Weekly Ramble #65

It gives me a sense of hope that even in these times people are buying my books. Not that the sales or royalties matter, let alone do they even contribute to my salary but the thought that someone has been interested enough in the blurb or cover art to give an essence of my soul and imagination a try. 

Hope can give a person enough to know that maybe they are on the right path no matter how uncertain all of our near futures are, some things will shine through this dark time, like sunshine on a rainy day, feeling that heat just feels better when it’s been cold for so long. People who continue to blog and read this blogging effort I must thank you from the bottom of my heart. We must keep the spirit of what we were alive enough so we don’t lose what we stood for. 

I’m trying, like always to create stuff that will at least take one person away for a while and most of my reduced audience seem to appreciate that while those who appear not to be tuning in are distracted elsewhere – this is a difficult time I know and I hope all of you are holding up.

I’ve started a diary that I hope will capture everything that’s going on right now, from my personal life all the way to current events. This is a fascinating historical time and without a diary to convey the essence of in the moment emotion, I couldn’t possibly relay this in years to come. It’s also a way of coping and a self care practice of reflection. Like stories, once I had laid them to rest on paper they no longer need to reside in my head. This coping strategy is working at the moment.

My plan like I said before is to have a business as usual front to all of this. There is no reason not to carry on especially with all the closures and postponements going on around the world, the Hall of Information hopes to carry on throughout.

Good vibes and health to you all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #64

Nobody could have predicted that a pandemic would cause so much fucking stupidity amongst the masses. I want to think that it’s the few that have spread this dumb hysteria to stockpile food. This post was never intended to slam people or the ‘masses’ and first and foremost it’s a check in with all of you because I’m fine, and I hope you are too!

Empty shelves in 2020. What are we doing? Starvation is going to kill us long before some potentially lethal but possibly not flu – anyone else think what the fuck? While everyone seems to be panic buying for the apocalypse, where are the answers to any of this? Why don’t we know anything? To take Ibuprofen or not? Hot weather apparently kills it… Other vaccines or medications could work in helping fight it? I mean are there a bunch of old wives in charge of this thing? At this point I would prefer that; at least we would be comfortable and rational right?

Now that I’ve got my swearing out and vented just a little, I feel semi okay but this is quickly becoming a fight of a generation. People are still not listening. Stay inside unless you’ve got to work or get food. The whole lock down thing, that is a final final resort because it will kill the economy. Countries who have imposed it have done for the better of their people as opposed to GDP’s. The people running the show are probably just as miffed as we are about it all.

Over here in the UK a lock down would probably be pretty difficult to enforce. The schools close today – a sad realisation that there are some kids who won’t take their final exams this summer and finish school like they deserve. Teachers taken away from their calling. So so many jobs rely on places being open. This whole damn deal is such a mess but in this trying time, we’ve got to be strong, we must look out for one another, the older generation who are apparently susceptible to this thing need protecting; they raised us after all so now it’s our turn to help them. To those working in all walks of medical; they will be the real heroes in all of this,

I’m trying desperately to carry on with my normal schedule. Somehow I finished reading a book earlier this week and put up a review. Editing is 75% done of Darke Awakening and I fully intend to publish it this September. This is going to be the new normal for a while and so I will be checking in regularly via this ramble series from now on.

Wherever you are in the world, tell me about what’s going on? We have to be together in this no matter where we are. What’s happening?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #63

It’s getting more and more difficult not to get caught up in the storm that has seemed to encapsulate the modern civilized world.

This whole corona deal is becoming more and more absurd by the day. Is this really it or is this just hysteria? The internet age is not helping and that’s ironic for an information super highway – there just isn’t any of the right information at the moment and this thing is at all of our doorsteps.

Uncertainty is an uneasy thing and that’s what is forcing a reaction. That reaction vessel being toilet paper of all things. Events are shutting down and everything is getting cancelled but still there isn’t panic on the streets, nothing has gone to hell. Where are all the fires or bodies? Someone coming out of a coma right now will think that this is a now dystopian future but it isn’t.

Carrying on has it’s risks while isolation does too. You remove yourself from the world, eventually you’ll need to go back sometime. My line of work involves having to attend, it’s a must. A particle accelerator control room doesn’t fall under the ‘work from home’ umbrella. Our crew are shift workers, I arrive to relieve the next guy from his duties and he will do the same 8 or 12 hours later. It’s a radioactive site, it must be protected.

Writing involves staying in anyway and the show will go on. The blog will keep running and I shall do everything in my power to remain normal. I’m healthy, happy and semi muscular. I’m ready to step in and help those who can’t help themselves. My hands are cleaner than ever.

Social distancing does seem to be working. You should try it for a while. Not for others but for yourself. Even if you don’t stand beside what ever clown is in power, listen to their advice and watch the news.

Stay safe and stay healthy. We’ve got this. There has been worse… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #62

Sometimes it’s okay for authors to read more than they write.

