15th January 2017

A pretty decent day today, 1317 words on Penal Earth and I passed the 10k word mark on it. I have a chilled day, having spent most of it out with my folks. When I got home I watched the Jeff Dunham specials on Netflix and then did some writing. I haven’t done any editing at all.

I did finish Day of Chaos:Endgame (Judge Dredd) today. Damn that is one epic comic! I’m really excited by the fact that I’ve got other Dredd universe collections siting on my ‘To-Read’ shelf.

Next up reading wise is going to be Silent Dawn by the awesome C L Raven.

9th January 2017

Toady I wrote 659 words on Penal earth before work and during my lunch break. This evening I have dragged my heels a little bit. I had a little trouble getting rolling but when I did I managed to edit through 3500 words of The Space Watch.

I think a problem I’m having with getting started each day with editing is its been so long since I’ve done any real editing I’m a little wary of it. Hopefully the more I do the more easier it’ll be to get rolling.

So far the story isn’t in too bad a shape, but I’m still in the bit I was on before I stopped for NaNo, and it’s the bit just after NaNo that I’m worried about. I fear it’s going to be messy and require a fair amount of re-writing, but if it does, it does. There’s not a lot I can do about it. I’ll try not to get demoralised by it if I do have a lot of work to do to tidy it up. I need to look at it as just another step in the process.

Reading wise I’m about half way through Day of Chaos: Endgame (Judge Dredd). This story is just getting better and better and I’m loving the artwork in it. I’ve also started listening to Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon. This is the audio dramatisation of it and I’m really digging it. It’s reminded me just how much I love the Alien films, and also how much I love anything set in space. I’ve got an urge to watch the Alien movies, and films like Sunshine, Moon, Pandorum, Avatar, and Event Horizon. Also the Predator films, and I want to dive into the Star Wars movies again (loved Rogue One, by the way). So I think over the next few weeks I’ll be digging these films out of my movie library and having a little look around Netflix and Amazon video, I might start with The Expanse, I’ve heard that’s good.

Tonight though I’ll be getting into Day of Chaos: Endgame before bed. I want to see how this gets resolved.

January 4th 2017

Today was a good day. I wrote the final sentence in the first draft of The Space Watch rewrite during my lunch break and have begun editing it this evening. Word count wise I’ve written 538 words for the day.

Editing has had a slow start, but after I switched to my laptop from my desktop I’ve made some good progress. I think it’s going to be harder to edit than I thought. I was hoping to get this initial edit pass done by Sunday when I’m meeting up with Owen to touch base. I’m not viewing this as a true edit as Owen hasn’t seen this completed draft yet, but it’s not in any way an acceptable shape for me to want to let Owen see it yet. I’d like it to just be a little smoother and sharpen it up before I give it to him to add his notes to.

What I’m planning on doing going forward is to edit The Space Watch in the evenings and during my lunch breaks and if I get time before work I’ll write on Penal Earth. That’s one I’m really excited about if I’m honest. It’s something I’ve put a lot of thought into since I finished working on it last year and I am cannibalising it to a degree, but what I’ll be doing with it now is really exciting. The Space Watch is one I am loving and I’m beyond happy its done now. One of the lessons I’ve learnt from The Space Watch is not to stop halfway through like I did when I done NaNoWriMo last year. I lost momentum and a feel for the story which made it a lot harder to get back into the rhythm of the story and I think it’s going to make the editing harder as I’m seeing the style at the start of the story isn’t matching up with what I’ve recently written.

I meant to write in yesterday’s post that I finished listening to vN by Madeline Ashby. Overall I liked it, it had a nice pace to it and quite a humble, down to earth feel to it. I liked where Ashby took the story and how she worked the characters. I didn’t guess the ending at all, but I really liked it. It felt very natural to the story despite being quite out there. It left a lot of questions for the next book and it’s definitely one I’ll be getting in the near future.

With Day Of Chaos: Endgame (a Judge Dredd comic) I’m nearing the halfway point and am really enjoying it. I’m going to finish it before I start on the next novel I’ll be reading.

