Tag Archives: Jo Bryant

Wordless Wednesday

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Life is funny at times.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the computer will cooperate and this post will see the light of day.

Doing battle with the computer.
Doing battle with the computer.

I am also hoping that soon all will be sorted on the insurance front. It is proving more of a job than I first realised. I think my insurance company must be sick of me. First there was the leak in the kitchen/dining/lounge room. When the inspector came he found that there was also damage from a long ago leak I never bothered to claim. I did not at the time realise the amount of damage it had caused to the flooring under the linoleum in the kitchen. So this then eventuated in a second claim. It took eight months to settle the first claim…now the second is in the works it will be interesting to see how long that takes. I hope it happens a bit faster as I can’t begin any repairs until it too is settled as it seems silly to repair one part of the floor then go back in again.

Then there was the lawnmower. It caught on fire…long story that you really don’t want to hear about, but the repairs came to $700.00+. May as well get a new mower then. Turns out after the excess and the loss of my no-claims bonus it costs me over $700 to claim $700.

It made me a little mad because after years of never claiming…and paying them buckets of money…what do I actually have insurance for I wonder.

But this weekend was a time top put it all aside as The Daughter was home. Which meant I got to cook. I made all the things she likes, and a few extras. One of the extras didn’t quite work.

Day 109 - 19.5.2013

Brown sugar meringues. They came out perfect actually…but a little big. They are supposed to be the size of a biscuit and be joined together with cream. I guess I got a little carried away and this was the result. Next time I will try to make sure they are smaller. In the meantime…I am enjoying an occasional sweet treat.

The break in has seen me going through cupboards and drawers to figure what is missing. During the searching I find myself getting side tracked a bit. I came across a box of old papers/cards/mementos.

With The Daughter home I pulled out a few to show her and she and I had a few laughs over some of the cards she has made me over the years. This one in particular had us both in hysterics. She was quite the little manipulator was The Daughter.

The front...and that is NOT my signature !!!
The front…and that is NOT my signature !!!

Homemade Mothers' Day Card (1)

Homemade Mothers' Day Card

In searching through drawers to figure out what was taken in the break in…and they did take some odd items…I found one item that I had thought gone. It is just a small item. And at the time though it seemed expensive to me it really wasn’t. But that one item has made me so happy to find it NOT stolen.

Day 104 - 14.5.2013

I gave it to my father for his birthday one year. It is old, it is worn, and it does need repair. But it means the world to me that I still have it when so many other items that marked a time in my life are now gone forever. I have decided to get it repaired and cleaned up and wear it myself. As a reminder of that time in my life and that the little stuff counts.

Things such as these make the computer woes seem minor indeed.

Light and culture…a way forward maybe ???

Day 87 - 27.4.2013
Me and the ZORRO hat !!!!!

So while the computer IS co-operating…here is my take on Ailsa’s theme this week. The technique is called BOKEH. After almost 55 years…the light sometimes even makes me look reasonable. Yes this was today’s photo for my 365 challenge. But being on a dinosaur laptop…well I haven’t been able to load it on to THAT page yet. I have really. really developed a HAT obsession.

This week’s theme at the Weekly Photo Challenge is CULTURE. I think this fits for one reason. So much of culture these days tells us that to be seen as beautiful you have to be young. While by no stretch of the imagination do I think I am beautiful I do think we need to remember that each age has beauty. We need to change the culture that diminishes the beauty that age gives us. I look this way because…well there is a line in a favourite movie star’s movie that I think says it all.

If my muscles ache it’s cause I used them. If it’s hard for me to walk up them steps now, it’s cause I walked up them every night to lay next to a man who loved me. I got a few wrinkles here and there, but I’ve laid under thousands of skies on sunny days, yeah. I look and feel this way, well, cause I drank and I smoked, I lived and I loved, and danced, sang, sweat and screwed my way through a pretty damn good life, if you ask me. Getting old ain’t bad Ben. Getting old, that’s earned.

 

I think she had a point !!!!

As an aside…when I was younger there is no way I would have posed for a shot like this one. I thought I was fat, not too great looking. It is only with age that I appreciate not only how I used to look…but the way I look now. Maturity does have its advantages.

A Dash of Reality

What do you get when you combine a sporting franchise run by an egotistical bozo that is feeling the economic downturn, a female billboard model on the verge of getting fired, and a reality TV show?

A Dash of Reality.