That’s my deal right now and it’s kind of addictive and easier than creating. To sit back and immerse yourself into something where another has done the work is not only nice and easy but one of the top reasons I chose this path to begin with. Behind every tenured writer is an equally tenured reader; if you aren’t then you’re not doing this write – puns are the lowest form of humour hence why I exist… You must put in the equal amount of time for both reading and writing if you strive to get better at it. I remember fondly staying up after bedtime reading Roald Dahl and then later on Crichton with the greatest memories of being immersed. The only thing that has changed is that I’ve only read indie books in the past year and half with the quality mostly being equivalent. 

Not only does reading apparently make you smarter, it’s also been linked to reducing the chances of dementia plus its escapism in its finest form. The greatest gift authors give is their words and so readers get to reciprocate by leaving a review; the better ones do anyway but it’s also okay to read something and not publish your thoughts – try and explain that one to indie authors…

February has dragged and most of us know its January in disguise, especially with the whole leap year thing. Soon I shall delve back into editing of Darke Awakening and of course my book promotion efforts are soon going to be set to full force!

Watch this space. Until then tell me what are you reading? 

Weekly Ramble #61

The editing process of book number 6 has gone well. ‘Darke Awakening’ is a bold and somewhat incredible feat – if I’m allowed to say so. The work we do must give us some sense of pride and as I reached the summit of what was a second draft, I feel a little more relaxed about it. 

When it comes to my own stuff, my main concerns when penning any story are:

1. Is this thing going to work?

2. How the hell am I going to market it?

Luckily when I drafted ‘Darke 2’ I put in a huge amount of effort in answering question 1. First drafts serve that purpose and now comes the probable difficulty in all of this – getting people to read it!

My marketing endeavours have historically worked to an extent and this time around I shall be looking at previous methods while also trying to find new ones. My audience is in a constant state of gradual growth which helps immensely.

Those in the loop will realise I have subtly prefixed ‘The Order of the Following’ on the end of Open Evening, Cemetery House and Darke Blood’s amazon page titles. And in order for Darke Awakening to be fully appreciated they need to be read first as it is all linked together in what is an ambitious crossover. You can expect to hear more about ‘The Order’ soon.

dfw-lh-3dx2The hardest challenge an indie author faces is brand awareness and distribution. Translation- telling people your works exist and that they have appeal. That’s what I shall be doing in the coming months so watch this space!

For a while I can let it sit and go back to reading some awesome indie books. My current read is a book called ‘NightJar’ – its a wonderful foray into the English language, I urge you to check it out.

Those of the author persuasion how do you tell people about your works? 

 

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Weekly Ramble #60

The bravest people amongst us are the ones who realise that they need to reach out for help. To seek a solution for whatever problem you face means deep down you care. And self care is so damn important in this life.

It’s okay to not be okay sometimes and admitting that is a victory in it’s own right. The truth is I have the highest regard and respect to those who talk about it in any way, shape or form. It’s alright to express your emotion in whatever way that helps process feeling. By all means cry, laugh, growl, sit in silence or even blog about it; hell I’ve processed stuff by writing whole novels (my poor readers…).   

I can only speak from experience when times have been tough in life and although it may appear you are falling down branch by branch landing between your own legs each time, trust me when I say eventually life does give you a break (from the nut shots).

Some things aren’t forever and this includes the suffering our minds can go through; just think of it as another stage in this journey called life. As much as it’s easier said than done coming from a guy in a ‘good’ place currently, these days we’re all not far from spiraling.

You could feel like that one in one thousand kid roaming the school hallway knowing and feeling that this place isn’t where you fit in; I’ve been there and some day soon that sensation of not belonging, much like school will fade. You’ll find those who are like-minded, that’s a human instinct to find others like yourself and school; it’s a public place, you have to do it for now but not forever.

You could be working a shitty job for a shitty boss just trying day in day out to prove your worth; some folks will never understand or appreciate that worth; by all means work hard and gain experience but not everyone deserves your energy and graft.

Remember that your own mind well being comes first and there are numerous ways to overcome rough patches; take a social media break, binge watch an entire series on Netflix , and personal favourite; keep a diary of how you feel and then look back on those days gone by to see how strong you’ve become. Lean on your friends, those who are true friends will be there when you are in need.

Life has a funny way of getting better eventually and whatever storm your in now, will blow over, trust me, even though I don’t know everything…

Do what you have to do to take care of yourself in this life.

What quote gets you through life?

I shall close with my go to quote from one of my true heroes…

 

Image result for buffy living quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Darke Awakening’ the 6th book by Lee Hall; coming this year!

