Episode 5 (you can’t take the sky from me)

Hot dang it’s Thursday again (or whatever day you are reading this on) so time for another blog entry.

Buckets of Ice

So finally the world has gone public with the fact that they actually wash. Ok that’s not particularly true but at the weekend I was nominated by my good friend George Black to take up the Ice bucket challenge. These challenges are spreading like wildfire. Every day since my nomination I am seeing people I know take up the challenge, but exactly is it for?

Well the ALS association is an American non-profit organization that raises money for research and patient services related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or in the UK motor neurone disorder. Now they had this idea of setting up this challenge and what a fine piece of marketing. There isn’t a citizen of the internet that doesn’t know what an ice bucket challenge is and it’s constantly spreading.

  ALS                                           ICE BUCKET

It’s good to see so many people giving to charity and not just to the ALS association but other organisations too. You can see my ice bucket challenge right here

Introductions Part 5 (yes this is still going, but there is an end in sight, I hope)

So the first 3 chapters of ‘warrior project’ remained on a USB memory stick gathering dust. In that time I had moved house and changed jobs, in fact my whole world had changed after 2011 and writing to me became an afterthought.

Although the characters I had created never stopped talking in my head (maybe I need to be diagnosed with something) my life had moved away from writing, that was until winter of 2012.

If you remember the original concept of Jack Thorn, a guy seemingly talented at fighting robots. At the time (I was 12) my favourite TV program was Buffy the Vampire slayer, in which Jack is loosely based on. What inspired me the most was the story that unfolded in this program, the characterisation and above all what they stood for. Joss Whedon was the creator/writer/director of Buffy and master of character driven stories so in the winter of 2012 I was inspired by his work again.

You can’t take the sky from me. 

Yes I am talking about a rather short-lived title named Firefly (available on Netflix). This 14 episode space western adventure had inspired me to take hold of this USB stick and plug it into my old windows xp piece of sh**.

But why you ask? Because the one thing that inspires me to write above all is good story telling. It entices and feeds the imagination and fills my brain full of impossible ideas.

Having looked at the material on that USB stick, I had that ‘moment’.  A moment all writers have with a story and I said to myself,

“This story is good enough to be published, and by golly that’s what I’ll do” (or something like that, who even says by golly these days)

The story actually held up, so why didn’t I carry it on? So that was when I made the decision to bring ‘warrior project’ out of the shadows and into the light. I purchased a laptop and began work, quickly the title changed to Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project and I began to look for a platform to release my material online. The journey had just began……

I need more followers!!!

I have made the point before of saying, I’m not gonna do well at this alone. The Hall of information needs your help, yes you! Don’t turn around, I’m talking to you! Come back, please. Sign up to the mailing list, the link is to the right >

Lee need’s you to Tweet, Facebook, email, network and share to the world wide interweb about this page and our cause. So when launch day comes we have a chance of making a real stab of glorious success at some level. I want you all to be a part of this and if we shout loud enough more people will join. To good people who have blogs and pages of your own, let me know and I’ll happily check them out, there are many ways of contacting me.

 

 

caleb

 

On an unrelated note, last year I made an attempt of writing some fan fiction and crossing it over with the world I had creared. Buffy the Vampire Slayer : Clark Thorn Crossover Project was born, have a read by clicking on the picture above.

 

 

 

 

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Episode 4

It’s the fourth episode and I still have stuff to write about!

Introductions Part 10

Whoa I hear you say. What happened to the introductions between? Well I’m doing that clever thing like in TV or film when they flash forward into the future for a brief time. (I’m not actually sure if there will be 10 instalments of introductions but it sounds like a round figure to jump ahead to)

So in March of this year, I had reached frustration city in terms of sending my manuscript out to various agents and publishers seemingly to no avail. At this point I just wanted to know if or where I was going wrong, and if my book has what it takes to stand shoulder to shoulder with others.

After some googling I came across the oxford editors. They were offering a service that appraises a manuscript and involves a report at the end. Finally I have received most of that report (I wont go into the amount of chasing I had to do for it and quite honestly I wouldn’t do it again).

My whole angle was to actually have someone honestly look at my manuscript without it just being cast off into the many slush piles. It involved a fee and hopefully that would entice someone to be obligated to actually have a read.

The initial part of the report came through and here are the highlights in the form of quotations:

“I think the idea of this book is ingenious and it has a great deal of potential. However, the first few pages of any book are so important and here I think that you put all the points, but it is rather flat the way you have presented it, so it is like reading an article and not the sort of start that pulls readers into a book”

As much as this starts off complimentary I agree with the points.

“Probably the most important moment of the entire book, in terms of hooking readers, agents and publishers is that first sentence.”

Again I agree and my opening sentence could in fact be better.

To interpret the rest of the report it is apparent that the opening chapter does need some work in order to really grasp the reader. Not work as in rip it up and start again but a series of minor changes and additions to get the opening looking great. That goes for the whole book, there are some instances where I am telling the reader something when I should be showing them.

This is what I have been waiting for since March and now I have been given some decent constructive advice. From here the plan can be instigated. Phase 1 of the Warrior Project Publishing plan has been activated.

