All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Political leaning

So I've been at this whole 'blog' thing for a whole week now without a single unintentional day off - totally meant to take Sunday off. That's more committed to something than I've ever been about anything!
Feel honoured.
Not even joking Dudes and Dudettes. Feel it.

We may continue.
"It's a wonderful thing, every two years we drive to a fire station and overthrow the government, and there isn't a policeman in the street."
That was a quote by Will Macavoy from episode three of The Newsroom. It's a fairly accurate testament to the potential power of democracy, it’s just a shame that it rarely lives up to its promise.
The problem with a presidential election or a parliamentary election is that you have to choose between two people that you don't necessarily like. And honestly; I don't.

At the moment we in England have the choice of two people - Liberal Democrats don't count anymore, you can't have your whole campaign be about not raising tuition fees and then join a coalition that triples tuition fees without a fight, it makes you untrustworthy - who are completely out of touch with the reality of living in their country.
The problem with democracy in England at the moment is that there's nobody I want to get into power, but that's not their fault- beyond their inability to grasp what the people want. The problem lies with us for becoming disinterested with the political system. People in England don't aspire to Prime Minister or Ministers of Parliament.
We don't have a range of people from all different walks of life to choose from, we just have a Conservative leader who went to Oxford and studied economics - despite which we find ourselves in a second recession - and a Labour leader who went to oxford and studied economics.
Yes they went on to do different things after university, one became a journalist and then a Labour researcher and then an advisor to prominent Labour members, the other became a conservative researcher and then an adviser to conservative MPs. I mean it's totally different after leaving education, right?
No. Not right. Their careers have been so similar that I see no point in voting for one over the other. Neither have ever lived in the real world, they don't understand what their constituents want, and even when they miraculously say something close to what people have in mind they don't realise and scrap that piece of information as soon as they're office.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't want an idiot in the office, I don't want to vote for someone like me, someone I think I can get a drink with. I want to vote for an Oxford educated economist, but I want to vote for one who understands that not everyone has a trust fund they can dip into when we have a poor economy.
I want someone that cares more about fixing the economy than paying off our debt - yes we need to continue to make payments, but I'd rather we make the minimum possible payments until our economy has recovered, do that and people won't care you're taking an extra 1% because they'll be earning an extra 10%.

Plus, on a totally superficial side, Ed Milliband looks like a moron that walked in and nobody realised that he wasn't his brother until it was too late, and David Cameron looks like he's just waiting for the economy to fix itself ("that's how money works right? I wait and daddy gives it to me... right?")

Point is; I want to be political, but they make it bloody hard.Tubage of my favourite politicians
- James

Monday 30 July 2012

One of Fifty-Two

Monday Morning! Hurrah! I get to be back at work! Wait... what?

Over this weekend I realised - just before retroactively making it clear that I won’t be posting on sundays - that if I just leave it up to the universe to offer me thoughts and opinion I'll have a hard time posting every single day. I realised that I'll need some help - or at least some structure - so I decided to create a number of segments that I could use when I'm stuck.
The first is a weekly piece - inspired by my friend Rixel's blog - called 'Of Fifty-Two' where I get a chance to talk about my fifty two favourite things, most of them quite geeky. Whether its television shows, movies, characters, games, books or even music (if you didn't know that there was geeky music before then google Leetstreet boys or Chameleon Circuit).

So without further ado...

TV Shows
Anything by Aaron Sorkin

The first iteration of Aaron Sorkin's genius on film I saw was Studio Sixty on the sunset strip, a single season show set behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-esq sketch show. if you haven't seen it think 30 Rock, but good. Ok, that's harsh. Think 30 Rock, but less slapstick humour and more wordplay. Less caricatures and more realistic characters.
However it's left wing politics, blatant Bush bashing, anti-media agenda and high production costs- not to mention the crazy long hiatus, lack of publicity and poor scheduling - caused it to be taken off the air after a single series.
I fell in love with the series and the characters after the first episode and still watch it through from start to finish whenever I'm feeling depressed. That said, I'm glad it only lasted a season. It means that it's left as perfect as it can be, there will be no attempts to needlessly lengthen the series with poor plots or pointless characters.
After Studio Sixty I went back to Sorkin's first TV hit, the West Wing. When I first heard about the show it didn't interest me at all. A seven season look into the running of the US Presidential Office. It sounded boring, but I swear to whatever we atheists swear to -Science? - that its funny. It's engaging, it's dramatic and, holy crap it's funny.
I spent two weeks just watching every episode - and I think I'm probably due for another re-watch - Again Aaron Sorkin made me fall in love with an ensemble of amazing characters, some likeable, some not so much.
While the show was a work of complete fiction it gave me some insight into what the US presidency has to deal with when creating new bills. It's not like most people think where he clicks his fingers and it happens, and I think everyone who complains about politics - their president/prime minister in particular -should watch it.
Hell, even if you don't complain; watch it anyway.
Lastly we have the Newsroom, his most recent show, still currently airing. I don't have much to say about it except that I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far.

