Weekly Ramble #8

I’m writing a screenplay. It’s a world of rules and words I have yet to explore. A venture in which I inevitably wanted to pursue, maybe there is someone out there who see’s the vision of Open Evening as I do, a thrilling, run and chase story that delves into the unknown and unexpected.

There has been progress in my indecisions of what to do next as a wordsmith. We are a species that is in fact always drafting. I have at least 3 future projects in the pipeline and there will always be more. Sometimes it feels as if there is no finish line but to keep working for me is bliss, a purpose, even a calling.

Writing is something I find myself needing more everyday, I also find myself enjoying it even more. The success I have had is minimal; but these books are an investment in time, they will always be there, even when I am not, I wonder if authors of yesteryear thought that too. Many of which never saw their titles reach the pinnacle of success in their lifetime. A true artists lament. But that isn’t why I write. Of course the fame and lifestyle of earning big bucks would be a desire, but I write because I enjoy building worlds and the characters that reside in them. Their struggles and overall battles towards redemption echoes mine and others in real life. If there is no element of realism in fiction then why write anything at all?

Have something to say, even if it is whilst being chased by unholy demon creatures who came from underground. There is always a message, there has to be. We function as humans by looking at the finer detail by taking someone else’s words and interpreting them for ourselves.

This all sounds artistic and deep, but it’s truth, and truth is something all fiction must contain if you want to grasp a reader. Pull them in with shit that you’ve seen or seen others go through. Make it life or death, convert the mundane into high octane, put action where there was once just peace and solitude. Overall make the reader believe what you have to say, base characters on real people without dropping their name to avoid a lawsuit, relate to where you work and the fact management will always be the bad guy. Look for the hero where there are only villains and maybe that saviour you need so much is staring you back in the mirror.

If you plan to write anything in this life, make it count, and make it as if you have something to say. In years to come some English lit major will probably spin that into some prose study stuff, but that’s alright, people are still reading your work. To write is to build and vent, it’s probably what sets us apart from the animals, we can create, and we can do it well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly ramble #7

I don’t know anyone who looks in the mirror and is entirely satisfied with what they see. For some it can grind heavily upon the conscious mind. For others it can be an impossible hurdle.

I’ve stepped up my cardio game recently. Running can be a great mind clearer and that’s something a writer needs and when you hit those targets damn those endorphins feel good. But why else do I exercise? Because that mirror is waiting. That isn’t why I exercise entirely, I know for a fact if you look after yourself in youth, your body will look after you in age. And exercise can have long lasting benefits. With that in mind and the instant gratification of todays society I try to adhere only slightly to the image percieved by it.

I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years. Sciatica the worst and niggling shin splints, something I still suffer from but have leaned into the pain of rather sucessfully. As humans we need to get that heart pumping and sweat flowing. Even for 15 mins a day is enough.

Back pain is the bane of my life. I slouch and of course I sit a lot for my writing so I find myself walking near enough everyday.

My advice is get active and discover a new world where you may just forget about that mirror for a while. Image isnt everything but mind and soul is. A healthy heart equals healthy functions of this vessel we ride through life. Of course indulge, pick a poison and enjoy it in moderation. Dont be a Kurt Wiseman. Be responsible, treat others how you would want to be treated, dont listen to every single word of advice, make mistakes because thats how you learn and more importantly above all, read a lot.

Weekly ramble #6

Every day is different. I’ve reached that limbo place I call the off season. The time of year where I have finished all book drafting efforts and editing. Now I have actual time to think and process. So much progress has been made in my life this year but I continue to shuffle around with a kind of cloud over me. Only this cloud sometimes lets the sun in and then it becomes overcast again. 

Cemetery House is heading for release, a book which I know will face limited success. All sequels do, only a select have read Open Evening and this has very much weighed down upon my thought process. I expect only the loyal to invest, perhaps there will be flurry of selfies from my nearest and dearest; sometimes that’s enough, especially at this still embryotic stage of my writing career. The characters and their story is worth so much more, maybe that’s what keeps me going. Their struggle can mirror the reader’s every day battle’s, like me.

