Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Writing My Book

In between living and trying to stay alive I’m taking time to put together a masterpiece. I’m working on my book, I’m currently one chapter deep (actually a milestone) and it’s looking like a modern day classic. The first chapter has taken three attempts but I’m happy with it now and I’ve formulated fat chunky chunks of plots and twits in my head. It’s seems that my plan to read several books for inspiration has finally paid off . . . its now plagiarism time! Can I get a High Five on that?

The biggest downer to writing a book is . . . writing it of course! Who has the time and effort for that? It was hard enough coming up with an idea worth getting excited about.

I’ve worked on books in the past . . . I have more ideas than books. And of course I think all of my ideas are potential best sellers. But I have a good feeling about this one. Not that it’ll get published and be a best seller, but I actually think I’ll finish it . . . some time this century. I’ve decided to live past one hundred so it’s not a big deal.

Other than realising the mass of this challenge I’ve also come across a few other contributing factors that may hinder my progress.

Work is the biggest hitter. I always feel like working on my book whist at work . . . then by the time I get home it’s a ‘long ting’, just want to lay back and relax. There are of course the weekends, but weekends aren’t book writing days . . . weekends are actually just Friday nights and Saturdays and I’m 23 . . . even if I don’t end the night with my head pressed against a night bus I’ll find myself glued to the TV watching football . . . and then watching football highlights. So time could be made, but you know . . .

Ugh . . . my dusty laptop is another moral killer. I have to turn it on fifteen minutes before I want to use it. So it makes sense that I don’t shut it down, I always put it on standby. But this tin of tuna decides when it wants to turn off . . . and it gives no warning. Just cuts off. At 10pm, with your alarm set for 6am, you’ll question how much you really desire to get that chapter wrapped up . . . it can wait.

No worries though, I should have a new high spec PC on the way. Wide screen monitor, dual core processor, 300+ GB Memory and some other cool stuff that’ll make it great for watching movies and playing games . . . oh, and writing books as well.

I was easily distracted at school, not too much has changed. But I got good grades, give me a break, I said it’s a masterpiece.

I’m sure I’d make more progress on a typewriter . . . no MSN, Facebook or YouTube to distract me. Just me, my typewriter and a snazzy tip-ex pen . . . box of crayons for the illustrations, one picture every ten pages.

A modern day classic.

A to the . . .

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Oh No You Don’t

Let me quickly bang this out before the rage fades.

Two weeks ago I parted with hard cash to watch a film called Transformers . . . you may have heard of it? OF COURSE YOU HAVE! It’s been promoted as one of the biggest blockbusters of the year . . . yeah right. Unsaturated pure garbage! This is why I download and watch so many movies on my laptop . . . free of charge.

I’m a tough film critic, no doubt. But I didn’t expect too much from Transformers. Fight scenes and eye pleasing special affects. The movie had both . . . so why was I sat in front of the big screen getting angrier with each scene?

OK, OK! I admit I was drawn into the movie during the first half an hour. There was a good balance of action and humour, hot shots of the leading lady and feint attempts at generating a storyline. Good stuff so far . . .

Add a poor attempt at a plausible storyline, completely unrealistic stunts and interaction between the Transformers and humans, and a whole bunch of irregularities and you have the formula to making Ak-Man furious!

It was Megan Fox’s Oscar award winning performance that silenced my boos and jeers.


Funny man Sam Witwicky can not only out run a Transformer twenty times his size, with intergalactic technological abilities, but he can also get whacked 30ft onto a car and walk off unharmed, he didn’t even wince in pain, shock maybe? . . . I’m far from believing that.

I watch a scene like that and think, ‘what foolishness!’

Allow me to break down another irregularity I observed. After the first 30mins I was actively looking for them, and had no trouble finding them.


OK, this Transformer called Bumblebee can’t speak English due to a technological malfunction. So he uses the car radio to talk. Yeah it’s as stupid as it sounds. He rapidly switches between radio stations picking out words and phrases to generate sentences that just about understandable, if you care about what he has to say. I could get into why this is also unbelievable but I’ll let it slide because of the bigger picture.

The rest of the Transformers speak mighty fine English for a bunch on immigrants . . . also not a problem. We are told that they learnt to speak English from the internet. I don’t even want to know how they got on online r what they were doing, I’ll let it slide.

OK check this . . . Megatron (bad guy Transformer) also speaks PERFECT English!!! Here is the problem. When he came to Earth over a century ago he crash landed and was frozen in ice. There also wasn’t any internet at the time . . .

. . . Please offer your explanations so that I can tear them to pieces.

This movie is filled with numerous acts of nonsense. It’s hard to miss them unless you slept through the film . . . I almost dozed off a few times but was worried that I’d miss a good shot of Miss Fox.

It pains me greatly that most of the people I know actually enjoyed this film. I’m constantly finding new reason to question friendships. Transformers is a movie created to be enjoyed by children and morons. Take from that what you will.

I wish I writ this as soon as I got home . . . but Arsenal were playing and I had to watch the match. Then almost two weeks worth of ‘stuff’ happened so it almost got overlooked.

Please also note that Transformers literally went missing, couldn’t aim despite their advanced technology, and often changed their scale just to bug me. Daylight switched to night time in a car chase that lasted under a minute, nothing in-between, just bright sunshine, then high night. Captain Lennox skidded his motorbike, slid off it then slid on the road, on his back for twenty meters and used his rocket launcher (which he had in hand the whole time) to take a shot at a Transformer. ‘What foolishness’, then nothing happened, he just ran and hid in a side street. What was the point of that completely unrealistic stunt?

Did any of you guys watch and enjoy this movie? Let me know what you liked about it. Megan Fox and the special effects are both off limits as they were both unarguably great features of the movie. Wait for it to be released on DVD so you can be one of the cool people who don’t own it.

