Tuesday, 31 August 2010
I missed a lot of rock shows and movies over the years, due to not having anyone to go with. Few of my friends share my interests - which could beg the question why we are friends at all, hehe, but it's mainly because I have a strange collection of likes.
Anyway, I eventually told myself to go and see whatever band I wanted; once in a gig, no one can tell if you're alone or separated from friends anyway. So, in 2008, I booked a flight to my favourite city, Berlin, to see Whitesnake and Alice Cooper, my two favourite bands. It was the best thing I ever did - the floodgates opened!
Next stop, Brussels, Belgium. Not only did I get to see Whitesnake up close and personal again, I got to meet the support band the next day, who were pretty down to earth, and made some new Belgian friends.
Today I tackled the lone cinema outing. I woke up at 11:22 and it was gloriously sunny. Usually, I hide indoors, regardless of the weather, and emerge under cover of darkness, like a phantom. But today, I was itching to do something with my day, for a change, and everyone I know works a 9 to 5 or lives out of town. I’d been looking forward to Salt since Angelina Jolie was pictured on set last year – call me a fan, or whatever, but I enjoy her performances, and love action movies, particularly with a political or conspiratorial slant.
Since it started showing, I couldn’t think of anyone who would come, so today I thought, "Sod it, I’m going.”
I hopped in the shower and called a cab, so I didn't have enough time to worry about what others would think about the pathetic Billie No-Mates lurking in the shadows. Fifteen minutes later, I was at the ODEON at Liverpool One, queuing for my ticket, and wishing I’d remembered the kids are still off school. Fortunately, they were there to see something else, and once inside the viewing room, there were plenty of seats and I was mildly surprised to see about half of the small audience were lone viewers. Though why one man bothered to pay and then spent over half an hour outside on a phone call is beyond me.
I’ll leave it to Sony to write the blurb:
As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Salt's efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: "Who is Salt?"
Written by Sony Pictures
There were enough twists and turns to keep me entertained and the only problem was the effect the huge drink had on my bladder – why do cinemas serve refreshments in such huge sizes? Seriously! I struggle, and I’m 6ft2; I don't know how children manage. I spent the last half hour in discomfort, not daring to visit the toilets - this is where a friend comes in handy - "What did I miss?" I suffered in silence and as soon as the credits rolled I was out of there and into a stall.
I enjoyed Salt and would likely see it again, but most of all, I enjoyed crossing the barrier of doing things people usually do in company. I’ll do it again! I like going to the cinema with a friend, but the good thing about going alone is I could get completely engrossed in what was onscreen. Afterwards, I picked up my mic system that I’d left at the music store for over a month, and then treated myself to a Long Island Iced Tea before heading home.
Why does this blog entry suddenly read like something I wrote in primary school....
Sometimes, I have to remind myself, what others think isn’t important. Now I have a cinema club card in my possession, it seems a few more visits are on the cards. I’ll take a lunchbox next time. I found the experience liberating. Now I've done it, I think I'll check out some of the arthouse and foreign films at FACT. And I'd quite like to see Inception again.
Monday, 16 August 2010
Anyhoo, tonight's complaint is this. I probably shouldn't aimlessly surf so much...
Apparently, only 0.003% of the British population share my IQ. I just read a post on a forum that says exactly what I'm thinking!
"The truth is, intelligence, being smart, really truly smart, is a horribly lonely affair. It is soul-crushingly lonely. For someone such as me with an IQ as a stupid, naive, child was last measured at 142. That's roughly .14% or 14 / 10,000. Now restrict that sample to agiven location and there may be (if you're lucky) a few hundred people in the area you live in (this depends of course on where you live, I'm speaking for my current situation). Now how many of those are roughly your age? How many are of the opposite sex, emotionally compatible, attractive, and single? In many to most cases the answer is nearly nil. What are the odds of meeting such a person? Imagine how lonely a situation that is, and it's just simply arrived at by simple analysis."
For me, that percentage works out at approximately 1500. FIFTEEN HUNDRED PEOPLE. Of these people, how many are male and single and possess all the other attributes mentioned in the excerpt above?
No wonder I'm a spinster! >:(
One might say choosing a mate on intelligence is unnecessary, but even if I were not attracted to the mind, more often than not, men date women less intelligent than them. And shorter than them. And less bossy.
