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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Toy Story 4 – Review

A fun, emotional and sometimes laugh out loud film that finds the true meaning of purpose and life…

ts

There are many sequels out there that never live up to the heights of their original, many try to recapture the magic of the first and there are even some that just re tell an old story.

Toy Story 4 achieves way more than any of it’s previous installments in what is a true masterpiece of storytelling. Now some of you are probably wondering what else is there left to tell other than just remapping of old ground. Well in this film the word purpose is explored in a deep and somewhat emotional fashion. Toy Story 4 is not just a fun action packed adventure, it’s a deep look at the purpose of life and its beautifully done.

Just what happens to a toy when its owner no longer wants to play with it? You can find out by watching this film. Its a combination of nostalgia and something new; a concept many sequels barely achieve. Woody embarks on a journey of reflection while doing what he does best; caring for other toys and trying to be there for his kid; along the way he finds the truth and although its sad, it’s kind of liberating and heroic.

The concept of Toy Story is such an original and fun thing. It has captivated generations of kids including me who saw the first one at aged five, I was blown away then and I am now by the fourth. On more than one occasion I will happily admit I was moved to tears during this film; the triumphs, the drama, the comedy and the reality of purpose this film conveys caps of what is a wonderful series of imaginative stories.

The animation looks real, something I noticed straight away. Pixar have done an awesome job in putting together the epitome of emotional story and childhood all rolled into a fun film!

You’ve got a friend in me….

5 Stars –  A must watch for everyone who likes the series… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I landed a deal with Bookbub!

As an author you probably don’t have to go far from the Google to find out what Bookbub is. For those not in the know, Bookbub is referred to as the ‘holy grail’ of book promotion sites and even more so for readers because it’s probably the most prestigious book connector site out there. And what’s even better is that they near enough guran-damn-tee returns on their investments…

From very early in my indie author career I tried and tried to land a promotion deal with them. Those lucky enough to land a deal report of crazy amounts of sales and even huge returns on the investment of a Bookbub promo. Just looking at some of the ‘requirements’ for acceptance is pretty damn intimidating, with some even boasting you need 50 plus reviews, but…

Its all about looking the part and persistence…

None of my books have anywhere near the dizzy heights of what is perceived as a requirement amount of reviews BUT the reduced amount of reviews in comparison I do have are mainly positive and diversely ranged from bloggers, readers and even people I do not know. There are reviews on Amazon UK, US, Canada and even AUS which reflects my initial efforts in getting The Teleporter read and out there. Many of them even put their reviews up on Goodreads. There even a few reviews that are probably better than the book!

The cover artwork is second to none, like all of my stuff I invested in a great cover from some awesome folks called Design for Writers who have made all of my books look as good as any other author, pro or indie out there.

It’s also well edited and formatted by my awesome publisher. It simply looks the part from all angles and this is proof even small time indies like me can be taken seriously.

Above all I also never stopped applying. Every month or so I would submit a new deal to Bookbub and eventually they agreed to promote The Teleporter!

Standing out from the crowd…

There aren’t many super hero comedy books out there right now and there aren’t any called the The Teleporter. Like all of my books I have tried to title them in a way that is unique or sticks out from the crowd. So by submitting to Bookbub in the ‘humor’ category I think I set myself out from the crowd. In this world different is good, not the try hard to be different sort, just the naturally occurring different and that’s what the Teleporter is! Find a niche category and if everything else is aligned you may get chosen.

Combination of stuff…

There isn’t one sole reason why I got chosen by Bookbub. All of the above as a combination have led to this.

Reviewers have helped this book in a huge way along with the awesome writing community who helped promote it over the past year.

For anyone who did that, THANK YOU, this feels like our book and it’s going to the big dance and hopefully to a more mainstream audience. You folks can boast, if all goes well, that you read it before it was huge! 

