celebrity

Requiem for a shining star

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By now, everyone will know that Paul Walker died last Saturday in an horrific car crash.  At first, when I saw someone post about it, I assumed it was another of those ‘celeb dies’ hoaxes that we are all familiar with.  It was a shock to discover it was genuine.  I was surprised how shocked I was, as I’ve never really regarded myself particularly as a Walker fan, but it really knocked me sideways.

As usual, there is a mixture of emotions.  First there is sadness, but also anger and compassion for his soul.  I am angry for two main reasons.  Firstly, because someone who was so vibrantly alive and healthy was taken.  He had a good career and had none of the usual celebrity scandals that most others have.  He worked tirelessly for his charity Reach Out Worldwide and seemed like a genuinely nice guy.  I’m angry that someone like that should be taken when there are so many celebrities who lie, cheat, break the law and generally waste their lives away who are still here and being a complete nuisance.  I was also angry that Paul should die while being a passenger in the car.  Anyone with him as a passenger should realise the care that needs to be taken with such a valuable life?  The road was almost deserted, the weather was good, and Paul was not driving – you do the maths.  I was angry that someone killed Paul.  I was relieved to hear that there is a possibility that some kind of fluid leak just before the crash may have caused some kind of dangerous fault, and I hope this proves correct as I know myself well enough to know that I would find it hard not to apportion blame.  I now find out that he died from burning to death and not the impact, and that makes my heart cry for him.  Of all the possible ways to die, that has to be the worst and I hope with all of my heart that his soul recovers from that trauma.

There has been a huge outpouring of shock and grief at his passing, one of the biggest I’ve seen for any celebrity and that shows how far reaching Paul’s energy is.  Being a nice guy whilst also a celebrity really does make a difference.  It shows just how easy it is to touch someone’s life, even when you’ve never met them.  As a celebrity, you have immense power over people and it is so easy to abuse or ignore that power.  If someone is your fan, every word you say, everything you do and every opinion you express will be adopted as their own.  I’ve seen this hundreds of times.  From changing your fb handle to a name similar to your chosen celebrity, to choosing a boy/girl friend because they look like the person, it happens all over.  There are so many women on facebook who, coincidentally, are called Diesel and who happen also to be Vin Diesel fans, that it must be a very common name in every country and every culture on the planet.  Of course this seems silly, but it illustrates just how much power celebrities have.  I won’t go into how so many of them abuse that power, I’ve blogged on that very subject before, but this is another reason I still can’t get my head around Paul having died.

This also brings up the whole subject of relationships and how we communicate within them.  Paul’s death is a good example of why you should make an effort to let go of grudges, forgive your loved ones their flaws and show them you love them, every day.  You just don’t know how much longer you have with them, and it is so much easier to grieve when you know you showed them you loved them, than cope with the guilt at your angry words.

I hope the Walker family find strength and peace to move forward from their grief, and I send Paul love and healing to leave the trauma of his passing behind.

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Acts of Life release party and giveaway

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Announcing the Acts of Life release party and giveaway event.

Over on my facebook author page I’m running an event to celebrate the release of Acts of Life.  I’m combining the event with an easy, fun competition to give away ten e-copies of the book.  In order to take part, follow these simple instructions.

Go to the event here and join.

Write a story in no more than 300  words and post it on the page.  Your story can be any genre and have any storyline you choose but it must centre around a celebrity.  Your chosen celebrity can be a real one (alive or dead) or one you’ve made up.

On Friday 21st June I shall pick ten winners who will each win an e-copy of Acts of Life.

If less than 20 take part in the competition, it will be cancelled, so get your stories in as soon as possible to be in with a chance of winning.  It’s fun, its easy and the prize is worth a little effort.  One participant has already posted  his story, so hop on over to the event now and join up.

Freedom From Self Imposed Slavery

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I finally realised something today that I should’ve realised ages ago.  Years ago in fact.  Oh well, better late then never huh?

