Time to change, the word we use…

time to change

I have discussed the subject of time to change before here on the Hall of information. For those who don’t know, time to change is a program to challenge mental health discrimination and stigma towards it.

To me ‘mental’ is actually quite a harsh word to use when describing someone’s health. If we are moving forward with talking about this stuff don’t you think it got a better name?

In fact if you say the word ‘mental’ enough it seems like quite a nasty and horrible thing to say. So why hasn’t anybody really challenged that? I know right now many organisations who work towards and for people with such health problems use that word quite a lot. Would it be that hard to change it to psychological health?

People with the most minor of leg or joint problems aren’t categorised as an amputee so why does that one word govern all of those who suffer with psychological problems.

Changing mental health to psychological health seems more logical to me seeing as a person would go to a psychologist for help with any problems regarding the human mind.

The word mental doesn’t offend me deep down but still it could be replaced. Especially in the world we live in now with political correctness don’t you think this subject should come into the 21st century?

As quoted in my previous post ‘No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.’

Although this quote came from a film it still has the right sentiment. Together people like me who don’t currently suffer from any psychological health problems and people that do have to band together and start talking about this. Wherever you look in history when people have worked together they have achieved incredible things, even if it is just changing one word. Together we can change to world one word at a time.

My good friend Matt Streuli has recently written some stuff about his experiences as he suffers from some psychological health issues. He wrote for the Huffington post and has even been on the radio, check out his story it’s well worth a read. All Matt has done is talk about it and that’s all anyone needs to do.

What’s your story? Would you join a campaign to decommission the word ‘mental’ as way of describing health?

This is the internet after all so you must have an opinion. Get in touch
















Good news can always be found, somewhere.

Humanity had a bad weekend. It seems like bad events such as the one in Paris are becoming more and more frequent. Most of us won’t be able to do anything that could help a situation that unfolded but instead we find ways of processing and paying tribute.

There are no words that could possibly describe what those innocent people went through and there is no justification for those who inflicted such diabolical acts. Life will find a way of being the judge.

As humans we do the best to process. Many who use facebook took the opportunity to pay tributes by covering their profile picture with a French flag. Many others vented via tweets and statuses.

The downside of humanity is sometimes the action we take. However the upside is our reaction we have as people. In extreme situations of danger people commit heroic acts to keep sometimes complete strangers safe from harm. That itself should be celebrated, but that doesn’t bring back those who undeservedly lost their lives. Sometimes in order to process and think about what is going on in the world we look a little closer to home.

Turn it back on yourself for just a moment and you can realise compared to those people who faced shear terror on Friday your life isn’t that bad. That’s how I process stuff like this because there isn’t really any other way for me. Sure we can live in paranoia that we are going be next but that isn’t living. None of us should in fact live in fear, we should all have hope that things are going to be ok and that is what humanity is to me.

You may be in a shitty situation at work or home. Money may be your biggest worry or the car you drive may not make the next view miles down the road. This road is in fact long and winding. All of those things mentioned find ways of resolve but are in fact minor problems compared to others.

‘One day you are on top of the world and one day you are the clown’ says one of my favourite vocalists Chris Daughtry in a particular song called start of something good.

To me that means one day you will be ahead and one day you will be behind. Just be glad you are in the race because those people on Friday were taken before their time. What better way to pay a tribute than to go out and make something of your life.

Without sounding too preachy my life is exactly as Chris Daughtry sings that song. ‘Things might work out how they should’.

I take a closer look at myself and things are good. Very recently I started a new job across departments at work. This decision is turning out to be the best I have ever made in my life, but work for me wasn’t always great, neither was my car and money situation. What’s money I still ask?

There once was a time where I said I’m a writer and had no content to show for it. Right now I sit here typing with a brand new book ready to be edited and then hopefully self published next year. After finding an editor and someone who can help publicise it (he says).

Good news can always be found somewhere but if it can’t make some of your own. We as people are powerful beings, just the power of words can change society. Although there isn’t anything we can do to bring back those many good people who left us in Paris, we can sure dedicate ourselves to appreciating and making the most of what we have. That is our life and our humanity.

Not many of us will ever win anything big. I personally haven’t won anything particularly big but the little victories, there’s something I specialise in and savour. I’m surrounded by good friends and people who make this life better to be in.

Its been a difficult but very rewarding year for me. The seeds have already been planted to make 2016 blossom into something good. It’s never too late to grow your own good news.


robin quote




Fallout 4 is here!

