Words stacked against me…

It feels like the words are stacked against me, 

Get this done and maybe I’ll be free,

Right now the ending I cannot see. 

Miles of words to go until I can end this show,

Forward is the only way I know how to go, 

How I’ll actually get there, not even I know… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Lion King – Review

A visual spectacle where the show is stolen once again by two familiar characters…

It’s hard to deny that the Lion King is a tale of epic Shakespearean proportions, after all it’s ‘Hamlet with lions’ but the story has appeal to all ages and Disney continue to do that clever thing where they adapt a previous release into live action. This concept is near enough a solid strategy for selling tickets to the young and old and yet again it’s worked in that respect but a live action adaptation that involves just animals; does it really deliver?

My answer is yes and no, because I can’t deny visually the cinematography and computer generation somewhat merge into an impressive spectacle. Much like when Jurassic Park came out most people found it hard to determine when they had used CGI and not. The same is for the Lion King and although it looks great it feels like a certain dimension of the story is missing with this choice and I am talking about emotion.

Yes these are animals and they express emotion differently and in a cartoon you can make a lion frown or smile but when it’s appearing as ‘real life’ the concept is kind of lost. This is even more so apparent in musical numbers where emotion is the real key to delivery.

I’m not a film critic so that’s the subjective part out of the way because overall I enjoyed the Lion King – I avoided the animation for a many years because its quite sad in parts and the same is for this version but the story is about redemption so I dig it. The voice acting can’t be faulted along with most of the musical numbers – it seems ‘Be prepared’ was mostly omitted disappointingly… but everything good about this new version is what makes it worth seeing. It was pretty rewarding to see some scenes exactly how they were in the animation, a fitting tribute for this new live action way. I really liked how some of the characters were created visually; Scar looked exactly how an outcast lion would – dark and ominous and who wouldn’t mention Timon and Pumbaa – two characters who stole the show yet again and their comedy made the whole thing! Of course full credit to James Earl Jones who reprised his role as Mufasa from the original.

You’ll laugh a lot as well as find some of the film emotional in what is a brave execution for Disney leaving some audience members still unsure, but if you ask me the Lion King gets 8 ‘Hakuna Matata’s’ out of 10 

  

Chapter motherfu**in’ 30

Well I guess I survived my twenties. And everything I’ve laid down in the past ten plus years is going to pay off in this next decade of my life… I say that like I know what’s going to happen and even though my word is good, nothing ever turns out how you expect it. Maybe that’s what the best and scariest part of life is, the fact we’re not really in control, the unexpected is where our fate truly stands. 

Now I would never have thought I would be penning this blog post at this exact time and this exact place; a place where readers like you support my slowly growing presence in the world of words. There have been some phenomenal achievements that have really been defined by my readers during my twenties, in fact, none of the 4 books I have currently published would actually be anything without their readership. The 3 plays I wrote and subsequently saw (2 of the 3) brought to life were indeed nothing without those who put them together and those who were an audience. This blog would be a ghost town if it wasn’t for the support of my pretty fuckin’ epic readers; some of which go above and beyond for me.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter what we do and how we personally define our creations; plays, books, blogs and hopefully soon to be films. Our efforts are defined by how they are received by others. We are inspired by the company we keep no matter what corner of the world they may be in.

All of you inspired all of this, and for as long as I’ve known what dreams are, I’ve been chasing them.

Only those bold enough to chase are the ones who catch.

And like that I’m thirty years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dieting tips for weight loss

Yes I’m busting out the nutrition advice because in the past 3 months I have been on a big time health kick, I also weigh less now so like all science types, I have recorded the results to pass on to others as advice.

(Disclaimer:  I am not a medical physician or a diet-ologist so before you embark on any type of change to your regular diet or lifestyle; seek professional medical advice. This also goes for any type of exercise.)

Backstory – gotta love a prequel…

Last year was an enduring and mostly stressful mess for me. Things ran hot, I published 2 books, drafted another and even wrote a play; that is without mentioning the fact I moved out and got my own place while holding down a job that follows a sometimes grueling shift pattern. It was an arduous journey which rolled into 2019.

Even though I managed to get back into running short distances after being injured basically for 5 years (shin splints, bad knee, bad back, sciatica, procrastination) my exercise regime consisted of basic yoga, some running and mostly walking. Let’s just say I wasn’t doing enough to look after myself both physically and dietary wise.

Tip 1: Cookin’ fresh…

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Even into this year in which the start was mainly hectic things didn’t really calm down until the beginning of May but around March my significant other and I decided to call time on our not particularly great diet. To elaborate I’m speaking convenience quick to cook foods of most persuasions, jars of sauces, full dairy ice cream and processed meats. We (she) signed up to a thing called slimming world and this gave us access to a bunch of awesome recipes that are ranked in something called ‘syn’s’ – this basically means the more ‘syn’s the less good it is for you.

Early on we opted to choose ‘syn’ free meals to cook in the evening. This also means everything has an emphasis on freshness. From veg to meat and carbs alongside everything else, you cook these meals from scratch.

