My Final Blog of the Year

The year is coming to an end and this will be my last entry into my Hall of information. Season 2 comes to a close just as it opened in September, that is with uncertainty of where it’s actually going. Slowly my following is increasing, my posts well some of them have been engaging enough for people to click that ‘follow’ button and for that I salute you.

It really isn’t easy finding something to write about every week but since august I have managed to do that. Whether it’s about writing or something popular at the time my Hall of information is exactly that now, full of information.

Then it turned into this

Lee Facing was a short lived craze that took off in August this year

 

My whole premise is to build a following that will build a platform that can help me get published. Clark Thorn and The Warrior Project is my first book, set in the future where robots look just like us but they are not us. Their crimes begin to emerge and society needs to take note, that’s the job of Clark Thorn and young man who sets to change things for the good. A ordinary person who strife’s to succeed in extraordinary circumstances for a unique cause. Much like me they echo between.

I see people around me, my age and now sometimes younger getting publishing deals and it twists my heart a little. Seeing other writers have success is great and all but that’s what I want. I plan to write six books about Clark and then his son Jack. It’s kind of disheartening when you want to write book 3 and book 1 gets rejected for the hundredth time. But I won’t give up!  My new campaign to approach agents and publishers is in process and will come to fruition in January. Maybe 2015 will be my year!

It’s that time of year where we all reflect upon what we have actually achieved and what we haven’t. Many of us consolidate those un-successes into new year’s resolutions. For the last few times my resolutions have been simple. To carry on and move forward one step at a time.

Much of my break will be spent read/editing my second Clark Thorn book as I want to get back into drafting his third adventure.

My final note on this blog would be a nod to all those we have lost this year. Some key influences of mine in and out of the spotlight have left us and it’s up to us to keep their legacy from fading away.

I wish all my followers a happy festive season and a productive 2015.

boooks

 

 

 

OMG Movies Everywhere: And they are good ones! : Terminator, Star Wars, Exodus, Dumb and Dumber to, Annie, the theory of everything….

Ok so Christmas is quickly approaching and it seems that there are literally films being thrown towards it from all directions.

T’is the season for next years movie blockbuster trailers it seems, but come with me if you want to live! By that I mean firstly survive a holiday season jam packed (not marmalade packed oh no) full of films. In fact this blog is so full of movie preview goodness I have no choice but to make it a feature length offering!

the force

The new star wars looks decent

 

The last few weeks has seen a sneak peak of Jurassic World’s offering followed by a full trailer, that was then followed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer which was then followed by Terminator Genisys.

schwarzenegger

He’s back, again. Click on me if you want to live and watch my trailer

 

As I said last week on my Facebook page Oh my f***ing god he’s back!  I imagine next year to be a record breaking box office affair especially after the new James Bond was announced also! Films everywhere!

But that isn’t all, here’s the rundown of what’s coming out this month first (and January)! (Some will only apply to UK but waving to readers from other places)

 Dumb and Dumber To (19th December UK)

dumb 2

Great to see these legends back together!

“No way, that’s great. WE LANDED ON THE MOON!” The trailer has been around for a while now and so has the rumor of this comedy establishment getting a sequel. One of my all time favourite films as a child, as a teen and as an adult. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are back for gags, laughs and physical comedy. Daniels has been quoted to say something like, ‘you may not like all of the gags or laughs but we will get ya’. Sounds awesome!

 

 Night at the Museum : Secret of the Tomb (19th December)

Yes Ben Stiller returns along with Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke , Ricky Gervais and many more in this star studded magical mild action. Many Robin Williams fans will be going to see this by default simply to tribute the legend that was. Trailer here.

 

frigginnight A Merry Friggin Christmas (not sure on release date or if it comes out in the UK)

I came across the trailer for this last week . There’s shades of the typical Christmas disaster film about a family who spend the holiday with their extended family of misfits. One of them includes Robin Williams. The premise seems to be mother forgets to bring presents and has to go on a road trip back to get them. I was sold by the fact there was a hobo santa character, other cast members include: Oliver Platt, Clark Duke and Lauren Graham.

Swords and sandals blockbuster time!