War never changes… From the moment of installing Fallout 4 you are thrown back into a world many fans have been waiting for. This week Bethesda did what they said earlier this year and released the very much anticipated Fallout 4.


I can only review what I have played (1hr 45mins) but what I have seen will please even the most basic of spectators. For those not quite familiar with the fallout universe (there can’t be many of you) the whole premise of this game is what the world would be after nuclear apocalypse. Of course there are major details I have missed out, but for me Fallout has always been a journey of self-discovery. Every game experience is different and unique. Every path is yet to be discovered. I could play for an hour doing one thing and another person could start exactly where I do and end up elsewhere.

Moving on to the actual game, right now my first impression is that the people who made this thing have spent an awful lot of time doing so. The graphics match the hype surrounded by its release and all visuals in this game so far are stunning. They have literally thought of everything.

Combat in this game is dictated by the VATS system which allows you to slow the world down (only slightly this time compared to before) and you can carefully aim at a target. Using this system you will see the menacing threats slowly come towards you unless something is done. Even then your ability to hit the target is defined by the stats you choose at the very beginning of this journey. Perception ,luck and some others are important factors in surviving in the wasteland and you are reminded of this in self-help vault tech videos played as the game loads up initially.

I will continue to admire the detail in this game. The very beginning we are treated to an actual film with real actors and sets introducing this world (pre apocalypse). That leads into the voice acting which this time is a full experience. Every conversation is spoken and normally most of the time there are several options of what to say (again time and detail).

After only an hour and forty five minutes of play  I can only guess that there is so much more for me to discover and do. Building weapons and actual settlements is a new direction for this series to go and will make it a more rounded experience which will fully immerse even the most casual of players.

Fallout is a world of discovery and that world is at our feet. Gaming will never be the same, but we all know war, war never changes.


You can see my first hour of gameplay including commentary right here via Matt Streuli’s youtube channel. Definitely worth a look if you are not sure whether to buy this game, but you will.


This new book may actually be quite good…

I say the title of this blog not with the intention of tooting my own horn (who else will?), but to really express pride in the work I have done recently. My latest project ‘Open Evening’ has entered the very much enjoyable next pahse called editing. Reading back and writing additional content along with correcting the old, I am convinced this book will have some appeal.

The narrated text is quick, with our main character being witty and somewhat aware of the genre. This puts an interesting yet original spin on the story. My intention in writing has always been to find some element of originality. Like with many titles, the actual content may not be original, that’s hard to find these days but the actual story delivery is original or different.

Cliché is something every story teller will cling to but in horror fear of the unknown is the greatest tool available. What it could be strikes the imagination into frenzy of reactions we all express in different ways. Jump scares are cheap and quite difficult to put into a book. I very much prefer to use the unexpected in a different way and that’s what turns pages.

editing begins

My plan is looking like its coming together with my work already done being something I am very proud of. Horror is a high selling genre that I very much intend to tap into. By the end of 2015 latest ‘Open evening’ will be ready to move towards a professional edit. Hopefully by summer next year some of you will be holding that book in your hands. But who knows, as I said the unknown is sometimes what keeps us reading.

I would like to take this opportunity to plug another blogger who is a good friend of mine. Matt Streuli has found some success recently with his mental health blogs and has made it on the Huffington post well done to you sir.

My facebook page following has grown in recent times, thanks to all for the likes old and new.

Happy Halloween everyone and remember who really knows what could be lurking in the dark shadows…

New Book: Fully Drafted

Only on a handful of occasions have I ever been able to pen those two words. But last night I stayed up late as the finish line of my latest offering became just visible on the horizon.

‘The end’ but we all know that is the very start of this book’s journey to publication.

Open Evening is a teen survival horror which very much mirrors the situation most young people are thrown into when faced with going to school. In that sense our hero of sorts, the narrator, is faced with the everyday struggles of fitting into a complex social system of people all at very different and mostly difficult stages of development (teenagers) . Combine that with a genuine horror situation and you have my latest book.

For a more detailed synopsis you can scroll onto a later entry when I officially announced this project.

So what happens now you ask? Personally the worst part is over, drafting or plucking ideas out of my head can be a draining and somewhat harrowing experience. Don’t get me wrong I love to write but laying the initial foundations is the hardest part. Maybe why many people start but never finish.

