The stories that inspire us -‘Hamlet’

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…

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Shakespeare, the original story teller. The true architect of language and narrative. You’ll find his influence near enough everywhere when it comes to the written and spoken word; sometimes you won’t even know you are using a phrase that he originally influenced. His works these days have even extended to cinema and television. 

Many of us came across the Bard’s work during our school years. Too many walk away from those lessons thinking his work is boring and almost inaudible to follow. That’s a tragedy in its own right and probably down to a lack of teaching execution. Although I don’t blame teachers not being an effective vessel to explain Shakespeare, like all art it’s  an acquired taste and also subjective.

For me Hamlet is the true epitome of story telling. It has almost everything a good story should have. Love, life and death with near enough all the elements that make a good story just that. Betrayal, deception and triumph; enveloped by that word ‘tragedy’.  They never taught me about Hamlet at school. I remember ‘Macbeth’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ but the Prince of Denmark and his laments I didn’t find out until I was cast as him in the play.

When you take on a work for the stage, be that by any writer you take a part of them and perform it as your own. You also sometimes; not all the time, become engrossed into their story and by becoming a character you only truly appreciate the weight of a story and it’s true power.

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Death is all around Hamlet, the character and the story. His ever so famous ‘to be or not to be’ monologue is about the contemplation of such and as the story unfolds death slowly reaches over near enough all involved. He urges love interest ‘Ophelia’ to get away which becomes an unintentional shun leading to the shuffling of her mortal coil. ‘Claudius’ plays the typical step father figure that is cliche even to this day – he did have a hand in killing his brother who happens to be Hamlet’s father the King; sound familiar yet Simba?

The only significant survivor by the close of play – spoiler alert; although you’ve had hundreds of years –  is ‘Horatio’ who utters those ever so famous words but before then we see a deceptive plot to poison Hamlet which goes ‘badly’ for Shakespeare’s standards along with a memorable duel. As I said it has everything and as our language continually evolves further and further away from that used in this classic tale, it’s so important we remember and honour it.

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For those looking to improve their craft on stage nothing will do it better than the words of William Shakespeare. From modulation and dictation all the way to understanding of how a basic story is put together and all the way to being able to learn lines – if you’ve learned and nailed Shakespeare on stage, everything and I say everything you do after will be noticeably easier. Great stories of tragedy or even triumph never fade and well I suppose the rest is silence….

Do you have a favourite Shakespeare work? 

Lock the Door (Clown Conspiracy Book 2): A Short Thriller by Mallory Kelly – Review

The conspiracy of clowns moves into stalker territory…

Lock the Door (Clown Conspiracy Book 2): A Short Thriller by [Kelly, Mallory]

The ‘clown conspiracy’ series moves into even creepier and stalker type heights in what is the second entry to a well written and enjoyable crime thriller series. Detective duo ‘Shirley’ and ‘Carter’ are reeling from their previous clown encounter while they pursue a suspect which brings them closer but also further into the rabbit hole of murderous lurking clowns.

A sense of danger begins to envelope the downtrodden ‘Amelia’ who lives with a not so deserving husband while an old school acquaintance closes in. She never knew this ‘friend’ wanted more and he’s back on the scene to take it. This soon becomes a race against time for crime fighting duo ‘Shirley’ and ‘Carter’ in what is a tale that will keep the readers turning pages.

 

5 stars 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #59

I am fully immersed into book editing mode. Delving back into the pages and words I laid down nearly two years ago has lifted me. It’s surprising how well polished I left what I thought to be a first draft of ‘Darke Awakening’. Over the books and years my style of drafting has evolved into an edit and go process which pays off when you return to a project. 

This book will have it’s challenges but the most difficult part of the writing process has already been figured out. It’s a masterpiece, an intricate complicated shitstorm of fun intertwined with several story arcs combined to tell one great mess of a book which I personally adore. It may well be a tad ambitious but what I have edited so far has restored my faith in a story told over three books; Open Evening, Cemetery House and Darke Blood – three books readers must take on to enjoy this next one and hence the real challenge in all of this; marketing the whole thing.