*sigh* I guess I could sell my eggs...at least I'd get some recompense!
Saturday, 26 June 2010
There. He’d said it. And he couldn’t take it back.
“I love you,” he repeated, growing confident on Jack Daniels. “I know I didn’t handle things properly…I’ve got issues and I took my frustrations out on you. I guess I felt safe venting to you, but I didn’t think about how it affected you. What can I say? I’m selfish. But I do want the best for you and that’s why I was horrible, ‘cause I thought if I pushed you away, you’d go off and find someone who’ll treat you like you deserve to be treated. I know that sounds stupid, but it made sense to me at the time. I was wrong and I can’t deal with letting you go. You’re amazing. I just hope you achieve your dreams.”
Wolf paused, suddenly feeling foolish instead of brave. “Anyway, if you want to call me back, we can talk properly,” he rushed. “If not, fine. I’ll respect that. I’m leaving on Friday, so…just call me.”
He hung up and dropped the handset to the floor. What a whiny idiot. He should have learned by now not to drunk-dial.
“What’s done is done,” he muttered, reaching for the bottle and taking a slug.
* * *
Over in Santa Monica, Summer and Jessica stared at the answering machine.
“Girl, call him!” Summer nudged her. “He’s just bared his soul to you – what are you waiting for?”
“His drunken soul,” Jessica said cynically.
“Aw, he needed Dutch courage. I think it’s cute.”
“A whisky-soaked rock musician clogging up the voicemail is hardly cute.”
Sunday, 20 June 2010
I put Headliner away for a few weeks, so I can come back to it with renewed vigour for setting the scene. While I am a chatterbox, as are my characters, I am often concerned I don't have enough descriptive narrative in my novel; that's what the blogs and articles tell me, anyway. As a reader, I don't care what the author tells me a room looks like. If they've done a good enough job of shaping their characters and said characters' journeys, I can imagine how their room would be furnished without any help from the author.
However, it does seem this is an important feature of the novel (even though I tend to skim past descriptions longer than a few lines on a page when reading). The key is balance, but chucking a descriptive passage here and there for the sake of balance is not going to work. And my characters fly so fast through life, I'm not sure they even notice their surroundings. Being on tour, playing shows in different cities each night; one doesn't get chance to stop and think, let alone appreciate one's delightful hotel rooms.
Okay, that's my complaining done for the afternoon. When I get home after my show, I'll consider ways to address my predicament. While I write primarily for me, I do want to please my readers, too. Waaaaaa!
Thursday, 17 June 2010
I pulled up a chair this morning and wore my earnest writer face. Shall this blog entry be about what’s on my mind today? Shall it be about serious issues? Sex? Work? Writing? My plants? My pets? My social life? My Americanisms?
Ah, sod it. I'll go eat something instead. A romp through my unhinged mind, visiting locked-up hiding places is a road trip I didn't prepare lunch for.
I need to give this more thought over steak. Which reminds me, I should write a post about my vegetarianism.
Friday, 14 May 2010
Wolf grinned at his band mates. “Well, we’re here.”
“This is gonna be a blast,” Kev said, looking at the hustle and bustle.
Shane fingered his prayer beads for reassurance. “I hope they like us.”
“Course they’ll like ya.” Jacks cast an eye over his scruffy brood. “They loved ya last time.”
“I need a cigarette,” grumbled Spacey.
“Yeah, me too,” Wolf said. “Another bloody city with a stupid smoking ban. Sooner we get to the hotel, the better; I’m gonna smoke five at once.”
Jacks checked his Blackberry for emails. “Let’s get settled in and then we’ll go to Drill. Smoke all ya want there. I ain’t been back in a while, the place could be razed to the ground.”
“How come we didn’t go last time?”
“Ya did,” Jacks said wryly. “Ya were too wasted to remember.”
“I need a few hours kip before we hit the town.” Wolf yawned. If he didn’t get out of the airport soon, he’d crash. He switched his phone on and turned the handset round in his hand, thinking about the argument with Luna. The wedding couldn’t really be off. He cleared off to give her space, but now he wondered she’d mistaken his lack of contact for disinterest. Why couldn’t he keep his dick in his trousers? He flicked the handset open and speed-dialled her number.
