Ten things I learned from Minecraft

Minecraft isn’t just a game, it’s life. You can learn so much from it if you pay attention. And breed enough llamas.

I fell in a Minecraft hole recently. I didn’t know version 1.16 had just come out, that was just a happy surprise.

Love my blue fire.

Yes, I probably lost a good bit of writing time building a new castle, but Minecraft isn’t just a game of digging and building. It also contains important life lessons.

Here are ten of mine.

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Dragons from Micah with love**

Micah Chaim Thomas (Writer. Artist. Difficult to explain.) honoured me with some dragon art loosely inspired by my fantasy novel in progress.

** Yes, I added the “love” part, but giving a person a dragon is a form of love, so I don’t apologise.

The talented and enigmatic Micah Chaim Thomas (@micah_chaim on Twitter) recently deemed me worthy of receiving dragons from him. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to deserve this honour (since I don’t have a dog).

The first challenge was to explain the dragons in my book without having to share my first draft prose. (Yes, I know I’m on the tenth draft, but I rewrote so much that most of the scenes aren’t.)

Big, scaly, wings, claws. They’re not evil, but they’re not fond of humans. And they have oppressive minds. You meet a dragon and you want to worship it.

Somewhere in the middle of explaining I got an effusive “yes!”.

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What we all need right now: pictures of cute animals

We’re living through a momentous time in history, which means that right now life is scary and it sucks. I know you don’t want to hear more about the coronapocalypse, so here are some cute animals to brighten your day.

I wanted to write a blog post to reach out to people who are having a hard time in the pandemic–and that’s a lot of people–but the last thing most people want to hear is more about coronavirus. And that’s a problem, because right now coronavirus is all I can think about.

Finally I figured out a solution: cute animal pictures.

You’re welcome.

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Alecia goes tramping

Recently I went tramping in New Zealand and didn’t die. Plus I came back with some photos. If you’re nice to me I might let you look at them.

Last weekend I went tramping overnight in the Southern Alps (that’s a big mountain range in the South Island of New Zealand). I used to tramp a lot, but for one reason or another it’s been some time.

New Zealand doesn’t have snakes, poisonous spiders, bears, crocodiles, ticks, killer koalas, bigfoots (bigfeet?), or toxic sharks.

The thing most likely to kill you in the bush (which is what we call our native forest) is the weather.

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Oh, you’re from New Zealand!

This is a short post because I’m not actually here today.

I’m a Kiwi (New Zealander for any ignoramuses out there) but some time ago I spent six years living in the US.

Americans seemed to think Kiwi accents are adorable, though I was frequently mistaken for being British or Australian.

When I pointed out I was in fact a Kiwi, in 99% of cases I got one of two responses:

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