You can expect to see The Teleporter available to download at a discounted price on the 1st of July 2019 across the following amazon territories: 

UK, CANADA, INDIA AND AUSTRALIA – It will be discounted elsewhere but the bookbub ad is for these places. I guess we have to wait for the US… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #34

I’m done with book bloggers. I know that statement may tarnish a hell of a lot of people with one brush including myself but I will say it again with more context; I’m done with asking book bloggers to review my books. Now there are many awesome book bloggers out there and particularly the one’s I follow including the few that have done good to me and support this blog, you guys will always rock and of course I do not mean I’m done with you, and please don’t think this is just an angry response post to someone who gave out a 1 star review, I’m past doing responses, but this is a serious conclusion I have come to.

Why? Because near enough every dealing I have had with book bloggers has resulted in a negative review. But negative reviews is also not the reason because I don’t expect everyone to like my stuff. There is a caliber of reviewer out there that very recently reviewed my first book Open Evening; it came out in 2016, it’s not perfect, I gave it an edit a few weeks back, but overall it isn’t terrible. There’s even a sequel if writers want some further reading. You can read the review here

This review has entirely killed my desire to reach out to book reviewers and even consider them a target market. I am still completely baffled by the pretentiousness of it, I mean there’s a star rating in there somewhere I think? And this caliber of reviewer has done an unnecessary amount of dismantling of my work while comparing to other books unnecessarily (that word again) ,and again that’s not what I’m mad about? But what the fuck can I take from this review to use as a learning curve to improve? Absolutely nothing because the guy, clearly knowing in books and stuff has spent too much time writing a review that just tries to be over intelligent and almost upstages the author in a smarmy want to be clever way. And this guy to me just comes across as a wanna be author who never published a damn thing in his life – like much of the book blogger community you just don’t know what its like… so how can he give any critical advice, he cant…

Authors live and die by reviews, indie authors even more so, and these people have no clue what it’s like. They just take someone’s book and seem to just set out to find reason’s not to like it! I’m not saying this as a high a mighty author, because I am not, I’ve reviewed nearly 20 indie books this year, I haven’t bashed a single one and I’ve given critical usable advice where needed, not in a smarmy wanna be author way, but in a way that helps writers. Isn’t that what reviews from book people are supposed to be?

My target market has always been everyone outside the writing community, the everydayers who enjoy a good story and will take it for what it is and enjoy it, not compare it to Mary Fucking Shelly. Then they will put that book on the shelf and not sell it on ebay a year later – not that I have sent many physical copies out there, maybe that’s the reason for these reviews…

Either way, I’m not mad, and I appreciate all the support I get from book bloggers, but there are some out there who just don’t have any real respect for story telling and they don’t have any appreciation for the journey we go on as authors.

OITNB: Season 4 Review #nospoilers

The full title of this review post is actually: Orange is the new Black: Season 4 Review #nospoilers so calm your shit but in all honesty you should have finished watching the new season by now as it’s probably the best thing you can buy for a £7 monthly subscription fee.

Unfortunately, that is an inappropriately long title to convert into a URL and then paste onto twitter although short versions are available I’m not that technically gifted. Words are my specialty not computer machines.

OITNB

And so it’s that time of year again where Litchfield opens its heavily barred gates to continue and tell some new stories. A Litchfield that last time we saw, was on the verge of becoming a business and then thrown into chaos with an open perimeter fence. Don’t forget the influx of hundreds of new prisoners and of course Judy King!

A compliment to the writers as they continue to story right were the season before left off. Something which isn’t done enough in TV, even sometimes last season final outings are ignored along with their repercussions and even skipped. Not with OITNB, we as an audience are treated not only with continual stories continuing, but new characters, situations and alliances combined with this continuation.

In most top TV shows there are only third, fourth and fifth stories which swap around depending on the episode. For this show, we see the third, fourth and fifth develop and intertwine throughout whilst still being reminded of the main stories.