Tauranga based author Lee Murray’s newest book comes under the ‘chic-lit’ heading. So I opened the first page with a bit of trepidation. Reviewing a book of someone I know in a genre that I usually only turn to when I don’t want to tire my brain, and having offered to review said book, well…I wondered if I had really thought this through enough. So, what is A Dash of Reality about?

When Melanie, a billboard model, is given a month’s notice she comes up with an unlikely scheme to keep her job and catapult herself in to the realm of famous people. You know the ones, people, that when someone says their name everyone know who you are talking about.

A reality TV series is born where a bunch of everyday New Zealanders will take part in six running events that ends with a marathon and one winner who will get cash for the charity of their choice.

Melanie has more in mind than just cash for her charity. Winning will mean staying employed, paying the bills, being the face that everyone recognises. Sounds simple doesn’t it?  Ahhh…but we are talking about a Lee Murray book where nothing is as simple as it first seems.

As well as a few corporate douche bags who seem intent on making Melanie’s life hell there is her family. An absent father, a mother who seems preoccupied with appearances, a stepfather who calls her Flakey, a stepsister who would rival either of Cinderella’s stepsisters, and finally a stepbrother who I actually liked.

Luckily Melanie has Jack, her boyfriend and biggest supporter. Melanie’s best friend Janeen’s disabled daughter Caro is also Melanie’s goddaughter. I was so glad that there were at least a few nice people in this girl’s like.

Once or twice I found myself wanting to shake Melanie, and wondered how anyone could do something that dumb. Then I remembered that in my lifetime I have seen a lot dumber things done by a lot smarter people. I have to be honest and include myself in that category. I have also met a few of these people. The ones that seem terribly one sided until you take the time to look deeper and realise they are just as insecure and flaky as you are.

What is also nice to see is a book set in New Zealand as I know it. Too many times books like these are set in such a generic locale that it could be anywhere, or they are written by someone who has never set foot in the country they are writing about. A Dash of Reality has a distinctive New Zealand flavour in the setting, the humour, the language and the way its characters live and interact.

Chic-Lit sounds like an easy genre, but to get the right mix is a little more difficult than it looks. Too light hearted and I get bored, to deep and it crosses right out of the genre. Luckily for me I really liked A Dash of Reality. Is it War and Peace? Thank God no! That book may be considered a masterpiece but I have never got passed page ten. Every genre has its place. Chic-Lit, when done well can be a great read. A Dash of Reality is done well.

If you find yourself interesting in running, at the end of the book are some tips on starting. And Lee should know. Not only is she an award winning writer, but Lee has competed in 18 marathons, a bunch of half marathons and an ultra marathon.


Where you can find Lee

Related posts

Article first published as Book Review: A Dash of Reality by Lee Murray on Blogcritics.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cars and Trucks

For more cars and trucks click on the image below.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

Ever since my girl Jackie got sick she has been different. Oh she’s still grumpy as all Hell, but these days she’s become a snuggler with her Mum. The grumpiness is reserved for anyone who comes too close to what Jackie now considers hers and hers alone.

“How many times must I say it? These legs is MINE !!!!!!”

“And if we could have a little quiet please !!!”


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

A lot can happen in eleven hours…

I don’t know about you – but I love my stats. I love seeing who comes and goes on my blog, what they visit, where they are from, how they get there. So far today this is what has been happening on my blog.

Can you see yourself anywhere on here ??? Let me know !!!!

In the last hour and a half I have had visitors from.

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Good Lord some of you are demanding !!! Just to keep Rommel happy here are the latest views !!!
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Between midnight and 11 am people have checked on these posts.
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Thank you !! More stats 34
Wake the Fuck Up… More stats 24
The Batman – Christian Bale Style More stats 22
The Batman and Robin…old school style. More stats 15
The funniest or maybe worst names EVER… More stats 14
Welcome to my World !! More stats 12
Supernatural – I watch it. But why? More stats 12
Hatfields & McCoys More stats 11
What is a list poem? More stats 8
♫ Can you see what I see ?? ♫ – “My – Who I would bring back to…list.” More stats 6
When the world comes to you… More stats 6
Black Beauty More stats 5
Happy Birthday Freddie More stats 5
Black Like Me More stats 4
Taking a walk… More stats 3
Mask – Small Stone #1 More stats 3
An African love affair More stats 3
Dyeing to be something else. More stats 3
What makes New Zealand Kiwi – Part 2 More stats 3
Blog Roll More stats 3
Definition of Diamante Poetry More stats 3
Definition of Cinquain Poetry More stats 3
White Chocolate Mud Cake Panic… More stats 2
Kevin – Part One – The Early Years More stats 2
You Got to Be Kidding!: The Cultural Arsonist’s Literal Reading of the Bible by Joe Wenke More stats 2
How to write a Pantoum poem More stats 2
How did Betty White outlast me? More stats 2
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Happy Birthday Dean Winchester… More stats 2
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The Batman More stats 2
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THE BELLMAN CHRONICLES – FREE FOR 2 DAYS! More stats 2
What makes New Zealand Kiwi. More stats 2
Translate (56 Languages) More stats 2
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These search terms brought people visiting.

