Weekly Ramble #74

I’m starting to embrace and enjoy the semi lock down lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I miss people, I miss gatherings, I miss the opportunity to have conversations but many of the lifestyle elements right now I am enjoying. 

It’s a case of embracing what is good in a shituation. That’s what this is and for so much bad that has come from this, it’s also been a huge opportunity to take on things that I wouldn’t normally take on. In the beginning I got myself back into booze nearly every night. Drinking for me has always been a vessel to good times and so I leaned on that perception to have a ‘few’ every night and for a while it worked as a coping mechanism. We all know that’s a slippery very short term slope and especially so for the health situation and of course the scales which I quickly became unhappy with.

The lock down was something that began to piss me off, no matter what I did and so my mental health took a hit for a small time but I’m pretty damn good at getting my ass up off the ground. I took one big look at myself and said ‘I can do more with these days’ and I’m lucky enough to have a work that has continued to pay and employ me, just on a different basis. I have to attend work for two shifts every 6 days, day time or night time.

For someone who’s been held down by the excuse of work for pretty much everything I eventually crawled away from that because of all this time I now have. I’m getting up before 9 every day, I’m eating clean, I’m exercising every morning and then leaving my afternoons to write and read. This is the best shape my schedule has been in for a long time. It’s like being semi retired and I’m doing stuff I’ve always wanted to do. Maybe finding the best out of a bad situation is really the best way any of us can cope…

How are you coping right now? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #73

I’m off booze. Abstaining from excessive snacking. Taken away the junk. But still scales you deceive me with your consistent high numbers… Is this lock down fat more stubborn? Is the increased amount of running not enough? What else do I need to do in order to get that number you deceive me with down, you dirty deceiver… 

There ain’t much to get out of bed early for in these times. To go running so I don’t get heat stroke or have to cross the damn street because everyone and their mates dog has taken up walking. I get up for that and for the weigh in with hopes its less than before. Still the results aren’t happening. I’m literally running distances I haven’t since the beginning of my twenties. Injuries throughout the past ten years kept me back but now I am bombarding this campaign with good stuff.

Do I have to take away everything nice I eat and drink in order to drop just one measly pound. Just one less than yesterday please. Must heaven and earth be moved for just a slight decline in numbers?  God I’ve never been so damn hungry…

Weekly Ramble #69

From every shit-uation there are positives and good eventual outcomes. People have a lot more time now. The hustle and bustle of life’s busyness has slowed down and even I can feel people are taking their time to do things they didn’t before.

slales

These are the best sales I’ve ever had outside of Book promo

Book reviews are up. Book sales are up. And social media engagement is up. I’m even writing new stuff. I’ve always tried to justify my place in the arena with both books and a presence and it’s times of struggle like this that people look for reads and people who are carrying on in the face of adversity.

Writers and artists are needed even more so and while the social media socialite types who produce nothing are being starved out of attention, people are looking to genuine content creators and it gets no more genuine than a book or a blog.

We’ll look back on this time as one of invisible pressure and hardship. But take those away and you’ll find it was a period where we all had time to read that book, watch that show or paint that wall. 

All of a sudden this will be over and we’ll be back in the arms of friends, family and even co workers. We’ll forget what it truly means to be isolated and away from groups. We’re a herd species, until recently anyway.  The rat race will resume and it will all be forgotten. Humans have a fickle way of carrying on. Whether it comes from a vaccine or even medication, we’ll beat it, we’re too resilient not to I salute all of those carrying on in the face of this adversity – by carrying on I mean, writing a few words a day, speaking to friends over skype, cooking that meal, staying busy; we’ll get through, we always do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Image result for michael crichton books

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.

Image result for back to the future

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.