Jay kicked his foot. “We’re off.”
Wolf looked up and saw the others following Gemma. He disconnected the call and stuffed his phone in his pocket. “Where’s our stuff?”
“On the trolleys.” Kev pointed to crew pushing luggage carts towards the exit. “Car’s outside, let’s get out of here.”
“Sweet!” Shane whistled, seeing the stretch limousine.
“Don’t get used to it,” Jacks said. “You’ll be slummin’ it in vans and buses. But it’s good to make a grand entrance.”
On cue, a swarm of girls rushed over. “Omigod!” screamed one. “You guys are that British band, right?”
“Yeah, Coldplay,” joked Spacey.
“No you’re not!” giggled another girl. She thrust a pen and piece of paper forward. “Sapphic! I saw you on MTV. Can I get an autograph?”
“Sure.” Spacey signed his name with a flourish.
“You guys are so freakin’ hot!”
“You’re the singer, I recognised you straight away.” A girl flung her arms round Wolf. “The album rocks. Can I get a photo with you?”
“Sure, babe.” Wolf grinned, Luna momentarily forgotten. “What’s your name?”
“Danni.” The girl pushed her phone into a friend’s hand and wrapped her arms round his waist. “You’re tall! And sexy.”
“This is a wonderful welcome, I must say.” Wolf posed for the picture.
The girl exchanged places with her friend, and then they all squashed in for Jacks to take a group shot of the band and their new fans.
“So are you guys in town to play a show?”
“Yeah, we’re at Club Europa tomorrow night – where’s that, Jacks? - and then we have a show in New Jersey the night after.”
“Greenpoint.” Jacks eyeballing the growing crowd.
“Oh, we are so coming!”
“You old enough?” Kev said.
“Of course you are.” Wolf laughed. “Listen, get IDs sorted, and we’ll see you at the show.”
The crowd grew excitable. Concerned for the band’s safety, Jacks signalled to security to get them into the car. Wolf stuck his head out of the window as the vehicle moved off.
“Club Europa, tomorrow!”
The crowd cheered and screamed, and a few girls tried to chase the limousine, but were soon left behind. With JFK not yet out of sight, the boys already had the minibar open.
“Fuck, yeah!” Wolf climbed out of the sunroof and blew a kiss at two women on the sidewalk. He bent down and grinned at his friends. “I love this.”
“How long ‘til we get to the hotel?” Kev handed Wolf a glass of champagne.
“An hour.” Jacks flicked through the documents on his knee.
“To conquering the States.” Wolf slotted in beside Kev. “World domination next!”
* * *
Read Swallow here
Buy Swallow on Kindle here
“Yeah, fuck off, vermin!” Wolf played the part of unhinged madman perfectly. He picked up a rock and lobbed it at one of them, hitting him square on the forehead.
“I’ll have you, mate!” The paparazzo bellowed in pain and anger.
“Blow me!” Wolf hurled another. “You’re trespassing!”
Kev joined him. An all-out riot broke out between the band and the hacks, as punches were thrown and equipment broken.
“Let’s get off!” yelled Spacey, jumping into the van.
The others got in without much hassle. Spacey grinned, safe in the knowledge they’d be the hot topic for the next few days; celebrities hated the paparazzi. Sapphic definitely had the sympathy vote.
Wolf shielded his face and gave the photographers the V-sign as he legged it back towards the main building. He was in his element!
* * *
Read Swallow here
Buy Swallow on Kindle here
Monday, 15 February 2010
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Sunday, 17 January 2010
This video starts with John breaking a string on his guitar, which he then quickly replaces before a beautiful rendition of 'Solid Air'. From the DVD - 'John Martyn: The Man Upstairs'
Thursday, 14 January 2010
Now, how will Sophie fit into the lives of my existing characters? Well, you'll have to read on, won't you?
How do other people create characters? Do you have a pre-set cast, or figure them out as you go along?
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Headliner has rockstar rivalry in it, with newcomer Brett Stone becoming a thorn in the side of Wolf Taylor, frontman with Sapphic. Wolf's determined to get back on the metal throne; hype about the band died down while he recovered from a serious accident. Much to his chagrin, the label's just picked up Brett, a dirty-blond rebel, with an attitude.