Whilst my marketing efforts remain consistent I now have all this time to decide what comes next. Script writing comes to mind, already I have had partial success with my latest pantomine play which is currently in the early rehearsal stage. There is also the bugging and returning desire to convert Open Evening into a film screenplay, a mountain I know is realistically climbable and a venture which could act as an entry into an industry I know nothing of.

Either way my emotions are continuing to reel, the disappointment of not getting a somewhat deserved opportunity still fresh. What happens now? I’ll process and think, that’s how I heal, slowly, then when I am ready another project will loom. I must carry on forward and sink beneath the surface of words. Writing is the greatest therapy for any soul in distress, creativity feeds the emotions and persona. I am a writer, I tell stories of reality mixed with the absurd and extraordinary. Every life experience good or bad can be relayed into a characters struggle within the confines of fiction, that’s what makes it feel real. This rough patch is just more fuel for the likes of Kurt Wiseman; the deep thinking hero, or Twister, the ever pessimistic survivor who is always shit out of luck. This stuff fuels character arcs and plots.

Writing is my escape, I spent the first years learning how to do that, now I know I can, that’s what I do, it’s who I am. Every day is different, and each one that passes is filled with opportunity to rise above bad feelings. I’m stronger than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cemetery House Blurb Reveal!

With Halloween on the not too distant horizon, this year comes the long awaited sequel to Open Evening; Cemetery House. Those who survived are back to continue what has already been started.

I began production of ‘CH’ quite literally after Open Evening, well sort of. The first portion of the book serves as a prequel/origins story of a man named Twister, I wrote that very early on. The rest of the story is a continuation of Open Evening making the whole deal rather unique. I’ve tried to take all the good stuff from sequels I like and put those concepts into this book along with being conscious of what makes a bad sequel also (I didn’t to put that stuff in). There will be answers this time around, especially from the many questions Open Evening asked. What this has resulted in is a story in which I am so damn proud of, these characters who carried the last story were given another opportunity to prove how wonderful they are, and for me they wrote this one.

Those that do know, this story is indeed linked to Darke Blood and their universe is shared. There will be more nods towards that in this book, so look out. 

I have just finished my final OCD edit, and reading through Cemetery House has actually pulled me out of a rather rough time I have been having as of late. August was a pretty hard month personally but I am over myself now and this book has helped leaps and bounds.

So there’s only one thing left for me to say, here’s the blurb of Cemetery House….

The survivors from Open Evening are back for their next chapter and together they must face life after high school. Led by a man named Twister, they learn of his origins and where he came from; a place that suffered a similar fate to their hometown. Accompanied by his newly formed crew; Twister must return home to face the demons of his past, only now the town has been converted into a horror themed amusement park.

With a ‘purge’ imminent in the park, those who survived High School must look for answers as they take on their next challenge. The world of work can be filled with horror hiding just beneath the surface which has returned yet again for the roller coaster ride that is Cemetery House.

So get ready to run, think, fight and live, because ‘survival was just the beginning…’

 

Weekly ramble #5

I’ve never liked management, let alone the word. And as I lay down these words I do so with hope. Hope that there are others who feel like I do.

You see no matter what path we take, success and failure are around every corner and over every horizon. I’m a half full type of guy and always have been, but then again all it takes is for that glass to smash and I’m in a struggle to pick up the pieces in order to glue them all back to how they were. Maybe life cannot be resumed to the exact same track after it has been altered, maybe that’s the beauty that stands between that fine line of good times and bad.

We spend so long focusing on a moment of failure and the trying to get back on track as opposed to thinking maybe it was meant to be. Wherever you are now is where you are supposed to be. Good days and bad days are perhaps the constant, and the variable is you and your thinking position, maybe that’s what you can change, your trail of thought.