Seriously; watch it.
YooToobVidyo - this video moved me... how weird.
- James

P.S. I did it, sent copies off to agents!

Saturday 28 July 2012

Should've been Tennant

Olympic fever hit the country last night as London hosted the opening ceremony in a wonderful celebration of brittish history- though there wasn't a single doctor who reference that I can remember- followed by the revealing and lighting of the olympic cauldron- which incidentally makes me think that witches started the olympic games.
It was a beautiful celebration of British history that... I... missed the first thirty minutes of. I walked in at the industrial revolution, and it actually looked really cool, especially the spark raining olympic rings.
The rest of it was nice and all, but I don't know, i wasn't that interested- then I spent the rest of the evening watching the atheletes arrive so that i could find out who was going to light the couldron. I still think it should have been David Tennant.
The funniest thing about this whole event is that i have nothing to say about it. Sure, I don't care about sports and I'm going to have to work during the Olympics so naturally I'm going to get annoyed by the journey traffic, and the fact that we're paying for this even while simultaneously not able to employ a massive chunk of people in the country.
It was a nice ceremony, if a little long, and I'm sure the sports are going to be entertaining for people who don't spend all their time playing computer games, writing and pretending to learn the guitar. Read; people not me.

I got my hair cut today! it was long, when wet and straight it went down to my shoulders, a little longer, not it doesn't even reach my neck. I like it, though it's very puffy at the mo, I'm going to have to train it out of that. That said; nobody seems to be able to tell the difference, except me.
Yeah that's all I have on that.

In writing news monday I will be sending out my first query letters so my purple pledge is in effect for the year as of Monday.
To help any other fantasy authors out there who want to try and get their book published; I will be sending my book to the following Fantasy friendly agents;
Anubis Literary Agency
Mic Cheetham Associates
Dorian Literary Agency
Furniss and Lawton
London Independant Books
Marjacq Scripts (e-mail friendly)
Sheil Land Associates Ltd
Caroline Sheldon (e-mail friendly)

Hopefully I'll hear back positively from one or more of these, but if not I'll hit you back with my next step (Literary agents who do not speccifically state a love of Fantasy but also don't specifically reject it out of hand)

- James

P.S. I wont be posting tomorrow. Hope you can live without me on Sundays.

Friday 27 July 2012

The Long Haul

Ok, today I'm going to do something a little different, though not unexpected. I wanted to talk about the Olympics, but the opening ceremony isn't for another 12 hours, so I'm going to wait until tomorrow.
In the mean time I would like to regale you with the prologue and first chapter of my duology.
So here it is, the beginning of 'The Man of Heaven' part one of 'The Longest Cycle'



