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I had a day-long meeting in Auckland yesterday (I know: Sunday. It’s a writer’s life…). A lot of my meetings these days are online or conference calls. It’s efficient but lacks the extras: the ‘around-the-edges’ stuff and the chance to step outside your own space. Like sharing a few laughs with the shuttle driver about Auckland’s excess of meetings and traffic and unsatisfactory weather, and discovering we'd double-booked with the Christmas Parade (it passed us by mid-agenda, but Aotea Square was still pumping at 5pm). And this morning it was another job I could cross off the list. I’d be lost without lists. Maybe it’s a sign of an ageing brain – or maybe just of my tendency to try to pack t

Carnivals and coming treats

Time might fly when you’re having fun, but it flies faster when you’re mega-busy. Of course, the ideal is when you’re having fun being busy, and the last month has seen plenty of that. NZ Book Week, Bookshop Day and the inaugural HB Arts Festival filled a frantic but fabulous three weeks in late October-early November: action packed, event-filled and totally entertaining. The Festival was held in the globe-trotting Spiegeltent, a 1920s confection of fancy woodwork, stained glass, mirrors, theatre flats and canvas that captures and combines the vibe of carnivals, circuses and speak-easy nightclubs. It certainly drew the crowds and most event were booked out; HB audiences enjoying the best of

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iBooks Best  of 2014
Donnel's Promise
by Anna Mackenzie