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Hatfields & McCoys

Kevin_Costner_DF-SD-05-08959_cropWhere Kevin Costner is concerned it doesn’t take much to get me excited. I am completely and utterly biased about the man. He has Demigod status in this household. So, that said…if you don’t appreciate the genius that is Kevin…leave now and forever hold your piece.

Just recently Kevin won an Emmy Award for Best Actor in the mini-series Hatfields & McCoys. I recently had the pleasure of watching the series and was thrilled to see his work recognized.

The Hatfields & McCoys is the biggest feud involving two families in America which took place during the 1800s.

The mini series is the second most watched program in cable television history. In case you’re wondering…High School Musical 2 is number one.

While the feud took place along The Big Sandy River that divides Kentucky and West Virginia, and the Appalachian Mountains, the actual filming took place in Transylvania, Romania, just outside of Brasov with the Carpathians representing the Appalachians.

The cast and characters are as follows:

Kevin Costner as William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield
Bill Paxton as Randolph “Randall” McCoy
Tom Berenger as Jim Vance
Matt Barr as Johnson “Johnse” Hatfield
Jena Malone as Nancy McCoy
Damion O’Hare as Ellison Hatfield
Sam Reid as Tolbert McCoy
Powers Boothe as Judge Valentine “Wall” Hatfield
Andrew Howard as “Bad” Frank Phillips
Sarah Parish as Levicy Hatfield
Lindsay Pulsipher as Roseanna McCoy
Ronan Vibert as Perry Cline
Joe Absolom as Selkirk McCoy
Noel Fisher as Ellison “Cotton Top” Mounts
Boyd Holbrook as William “Cap” Hatfield
Tom McKay as Jim McCoy
Mare Winningham as Sally McCoy
Michael Jibson as Phamer McCoy
Greg Patmore as Good Lias Hatfield
Max Deacon as Calvin McCoy
John Bell as Audie
Nick Dunning as Preacher Dyke Garrett
Katie Griffiths as Alifair McCoy
Joy McBrinn as Aunt Betty Blankenship
There’s more but it is a big cast. So I am sharing the ones that made an impression on me in this series.

My favourite characters, other than Kevin of course, were Jena Malone [Lydia in Pride and Prejudice], and Noel Fisher. Both were riveting characters in the series. Nancy McCoy was a manipulative little bitch in the series and Jena did a wonderful job with the complexities of the character. She is certainly an actress with a lot of potential. And Noah as Cottontop was priceless to watch. Cottontop is the mentally disabled bastard son of Ellison Hatfield and Fisher’s portrayal was wonderful to watch.

Hatfield Clan

There has been some criticism of the series for taking poetic license with some of the facts. People please, this is a drama. It is not a documentary. If you would like to know more on the discrepancies Christopher John Farley’s article ‘How realistic is Hatfield’s and McCoys?‘ is quite interesting to read. For my part I took this series for what is was. A dramatisation of a piece of American history.

The locations are great, the cast does a wonderful job with their roles, the writing is tight and moves this along at a great pace. There is plenty of action, a lot of drama, love, hate, romance, humour and it’s just a great piece of television to spend a few hours on. In my opinion it deserved every one of its Emmy nominations and those it won could not have gone to a better series.

Images sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Related posts

Taking a walk…

This is where I walk Chevvy.

And sometimes what I am lucky enough to see are the herons.

I know it’s a little shaky, but you try filming with a Demented Fox Terrier on the lead.

You Got to Be Kidding!: The Cultural Arsonist’s Literal Reading of the Bible by Joe Wenke

I have been looking for a book such as this for a very long time. Christians would probably be advised to read no further. Joe Wenke takes an irreverent look at the Bible with You Got to Be Kidding, not just asking questions but stating, through examples, what most atheists believe, that the Bible is so far fetched it is actually humerous.

In it, Wenke dissects God’s behaviour in such a way that leaves you wondering if God, or any of the people who wrote the first part of the Bible, were on some bad acid trip through most of the Old Testament. He points out some pretty vengeful behaviour from God when he doesn’t get his way. Even when God gets his way he still pulls a few stunts that in light of the Ten Commandments leaves this atheist wondering what his problem was.

