People you just have to love them.

ImageYou know, I think I like writing because I like people. We are great, we have imagination. No other animal really has it. Our social skills are above and beyond what we need.
I am a developing writer, but my job is in quality assurance. I was a decorator for many years before this and I meet all kinds of people from the very kind, to the very selfish. From the rich, to the poor. The one thing I have learnt from my twenty odd years is that as a whole people are great to be around. Nintey nine point nine percent of them want to know you and want you to know them. It’s great, I love it and love a lot of them.
Now there is the point one percent thet are manipulative and cruel. They try to guide you through their life like there own personal toy. Let’s not be coy, we all manipulate each other, its in our nature. It’s what we do best. The problem comes when we put our self interest so far above others that we forget what is really Important. And that is community, this is why I write and why I’m doing this now. I want you to read this, not for any other reason, other than I like to talk and feel that you may be interested in what I have to say.

Back when I was decorating this point one percent of people would raise there heads in the form of picky customers. The ones that have to complane about this and that. “It’s to expensive.” “It took to long.” Or my favourite “I paid you for perfection.” when actually they nocked down the price to the point that it was not possible to compleat the job in the time they paid for. Quality cost time and as the saying goes, ‘Time is money.’
That said nearly all the people and customers I come in contact with are nice good people.
And this is why I do what I do.

Happy Wednesday people I hope it’s a good one. As I’m sure it will be for me.

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Candy Crush, Why?

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Come on its jelly beans and candy bars made in the never never.
Its a hugely popular game, on Facebook and Most phones. Challenging and rewarding to play. On the surface, it does its job perfectly, but when you start to dig a little deeper, it is clear that the game is not so much a game but a game that will slowly drain you of your well earned money.
Ranking as one of the top sell free games. It sucks you in with its cute graphics and It’s got a very addictive gameplay. The farther you progress the more they want to take from you, and that is time not just money. People are spending hours each day playing a game that is unsociable and is killing off the art of conversation. Where I spend my day I see eighty percent of the people round me playing it on their hand held device.

The worst part is when you first play the game, you won’t notice that you’re being sucked in, not right away anyway. You’ll win the first few levels, getting a taste and having a good time. But then you will hit a wall. You will fail. And then you run out of lives. If you want to continue playing, you have to wait awhile for the lives to regenerate or pay real money for more lives. Oh you can always ask your Facebook friends to gift them to you.

My advice, that’s if you wish to take it. Is pick up a book and read something that will improve your life.

Come on. Melt my heart.

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What can truly melt your heart?

I mean we all go awww when we see a puppy dog fall over and look back with them big brown eyes. Or when someone posts a really lovely comment on Facebook or twitter to a friend or relative in need. But I think the one thing that really makes your heart melt is when a child makes a selfless gesture. I have two boys one aged twelve and the other eight. They fight and bicker like any other brothers but every now and then they have a moment. When one will show humility and a kindness that should not be in one so young. These moments make me smile and make my heart melt.

Do you have any moments of heart melting quality?

Why You Should Never Get On The Wrong Side Of A Writer

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Get on the wrong side is a bit PC. “Piss me off.” Could be better or maybe “Anger me.” Which ever you want to pick is fine with me. Its just, I suppose I should warn you.  If you’ve done me wrong recently, this is aimed at you. (evil smile)

Take some popular singers, they like to ring the people that crossed them out to dry. Banging out a hit song with half meanings that are obvious to the world. It doesn’t take a genius to work out who they are singing about. But what about the people that cross a writer in a negative way.

I take my inspiration from the people I know and love. I also take inspiration from people at large. It could be at work, at play or just two people walking hand in hand down the street. The way they hold hands. The way they walk and talk. It all becomes very relevant when making new characters for a book. You see…. it all comes together in the back of my mind… and then people are born. Life like and full of what ever character traits I desirer. If your on a writers good side then you may end up being a leading hero with women (or man) and money, saving the human race from a devastating end.

Everyone has that special something, that something that makes them different from the people round them. And it’s that which makes characters jump right of the page and spring into life. Its that something that I want.

Now if your in a writers bad books, well lets say most of my villains die. They can have very painful and gruesome ends.  I’m just saying, maybe all those characters in all the books of the world wouldn’t have died so violently. Not if the people the writer was thinking of when they wrote them had not made them angry.

In the end ask yourself this question, If you opened a book and found your self in there, do you want to be a good guy or a bad guy?

Lets just say, the way I’m feeling right now…well, I wouldn’t be too surprised if a character in my newest novel happens to be overweight, short, selfish, and full of lies….and dies tragically as they are ran over by a lawn mower. Repeatedly.

