The Problem(s) with WWE in 2020…

Fans of pro wrestling have been saying for as long as I can remember that the WWE ‘modern product’ is dying. The truth is, and although I am a casual or even social viewer these days, they may actually be right. Even I’ll admit from a very loose standpoint that I no longer know what they are doing to tell stories. 

Image

Those stories is what first drew me to tune into the then WWF all the way back in the late 90’s. The men and women who collided in the ‘squared circle’ were gladiatorial super heroes to me – the whole pageantry of the bright lights and a ruckus crowd pulled me in and even inspired me to be a stage performer. But that was then, and now what stands in place of a company that seemed to be on the constant up is a plateau of ‘cash grab’ style events that most probably keep it afloat.

Of course I am talking about the multiple event deal WWE is aligned with putting on in Saudi Arabia who are opening their doors to more and more mainstream entertainment. While these ‘shows’ may do wonders for the WWE’s bank balance their true investment in the global fans is suffering for it. Their latest event which last Thursday saw a popular modern day Champion known as Bray Wyatt (the Fiend) drop his belt to a part timer and star of yesteryear Bill Goldberg (who wrestled a handful of times in the past few years). Their match lasted no longer than their entrances and even left me asking questions.

Aged multi billionaire owner Vince McMahon is at the very forefront of ‘creative’ decisions and has been since most probably the stone age of wrestling. And with the short term of pleasing a singular audience in mind he is pretty much imploding the company’s rep from within. WWE has been a money making super business for some time now but their tunnel vision towards making that cash has began to unravel and even casuals like me can see it from afar. You can see the reactions from the twittersphere…

fan reaction

Part time performers seem to be a theme these days in WWE with McMahon acclaimed ‘attraction’ Brock Lesnar being a high profile champion for some years but only appearing every now and then. In fact he appears on a sometimes monthly basis and hence demotes the rest of the roster. This whole ‘nostalgia’ thing is great for one night but it has no longevity for the performers looking to prove themselves and become big stars of their own.

goldberg tweet

I guess even billion dollar companies ‘sell out’, that’s why they are worth billions but how long can they sustain doing things like this? Those who are ‘smartened up’ will know there is another wrestling promotion in the US which has recently emerged known as All Elite Wrestling. They too are backed by a billionaire and could eventually ‘go places’.  Perhaps WWE’s days are numbered… thank God I’m not a full time viewer these days…

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #62

Sometimes it’s okay for authors to read more than they write.

That’s my deal right now and it’s kind of addictive and easier than creating. To sit back and immerse yourself into something where another has done the work is not only nice and easy but one of the top reasons I chose this path to begin with. Behind every tenured writer is an equally tenured reader; if you aren’t then you’re not doing this write – puns are the lowest form of humour hence why I exist… You must put in the equal amount of time for both reading and writing if you strive to get better at it. I remember fondly staying up after bedtime reading Roald Dahl and then later on Crichton with the greatest memories of being immersed. The only thing that has changed is that I’ve only read indie books in the past year and half with the quality mostly being equivalent. 

Not only does reading apparently make you smarter, it’s also been linked to reducing the chances of dementia plus its escapism in its finest form. The greatest gift authors give is their words and so readers get to reciprocate by leaving a review; the better ones do anyway but it’s also okay to read something and not publish your thoughts – try and explain that one to indie authors…

February has dragged and most of us know its January in disguise, especially with the whole leap year thing. Soon I shall delve back into editing of Darke Awakening and of course my book promotion efforts are soon going to be set to full force!

Watch this space. Until then tell me what are you reading? 

Sonic the Hedgehog – Review

Hollywood forgets every so often that audiences are made up of real people who don’t always want films that carry a political statement or modern day protest. Breaking boundaries is great and all but sometimes films only ever need to be family entertainment in the form of an escape to be a success and that’s exactly what Sonic the Hedgehog is.

Image result for sonic movie poster

My very first memory of video games is sitting beside my older brother while playing the then SEGA console of the time and seeing that blue speedy ball flash past the ever so colourful visuals while he collected gold rings. Sonic the Hedgehog is a gaming establishment and I have forever cherished the memories of playing those games as they came out in the early 90’s.