  1. Receive manuscript assessment      (I am more proud of the fact that I discovered there is a button to allow crossing words out, technology these days. I’ve been waiting to use that since I started this blog)

Back to the main plotline

Introductions Part 4 (where were we)

After much thinking I decided to start from the very beginning of my story. On my brothers laptop I began writing a title called ‘Untitled Warrior Project’. At this point it that was it in terms of a title and over many autumn evenings I pecked away, putting together the foundations for what would be my ‘first’ book. I had previously attempted to write a Clark Thorn story (a few years back on the xp piece of sh**) so from that initial idea I built the basics.

I struggled throughout this time, adapting to the horrible process that I still don’t like and that is the initial draft. (I do it in hour sessions now (controlling my addiction) To me drafting just feels like whatever thoughts one has is literally sucked out onto page, and that is what one element of what writing is to me. Translation of thought from brain to page.

My run in drafting this ‘warrior project’ ended just as quickly as it started leaving me with writers block at chapter 3.

To be continued….

 

A video

This week a good friend of mine Matt Streuli released a video in tribute to his late mother Janet Ann Streuli. As much as his journey and story is a sad one it also pays homage to the legacy left behind and how it helps him to this day. I share the same hobby with him, that being amateur drama, something I have grown to love and almost need in life. For a few hours a week we get to be what we want to be, whether that is the dashing hero or dastardly villain and perhaps anything in between. It’s a release and stress reliever at times. For whatever is going on in our lives there is always a place where we can be us or someone else. Check out his video here

 

A final note about a prestigious valuable item of memorabilia or sale on ebay, check it out, you wont be disappointed. Click here

 

Episode 3

Lee’s Hall of information is back , this time its personal….. (well every week is)

The Trouble with social media (the blue kind)

dislike

 

 

 

Is Facebook the biggest superpower dictator of the internet?

That is the question I ask because many people who have a page related to a hobby/businesses/get rich quick scheme or any other campaign seem to care so much about numbers. Internet citizens can quickly become obsessed by getting that extra like or share.

But the reason I say dictator because Facebook host these pages in their territory and to me it seems they can do what they like. Buried deep within the small print of having a page is some very vague things called rules. But they only flex their muscles when these ‘rules’ have been broken. Example, I once shared the link of my book so much I wasn’t allowed to comment or post for a certain amount of time (fair enough as I was spamming but it does show they are watching, constantly)

Facebook handle business the way they want but in some instances that isn’t fair at all. If you have a page then you can directly relate to this. Have you ever made a post to loyal liker’s only to be told it reached a handful of people? My page currently sits a 116 likes and I know many of these people as mutual friends. They check their Facebook enough times a day to see my post (that’s if Facebook chooses to display is) My findings of recent is that FB prefer posts that don’t direct traffic away from their own site. (and of course want you to pay, but who likes those sidebar ads anyway?)

Another Example: When I released the pilot of this blog Facebook believed that the link I posted on my page reached 29 people. That was 31st of July.

Now looking at the figures word press told me (the kind website that hosts this blog) They informed me that I had 42 views.

The numbers conflict, but you have to allow a tolerance because not all people of Facebook who see the post will click on the link and read my blog. But still it gives a suspicious insight as to what Facebook are doing to control things. I don’t like it but where else can I go (well here instead, sign up to get email notifications and then you won’t even need Facebook to fail to tell you when the next issue is out)

(And please people stop taking photos of every meal and putting them up on nuisancegram, you are filling the internet up with junk, stop it )

So why am I talking about this? Well when my second blog arrived I only advertised it once on my FB page.

I was then informed that it reached 397 people! But the difference between the two releases is that the second blog was shared by people.

402

Is that all it takes to reach hundreds of people? Have I rediscovered the oxygen of internet success, and that is to go viral. There must be other people out there who feel the same pain as me.

Don’t get me started with twitter, I get 4 to 5 new followers a week and I don’t even think most of them are real!!

Introductions part 3 (yes that time again where I loosely talk about my writing history and try to put in at least one thing that’s kind of humorous, not to be mistaken with the healthy snack humus)

The summer of 2006 arrived and by June I had finished the initial draft of Jack Thorn. I will never forget that moment of typing ‘The End’ followed by ‘Jack Thorn will return’ and that was in fact only the beginning of my literary journey. (and the windows XP piece of sh** had much life left)

A few years passed in which I attempted and failed to complete writing of the second Jack Thorn book. But in that time back stories were quickly developing. Outside of the now occasional writing sessions I spent many hours reading and grew into a huge Michael Crichton fan. His books merged real science ideas with fiction and a writing style that truly immersed me into his novels.

Only once before had I been truly immersed and that was by Arthur Conan Doyle’s lost world ( I was ten or eleven at that time)

So that was the defining moment for me, that being the realisation as to why I wanted to write. That being to write something that would immerse people into a world I created.

Back then I stood looking up at the mountains that I would still be climbing today, only then I hadn’t really started that journey.