Our central character Piper is more of a frequent in this series as opposed to the last but overall the main character has to be the prison itself. Nobody is treated like a side show or event which bolsters this already brilliant formula. Newly arrived characters from previous seasons and even the beginning are given origins stories whilst existing people are built upon. A rich amount of detail is thrown into every one of the 13 episodes, and to me that beats the Walking Dead and Game of thrones.

Stuff happens all the time, whether that be comedic or down right tragic. Existing conflicts evolve to really bring together the three main ethnic groups inside this now business like prison. The introduction of new guards only stirs the already boiling pot that is going to cook out of control. This season has been building from the very beginning and could only be pulled off after the previous events happened. The tension is somewhat rising dramatically this time out.

From what begins as a series of intrigue eventually finds itself and its own voice with unfortunate and tragic outcomes in some places. At the latter end of episodes, it gets very dark and somewhat emotional, I mean we have seen shock and awe at Litchfield but tragedy, something you can only use in moderation twists everything. Most of the faces from before are back, even with a few decent cameos of ‘departed’ characters. There’s someone in there you can like and relate to.

Much like every episode of Orange is the new black, we get an awesome ending which leaves us all on a cliffs edge. But we are not left dangling, only thinking about what will happen next. If you have Netflix it’s about the only decent original thing out there, so go and see it.

Other news (because soon I will need to sell books)

Ok so July has somehow rolled around which means its around two months until my first book Open Evening comes out via e-book and later on paper back. Just a little shameless plug and a thanks to all who have supported me so far. This book is a new start for me and not about robots in the future. It revolves around the concept of how horrific high school can be, then introduce some actual horror and Open Evening is born.

I’m sure you will all be bored with my constant updates, but stay posted for more book related stuff.

After all this my #yearofwriting

 

 

 

The Royal Rumble: As it happens review

It’s one versus all and by way of the WWE network myself, Matt Streuli and Aidan Parr tuned in at the wee hours of Monday morning. For the first time in history the stipulation of the thirty man battle royal changed and Roman Reigns puts his WWE world heavyweight championship belt on the line .

Seeing as my last wrestling related blog post gets at least a handful of views weekly, I decided to report the action from Orlando FL as it happened.

 

rumble pic 1.PNG

The Royal Rumble Kick off show

To begin with were presented with a panel that consisted of both Jerry the King Lawler and Booker T, I couldn’t remember the name of the blonde lady and guy with a tattooed throat but for some time they talked about the statistics of the rumble. Then we saw a video clip probably for the first of five times in the evening as predicted by Mr Parr. Next up we were promised a fatal four way elimination tag match where the winners go into the rumble.

The League of Nations cut a promo pledging their allegiance to their team even though it’s clearly all against all. I quite like the premise of this stable, with both Wade Barret and Sheamus taking this group a little bit tongue in cheek and simply humouring Rusev. I think Alberto Del Rio has a little better poker face but the League of Nations is simply the Rusev humouring society.

Next up Kevin Owens was interviewed and talked about beating John Cena on his WWE debut and then going on to make history tonight with his last man standing match with Dean Ambrose for the IC title.

Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match – Winning team goes into the Rumble

Dudley Boyz vs Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs Damien Sandow & Darren Young vs The Ascension

It didn’t take long until the referee was overrun and everyone was in the ring after some quick tags and no action from the Dudleys. Then it cut to commercial break? Strange move by the WWE in my honest opinion. Are we showing wrestling or selling the shit that can be found around the network. Advertising to people about the network to an audience who are mainly on the network seems a bit baffling to me.

So we come back and D-von Dudley in being worked over by both of the Ascension. There’s clearly a build up here to Bubba Ray’s hot tag. He comes in and takes out pretty much everyone including a big boot to Mark Henry which is followed up by a ‘wassup’ and then 3-D to one of the Ascension. Out of nowhere Mark Henry gets back in and takes advantage of the downed 3D’d Ascension member and picks up the pin fall.

Result- Mark Henry and Jack Swagger to enter the royal rumble match.