Over the years there have been a stack of video game to cinema adaptations. I can count the enjoyable one’s on a single hand and so when I saw they were finally giving Sonic the same treatment, like most I was hesitant in my belief. Turns out they did it and they did it rather well!

Over the weekend my brother joined me at the local cinema and like those days of old we watched that blue sphere rush through rich cinematic landscapes but this time with a narrative and so full credit goes to Ben Schwartz for voicing the ‘fastest thing alive’. And now after they improved the CGI of our main character it does look quite good.

Image result for sonic movie

The story is simple and easy to follow; they’ve blended Sonic’s world with ours and so that’s the story; an alien hedgehog has been living in solitude on Earth until he gets discovered by ‘Green Hills’ local cop played by James Marsden who brings character balance to the film; he’s not only fun himself but bounces off the humour Sonic piles into the dialogue. Although there were many gags and funny moments; most were aimed at younger audiences but overall everyone will find the humour and fun in this. Our antagonist comes in the form of Jim Carrey, now say what you will about him; many don’t like his style or his performances but I thought he brought a perfect sinister level of creative humour that gave life to the iconic Doctor Robotnik – again another character who has never spoken in the earlier games. Some of his one-liners are typical Carrey which mainstream audiences will laugh at.

Image result for sonic movie

You’ll find plenty of nods and tributes to the original games such as names, music interludes and even dialogue moments. For big time fans of Sonic; check it out, you will most probably enjoy the majority of it. To see my original gaming hero reach number 1 in both the US and UK film charts is quite special and credit where credit is due because they have done a good job in providing a film that might not be protest towards anything or have a ground breaking cast; but it’s entertaining and fun for all ages. Sometimes that’s all stories need to be!

8 Rings out of 10 

Swinging Sanity by N.F. Mirza – Review

A brave expression of feeling through poetry that is both thought provoking and inspiring… 

44172434. sy475

To convey deep personal thoughts and feelings through poetry and then release it into the world is an incredibly brave thing to do. That’s exactly what this collection is. It starts with a poignant and deep quote from Edgar Allen Poe about the subject of insanity which immediately sets the tone of embracing anything but the ordinary with pride. Throughout readers will be treated to meaningful and quite inspirational quotes from the likes of Charles Bukowski and Sylvia Plath.

From self harm, depression, anxiety, loneliness, love, individual suffering and pain to everything else that centres around our sanity, you’ll see it represented here without any reservations and with honesty – something the world needs to talk about more. The many poems and verses that make them up are full of emotion and can be related to.

‘Just Like a Drop of Water’ stood out and I found ‘A Long Wordless Day’ spoke to me along with ‘Those Enchanting Nights’ amongst many others.

For anyone who is a fan of immersive poetry and for those looking to take on a read that is different but also very honest, I recommend this book. It tells a story while also being inspiring.

5 Stars – I really enjoyed this one! Reviews left via Goodreads and Amazon. Be sure to follow the author’s Stoner on a rollercoaster blog here

Nightjar by Paul Jameson – Review

Pure immersive and original literature that reads much like a classic…

39991159. sy475

This is a truly unique read that will whisk you away to a world that sits somewhere between fantasy and folklore. Paul Jameson has crafted and constructed a story that is written in the style of a classic while being highly readable and enjoyable.

Set in a ‘Feudal Future’ where not many will stray from home because of superstition or perhaps because their clan elders say so; two boys ‘Cord’ and ‘Tuppance’ do just that and embark on a journey of adventure. Early in their travels meet a figure of mystery known as ‘Nightjar’. This somewhat magical character goes by many different descriptions, just who he really is will keep readers turning pages but this ‘man in motley’ carries a magical type of presence letting the imagination run wild. He acts as their guide through a world they have never seen, from crossing ford’s to huge old oak trees all the way to abandoned settlements sunken in time. Those back at home whether they are common types and later on the somewhat sinister ‘Brotherhood’ eventually embark on a search for the missing boys which makes for the story. While some believe he is of ‘Daemon’ origin or even a pagan God, the chase is on for what they perceive to be a rescue effort full of page turning drama.