2010 rolled around and I was 21. That was the year I would finally decide to go back fully into writing, but not pick up where I left off. But start again from a new beginning, that being Clark Thorn.

To be continued (yet again)
An obituary

Much of the entertainment world is currently in mourning.

I felt compelled to write a tribute about Robin Williams, not to use his tragic death to get more reads but to simply acknowledge a man who to me was truly magic. In every role I watched he portrayed the parts with such realism and imagination.

My memories of Robin date back to great films such as Hook, Jumanji, Jack and Mrs Doubtfire. To me they were pinnacle films of my childhood. But the greatest quality he had to me was his appeal to all ages. Into my adult years I discovered his stand up appearances but still appreciate his parts in films for younger audiences.

What compelled and hit me the most was the amount of tributes pouring out from every corner of the social media networks. From video game meme pages to pro wrestling news pages, everyone paid tribute to a man who entertained, inspired and brought them laughter. That tells me that he meant so much to so many.

Thank you Robin Williams, Peter Pan, Mrs Doubtfire, Alan Parrish , Jack Powell, John Keating, Popeye, Mork and the many other characters you brought to life.

robin williams

1951 – 2014 Rest in Peace

 

 

 

Episode 2

That difficult second episode where most viewers return to give it another chance to see if it’s any good

It’s been a week and I am back quicker than you can binge watch orange is the new black on Netflix. If you were able to withstand my constant spamming about the pilot blog then bloody good for you, and thank you.

To be perfectly honest I had no idea what type of reception I would get and all I can say is YEAH! We got through to a number of people. (I say we because this isn’t just a solo effort from me but all of you) Thus I would like to extend the biggest of thank you’s and a hello to those who have taken the time to read what I have to offer (some of you even signed up to receive email updates). I’ve now got followers from many corners of the internet and I salute you all. Whether you saw the link via social media, recommended by a friend or even by me. All of you good people are starting to build the base for what will be something extraordinary.

(An additional thanks to those who have come from Booksie.com, the place where many of my writings started out)

Last week’s ‘feature length’ offering brushed over some of the topics I will be covering here so I will waste no time in continuing from where I left off.

Introductions Part 2

So a couple of years passed and the windows 98 piece of sh** computer was now literally in pieces. (I will note that my writing had been since printed off via a Lexmark z13, also a piece of sh**)

That is the best way to dispose of any computer, smash it up and break the sledgehammer handle in the process (that actually happened). My efforts to pen Jack Thorn continued via a Tesco value notepad (very humble beginnings). Eventually I would go on to finish the first draft at the age of 15. I decided that I would rather not do school anymore and spend valuable GCSE (final exams) study time writing.

Looking back I don’t have a single regret of choosing to do that. As always, I used my ‘cross that bridge when I get to it attitude’. Leaving me in a history exam reading one particular question and saying ‘well fu**’. Then proceeding to blag on about Bob Dylan being somewhat the only contributor to the American 60’s peace/student movement.

Final grade D (not bad if you tell me but I can’t imagine what the person grading that exam thought)

(But if you are currently in school don’t do what I did, do as I say and that is stay in school, get as many qualifications as you can and stay as long as you can to free ride it at least into your mid-twenties) (That’s my contribution to the youth of today)

School came and went leaving me behind in a sense as I didn’t fancy sixth form and their policy was stay on or leave. I left, but in all that time I spent looking for a job, I continued writing and converted Jack Thorn onto a windows xp slightly less piece of sh**.

To be continued….

IMG_1696

The humble beginnings of Jack Thorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market research (of sorts)

research

So as I edge closer to deciding that I will self-publish my first book, I asked my good Facebook followers about preferences between printed books and e-books.

post

And this is what some of my good followers responded with:

answers

So the response was kind of mixed,  my initial decision come September will be to self publish via kindle or other e-book platform and also a print on demand service which provides the reader with a book they can hold.

I’m 25 (as of Monday the 4th)

As I scratch around desperately in search of the years, I say out loud ‘Where have they gone?’. The last two paragraphs of introductions part 2 were nearly 10 damn years ago. I may be paranoid but I sometimes go deep into thought about time and how it’s slipping away. I mean 2030 is closer to than the mid 90’s (feeling old yet?) If you remember the emergence of the spice girls you certainly will.

What makes you feel old? (don’t say my age) Let me know via the comments.

Some Photoshop fun

So recently my good friend Matthew Streuli has decided to have some fun with Photoshop and my face. With the use of Facebook there have been a few more artists who have popped up trying to emulate and sometimes better Matthew’s work. Below is the best of what I can only call Lee Facing. The newest social media sensation. Do you dare to have a go? Post to my Facebook page and let’s see who can put my face on stuff. That is why it’s called FACEbook right?

lee face 1

The original picture (myself left and Matthew right)

 

Then it turned into this

Then it turned into this

And then chaos ensued

 

leeface collection

 

As you can see I have mad paintbrush skills, by hacking these pictures together it has made a collage of sorts.

That wraps up another week an episode of Lee’s Hall of information. Check back next week, same bat blog, same bat time (roughly)