Next will come an extensive edit, addition of detail and formatting of chapters which will see it ready for an official professional edit (I feel sorry for who that may be).

In between this and next year I will be finding time to prepare a nearly ready script for a one act play I intend to bring to life very soon for IHDC. Check them out they are looking for backers on Kickstarter at the moment.

Then in that same year 2016 I will be looking to self publish Open evening and make it my first offering the big wide world of literary things, or amazon as I like to call it.

Watch this space.

Triumph: My story

I never looked at my work life as a story worthy of telling. Nobody does really unless you are that self-centred or somebody like Jack Nicholson who’s life basically starts every morning with the 20th century fox theme playing. But never the less my story has seen very few successful moments but the ones classed as that could perhaps be called triumphs.

There are many people whose careers can be defined by the very rare successful moment. One day in a thousand to prove that you are human and achievement can feel damn good. Plans gone well or badly, corners turned and the thought of never looking back.

I met the working world by way of an ultimatum. Here we have this acne prone fifteen year old sort of goofy kid who stayed in the shadows at school. Very rarely did I talk louder than a library voice and that was my process. School for many people was a hard time, for me I didn’t like it. If it wasn’t the teachers thinking they’ve actually lived a life worthy of their wisdom or the fact you were thrown together with several hundred other hormonal people all at different stages of development. I found a way to survive like many others and got through. So the ultimatum came and that was as basic as get out, or stay on and continue studies. Having bombed out in my exams, writing fiction seemed more important at the time (things don’t change I guess) the whole continuation to bomb out again didn’t seem enticing. I mean I could have taken my D grade results to university and spend the government’s money, but I didn’t.

Being a practical kind of guy my decision to seek an electrical apprenticeship had been decided and never again did I look back at school. As naïve as I was at the time, like all of us, we print off a resume or CV and think the offers for jobs will fly in. Wrong and probably my first lesson.

Any job that isn’t hard to get isn’t worth having. I took me a year from leaving school and an abundance of interviews and selection tests to finally get myself a job as an electrical apprentice. To me my first ever career triumph, a moment that I will never forget because that ultimatum in the past I could finally put my fingers up at and that would be a trend for things to come.

A small electrical company took me on and once a day I went to college. To begin with things were good and I was treated well. Every day I commuted to a job in London at a hotel and learned a lot of my trade there. But after a while the true colours of people came through. No names will be included but the only person with in this organisation that I had any respect for was my then boss’s old man. He indeed was an old man at 70 and even then he wasn’t to be crossed. A tough old electrician who taught me so much I know now. But we got on well and he could see that I wanted to work and be a success and overall I was a nice person.

Time continued to roll around and much of the time I was ridiculed or blamed for stuff that didn’t involve me. The other people working around me didn’t help or even support me as a trainee. Then came another triumph. After being told that ‘I probably wouldn’t make it’ by someone who was supposed to be my boss, I did just that and in 2009 became a fully qualified electrician. Even then my pay wasn’t anything near my standard of skill. But again I took the bullshit and carried on with a view one day something will come along. Much of the time we were on the road and away from home working. During this time I proved everybody that I was probably the most valuable employee but again the treatment wasn’t good enough or the money.

I won’t quote what was said to me on a late summer’s afternoon in 2011 from my then boss, but I was enough to never look at this job or him the same again. Looking back maybe I could of swung at him and ended things there, but I had the long game in mind and so I began to search for a better job. Maybe I could have burnt the bridge but I was the better person.

With the experience I had then I was able to secure an interview with a great organisation for a post as electrical support technician for at least three times the money I was then on. After a rather comfortable interview then came my next triumph. My experience and skill set along with hard working had propelled me above the bullshit of an asshole boss surrounded by assholes and I happily gave in my notice with my middle finger.

My new career began and never have I had a job that has meant so much to me. During this time I went back to college, something I always wanted and continued further into electronics. Things were going really well. But there was never a reward for my studies in mind. That’s fine for now I thought looking back at the previous conditions and people who were nothing like now.

A couple of Christmases’ ago I got a call from an old colleague. The old man whom I used to work with a lot. He called me just to see how I was doing. I didn’t even get a thank you from his son after I left. Then he told me he had become ill with cancer. It suddenly hit me that I had meant something to this person and this was a few good years since my departure. After a lengthy phone call I told him to let me know how he got on.

I never got another phone call from that man, someone who I will always respect. I still own some of the first tools I have brought by him. Not once did his son who I worked for (over five years) contact me about a funeral. Guess that’s the type of person he was. I had to look online to confirm my fears.