Personally and it might sound indulgent and egotistical but I’ve said this before; I actually don’t care if people don’t like what I write, I do it for the story telling and not the reaction of mass audiences.

Yeah we get bruised as creators when someone gives us a scathing review but that isn’t why we are in this game. We do this because we want to create and to contribute towards art and literature. We do this because it fulfills us and shines a light into this dark void of life. Opinions and audiences are variable, the story we tell is the constant.

To reach the summit of those two sacred words ‘the end’ is to truly live as a writer. And to create something from the imagination entirely from scratch is to be free. All of us live to be free. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Break Them All!!: A Modern Era Awakening! by DRTao – Review

A unique mind opening insight into breaking the shells that govern our existence…

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This book is entirely unique and I’ll admit I’ve never read anything like it. The best way to describe it would be spiritually and consciously intelligent. ‘Break them all’ refers to the phenotypes of our existence that seem to rule us such as ego and ambition and this is guide to breaking away from them in a positive sense.

As a complete layman to the subject matter of this book I was able to follow it from the very beginning while finding it an insightful read. It’s intelligent but easy to take in and highlights how to see things differently and perhaps not the way we usually see them.

Well written and structured this is a book that may provide readers with insight to some answers you never thought could be out there!

4 stars – an interesting short spiritual read

Vogue Parody: 73 Questions with Lee Hall

A huge tip of the cap to Jaycee Lynch of Thinking Moon for tagging me in what I hope will be a fun Q and A…

Here goes…

1. What’s your usual Starbucks drink?

Black americano

2. What does your work station look like?

My desk at home is currently being used to store folded laundry… I consider anywhere to be my workstation as long as I have my laptop I’m good to go…

3. All-time favourite food?

Pizza most probably.

4. Favourite author?

Michael Crichton

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5. What do you think of open relationships?

Not my kind of deal.

6. What’s your favourite video game?

Half Life

7. What’s your guilty pleasure treat?

Booze

8. Your favourite movie?

Back to the Future.

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9. Favourite book?

Too many to single one out… top 3

‘The Lost World’ – Arthur Conan Doyle

‘Pet Semetary’ by Stephen King

‘Prey’ by  Michael Crichton

10. Best advice you’ve ever received?

It’s always them and not you.

11. Twitter or Instagram?

Twitter

12. Are you a desktop or a laptop person?

Laptop

13. What projects are you working on right now?

I have just finished editing my 4th stage play – an adaptation of Rapunzel and right now I am editing ‘Darke Awakening’ my 6th novel due for release this year…

14. What’s your favourite colour?

Dark red.

15. Did you get good grades in school?

Not really. I didn’t try particularly hard but then again I didn’t know what trying hard really was, I was 15 so who knows what anything is at that age? I only got ‘good’ grades in 3 subjects: English, Electronics and Business studies.

16. Dream job?

Screenwriter that gets paid well!

17. Played any sports?

Loads as a kid. I played quite a lot of soccer , I was a naturally left footed which is rare apparently. I also played a stack of cricket during the summers.

18. Do you have a degree?

Nope.

19. Nationality?

British – specifically English, God save the Queen and all…

20. What’s your favourite type of blog post to write?

I do love a book review. Writers like a book review and so do readers. Everyone wins.

21. What do you like to collect?

Movie soundtrack CD’s although CD’s are kinda old fashioned now. I also collect different Monopoly games.

22. Describe yourself in 3 words?

Creative, loyal and humorous…

23. If you were a rapper, what would your rapper name be?

J-Lee…

24. Who was the last person you DM’d?

Probably my other half but I also have a few ‘spicy’ message groups.

25. What’s on top of your wish list right now?

Without sounding cheesy things are quite good for me right now. I mean a million bucks would be appreciated…

26. Sorting House?

Ravenclaw – I have a scarf!

27. How many tattoos do you have?

None.

28. What are you most grateful for this year?

It’s a bit early but I very much appreciate the good folks who follow this here blog, you rock!

29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?

Let’s talk about January because this month is less than a week old.