Exodus: Gods and Kings (26th December)

Christian Bale leads the way as Moses in this epic looking offering from Ridley Scott. The Moses story with an all star cast of a godly persuasion include: Aaron Paul, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and John Turturro. Trailer here.

moses 2

I’m Moses (In a batman accent)

 

 

 

 

 

Annie (not so much swords and sandals, 26th December)

annie

The holiday blockbuster season wouldn’t be the same without a musical and a remake so luckily enough this ticks both boxes in one sitting. Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx are the headline . Trailer here.

              The theory of everything (2nd January UK)

This looks like a great story of famous physicist Stephen Hawking and the relationship with his wife. It starts before his health deteriorated and shows the legendary journey he has been on. Eddy Redmane and Felicity Jones star. Perfect timing for the award season and it wouldn’t surprise me if it won a gong or two. Here’s the trailer.

theory

 

Jurassic World : a preview

Cue the larger than life orchestra, trumpets and all as you come with me through gates that King Kong would be proud of.

jw gates

Yes I am talking about the 21 year old revolutionary film known as Jurassic Park. But what am I doing talking about something that came out when I was nearly four years of age. Because ladies and gentlemen, we have a t-rex, again!

“Now that’s one big pile of shit” (this is no reference to my blog or Jurassic Park/World)

For many years speculation has got the better of a film series as to whether or not we would see a fourth incarnation. A story that I have been following since leaving the cinema after watching Sam Neil and co get chased around Isla Sorna.

Last week many film fans had their speculation/ prayers answered.  Firstly a sneak peak preview of the full trailer appeared, with a slow piano rendition of the JP theme. (Ticked all the boxes for me in doing things right.) Then the full version appeared and answered many many questions that the previous films didn’t.

“Chaotician, chaoticion”

malcom One particular question is : What happened to the islands that were once a dinosaur theme park? Well the park is open, to the masses. Like a modern Disney land, I guess they had that coupon day after all. And as quick as a dinosaur can eat a blood sucking lawyer from a toilet the trailer was over. But before so, this film has promised something huge, something cojunga! To me that is everything the other three films weren’t.

We know that something will go wrong, that’s the same. But how they deal with it will be different, especially as the trailer showed Chris Pratt navigating a motorbike with velociraptors by his side. Looking at the IMDB page the iconic stars from the first film wont feature, so maybe it’s time a film like this made some new icons.

pratt

Chris Pratt on his Harley Raptor

This does look like a re boot standing on the shoulders of the previous films.

What you have to keep in mind is that when Jurassic park came out, dinosaurs hadn’t been seen like this ever before. I thought they were real, we all did come on. Now the shock factor of that has moved on and something else is required to re create the same magic they did in the 90’s. But the question is can they? Can something like that iconic kitchen scene be matched? Computers and science has moved on so much since those days.

“They should all be destroyed” 

The cast is relatively new, Chris Pratt (guardians of the galaxy and lego movie) is on a roll at the moment and brings a new generation to the very forefront of what could be a completely new take on a wonderful film franchise. I am not the only one hoping they do it justice.  I want to endorse the park, but we will have to see. Reboots and long awaited sequels are the fashion these days, with Dumb and Dumber to and of course that space opera film with light swords, hopefully none of them will disappoint, but are ideas of the past compatible with the film makers of today?

“you name it we got it!”

the 90's

 

Resources for Bloggers

I am one of those people who likes to give something back (without sounding self-righteous) to the people who have followed me so far on this journey . There are just over twenty of you and well, thanks for following, commenting and liking.

Having entered the blogging game quite recently some would probably think who is he to give advice. But here I am so shut up and take it*.

*What ‘it’ is I don’t quite know , and I am sorry for telling you to shut up.

This is my version of a clip show, recapping over the last entries and reflecting slightly.

First of all, no matter what you write about, people will always read about a popular subject. For instance Episode 7 of my first series : Winter is coming. At the time was my most popular entry. Why? Because Game of Thrones is so damn popular, people will want to read about it and particularly what I have to say.

GOT

Example 2: A recent entry about another potential Harry Potter book . I read this on a rather weak news entry online and put my own opinion into it. The results were comments and more followers.

Blogging is becoming a more common thing and anyone can do it. My sole reason is to build a following that will one day buy my first book when it gets published. There is no IF in that statement.