What I loved most about the way Wenke writes is that he frames most of the thoughts I have had at some time or the other. The title ‘You Got to Be Kidding’ articulates it perfectly. As an atheist there is a lot that leaves me scratching my head when I read the Bible.

Up until now most books that look at the Bible and delve in to some of its more fantastical parts are written in such a way that if you don’t have a scientific bone in your body you are left a little bewildered. Don’t get me wrong. I think Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have written great books regarding the validity of God and Creationism. But they can be heavy going to a layperson.

I particularly loved Wenke’s chapter ‘Unanswered Questions’, where he asks questions about some of the Bible’s stories. Why was it okay to for Solomon to have 700 wives and 300 concubines and yet still write proverbs about adultery? If the Wise Men were so wise how did they end up needing directions? What happened to Joseph? Seems like an important character, Jesus’s stepfather after all. So where did he go?

Actually, thinking about it this is maybe the perfect book for Christians to read. Why? Because it explains in very simple terms exactly what an atheist thinks when reading the Bible. At least what this atheist thinks, and I am probably thinking quite similar thoughts to the rest of the atheists out there.

If you think about it, most atheists have read the Bible. We don’t agree with it, but our disagreement doesn’t come from ignorance. It is usually an informed opinion we arrive at after looking at Creationism from many angles. Personally not one of those angles made a lick of sense to me. It would be nice if Christians would at least return the favour and read books like Wenke’s [or Dawkins and Hitchens] without calling them evil, that they would at least take the time to understand an atheist’s viewpoint.

You Got to Be Kidding is in my opinion the perfect book for that. It is a well written, light hearted look at the questions most atheists have about God and the Bible. At 164 pages it is great if you don’t want to be weighed down for a month with a book.

You Got to Be Kidding will be released on October 1st, 2012

Publisher: Trans Über LLC

ISBN: 9780985900205

About the author: Joe Wenke was born the oldest of eleven children in a strict Catholic family in South Philadelphia and attended a long line of Catholic schools including the University of Notre Dame where he received a B.A. in English. He received an M.A. in English from Penn State and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Connecticut.A former corporate speechwriter, he is the owner of a leading event marketing company.

100 Steps Photo Challenge

The challenge from PhotoBlog this month is: 100 Steps: Prepare a short itinerary you would like to explore, and once there, stop every 100 steps and find something to photograph around you.
This project is about finding inspiration in an unknown environment. Most of the time, it will be easy, because you will find what your itinerary was about (pretty buildings, flowers, people… or whatever you were expecting to see).
But other times, you will be in a spot where nothing makes a good photo at first glance… Wait a little, walk a few steps around where you stopped, look up, look down, change your lens, and I promise you: you will find something good to photograph!

This is what I came up with from the images I took on my walk.

The header consists of other photos I took on my 100 steps walk.

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My boy Kevin Costner scores at the Emmy Award‘s just a few minutes ago with his role in “Hatfields & McCoys,” taking the best actor in a miniseries or movie award and likening his trophy to an Olympic medal.

I’ve seen the mini series and by God it is GOOD !!!! Kevin Costner ROCKS in it.

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This is a 3 for 1 deal plus extras…

 
There is a message from Jackie for you all…a pig racing video – I kid you not and…

I am going to tell you about some books I have been reading lately that you might actually like. I also have an interview with a author of a very interesting book and you can win prizes. Sadly WordPress won’t allow me to put the Rafflecopter Widget up here so you’ll have to follow the links provided.

The Bellman Chronicles by Robert Hookey

I have been trying to figure out exactly WHY I like this book so much. Is it that it pokes fun at the pretentious way some people behave? That is definitely a huge plus in The Bellman Chronicles. I love seeing or hearing about prats being taken down a peg or two even if it is only verbally.

Perhaps it’s because you are able to peek through the keyhole at the way others conduct themselves. I think that there is a little voyeur in all of us. Although many of the incidents in the book are quite short you get enough – it is like a reality TV series of one bad behaviour after another.

There is such a great gathering of all the different types of people that make up the world we inhabit, all passing through the doors of this hotel in Ontario, Canada. There are cougar moms, drunken college kids, not so sweet oldies, diabolical children [my favourite kid was Little Napoleon], hookers, and although is isn’t PC to stereotype different races, there is a reason we do, and that reason shows up over and over again on these pages.