Bristol Horror Con 2016

Yesterday my buddy Stefan and I drove to Bristol for Bristol Horror Con at the Future Inns in Bristol, and damn it was a lot of fun. It was quite a long drive from my home in Kent but I wanted to go because CL Raven were going to be there, and although I’ve know them for a couple of years we’ve never met. I like a little horror in my life as well, so I thought screw it! Let’s go! And I am so glad we did. Not only was it great to meet Cat and Lynx I met a bunch of other people who I found to be awesome and welcoming. The atmosphere was just so chilled out and relaxed, it was great just being there and soaking it all up.

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Cat and Lynx Raven

We spent most of our time on the 6th floor of the hotel where all of the dealer tables where but went down to a Jazz Club below the bar for author readings, which Cat and Lynx were a part of. That, I found a lot of fun and very interesting. There was four people doing readings, including Cat and Lynx. The other two novelist were A K Benedict and Martyn Waites. Sitting and listening to all four reading excerpts or short stories was really thought provoking. Both in that once I actually get my butt into gear and get stories written, then I’ll be (hopefully) doing this sort of thing. But also in listening to writers whose work I hadn’t come across before. Obviously I’ve read a fair bit of Cat and Lynx’s work, but it was a lot of fun hearing it out loud, and they really aced the reading. Both A K Benedict and Martyn Waites are new to me but both rocked their readings and I’ll be checking their work out.

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The Swag!

Needless to say I brought a load of books, six in all. As well as a couple of comics, a few key rings, CDs and a T-Shirt from the band Lesbian Bed Death, and a gorgeous skull paperweight. I could have brought a lot more, but managed to reign myself in.

Lesbian Bed Death was an awesome experience, I brought their first album years ago but like with all music I lost track of them and am seriously out of date. So I managed to pick up a couple of albums, including their latest and damn, it’s some good stuff!

The comics I got were Domeinion: A Threat From Within, and Dark Matter. Both are from Close2Immortality, and really caught my eye. Some very gorgeous artwork and the stories sound fantastic.

The skull paperweight I got is really cool and hopefully will be the first of a number of badass ornaments that I’ll gather over the next few years. Definitely check out the creator From The Shadows. He’s got some really sweet bits on his site.

Now, onto the books. I brought Deadly Reflections and The Malignant Dead by the aforementioned CL Raven. The Starblood Trilogy by Carmilla Voiez. A Tiding Of Magpies by Peter Sutton. Dead Cells by Adam Millard, and The Last Plague by Rich Hawkins.

Speaking to each of these fantastic authors was a lot of fun. All of them were very engaging and all of them seemed really nice and down to earth. It was very inspiring, speaking to people who are getting their words out into the world.

Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I can feel awkward at times, and not quite sure of myself, but at Bristol Horror Con, and DemonCon, I felt at ease in these groups of people. They’re there for the same reason I am, a love of horror and sci-fi and comics etc. My buddy Stefan, who is a big horror nut, loved it too. We’ve both pretty much deciding to go back again next year.

It was a highlight of the year for me.

Another Update

I finally finished the second (might technically be third) draft of last years NaNoWriMo novella. I’m pretty much going to dive straight into the next draft as I want to try and have it done in decent time.

There’s three main points that I’ve got to work on. Adding a new character to the mix; continuing a storyline that kinda of got forgotten about; and adding some more depth to my protagonist. There’s a couple of seeds I want to plant in the story for storylines down the line, and a couple of other tweaks that need to be added. I’m sure I’ll find more to work on while I’m working my way through.

I got some Beta notes back in the week on a story that Owen and I have put together, and finally had a look at them today. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into them in the next week or so.

Reading wise I’m about halfway through Wool by Hugh Howey. I’m enjoying this novel, and have been surprised by some of the twists and turns in the story. Sometimes I’ll think I’ve got it sussed out, and then Howey takes it in a direction that I didn’t see coming.

The comic I’m reading is volume one of Wilds End by Dan Abnett (writer) and I.N.J. Culbard (illustration). This is a comic with anthropomorphic animals in the countryside of 1930’s Britain. So far the story is pretty captivating, and growing at a nice and steady pace. The artwork has got a beautiful look to it. At my first glance I found it beautiful for its simplicity but as I’ve looked more at it I’m really admiring how well Culbard has managed to put so much heart and character into these characters.

I’ve just started listening to No Worse Enemy by Christopher G. Nuttall. This is the second book in Nuttall’s The Empire’s Corps series. I’m about ninety minutes into it so I’m not fully engaged into it yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series and I’ve got high expectations for No Worse Enemy.