The thing that brought this valuable but unsettling lesson is facebook, or rather the people in it.  Watching a certain behaviour and even participating in it for a while, and failing miserably (of course, it’s what I do best) has been at times angst ridden but educational.  There are a lot of well known people that hang out over on good old Eff Bee and they have many millions of fans between them, many of whom try to get ‘noticed’ by their particular chosen one.  Most of them fail but still they try, I admire their perseverance, and I was once one of them.  Now, maybe because I don’t have that perseverance I admire so much, I’ve realised that I don’t like how that particular merry go round makes me feel, so I’ve chosen to stop doing it.

Why do we need the acknowledgement of some relatively talentless but good looking famous person?  Why do we seek it so fervently?  Those are the questions that have plagued me for the past couple of years and it’s only recently I think I found answers that resonate comfortably.  It’s because we’re so overcrowded that few of us feel our voice is being heard.  We feel we’re drowning and we’re desperately crying out for a moment of attention.  It’s because we all want that moment of feeling we’ve reached a bit higher than the millions of others also drowning around us.  It’s because we hope their success will somehow rub off onto us thr0ugh their “hello” or smiley face.  It’s because we feel so unworthy of achieving success on our own merits.

Another question I want the answer to, is why does it take fame to make us feel successful?  What is this thing about fame these days?

Of course there are people who will say “I don’t seek fame at all,” and that’s wonderful but offer them fame and see if they turn it down..!

Will it make my life better if I get a “hello” or a smiley from a famous Eff Bee’er?  Will it fuck..!  I’ll still be the same ageing, unattractive, overweight and unsuccessful single writer I was before.  I’ll still be the same socially crippled and unlovable weirdo that most people try to avoid because they can’t ‘get their head around’ me and my autism.  The constant striving for a moment of attention from this or that celeb only serves to remind me how unsatisfying life really is, how life sucks cock big time.  I don’t want to be reminded of that all the time I fail to be noticed.  I don’t want it and I certainly don’t need it.  It will not serve me positively.

So I’ve taken the decision not to do it anymore.  I will still appreciate a person’s skills in their chosen field, but I will not seek their attention any more.  I’d rather be noticed for my own skills and appreciated for my creativity than because I got a smiley from a celeb on Eff Bee.

A New Novel is Born

Now that Floxham Island ~ Sinclair V-Log AZ267/M is out, I can turn my attentions to my next two works in progress.

I have the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2012, Acts of Life to edit and proof read ready for publication in July 2013 and I’ve just begun writing a new novel featuring Sam Sinclair from Floxham Island.

Acts of life will be first of these projects you will see and features Jake, a famous movie star who agrees to work aboard an inter galactic freighter for three months as research for his latest movie role.  Events quickly take an unexpected turn and Jake finds himself and his new friends, stranded on a dangerous and uninhabited planet.  In a desperate fight for survival, not only from the indigenous life of the planet, Jake and his companions must also avoid capture by those intent on doing him harm.

The new Sam Sinclair novel, as yet untitled, sees Sam go undercover to find out the cause of seven mysterious deaths.  In the process he gains, and then loses, a great friend whose legacy ensures he finds an important ally in the future.

I’ve decided upon my plot line for this year’s NaNoWriMo, which will be published sometime in 2014.  This story is an epic quest involving a race across planets to save not only the protagonist’s true love, but also to save an entire planet from annihilating themselves in an unnecessary war.

Lastly for this year’s writing plans, I have ten short horror stories to write that will complete my planned horror anthology and hope to get it published this year.

I always like to have plots planned for a couple of books ahead as I have this dread of finishing a current WIP and then not finding another plot to work on.  Hopefully, by the end of 2013 I’ll  have eight books under my belt.

David The Hayemaker Haye and how he punched me in the face (virtually)

I used to be connected to David Haye’s facebook page.  I say used to be, because I’m not anymore.  I unliked his page this morning because something weird and strangely hilarious happened overnight that once again reinforces my somewhat sceptical view of the morals of most celebrities.