The Mystic

“And so it begins.” A wizened old man sighed, watching with a solemn expression, as the final nail of his beloved Kingdom’s coffin was slammed deep into his King's chest. The wizened man had stood as head of his order for nearly half a century. The old man was beginning to think that he would never see the prophecy unravel and after coming to know his King as he did; the order leader had come to hope that he wouldn’t- though he would never tell his followers such a truth.
“The first sign of the prophecy…” He muttered, watching as fire engulfed the slums. “… A beloved King falls, his city aflame, as the bloody moon watches over head.” The old man stared upwards at the moon, its crimson features clearly visible in the darkness. He did not know why the moon now bled. Perhaps it bled for the good man and his followers that were slain that day. Perhaps it was part of the magic that the foreign King, now sitting atop the better man’s throne, had commanded upon the Kingdom to hide his invading forces. The wizened man did not care. For all he knew it could be magic, sympathy, a sign from the gods, or something far more mundane…. What the man did know, however, was that he hated it.
The old man had witnessed the deaths of eight Kings. Most of them bad men, none of them his friend and ally…. Why had it not bled for them? Why did it have to be King Tennion? A tear rolled down his cheek, the only grieving he imagined that he would be allowed in the coming days.
“Master Falsion?” A young man- though only young to the wizened order leader’s eyes -asked, stepping forward. “Why do you cry, Master? This is a good thing, surely? The chosen of the gods is coming.”
Master Falsion looked away from the blasted celestial entity and nodded. “It is.” He said. “I simply wish that my friend was not butchered in order for it to happen.”
“I understand, Master. However, what’s done is done. We could not have stopped it. We must look at the positive. Look to the future.” The second man said.
“The chosen of the gods.” Falsion muttered, turning his wizened gaze to the burning city. The flames were beginning to die down. “You are right, of course, Afiel. We will do as the teachings order us. We are to disperse, hide among the people and look for the signs. We must find ‘the man who holds the stars in his hand’….” Master Falsion of the Mystic ordered turned away from the city to face his followers; those that were present stood below the wall he watched from.
The order, numbering in the hundreds, looked up at him from the courtyard of their main temple. They were all terrified, he could see it in their eyes. Many of them were excited for the coming of their prophesied saviour, however all of them knew what that meant. At the coming of the Chosen Champion the order would be destroyed.


The Angel

Naked in the middle of a field. That wasn’t exactly how they had explained it. That wasn’t exactly how he had hoped to return. Something was wrong. Something must have happened… perhaps… perhaps it had intervened. They thought they were being so careful, and yet… Something must have happened. The man lay in the field naked, without any of his belongings and… “No power. My powers are gone, stripped…”
It was a weird, horrible sensation, like losing a sense, like losing a limb... No, more like losing a level of sentience. The man didn’t move, he almost could not bring himself to do so, everything felt so much heavier with arms, legs, a body, and no power. The man looked around, he was in a crater, dirt and rock spattered the ground around him. Apparently he had hit the ground hard, but he didn’t feel it. Maybe his survival had expended the minute amount of power that it could not strip from him.
That didn’t matter. What did matter was that he was lying naked, fully physical, in the middle of a crater, and whoever owned the field probably knew that something had fallen. He had to get up, he had to go… he had to find some sort of clothing.
He had to go, he couldn’t be found by someone, not while he was weak. Yet… he couldn’t, he simply couldn’t bring himself to move. Being back on the ground, away from them; it was depressing, agonising even. Though he understood why he was there at an intellectual level he could not help but feel a little betrayed. He had served his time on the planet, he had been faithful, and yet here he was, cast back down to help someone he did not even know.
Though it was more than the depression; he wasn’t even sure he knew how to move his parts. He hadn’t had any in so long…
“Swee’-Eve!” Came a rather uncultured voice above the fallen man. “Wha’ in da’ all migh’y Eve’s name are ya’ doin’ on my land withou’ a shred o’ digni’y on? Who are ya’?”
It was then that the man realised that he had no name. His old name was no longer his, and through his re-birth he would need to be re-named. There was a law, godly, mystical and ancient that stated that no man can pick their own name. He did not know why, nor did he care, however without any response for the land owner, the naked man found every muscle, every joint, every bone in his body at once and fled, straight into a woodland area at the edge of the field.
Well at least we know I work. The nameless man thought to himself, running through the trees, bare chested with genitals swinging freely between his legs; the only sensation that was stranger to him than the feeling of using muscles to move.
 The nameless man tripped and fell as he found a clearing. He rolled forward and slammed into the ground, breathing hard. He cringed at a stone digging into his back and shifted slightly. He was in pain, another thing he hadn’t felt in over a millennia. He was exhausted, it was only a short run, but it was all of his energy, he had run flat out. Before this new body he hadn’t expended any energy to move. In fact he hadn’t ever needed to move, back with them you saw all and knew all, it was bliss.
A tear rolled down the nameless man’s cheek as he glared up at the sky. “I hate you. I Hate You! I HATE YOU! WHY ME!”