But it isn’t just the bad behaviour, and the laughs those provide, that keeps you reading. There are also moments that make you remember what’s good in the human race. The tale of the Bellman’s shoes had me smiling in a good way.

The Bellman Chronicles is divided in to two books. While the first deals with the haphazard and slightly deranged behaviour of the hotel’s guests, Book Two deals with life in general and all the terrible things that can just drive you crazy. From late night television chat line conversations [that’s a new one for me, luckily they haven’t taken on here in New Zealand] to Hollywood messing with your favourite film franchises, the author manages to cover just about all my pet peeves with the world.

I think though that the main thing that I love about this book is that after all that goes on at his work, the author goes home and fashions a loving environment for his daughter to grow up in. With wit and humour he shows us his loving and slightly odd family. And it reminds me of my own loving but slightly odd family. The one that is just like millions of other families.

The Bellman Chronicles is a surprising book because it is unlike any other book I have read. We’d all like to think our lives are worthy of a novel. Most aren’t. Luckily, Robert Hookey’s is.

Article first published as Book Review: The Bellman Chronicles by Robert Hookey on Blogcritics.

Project Hope by Sean Joyce

Project Hope centres on the lives of brother and sister Dylan and Lil. The siblings live in the Zones. The Zones is a society that has been walled off from the rest of the world. It is ruled by guards who more than a little enjoy the power they have over the lives of the residents. Also in the Zones are the Hoods, gangs that run riot over these same residents.

Life is a constant battle to stay out of trouble that comes at you from all sides.

Dylan has only one outlet, his art. He sneaks out at night to paint his images on the walls that imprison him. With both his parents dead from a disease outbreak Dylan must also take care of Lil.

Project Hope covers a small time frame, but it moves along at a good pace. I really liked the characters of Dylan and Lil, I enjoyed their relationship. Dylan’s friend Oscar was another character that I really enjoyed. Oscar’s relationship with his father is wonderfully played out on the pages.

It is a well written story, with great description and a good plot. The thing I had a problem with was that there is never any explanation of why the Zones existed. I really expected at some point to be told why the wall went up and why these people were taken from the outside world and placed in the Zones. So when I came to the end of the book I was disappointed that this never occurred. Perhaps the author Sean Joyce is planning a sequel where this will all be revealed.

Project Hope is not a long book at 151 pages so it is quite good for a quick read. I liked the author’s style and enjoyed the tension he built as it progressed. It is a violent, gritty story but you never lose the sense of hope that they will make it out in to a better world.

Article first published as Book Review: Project Hope by Sean Joyce on Blogcritics.

Book of Paul

Please enjoy this interview with Richard Long, author of the nail-biting supernatural thriller, The Book of Paul. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

1. Tell us about the spark of inspiration that eventually grew into The Book of Paul.

The initial inspiration for The Book of Paul came when I wrote the first line of the first chapter called Exercises: “He practiced smiling.” I wanted to explore a character who had been so damaged by childhood trauma that he could no longer feel compassion, joy, affection, and had, accordingly, committed all kinds of horrible acts. I wondered if such a person could ever regain his emotional capacity and be redeemed by love.

2. What was the research process like for this book (which can at times deal with some pretty heady and—frankly—grotesque goings-on)? Any horror stories to share?

There are many aspects to the story, so the research was really extensive. I love doing the research almost as much as the writing, so it’s a joy for me to read and learn so many new things. The creation mythology literally goes back to square one and builds from there, tracing the history of Hermetic and Gnostic philosophy, alchemy, druidism and pagan mythology–particularly Egyptian, Greek and Celtic traditions. There’s also a strong science fiction element involving quantum physics, artificial intelligence, life extension and what’s known as The Singularity. Other lines of exploration involved Irish genealogy and what I call the pain culture: tattoos, elaborate piercings and body modifications.

I made some gruesome discoveries along the way. The most disturbing was the Extreme Body Modification website I stumbled upon, which is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen. I first saw it in the early days of the Internet, which is pretty amazing in itself. I checked recently and it’s still there, though I didn’t have the stomach to peek inside again. I’m actually as squeamish as some of my readers about certain things, which is probably why the horror comes across so vividly. If something scares the hell out of me, it’s easy for me to convey that fear and revulsion.

3. Tell us about Paul. Who is he and what is his book about?

The Book is a 4th century codex, the only one of it’s kind. How and why it was made and what it contains is one of the central mysteries of the series, so I’m not going to spill those beans. Paul is every bit as mysterious. When he is first introduced you might think he’s a serial killer involved with the occult in some way. As the story progresses you discover some really unexpected things about him. One thing is clear from the outset – he is one very nasty piece of work. I’ve always felt that any horror novel or thriller is only as good as the villain. I definitely aimed for the fences with Paul.