HP

Continuing with advice, I would suggest that blogging to begin with should be kept to a weekly occurrence. That’s just enough time so that people won’t forget you exist and allows time for you to think about putting together meaningful blogs.

The last few weeks material for me has been few and far between, but sometimes a short blog is enough. My previous outing earned me a bigger following and it was pretty light, but people commented and people clicked follow and for that I thank you all. Some even interacted and I am truly thankful for that.

The hardest part when it comes to blogging is staying regular and staying readable, they are my two pillars. They hold up my Hall of Information!

When it comes to titles, most of the time they are pivotal to who will read your stuff. Last week my title contained the word ‘Porn’. Much like rain and wet, porn and the internet will always be best of friends. Something so simple will make or break whether or not an entry gets reads.

I will adapt some of this post and place it in the resources section. If any one from the class would like to add anything then do comment.

 

I found a thing : You should check it out (it’s isnt porn, lol)

So I have found a thing! Unlike sky news when there isn’t any news I don’t make any up. That’s just my style/procrastinationy way of life, currently I am editing my first book yet again and there is no news. But back to this thing, it’s a cool thing, it’s a funny thing, it’s an interesting thing. More about this thing in a minute.

Last night I was driving home and listening to the radio (its only taken me my third car to have this relatively modern function in working order) and a man was talking. He spoke of this thing and about how fun it was to visit the website this thing was on. Ok I have used thing enough (yes I am really trying to draw this out). And no it isn’t porn *

* I have to put this disclaimer because people will worry and many people sometimes don’t read my title,  this especially applies when I cryptically describe something I have found online, most of the time it is porn, but not this time.

I am talking about a website called yougov. A questionnaire/ poll website. They have a feature or thing called profiler. Now this thing is pretty cool, type in a key word. Such as a TV program you like or a favorite food and it will profile you. Go and try it, this thing is fun.

 

yougov

My result highlights were as follows:

Key word : Buffy the Vampire slayer

Apparently I am between 25 and 39, correct!

I am female , no

Hobbies and activities : Using the internet , video games and writing, see this thing is pretty good.

It even tells you who you are likely to follow on twitter.

 

So now I have talked about this thing, go and try it. Tell me the results via the comments and tell me what you used as the key word.

Here’s the link : https://yougov.co.uk/profiler#/ or you can click on the large picture of yougov up there, yes I have the technology to do that!

They will be Remembered

At this time of year in the UK you will see many people with a small red flower pinned to their chest. This poppy represents and serves as a reminder to all those who gave their life in conflict since 1914. The use of a poppy to remember was inspired by the World War 1 poem ‘In Flanders Field’.

I am a big fan of history and to me it is vitally important that everyone who left us in conflict are to be remembered. No matter what level of history it is, we look back at it so we can learn and use this knowledge for the future. The debate on whether or not War is the ‘right’ thing to do has no place for remembering the fallen because they died to create a world that we live in today.

Two minutes silence is served at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month each year in the UK. It is the least we can do to nod towards those who have helped shape this world we live in. Conflict will always happen wherever the human race goes, and we should never measure a man by his conflicts but by his resolutions. That is what makes us superior to every other species in this world.

#LestWeForget   

 

remember them

The Problem with Wrestling : The Wrestling edition

This week were pulling on the Lycra and stepping into the ring.

“The following contest is a wrestling themed blog…….”

flying

Chris Benoit performing his famous diving headbutt

As a prolific wrestling fan during the last decade I remember exactly where I was when the shocking news became apparent of a high profile death with in the business.

I am talking about an accomplished Canadian wrestler who in 2007 was found dead in his Atlanta home along with his young son and wife. (later to be a confirmed as a murder suicide)

It was a Tuesday evening when I put in my VHS that recorded Monday night raw and was met by the chairman of the world wrestling entertainment standing. There he stood in the ring. But the surrounding arena empty. Something was wrong, very very wrong. (to me at this point was my world)

As a trembling Vince McMahon announced that Chris Benoit was dead I immediately said out loud “No”

Here was a wrestler that I had come to like and seen him achieve the greatest of feats within his organisation. Entertain and captivate so many, but then he was gone, and would never be seen again.