David recently brought out an iphone game app and he’s been spamming facebook with ads for it for a couple of weeks now.  I don’t have an iphone (I’m android) so I’ve not taken any interest and I have to admit that the amount of spam he’s been chucking out about it was becoming a tad annoying.  Anyway, a couple of days ago he posted a comment moaning about how few people seem to have downloaded his new game app and asking “why” we all hadn’t rushed to buy it (yes it’s a pay to download one, not free) and telling us that we should borrow an iphone from our friends or family so we can buy his new game.  Loads of people commented, and some of the comments were uncomplimentary about his new business/money making stance he seems to be taking since leaving the jungle.

I commented that as I don’t have an iphone, nor do I have a family and nor do I have friends who will loan me their iphone just so I can buy and play his new game app, I wasn’t interested.  I think I actually used the term “stick it.”  Not very ladylike I agree but it was extremely tame alongside some of the other comments I read (and laughed out loud at).

This morning I log onto facebook to find he’d banned me from commenting on his pics..!

I must admit I was amazed at that but then I laughed and am still giggling about it now (several hours later) and now I just think, what a self important asshole and how glad I am that I didn’t waste too much time being a fan.  Actually it was only the sight of his naked butt in the jungle that made me aware that he even existed as I hate boxing and think it should be banned, but I digress.  This is no loss to me at all and in fact it’s given me an interesting subject to blog about so I reckon I gained from this hilarious experience.

I often wonder whether it’s the money or the fame that turns what may have once been normal nice people into these self important megalomaniacs.  I then wonder if there is a cure.  I then realise I’m thankful I have the insight and self awareness not to ever become like that myself.

At the end of the day, I’ve been proved correct in my views on celebrities yet again.  I haven’t lost anything and my life will continue just as it always does.  He on the other hand, is famous and should be more aware that people talk to one another.  Word gets around and when you’re famous, you really shouldn’t piss off the folks you’re hoping are going to make you even richer.  He says he wants to become “an established actor” within 5 years.

That’s plenty of time for word to get around and bite him on his cute ass.

Endorsed by the Great & Mighty (part 3)

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Open Letter to Male Actor

Dear Male Actor (insert name of choice here)

I have been inspired to write this letter by my experiences of being your fan and I think it’s way beyond time that someone pointed a few things out to you.  You can of course, ignore the following (and you probably will even if you do find yourself here and reading) but that fact doesn’t negate the pertinence of what follows.

As with most of your female fans, I first noticed you because of your looks and my first thought was “phwoar” or something along those lines.  Shallow of me I know but then again, you trade on your looks for the most part and your acting is of secondary importance so you cannot justifiably mark me down for it.

Due to the elevated position you hold, you wield a lot of power but you often misuse this power, either due to ignorance or evil intent.  Your fans often look to you as a role model and they will take your example when acting and interacting with others in their own lives.  Many fans will choose to ‘adopt’ similar views and opinions as you, as a way of trying to be like you in the vain hope that their life will take a similar path as yours.  If the influence you have is a positive one, then they will hopefully grow in a positive way but if your influence is negative (which it often is unfortunately) then you are helping to create a new generation of maladjusted miscreants without a single compassionate bone in their bodies.

The monotonous regularity with which you hop from one casual affair to the next, the very public sexual liaisons you fail to control, the public infidelity, the self degrading alcohol/drug addictions you indulge in, the violence you publicly display towards those you are supposed to love and/or those who never deserve it and the complete ignorance of the fact that your fans finance your privileged lifestyle make you a very bad influence on today’s younger generation.

In any other profession, any employee who behaved in ways similar to those displayed by you would be summarily dismissed but again, because of your unique position, you get away with it because you can.  Just because you can, doesn’t make it right that you should.