And just when you have yourself figured out and a path planned ahead, somebody has to interfere, somebody has to think they can ‘manage’ that path. There are people who like to think they can ‘lead’ or they can ‘guide’ where really they are just a let down. I’m not personally attacking management as a whole, but for once I just want someone in such a position of power not to be the typical comic book villain about it. Is it that hard to listen to others? Are opinions really that bad? Sometimes a good leader is one who just listens and then acts accordingly.

I have only managed a few times in life, and my definition of management would be to know the answer to every question somebody in that room has, something I doubt many managers have as a credential.

Life is indeed full of downs and ups, right now I’m descending, it happens and as an artist its good. I went to a dark place in order to pen the Teleporter. Some of those thoughts are coming back so much I’m thinking a sequel will be drafted soon. Sometimes life throws you bad stuff and its up to you to get out of it. Sometimes being that variable thinker is enough to climb back to where you want to be. I’ve had great years and complete stinkers, some started great and ended in harrowing defeat.

Getting your ass kicked is a learning curve in its own right, next time just be more variable to the punches and roll with them!

 

Indie Book Reviews available here!

As a wordsmith and independently published author I am a supporter of others like me. We are all in this sometimes turbulent but mostly lonely vessel of discovery together. And so I can officially announce that I have began a new venture of indie book reviews…

 

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You can see via the menu a brand new section arrived very recently, and if you are an author in need of a review then of course reach out.

My hope is to first and foremost read more, I’m an author, we only get better by immersing ourselves in the craft of writing and reading. I’ve met and connected with some wonderful story tellers via social networking and plan to meet more who will hopefully whisk me away to the worlds they have created. Reading is something I have found myself doing a lot of recently so why not make it your book I am reading.

Check out the indie book reviews section and submission guidelines for more details.

Netflix Review: Orange is the new black S6

There aren’t many shows that one feels inclined to binge watch in under a week, but Orange is the new black has retained that status for the 6th year in a row. Netflix have always been onto something golden with OITNB, by mixing must watch television with a wide ranging story of depth and characters you cannot help follow.

On the surface, a show about some middle class rich girl who gets incarcerated doesn’t inspire much towards the imagination, but since the early seasons the story has been so much more than it’s premise. And now after six years, the format still seems to work mostly, so here’s what I thought with keeping spoilers to the minimum.

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What we knew before going into s6….

Season 5 was a story overhauling revelation. Although OITNB has a knack of always closing an episode on edge, there really wasn’t a dull moment during Litchfield’s real-time riot. Of course this was due to the fallout of Poussey Washington’s death, a central and much loved character, so the audience were for most of the part behind the inmates gripe and reasoning to revolt. Taystee’s search for ‘justice’ became a central theme but eventually became swallowed by the unruly with sympathetic Warden Joe Caputo becoming victim of that. The whole season finished with the death of Piscatella; a known to be corrupt and violent guard, with the smoking gun pointed to those who held out in the riot’s final moments….

And so s6 begins to recoup all the chaos and find some level of calm…

All of the well known faces are now in max, or maximum security. It’s a robust new world filled with new threats and possibilities. The first few episodes focuses on those who were at the center of last seasons riot. The prison higher ups are trying to pin blame on prisoners, many who were innocent of any wrong doings. This presents new challenges and even dilemma for some who begin to look after themselves and themselves only.

We soon learn max is a much more threatening place, with three separate blocks, two of which are run with a gang nature fueled by drugs and a rivalry of two sisters going back thirty years. This rivalry eventually becomes a central theme and pays off in the final moments of s6, a necessary vessel to carry the whole max experience.

New characters impress…

With the new environment comes an opportunity to present new characters and the OITNB trademark, back stories. We have the rival blocks and their leaders/sisters Carol and Barb, their story stretches back and reveals a semi pointless rivalry that they are only to blame for. A notable performance for me came from Deputy leader of ‘C’ block ‘Badison Murphy’; a convincingly depicted villain who reminded of that typical bad kid of the class. The deputy of ‘D’ block came in the form of ‘Daddy’ a semi pimp drug ‘controller’, who like everyone else had a story to tell.