4. There is a strong tarot undercurrent to this novel. The protagonist even makes his living by reading the cards. Why did you decide to work it into The Book of Paul, and how does it surface throughout the course of the story?

I actually did tarot and numerology readings when I lived in the East Village many years ago. The tarot led me to a lot of dark occult explorations, which are mirrored in William’s journey. I was lucky enough to pull out of that nosedive and hop over to the Buddhist side of the fence. William is not so fortunate. The reader gets drawn into William’s world through his first person narration as he talks about becoming a collector of ancient occult manuscripts, which leads him to the tarot. Then he gradually reveals more through his journal entries, which contain the meat of the mythology and all the Hermetic and Gnostic lore. Finally, he discovers that the tarot is actually related to an apocalyptic prophecy, which Paul is determined to fulfill by any means necessary, which is very bad news for Billy.

5. At almost 500 pages, this is not a short novel. From start to finish, how long did it take you to write, revise, and ready for publication?

I’ve written over 2,000 pages for The Book of Paul and the series. The first draft of this volume was close to a thousand pages long. I cut out eight characters and their storylines in the second draft, which netted my first agent. She wanted a lower page count, so many of the narrator’s interior musings were cut. Those were actually some of my favorite sections. Then I moved to another agent and he wanted more of the mythology put back in, so it grew close to this size. After six months he hadn’t sold it, so I got sick of the whole process, wrote it the way I wanted, and published it.

6. The concept of synchronicity plays heavily in this novel. What attracts you to it, and has it proven a heavy influence in your own life?

I’ve always been a spiritual seeker. I was raised as a Catholic, but the nuns effectively beat those beliefs out of me quickly. Even as a kid, I couldn’t accept the idea of God as the big guy in the sky with the white beard. Science and mythology and my own imagination showed me all kind of possibilities. I first noticed synchronicity when the number eleven kept showing up for me all over the place–addresses, hotel rooms, etc. Someone suggested I get a book on numerology and I discovered that eleven was my “name number” and also a power number. I started noticing all kinds of things after that, coincidences that were just too weird to brush away. Then I read some Jung, and when I got into quantum physics that sealed the deal. Synchronicity for me now is the manifestation of interconnectedness in the universe. There is nothing you can perceive that isn’t connected to you. As the Buddhists say, “no separate self.”

7. Paul is… scary (we’ll leave it at that). How were you able to effectively become this deranged character, and how did you hang on to your own humanity after the fact?

I would imagine it’s much the same as when Anthony Hopkins played Hannibal Lecter. He was very disdainful of method actors who got all caught up in identifying with their characters. There’s a famous story about Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman on the set of Marathon Man. Hoffman was a method actor and he stayed up all night before their torture scene together and Olivier said something like, “Why don’t you try acting, dear boy?”

That being said, I’m not immune to being disturbed by these things. When I wrote the traumatic scenes of him and Martin–well, I cried when I wrote them and they stayed with me for days. So maybe the method is working for me too.

Paul is great to write because it’s like letting my Id out of a cage. I get to play out my most evil imaginings and nobody gets hurt. I also had to find Paul’s humanity to make him really interesting for me. I didn’t want him to be some cartoon monster. Paul is also in a lot of pain; he was traumatized as a boy and his life was changed forever. By the end of the story you get to see many other sides of him. And of course, there’s a lot more to come.

8. Irish mythology is woven into The Book of Paul, and at one point, Paul even makes a sarcastic quip about the luck of the Irish. Why Irish, and how all does its culture influence the story?

When I’m writing, I go into a daydream state where I imagine the character and what he or she looks like and where they are and what they’re doing. No outline usually. I sit back and watch and listen. If it’s great the way I imagine it, then writing the dialog is like taking dictation. When I wrote the first chapters with Paul, I was surprised because I kept hearing him speak with an Irish brogue, but his accent went in and out – sometimes really thick, sometimes a little lilt, sometimes no accent at all. So I’m thinking, what’s that about?

I come from Irish American stock, but my parents told me absolutely nothing about their parents other than to say they were cruel. So that’s the starting point with Paul. He’s the ultimate bad dad. The more I explored Paul, the deeper it led me into Celtic mythology, Irish genealogy and history. I suppose I’m trying to find the missing links of my own heritage. My grandmother was born in Ireland, so I have dual citizenship, even though I haven’t been there yet. I’m thinking I’ll go next year when I’m writing the third sequel.