Chapter 1

Mere candle-marks. Not seasons, not weeks, not even days. It took mere candle-marks for the new King to begin his assault. Begin the culling of those who might rebel against him. If it were not for the fact that it were his friends and kinsmen tied to posts, Daveth might have been impressed by the conqueror's organisation and diligence.
As it stood, however, Daveth only grieved. He grieved for his friends, he grieved for his Kingdom, but mostly he grieved for himself. He grieved for his inability to help, and for the pain he must endure, watching their deaths. It was the hardest thing he had ever been made to endure, but what good would his sacrifice do? Martyrs are only worth what the people think of them, and nobody knew him. His sacrifice would be meaningless.
The grieving man walked in a crowd of people, some he knew, others he didn’t. It was a small town he lived in, the town of Oakshire, but gathering everyone in the town centre proved that even a small town on the outskirts of a Kingdom could have an abundant population.
King’s men, dressed in brown leather armour that covered their bodies and the new King’s emblem emblazoned on each loyal supporter’s chest forced the crowd forward, towards the square. Each guardsman held a sword while the crowd were unarmed, helpless, the way the King wanted them to feel.
A woman in front of Daveth tripped and landed awkwardly on her arm, almost breaking it, he could tell. Daveth was a doctor, he could see injury and sickness everywhere, and knew when there wasn’t any. He watched as people ignored her. They pushed past without care, staggering through their own depression and ignoring all others. A common feeling after the death of their beloved King and his two heirs. They didn’t care if they hurt their neighbours, they didn’t care if they hurt their friends, they certainly didn’t care that they might hurt this woman. The healer reached the woman and knelt down beside her, placing a hand on her arm and giving her a comforting smile as he blocked the path.
“Are you ok?” he asked, taking her hand. Her palm was a little grazed, and her wrist might have been twisted. He looked up at the woman as she nodded. She looked as tired, depressed and exhausted as everyone else in the town.
The guards had appeared the night before, just as the sun set. They had locked everyone in their homes while they killed every member of the town guard, or pressed them into service. Daveth could see several enlisted men that he had once trusted to watch over him kicking the townspeople into line not too far away.
“Ok, lets get you-” He started, but was cut off as one of the King’s guards noticed them and yelled over.
“You!” The guard shouted, pushing through the crowd. The people passively allowed the man with the sword to push them aside, even knock one or two to the floor before he reached Daveth and his patient. Not one of them considered taking the blade from him, not one realised that they outnumbered him a hundred to one. “What are you doing? Keep moving!”
“Yes, sir.” Daveth said, standing and helping the woman up. He looked up at the man’s face. It was half covered by his helmet, but Daveth knew him. You didn’t forget the faces of people you had treated over the years. He had been a protector of the people, and now… It sickened him. Daveth wanted to take the sword and return it in a far less favourable manner, but he didn’t. Arguing and fighting with the guard was pointless. It wasn’t that he was a coward; passiveness was just a better option, a better survival method, it would take the entire town to fight back this invasion, and he knew that these people weren’t going to help. Not yet. “Kaelin, I’m a doctor, you know this. I was simply making sure the woman was all right, she fell.” He said in a placating tone.
The guardsman, Kaelin, grabbed Daveths shoulder and spun him to follow the crowd and then pushed him forward. He did as he was indicated with gritted teeth, following the crowd and leaving the woman to walk alone.
Daveth could see people at the front of the crowd begin to disperse sideways as they reached the town square. Something large had been erected in the centre, probably a large stockade; the Kingdom had a tendency towards letting men die choking… though in King Tennion’s reign there had been very few executions. Now that this usurper had taken power Daveth expected the number of public hangings to- The healer came within sight of the large something, and it wasn’t a hangman's stockade. It looked more like an automated bonfire… no… it didn’t look like it, that was what it was. Daveth could smell the fire fluid from quite far back. The men he knew as friends would be burnt alive.
The healer eyed the executioner’s contraption, built specifically for this day and, though he was a peaceful man, with much loathing for death, he found himself longing for the guillotine or hang-man’s noose.
The machine of death was simple by design. Three wooden pillars stood in the middle of the square, where the bound men were tied, while fire fluid soaked into the wood and tinder stacked around them. The oil flowed down tracks from where the executioner stood. Above where the three oil paths became one, a stone brazier held many embers, waiting for the executioner to hammer them through one of the small holes at the base. It would only take a single spark to ignite the oil and burn the men to death.