Back at my work situation I completed a 2 year ONC in electronics with a view to then carry my studies on further. My work skills grew stronger and I became more valuable.

More recently I wanted to change the situation at my work place. I won’t give details but things led to me coming back from holiday in search of that.

That change happened today. I applied for a new role with in the organisation I work in for a lot more money and maybe a better route for progression. With this life changing salary I can save for a deposit on a house or apartment and move out. My life can move on. Hell I could even fund production of books to be self-published.

I went to an interview very underprepared in all honesty. I said earlier on twitter it was Hindenburg. I thought I did badly. Many times I said ‘I don’t know’. Being honest I guess can work.

Then the phone rang and my final and finest triumph came.

My story shows that work hard will be rewarded and more importantly in whatever organisation you are in, you are the most important. Yourself, look after number one.

Although my story wasn’t detailed there is enough there to tell you my journey wasn’t easy at all. It involved a lot of graft and hard work. Bullshit from people and many many stressful days. I never thought about my salary at one point, it was too shameful. I partied a lot back in the day to drown out my shitty work life before 2011. But all that has changed now, because I grafted my way out of the crap and bullshit.

I won. For a nice guy that’s rare and it mustn’t be taken for granted. We are only here for a short time and success and triumph must be celebrated.

Today is my day.


Another book update

The hall of information has been a tad quiet since early summer, mainly due to me not really having much to talk about. Not that I have been sitting inside all that time looking at the wall. Being on this journey that might one day result in becoming a published author is mostly an uneventful one (for the people outside looking in).

Hopefully within the next year that could change. Blogging and social media(ing) about being an author is mighty difficult to pull off when you have nothing to show for it. Yeah sure I have written books, but they have yet to be showcased to the world. Finding a publisher in this day and age is more myth than reality. But like all writers you edit and create a way to that goal.


My current project ‘Open Evening’ announced last month is at the tail end of production and is looking more and more like a short story or novella right now. That works for me as my whole approach to this title is a small amount of commitment just to get myself out there. I will spend minimal time trying to pander and attract the attention of any literary agents and then proceed to the route of self-publishing.

When I say small commitment, that doesn’t in anyway mean this project won’t have any quality. Any material I do publish will be of the highest standard.

Right now the new title sits at around 40,000 words. Really not a bad attempt for a first draft on a genre I know not a lot about and with generally most of the story made up on the top of my head. I’ve really tried to capture the whole awareness of the horror genre in this book and through narrative I will hopefully flip it back on itself. This whole genre awareness thing has been explored before but takes the story away from just the usual high school horror we have all come to know too well.

I expect by next month ‘Open Evening’ will be drafted and then the initial edit can go ahead.

Thanks to everyone for the continued support and follows of my Twitter, Facebook and on here. Means a lot. Hopefully some more news soon.

Humanity : Overrated

This past week in fact this past summer anybody with or without an internet connection knows that there is a massive amount of migration happening. People no longer feel safe in their conflict torn homes and are on the move. Men, women, children and families of people finding any means necessary to get away from the horrors of what their homes have become. Our basic human instinct is to escape any type of conflict especially to protect the ones we love. Sometimes that means taking huge risks in getting across borders and aiming for places where there is less conflict.

A few days ago I saw a photo that really defined the world we live in and the humanity or lack of that is apparent. A child washed up on a beach. Someone’s child who was probably promised a better life and that is was going to be ok. Much of the civilised and conflict free world are currently arguing about what to do, as always. It really hit home to me that these people, who are people like me and you are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

People are currently arguing whether or not these people should be ‘let’ in. Of course there’s the overcrowding debate and where are you going to fit thousands of people? It isn’t long before the religious card is pulled and certain migrants of a certain religion apparently can’t be trusted. Then there’s the simple mindedness of ‘keeping Britain British’. Unfortunately that ship sailed here ironically, generations ago and all good economies and societies are made up of many different people from different places.  The immigration debate here in the uk comes from the subject not being handled right from the beginning. Politicians are aware of the past and wont want to repeat it so they are treading lightly.

At least one of my grandparents and probably a lot of yours were involved in some level of war or conflict in their lives. They defended their countries unconditionally with many never returning. They didn’t fight to keep Britain British or America American as an example; they fought for everyone to have a right to freedom. To stop other nations becoming war zones so they could live in peace.

