4.27.2015

The Kiwi Files: Rotorua & the Convention


My entire trip to New Zealand, Gentle Reader, was because of one man: Andrew. Andrew and I met at the WorldCon in Melbourne a few years ago. Apparently, he was talking to Pip and Tee and saw me in my checked outfit. He asked who I was and they told him, and then he asked to be introduced.

Andrew's first Gail sighting, image courtesy of him.

Apparently during the course of that meeting, he conceived of the idea of having a steampunk themed convention in Rotorua (steam central) with me, Pip, and Tee. Three years later there I was, flying to New Zealand. Moral of this story? Style will get you anywhere.

Gail Author interview with Andrew photo by Martyn

I've been to New Zealand before and loved it. I had even been to Rotorua. But the AB never has traveled Down Under at all, and neither of us have ever visited the South Island. So the plan was to do the convention first, then fly to Christchurch, where we would pick up a camper van and drive around the South Island for a week and a half, then fly back to Auckland, meet my publishers and explore the city before heading home. Things pretty much went according to plan. Also, because of some tips from people at the con, we added the Steampunk HQ in Oamaru to our list, well worth a visit.


Rotorua is quite beautiful, if a little smelly, and the convention was an intimate gathering of super fans many of whom had traveled quite some distance to be there. In addition to the convention, there was also a steampunk gathering at a beautiful Victorian tea house.

Steampunk Rotorura by Martyn

For some reason, I was feeling the cider on this trip. I really liked a lot of the local ones I tried, they were sweet, but not too sweet. There were some new flavors of Crabbies to try too (which were quite sweet indeed, but I loved them anyway.)



More on food and drink to come. Pip pip!

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
La Belle Assemblee Wednesday, August 1, 1838 Item ID-  v. 20, plate 22

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Fox Glacier and Lake

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
14 Insane Names Victorian Parents Actually Gave Their Kids

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Repetition, Redundancy, and Overused Punctuation—Oh My!


PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.
  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!  
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:

German hard covers for the Parasol Protectorate Books.

Quote of the Day:
“Gamine.” That’s another one of Bea’s words. It means waiflike, only more so and in French. Which I reckon makes it double.
~ Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Like Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

4.24.2015

The Kiwi Files: Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand


So, Gentle Reader, after a fun convention in Rotorura (more to come on that) the AB and I hopped a plane for the South Island, rented a camper van (yes, I camped) and drove around the South Island. Once we left Christchurch (more to come on that too) one of the first places we visited was Oamaru and their wonderful Steampunk HQ.

Steampunk HQ

I don't know how they managed it, but someone got permission to turn this derelict old building into a massive steampunk installation piece. There are two floors inside, including the fab portal room, and a bunch of large rusted machines outside. It mixes sculptural elements with human interface operations, e.g. a pipe organ that makes steam sounds instead of music). Frankly trying to describe Steampunk HQ is like trying to describe steampunk itself, a mite challenging.

Steampunk HQ plaque

The portal, was my favorite. It's a room made of mirrors so that once you step inside and close the door it feels like you are standing in infinity. There is an LED light show as you stand suspended in space, the whole universe around you. It drove me to near Douglas Adams-like verboseness. Also very vertigo educing, if you are prone to that sort of thing. Not me, whatever the opposite of vertigo is, I have that, I adore being very high up.

Random street.

The rest of Oamaru was charming too. We walked around and ate lunch at a pub, because it seemed like the kind of place where one ought to lunch at a pub. We then visited a charming cafe and did all the tourist rambling one is supposed to. We even managed to see wild penguins.

Hotel & cafe

More on NZ to come, sorry to be delayed in posting I'm finding myself a little overwhelmed with catch up right now. What with the Tucson festival, book tour, and this trip I've been (essentially) away from my desk for six weeks! I've managed to maintain while on the go but I put a lot of stuff aside to "deal with when I get back" and now I'm back M&M proofs are immanent. Things never stop, do they?

{Gail's monthly read along for April is The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde}


GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
The Daily Victorian tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Pride and Prejudice Ch 54a Tote Bag

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Corset expert discusses Cinderella waist controversy and, of course, corsets

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
8 Reasons Why Authors Are Assholes


PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.
  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!  
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
80sidol-tumblr fan art of Tunstell Ivy


Quote of the Day:
Prudence Lord A Quote


Like Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.