Time to change, the word we use…

time to change

I have discussed the subject of time to change before here on the Hall of information. For those who don’t know, time to change is a program to challenge mental health discrimination and stigma towards it.

To me ‘mental’ is actually quite a harsh word to use when describing someone’s health. If we are moving forward with talking about this stuff don’t you think it got a better name?

In fact if you say the word ‘mental’ enough it seems like quite a nasty and horrible thing to say. So why hasn’t anybody really challenged that? I know right now many organisations who work towards and for people with such health problems use that word quite a lot. Would it be that hard to change it to psychological health?

People with the most minor of leg or joint problems aren’t categorised as an amputee so why does that one word govern all of those who suffer with psychological problems.

Changing mental health to psychological health seems more logical to me seeing as a person would go to a psychologist for help with any problems regarding the human mind.

The word mental doesn’t offend me deep down but still it could be replaced. Especially in the world we live in now with political correctness don’t you think this subject should come into the 21st century?

As quoted in my previous post ‘No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.’

Although this quote came from a film it still has the right sentiment. Together people like me who don’t currently suffer from any psychological health problems and people that do have to band together and start talking about this. Wherever you look in history when people have worked together they have achieved incredible things, even if it is just changing one word. Together we can change to world one word at a time.

My good friend Matt Streuli has recently written some stuff about his experiences as he suffers from some psychological health issues. He wrote for the Huffington post and has even been on the radio, check out his story it’s well worth a read. All Matt has done is talk about it and that’s all anyone needs to do.

What’s your story? Would you join a campaign to decommission the word ‘mental’ as way of describing health?

This is the internet after all so you must have an opinion. Get in touch

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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.

 

Get your broomstick : Another Harry Potter Book???

I felt compelled to write an article about a news story I saw a few weeks back, about a rather well known author. Her 7 books were converted into the most successful film franchise to date and the writing alone created the first ever billionaire author.

Yes I am talking about JK Rowling.

Of course her success is the dream for many budding writers much like yours truly. But is she living in the shadow of her past? By that I mean why not try something new?

At this point I can see the Pottermore lot throwing rotten fruit my way saying they want more wizardry from Harry, Hermione, Ron and the wand yielding gang.

HP

JK has been quoted to say that she would never match the success of Harry Potter and she has tried to bring out other stuff seemingly to no avail (remember that book she brought out under another name). Maybe sticking to what you know is the best policy in this situation and I don’t blame her. I can’t possibly see the end to my book series yet even after the 6 I set out to write. Perhaps JK was too successful.

I know how can someone be too successful, well only she can be the judge of that. But people would just buy her stuff because it’s written by her. So readers may not necessarily like what they are reading and simply buy it on loyalty to HP.

Another Harry Potter book can only do good things for the literary world and the fans would immediately sell it out. But would it be any good?

As far as I was concerned Harry’s journey was done. Maybe leaving it more open at the end would have let better grounds for an 8th book. There has been mention of a spin off series set in the same wizardy world as Potter. What do you think? Leave me a comment.

JK is a rather reclusive type of writer and doesn’t give much away, for all we know she could have already drafted the next HP book. Warner Bros. will be rubbing their hands if she has.

Back in the game!

Yesterday I began yet another edit of my first novel, Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project. This time I have seeking representation firmly in my crosshairs. By that I mean after this edit, a brand new synopsis will be constructed and a campaign to find an agent who could possibly like my stuff and offer representation.  I know I did say self publishing would be the route but right now I’m not done with trying to find someone else to do the work for me!

I will be using the writers and artists yearbook 2015 for reference (check out my review here)

Next week I shall be reviewing a few of the scare mazes at Britain’s top theme park Alton Towers, Halloween is approaching and so is their annual scare fest!!!

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 Shameless Plug of something non writing related but is related to me anyway

So my good friend Matt Streuli, who is vice chairman of the drama club in which I belong. Sent an invitation to the her majesty Queen Elizabeth the 2nd to come and watch our next show in early 2015. Sadly she couldn’t make it, but least they replied right!. Check that out here.

Episode 6 AMERICA F*** YEAH!!!

As I stumble my way through learning how to blog, it is apparent to me that last week’s entry was a revelation! Using the word press statistics thingy it has told me that my largest audience last week was in fact USA. Thank you from across the pond! But I must also send thanks to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the 2 views I had from Italy.

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The country with the most views gets their flag displayed

 

A big thanks to all of you, facebook groupies or booksie members and anyone in between, cheers guys!!

I did tweet the link to Joss Whedon but seemingly to no avail. Maybe someday he could direct the film adaptation of Clark Thorn.

Before we continue! Above you can see a new page has been added next to Contact. This is my current plan, check back as it will get updated as progress is made.

Shameless Plug of something non-book related

As some of you may know, I partake in amateur dramatics. Now the club I belong to is a community run effort that relies solely on ticket sales to stay afloat. Our resident media/publicity officer Matt Streuli has discovered a nifty website that can help promote our efforts. It’s called Thunderclap and the idea is, sign up via facebook/twitter and when the allocation has been met this site will post a status via your page advertising the cause. Upon signing up the site will calculate how many people are reached and add it to the list. Cool right? This is something that I could use when my book launch is imminent.

If you would like to support community run amateur drama then please sign up to the cause, whatever corner of the web you are in, it will help. They need 100 sign ups!