Daveth gagged at the thought, looking away. It was clear from the crowd that most- if not all -of the small town’s inhabitants had been forced to bare witness, not just his quarter of the town. With all of Oakshire’s people congregated in the square muttering had begun. A general air of fear, an understandable side effect of the King’s death and the execution about to take place, fuelled the discussions. The people, too scared to stay, but too terrified to leave, cowered before the guardsmen, waiting for the terrible event to be over.
Looking to the front of the crowd Daveth found the families of the execution’s victims. All of those at the front were the wives and children of the men on the metaphorical executioner’s block. They cried, begged and pleaded for their husbands and fathers to be spared, they were the loudest voices in the whole of the town, only thirty or so, yet every man woman and child congregated could hear them.
They were so loud that Daveth feared for their safety. The guards seemed to have been ordered not to allow any interruptions and the grievers were hugely distracting. However when the Kings speakers- three tall, black clad men with shaved heads and the Kings symbol tattooed onto their cheeks, looking hard and angry as they stood beside the executioner on the machine of death -spoke, the entire town fell silent in an instant.
“For the crime of treason, and treasonous intent against the crown of His Holiness The Sacred One, you have been found guilty and sentenced to death by fire.” The middle man called out to the crowd. Daveth turned his gaze back upon his friends. The King’s men ignored the prisoners, bound and gagged, as they attempted to plead through their restraints. This wasn’t about what they had or had not done, this was about showing the people what would happen should they do anything against the word of the King “The people will bare witness and know what comes of treason as these cleansing embers are hammered down into the oil below.”
Daveth turned from the men he had grown up with, suddenly realising how wet and tear-stained his cheeks had become. He could not bear to watch what was fast approaching. Could not bear to face their pain. He turned to watch the sky, but didn’t quite make it. Instead he found himself watching a boy. A young man, no older than Daveth’s son would be, had he survived the child fevers. The young man, who appeared as though he had seen roughly twenty winters, had short but messy dark brown hair, grey-green eyes, a skinny, but obviously well-toned, body, and one of the most handsome faces that the man had ever seen in the town. He did not look like a commoner, nor a labourer, his features were not sullied in any way, not like every other man in the street. If Daveth had seen him at any other juncture in his life he would have assumed the man noble born, but he wasn’t the Manor Lords son so, unless he was visiting and hiding amongst the rabble, trying not to be killed like all of the other nobles who had not betrayed the King of Tidan, that could not be the case.
The man was a strange comparison to Daveth himself, who was fairly short, had greying blonde hair, and paling hazel eyes. Of course Daveth wasn’t ugly, he was quite handsome, but standing near this young man the doctor couldn’t help but feel grizzled.
It was not the young man’s features that drew the doctor’s eye, however; it was his expression. His resolve. He was angry, furious. Daveth knew the young man was intending to do something stupid, yet could not find it in himself to stop him.
Daveth watched as the young man took a resolute step forward, and then another. He felt as though he should intervene, stop the boy before he got himself killed, but he did not know how. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t stop watching. It was like watching an arrow soaring through the air towards its target, he was fascinated by where it would hit.
The young man pushed past an older woman and moved into a jog. Daveth turned back to the execution, a rush of hope tugging at his chest that the boy might be able to save them. The executioner had grasped his hammer, lifting it up onto his burly shoulders. Daveth turned back to the young man who had moved into a sprint. He dodged around those people that he could, but he knocked over more than he avoided.
The executioner raised his hammer over his head, ready to slam down death upon the rebels. Daveth’s eyes darted between the boy and the executioner, and back to the boy. The young man was almost there… “He’s gonna make it…” Daveth muttered, stunned as the young man disappeared into the densest section of the crowd at the very front.
Daveth turned to the executioner, he swung his mighty hammer down as the boy emerged from the crowd, his right hand open out in front of him, almost as if he were trying to grab hold of the executioner.
The hammer hit home sending a block of ember down into the fire fluid, and small pieces flying off with the wind, straight into the boy’s hand. A ‘twang’ and a ‘thuck’ noise, quickly followed by a gasp from the crowd, preceded an arrow being embedded deep in the boys chest, sending him sprawling to the floor.
Daveth looked up at the roof tops, from where the arrow had originated. Unseen archers, following the boy’s progress the entire time… There had never been any hope.