Although the author describes ‘Nightjar’ as a simple tale it has everything from surprises, drama, mystery and even some tragedy all of which is enveloped in a wonderful writing style I haven’t seen in a modern book before. The use of language and description stirs readers imaginations while also giving it room to flow freely much like the story. This is a book I would highly recommend.

5 Stars –  A fantastic read and entirely unique! Glad to have read it!  

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #61

The editing process of book number 6 has gone well. ‘Darke Awakening’ is a bold and somewhat incredible feat – if I’m allowed to say so. The work we do must give us some sense of pride and as I reached the summit of what was a second draft, I feel a little more relaxed about it. 

When it comes to my own stuff, my main concerns when penning any story are:

1. Is this thing going to work?

2. How the hell am I going to market it?

Luckily when I drafted ‘Darke 2’ I put in a huge amount of effort in answering question 1. First drafts serve that purpose and now comes the probable difficulty in all of this – getting people to read it!

My marketing endeavours have historically worked to an extent and this time around I shall be looking at previous methods while also trying to find new ones. My audience is in a constant state of gradual growth which helps immensely.

Those in the loop will realise I have subtly prefixed ‘The Order of the Following’ on the end of Open Evening, Cemetery House and Darke Blood’s amazon page titles. And in order for Darke Awakening to be fully appreciated they need to be read first as it is all linked together in what is an ambitious crossover. You can expect to hear more about ‘The Order’ soon.

dfw-lh-3dx2The hardest challenge an indie author faces is brand awareness and distribution. Translation- telling people your works exist and that they have appeal. That’s what I shall be doing in the coming months so watch this space!

For a while I can let it sit and go back to reading some awesome indie books. My current read is a book called ‘NightJar’ – its a wonderful foray into the English language, I urge you to check it out.

Those of the author persuasion how do you tell people about your works? 

 

dfw-lh-db-cover-ebook

 

 

The stories that inspire us – ‘The Simpsons’

The stories we read, see and hear sometimes leave a lasting effect on our lives. Stories inspire us to be who we are. They shape our own journey and can take the mind anywhere. There are some stories that effect us so much, they even shape our future…

Image result for the simpsons

America’s   The world’s favorite family get nowhere near enough credit these days and for a show that has been running one year longer than I have, that deserves a mention. The Simpson’s has not only paved the way for so many animation shows over the years but it has been the bringer of humor, fun and even some very moving character moments. It’s taken up a tenured residency in the homes of so many people and I know for a fact even today there is nothing worth watching at 6pm other than most probably the greatest cartoon ever created.

Many of us take The Simpson’s for granted and there is a theory that it’s nowhere near as funny as it used to be. While I partially agree, just the other day I laughed out loud during a moment of a very recent episode. The sheer amount of characters and their interactions make the show’s premise pretty much limitless and the 30 plus seasons carry that truth via Matt Groening who some folks would refer to as a ‘boomer’ but it is with his humor and imagination these stories come to life. Whether it’s a tribute or spoofing of a popular film or even a nod to a current political moment, there isn’t much that doesn’t get a mention in Springfield.

While some of the ever important characters may have appear to be parodies of those in the popular limelight , they have lasted in creating their own identities that people love to watch. Of course this is aligned with ever important real life celebrity cameos and a just a dusting of real world family values and you have the show. 

Image result for the simpsons funny moments

Over the years there have been countless moments that have not only inspired my comedy but have kept me company since as long as I can remember. Who could forget the Springfield Monorail or even when somebody shot Mr Burns. Sideshow Bob must get an honorable mention while also nodding to Homer Simpson’s many many adventures, from tripping on chilli to tackling alcoholism or even thinking he had only days to live. The annual ‘tree house of horror’ episodes are now as ritualistic and trick or treat for Halloween.

Image result for the simpsons funny moments

Above all it’s a show about life and how to embrace the funny side of it while also learning lessons. For years the Simpson’s has entertained us and for that is must be honored.