If this is done right then these people need to be given a chance, hell they probably have something to offer. They are people after all, people who have trades, education and abilities to contribute to society.

Sure everyone can put a multi-coloured flag across their Facebook profile picture that’s ok and a show of the times moving on. But that picture of the young child washed up on a beach really brings it home. These people need help and like everyone they need a chance.


Censorship of graphic imagery and videos

What I have noticed as of recent is mainly parents complaining of the graphic and sometimes brutal images and videos put up on social media. Including the child washed up and the American news reporter being shot. Unfortunately most of the time people can’t moderate what they see online. When news does break it’s normally from a camera phone these days, on twitter.

People have complained numerous times about exposing this stuff to their kids. Social media is like a democracy, you can leave when you like and I thought Facebook was for adults mainly. Complaining to the highest of hells won’t get you anywhere. And we all want to protect the people we love but sooner or later they are going to realise what this world is like.

Introducing my new book!

Without anymore introduction I give you my newest venture. Firstly you are reading an account of the narrator. Then below is a slight blurby type preview, just writing this has got me all kinds of excited. it has taken many years for me to pluck up any courage to begin writing this project. Hope you like how it sounds.

“Most of the time you don’t get to choose where you are placed in the social eco system that is high school. For me I spend most days with my head down and even that’s a struggle. We all know being a teenager is hard, but when you’re thrown together with a thousand plus kids. All going through the same stuff but at different stages, consider that hell. I guess people deal with it in different ways.

Not that I’m saying my story is any different up until that point. But that’s where it gets interesting. The real horror in my story isn’t the struggle to fit in or having to endure the crap that goes with being a high school student. What if the horror of high school was something completely unexpected?

You see that’s where my story really differs. Yeah we have all seen the high school horror or slasher. It’s been done so many times the whole genre is just cliché. We all know the rules. But my story changes that. From a distance you will see the usual signs that lead to the ordinary ‘popcorn thriller’

This is all because I account these events being very much aware of the genre.”


Luke Harper has a vision in the form of a dream. Or is it a nightmare? The lights go out and he got the girl but then things go south pretty fast. The school he goes to is preparing to open its doors for their annual open evening.

A mysterious man arrives in town. The local sheriff department want to speak to him.

Teachers acting strange. Something in this whole town is really off.

The lights then go out.

“If I can see you, they can see you.”

Luke and an unlikely team must fight for their lives as they try to survive.


Open Evening



Coming soon.


A change is as good as a rest… right?


As the past week unfolded I delved deep into the narrative of my newest writing project. I had an energy not felt since, at least a few years anyway. It felt good to change. To be truthful things were stuck on a loop before. It was becoming destructive and I no longer liked working on the Clark Thorn books.

Although this isn’t the last of that robot crime fighting world it is certainly on hold for now. That is at least until I know this next project will actually confirm itself. By that I mean being able to pull this off. From the start I couldn’t really see a means of ending (to this new book). But during an average day spent in deep thought the story has an ending pretty far off on the horizon. My books find their means.

To write you have to at least enjoy the craft. That was something I just fell short of with Clark Thorn, recently anyway. Before August I spent much time editing and putting that book ‘right’. After I just felt deflated, because I would have to send it out again, to be rejected again.

Not that I am giving up, things are just taking a more logical route now. Last week I talked about self-publishing this new project. Something I have no problem doing, my attachment to this job is to simply get one foot on the ladder of publishing city. Doing so there would be a professional edit and uploading to amazon. Maybe even a print on demand service. But that’s tomorrow, today I am drafting something completely new and if it works this could be the beginning of good things.

What is this book all about?

Soon my loyal followers you will be treated to a title and perhaps some kind of blurb. I’m keeping this story firmly under wraps. There won’t be a free sample just yet if not ever. The more you give away the less people discover.

But I will say this, my material came from something I wrote over ten years ago on about 5 sheets of lined A4. As I read the scrawled writing it came apparent that I was on to something. Hell there even included a drawing.

My style and approach to this title is to make the reader aware that the narrator knows of the genre and its cliche. Trying to turn the genre or genre busting is something I hope to achieve here because in this day an age originality is a hard thing to find. Delivering this story in that way is my spin on giving this title originality.

We have all been through a stage in our life we would rather forget. Sometimes the horrors of life are something we battle every day, but then again what if the horrors of life were something completely unexpected. It is on that premise my latest offering will be written.