court quietly chanting, standing vigil in the hope that he would rise and once again be their powerful and strong leader. It was the fate of all rulers to never die alone. Continue reading The Wind That Slices – Part Two

The Wind That Slices – Part One

Welcome to my story. This is a university project which is based on the saying that the enemy of the good is the perfect.  I normally write stories that languish on my lap top because I think they need more work. My challenge for the project is to draw an image and write a chapter a week and post it no matter what.  I have written for work for years but I am trying to move into fiction. I always loved drawing but never did it because I thought I wasn’t good enough, but now I want to do it no matter what. As they say, if you love something and can’t do it well, then love doing it badly! And the beauty of digital is you can go back and edit. All comments and feedback welcome and I hope you enjoy my story. Thanks for reading.

The Wind That Slices

In the mountainous regions of the North, so the legend goes, parents warn their children to beware of the sickle weasels. These mystical creatures ride the swirling freezing whirlwinds of this frozen region with claws as strong as steel and as sharp as razors, fur as spiny as a hedgehog, and a bark like a dog. They move so quickly that they are invisible to the naked eye, and they come and go on the wind.

The tales say that they travel and attack in threes – striking out at people from thin air. The first slices at the victim’s legs, knocking him to the ground. The second one uses its fore and hind legs to slice the victim with thousands of wicked cuts. And the third? He applies a magical salve which seals the wounds instantly so that none prove fatal. It is said that they strike with such precision that the victims can lose chunks of flesh without even a drop of blood spilled. The attack and the healing happen so fast that the victim doesn’t even perceive them; he merely trips and gets up with a bit of pain and a few scratches here and there. Or so they think. But over time, the victim slowly fades away. The wound may have been sealed but it never heals.

But this is just a fable, a story, a myth, to scare naughty children and foolish people. Although my children, the wind that slices does indeed exist. But it is not a weasel, it is not the wind, it is a who. And someone is seeking this wind and wishes to summon them. And once they are summoned, there is no escaping them, for who among us can turn the wind?

Read part two

William Travilla’s stunning costumes for Marilyn Monroe

The 1953  musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, screened at the Auckland Film Festival a few years ago, so I took my mum and daughter along to watch it on the big screen. There is a particular scene where Marilyn and Jane enter the ship’s ballroom and literally bring it to a standstill as they look so stunning. It had the same effect on the movie audience, who actually gasped as they appeared onscreen.

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell render everyone speechless just by walking into a room.
Although they are extraordinarily beautiful women, seeing Marilyn on the big screen brought home why she was such a massive star. No matter who she is with, she just steals the screen with a luminous beauty and presence that I don’t think has been replicated since. Continue reading William Travilla’s stunning costumes for Marilyn Monroe

The Time Richard Dean Anderson Met the Kiwi Brain Scientists

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It can be a peculiar job working in communications and marketing. Most of it is writing copy for websites no one ever reads, or creating communications plans for boring products that you know are crap. Sometimes, however, the Gods of marketing smile upon you and a fun gig comes along. Next thing you find yourself tootling around Auckland in your red Toyota Yaris (1.3litres of raw power) with an iconic TV star of the 80 and 90s.

So it happened that I found myself on a warm day in March ferrying MacGyver and Stargate SG1 star Richard Dean Anderson the short hop up the hill from the Pullman Hotel in Auckland City to the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland Medical School. Along with us, crammed in the back of my mum car, was his road manager and good friend Paul Brown. Continue reading The Time Richard Dean Anderson Met the Kiwi Brain Scientists

Down the Rabbit Hole With Tickled

David Farrier with the nice tickling guy.
David Farrier with the nice tickling guy.

Two years ago, on May 6, 2014 to be exact, Auckland journalist David Farrier tweeted that he was “chasing a little story about bizarre ‘competitive tickling’ videos that are appearing on Vimeo.” Last week I saw the end result of the “little story” that lead Farrier and his friend Dylan Reeve down a very deep rabbit hole that led to the dark side of the internet, sexual fetish, and human nature.
Continue reading Down the Rabbit Hole With Tickled

Beasts of the Southern Wild

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“Everybody loses the thing that made them. The brave men stay and watch it happen. They don’t run.”

The New Zealand Film Festival is on and a lot of great films are on show. However, I think this will be my favourite; it was so unique and such a triumph of imagination that I have been thinking about it ever since. The young actress who plays Hushpuppy ( Quvenzhane Wallis) is a force of nature and through her eyes we are transported back to the time when imagination is as powerful as reality and, in fact, merges with it. It is a magical place to return to, if only for the span of a movie. See it if you can.

www.beastsofthesouthernwild.com