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Some of the guards from last time out are back, some with PTSD and we see their struggle which to me was a true human story confirming there are two sides of prison. Guards Luschek and McCullough were notable for their performances on both sides of the riot fallout spectrum, of course we got to see them mix with other guards and newer faces to the cast. They discover a game known as ‘fantasy inmate’, perhaps a crude version of fantasy football where guards can score points based on inmates trials and tribulations. This eventually becomes another central theme of the story.

Stories continue…

The search for justice of Poussey takes an unexpected turn when we see Taystee being blamed for Piscatella’s death. Former warden Joe Caputo returns to try and aide the case in which runs throughout the series.

Of course OITNB isn’t complete without it’s main character Piper Chapman, whose prison experience is galvanized by maximum security and really completes her journey as a prisoner, the focus does lean towards her more this time around, and for that you’ll discover why at the season’s close. I found myself liking her performance along with her now prison fiance Alex.

Many of the usual faces were put in out of comfort situations this time around which sparked up new friendships and allegiances not seen before. This made for some entertaining combinations of characters who wouldn’t usually mix.

We only see those who were transferred to max from ‘camp’ so there are plenty of notable faces pretty much missing this time around (split up from the riot). With only 13 episodes a series this one could have easily stretched to 16 as I feel there were many loose ends yet to be tied up.

Concluding thoughts…

OITNB is still as good as the first season, it stays true to the original story and goes where you wouldn’t guess it would go. The cast were, many of which are famous for this show, great in every essence. This time the ending seemed less cliff hanger and perhaps a conclusion of such a journey for select characters. Saying that I shall certainly be ready for another season next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons why YOU should read The Teleporter

Everyday we face adversity, whether it be from injustice, bad news, the jobs we do or even our inner demons, surviving this world can be a miracle in its own right sometimes.

There’s so much out there in the world today that will get you down, so as humans we need to escape, hence my third book The Teleporter; a not so heroic tale of true life struggles in which modern readers can very much relate to. Here’s 5 reasons why YOU should read it…

1. It’s pretty much real, apart from the fact it’s fiction…

Stay with me here, but the story of the Teleporter and like all of my books contain several elements and plot arcs that are taken from truth/real life scenarios. Kurt Wiseman is probably the closest version of myself reflected in any of my stories. Why is that interesting? Because it makes the struggle our hero faces real, and when something feels real, it’s worth hearing. Strip away all of the words and fancy stuff, you’ll still hear what is a story of just a person trying to make it in life…

2. It’s comedic

Most of you will know by my marketing efforts that the Teleporter is in fact a comedy. If you read it I guarantee it will get you laughing somewhere. Although there is much merriment in this tale, it faces real issues with that comedic touch, making the whole deal light to read and relatable… 

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3. The Teleporter isn’t afraid to face the demons of this world head on…

Trust me when I say this, the Teleporter isn’t afraid to call out assholes and problems this world has with assholes. I designed the story to be that way, for a ‘hero’ to lift the lid on stuff such as, money spinning businesses that don’t care, media control, alcoholism, diversity, friendship, abuse of power and even Trump. The whole theme of the Teleporter is to stand up and be listened to, no matter what background you are. Together we all have a voice to change the crap that this world faces, daily. 

4. It’s short, and cheap

The novella length book means it isn’t the standard length of my books. This means you’ll be through with it in no time, what’s not to like about that! The paperback is less that £5 and way less to download, everybody loves their heroes for a bargain price.

5. There are so many morals in the Teleporter’s journey..

Kurt Wiseman’s story is a journey of struggle, realization and friendship. It’s not just a meaningless ‘lets beat up the baddies’ type of deal with a bunch of gags. There is real reasoning and motive behind it. Something I hope people will tap into and appreciate. Every action in this world has a reaction, and that is one of the many lessons this book will highlight. 

6. Bonus: You may see more of the Teleporter!

This is in the basic thought process right now, but if enough people read it and like it, you may see another Teleporter tale in the near future. Everyone loves a sequel! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #4

Responsibility is something that keeps jumping out at me seemingly. I feel a changing or shifting in life as of recent with some things being inevitable whilst other stuff is just appearing.

