The problem with social media

The Hall of information has been in the dark quite recently with no new material coming to fruition for quite some time. My efforts towards drafting Clark Thorn Rebellion (book 3) have taken center stage because a deadline for finishing it has been set! As of the middle of July drafting will be finished, my task from now is to pen around 30 to 40 thousand words and wrap things up nice n pretty with a bow and ribbon.

I don’t give much news out often because simply there isn’t. The life of an unpublished author is much spent trying to prove to the world that we are doing something. But a minute by minute update of ‘today I made a cup of tea and wrote 2000 words’ doesn’t make much for blogging entertainment. Much like writers can’t go onto the stage of Britain’s got talent and say they are that. There just isn’t a well spotlighted outlet for budding pensmiths to be noticed (not one that hasn’t pissed me off anyway), you get the self published ones who constantly (and I mean constantly) shove their books up on FB and twitter. They claim to be great and all but most of the time they followed me first, then you expect me to buy your book? I was just being nice by noticing your efforts and clicked like, don’t take the M out of Michael about it.

Social media is a circus full of people saying ‘me, me, me’ and quite honestly after a few years I just cant be bothered with trying to compete with the like mongering and share this and share that, follow me because I am somewhat relevant even though I live under another name and won’t follow you back. I’m a writer and that’s as far as I am willing to take it.

Right now social media for me is just for contact, the whole blogging thing is a bore to me because the train to publishingville hasn’t set sail yet and wont for some time. So this journey to publication much like British rail is currently delayed.

I like writing and will always write but I don’t like social media for what it has become, the land of bullshi**ers and people blowing smoke up their own rear end.

Maybe that’s me being reclusive but nothing would make me more happier than to live in a small community of close family and friends, write stories, send them to publishers and write the next one. I guess we all have that perfect scenario but that’s life.

Moan done, back to my laptop and the world that I control.

The amount of people who do take what I do seriously has stayed at a level amount for nearly two years. I don’t blame people for not taking me seriously, I haven’t been published yet and thus their theory is proved.  But for some of those people around me who do not believe I can write, I can only say two words to ya and that’s Hotel Doom. A play I wrote last year will come to life in the near future and people will finally see what I capable of.

There was another debate…

Last night was yet another date on the election campaign debate tour and I have to say it was rather enjoyable. Good on ya BBC, you put on a decent show (I will ignore the 70’s for now). Talking of shows there were two no shows. The current leaders of Britain Nick Clegg and David Cameron were both absent. Damn did they miss out the action.

In fact the two words Nick Clegg weren’t mentioned once. Does that suggest the liberal democrats are now a lost cause?

So here we saw the five potential downing street parties go head to head about issues in forms of questions raised by the audience. The leaders all introduced themselves and the audience slowly came out of their shells to applaud some of them.

Already I liked this debate more than the 7 way a few weeks prior. There just seemed to be a better energy about things. One common theme of slamming David Cameron indicated that he had been badly advised not to be there. Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish national party even suggested a coalition with Ed Miliband’s labour party just to get the conservatives out.

Nigel Farage came across strong and with relevant points but half an hour in he weirdly insulted the BBC audience. He is quoted to say “This is a remarkable audience even by the left wing standards of the BBC.” We would then see the other candidates lay into Farage somewhat defeating him. Of course the pantomime style booing ensued. Although nearer the end he did get some applause. I will give it to the man, he can talk but is the controversy of UKIP really him?

Ed Miliband did his usual talking to the camera and people at home instead the audience. Although it’s kinda cheesy it does work. Yet again he talked about previous labour getting it wrong, and getting money from a mansion tax.

Leanne Wood from Plaid Cymru (Welsh party) came across likable, but are the needs of Wales the needs of the UK? Her best moment and maybe of the whole debate came from her comment to Nigel Farage about disagreeing with her opponent on the far right (boom boom).

Natalie Bennet of the Green party heavily opposed any type of nuclear weapons when asked about trident. (Cough cough, tell that to the other countries that have nuclear capabilities)

Well I think I have said something about every candidate.

From this debate and with 20 days until voting, I now know who I will be voting for. I t could be 1 of 7 or is it 1 of 5. Either way if you are of voting age in the UK, this BBC debate is definitely worth looking at.

 

ladies man

Ladies man

 

 

Thunderbirds are…….. BACK!!!!!

Calling international rescue, this is ITV and we have nothing to compete with BBC in the family science fiction department. That’s how it would appear to me anyway. The early Saturday evening slot has been a battleground for some time in the UK. With the trend of remaking and re booting blasts from the past (no pun intended) because this show really does begin with a blast.

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In fact you could say it picks up right where Gerry Anderson’s 60’s puppet bonanza left off. Although mostly CGI (something which could put people off) most of the hard-core Thunderbirds fans really liked it. There were plenty of references to the old show keeping those fans in nostalgia city as well as hooking in the younger target audience.