83325442_10156467801216739_503027359981502464_o

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)

Image result for abraham simpson it'll happen to you

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

Image result for deadpool gif

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…

Image result for jim morrison

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

Image result for dave grohl

63. Favourite Disney Character?

Woody. Especially after Toy Story 4

Image result for woody

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…

Image result for quentin blake illustrations

71. A person you want to have coffee with?

Rock ‘The Dwayne’ Johnson

Image result for the rock

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! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #47

Blog Post 301. Not a bad milestone to reach. I originally put this blog together to display my writing prowess and the ironic thing is my 300th post wasn’t really about my writing as such, it was about sharing my book promotional efforts to help other authors. 

Things only really start to move when a writer decides they are no longer an island. I mean I could go on and on about my books but between me and you and it isn’t the most riveting of subjects. It’s self centered to constantly talk about one’s stuff and the only real way we learn in life is by reaching out and listening to the trials or errors of others. My writing does the talking for me and how the reader interprets what I have to say is down to them.

My default philosophy when I have any writing ‘success’ is not to celebrate and wave it like a flag but to think how I am going to share with others how it happened. There is a historic reason why people help each other and it’s not for the recognition or for the spotlight; people help each other because it makes the individual feel good for doing so; I guess this only applies to the honest amongst us.

And when someone is honest they are representing the truth and the truth is something real and when something real it is something you can feel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city of Edinburgh – a review, part 2

A conclusion of my love letter to Scotland and the city of Edinburgh. And so my second day in the city consisted of two activities…

 

Escape Reality – the No.1 Escape room in the world!

I’m not sure if Escape Reality is the no.1 escape room in the world but it is certainly good!  Located just a few tram stops from the city’s central Princes street we then made the short walk to Fountainbridge.

esca

Our party of 9 were split into two and we were given a choice of two escape rooms out of 6. Of course the crew that I captained chose the ‘Nosferatu’ game, me and Vampires kinda go hand in hand, or hand in stake shall I say. (pause for laughter…) The other crew headed up ‘Machina’ a ‘terminator’ style themed room.

nos

Once inside we were tasked with a game of figuring out vampire families and an eventual way to a ‘cure’ via several rooms that opened upon finding various different clues and cracking  locks. Mind your head when examining some secret cupboard doors because they may fling open into one’s face!

There was even a clever game involving words which a wordsmith like yours truly somehow cracked. Eventually we found our way into ‘Nosferatu’s’ lair and armed with a stake we slayed that motherfu**er! Overall the room was of medium difficulty and our team working together finished just two minutes shy of the time limit. 

Escape rooms are an ever growing popular concept that I highly recommend, and Escape Reality were great hosts! They boast to have game locations in the US, UAE and India!

And so our sights set themselves onto the main event of our short tenure in Edinburgh and it involved beer!

Frankenstein’s – Bier Keller Experience

20190907_193044

‘The world famous’ Frankenstein’s is a three storey themed bar that was pretty damn awesome. We had booked the basement bier keller experience – an Octoberfest style set up in Scotland? Trust me it works and along with an awesome three course meal we all had ourselves a 1 litre stein of beer (we had to pay separate for this) and one stein will set you back around £8 so it isn’t that bad in terms of pricing seeing as a pint in the UK costs north of £4 these days… so it was worth it!

Overall the service was great and we were well looked after. Frankenstein’s is a unique place and even the walk there was quite picturesque via the hill and past the Royal mile. For anyone looking for an interesting themed bar I would highly recommend this place!

 

Final Thoughts on Edinburgh

What a great city with an awesome vibe. Considering the short time we spent there, I guarantee I shall be returning as there is a lot more to explore. The castle would be something I would have loved to of seen but time was of the essence. If you are flying from London, its literally 50 minutes in the air. My top tip would be to watch out for the return flight if you are using Edinburgh airport, it gets busy on a Sunday!

20190906_085258

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination!

sunshine.PNG

A big-time thank you to Megan of a Geeky Gal who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Let me just take this opportunity to speak about Megan’s awesome blog which is an incredible array of all things geek, she also talks about some very important subjects such as mental health and self reflection, I am especially fond of Megan’s  ‘Monday Musings’ section. She is a great supporter of my blog and tweet machine efforts which is very much appreciated. Without that loyal support my stuff wouldn’t reach the heights it has done as of recent. 

geekyAnd so this is the 3rd award nomination the Hall of information has received this year but what are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Questions as asked by Megan: 

What song do you think makes people remember you?