9. The Book of Paul is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and in that way, it can be difficult to classify. So tell us, who is your target audience for this novel?

Given the fact that there are some rough episodes in the story, you might think that the so-called target audience would be men who are into horror, thrills and mayhem. But women actually seem to be my biggest, or at least, my most vocal fans. I’ve been getting some really enthusiastic reviews from men, but even more so from women, who surprisingly seem less squeamish than some of the male reviewers.

The Book of Paul doesn’t fit into any neat, tidy genre. It’s very complex and like you say, unlike anything I’ve read before either. There’s a Pulp Fiction element to it, with quirky characters in a seedy environment. There’s a major religious/mythological mystery for the Dan Brown crowd. It’s very funny, but incredibly poignant. It’s very disturbing, but there are lots of fast-paced action scenes. There’s romance and kinky sex. Something for everybody.

10. Why did you decide to self-publish The Book of Paul, and how has the journey been so far?

Read above. The traditional publishing industry in general is like a boxer on the ropes in the tenth round. For fiction it’s even worse. Add first-time novelist to the list and sprinkle on an unclassifiable genre for a little seasoning. I had two agents who were well known and successful, and very enthusiastic about the book. But the editors they reached wouldn’t take a chance on it. I could have kept trying, but frankly, I ran out of patience.

How has it been so far? The book is out in the world and it’s just the way I wanted it. I have complete control over everything I do, including the cover art, which is also exactly how I want it. The marketing is a lot of hard work, particularly the social marketing, which I had never done before. But that’s turned out to be a lot of fun too. I’m meeting so many great people–other authors and readers–and getting such a strong response on the book that it feels like a vindication. See? I told you so. Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About The Book of Paul: A cross-genre thriller that combines the brooding horror of Silence of the Lambs with the biting humor of Pulp Fiction. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author:

Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace. He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. Visit Richard on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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A message from Jackie for all her well wishers.

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And a shout out for this being a happy day as The Daughter is back on Kiwi soil after four weeks in Wichita, where she filmed this gem of a video…

 

F is for Fabulist

The Fabulist

it’s not my story

but I shall speak to you of it

where it began?

in the earth

in the earth is where all

things are born

and die

the vortex

threw out the bloodied, burning beginnings

and the red dirt burns its way into the flesh

a tattooed tale

tum ta ta tum

tum ta ta tum

sing the saga to the winds

small seeds, scurrying, seeking

a  homeland that the threads reach

from the beginning

talking tales

teach the small ones to grow

straight of limb

but

supple of the soul

it is not for me to condemn

symbols given

leading

tides to carry

the burden back to the beginning

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fabulist – one who invents fables

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English fable, fabel, fabul
< Anglo-French, Old French
< Latin fābula  a story, tale, equivalent to fā ( rī ) to speak

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For other great posts on the letter F check out ABC Wednesday

Heads up people…it’s my birthday.

So – here is a little mood music.

My theme song – just to get you going.

53 and counting…

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So today, this post is all about me.

What is important to me today? What do I love? What am I most proud of?

1. My babies – the two-legged kind. They are bright, beautiful, feisty individuals who made me forget what labour was like within seconds of being born. They are my greatest achievement. Watch out world. They are coming for you !!

2. My other babies – the two and four-legged kind. Chevvy, who always has a moment for me. Charlie, the character of the household. Jack, who still has a kitten hidden in there somewhere. Crash, who hates it when I leave him alone. As well as those beautifull souls who came before and have left, and the foster babies who opened up my heart a little bit more everytime.

3. My ability to walk around and do things. After breaking my back twice in seven years, I am still here functioning. Those were some of the hardest years in my life. But instead of defeating me, I like to believe they carved a better model from what came before.

4. My friends. Were I to place all of my friends in a room, it would be a most unusual mix – like my taste in music. Each one brings something unique with them, but they all have one quality in common. Their capacity for kindness.

5. My writing. After leaving it behind for many years, the feel of it is like warm honey on fresh bread.

6. My education. The year I turned fifty I walked on stage and was handed a paper that told me more than that I had earned a degree. It spoke to me of the qualities I possessed to obtain it. It sang of the possibilities of the future, and applauded the work it took to obtain it.

Hey Mum – look at me – I made it.

And…it’s been pretty good so far !!

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p.s.

Because it is my birthday, and on birthdays you can do as you please, and I couldn’t think of a way to add the boys into the post, I am going to add them to the comment replies – so.