Verdict- We weren’t quite sure the actual rules of this match and Mr Parr did state that Mark Henry may not have been legal. Guess the WWE make their own rules up as they go along. In all honesty the match was too short to really judge it as any good.

rumble pic

The Royal Rumble

Before the promo hits a limo turns up at the arena and its Vince McMahon and his daughter. After a rather pointless and incoherent interview with JoJo they continue into the arena, although we know they have been there all afternoon.

First Match – Intercontinental Championship – Last man standing

Dean Ambrose (C) vs Kevin Owens

It didn’t take long for this fight to boil over and plough through the announcer team. To my pleasure Owens was thrown into Michael Cole. This then eventually resulted in Ambrose crashing into the timekeepers area collapsing the well-padded wall. The kendo stick made an appearance as both competitors made it back into the ring. Owens then proceeded to take out at least 5 steel chairs and put his feet up in the ring. An arrogant move for the fighter but a show of who was in the driver’s seat early on. Seeing as it’s PG the weapon usage was minimal and impacts were controlled early on.

Both competitors teeter over two set out chairs which eventual results in Ambrose back body dropping Owens onto them. Yet another 4 or five count that both answer to. Crowd chanting ‘this is awesome’ but compared to the Shawn Michaels and Triple H last man standing matches this is pretty tame so far. That is until Owens brings out a table from under the ring or as JBL calls it, home depot. Another table comes out and they are stacked on one another in one corner outside the ring. This is looking like a series of weapon placed spots setting up and eventual win.

Dirty deeds by Ambrose after an impressive back and forth. Owens get up at an eight count but is looking pretty out of it.  Another dirty deeds onto the steel chair but the table set up outside suggests this isn’t over. This time Owens rolls out of the ring at nine and stands on his feet. Ambrose follows and yet another table comes out. Not sure where this is going. Ambrose hits elbow drop through a downed Owens who is on the table. Both are up at eight.

Back in the ring where Ambrose yells his hatred for Owens who replies with the same. Another table set up in the ring and Owens reverses a superplex into a hybrid type slam and sends Ambrose through the wood. Several chairs are set up and Owens lays Ambrose onto them. This happens in the corner where the double stack table is situated. He goes for the top rope and Ambrose rises and pushes him off and through both tables.

Result – Dean Ambrose retains after Owens couldn’t answer a ten count after going through a double stack of tables.

One word verdict – Tabley (if that’s a word)

Second Match -WWE Tag Team Championship

The New Day (c) vs The Uso’s

The New Day emerge with microphones and are in mourning of the loss of their trombone. Then the trumpeting begins, gets the crowd going anyway. Two of the many teams responsible for bringing the tag division back to relevancy do their thing and bring us a traditional back and forth affair. There were high risk out of the ring diving manoeuvres from all involved. Xavier Woods kept the crowd warmed up with Francesca 2.0 making this match a crowd pleaser. All of the tag team boxes were quickly ticked by the six minute mark . Big E picks up the win with the big ending which Aidan enjoyed very much.

A time defying match where you never really felt its length as there was always something going on.

Result- The New Day retain

One word verdict – Fun

Third Match – The United States Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Kalisto

As a casual part time viewer this seems to be some level of grudge match between the two Mexicans. This also appears to be an underdog story. A very much one sided battle early on with Kalisto breaking out every now and then. This feels somewhat like squash match to me.

As expected a lot of lucha libre stuff. Kalisto taking advantage of his size and high flying ability and started to build some forward momentum. It feels like a matter of time until del rio hits the right move but captivating on his momentum Kalisto pulls off a shock win!

Result- Kalisto new US champ

One word verdict – Lucha!

Fourth Match – The Divas Championship

Charlotte (c) vs Becky Lynch

Personally I think Ric Flair is selling himself short for trying to beef up this exposure to this storyline. Not much has changed in the last twenty years in terms of women’s matches. It’s sad to say that most fans probably are indifferent to how this will go. Saying that Becky Lynch seems to have more get up and go than Charlotte, let’s hope the Dubliner wins.

