Friday, 30 March 2012

Running up the flagpole

Ratty's been a little subdued and thoughtful of late. He was full of confidence when he first became Rosa Mira Books' Sales Department, but for all his panache (and somewhat distracted by fatherhood) he realises he has to find some way to grab the attention of thus-far-unsuspecting thousands of readers of RM's exceptional ebooks. 

However, he woke up this morning with 'a brilliant idea'. He'll erect a flagpole that will soar high above the kerfuffle and hubbub of all other human (or rodent or dasypodidae) endeavour. Creatures great and small will gaze up in wonder as they try to decipher the colourful emblems rippling in the jetstream.

With no abiding confidence in her husband's woodworking skill, Lily deemed it best to take the ratadilloes away to the river for a picnic. She's left Ratty's lunch on a tray, including the last gherkin on the jar, and a tankard of kefir yeast drink.

As he works, Ratty mutters under his breath like a mantra the names of the lovely ebooks he'll hoist into the ethers: The Glass Harmonica. Road Markings. Slightly Peculiar Love Stories.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Waving a hanky

I'm always interested to hear what Rosa Mira authors are up to and I was delighted to see that one of the Slightly Peculiar Love Story authors, Linda Niccol, is raising funds to make a film of her short story 'The Handkerchief' — which is a delicate and peculiar love story, one that I considered for the collection; I was spoiled for choice when it came to Linda's work.

Anyway, Linda's project is posted with PledgeMe, billed 'New Zealand's first crowd-funding platform' so anyone who wishes can go and make a pledge, large or small, towards the making of that film. Check it out here.

Don't forget that a dedicated ereader is not required for reading Rosa Mira's books; if you download a PDF, it reads beautifully on the computer screen.

RMB authors, let me know what you're up to.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Digital reading in the wilds

Lily the pink fairy armadillo bought herself a reading tablet duty free on her recent trip to Argentina. This means that as the ratadilloes loll about on the heatproof board in the bottom of the bath, and dusk falls, Lily can still see the words. On hand is a bucket of cold in case her babies begin to cook.

Reading cautionary tales from Struwwelpeter, Lily wonders whether the children will sleep a wink after hearing 'The Dreadful Story About Harriet and the Matches'.  She flicks over to Just So Stories, and begins 'The Beginning of the Armadilloes': This, O Best Beloved, is another story of the High and Far-Off Times. In the very middle of those times was a Stickly-Prickly Hedgehog, and he lived on the banks of the turbid Amazon, eating shelly snails and things. . .

'Shelly snails! We want shelly snails for tea!' comes a cry from the bath tub.

Lily switches off the reading device and picks up the towels, hoping that Ratty will have the grass-grub goulash ready to serve by the time she and the littlies have trotted home across the paddocks.

Friday, 16 March 2012

The Rat speaks of Love

An unorthodox love story for every mood.

 Okay, here's good news for all of you who very nearly bought a copy of Slightly Peculiar Love Stories but did your sums and reckoned that 10 USD would badly bend the budget. Now you can have it for 5 USD (today that's NZ $6.09, in case you're wondering). Just shoot over to the website and follow the steps to collect your Mobi file (if you have a Kindle), or ePub file (for almost any other reading device) or a PDF if you choose to read on your computer.

I was nibbling at the love stories again the other day and thinking how toothsome and moreish they are. A fresh crop of excerpts is on show here.

Here you see me doing the standing back arch, or Urdhva Hastsana. I plan to hold this pose indefinitely, in at least 250 places simultaneously.

I'm to be imprinted on business cards, for dispersal to friends, strangers, commuters and other readers of digital books. If anyone would like a handful to sow on their own patch, leave a message below.

And feel free to FB this blog, or tweet it, or otherwise pass it on. I'm not standing here with a crick in my neck for nothing.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Placing the Apostrophe

Warm, excited, and wistful things are being said by readers of Road Markings.  Like The Glass Harmonica, it has a timeless quality, and rewards re-reading. I like to think that such virtues will set Rosa Mira Books apart as the shelf fills up.

Meanwhile, the ratadillos have grown. They spend their days playing in the paddocks, now and then in the green plastic heat-vent-tubing their mother Lily obtained, thinking it would accustom them to the labyrinthine burrows of the pampas where she'll take them now and then to visit the pink fairy armadillo whanau (extended family).

In the illustration you see Dasychord steering her brother Isgar in the direction of a playmate he has yet to meet. (Isgar is wearing a sock, not because the artist made a hash of his face, oh no, but because it's more fun to experience dark moments of suspense when you're about to meet a new lifelong friend.)

Introducing the infant hedgehog, Apostrophe.

Monday, 12 March 2012

A review and an opportunity

"Road Markings is no ramble and Jackson has much bigger fish to fry than nostalgic recall. In fact, he has a fish about the size of Maui’s ..."

So runs the review two weeks ago in the NZ Listener. You can read the rest here.

 Also. My friend in Argentina, Elena Bossi, has edited a collection of interviews with people of Puna, the high grasslands where Bolivia, Chile and Argentina meet in the Andes. She has worked into the volume poetry and prose originating in the region, along with photos — all of which reveal something of the soul of the people. You can read more about PUNA on my other blog, and you can take your own free copy of the book, which is written in Spanish, here: PUNA in PDF

Elena is a terrific writer who has received accolades for her fiction, criticism and plays so, while I am (as yet!) unable to read this book and to recommend it in its particulars, I know you will be in very good hands. You can read her story 'The Ache' in Slightly Peculiar Love Stories.