Revenge is sweet.  Even if it’s only in my mind.

As the apple fell

I came across a blog that has a weekly prompt for writers. All you have to do is keep within 100 words.
I thought that’s intresting and gave it a go. The prompt was ‘As the Apple fell.’ I tried to submit it to the site but all submissions are now closed.
It would be a shame to wast it so please find below a very very short story.

Enjoy.

As the Apple fell, I mean thats all it took just one moment. I moved, she moved. Her hand brushed mine as we moved to catch it. Our eyes met over the Granny Smiths. Her’s green, mine steel Blue.

‘Wow your fast.’ I said as her long dark hair was falling back into place.

‘No problem, I just kind of reacted.’

She placed the apple in my hand and held it there. I placed my hand on hers.

She caressed mine with her thumb.

‘Would you like to go for a coffee? or some fruit maybe?’ I asked.

All this because the Apple fell.

40 things about being 40

I turned forty last week and with this mile stone I thought I would give you my list enjoy.

1 Baking bread is suddenly good.

2 As is playing a guitar.

3 The prospect of playing a guitar in public is terrifying.

4 You jump when your mobile phones go off at the cinema .

5 You forget to turn your mobile to silent in the cinema.

6 You have a life-belt rather than a six-pack.

7 Your younger colleagues think your sex drive is a lie. (little do they know.)

8 You buy more chart music than ever but still go home and slap on madonna’s like a prayer.

9 You start running for health, not for looks. (or try to.)

10 You punch the next person who says “life begins at forty.” and laugh when anyone uses a fist bump in place of a hand shake.

11 It takes a lot longer to get worked up.

12 Harmless flirting may not be perceived as being so harmless. You don’t want to be known as a dirty old man.

13 Maybe Twitter has passed you by.

14 You worry about being wrong, you apologise for being right.

15 Moisturiser for men is firmly embedded within the morning routine.

16 Thinking about death begins to compete with the six second thoughts about sex.

17 You sit at traffic lights singing along to pet shop boys. Girls at the traffic lights laugh at you. You don’t care, you only sing louder.

18 When your boss asks you when you can do some urgent task, you welcome the challenge.

19 You think groups of younger people who wear hooded sweatshirts with the hood up look sinister. You feel like you should cross the street to avoid them.

20 You go out drinking less often due to the realisation that it’s rubbish and the musics to loud to talk.

21 You become less certain of things than you used to be.

22 On the rare accession you go out, you feel uncomfitable because all the girls seem to be wearing little more than there underwear.

23 Reading is the new tv. Because everything seems shallow on the box.

24 Board games make a comeback.

25 10:00pm becomes the new midnight.

26 You find children more interesting, and are less perturbed about making small talk with them.

27 You increasingly find your self searching magazine racks for diverting entertainment.

28 You can cut through the smalltalk and to get to the point. (Or looking at this list maybe not.)

29 Your teen years are now considered retro and cool.

30 You find solace in crashing waves.

31 You begin to worry about the decline of public services.

32 You wonder if you will ever see the seven great wonders of the world, or even outside of Europe.  

33 You have a ton of fabulous friends who also just turned forty, or are about to.

34 You think nothing of spending £12 on a bottle of wine or £30+ on a bottle of whisky.

35 You take a thermos pretty much everywhere, filled with your favourite coffee.

36 The urge to give in to peer-pressure disappears. (So I’ve been told.)

37 You talk like you have something interesting to say. (and don’t care if its not that interesting.)

38 Your never on your own anymore.

39 Your on your own to much.

40 You know the best thing about reaching forty is that fifty is ten years away.

 

 

Self Improvement Through Writing and Continuous Assessment

Self improvement, I like this. I think I have believed in self improvement most of my life. Well at least as long as I have thought about myself as a thing that can be improved. So probably from the age of six or so. Either way I have believed in a simple rule most of my life, that rule is, ‘Given enough time and dedication, anyone can achieve anything that has been achieved before.’ Whether it be rocket science or brain surgery, a plumber or a writer.

I began writing story’s later in life than most. Writing my first draft of a novel by the age of thirty eight. Since then I have wrote two more novels and a bunch of short story‘s.