The wrestling industry has always interested me on many levels. Whether that be the whole pageantry of the show or the politics behind the scenes. As well as being pure theatre there was something I always admired about it and there were many instances I considered pursuing a career that way. But the most intriguing thing is also a deterrent. That is the amount of wrestlers that have died.

You don’t have to look that far under the surface of this industry to see that so many of these people that have died were under the age of 50.

A worrying statistic is that the Ultimate Warrior who passed earlier this year (heart related) is the 12th wrestler who competed at WWE’s annual show Wrestlemania VI (1990) to have died.

To compare, the Superbowl held that year between the 49ers and Broncos, only one of those players is dead (reference here).

I did speak about this in a podcast earlier this year (off the radar).

ultimate

The Ultimate Warrior earlier this year before his passing

So why is the death rate alarmingly high?

Is it the combination of drugs/rock and roll life style plus a gruelling schedule? Even more worrying so that the WWE is now in a ‘PG’ era. Meaning more and more kids are looking up to these superstars. I do remember a year or so ago I caught an interview (youtube) with Rowdy Roddy Piper who said back in the 80’s everyone was on drugs, whether that be to pick you up before a show and take you back down afterwards.

My favourite wrestler when I used to watch religiously was Jeff Hardy. Even he and his brother have had drug problems in the past, and resulted in his sacking. But they are both still around and working.

More to the point many of wrestler deaths occurred after their tenure in WWE. Of course there are exceptions such as the late Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. So does that leave Vince McMahon with or without blood on his hands. Even after the investigation of Chris Benoit, the findings stated that at the time of his suicide and murder of wife and child he had the brain of an 85 year old alzheimer’s patient. The common factor with both of these deaths was indeed steroids.

McMahon publicly said he didn’t support these findings but to me there is a large amount of blood on his hands.

jeff

Jeff Hardy atop of a ladder in one of his last WWE appearances

Since some of these higher profile deaths a wellness drug policy has phased into WWE but it still isn’t enough. Yeah sure you can pay for someone’s Rehab but once an addict always an addict right? So they acknowledge there’s a problem but it seems the policy is there to protect the game and not the player.

Until Vince McMahon and the WWE start introducing a retirement health plan, wrestlers will keep on dying young.  I hold a great amount of respect for people who step into the squared circle but they do so at a risk. Not so much of injury but of being consumed by the lifestyle it provides.

A good documentary about this can be found on youtube and it centers around Chris Benoit’s story

For all of Chris’ achievements which are many there is never a mention of his name once in WWE programming since his untimely death. I would like to see if that would be the case if someone like Triple H met the same fate.

What do you think? Wrestling fan or not, there is definitely some level of problem.

 

 

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have signed up to follow my Hall of information.

Alton Towers Scarefest Review: Get Corrected

Aptly this is my th13teenth blog (see what I did there?) and it’s Halloween week. Last Thursday and Friday I spent at Alton Towers Resort for their annual scarefest, there were certainly some brown trousers after that!

sanctuary

 

The thick clouds above were beginning to darken. There we were in the gardens of Alton Towers, walking towards a grand Georgian all glass conservatory. But this wasn’t no ordinary manor house, this was the sanctuary.

(eerie organ music perhaps)

We walked into the glass building and  immediately met with a stale musky smell. To our right a small shrubbery area with dead plants, all of them plastered with spider webs and dust. The windows decorated with faded white curtains all around. A piercing buzzing alarm sounded for an instant forcing me to look ahead. As I did a group walked through the large security gate, a nurse dressed in all white slammed it behind them.

I then knew in moments that would also be my fate.

50’s style health posters were plastered all around saying things such as ‘A smile a day, keeps the doctor away’.

smile a day“Welcome to the sanctuary.” The nurse said in what can only be described as a 1920’s accent. Her eyes transfixed on us.

This creepy looking nurse explained to us what would be happening. She took her time and there were many awkward moments of pause.

“Do you understand sir?” She asked me as I smelt the stale musk in the air.

I simply nodded as my eyes met hers. She smiled as the piercing alarm sounded again. A green light mounted on the gate meant it was time to enter the sanctuary.