An energetic start with Becky leading the charge. They head out of the ring where Ric Flair gets involved funnily and kisses Lynch then proceeds to woooo!. Having seen Charlotte perform a few times I’m still not convinced by her in any way. Saying that her athleticism cant be faulted and neither can Becky’s. A longer match for a divas contest and there were a few good high risk moves

Result – Charlotte retains after a spear

One word verdict – Wooooo!

After the match Charlotte continues a beat down and is then interrupted by the emergence of Sasha Banks. She then knocks the already downed Lynch from the ring and looks to be siding with Charlotte. Then she attacks her and gets her into some kind of submission hold setting up a next possible feud.

Fifth Match – The Rumble 

Roman Reigns music hits and the big dog makes his way through the crowd. It’s one versus all and has been 18 years since a back to back winner of the rumble. The odds are truly against the champ. Let’s hope they make him look strong.

The number 2 entrant is Rusev with the lovely Lana alongside him. Before entrant three emerges the champ makes easy work of him. Then OMFG AJ Styles makes his WWE debut.

 

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Shock moment of the night to see AJ Styles head into a WWE ring

Early on AJ and Reigns are looking like they will need to band together in order to survive. They work together in eliminating Curtis Axel. The ring slowly fills up with Y2J, Kane and Goldust.

R-Truth comes down to the ring and oddly pulls out a ladder. He climbs to the top thinking it’s a ladder match and is then quickly eliminated by Kane.

The league of nations appear from the crowd with Vince McMahon and snatch Reigns out of the ring. They take it in turns to beat down on him and eventually results in Rusev splashing him through a table. Looking like they are really showing that the odds are stacked against him. Reigns is carried away by officials and taken to the back.

Kevin Owens limps to the ring after two of the Wyatts are in the ring. AJ styles eliminated by Owens (disappointing). AJ started impressively and took some punishment, impressed with his perfomance overall.

Sami Zayn returns to eliminate Kevin Owens.

At number 21 comes Erik Rowan, so the Wyatts are filling the ring, I can sense they will be involved in the finish. Harper eliminates Neville with a powerful apron clothes line. Stardust quickly follows and hits the outside.

Number 22 is Mark Henry in his eight royal rumble match. He goes after the Wyatts but is slammed to the ground and then in a group effort they dispose of him in less than a minute. Its only a matter of time until they complelty clear the ring, that is just Dean Ambrose and Jericho.

Brock Lesnar the neat incarnate comes out at 23. He eliminate Erick Rowan and hence suplex city beings.

Jack Swagger comes in at 24 and is subject to an F5 and then eliminated by Lesnar. So much for the tag match he won with Henry.

Awesome! The Miz is here at 25. He goes to the commentary table and puts on a headset. He’s clearly stalling his eventual journey to suplex city.

Luke Harper eliminated by Lesnar.

Alberto Del Rio is at 26 and goes straight for the dominant Brock. Ambrose soon locks into them both.

The other Wyatt is eliminated by Lesnar taking out my prediction of them being involved in the finish. Although Bray is yet to arrive and he comes in at 27.

The Wyatts return and enter the ring quickly ganging up on Lesnar. He quickly fights back and faces Bray. Suplex city! Harper and the others come back in breaking up the chance of an F5 to Bray who then delivers sister Abigail. The Wyatts then proceed to eliminate him.

Dolph Ziggler is at 28

The Miz enters and no sign of Reigns. 42 minites have passed. He deliveres the skull crushing finale toe Ziggler.

Sheamus comes in at 29 and during his walk down to the ring the big dog returns and gives a superman punch to the celtic warrior. He runs into the ring.

The last entrant is HHH for his 9th rumble.

Him and Reigns exchange blows and the threat of a pedigree is imminent. Sheamus finally enters and chaos now enuses. Y2j throws in the lion-saults and Ziggler with the Zig Zag.