That’s a tough one because my perception of myself compared to what others think of me is probably way different. But saying that to some people I might come across as self assured (I tell myself that in the mirror everyday…) so I am going with ‘Chesney Hawkes’ ‘The one and only’. This song is the epitome of early 90’s cheese…

one and only.PNG

What character would you choose to be your best friend?

batman

I’m not really a best friend type of person, I have a cluster of close friends all of which I am close to but if we’re going with any character then it has to be Batman; unless I can be Batman, Batman would be my best friend. We would hang out in the Bat cave and brood, get Alfred to make us sandwiches, he would take down the bad guys and it be would cool. 

What book do you need to read/game you need to play/show you need to watch still?

I really need to read ‘Good Omens’ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The television adaption was awesome and I’ve only heard good things about the book. 

I also really really need to play ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ I have heard it’s the most epic of games out there, it’s on my birthday list… 

In terms of shows, I really need to watch the final season of Orange is the New Black which should hopefully drop any day now – that is my top Netflix binge recommendation…

Have you smashed any personal goals recently?

Funny you should ask that because this year has been my most record breaking ever in terms of writing and blogging!

I’ve never sold so many books or got as many views on this humble blogging operation until this year. Of course none of that would be possible without my loyal and ever growing following, so a tip of the cap to you all, and here are the numbers…

growth

views

If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and play?

This is going to seem like a shameless self book promotional response but it’s kinda the truth. If you really wanted to understand me or know who I am then my third book ‘The Teleporter‘ contains more about me than anything else. The MC ‘Kurt Wiseman’ is probably the closest to my own personality than anything else I’ve written. 

teleporter logocreated by

In terms of watching; you would probably find a lot of my understanding in life aligns with the values of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ – a show that got me through some tough times way back when and I’ll happily admit my first real hero was Buffy! 

Double answer for playing: 

My all time favorite game/series is Half-life. Not only is it unique; the main character doesn’t say word throughout, its also action packed and based upon science that is very similar, even eerily similar to where I work in real life, but without the violence, aliens and apocalypse. Not to mention the g-man…

If you really, really wanted to understand me, then you would have to sit opposite me whilst playing a game of Monopoly, I straight up become ruthless!  Money and property hungry to say the least, but if you beat me, I’m tamed for life… and slightly resentful… 

List your favorite fandoms and one character from each that you identify with.

As mentioned I am a big fan of Buffy, but the wider universes created by Joss Whedon that some call the Whedon-verse is certainly my jam! Firefly in particular had a huge influence on me and my story telling. I would like to say I identify with witty and sometimes sarcastic pilot ‘Wash’ played by Alan Tudyk.  

semi muscualr

What are three things that you are enjoying right now?

I am currently enjoying:

  • The rather hot weather over here in the UK which is normally notorious for being mundane, but this summer has been bright so far! 
  • The amount of awesome content on Netflix, if you haven’t got it, then you should!
  • These questions, they rock! 

What is your favorite YouTube channel?

joe rogan

I have a rather weird specific taste when it comes to YouTube, it’s either podcasts or failarmy that I tend to frequent but for the sake of this question I’ll say that I enjoy Joe Rogan’s podcast which is full of all kinds of subjects, from exercise advice, motivation, conspiracies and even history. I recommend it! 

List three of your favorite songs right now.

AC/DC – Back in Black 

Foo Fighters – Everlong 

Elton John – Rocketman

What are some ways you practice self care that others might consider different or weird?

Yoga and walking are two sure fire ways that get me out of most troubles these days. Walking is great for near enough getting my mind through everything along with yoga. Both of them as a combination are great for self care…

Angry – go for a walk

Sad – go for a walk

Back hurts – go for a walk

Writers problems (there are too many to list) – go for a walk 

Bad day – go for a walk 

Ate too much – go for a walk 

Injured – yoga and then maybe a walk…

Wanting to exercise but cant be bothered – yoga and walking… 

What is the hardest part about blogging?