The California girls are ecstatic. Brett and Wolf are fire and ice, and Los Angeles ain't big enough for the two of them. Expect fireworks!
A little mood music, if you will.
Thursday, 7 January 2010
One thing I do want, but can't find, is a balloon chart showing character relationships, as my books are tangled webs and it's hard remembering who knows who, and how. I'll probably have to knock one up myself. If I do, I'll post it.
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
Saturday, 2 January 2010
The Beauregarde Affair
Snakes & Drugs & Rock 'n Roll? If you can't remember the 70's, you can always read about someone else's. Like mine, for example.
Are you a child of the 70’s? Can’t remember? Then this might be just ticket for you. Or maybe you’re Generation X, completely enervated after hearing all those rheumy-eyed, greybeard hipsters carry on about how things were soooo much cooler, Man, back in the good old daze. Need some ammo for your counterattack? Here’s a heap of it.
The Beauregarde Affair chronicles a month's-worth of misadventure, starring Mr. T and his hopeless housemates at 591 Morningside Drive. Existentially adrift as the '60's segue into the 70’s, they belatedly await the arrival of The Revolution, which, like most of their pipedreams, never seems to materialize. If you thought it was all sex and drugs and you-know-what, then think again. Because here is a world populated by incarcerated hognose snakes, junk-food thieving socialists, The Thing, Coca Cola prophylactics, Snootch, Floridian rats the size of small Scotties, .357 magnum totting silversmiths, Gorp, sexually abused pizzas and The Mule, a master carpenter who wouldn’t know a right angle from a wrong one.
A slice of life from a time gone by, a story of youthful folly, of stumbling cluelessly into the gaping maw of the age of Aquarius and living to tell the tale.
The Classic Rock Code
Dedicated to all those who have rocked on the classic rock journey
In the beginning,
Back in nineteen fifty-five,
Man didn't know about a rock 'n' roll show,
And all that jive,
The white man had the smoltz,
The black man had the blues,
No one knew what they was gonna do,
But Tchaikovsky had the news,
He said -
"Let there be light", and there was light,
"Let there be sound", and there was sound,
"Let there be drums", and there was drums,
"Let there be guitar", and there was guitar,
"Let there be rock",
And it came to pass,
That rock 'n' roll was born,
All across the land every rockin' band,
Was blowing up a storm,
The guitarman got famous,
The businessman got rich,
And in every bar there was a super star,
With a seven year itch,
There were fifteen million fingers,
Learning how to play,
And you could hear the fingers picking,
And this is what they had to say,
"Let there be .......Guitar",
One night in a club called `The Shaking Hand',
There was a ninety-two decibel rocking band,
The music was good and the music was loud,
And the singer turned and he said to the crowd -
"Let there be rock" - AC/DC (1977)
Sunset on Sunset
A Hollywood murder mystery, with shades of the supernatural, offers a dark, bittersweet and occasionally insightful look at the twilight of the Rock generation.
The Codex file
Michael's wife is murdered as internet access is banned. Only a band of hackers and industrial espionage can unravel the Codex file and discover why.
Forget everything you think you know about the internet. If you think nefarious web sites peddling a cocktail of online scams, illegal pornography, racial hatred and vicious computer viruses was all you had to worry about - think again. The government has banned access to the internet and the world wide web, dubbing it an illegal, unregulated zone. Sounds good news doesn't it, until you know that its replacement controls every aspect of your life, from digital content, provision of your gas, water and electricity, and all your money. And with everything and everybody connected, we're all now potential targets if we oppose it.
Do you still feel safe?
Welcome to the future of the internet. Welcome to the Codex file.
Michael Robertson’s family has been murdered to protect the covert government project linked to establishing a new UK internet. Piecing together what happened leads him to four computers hackers, vehemently opposed to the new network, who provide the only means to hunt down the killers. But uncovering the truth leads to industrial espionage and a plot that leads right to the heart of government as he seeks the truth behind the Codex file.
And so, what would you fuckin' well do with five point three million quid in your pocket eh?
Derek lives in Bristol, England, and is a person of estate (housing that is) and is little more than a soak, a pisshead - the poor bastard. And as one might expect with this mind bending change in financial status, we find him on a roller coaster of ridiculous excess.