An August morning in a New Zealand garden…

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Divo – Freddie Mercury, My Fairy King

people dancing across your skin,

held fast in the ridges as you wave down your hands,

words bouncing in the fog,

clear as a water drop,

your meaning flutters through the pathways,

never lost in the maze we build to protect the secret places,

songbird,

I hear the many colours that you warble,

across the ripples, your breath,

I see its feathery embrace of fairy kings,

how it rides the thunder,

shaking angels from their perches

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Freddie was and is a Divo.

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Definitions of Divo

1. An operatic prima donna.
2. A very successful singer of nonoperatic music
3. Prima donna
4. Celebrity
5. Star

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This is for me the ultimate Freddie song.

My Fairy King – Words and music by Freddie Mercury

In the land where horses born with eagle wings
And honey bees have lost their stings
There’s singing forever to you
Lions den with fallow deer
And rivers made from wines so clear
Flow on and on forever
Dragons fly like sparrows thru’ the air
And baby lambs where Samson dares
To go on on on on on on
My fairy king can see things
He rules the air and turns the tides
That are not there for you and me
Ooh yeah he guides the winds
My fairy king can do right and nothing wrong
Then came man to savage in the night
To run like thieves and to kill like knives
To take away the power from the magic hand
To bring about the ruin to the promised land
They turn the milk into sour
Like the blue on the blood of my veins
Why can’t you see it
Fire burnin’ in hell with the cry of a streaming pain
Son of heaven set me free and let me go
Sea turns dry no salt from sand
Seasons find no helping hand
Teeth don’t shine like pearls for poor man’s eye, no more.
Someone someone has drained the colour from my wings
Broken my fairy circle ring
And shamed the king in all his pride
Changed the winds and wronged the tides
Mother mercury
Look what they’ve done to me
I cannot run I cannot hide

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5th September 1946 – 24th November 1991

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Written for Freddie but posted at ABC Wednesday,

where you can see what all the other creative types

came up with for the

letter

D

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For more on Freddie: Happy Birthday Freddie.

Winter ills…

Go Back !!

I thought that this one year I was going to get away with it – uhuh.

Those pesky germs have found my house – and me.

Luckily it is Sunday – so I am curling up in bed with the WWW and maybe a DVD.

I am going to snuggle with Chevvy, and Charlie,

(who BTW has something weird going on with his tail – it looks almost dislocated. It’s not, but he has a sore back, so is on anti-inflammatories)

who are hunkering down inside for the day with their sneezing, eyes watering, snotty nosed Mum, while the wind blows.

Jack is of course being Jack, and nose in the air, is avoiding the sick room at all costs.

I’m off in search of the Vicks,

and The Postman – Kevin always makes me feel better.

After that it might be time to watch a little of TBs…

How cute are they back in Season 1 ??

Yep – season 1 it is…

All 22 episodes – if you haven’t heard from me by next Friday…

Thought I’d throw in one more for the heck of it – hell, I’m delirious here.

Toodles - ta ta, see ya....

Revenge

Indie Ink Challenge time again. I enjoyed it so much I figured I’d give it another go. 

I was issued a challenge from Carrie over at Views From Nature.

Thanks Carrie for stretching the brain cells. They need it from time to time.

Hmmm…this one took a while to do.

Then, half asleep the words started battling around in my head, so out of bed I sprang and the following is the result.

Love to hear your opinions on it.

All feedback will be really appreciated – and taken on board.

I, in turn, challenged Rachel McGowen at learningtowhistle – and she did a great piece of writing if you want to check it out

Carrie’s challenge was:

She didn’t know how, but she had to stop the burning…

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Revenge

The sweat melts into her frame

she dissolves,

boiling into her bones

tattooing this moment

upon her spirit

the heat of her hands

against the icy exterior

grip the herald tighter,

awaken her eyes yell

see me

as my eyes felt you

hear me

as I once tasted

your words iced with hate

blue irises fire with fear

and she loosens

the messenger

blood cools against the white linen

and the burning eases

she wraps her coat tightly against her breast

her breath exits in a frosty cloud

as she hits the floor

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For another Indie Ink Challenge I completed check out The Watcher

Chagrin

cause and effect

you said

*

you lied

*

reason ran away,

belief was buried

in a grave

unmarked,

lost

tiny footsteps

tap, tap, tap,

walked through the walls

of my small armoury

and

I

surrendered

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Written for ABC Wednesday.

Scope – Small Stone # 31

Borrowed from Google Images

throwing away the junk opens my eyes to the possibilities of space

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