In an ideal world, you would be constantly aware of your power to influence the very maleable minds of your fans and you would wield that power with humility and compassion.  In an ideal world you would always remember how much you owe us who have made you rich and adored by millions and you would take more time to interact with us because you’d know you owe us at least a moment of your time.  We know there aren’t enough hours in the day to spend time with each one of us but you could make a little more time to allow us to ‘reach’ you somehow.  In today’s technological world it is easy for us to reach you, if you make it possible.  In an ideal world you would realise that what the world needs now is positive role models so that our younger generation can grow up to be dependable, compassionate family men who don’t cheat on their women with every available attention seeking whore who manages to crash the Hollywood parties you cannot live without attending.  In an ideal world you would encourage those who listen to you, to honour their bodies with healthy nutrition and sensible exercise without life threatening addictions so that they can live long and healthy lives.  In an ideal world you would treasure all your fans, even those who aren’t 20 years old, skinny and blonde and surgically enhanced.

But we don’t live in an ideal world and you will continue to abuse your position.  I will still say “phwoar” whenever I see you but I will know that whilst beautiful on the outside, you’re not beautiful at all on the inside.

NaNoWriMo Update

It’s day 4 of NaNoWriMo and it seems that many of my contacts on facebook are taking part.  This is my first year participating and I must say I’m enjoying it very much.  It is good discipline to make yourself write every day and even if you don’t reach the 50 k you’ll have pushed yourself and learned a little more of what you’re capable of.

I’m doing okay with it so far.  My total stands at just over 20 k and I’m on track to hit the 50 k on the 9th November.  My novel will be longer than that though; I like my novels to be between 80 – 100 k and it would be super awesome to finish the whole thing in the month.  I’ve completed 4 chapters so far and the real action has just begun.

The only difficulty I’m having is actually nothing to do with it being NaNoWriMo.  I’m having a problem making my protagonist nasty enough.  You see, my main guy is not nice, in fact he’s a bastard but I am finding it a real job to make him horrible enough.  I love writing nice guys and I find them easy and natural but this character is proving a challenge.  As with all my characters though, he is building himself in the way he wants to be and I’ve learned not to fight my characters when they dictate stuff.  I let them have the lead and they know I will listen to them.  I may argue sometimes but they always get their own way in the end.  Jake isn’t a nice guy but I’m finding he’s building himself into a different kind of not nice than I envisioned at the start.  His not niceness comes from his own ignorance rather than any real malice; he is so up his own ass that he just doesn’t see what a prick he is and how he pisses people off.  He is building himself into a far more sophisticated kind of not nice than I thought he would be and y’know what?  I like the guy.

Another thing I didn’t plan or envision when I began was how much sex there would be in this book.  I knew there would have to be some, seeing as how my character is a narcissistic megalomaniac celebrity, but even I’m surprised at how often he ‘whips it out.’  This is definitely going to be an 18+ novel.

I’ve also been formulating ideas for the cover art and have a brilliant idea, which I’m not going to tell you about.  The last time I shared a cover before it was published, some other asshole chick stole my idea and published 2 weeks before I was due to.  My cover art guy had to race around looking for a new idea.  Luckily we found one and it’s  actually better than the one I had planned to use so all ended well.  So I’m keeping this idea under wraps.  This book won’t be published until mid summer anyway so there’s no hurry.  I have the fourth and final volume in The Lilean Chronicles series coming out in the first week of December, then I have a second of my novella series to write so I can publish the first pair as a single volume in spring of 2013 and then it will be time for my NaNo project to come out in summer.  I also had a full plot idea fall right into my head the other night as I sat trawling through facebook, so I be getting on with writing that once my first novella pair is published.

So all is well on the writing front here.  I just wish people would buy the books so I can eat and pay a few bills..!

Preparation for NaNoWriMo 2012

We’re now just 2 weeks from NaNoWriMo 2012 and I must say I’m excited for it to begin.  I’m looking forward to getting started and getting my new novel down and I fully intend to not only win NaNo but win with style.  That 50k will be reached and surpassed before the end of the third week in.  That is my goal and my aim and I’ll keep updated my progress here.

My NaNo project is titled Acts of Life and centres around a character called Jake Elloway.  Jake is a very famous and well loved actor from Earth who is offered a role that is a little different to the roles he normally plays.  Always glad of the opportunity to show how versatile an actor he is, he accepts the part and takes a job aboard an inter galactic freight liner in order to research his intended character’s job and lifestyle.