Flashes of light and pain shooting through the man’s chest and back interrupted his sleep constantly. He didn’t know how long he had slept since he had died… Since he had thought he had died. Though judging from the pain arcing through him almost the entire time; he had survived. He had no idea how, he had no idea why, all he knew was that it hurt. A lot.
“I- I think he’s waking up, father,” the voice of a young girl called. The young man felt that she couldn’t be far away, though it sounded as though she were in another room. His hearing was muffled, his other senses dampened.
“Quick, go get some water, Ailee,” came the voice of a man, older from the sound of it, though the bedridden youth could not be sure.
“Yes Father,” the girl said, audibly rushing from the room as her father sat down beside him.
“Can you hear me lad?” the man asked, earning little more than a muffled groan as a response. “What is your name? Do you remember?”
The young man groaned again, trying to speak, but finding it hard. His throat was dry and it was hard to breathe.
“Here, father, I- the water," the girl, Ailee, said as she re-entered the room.
“Thank you, dear, now go return to your studies," the man said, taking what the young man assumed was a cup of water. He heard the man place the cup down on a table and then felt a hand on his back, gently encouraging him into a seated position. It hurt, a lot, but the young man allowed his… saviour? Captor? He didn’t know. Whoever the man was, he let him help him up. “Drink," he said, placing the cup, carefully, into the young man’s hands and lifting it to his lips.
The young man gulped down the water, only then realising how dry his mouth and throat were. He finished the water and let the man take the cup away. The youth sighed, enjoying the cool air of the room on his, now moist, throat for a moment before attempting to speak again. “Seiru," he said simply, wincing as the simple effort of speaking hurt his chest and back.
“Excuse me?” the man asked, placing the cup back onto the table.
“My name is Seiru Valynd-Se-Oakshire," the young man said, falling into a coughing fit. He wiped his lips with his fore-arm and placed a hand on his chest. He could feel a difference. He could feel the wound where he had been hit, by an arrow he assumed. It still hurt, though not as bad as he would expect from something that had happened a mere- how long ago had it been?
He still hadn’t opened his eyes. Somehow he couldn’t. Seiru reached up and felt fabric covering that part of his face, a bandage. It meant that Seiru had no idea how long he’d been unconscious. When he had been foolish it had been morning, he had been out of it for at least a day, but somehow the feelings of exhaustion, hunger and thirst that wrapped up his insides made him sure that he had been out for longer.
“Seiru?” the older man asked, bringing him back to the present. “It is good to meet you, Seiru Valynd. My name is Daveth Holts-Se-Tidan. I’m sure you have questions, and I will answer as many as I can, but for now you should rest. You’ve been through a lot, though you were unconscious for most of it you are still healing. Do not take off the bandages covering your eyes, the ashes and embers that got caught in them injured you pretty badly and need a few more days to let them heal. Sleep now and we will talk later.”
Seiru heard Daveth stand up and move to the door. “Wait,"  Seiru said, reaching out a hand, to where he thought the man was. “Did those men… In the square yesterday… what happened?”
Daveth sighed. “They were executed as planned… and that was well over a week ago.”
Seiru emulated Daveth’s sigh. A week… He’d been out for a full week… He didn’t know if that troubled him more or less than his failure.
He wasn’t sure what he’d expected. His rescue had been pathetic, there had been no chance that those men would have been saved, even if he hadn’t been shot down before he even reached them.
“Sleep now," Daveth said,  stepping out and closing the door behind him.