Image result for the simpsons

Is there a chance the track could bend?

Do you have a favorite moment from The Simpsons? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* FREE BOOK TO DOWNLOAD TODAY ONLY ‘THE GHOST BESIDE ME’ *

‘This is for all you lovers out there…’

Or those just looking for a short, thought provoking read…. 

Now don’t say that I don’t love you all, because I do!

Happy V day followers and people looking for a bargain. My 5th book ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ is free to download today and today only.

This is a special one off deal because today we should apparently be celebrating love and sending you all flowers is not viable just yet – maybe if I sell 100,000 e-books (don’t hold me to that) we can revisit that idea…

The Ghost Beside Me is a short paranormal romance about finding a way through loneliness and highlights the struggle many of us have with introversion and depression. For 60 pages, it’s a pretty powerful.

I shall let the book do the rest of the selling.

Major retailer Links below!

Have fun and remember to leave a review…

 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon India

Amazon Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Static by Christina Engela – Review

Page turning space sci-fi full of chills and fun from beginning to end…

PHIS#1 Static by Christina Engela - Cover

Christina Engela delivers a fun but chilling book that contains many of the familiar horror story tropes only now they are in space and on distant planets of the haunted/abandoned persuasion. 

For what reads and feels like an anthology of shorter stories they are all linked by their events and of course ‘Captain Stuart Flane’ who by the end of it all has probably seen it all. From space ‘zoms’ to possessed dolls and ‘toys’ all the way to an abandoned formerly colonized planet that’s now inundated with ghost types playing havoc with furniture; our hero ‘Flane’ can only explain this stuff to the higher ups in the least absurd ways possible.

Those who are fans of classic and recent horror stories will find this to be a read in somewhat familiar territory while much of the events come unexpectedly and on the fringes of laugh out loud comedy. There’s mystery, suspense, a lot of fun and of course that element of the unexpected which will keep readers turning the pages. Many of the sub genres of horror are represented with hauntings, zombies, possessions and urban exploration all of which are set in the science fiction universe of the ‘Panic! Horror in Space series’.

4 Stars- Thank you to the author for providing an e copy. Reviews left via Goodreads and Amazon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #60

The bravest people amongst us are the ones who realise that they need to reach out for help. To seek a solution for whatever problem you face means deep down you care. And self care is so damn important in this life.

It’s okay to not be okay sometimes and admitting that is a victory in it’s own right. The truth is I have the highest regard and respect to those who talk about it in any way, shape or form. It’s alright to express your emotion in whatever way that helps process feeling. By all means cry, laugh, growl, sit in silence or even blog about it; hell I’ve processed stuff by writing whole novels (my poor readers…).   

I can only speak from experience when times have been tough in life and although it may appear you are falling down branch by branch landing between your own legs each time, trust me when I say eventually life does give you a break (from the nut shots).

Some things aren’t forever and this includes the suffering our minds can go through; just think of it as another stage in this journey called life. As much as it’s easier said than done coming from a guy in a ‘good’ place currently, these days we’re all not far from spiraling.

You could feel like that one in one thousand kid roaming the school hallway knowing and feeling that this place isn’t where you fit in; I’ve been there and some day soon that sensation of not belonging, much like school will fade. You’ll find those who are like-minded, that’s a human instinct to find others like yourself and school; it’s a public place, you have to do it for now but not forever.

You could be working a shitty job for a shitty boss just trying day in day out to prove your worth; some folks will never understand or appreciate that worth; by all means work hard and gain experience but not everyone deserves your energy and graft.

Remember that your own mind well being comes first and there are numerous ways to overcome rough patches; take a social media break, binge watch an entire series on Netflix , and personal favourite; keep a diary of how you feel and then look back on those days gone by to see how strong you’ve become. Lean on your friends, those who are true friends will be there when you are in need.

Life has a funny way of getting better eventually and whatever storm your in now, will blow over, trust me, even though I don’t know everything…

Do what you have to do to take care of yourself in this life.

What quote gets you through life?

I shall close with my go to quote from one of my true heroes…

 

Image result for buffy living quote