Of course things don’t go entirely to plan and with Jake being a narcissistic megalomaniac, life with his new companions isn’t as easy as it could be.  When they are forced into an emergency landing on an uninhabited planet, they must also be aware of the ever present dangers that lurk in the shadows.  Not only must the crew fight to survive, but Jake is forced to face his real self and deal with his personality flaws.

Will the crew survive the terrors that wait for them on the planet Tellizon..?  Will Jake leave his selfish megalomania behind and become an asset to the crew?

Keep watching to find out..!

The real face of twitter

I’ve been on twitter for around a year or so.  Not long by many people’s standards but before I published my books there was no real need for the extra burden of different social networking sites.  Actually I did get onto twitter before that but I quickly found it to be useless for actively engaging with anyone, so I stayed away and didn’t use my account until I started self publishing.

And there’s the rub.  Twitter is crap for conversation.  If it’s friends and happy conversation you’re after, stay away from twitter and stick with good old eff bee.  Twitter is for 3 things and 3 things only.

1.  Celebrities

2.  Fans

3.  Advertising your shit.

I’ll take each of these in turn.  Twitter is THE place for today’s celeb’s to let the rest of us plebs know that they are actually real live people and not some cgi invention.  They post their pictures and funny videos and tell us all about what they’re doing on set or in the studio and trade witty repartee with other celebs. They also plug their latest movie/album/book/tv show etc on twitter.  For celebs, twitter is an amazing free advertising bill board and they love it.

Hot on the heels of all the celeb twitterers come their fans – in their millions.  The fans come to twitter simply to try to get noticed by their idol (yes I’ve done that too and quickly realised I was on a hiding to nothing).  Every tweet by their favourite celeb is pounced on and the number of replies skyrockets quickly.    Each one hopes and prays their idol will reply to their tweet and some of them will tweet hundreds of times a day solely to try and get noticed by their idol.  What they don’t realise is that alot of the more major celebs on twitter will  have ‘staff’ doing their tweets, announcing the latest movie/album etc and posting photos ad nauseam.  The chances of getting a tweet by a major movie star on twitter is about the same as me walking outside of my house right now and slipping up in a heap of rocking horse shit..!

I used to be a fan of Dwayne The Rock Johnson and used to tweet hello to him and send him the digital artwork I did of him but I never got a response.  Seeing his tweets and his responses (on the rare occasions when he does actually respond) has put me off him as a person.  He’s beautiful to look at and is good at acting but as a person he sucks.  Thanks twitter, you took my idol from me..!

And then there’s advertising.  Twitter is heaving with people all trying to sell their shit (me included) and each one tweets endlessly about how wonderful their product is and why it’s better than everyone else’s.  That’s all well and good but you see dear, there are no actual customers on twitter, only other crazed sellers who have no intention whatsoever of ever buying your shit nor anyone else’s.  If you’re trying to sell your shit on twitter, you’re wasting your time because you’re not reaching actual customers there.  It took me ages to realise this (I can be thick sometimes) and I sat down and wondered what the heck I was doing flogging my guts retweeting other authors, when the effort doesn’t increase my book sales.

And hard work it is too.  It takes a serious amount of time out of your day using twitter.  You’re expected to retweet people so that they will retweet you back.  I say, supposed, because in practice it doesn’t happen that way.  I spent a couple of hours a day retweeting people and only ever got 3 or 4 retweets in return and half of those I did get were ones where I’d thanked someone for retweeting or said hello to a new follower – all carefully chosen by the retweeter so as not to include a link to my work.

I now go there for just a couple of minutes a day to check for new followers and direct messages but I no longer retweet people.  The number of retweets I got in no way made up for the time I spent or the numbers of tweets I retweeted.  I have my facebook author pages set up so everything I post there automatically goes to my twitter page too so I’m still sort of using it as free advertising.

I prefer to actually interact with people so I stay on facebook.  I have my personal page and my author page and I find it more pleasing to have actual conversations with people than simply dispense links that immediately get lost in the cess pool of other tweets, which no one reads or pays attention to.

Is is just me?  What do you think of twitter?