The nurse opened the gate and we walked forward. Met by a narrow green corridor it continued for a stretch. As we walked the foulest stench could be smelt. It was as if the floor hadn’t been cleaned in years combined with rotting cheese. Maybe a hospital that hadn’t been cleaned in years.

Shuffled to a small opening we were met by what can only be described as an institutionalized doctor. After some shouting and erratic behavior he explained the procedures carried out at the sanctuary and his support for them and for someone called Dr Kelman.

“Do you know what this light means?” He asked pointing to one of the two lights, this one being green.

We presumed it meant things were good.

“But do you know what this light means?”

Obviously bad things. Then it illuminated and the doctor opened a large door. It was now time to go inside the sanctuary.

Walking through the many rooms of this ‘sanctuary’ it was clear to see this certainly wasn’t one. From every corner we were approached by ‘patients’, some snorted at you, others would shout, whilst the odd patient would get close enough to hear you breathing.

Continuing onwards we came to a narrow bright white corridor with screens at height. There was a distinct smell of apple pie as it was displayed on the screen. A wet spray then hit us as the white became brighter and brighter. Different colours flashed making it very disorienting and seeming as if you have gone mad.

Through a plastic sheet we continued and that was when we came to some wooden stairs, but they led down.

“Don’t go into the basement.” I remember numerous patients saying to me during the walk.

This is where the numerous ‘surgeries’ took place. It was safe to say they were failed surgeries to ‘correct’ a patient. The voice of this doctor Kelman sounded, asking why his patients didnt respond and to ‘get corrected, get corrected’

Tension was building and building as we came past an operated body that had obviously failed to be corrected.

‘Get corrected, get corrected’

Then we were outside in the open again. The scare maze had finished!

After my experience in the sanctuary I can happily say I was corrected!

Yes I am talking about one of the great scare mazes at Alton towers.  Last week I made the voyage to the UK’s greatest theme park. ‘Theme park’ is the only way to describe this place as the various rides and attractions are incredibly detailed and even more so during their annual Halloween scare fest. I recommend it to everyone, and they even reply on twitter. These guys build worlds, and the sanctuary felt like I was walking through a horror movie in real life.

As much as it was scary the experience was intriguing to say the least. I do love a good scare and this is as close as one will get to a horror movie. I did also experience the terror at the towers scare maze which was equally as good.

zombies

If you go down to the woods today…..

thirteeen

Not being a roller coaster fan I set myself a goal upon this visit. Ride at least one of Alton Towers worlds firsts. There is a few to choose from but mine was roller coaster 13. A rather unknown ride set in the eerie nearby woods. As you walk along the queue in remote woodland a mini van taken over by a growing tree can be seen.

thirteenBefore I knew it, I was riding the various ups and downs of th13een. But as we came to an ascent we stopped abruptly. Was this part of the ride experience? No we were stuck*. After ten minutes the ride continued and into a dark building we went. The sound of wood snapping all around us and then a sudden drop in complete darkness. Yes this is the worlds first roller coaster where the track and carriages drop together onto another track!

There we were going backwards in the dark. For someone who doesn’t enjoy rides too much this was just right for me. And it’s a world’s first!

*Side note : The ride did get stuck for around ten minutes, in this time we were looked after and reassured, I was asked at least twice If I was ok. After the ride we were then given fast track tickets to skip the queue of a ride of our choice, see below:

priority

Overall a great experience at Alton Towers resort and they even reply on twitter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get your broomstick : Another Harry Potter Book???

I felt compelled to write an article about a news story I saw a few weeks back, about a rather well known author. Her 7 books were converted into the most successful film franchise to date and the writing alone created the first ever billionaire author.

Yes I am talking about JK Rowling.

Of course her success is the dream for many budding writers much like yours truly. But is she living in the shadow of her past? By that I mean why not try something new?

At this point I can see the Pottermore lot throwing rotten fruit my way saying they want more wizardry from Harry, Hermione, Ron and the wand yielding gang.

HP

JK has been quoted to say that she would never match the success of Harry Potter and she has tried to bring out other stuff seemingly to no avail (remember that book she brought out under another name). Maybe sticking to what you know is the best policy in this situation and I don’t blame her. I can’t possibly see the end to my book series yet even after the 6 I set out to write. Perhaps JK was too successful.