I am writing the forth draft of my first novel. While doing this I have noticed a vast difference in the quality of my writing. This is to the point where I have thought, on more than one occasion of scrapping it. Putting it a draw so to speak and letting it never see the light of day. The only reason that Purple is still around is that I have wrote a sequel. And it is technically a much better book than the first.
This is where self improvement comes in. I recently started a new job for a very large company that is known throughout the world as an innovator and has a constant drive to high quality of its products and personnel. Now most, if not all company’s would say this as part of there mission statements. But as I constantly assess my work, always looking to improve the sentence, the paragraph or the chapter. So does my new employer strive on a daily basis to improve not the products but the people that make them. I’m am encouraged to do this each and every day in the hunt for zero mistakes. This is done through constant improvement not by someone in an office, who is disconnected from me but by me and the people I work with.
We improve ourselves each time we learn something new. Goals are important too to attain a high leave of quality, whether it be a hobby or a job. But it is not the goal that makes us improve on a personal level, it’s the process of attaining that goal that makes us grow and become a better person. To strive for something better is to learn. Self improvement is very much about the journey, so aim high and don’t get to hung up on the target, after all you can always make the target bigger if you keep missing.

Higgs Boson / God Particle, they found it.

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Today is a big day in the world of science for the big brainy guys at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have claimed the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson. if you are unfamiliar with this particle here is a brief summary. We start with the atom, which is made up of a Nucleus with electrons orbiting around it. Inside the nucleus are protons and neutrons which are incredible small and inside them are the quarks which are very very small particles. Giving these tiny particles mass is what has been discover today and it is called the higgs boson. As particles travel through space they pass through whats called the higgs field and this field slows then, you cannot see the higgs field but you can see what it does, thus giving the particles mass. 

If I understand it correctly its like the glue of the universe, without it we would all fall apart. the scientist are saying this will bring around a new understanding because it confirms there theories. Which is all kind of cool. especially for sci-fi geeks like myself. 

Genre Writing

Some writers only write science fiction novels, others romance and poems. Some only write non-fiction such as technical manuals on boats and cars. Some focus only on one genre and others on many.I think that when starting out like myself, we can get drawn into writing only what we know. But I believe we grow through what we write. We explore our selves while learning about others, discovering how people think. Interact with many and ask questions to even more. I know this is true because I’m like a child when first meeting someone with a different take on life. I just cannot stop asking questions.

So when it comes to genres, well I want to try them all. So far I have wrote a science fiction novel and a supernatural thriller. I am working on a crime thriller now. I have enjoyed writing every one and hope to write many more. With the books making the rounds i.e. The Shades of Grey Trilogy, I’m thinking of having a go at romance. As I see it, I’m just widening my writing horizons every time I write in a different genre. So lets not pigeon hole ourselves and write free.

Character Relationships and Development.

Sometimes I think we can get so court up in the big full-on relationships of ours characters that it is possible to lose sight of the whole picture.

We are told that when developing characters that we should make a personal profile, by giving each and every character there own back story. Basically a life before the plot.  This is to give us (The writer) the ability to write from their (The character) life experience. Now this is good as long as you keep the exercise to the point of view characters. I say this because when I first started writing in a more than caesural manor, it was this that through me the most. Know one has ever told me that the least important the character, the less back story you need to create. Making a full and colourful life for all your characters will be fun, but I’m not sure if its necessary. To be clear I’m not the kind of writer that writes a full profile on any of my characters. I make them in my head and they stay in there. I was asked to explain this once and my explanation spooked me as much as it did the person asking. They said ‘How do you make these people up?’ my response was a few moments of fumbled thought and a few scratches of the head, then. ‘Its like there is a small room in the back of my head, where there are many little people. (I mean little people in my head) They kind of listen to what I want and when I’m stuck I hand over to them. They then spend what ever amount of time is necessary to make things work. I can be washing the car or cooking the tea but when they have finished working with the plot or character problems. I get an alert that things are ready to move. This normally comes in the form of that magic called inspiration. I stop what I’m doing and go find my laptop.’ Now the weird thing is that in my imagination this is what happens, a group of people live in my head waiting to help me when I am stuck on plot or character. Snapping into action when required.

Am I schizophrenic? I think not, I just have a good imagination. When you look at your own life and the complex relationships that are held there, you may see a kind of scale. First there is your close and most important relationship, your wife, husband, partner. These are the ones you know most. Then there are siblings, uncles, aunts, friends, work colleague and so on, the list goes on. What we have to remember is that when we interact with these people in the real world, we do so on a much different scale. Some people don’t get on with their mother or father. Some cannot be in the same room with there brother or sister. Some people place friendship far above the family connections.

Also if you give yourself such strict guides as character mapping, you can take the ability for a character to be lied to, or be manipulated by another, because you know too much about them. In life we fight to see the genuine within people but get it wrong more times than any of us would like to admit. By mapping every character I think its possible to take that ability away from your characters and make them a bit predictable. I would be very interested in your view on this, as I find characters fascinating and think its this that drives me to write.

Please comment or send me an email.