The biggest challenge I face in blogging is creating good content. If you have material for good content, you will always have followers. I guess right now I have plenty of ideas, so its going relatively well, some ideas are inspired by the fact people will read my stuff.

I think a lot of people are disheartened when they start out thinking that nobody is reading their blog. This stuff takes time to gather momentum – my advice is to begin, follow others, interact and produce stuff that people want to read; try to make it inclusive to the reader. 

The bloggers I would like to nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award are: 

Joe Campling @ Joe the poet

Sean C. Wright @ Seanarchy

Jaycee Lynch @ Thinking Moon 

Emma @ simplyemsblog

Michaeljordahl 

Little Fears 

Blair @ Feed the Crime 

And any other blogger out there who wants to take part!

My questions for nominees:

  • Why did you start blogging?
  • Who is your go-to blogging influence/blogger that inspires you?
  • Name 3 music albums that shaped your life?
  • Is there something out there who you think is underrated?
  • Which season of the year do you prefer and why?
  • Name a television show or film you couldn’t live without?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you currently writing?
  • Name something you don’t like but ‘everyone’ else does?
  • Do you have a profession outside of writing/blogging?
  • Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit but never have?

 

Thanks for reading folks! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #40

Today marks 40 days since my last alcoholic drink. A new personal best and also the same number of ramble posts I have made; I’ll admit that those numbers lining up is pure coincidence and most of  the success in my life has either been accidental or pure chance. Either that or the fact someone out there is shining down on me which is probably more realistic. 

This blog has been nominated for another award; two in the past week and I am astounded to be thought of like that; thank you. Next week you can expect more on that subject. Speaking of good stuff, 300+ people now follow this blogging effort; a huge number which started off at 150 when this year started! Welcome to anyone just joining me on this journey and of course a nod to those who have been here for some or all of the duration.

Although this ramble is a short one, it’s an important one because I have some huge, huge news which I cannot say a lot about right now but it rhymes with a short film script I wrote getting a potential green light! I’ve already said too much.

Positive thoughts and vibes. Those who are in heatwave territory, drink water, lot’s of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #35

It’s been a month since I last touched any alcohol. I’ve never seen drink as a problem for myself, one can even joke it’s the solution, but I’m on a quest for better health and a better mind. Booze can be awesome, it makes you feel great, you become more confident, funnier and sometimes even more creative; not that I have ever drunk and wrote (I tried once albeit with dire consequences). Some of my fondest memories have been while sharing a drink of two with fine company. But the problem with something that makes you feel good or better about life is simple; you always want more until eventually one day you turn around and realise you have become the drunk in the room; something I cannot handle being named as.

I’ve learned this past month that there are two ways to completely stop drinking alcohol. Firstly you have to understand drinking is something I’ve come to enjoy in life so you must find something to replace that enjoyment, this in most instances has to be better than what you are replacing. My muse for booze replacement is simple and what I have always done; writing. In the past month I have torn into ‘Jack Thorn’ with 1000’s of words drafted. I also count reading and blogging under the writing umbrella; something I do all of the time now.

Secondly and this compliments the fist: Stay busy. I’m a shift worker and much of the time my hours are constant, working and having a job is great. Nobody can really drink on the job or on the commute home (unless you have a big time problem). The theory is that alcoholism has no cure and neither does addiction; even though I am not addicted or have a problem, I found a way to stop doing something that I overall enjoy but in long game terms is destructive. The remorse of the next morning is another huge factor which has turned me from getting drunk. The problem is I have a good memory of my antics the evening before and so I sometimes spend up to a week after reliving and cringing at my conduct. I said to myself ‘this is not me’ and it isn’t because 28 days without something you enjoy proves it isn’t needed and it also proves I am in control.