 

Being Me

I’ve spent the last seven years or so thinking I need to be wearing clothes with a designer logo on them. I got it in my head that wearing brands would help me be the person who I thought I wanted to be, but it wasn’t who I wanted to be. It was who I thought society wanted me to be.
Recently though, I’ve realised just how much crap that all is. I still like wearing the branded pieces I’ve got, and there is a certain quality to them as well which isn’t always found in clothes without a designer brand on them. That said though, I’ve brought a few pieces recently and the quality is there, I think the trick is buying the right clothing. I’m not looking at the cheapest, or the expensive; I’m looking at what I like and if it feels like cheap crap, I won’t buy it.

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Recently I’ve brought a few new items of clothing: Three pairs of cargo trousers, two Gears of War T-Shirts (and a badass Gears of War hat), A Captain America T-Shirt and a Doom hoodie. I’ve also got a Punisher T-Shirt and my brother brought me a hoodie with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Logo proudly on the chest. (Yes, I know technically these are all brands).
These, I feel comfy in. I feel like myself when I’m wearing them. When I wear something with a designer brand emblazoned across the front I don’t feel anything, but if I’m wearing a Punisher T-Shirt, or a Captain America one, then I feel at home and I feel it says something about me. Yes, I’m geek, but also that I have a respect for what these characters stand for. It also can give the impression of what I’ve been through with these characters. I’m a comic book convert and will never be able to catch up with the decades of content there is, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful of my journey over these last few years.

The same can be said with video games. If someone asks me about Doom, because I’m wearing that hoodie, I can tell them about playing the original and how I just kind of randomly wondered around. I can tell them how hard I found Doom 3, and how much I’m looking forward to really getting stuck into the latest game in the series. I can also go into my experiences with Gears of War, more so as Gears of War is one of my staple games. Aside from the one which didn’t focus on Marcus Fenix I’ve got them all and am itching to get the next game that is out soon.

I’ll probably get some T-Shirts and so on that represent the bands I like as well.

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I’m buying the things I like. Whether that be something really geeky, or a designer piece that has taken my eye, but I’m not going to buy anything that I think others will like anymore. It’s got to be for me.

I’ve been denying who I am since my teens; now I’m seeing who I am again, I’m enjoying discovering myself. I’ve felt this for some time now.

I’m not going to hide it, I’m not going to change to please others or society overall.

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Batman Vs. Superman & Suicide Squad

This year we see DC really go big in the movie world with Batman Vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, with Batman Vs. Superman in just a few weeks.

Now, I’m a confessed Marvel fan, but I do like the character of Batman and all of the pieces around him. Gotham and the characters that challenge Batman I think are really quite fascinating, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how DC pull this off.

Even though I am a huge Marvel fan, I’m not of the mindset to hate or belittle DC like a lot of people seem to like doing. Marvel have pioneered this Cinematic Universe idea and I’m quite excited to see what DC do (lets face it, if we’re getting all these films and they’re good then we as the fans win).

I’ve never been a huge fan of Superman; that said I did like Man Of Steel quite a lot. I’m a bit of a fan of Zach Snyder and there wasn’t much in Man Of Steel that I didn’t like. I thought Henry Cavill was very good as both Clark Kent and as Superman, but I thought most of the cast had were spot on.

Onto Batman though, I think the Dark Knight is becoming one of my favourite characters out there. Although I liked the Christopher Nolan Batman films I was never blown away by them, but I love the Tim Burton ones. I’m not worried about Ben Afflect as Batman/Bruce Wayne though; from what I’ve seen of him in the trailers I’m quietly optimistic about seeing the Bruce Wayne I want to see. As Batman I think he’s going to rock it, but it’s going to be as Bruce Wayne that I’m eager to see what he does with it. That was one of my major issues with Nolan and Christian Bale’s Batman. Bruce Wayne seemed more like an obnoxious playboy than a business leader, but with the advertising for the film I’ve seen I’m hoping we get a Bruce Wayne who, as far as the public is concerned, is quite happy in his life and is enjoying running Wayne Enterprises.

So, I am looking forward to seeing Batman Vs. Superman. I wasn’t really bothered about it until I saw the first trailer, and how it showed that Bruce Wayne was in Metropolis on the day that Superman and Zodd battled it out.