Well, thanks for reading that.
I hope you enjoyed it at least a little bit, any comments you have you know what to do.

- James

Thursday 26 July 2012

Purple for Publish

Five copies of Fifty Shades on my route to work. Still porn, still public transport, just saying. Though the fact that they're advertising the book series on the train platforms probably doesn't help my cause. I can't imagine any of these people are reading my blog, but just in case; having an advert on a train station platform doesn't mean that the national rail service thinks it's ok for you to read erotica on the train, it means that they were given money so that a publishing company can try to sell you porn. I noticed that the adverts don't say anything about the book, just that reading it will mean you're reading it.

Don't worry this isn't going to become 'how many copies of Fifty Shades did I see on the way to work today', nor will it be 'how much does Fifty Shades annoy me today’, I'll get over it very soon... unless they make a movie, but I seriously can't see how someone would make a Fifty Shades movie that isn't the literal definition of porn.

Nothing particularly country spanning to talk about today- I could mention Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson, 'cos I mean, like, O.M.G. but I'd rather shoot myself in the foot -but I do have personal news- this is the point where the majority of you will be closing the window, but before you do remember to skip to the end, check the YouTube video and see if I have any P.S.s.
As you know I'm a practically unpublished author in the process of editing the second part of my duology- The Longest Cycle -and I just wanted to talk a little about how it's going.
For the most part I'm doing well, doing a little bit of editing every night after work -this week writing blog posts has somewhat hindered my productivity, but I think I'm getting into a nice groove now. I've edited the first 46 chapters of the duology and I have twenty two to go- plus an epilogue, a prologue and a couple of intermission sequences. The majority of those 46 are the first book, which is completely finished. I've edited it, I 've re-read it, I've had other people edit it and I've come to the conclusion that I can't put off sending it off any longer, if I do I’m just putting it off because I’m scared of failure.
I've written a cover/query letter and tonight I'm going to be working on writing six different synopsis (the Literary agencies I've looked at ask for either a 500 word synopsis, a one page synopsis or a two page synopsis, and since it's a duology I need to write a synopsis for the first book and a synopsis for the series) and I hope to start sending it out before the end of the month- 5 Days! Aghhhhhh!
That said I don't expect anything to come of it in the near future. I've been through the process of trying to publish a book before- admittedly it was an awful piece fiction that was basically stolen from harry potter. So bad it makes twilight look... well, like twilight, it's still better than that garbage, but it was bad for me -so I know that it's a long and arduous process of rejection.
With my impending depression in mind I have a pledge to make; If I manage to legitimately publish this book within one year of my first query letter going out I will dye my hair dark purple.
By 'legitimately publish' I mean; get an agent, have the agent get a publisher, earn money for the book. I cannot self-publish.
People who know me know that when it comes to my appearance I've always been fairly conservative- non-outrageous -I like jeans t-shirts and shirts, I've never dyed my hair- once in secondary school (highschool) I tried to dye it blonde but it did almost nothing and I am eternally grateful, I couldn't have pulled off blonde -and the closest I've come to a crazy hair style was back in Uni when I let my hair grow down my back 'cos I couldn't afford to pay for a haircut.
So when I say that if I become a fully published author within a year of my first query I will dye my hair dark purple you understand how big a deal that is for me, and I will follow through with it. So if there are any publishers or literary agents out there looking to make me make a fool out of myself; sign me up.

- James

P.S. the blog can now be found at just 'cos... stuff.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Nerd Off? Oh now its Oooon!

So in late 2010 Charlie McDonnell- who I mentioned in my first real blog post, Dissed by a Puppet -was challenged to a 'Nerd Off' by YouTuber skassi20, which I thought was an absolutely brilliant idea and decided to do a video of my own to display my nerdy, geeky collection of nerdasmic geekisms.
However it wasn't until I pressed record for the third time that I remembered why I stopped doing YouTube videos; I suck at them. I'm awkward and unfunny. I speed through everything to get it over with and hate how I look on camera.
So I scrapped the idea... Until Now!
With this recent development of written word online blogging- that I'm absolutely certain must have been developed after video blogging because video tech is much simpler than letters -I decided to have another go, but in the form of a blog post.
I initially considered writing it all out as a CV, applying for the position of nerdy, but then I... just... didn't.
Plus a CV wouldn't have looked very good with pictures all over it, and how could you truly believe my nerdisms without pictures? (Pics or it didn't happen, right?)

So here we go...
First of all, I'm a fantasy author- unpublished -who wrote a really, really bad harry potter rip off when I was sixteen, which I believe is still available to buy in America (please don't).
There is no volume 2

My most recent writing excursion took me on a 1000 page adventure that I've had to cut into two 500 page novels.
50 chapters edited, 20 to go.