You don’t have to sign up to slimming world to access low calorie healthy recipes, there are plenty of other places to find them just ask the google… 

Tip 2: Keep stocked up with spices…

We now have an impressive range of spices, herbs and seasonings. We’re making meals that we would normally just buy ready to cook. Those jars and packets contain so much more crap than you need. The recipes instruct you to make it from scratch which in essence begins to transform the diet and you begin to taste things properly.  From paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, mustard seeds, mixed herbs, tandoori powder, cayenne pepper, ginger, basil, chopped garlic and even cinnamon all of our meals have this stuff in frequently for curries, low cal pasta dishes,fajita’s to even burgers.

Side tip: Buy a pestle and mortar – this helps crush herbs and spices easily, and you also look sophisticated 

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Tip 3: Keep the veg section of your fridge stocked…

Every meal is made better for you by adding vegetables – just ask vegetarians… but seriously your fridge has always got to be stocked with stuff like onions of the red and brown persuasion, peppers, potatoes, chilies, tomatoes (technically a fruit) and spinach which blends into near enough any pasta dish.

If your fingers don’t constantly smell of onions like mine then you aren’t chopping enough vegetables!

Tip 4: Take it seriously and kick the habits

no booze

After what seemed like a barrage of weddings, parties and other gatherings I attended this year (I know it’s a tough life…) it felt like I was an Olympic alcohol drinker and guess what I weighed as much as an Olympic alcohol drinker. This takes real will power but if you are committed to losing weight, you have to kick any habit that increases your weight- sounds logical right?

Now I really love booze, I like most booze, I like the flavor and what it does to me, hell my third book the Teleporter is basically a love letter to booze but I knew I had to stop even if it was just a beer or two a day, it had to go. Booze effects people differently, but it increases my weight big time. So since May I have only consumed alcohol on one occasion. First time around I got to 38 days without booze, now I am on 45ish! You can do it, because I can!

Tip 5: Change it up

My current diet doesn’t just revolve around some slimming world recipes, we only really have their meals 4 times a week but I do follow their concepts for all of my eating. Here’s what an average few days looks like:

Day 1

Breakfast – Two boiled eggs and 2 slices of toasted wholemeal bread

Lunch – 1 large Baked potato with beans

Snacks Between meals if hungry – Fruit, 1 of – Apple, Pear or handful of Grapes. 

Dinner – Chicken and vegetable fajitas with grated cheese in wholemeal wraps

Dessert (yes I said dessert) – Ben and Jerry’s vegan non dairy ice cream – four scoops 

Day 2 (Zero carbs day)

Breakfast – Two boiled eggs and two slices of bacon with visible fat removed

Snack – Fruit

Lunch – One can of tuna in sunflower oil and salad with some feta cheese

Snack – whole nuts

Dinner: Two home made beef burgers without the buns and side salad

Day 3 (Meat free day) (I should do more of these)

Breakfast – 1 boiled egg, baked beans and 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread

Snack – Fruit

Lunch – Potato wedges made from one large baked potato and vegetables 

Snack – Sweet and salted popcorn 

Dinner- Quorn meat free sausages and fresh mashed potato

Dessert – A couple of reese’s peanut butter cups

Tip 6: Beverages, always bet on zero

zero

Carbonated drinks, you can’t escape them, they are everywhere and they add a little life into the sometimes plain world of water or coffee. Of course I drink tea with soy or almond milk but it’s nice to have a little flavor. I drink coke zero quite a lot, and even now when I hit the cinema or a food place my beverage will be of the zero persuasion. Trust me, go zero, the scales will reveal why.

Zero per cent non alcoholic beer is my second go-to zero beverage. Heineken do a great one, and it’s got me through my booze free journey.

Tip 7: The scales don’t lie

The first thing I do every morning is weigh myself. If it’s good or bad; this will determine what I eat that day. It’s a great daily reminder to keep on track and when it’s good you get a real sense of reward from putting in the effort. Of course when it’s not so good that can be a motivation to do more also!

scales

Tip 8: What killed the dinosaurs? THE ICE AGE!!!

Terrible batman film quotes aside, if you have a freezer use it. Frozen vegetables and meat/meat free meat add to the already well stocked fridge you should be prepared to have in order to gain a depth of ingredients. The quality is so much better these days also.

Tip 9: Don’t expect quick results… and it’s okay to cheat sometimes..

It takes time and effort to lose weight healthily and effectively. Our bodies are designed to regulate our current conditions. Eventually our metabolism changes as we burn away fat and eventually that metabolic rate of burning stuff will speed up. The best way to notice is via the scales because we can’t visually see our own weight loss particularly well. Keep a record of it somewhere and look back to track progress.

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This leads into the fact that as humans we will indulge at some point. We have to so we can stay happy. Indulge every now and then but don’t take it too far. Order that Friday night pizza but make it a thin base. When I have my cheat days I look on the scales the very next day and see a number I like because my body burns it at a quicker rate now. Loosing fat will mean new fat burns quicker.