I turned 29 this month and I stand at the end of one interesting decade in my life. There were a few years in which I couldn’t accept what is just a number, then like this year I’m handling it. Life can distract one from the deep thoughts, it’s good to go deep every so often but this train is moving full steam ahead in what has been a volatile yet rewarding 8 months. Maybe there isn’t time toreflect that I am now a fully fledged adult in a world where responsibility seems to be the defining word.

This week my first full length script moves to center stage and is responsible not only for the story I have created, but for 18 cast members who will be auditioning and then bringing that tale to life. As much as the burden is shared by directors, cast members, ensemble artists, sound tech’s, back stage crew and lighting designers, the actual story falls upon my shoulders. A responsibility I am coming to terms with. This is the first occasion where my work stands open and ready for judging in such a capacity, maybe  inevitable but still all the more daunting. And after all of that, I still have to audition myself and continue on wards as a performer who is in the final days of a near 10 year run of lead parts.

I decided to write this script in order to create first and foremost, secondly I did it because there are performers who deserve better opportunities than the usual elite few, and if I wrote those opportunities, people would take them. As much as I would love recognition, I haven’t done this for the audience, I took this opportunity to give back to a drama club which has given me so much, even confidence to write in the first place. And now a new generation deserve their start via a project which will hopefully provide it for them, my script.

My work life destiny sets to come to a head as I work my way towards a promotion, a life changing prospect where my job environment won’t change but the level in which I am held accountable will. Responsibility emerges yet again where it hasn’t before. First I will have to pass an interview which includes a presentation. Ground which I have never covered before. This truly is a make or break moment for me and my future, although right now I feel no pressure, maybe I am ready, we’ll see.

Moving into my own home is the inevitable responsibility which shall emerge by the end of this year, something I have worked towards since I was sixteen. Now I am 29 and in the final stage as what the world perceives as youth. I have zero regrets in any of the live’s I have led, work, performer, writer and even partner to my significant other. All of those pillars have created the life I have led and so I stand face to face with the next chapter, in order for me to pass on to it, I must embrace responsibility and take it in my stride.

Quite recently I have taken on the responsibility to look out for fellow authors, some have even come to me about previous gripes and compared notes with me. First and foremost I am here to speak with fellow authors and to help prevent them from being taken advantage of.

Weekly Ramble #3

Reboots, are they just the outcome of failed originality? Or is there a deeper meaning and reason to re-tell a story of old? It seems nearly every other film release is a sequel or call back to a story previous these days. And is that the reason fan basses shudder at such an idea?

This is going to be a conflicted one, three questions in the introduction alone indicate that but for good reason, this ramble is close to home and heart.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in the news and crosshairs as a rebbot has been announced. A show that is much more than a monster of the week quirky horror come sometimes comedy, its also the reason I am a writer today.

So maybe you’re thinking that my thoughts would be negative, not so because the idea of a Buffy reboot means fans like me get to see more of a story we have grown up loving. There were and is so much that came from that show, it influenced a generation and got scores of kids, teenagers and adults through the struggle of life in general. This included a 12 year old me. Afterall the galvanising quote of Buffy is about life and the fact the hardest thing in this world is living, sometimes.

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The whole journey of not just a vampire slayer but her likeable and very followable gang reached a status that not many televison clans ever think of gracing. Buffy may actually be the greatest character driven narrative ever and for that I became inspired to tell stories myself with the messages Buffy carried.

I am more than welcome to an idea of a reboot if it manages to carry with it what the original did so damn well. High school is hard if not hell sometimes, listen and learn from your elders, rely on friends and learn from one another. They are all just some of the moral themes Buffy carried and if that can be reproduced then this generation of kids need the slayer.

Not to mention the original show broke boundaries socially. As long as the reboot doesnt become just an opportunity to protest about the obvious problems this world has then it may be good.

We as fans will always have the memories of what that original run of 7 seasons did for us and me. Maybe it is time for the story to start again and show the world a still very relevant story.