A to the . . .

Saturday, 11 August 2007

More Than Just A Game

It’s about time . . . I don’t know how I’ve lasted so long (three months) without my first love. It’s been a cruel long summer, but at least it’ll end with some passion.

On August the 11th 2007 the 2007/08 English Premier League kicks off for another highly anticipated season. I can almost smell the freshly cut grass.

As a football junkie, this means so much to me. My passion for the sport takes up a chunky slice of my life. It’s not just a game; it’s so much more than that. Laugh if you want, but it is indeed a way of life. Yeah I said it, being a football fan is a way of life.

There are several reason why I take football so seriously, and alongside those are a number of reasons why I’m so glad that the new season is about to get underway.

When I was four or five years of age, my cousin pulled me to one side and had a word with me. He was kind of like a big brother to me at the time, so I looked up to him, taking his words seriously. He told me that I was growing up and that in due time I’d have to pick a football team to support. He informed me of the three of the biggest clubs at the time; Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, trusting me to make a wise decision. I never knew it then, but that day changed my life.

Since that faithful day I’ve been hardcore Gunner (Arsenal Fan) and I’ve never looked back since.

Before I supported Arsenal I supported football. I used to play football before, during and after school for the duration of my education. This was the main reason my school shoes couldn’t last longer than a month . . . even though I had to continue wearing them for much longer. I played for school teams, church teams and my borough at the time, Hackney. Even back then I appreciated watching football . . . the pace of the game, the anticipation, the intensity, the stars, their skill and talent lured me in with an immense pull.

I’ve been in several arguments due to football and would most definitely fight to defend my team in the most petty of disputes (trust me on this one, I’ve fought for less). You need ammunition in the form of knowledge to shut up a rival fan, so while I watch games I catalogue teams and player stats in my head. Tallying up trophies and club records, I study Arsenal Football Club and run riot on scumbags who try to take shots at my team . . . the audacity.

To me football has always been more than just a sport or game, it represents a dream. In my younger years I wanted to be a professional footballer more than any other of my dream professions. These included being a Rapper, Actor, Professional Wrestler, Kung-Fu master and Secret Government Special Agent . . . I’m currently an Administrator, so when football is on TV I’m glued to the screen.

I have the utmost respect for people who chase their dreams and aim towards the long shot. They earned and deserve to reap its benefits. I wish I pushed harder towards any of my dream jobs . . . hard enough to see how far I could have taken it.

Another great part of the football season is the way it helps me to maximise my week. The added option of being able to sit around watching a match or highlights can help me get the most out of a day. Getting home ‘early’ on a Saturday night isn’t much of a problem when you can grab a cold drink, some snacks and happily sit in front of the TV watching Match Of The Day . . . what more could I ask for?

A dark cloud floats over the next nine months. Arsenal haven’t one a competitive tournament for two seasons, and to make matters worse we’ve also lost our best player, and arguably the best player in the world, Thierry Henry. What can I say in my teams defence if we go another trophy-less season? I’ll have to resort to snuffing rival fans.

You don’t have to love it like I do . . . just know that it’s more than just a game.

A to the . . .

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Don’t Look Back

Who did it?
Why did they do it?
How did they do it?

Crime fiction has always appealed to me. I’m drawn in by the mystery, the ever growing enigma and the thrill of the chase. Time is never on the lead’s side as lives are on the line, the evidence points in too many places, and the body count rises. You root for the good guys, you want good to prevail over evil, and most importantly you want to know who did it. Who did do it?

I’ve read the first seven chapters of Simon Kernick’s ‘Relentless’ and even though I have been given enough reasons to read on, I haven’t been at all impressed by his writing style and head first approach. For what it’s worth, I have the “Uncorrected Free Book Proof”; the actual retail copy might have been sharpened up in areas. You might also want to know that it’s been quite some time since I’ve picked up a crime fiction novel. The last one I recall was ‘Past Mortem’ by Ben Elton, and that was over two years ago.

After seven chapters I am still yet to connect with the main character Tom. There is a little bit of sympathy for him and I like the way he thinks. But his character hasn’t been built up enough for me to be too concerned about his fate, not just yet anyway. At the moment, he’s a bit too ‘normal’, and Kernick reinforces this again and again. At present Tom is neither hero or villain, nor victim. He’s actually a suspect, but we know he had no involvement in the two murders which have already occurred. We also have no strong ties to the victims so there’s a ‘so what’ mentality to the novel thus far.

It sounds like I’m wasting my time reading on doesn’t it? Like I said I’ve been given ample reason to continue. Kernick might not have a strong writing style (in my opinion of course) but he’s got the plot moving at a rapid pace, and only seven chapters deep he’s included quite a few twists already. Some big twists mind you, conceptually he’s original and imaginative. Let’s hope its all going somewhere.

One thing that really annoys me is a twist that amounts to nothing. Simply thrown in for affect and then disregarded when questioned to make way for a more mundane and easy to wrap up storyline. If Kernick cops out I’ll make a mental note not to pick up any of his other novels.

Kernick seems to have also opted for dual lead males. A smart move as it has provided the reader with another side of the story and its answering questions that add to the narrative. I was a bit confused at first, and didn’t like the way this element was implemented, but quickly caught on and rolled with the theme. Tom is still our leading man, but Detective Bolt is nipping away at the lime light chasing strong leads while Tom is still unaware of what’s going on.

The book has a lot of wise cracks and is to be read at a rapid pace. Not as rapid as the movie Crank . . . yet not as slow as The Transporter. The chapters are short bursts of action or information; you won’t find your mind drifting away easily. It’s an easy read . . . not too many head scratching words . . . but no pictures either. I’m sure to finish it.

A to the . . .