Dolph is elimated for his efforts and we are down to 5. Trips and Bray face off.  Bray hits the uppercut. Attempts sister Abigail but is brogue kicked and then eliminated.

Jericho with an aerial assualt followed by the code breaker to HHH. He’s then eliminated by Ambrose. Down to 4.

It’s Sheamus, Ambrose, Reigns and Ambrose.

A superman punch to the celtic Warrior and he’s gone. Then Triple H capitalises on Reigns and he is eliminated. The big dog is out of the Royal Rumble

There will be a new champion!

HHH or Ambrose!

They face off. I get a feeling that Ambrose is just a small time rookie compared to the chief operating officer of WWE. Saying that I would take Ambrose as a champion any day,  but nope the Game does it. Over the rope Ambrose goes, although a commendable effort HHH is the new champion. Authority rules the day.

Result – Triple H is the new champ!

One word Verdict – Authority (with Styles coming in at a close second)

Full Rumble Verdict – Not a bad PPV considering its one the big 4. The actual rumble itself felt watchable throughout and didnt seemed to be filled with needless spots. Although they did focus on Reigns quite a lot, after all it will be him at Mania. Some other feuds were set up tonight and AJ Styles is finally in WWE. This will probably be the final chapter of the saga that is the authority, I feel after mania it will be stale.

 

That’s all for this edition of Lee’s Hall of information.

 

hhh

The Authority Reign supreme

 

My Big Book Announcement

The day is finally here and with great excitement I can happily announce that my first novel ‘Open Evening’ is going to be published!

As some of you may have seen the other day I put up the picture of a date on both the tweet machine and Facebook (or life invader, the name I prefer). And yes and this is actually happening.

On the 29th of September 2016 Open Evening will be available as an e-book initially and then later on in mid-October will see the release of it on paper back.

This blog site has been the very forefront of my publication journey in the past few years and finally there is a destination on the horizon. If you look to the right you can see a countdown of sorts that I had ‘fun’ trying to put up on Tuesday (look I don’t computer well ok).

If you have come from life invader you will have seen my short but sweet announcement video available to watch here. 

The details

As many of you book people will know getting published takes a lot of organisation and firing back and forth of emails. Now you’re probably asking who will be publishing Open Evening.

Well back in December I made contact with Nicky Fitzmaurice of Satin Publishing, an e-pub house I have had my eye on for some time. After sending my work to Nicky she happily accepted and will be editing the book (as well as doing many more things in terms of publishing it).

Open Evening has been recognised as YA (young adult) in genre and will hopefully appeal to a broad range of ages. You can read what it’s all about here.

Now finding success through publishing a book is not something that can be done single handed. Having already organised the services of an editor/publisher I have also been on the lookout for somebody to help promote and publicise the book.

Last week I asked a good friend of mine and fellow blogger Matt Streuli if he would help publicise things?

‘Of course’ he said (in abridged form). Now some of you will already know Matt who does fantastic work, blogging and campaigning for the awareness and stigma that comes with mental health. His journey in the past year can be seen in his many blog posts about the subject of mental health. He has appeared on the radio and even writes for the Huffington post.  I will even mention that every year he finds new and innovative ways to advertise the community drama club we both belong to.

What needs to be done?

So my book team has been organised and ready to assemble, what happens now?

Well there is still a lot to consider before any of you read the first words that begin Open Evening.

Firstly I need to get in contact with a cover artist. I know the saying about never judging a book by its cover but people do so it needs to be good.

Then I will need to get my head around all things that make up the publishing process. After all this is a journey of discovery.

At some point I shall sit down with Matt and discuss all the ways I can annoy people on social media about my book.

Importantly I will be blogging and bringing any updates onto here in order to build up an even bigger following that I already have. That ladies and gentlemen is where you come in.