I know how can someone be too successful, well only she can be the judge of that. But people would just buy her stuff because it’s written by her. So readers may not necessarily like what they are reading and simply buy it on loyalty to HP.

Another Harry Potter book can only do good things for the literary world and the fans would immediately sell it out. But would it be any good?

As far as I was concerned Harry’s journey was done. Maybe leaving it more open at the end would have let better grounds for an 8th book. There has been mention of a spin off series set in the same wizardy world as Potter. What do you think? Leave me a comment.

JK is a rather reclusive type of writer and doesn’t give much away, for all we know she could have already drafted the next HP book. Warner Bros. will be rubbing their hands if she has.

Back in the game!

Yesterday I began yet another edit of my first novel, Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project. This time I have seeking representation firmly in my crosshairs. By that I mean after this edit, a brand new synopsis will be constructed and a campaign to find an agent who could possibly like my stuff and offer representation.  I know I did say self publishing would be the route but right now I’m not done with trying to find someone else to do the work for me!

I will be using the writers and artists yearbook 2015 for reference (check out my review here)

Next week I shall be reviewing a few of the scare mazes at Britain’s top theme park Alton Towers, Halloween is approaching and so is their annual scare fest!!!

alton

 

 

 Shameless Plug of something non writing related but is related to me anyway

So my good friend Matt Streuli, who is vice chairman of the drama club in which I belong. Sent an invitation to the her majesty Queen Elizabeth the 2nd to come and watch our next show in early 2015. Sadly she couldn’t make it, but least they replied right!. Check that out here.

Annabelle: one creepy looking fu**ing doll!

Seeing as the leafs are turning and the darkness of winter is approaching, that means one thing! Halloween and horror movies. We in the UK don’t treat Halloween as big as the US but that doesn’t stop us from getting their movies. So the next few weeks shall be dedicated to all things horror, including an account of my up and coming trip to to UK theme park Alton Towers and their seasonal scare fest!

hallowseve

 

The current state of Horror Films

In this age we are exposed to more gruesome and more ‘real’ style horror flicks, Notably the Saw series and of course the many ‘Blair witch’ style found footage films. But for some reason so many films of this genre fail to pack the final punch in their presentation. It gets to the last half hour and there’s nothing more to show, the creature/ghost/murderer/thing has been revealed and the ideas are wearing thin. There are no more shock moments or the shocks are so over the top they seem desperate.

A struggle is apparent in the world of telling scary stories and the cinema is the perfect setting for such things. It’s dark and theres an unavoidable screen in front of you, plus your surrounded by complete strangers. Cinemas can be eerie sometimes, playing into the hands of the genre. But the films themselves do lack in somewhat scary quality. Now I like a good scare, makes the heart beat faster, gives you a cold sweat and all that but these days that’s a rare thing.

Creepy Doll 

anabelle

Told ya it was creepy

This past weekend I went to see a new release about a possessed doll. Now many of you will think about that small red haired thing running around with a knife. But I am talking about Anabelle, a doll that comes to be possessed and causes all kinds of hell for the viewer and owner. To me this film simply delivered in all tick boxes available for the genre. It was jumpy, dark, not too gruesome and somewhat original. Creepy is a massive understatement in terms of this doll, they certainly designed this thing well. And they used it well, there are many instances when the camera is focused on the vacant yet transfixed eyes of the doll Annabelle with the viewer expecting them to move at any moment.

We have seen on many occasions an unbalance in a film whereas the killer is way to scary for the film or the concept is just too cool for the environment. But in this film they got it all right, the balance from a small cast worked wonderfully well with scary possessive concepts that coincided with the all-important matter that this could be a true story.

 

If you like your horror good and somewhat original then go and see Annabelle. Especially if you have seen the conjuring, they are kind of related in sideways kind of way.

Having purchased a ticket and being sat in the cinema I had no choice but to be exposed to some up and coming trailers and Halloween is looking good this year, with Ghostbusters being re released and Alien/Aliens in some cinemas.The Pyramid with Jay from the inbetweeners is looking good and that’s what we want to see, some choice in our modern scare films!

 

Next week I look at the potential of another Harry Potter book, stay tuned!