Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sandra Hyatt (Hyde), 1965-2011

(From the outgoing president of RWNZ:)

It is with deep sadness that I announce that longtime RWNZ member, Sandra Hyde (published as Sandra Hyatt), died in hospital yesterday - Sunday August 21 - after being taken suddenly ill while attending RWNZ's conference in Auckland.

Those of you who saw her at the conference cocktail party on Friday night, her usual bubbly self, will find this news hard to believe. However, as we understand it, Sandra had an undetected cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which would have been present since birth. This weekend, the AVM caused a bleed in her brain. Its location and severity made it inoperable.

As an organisation, we mourn the loss of an RWNZ member renowned for her warmth and generosity, and of a talented writer. As individuals, we mourn the loss of the best kind of friend. Even more, our hearts go out to Sandra's husband Scott Hyde, and their teenagers Sarah and Matthew.

Sandra's funeral will be held this Thursday August 25, at 1pm, at Clevedon Presbyterian Church, 3 Papakura-Clevedon Road (at the roundabout in the middle of Clevedon).

RWNZ would like to put together an album of photos of Sandra for her family - this may be an electronic album, given that many of us will have photos taken on digital cameras and cell phones at resolutions too low for decent printing. If you have any photos, or any questions, please email them to .
If you have any photos taken on the weekend, those might of use for Sandra's funeral. We would love to receive them as soon as possible - again, please email to

Thank you and kind regards

Abby Gaines

President, RWNZ Inc.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

RWNZ Annual Conference - Love and Other Crimes - August 2011

The conference is upon us. This year, it's my privilege to help organise the raffles, and the prizes are fan-ta-bulous! I'm almost ready, too:
  • cold reads, check
  • money for the raffle tickets, check
  • credit card for new books, check
  • black V to keep me awake driving to the conference at 6.30AM, check
  • pitches to editors... er... I guess I'll have to wing it
Weekend of writing, here I come!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Speed Dating - How Soon Can You Tell?

When do you know that the guy is Mr Maybe Right, somebody you'd like to date? After a month of friendship? After hooking up at a party? After a one-night stand?

Scientists tell us, that actually you can tell within the first minute, a fraction of a minute maybe. The chemistry is either there, or it's not. That's why speed dating is so popular: instead of spending a whole dinner date with somebody you may or may not fancy, you get to meet ten potential date candidates.

You may have a list of questions to ask them, you might even have a list of requirements in mind. No matter. If the attraction is there, you'll know.

Now, if only there were a research paper to tell us whether a given relationship will last....