No writer has ever found success without the support of loyal readers and in this day and age, followers. Quite honestly I need you all to like, share, retweet, re-blog and rewind the VHS before taking it back to blockbuster (what?). Seriously I need you, because on that day of publication I want Open Evening to make a dent in whatever list or chart it finds itself on. My dream is for the world to read my stuff and it’s on the horizon, but only if you help. There may be a signed book or cup of tea for your reward.

I said 2016 will be my #YearOfWriting and it is. So come with me if you want to read…

Thank you all sincerely for reading this and liking my posts on whatever social media platform you find me on. It means everything to me. This journey has been long but its going to get interesting soon.

LH

Fallout 4 is here!

War never changes… From the moment of installing Fallout 4 you are thrown back into a world many fans have been waiting for. This week Bethesda did what they said earlier this year and released the very much anticipated Fallout 4.

fallout

I can only review what I have played (1hr 45mins) but what I have seen will please even the most basic of spectators. For those not quite familiar with the fallout universe (there can’t be many of you) the whole premise of this game is what the world would be after nuclear apocalypse. Of course there are major details I have missed out, but for me Fallout has always been a journey of self-discovery. Every game experience is different and unique. Every path is yet to be discovered. I could play for an hour doing one thing and another person could start exactly where I do and end up elsewhere.

Moving on to the actual game, right now my first impression is that the people who made this thing have spent an awful lot of time doing so. The graphics match the hype surrounded by its release and all visuals in this game so far are stunning. They have literally thought of everything.

Combat in this game is dictated by the VATS system which allows you to slow the world down (only slightly this time compared to before) and you can carefully aim at a target. Using this system you will see the menacing threats slowly come towards you unless something is done. Even then your ability to hit the target is defined by the stats you choose at the very beginning of this journey. Perception ,luck and some others are important factors in surviving in the wasteland and you are reminded of this in self-help vault tech videos played as the game loads up initially.

I will continue to admire the detail in this game. The very beginning we are treated to an actual film with real actors and sets introducing this world (pre apocalypse). That leads into the voice acting which this time is a full experience. Every conversation is spoken and normally most of the time there are several options of what to say (again time and detail).

After only an hour and forty five minutes of play  I can only guess that there is so much more for me to discover and do. Building weapons and actual settlements is a new direction for this series to go and will make it a more rounded experience which will fully immerse even the most casual of players.

Fallout is a world of discovery and that world is at our feet. Gaming will never be the same, but we all know war, war never changes.

 

You can see my first hour of gameplay including commentary right here via Matt Streuli’s youtube channel. Definitely worth a look if you are not sure whether to buy this game, but you will.

 

5 Years in IHDC : My story

5 Years in IHDC : My story

On the 21st of July 2010 I began my on stage journey. Back then I only had thoughts of seeing myself in lights. But after watching that year’s Iver Heath Drama Club production Bugsy Malone I envisioned myself being able to stand alongside some of those performers .

Back then I was different and so was the world. David Cameron and Nick Clegg had recently gone into Downing Street and everybody had blackberries.

There I stood in a village hall about to join a diverse group whom have now changed dramatically over the last half decade. Mostly for the better but there are still some faces who have gone in which I believe still have a place on stage and they will be missed.

From a largely youthful group (it still is in many ways) I instantly realized these younger people all had their own little groups within. Some even rivaled to each other. There was a somewhat negative vibe surrounding certain groups and a lack of long term cohesion. But this is something which has definitely changed for the better over my time there.

“People either see what you’re doing and follow or walk away.”

Today at Iver Heath Drama Club I firmly believe the group is the closest and most hard working ever seen down there, by me at least. Not to take anything away or tread on any toes of the past but I call it as I see it.

Back to year one, three weeks passed and it was audition time for the next show. That being Snow White. Being someone who always bites more than I chew. I went for a main part. On that day, I turned 21 and had also been given my first ever main role. I was cast as the man in the mirror!

 

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silver tights from my first ever role, take it in ladies

“There have been good successful shows and some bad, that’s the art of performance.”