Watching to me felt like the whole concept of Thunderbirds had been re mastered. Including the cool sequences of the Tracy brother’s journey to their numbered aircraft. I know the concept of computer generation compared to intricate models will seem short handed. But the detail was second to none and there was some real sets created. So here we are thrown back into a world of natural and man-made disasters and there is only one group that can save the day. International rescue.

The opening title sequence mirrors the original but this time around every character even the smaller names had much more involvement. Within minutes we were thrown around the globe to various rescue efforts and season length plot lines were spawned and teased to the audience.

Thunderbirds is all about the aircraft and all of the originals were there with some minor updates. Over all I was happy with this reboot/ continuation and will be watching more. But the only disappointment was at the end. It came to our attention that this show would be put out on Saturday mornings, an interesting and maybe idiotic choice. But maybe they see the Saturday morning slot as the big draw.

But there is an online petition to change that, check it out here

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CGI does put people off but I thought it looked decent

 

The first episode being shown slap bang in the middle of a bank holiday weekend was an imperative and important choice from ITV, hopefully one that will attract more people to their channel swamped by bad singers, Simon Cowell and Ant.

FAB

UKIP: Controversy Creates Votes?

 

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We all know that controversy creates cash. But does it get votes? The 2015 general election is quickly approaching and so my main focus this week is UKIP.

Yes the UK independence party. No matter where you stand in British politics you have an opinion about Nigel Farage and his team. I will even admit before the turn of this decade I voted for them, but before the angry mob congregates outside stately Hall manor let me explain.

Before their rise in popularity quite recently, UKIP had this thing about keeping our currency what it is. They were heavily opposed to the Euro and that is my reason for voting. In hindsight I chose wisely but the UK kept the Pound anyway (and boy look how that turned out on the mainland). So pitchforks and torches away, for now.

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Gotta love a decent angry mob

But for much of the country there is a rather strong divide. Some will support UKIP and others will absolutely hate them. Constantly there are headlines in the news, only yesterday was Nigel Farage apparently driven out of a pub by an angry mob of protesters (I can’t vouch how true that is). But never the less his party are in the news, again.

Some will even say UKIP are racists and that they are anti-immigration. They want to tighten the borders and make Britain great again.

The way I see it is more open minded to them. I still don’t know who I will be voting for come May but much like any country there are people from other places here. Britain is a country of a thousand cultures and nothing short of breaking human rights will change that. It’s too far gone and that isn’t a negative. Because these people come this country to work, to pay tax and contribute to society.

Does UKIP want to stop that?

There are many places in the UK where the people desperately want change. Many run down coastal towns that were once predominantly British are an example. Farage is running for Thanet, a coastal constituency. But now these places are feeling the squeeze of this country as a whole changing. If you don’t want your town to keep up with the times then it will only decay further.

Right now, unless any other UKIP parliamentary candidates get removed, will make some ground this coming election. But there aren’t enough run down coastal towns in the UK for them to get into Downing street. But I could be wrong,  I have been before.

This election is the hardest to call, ever. That’s because parties like UKIP are coming out into the spotlight. Unlike labour, conservative and liberal, UKIP are pretty bad at handling image (I might think twice about liberal). They are a young party compared. Time will tell whether or not Nigel’s controversy gang will surpass anything more than a daily mail web edition headline.

What do you think? Personally I know for sure I won’t be voting UKIP, but do you feel different? There are some people who are worried about UKIP, are you one of them?

(Keep it nice and friendly. Any angry or behaviour I deem unacceptable won’t be tolerated and your views won’t be published here, yes the Hall of information can be a dictatorship if need be)

You can hear my opinions in more detail in a podcast known as off the radar, go check out our latest series.

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Before he realized the angry mob was coming his way!

 

The Eclipse 2015: Did you see it or was your view clouded?

I left my house this morning at a somewhat earlier time. Advised by a particular news website (not mentioning names) that when the eclipse happens there will be traffic pandemonium. Half 9 UK time is classed as sill the morning rush hour (yes people get up that late) and that was when this event had been predicted to happen.

Upon walking out into the fresh morning air I couldn’t help but look up to the grey murky low cloud base that covered everything above my chimney line.

Great start  (I did laugh initially like Muttley or even an Hyena)

I expected nothing less than the whole of Britain to be cloudy. In all honesty it’s the only weather we know can cope through without something going wrong. So off I went along my normal drive to work. That being the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory science research facility in Harwell Oxfordshire.

Still the clouds remained and the eclipse time loomed. Looking out of my minuscule 2nd floor workshop window, I could see people starting to gather. Again I looked up at the apparent clouds and that was when a speck of blue shone through.