 

Darkness. The blackest of the black. Not being able to see and all that. Yeah some of you have heard that speech before and this isn’t my first venture into the lightless void of the unknown. All of us look into the dark differently but we always see two things. Nothing, and everything. Fear fills the gap between what isn’t there, and what could be. And you’re thinking, how artsy and self-reflective, we all know this story isn’t. Drown someone in shadows and eventually they make their own light to find a way. That’s what I did, Blake Malone, the name I adopted as a reminder of what I have fought for and who I stood alongside. Luckily for you, that fight isn’t over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #53

All this year I have been immersed in being busy. Whether that’s writing stuff, work, moving places, performing or even doing social things. In some senses I don’t think I could function without doing stuff. I know we all need a rest every now and then, the mind must wind down and reflect, right now I’m doing just that (while subconsciously thinking ‘what’s next?’).

While being real busy I just haven’t taken a moment or used any mind space to reflect on that fact that I now have 5 books published. A feat which is actually pretty damn cool, especially after doing it in under 5 years. The truth is and without sounding overindulgent I am damn proud of my work, in turn I am damn proud to know some of you who have pushed me on and on this year and in previous years. Being proud of the good things in life is so important and not everyone will get that. Now I am of a certain age (the kids won’t get this) I have come to appreciate that this life can bite you sometimes. In fact there aren’t many real good days that we have. Be proud of the good things you achieve, wear them, carry them with you, let them remind you it isn’t always bleak. Life is too damn short not to be reminded every day of the good stuff. 

This blog and it’s ‘moderate’ success has been a revelation this year, all you need to do is look at the numbers below to see how things exploded in a matter of months. There are a stack of good supporters this Hall of information must and will pay tribute to next month.

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For those in search of a ‘different’ type of read, my 5th book ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ has literally just been published and is available to download for less than $2 (it always will be). The paperback drops next week. Check out the awesome cover here. It’s a story about love, life and even if people do leave us, their influence lives on inside us.

Peace out and thanks for reading well cultured, well read individual! 

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Weekly Ramble #51

As Avril Lavigne once sung; ‘things are trying to settle down’… and for me they are. This year in all truth has kicked my ass, but things are all good after what has been a journey and a half.

My 5th book is going to be released next month. I’ve deliberately kept my cards close to my chest for this one. My last release ‘Cemetery House’ burned me big time. I set too high of an expectation and the funny thing is about this year’s release is that I don’t have an expectation other than to publish it without a hitch.

There are still a few spaces for BETA readers if your interested in looking at something different and short so it won’t take up too much time. I’m proud of it and what it represents. You’ll see the blurb soon and then the cover by the end of the month. I think as bloggers, story tellers and content creators its pretty damn important to be proud of what we do. If there weren’t creatives in this world it would be one hell of a dull place.

I know I cannot live without having an outlet for my art. I hope that lasts my whole life because I got a lot of stories that need telling and there are a lot of stories that I need to read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Facebook dead?

Who here actually uses Facebook as their number 1 social media platform?

I’ll admit that good ol’ life invader is probably number 4 in terms of social media platforms I exist on. Just last year I spent the majority of December with the Facebook app deleted and the revelation was, I felt so much better for being without it…

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It’s not news that ‘FB’ have been involved in a bunch of ‘unsavory’ activities when it comes to data, our data. Cambridge Analytica happened and this is without mentioning many more speculative activities the social media giant have been linked to all of which links back to our data. Both Trump and Brexit are could be suggested here…

From all of these revelations, I just get this feeling that things are no longer the same. Yes Facebook boasts a huge amount of users but do they use it as much these days? Is the social network just a reanimated corpse walking around with users who seemingly latch on because there isn’t an alternative? Most of us know their history of less than reputable dealings but I take a look around and long gone are the days where most of the people I know put up statuses on a daily basis. It feels like a ghost town, or a mining town where the gold ran dry.

I’ve boasted for a long time that my usage of ‘FB’ is limited to messenger and events planning. That’s probably the same for most of you. My author page sits idle a lot of the time and I probably post something every other week. The real truth is I don’t know anybody who’s Facebook page is their go-to platform anymore.

Out of all the super businesses in the world Facebook doesn’t actually produce anything. They earn money from advertising and they also take a shit ton of our information on a daily basis. Most of the people who will read this right now will be logged in to Facebook and not bat an eye about it. Much like our devices, Facebook is listening, it’s a harrowing sinister thought that for some reason nobody seems to challenge. You ever talk to someone about a particular subject and then that subject appears in a pop up ad on your browser? I suppose that’s the answer when you ask what they are doing with out data.

Fu**ed up isn’t it? And that’s without mentioning the repercussions social media is having on our mental health. The instant gratification and mining for likes generation are soft and vulnerable by their own means. And the generation just before were brought up on the Simpsons, South Park, Little Britain and the Office and they are just as afraid to say their mind because it could offend. This really is a world trying to figure itself out.

Social media has given birth to that new world and I could go deeper but the world Facebook has created could ultimately be its undoing. It’s already began. This is without even mentioning some of the fantastic positives social media has. Most of you reading this wouldn’t be doing so without social media. Some of the people I have come to know at the other end of a keyboard are probably the reason I haven’t given up. It’s a strange old world.

 

What do you think of Facebook? Have we changed or has Facebook?