Like Charlie, I have an abundance of geeky t-shirts and tops.
Heroes, OnLive, 24, Ironman, Ironman, spiderman, COD; Black Ops, Kick Ass,, Least I could do, Video Games Live, Doctor Who, Spiderman, Assassins Creed, Iron Man, Super Man

I also own four geeky baseball caps, which is ridiculous because I never wear them; my head is too big to look good with hats.
Star Wars: the old republic, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Escapist magazine, Mass Effect 2

This is a Mass Effect N7 backpack I bought on impulse (and have not yet regretted, or used).

My book shelf is filled with a mixture of Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Comic Books and Manga, which (combined with the manga and books I've stored away) incidentally is worth a conservative estimate of £1500, you know... if people paid that much for that sort of thing.

I have a little sci-fi display above my computer with models from some of my favourite sci-fi mediums.
My room has anime style art all over one wall (plus two pieces I need to frame), a ‘thank you’ plaque from working on APB: All Points Bulletein on another and a large poster of one of the characters that I totally acquired legitimately on our last day when we were made redundant.

I own a 1/500 limited edition Tali'zorah vas normandy lithograph which I havent removed from the packaging yet.

I have a collection of Magic the gathering cards (which I rarely use but only because my MTG friends live nowhere near me)

I am in the process of writing a mature (not erotic) pokemon fan fiction and a dr who fan fiction. Neither of which are particularly good.
And possibly most nerdy thing about me (as you know if you read my first post); I QA 4 Foodz! Yes, yes, I play computer games for a living.

And that's that. I hope that I've proved my nerdy-geekyness to you, if you want to respond to this with your own list, feel free to comment me up.
Une vidéo sur youtube
- James

Fifty Shades of Twilight

'He's naked, except for those soft ripped jeans, top button casually undone.' I am fairly certain that means he's not naked. Sure if he was only wearing socks you could argue that he's naked except, etc.... But trousers? Really? That means he's at least half covered, a significant hindrance to being naked.

That was a single sentence I read of the fastest selling paperback book of all time, Fifty Shades of Grey, over the shoulder of someone on the train this morning. Fifty Shades of Grey, or Fifty Shades as its colloquially known, is one of those books that I have never shown an interest in, will never show an interest in, and (redundantly) have no interest in.
However I do know, roughly, what it is, which is why I find it so disturbing to be sat on a train- especially the underground which is almost a perfect metaphor for the primary contents of this book -while every woman sat around me is reading it like its normal.
For anyone who is not aware; Fifty Shades of Grey isn't, as some people have described it to me, a 'romance novel' it's... well- well it's porn. Its written porn; erotic fiction, 'Erotica'. I'm sure there's romance in there somewhere, buried deep- there’s certainly a lot of dirty puns I could have used here but I'm going to be the bigger man and let it slide -beneath all of the porn, but it really is just porn.
Am I the only one here who finds it uncomfortable to sit next to someone when they're enjoying porn? I mean you wouldn't like it if I just sat there next to you with naked women on my iPhone, would you? But you think its ok to- I have a pretty good imagination, I don’t need a picture for it to be just as graphic.
Ugh, it's weird, right?
I almost want to ask people about it. It would be kind of fun to lean over to someone who's idly reading it and ask; 'Hey, Fifty Shades of Grey? I've heard a lot of people are reading that. It beat out harry potter as the fastest selling paper back of all time, didn't it? What's it about?' It would be especially fun to do while there were school kids within ear shot, but I'd have to wait till the end of summer for them to reappear after their summer holidays.
But that brings me nicely to another thought I wanted to put out there to the people reading Fifty Shades in public; you're not in a little bubble of solitude. Just because the tube is one of those places that if you make eye contact with me or try to make conversation I'll pretend I didn't notice-or walk to the other end of the carriage as if you're a bad smell in extreme cases -doesn't mean that nobody can comprehend the existence of you or your book. People can read over your shoulder, and not all of you are tall enough to be sure that the people reading with you are all old enough- those kids giggling behind you probably aren't telling jokes, they probably just read some ludicrously hard-core line over your shoulder. Though whether it's because of the erotic meaning behind the words or they understand how poorly written it really is; I guess we'll never know, but you get my point.
Also; I don't know if you're aware but Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James was originally a twilight fan fiction named Snow Queen Ice Dragon, she just changed the character names, it even subtly says so in the legal section of the book, hence the post's title.

But in all seriousness; stop reading porn while sat next to me on the tube, have a little self-restraint, or at least shame.
YoUtUbE vIdEo
- James