Below is what the set up looks like, click on it to visit the page

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I’ve stopped drafting my 3rd book

Every now and then I get utterly depressed with things, (not been officially diagnosed with depression) what I mean is that I lose faith in everything I do. There are a number of reasons for this, mainly it’s because I am the leader of this campaign and there is no figure above me (writing wise) to put their arm around me and tell me it’s gonna be ok. Or it’s because the soccer team I follow are crap. (although they did win the at the past weekend)

That’s life, we all get burned out and we all loose faith. It came to a point where I had planned most of what I had written so far (book 3) and then inspiration grinded to a halt. So I stopped, mothballed book three and went back home to book 1. By that I mean there was some re working to do on Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project. That’s what I’m doing now, editing to me is so much more fun than drafting. You get to deal with text that’s already had it’s foundation laid, sort of like word maintenance.

Oddly enough my faith in everything was restored when I was at work. In my attempt of looking like I know how to do sciency things I somehow miraculously managed to fix something. Let me set the scene a little here: The chips were down, the experiment was gonna come to a complete stand still, options were diminishing in front of our eyes, something had to be done. What ever I tried didn’t work, hometime was in sight but that wouldn’t come to fruition until this dilemma was sorted. Lee steps up, does something and its fixed! The crowd roar as the ball hits the back of the net! In life the little victories must be appreciated.

 

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Introductions Part 6 (there is quite possibly an end in sight)

So 2013 rolled around and I was full steam ahead into writing. The first 3 chapters I put together previously were having a serious re work and I began to look for a platform to release some material. Luckily a good friend of mine (Rob Chambers) was using a website known as booksie.com to put some writing out there. So it was decided when I had enough decent material I would release Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project via booksie, chapter by chapter on a kind of weekly basis.

At the same time I created a Facebook page and my online presence had officially started. By the end of January, the initial draft of my novel had debuted online!

Exciting times for me but I did come across some difficulty, you see the first 3 chapters were written some time ago, I was a different person then, this stuff was on another frequency, but eventually I blasted through chapter 3 and forward. I will simply say the reason I got through this frequency problem is because I spent so much time writing, every week day I would be writing for 4+ hours. But for the first time I was enjoying it!

A few months passed and chapters 5,6,7 and 8 were constructed. I was on a roll and I could see exactly how and when my first book would end!

By May of 2013 I had finished drafting my first novel and at 65,000 words I was ecstatic with what I had achieved.

 

 

Next week : The final episode of Lee’s Hall of information (this series), a feature length offering concluding the introductions, whats next and a Game of Thrones Review 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 4

It’s the fourth episode and I still have stuff to write about!

Introductions Part 10

Whoa I hear you say. What happened to the introductions between? Well I’m doing that clever thing like in TV or film when they flash forward into the future for a brief time. (I’m not actually sure if there will be 10 instalments of introductions but it sounds like a round figure to jump ahead to)

So in March of this year, I had reached frustration city in terms of sending my manuscript out to various agents and publishers seemingly to no avail. At this point I just wanted to know if or where I was going wrong, and if my book has what it takes to stand shoulder to shoulder with others.

After some googling I came across the oxford editors. They were offering a service that appraises a manuscript and involves a report at the end. Finally I have received most of that report (I wont go into the amount of chasing I had to do for it and quite honestly I wouldn’t do it again).

My whole angle was to actually have someone honestly look at my manuscript without it just being cast off into the many slush piles. It involved a fee and hopefully that would entice someone to be obligated to actually have a read.

The initial part of the report came through and here are the highlights in the form of quotations:

“I think the idea of this book is ingenious and it has a great deal of potential. However, the first few pages of any book are so important and here I think that you put all the points, but it is rather flat the way you have presented it, so it is like reading an article and not the sort of start that pulls readers into a book”

As much as this starts off complimentary I agree with the points.

“Probably the most important moment of the entire book, in terms of hooking readers, agents and publishers is that first sentence.”

Again I agree and my opening sentence could in fact be better.

To interpret the rest of the report it is apparent that the opening chapter does need some work in order to really grasp the reader. Not work as in rip it up and start again but a series of minor changes and additions to get the opening looking great. That goes for the whole book, there are some instances where I am telling the reader something when I should be showing them.

This is what I have been waiting for since March and now I have been given some decent constructive advice. From here the plan can be instigated. Phase 1 of the Warrior Project Publishing plan has been activated.

  1. Receive manuscript assessment      (I am more proud of the fact that I discovered there is a button to allow crossing words out, technology these days. I’ve been waiting to use that since I started this blog)

Back to the main plotline

Introductions Part 4 (where were we)

After much thinking I decided to start from the very beginning of my story. On my brothers laptop I began writing a title called ‘Untitled Warrior Project’. At this point it that was it in terms of a title and over many autumn evenings I pecked away, putting together the foundations for what would be my ‘first’ book. I had previously attempted to write a Clark Thorn story (a few years back on the xp piece of sh**) so from that initial idea I built the basics.

I struggled throughout this time, adapting to the horrible process that I still don’t like and that is the initial draft. (I do it in hour sessions now (controlling my addiction) To me drafting just feels like whatever thoughts one has is literally sucked out onto page, and that is what one element of what writing is to me. Translation of thought from brain to page.

My run in drafting this ‘warrior project’ ended just as quickly as it started leaving me with writers block at chapter 3.

To be continued….

 

A video

This week a good friend of mine Matt Streuli released a video in tribute to his late mother Janet Ann Streuli. As much as his journey and story is a sad one it also pays homage to the legacy left behind and how it helps him to this day. I share the same hobby with him, that being amateur drama, something I have grown to love and almost need in life. For a few hours a week we get to be what we want to be, whether that is the dashing hero or dastardly villain and perhaps anything in between. It’s a release and stress reliever at times. For whatever is going on in our lives there is always a place where we can be us or someone else. Check out his video here

 

A final note about a prestigious valuable item of memorabilia or sale on ebay, check it out, you wont be disappointed. Click here