Category Archives: blogging

Vexed

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It has been a very long time since I have fallen in love with a TV series. So when I finally found something worth watching on the goggle box lurking in the corner, it came as a stunning surprise.

Person Of Interest is the latest hot show from JJ Abrams and Jonathan Nolan (yup, him younger brother of Chris “Batman” Nolan). So this show is a heap big deal. Channel Five bought the show. So I have been glued to every episode and its repeats. I even bought the series pass from iTunes for my birthday present. Believe me, that’s a big choice for me because I do not have huge amounts of money to burn.

So you can seriously colour me frustrated that they are having a (and I quote here) “Mid Season Break” and the show will be back shortly. It’s the middle of October. I do not call bringing the remaining thirteen episodes back in JANUARY 2013 as the show being back SHORTLY. In the US, they may shunt things around for a few weeks (four to be exact), but 12 weeks is a FREAKING LIBERTY, and Channel Five have to know that.

Why are intelligent audiences always treated like CRAP?

For the record I loathe soaps, detest reality and the karaoke caterwauling that passes for X Factor, and think that the inventor of the game show should have been taken out and quietly put down as a service to humanity. I would rather put a house brick through the screen than watch any of that guff.

I do not ask much from my tv, only that it entertains me and occasionally stimulates my interest.

There are three flavours of CSI, I have seen every episode from every season of all three of them at least three times each. That’s an awful lot of forensics. It has got to the stage where I can quote dialogue from the CSIs before it happens on the screen. So once in a while when something new, fresh and exciting comes along, it has a great cast of mature people who can actually act, awesome dialogue, intriguing story lines, I settle down with a sigh of pleasure because I know for a little while at least, I am not going to be tormented with stuff that has not just jumped the shark at least five years ago and should have been put out to pasture accordingly, but has been pogoing back and forth over the shark until even the shark has died of boredom.

Even if you can factor in that there might be a pressing reason to do this. (I think it’s horse pucky, but that is of course, my view), why bring the show back in January? Three months. THREE LONG, HARD BORING MONTHS. There is the internet. I already know what happens, because (strangely enough) I can read and I am curious. But I don’t “KNOW” what happens. I cannot see the episodes that I will not have access to until January. Unless I buy the DVD from the US.

Owing to my astounding incompetence. Desmond is still swimming around in the basement (where he’s been for fifteen months or so). I am going to have to return to Assassin’s Creed for three months solid in the hope that I will somehow gain the appropriate dexterity and extract Desmond from the basement, presumably suitably waterlogged and continue on his quest. Before I get to see the rest of Reese and Finch and their quest for the end of Season One.

Season Two is already underway in the US. Will Channel Five even buy it? Or will I have to improvise. Again!!

Channel Five, you are a bunch of boring farts, I am now going to put you all in a novel and slay you in various unkind and seriously unpleasant ways. If I were Mr Reese I have no doubt I could do it with much claret. Being only a writer, short, wide and not especially well endowed with skills, I expect I will have to come up with creatively entertaining ways to make up for THREE MONTHS OF TELEVISUAL BOREDOM. Believe me, that is a lot of repressed boredom.

Of course, if I were truly to get right down the nitty gritty, I would be scribbling this angst-ridden and irritable missive on cheap lined file paper in green biro and signing myself Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.

You may colour me vexed.

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That’s what friends are for!

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My blog partner in “My Ink Project“, Mel Hagopian has just launched her Indiegogo campaign for her documentary, Operation Hello Kitty – The Documentary, something that has made me think a lot about the friends that I have. The friends that I have made over the last few years are very important to me, as well as the friends I have known for years.

Mel’s documentary is a journey, one that began in High School. Her story is one of faith, hope, perseverance and Facebook.

My own friendship journey has a lot to do with Facebook.

Four years ago, after certain events in my life, I joined a website. For fun. As you do. I had been through a very nervous period, my marriage had not so much broken down, as evaporated. There were certain elements that made me anxious. Not the least some of the problems I encountered using the internet. People knew who I was, and that wasn’t in a good way.

So, my new friends on this forum persuaded me that I would certainly be safe on Facebook, that the dodgy elements from my past ‘life’ were unlikely to follow me down the rabbit hole, and I should just cut loose and have fun. My scepticism was sizeable, but I decided that a leap of faith was in order. I leapt.

I should also mention that those friends, urged me to join Harper Collins’ website, Authonomy.

Facebook and Authonomy proved to be momentous decisions.

I joined my friends on Facebook, and Authonomy brought more friends. One of them turned out to be my best buddy, writing partner, keeper of my comma splices and honorary little brother… then Jason became my business partner, and the rest is well, a bit more than just history!

Through Authonomy and Facebook, I met so many amazing and talented people, that a couple of years ago, I did again. I joined another forum.

This turned out to be another one of the happiest accidents of my life. Through a friend I made on that site, I met my incredible blog partner and amazing friend, Mel.

Again, I met wonderful, talented, positive friendly people, some of whom have become true, close, lasting friends.

My home life situation can be stressful. There is no one I am that close to in the immediate vicinity. But my Facebook friends have made an incredible difference to my life. It makes dealing with all the petty irritations of life in suburbia with a very aged parent so much less stressful.

Facebook could even save a life. Mel and her friends banded together in a secret private group to get help to a friend alone in another country. This lady was dangerously ill, and in serious need of help. With love in their hearts, Mel and her high school friends put themselves to the difficult task of getting her that much needed aid, and bringing her home.

Facebook has got a lot of negative press, and there are plenty of people who are happy to run it, and its users down. It, and the friends I have met because of it, those two forums and Harper Collins’ attempt at a self-reading slush pile, have turned my life from near disaster to absolute triumph. I may be financially bumping along the bottom (again), but I am exceedingly rich in lovely friends.