January was awesome and a little bitter sweet. I performed in my final show for the drama club I have been a part of for ten years! We put on a show I wrote and over 600 people came to see it.

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That’s me sitting on my throne…

30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?

I ate pizza

31. What’s the best thing ever?

A sunny winters day.

32. Favourite season?

Spring. Not to hot or too cold. I sweat the least in Spring therefore it is my favourite.

33. Favourite holiday?

I work quite a lot of holidays so any holiday I happen to be off work is my favourite.

34. What fictional character do you relate to the most?

Abraham Simpson: ( on modern music/fashion/trends)

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35. Do you like surprises?

Honestly, no. They make me a little anxious.

36. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?

My 25th birthday was a surprise party – that was cool

37. What surprise made you cry?

I can’t think of one..

38. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever given someone?

I proposed to my other half before Christmas. I felt like a lemon on one knee but then she said yes and our social media proceeded to break… it was great! We drank 3 and half bottles of champagne that night…

39. Do you like muffins?

Chocolate chip works for me.

40. Do you cook often?

Most of the meals I eat are cooked from scratch, it’s probably why I am in ‘ok’ shape…

41. What’s your favourite dessert?

A chocolate fudge brownie sundae.

42. Is there a dessert you dislike?

No, dessert is life.

43. Cake or pie?

Both.

44. What’s your least favourite food?

Cucumber. WTF is with that taste? Cat’s are triggered by them also so that’s clearly a sign…

45. What’s your favourite condiment?

Ketchup with BBQ sauce being a strong second.

46. It’s 4am on a Saturday night, what would you eat?

That’s a real bad time to eat trust me I work a lot of nights… I’ll just take a coffee…

47. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?

Story telling for beginners.

48. Best animated film?

Toy Story

49. What has a guy done or said to impress you?

I’ve got a lot of compliments for my writing by quite a few awesome guys!

50. The best thing to do on a first date?

Talk, have a few drinks and get to know one another. For god’s sake make them laugh!

51. The worst thing to do on a first date?

Eat a big meal. It’s awkward and clunky…

52. What’s the funniest pick-up line a guy could use on a girl?

I wouldn’t know. I never have or had any type of ‘game’.

53. Best comic book character?

Deadpool

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54. What are three things that are always in your purse?

I don’t own a purse but I will always without fail carry a pen, wallet and phone with me at all times.

55. Favourite drink?

Tea, always.

56. If you could play a historical figure in a movie who would it be?

I could probably nail Jim Morrison of Kurt Cobain, hair permitting…

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57. Kittens or puppies?

Puppies.

58. Tell me your favourite sushi roll?

I’ve never tried sushi…

59. What kind of lipstick do you use?

A chapstick…

60. What kind of foundation do you use?

You should proably ask the nice young lady who applied it last time I was in a show…

#thankyourmakeupartist

61. Blow-dry or air dry?

Air dry.

62. Who is your fashion icon?

Dave Grohl

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63. Favourite Disney Character?

Woody. Especially after Toy Story 4

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64. What are you doing tomorrow?

Working a night shift so I’m probably asleep if you’re reading this!

65. A movie you laughed the hardest through?

‘Dumb and Dumber’ always gets me laughing and ‘There’s something about Mary’

66. A movie that made you cry?

So many. I’m an emotional guy and when I get into a story anything can set me off… I found the new Aladdin film to be quite moving at the end…

67. If you could sing a duet with someone, who would it be?

Probably my brother- in a manly type of sense…

68. If your life was a song, what would the title be?

Chancer

69. What’s your favourite animal?

I’m partial to a Giraffe

70. Favourite illustrator?

Quentin Blake did some great work with Roald Dahl’s children’s books…

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71. A person you want to have coffee with?

Rock ‘The Dwayne’ Johnson

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72. What country do you wish to visit?

I would love to visit Canada.

73. Best way to decompress?

Playing a video game or watching an immersive film or tv show.

Nominations: For anyone who made it all the way to the bottom if this here post I salute you and congrats you’ve been nominated!