Suicide Squad though, that’s the one of these two films that I am really looking forward to. That first trailer really blew my mind away. It looked creepy and dark as hell, and the bare few seconds we see of Jared Leto’s Joker was genuinely terrifying. The whole trailer sold me though, there was nothing in it that caused me any concerns. Then the second trailer was released, and its got a totally different tone to that of the first trailer. This second trailer has given the film quite a humorous feel to it. So I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what the final film is like. With how the Joker, in particular looks, I think it is going to be quite dark, but I’m hoping it does have some decent humour in it because if it’s just dark then it could be quite a hard watch. So I’m hoping the director, writers, and the rest of those involved have managed to craft a film that has a good balance of the two.

I think both films are going to be good, but I’m really hoping to be blown away; and I’m hoping it gets me excited for the forthcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League films and what DC have got coming in the future.

 

What I’m Reading: 4/3/16

Last night I finished reading The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. Overall I liked it a lot; the plot was very subtly woven into the lives of the characters. The universe building was done much the same way; everything that Dick needed to get across to the reader was done through the characters.

There’s obviously a lot more to the story than I’ve written so far, but its a story where I think I’m going to be thinking it over for a while. There’s so much going on in it that I don’t think I’ve quite got a handle on yet. I’m thinking about getting it as an audiobook so I can go through it again.

Speaking of audiobooks I’ve just started listening to The Dark Tower, the final book of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I’m really eager to see how King finishes this series. I’ve got a few ideas of how it is going to end; but seeing that it’s a book by Stephen King, and it’s his Dark Tower series then anything is game.

I’ve not got stuck into Deadpool and Cable just yet, but I’m going to try and get into this coming week.

I’ve now got the hard decision of choosing what book to read next. I’m prioritising the books that I got at DemonCon a few weeks ago, but I’m not sure what I’ll go for first. If I’m honest It’ll probably be one of the Dan Abnett ones, but I haven’t decided yet.

 

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Deadpool

I haven’t really spoken here much about Deadpool and just how much I love this movie. I know that puts me in with a lot of people because let’s face it, the movie rocks and that’s been reflected by how much cash it’s made.

When it first got announced that Deadpool was finally coming to the big screen I was cautiously optimistic. After Fox’s last attempt at Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I think I was right to feel a little cautious. All the set photos that got released looked pretty cool, but what really blew up for me was the trailer! Damn that kicked ass! After that and the subsequent trailers and all of the advertising for Deadpool, I was really pumped.

I wasn’t disappointed. Right from the credits I was laughing, and it just got funnier and funnier. I liked the storyline and how it was laid out. The characters around Deadpool were  good and all of the actors held their own very well. Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool, period. Morena Baccarin looked like she had a lot of fun as Vanessa. I’m not gonna list all of the characters and the actors, but they all kicked ass. I think they understood what the director and writers were aiming for.

Now I’ve only read a little of the comics, and I’ve played the Deadpool game on Xbox 360, so I know the character a bit but I wouldn’t say I’m a die hard fan, but from what I know of Deadpool I don’t think I could have wanted this movie any different. It wasn’t only funny but it was funny to the point of bad taste at times, but it worked. Not once did it apologise for itself in anyway and it wasn’t scared to push past that bad taste line. The reason why it worked so well was because they didn’t hold back. It’s Deadpool, it’s meant to be like this and that’s why they managed to pull it off.

I did go and see it twice, and I will be buying the Blu-Ray when it comes out. There’s a lot of big movies and TV events come this year that I’m excited about and Deadpool has set the bar very high.

Reading Update

Here’s just a little update about how I’m doing with reading.

I’ve finished Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens comic. This was actually a lot of fun I thought. I’m just a proper sucker for anything Judge Dredd and am looking forward to exploring the comics a little more.

I’ve now moved onto the Deadpool and Cable Vol. 1.

I’m still about halfway through The Man In The High Castle, and it seems like we’re getting to the plot of the story. So far it feels like we’ve just been teased by a plot line in amongst the smaller storylines of the characters we’ve been following. Now it looks like we’re getting into the guts of the story. I really like how Phillip K. Dick has built up this story so far. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

Audiobook wise, I’m over halfway through The End Is Nigh, and I’m really enjoying it. Each story is just getting better and better and I really hope the next two collections are as strong.