Conclusion:

Moderation is the key word to dieting. Vegetarian and vegan stuff is getting better and better these days and I am more prone to choosing it. There are also environmental factors that all of us need to take into regard. Starvation isn’t the answer and neither is dropping a particular food group you regularly eat. Some people will pursue the no carbs route to just give up a few paces down the track. They say variety is the spice of life and when it comes to dieting, give yourself options!

Of course all of this stuff works for me but is there anything that works for you? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

300 Followers Special

There aren’t a lot of folks out there who realise their dream at the age of twelve and then stick to it. Life happens, we grow up, we move away, we get jobs, we build a family, some have their hearts broken, some lose fortunes and others become a success. Throughout my life all of those things have happened to me in some capacity but no matter what has happened I have never ever let go of that dream I had. And like anything worthwhile having in this world it takes work and it takes time.

I’ve never considered myself an academic or clever in any capacity, the daunting task of writing a book is something I taught myself, something I found within because that desire I had, that dream, never ever died. And yeah, it started out awful, maybe a sentence in one hundred actually sounded good, but the story, the story has always been in my heart. I’ve known for a long time I wanted to be a writer, a story teller or whatever you call it. My calling was realised way back when I was reading and found myself immersed in a world to the point where I forgot my own. I was floating in another world and that desire to immerse others like I have been is where all of this stands.

Eventually that solitary good sentence was paired with another, and then another and before I knew it, I had a book’s worth of stuff. After all this is just words or good ideas in an orderly fashion. Long gone are the days when I would come home from work and then my actual work would begin nightly. Four hours a night for four years I toiled and typed, figuring out how the hell I’m gonna get these stories inside me onto a page. But I did it, by hard work and dedication alone.

There is no real science to hard work, you show up, you roll up those sleeves and you get to it. Results don’t happen at the start and they should never be expected on this solitary journey, results are a side effect of that work and those words you put down.

I started this blog to put my words somewhere for others to enjoy. Whether or not they enjoyed them is their choice. What effect our art has on people can be wonderfully unexpected. If you work at it and try to improve eventually you will and eventually something awesome will happen; you’ll gain a following, some people who you may never see in the flesh but they are there because they can feel something in your words, in your art. Some of them will even be immersed. Eventually people will listen to what you have to say but you’ve got to be persistent. 

My number one lesson in blogging is simple: Create content that people want. Have something that people want. And be persistent. 

To have 300 people follow this blog has been an enduring journey of figuring stuff out. I already knew how to write but to find a way to write that reaches and speaks to people, that is the true art of blogging and I am only just realising that. I know this is pretty deep for a blog post but these words are truth, they are real. And when something is real, people listen.

Thank you to everyone who follows this blog. To those who like my stuff without fail and who are always there for me. To those just starting this journey with me and to everyone else. 

 

 

The question of how…

We’re better than any star rating. Our stuff is better than any star rating, good or bad. There isn’t a review out there that really reflects the journey a writer has taken to lay down those words. So many that judge simply do not know and most will never know. A book is more than a collection of words. It’s a journey created by an anthology of feelings that person has gone through in life and in mind.

There is no formal teaching for telling a story. One finds that within and their ability is tracked through the works they give to the world. Those words in that time are a moment but the creator is already several moments into the future.

What you discover in the present could be another writers past. They may have already used those words to better themselves and to grow or to learn. Not many will ever understand that; but as I said they just don’t know. And maybe that is the real difference of creator and reader; one has the real appreciation for the process, the journey, the feeling and the want; the desire to get better and move forward constantly.

Our work will be perceived as good today but we want it to get better tomorrow making our work yesterday open for criticism but maybe just important to the person who created it.

Most artists will never face the question of why but more the question of how. Perhaps that’s something which is overlooked when judging work… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I write…

Many of us create to beat the blues,

So don’t blame me for the 2 star reviews.

Something I made way back when,

Words I’ve moved on from since then.

Although it may still be a piece of me,

Publishing it set those words free.

A thousand days of thinking it through,

Just to create something for you.

My stuff may never be your cup of tea,

But it’s not for you, it’s for me…

Time

Time.

Time is our fickle master. You can never have too much and not enough of it all at once. That all depends on what side of the clock you stand. Is it behind you or out in front?

We live surrounded by a sea of seconds, minutes, hours or days although its a water you cannot drink.

Everything seems to be governed by time although any creative process is later defined by someone else’s interpretation. Good or bad nobody ever thinks of the time put in to create what they are judging. The time put in to hone crafts, to think, to theorise and dream. All of this revolves around the clock our lives run by.

Blink and it’s gone. Immerse yourself in something and again it’s gone. No matter what way we situate our minds time is never something we have enough of. Perhaps we should drink the wine, eat the foods and spend our lives with those we love. No matter what, time will take all of such things away. Morbid it is, for those who squander their time or perhaps inciting to those who don’t. A reminder that time will rule over all.

Time is our friend, our enemy and everything in between.