But hold on a tick - before you think you've got the measure - this ingenu's world is really turned inside-out and upside-down when a man, a foreign man, arrives on his doorstep claiming to be his long lost father. You see, Derek had been told that his dad had died when he was no more than a babe-in-arms.
So he must decide; is this man yet another freeloader, circling him like a vulture, seeking his pound of flesh? Or, inconceivably, is he for real? And if this be the case then his family must have sold him a lie throughout his life - musn't they?
The events, as they unfold, shake Derek to his very core.
The Quest For Light
This young adult fantasy novel introduces a multitude of fantastic worlds and characters while dealing with broken homes and the pains of status segragation.
Elliott Schultz, a loner by nature, has never been there for his twice-divorced mother and hurting younger brother. However, a dream the night before the first day of school is the beginning of an adventure that will show him the true value of family.
Alongside his semi-popular best friend, the high school bully, and the most beautiful girl in school, Elliott travels from one vastly different world to the next facing a multitude of dangers and personalities. Underwater kingdoms, landless skies, and even Earth itself aren't safe from the darkness that threatens to claim them. The quest will conclude with the salvation of the Lady of Light, the one person who offers this corrupted web of worlds its true redemption. However, a great evil pursues Elliott and his company, the very evil that darkened the web in the first place.
I've never really known the feeling of having actually lost a parent. Then in 2006, my mother and stepfather of twenty years separated, and though it saddened me, the real pain was felt by my three younger siblings. Seeing their various reactions I was inspired to craft this novel with real life issues facing many of today's youth.
Livin' the dream! Or at least Nick Jones believes he is until his fiftieth birthday and a rogue gray hair show up.
The façade that is Nick’s life begins to unravel with the discovery of his first gray, a tightening chest and a dead father who begins showing up in some strange places. Nick realizes that sometimes life isn’t what we believe it to be and that growing up is difficult even at fifty.
Heaven's shameful secret is revealed in a frantic chase across England's backside involving bitter fallen angels, sheep-terrorists, love, ducks, hostages and a battered, orange Maestro.
Bitter angel Anvil Marvell has been sent to earth to track down his father, Gregory, who was dismissed from Heaven for challenging God and for just generally being more popular. Anvil hypnotises ruthless conwoman-in-hiding Netta into using her latest corrupt business - selling fake quests by which errant offspring can earn parental approval - to find Gregory. Yet his true intentions are far more ambitious
than winning over a vain and foolish father. However it seems Anvil has underestimated femme-fatale Netta who discovers Gregory not only has two hopeless mortal sons and a duck-obsessed wife, but also a vast fortune and the recipe for life itself. Add in terrorist sheep, a couple more angels, a technologically-inept God, stray doughnut jam and some good old-fashioned bigamy and a frantic chase across England begins...---
Take a broken hearted Englishman, a purple hippy, a large breasted nympho, and The Chipmunk, set them in Berlin and watch the chaos ensue.
Matthew ends up in one crisis after another. A couple of sleeping girls, a rabid rat and an uncontrollable erection are always going to spell trouble. He needs a new woman and fast. But hippy Bruno is the boss’s frustrated wife, large breasted Angel is his roommate’s lover and Fleur is too much of a mystery. Matthew’s acquaintances are no better. His boss is struggling with his sexuality, his roommate is a Communist lothario and his drug dealer talks in a strange psychobabble.
A running feud with his ex East German Secret Police neighbour adds to his problems, but through it all he decides that the woman of his dreams is The Chipmunk . Two problems: she is pregnant and her crazy ex boyfriend is in town. With the help of an unlikely ally, Matthew rescues The Chipmunk from her deranged ex and wins her heart.
Murder, assault, computer hacking, white collar theft and la Cosa Nostra. Two young Britons uncover scandal and corruption at the heart of the European Union.
The European Parliament and Commission in Brussels is the centre of power, influence and money for modern Europe. Here un-elected officials control billions of euros in grants and subsidies. So why has one of those all-powerful civil servants
fallen to his death from his tower block office? Has it anything to do with the olive oil subsidies he controlled? Are the rumours of Mafia involvement in the heart of the European government true? Two young Britons, a beautiful young female journalist and a washed up young politician decide to investigate...... before long they are embroiled in a scandal involving murder, assault, computer hacking, white collar theft and the Cosa Nostra. Will they live to see justice?---