The damn clouds were clearing. I trudged up the large mound towards the back of site with my boss. Taking out my piece of sh** phone I looked at the clock (my second best app) and then I looked up. There it was the crescent sun. A beaming smile in the sky. Just in time the clouds parted, I did expect the Simpsons theme to kick in at any moment. Ladies and Gentlemen, I saw it. Many others didnt, and the photographic evidence is here.

A decent photo imo! Happy eclipse day! Enjoy my ‘gallery’ below and thanks for actually reading this!

Wait for it...

Wait for it…

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Time to change: More like it’s about time we changed

Never before has society of the free world ever been so aware of mental health. We know so much more about the human brain that we used to but still there is a rather taboo stigmatism towards the whole subject.

If we look back some years, let’s say 1950. A time where cars were on the road (although fewer than today) but the concept has been left unchanged since. You fill up with fuel, you fight traffic, get new tyres, avoid costly maintenance bills and repeat. But recently the electric car has begun to emerge, we have hybrids and more people opt to cycle. Research and development is happening and the world is very much aware of the pollution most standard vehicle causes. People are beginning to think and want to do something about it.

The car is a luxury but the human mind isn’t. After years of medical research we can pretty much diagnose and tell when somebody’s mental health is not so good. But why is our approach so bad?

I don’t want to start a war between two perfectly viable contingents (that being the whole green issue vs mental health). But they seem to care about the long term effects of the planet and not what is happening now in society, that being the wrong perception of mental health. Whether that is depression or any other condition somebody has, back in 1950 you were locked away for the most treatable conditions.

Look how far that has come on.

Having never suffered from any mental health issues I am outside looking in. But I have been mistreated and discriminated at some level. We all have. That’s a part of life and that’s what is happening to people with mental health issues. I have close friends who do suffer with depression, but I have found it’s handled better if you just talk about it. Even asking them about what they are going through helps.

It isn’t difficult to say something nice and if you haven’t got anything nice to say, treat people with a level of respect that you wished to be treated with. That shouldn’t be any different towards people who have mental health issues in any degree. They are people just like us.

The Hall of information is open to anyone and everyone, that includes people who thinks it’s time to change.

There is a campaign currently running for a better work capability assessment. Rethink Mental Illness, the National Autistic Society and Mind are all working in association with each other. Courts have ruled that the WCA is unfair and puts people with mental health issues, autism and learning disabilities at a ‘substantial disadvantage’. So check it out and help change happen.

You can treat and pioneer in medical care as much as possible. But my philosophy as of recent is simply to have the right attitude. If that changes then everything else will follow!

time to change

 

Chappie : A story about a robot about humanity

In the future there will be robots…… You will probably get the rest as you have heard me many times ramble on about the first line of my book.  I was feeling a little anxious as I went into the cinema this past Friday to watch a new film called Chappie.

Anxious because my unpublished work deals with similar issues as seen in Chappie. Robots are centre stage and with me going into watch this film there was a hell of a lot at stake. My reason for this is because one day in the not too distant future I want to see my legacy of novels converted to the big screen. So anything robot related is representing the genre that my life’s work is under. But enough about my internal ramblings.

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From the very beginning Neil Blomkamp ( director of district 9) throws us into a world not that far away from ours. Johannesburg, South Africa. A place where crime is a big problem. So the police have started to draft in newly developed robots to deal with the gangs and violent goings on. Minutes in and we are treated to spectacular action.

Many of these police robots are involved and you know sometimes there’s that moment : ‘oh that’s a bit fake’. I’m not sure how they did it, whatever sorcery was involved worked. Because I was led to believe every robot I saw, engaging in combat was actually there.

The story continues to unfold and we are introduced to some well-known faces such as Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Dev Patel. But they were matched by some rather unknowns who to me stole the show. Our title character begins life as a police robot and takes on heavy damage early in the first action sequence. This runs in parallel with some swanky new software being developed by Patel pulling an all nighter on red bull.

This software allows a robot to simply be human in terms of emotion and feelings. He can learn and is influenced by the people around him and from what he is told. The ultimate theme and concept that is familiar in all robot stories. But this time they got it so damn right.

Chappie is born and the real story begins. I found myself thoroughly enjoying this film. There were nods to Robocop and many of the 80’s sci fi classics in terms of certain themes and sequences. As much as it felt like one of those classics this also felt like a modern day better version of these productions.

I wouldn’t be able to compare this film or story to anything ever done on screen. It’s a fantastic original piece and represents the robot genre immaculately. There were moments when I laughed out loud and times when I was truly moved. Mostly by this robot who was just trying to find his way in the world. The story to me was beautiful, I have only been quoted once to say that about Titanic. Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet falling in somewhat doomed love whilst one of the worst disasters in history unfolds around them. This is all heightened by that tragedy. It’s perfect and although chappie isn’t as much a Romeo and Juliet story it still gives the same effect.