In my first few years in IHDC a miniature revolution took place. A small influx of adult performers paired with our hardworking attitude shifted the gears in terms of standards. Shows got better, the performances got better, the production value increased and audience members spiked. They still improve today and without any arrogance, one thing I would like to say I contributed to is the hard working attitude that this crowd now have. It’s their core value.

“To make it in IHDC you need to have the right team working attributes and attitude for hard work. Fitting in and talent are two things that aren’t a necessity but they help. Overall if you are seen to be putting in a shift, the top parts will come your way. Trust me, I’ve been there.”  

Yes I have had high points, playing hamlet is one of my personal favorites and requires no introduction. Bringing our first ever Shakespeare production to life was challenging, the dialogue is something that present day people are not used to and gave everyone involved a bigger scope. Plus who doesn’t love wearing a shirt like meatloaf.

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Playing Hamlet alongside Richard Gittens as Horatio was one of my finest moments

But being granted the role of Robin Hood in an IHDC pantomine will always be my favorite achievement to date. The various promotional appearances and newspaper articles I made will always be a great memory for me. But it was hard work, being a name that people know carries an expectation, one that I hope did Robin Hood justice. That production in particular convinced me that things have changed for the better in IHDC, there’s a certain work ethic about the place now.

Even though I am kind of tired from Robin Hood I am still more than ready to take on another challenge.

Thank you to everyone who has had some level of involvement to IHDC over the years. It’s been a ride and one that will continue for me.

Next year my writing will come to life on stage when I bring my one act murder mystery farce Hotel Doom to IHDC. Performing with this diverse wonderful group has brought me confidence to write, to blog and to continue in all of my performance rated endeavors.

“The people I have met are my friends for life and what we have at IHDC is a family of ragtag sometimes dysfunctional queens, but they are my queens and we do well together.”

 

Here’s to many more years and below are some of the fond memories…

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Into the words I go : Without looking back once

No the title of this post isn’t a typo, but yet another attempt of witty word play. The Hall of information is back from quite a lengthy absence. But why have I been away?

My body had decided to recall an old friend called asthma in between two weekends that I played Robin Hood in a local amateur pantomine. After every arrow fired, men in tights danced and damsels in distress had been saved it was quite safe to say my anatomy was both physically and mentally drained.

So he’s pulling the sick card, I hear some of you say?

No but I mean drained, my right ear is still currently blocked (a sinus issue the NHS has led me to believe)

Quite honestly my energy to blog at the best of times is lousy so throw all of the above in and the Hall of information is a desolate place.

Seems quite bleak, but in adversity comes the best of stories. I have thrown myself back into the words of my novels and never before have I been so driven to write!

A week ago I printed my first novel in its entirety. Holding what I have created for the first time filled me with a drive to continue on. A real book written by me in my hands!

Unpublished, I continue with 2 full novels and a third in progress. Many times I ask myself why carry on with writing Clark Thorn 3? Nobody has offered me any representation for the first book.

Much like when I looked into the audience of Iver Heath new village hall and said to myself,

“I love this place”

I do the same every time I open Microsoft word and look at the pages I have written,

“I love this story and that’s all that matters to me”

People will always doubt and refuse to like my facebook page. They simply don’t believe I will ever get published. That’s fine, it feels better to prove someone wrong anyway.

I am willing to take my story through hell and out the other side to get it out there, and the reason I do it, because my dream is for the world to see my work. Giving up isn’t an option now nor will it be an option later.

There are only a few things you need to be a success in this world at any level:

Talent, which I don’t believe I have an ounce of (so not vital).

A good attitude, check sort of.

Hard work, (pivotal to anybody who is successful)

I love performing on stage but since I was twelve I have loved writing and telling stories. My future will always side to written word.

Right now I am writing book 3 with publication of book 1 firmly in sight!

It will happen one day, that’s a fact.

The Hall of information is back people, whether you like robot criminals or not!