Thank you, Facebook!

Bonding!

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We’ve come to that time again. Rumour hath it that the current Bond is hoping to hang up his Walther PPK and return to the land of the not so legendary.

Bond is like Dr Who. You can measure your existence on the planet (if you’re a Brit) by who your first Bond and who your first Doctor were. In my case, Roger Moore and Jon Pertwee.

Being a Brit, I feel a personal connection to James Bond. He’s British. Stiff upper lip and all that. With immense personal charm he cuts a swathe through the bad guys, and whatever situation he gets sent to investigate, and he usually lays waste to several female hearts before, during and after each case.

There are some actors who you can never picture as Bond. They simply do not fit the vibe. I find it extremely bizarre that Sam Worthington and Shia LeBeouf are anywhere in a possible list of candidates. Neither fit the vibe of who the character is.

Character. That is exactly what this boils down to. Who can give that character life in a way that is recognisable to what Ian Fleming wrote.

When I write my characters, I often picture in my head the actors I would cast to play them. I happen to know quite a lot of actors so this is relatively straight forward, a lot of my male characters are a strange homogenised blend of my male actor friends, and other male friends that I have.

But the point here is Bond. Who should be the next Bond?

Men’s mag Esquire think they have the handle on that, although I think at least four of their possible choices utterly impossible. There is no denying however that their Number One pick, the British-born actor Christian Bale, is a very strong contender.

For me, Bale is too cold, there is a remoteness to him, a quality that he has used to incredible effect in some of his roles. If you have ever seen him in American Psycho, Shaft or Equilibrium, you will know what I mean. There is an iciness that he can tap into, which is incredible on one hand, but on the other holds you at a distance.

It goes to character. What do you think a spy’s character would be like? What resonates. A spy is by his very nature a chameleon. He blends in. He is as at home at an Embassy cocktail party as he would be on the mean backstreets of a war torn city. He can take care of himself physically, sure, but he also needs that sixth sense, intuition. He needs warmth. Understanding, empathy.

That is not a vibe you would traditionally associate with Christian Bale.

My choice? Young Brit actor TJ Ramini. Several years younger than the current incumbent, from a practicality point of view he is perfect. Physically he fits the demands of the part. Emotionally too. TJ is British, a Londoner. He understands how the British react and think. He is a chameleon, adapting to every role he plays, a skilled performer. But he has that added quality, a warmth that is key to the centre of who Bond is as well as what he is.

I would like to think that people power via Twitter can perhaps inspire those responsible for casting the next James Bond to at least take a look at the guy that a number of people (not just myself) think would make a first class Bond.

You can follow TJ on twitter @tjramini; tweet your support using the hash-tag #TheNextJamesBond and @007, suggesting TJ.

I’m following this one with interest for many reasons.

UPDATE:

Send your tweets in support of TJ to @esquire @007 and the #NextJamesBond

What’s it all about?

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Social Media.

We all know what we think it is all about. But sitting down to define it and how it works you can get easily bogged down. Let’s just cut the padding, the self-help book puff and dig out the nitty-gritty.

I’m on Twitter. Feel free to follow me @mock_ing_bird if you like as I work my way through life’s odd moments, and tweet and re-tweet about things that interest me. So, I am on twitter, sitting there, working my way down my feed.

How many of you do that? Do you just glance at what is on the screen in front of you right now? Or do you cruise down the feed looking for gems?

I cruise for gems. Today, I found one. A golden illustration of what Social Media is all about. Being Social.

socialmouths Francisco Rosales

In Pursuit Of Facebook Fans: Try This twrt.me/mo1p8f via@jerrybattiste
I’m the nosey type. I have to know. So I clicked the link.
Which lead me to this guy here, http://www.socmmaven.com/2012/01/in-pursuit-of-facebook-fans-try-this.html; Jerry had written a nice blog post about this guy here http://www.justinvining.com/blog/, Justin and his efforts to raise his Facebook follower numbers.
Now Justin blogs in a charming sort of way about his art, and his hopes to get more followers, and he adds an enticement. He is going to give away some art. But he needs to reach 11,000 followers to do this.
Jerry sees what Justin is doing, so not only is he interested in Justin’s ‘offer’, he engages on a level which takes him back to Justin’s blog, and sparks interest to write a  blog of his own about Justin’s blog and facebook page.
Jerry’s blog is also in the tweet feed. So along comes Francisco, and he likes what he sees, so he tweets Jerry’s blog link to his followers.
I follow Francisco because he has something to say, and if he thinks Jerry has something to say, I am 70% more likely to go and look at Jerry’s link than if I had just found it by accident.
Jerry’s post is smart, it gives you the warm fuzzies, you are driven to click the link to Justin simply because Jerry (and Justin) have an appealing way with words. So yes, I clicked the link. Yes, I liked Justin’s facebook page, taking him one step closer to 11,000.
There is no pressure here. No hard, in your face, sell. No buy my book. In fact, it’s a lot more subtle than that. It’s an enticing invitation to the dance. It has a rhythm that vibes with you as a person.
That is exactly what social media is about. Being social.
Do you see what I just did?

Beginnings

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Shadowolfhunter has entered the lists.

She blogs, she vlogs, she thinks; she shares all this stuff with the world, whether the world is ready or not.

Her plan, to write a novel. Well, actually four novels. But one has to start at the very beginning, it is a very good place to start, and Captured By The Game has to begin somewhere.

Novel One: Rain Falls.

Along the way as she writes, she will be sharing her thoughts, her research, some of her other writings. There will be short stories and novellas and character bios, all the tiny minutiae of the life of an eccentric as she struggles to dig out the corners of her subconscious and bring her odd approach to the age-old process of story-telling.