Although the action was quite violent in places, it was suitable for what Neil Blomkamp was trying to tell us. This film wasn’t about robots in the end, it was about humanity and its ability to make you laugh and make you cry with every other emotion in between. But it takes for something not human to try and be human for us to see that. (yes read that last sentence twice and slowly)

I came away thinking what an exceptional film and story. One film that I do recommend you seeing because it may not make you laugh or move you but it will certainly get you in one way or another.

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The film had some great thought provoking moments much this one

 

Should I self-publish? What do you think?

I’ve been here before, again I’m at a point where letters are going out to literary agents and there’s this thought; ‘why am I doing this?’ Now to get my reasoning for this blog post straight. I am not looking for attention or pat on the back. Yes I know one day my train will set sail and all but what I need right now is constructive advice.

The self-help books have been read, the various forums looked at. Some of closest friends consulted but still there is no answer as to whether or not I should self-publish my first book Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project. Everyone I go to is sitting beside me on the same side of the rather large castle wall. That castle being publication. There is nobody I know, that I could consult with a trustworthy decision or ounce of advice who is on the other side of that wall. Don’t get me wrong I take everyone’s advice on and I am thankful for that.

Now I know literary agents have to be selective and have got to choose the right project for them. They stick up various filters such as the want for a synopsis and a ‘standard’ cover letter. Why shouldn’t they, at the end of the day they only want the very best and they are in the position to want that.

But am I in that position also. Why should I choose the ‘traditional’ route. For all I know every agent that has ever looked at my book could think it’s a pile of shit. But that still doesn’t stop me because I know people are successful and have been successful for producing a lot less.

It does help to be talented at something in this world but it isn’t vital for success. Right now I don’t know, much like last year and when I opened the Hall of information. My idea now of self-publication is finding a relatively decent company/service whom I could pay to help me out. I am currently writing book 3 whilst book 1 is gathering dust. Wouldn’t it be better for me to build a readership by self-publishing?

I am fully open to suggestions. The floor is open for anyone to give me any constructive advice? Comments are welcome.

Into the words I go : Without looking back once

No the title of this post isn’t a typo, but yet another attempt of witty word play. The Hall of information is back from quite a lengthy absence. But why have I been away?

My body had decided to recall an old friend called asthma in between two weekends that I played Robin Hood in a local amateur pantomine. After every arrow fired, men in tights danced and damsels in distress had been saved it was quite safe to say my anatomy was both physically and mentally drained.

So he’s pulling the sick card, I hear some of you say?

No but I mean drained, my right ear is still currently blocked (a sinus issue the NHS has led me to believe)

Quite honestly my energy to blog at the best of times is lousy so throw all of the above in and the Hall of information is a desolate place.

Seems quite bleak, but in adversity comes the best of stories. I have thrown myself back into the words of my novels and never before have I been so driven to write!

A week ago I printed my first novel in its entirety. Holding what I have created for the first time filled me with a drive to continue on. A real book written by me in my hands!

Unpublished, I continue with 2 full novels and a third in progress. Many times I ask myself why carry on with writing Clark Thorn 3? Nobody has offered me any representation for the first book.

Much like when I looked into the audience of Iver Heath new village hall and said to myself,

“I love this place”

I do the same every time I open Microsoft word and look at the pages I have written,

“I love this story and that’s all that matters to me”

People will always doubt and refuse to like my facebook page. They simply don’t believe I will ever get published. That’s fine, it feels better to prove someone wrong anyway.

I am willing to take my story through hell and out the other side to get it out there, and the reason I do it, because my dream is for the world to see my work. Giving up isn’t an option now nor will it be an option later.

There are only a few things you need to be a success in this world at any level:

Talent, which I don’t believe I have an ounce of (so not vital).

A good attitude, check sort of.

Hard work, (pivotal to anybody who is successful)

I love performing on stage but since I was twelve I have loved writing and telling stories. My future will always side to written word.

Right now I am writing book 3 with publication of book 1 firmly in sight!

It will happen one day, that’s a fact.

The Hall of information is back people, whether you like robot criminals or not!

 

 

 

 

COMPETITION TIME : Read my book for free!

Originally posted on Lee's Hall of information :

‘In the future there will be robots. They will look like us, work with us and even try to be us. But they are not us.’

Since august the Hall of information has been building a following! People from all corners of the world, mostly US and UK have been reading the various reviews and ramblings I have had to offer.

In my efforts to gain blog supremacy I am going to run a competition! In conjunction with this competition I am happy to announce that the first chapter of my book, CLARK THORN AND THE WARRIOR PROJECT, has made its way onto this site and you can read it for free!

The competition is simple, read my work and leave a few comments reviewing what you thought.

A winner will be selected, I will be taking into account what you thought (obviously) and if you are a follower…

View original 58 more words