Monday, March 16, 2020

Talking Off-Subject

When using social media I make posts related to what is mentioned within my profile. So on my Facebook author page I will only talk about book related content, whether it's my books in particular or books from other authors. I may also mention World Book Day and the like, but never talk off-subject. Twitter is different as I often talk about non-book related subjects but the subjects I talk about are still listed within my profile. It'll be about 75% book related but I'll also talk about anime, movies and art too.

The reason for this blog entry is I've noticed a very odd trend recently. I've been following a lot of famous authors on Twitter and at first it felt amazing to be able to make contact with such people, but I've noticed they won't post a single entry talking about the subject of books. I won't mention their names but a lot of famous authors will rant about politics even to the extent of lecturing their followers as though they are somehow morally better people than their fans. One writer in particular only talks about Donald Trump comparing him to Hitler in a lot of cases.

I'm all for political discussions by the way so if that's what someone wishes to use their Twitter page for then I'm all for that. What I'm referring to is when someone has a page to promote themselves or their work and only rants about politics.

I met an artist who drew beautiful illustrations, mainly of cats, and was giving out her contact cards at a convention. When I saw her Twitter page rather than talk about her art it was just page after page of Donald Trump and Brexit posts.

Personally I think it best to stick to subject.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

London Comic Con Spring 2020

Last week on Saturday I attended London Comic Con Spring. It was very similar to The London Film & Comic Con being it was organised by the same company Showmasters and was the same venue at Olympia but did differ in some ways. It was far smaller for instance and didn't make use of the full hall.

I cosplayed as Tom Baker's Dr Who and met a lot of other Dr Who cosplayers. I already suspected there'd be a lot of Dr Who cosplayers on account of the Dr Who actors that were attending, albeit with some of them cancelling before the event. In fact there were a lot of cancellations.

I met Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy and got their autographs. I also met some professional cosplayers getting their autographs as well as photos. Ironically even though I had people taking photos of me in my cosplay I had neglected to take any of myself.

The James Bond Aston Martin was on display. Whether it was the original car or just for display I wasn't sure. It was covered with scratches along its sides but I suspected they were painted on.

I was a little miffed that there was no DVD stall or anime comic stand which was often the case at other conventions. I did purchase Japanese sweets as well as a comic called The Rabbit along with other bits and bobs of memorabilia. I particularly liked the framed art of Lara Croft.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Page Foxing

While sorting through my bookshelf I noticed a book that I had yet to get around to reading. I remembered purchasing it not long ago but with so many other books to get through I hadn't started it.

As I leafed through the pages I noticed it was full of brown stains particularly around the edges of each page with various degrees of foxing. I've read books from the 1800s before so it's not something that I've any particular issue with. In fact brown stains, along with the smell of ink, can add a certain charm to a book.

The thing is though this isn't a book from the 1800s. It's The Veiled One by Ruth Rendell. This particular edition from 1989. I've got other books from the same period, kept on the same shelf, in near perfect condition.

I'll still read it, it's not something that puts me off, but I do find it odd how some books age faster than others. I'm guessing it's down to the paper and the process of printing more so than how the book was kept.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Forgotten The Title

I was thinking about this recently about books that have influenced me over the years and while I can list many I realise there's one book in particular that I've totally forgotten the name of. While some well written books have really got me into writing, others have had the opposite effect, but there was one book in particular that taught me how to write in a particular style whilst avoiding cliches. To sum it up the story was terrible, a layer of cliches upon cliches, with a completely predicable ending, yet at the same time it was a real page turner, a very easy read.

The story is about a man who has an apartment in South America. It is soon to be Mardi Gras and the president is going to attend a parade so a group of terrorists decide it's the best time to assassinate him. The best location to shoot him from is within the man's apartment so a female terrorist befriends the man and tricks him into falling in love with her. If I remember rightly her name was Maria. She then reveals her plans to him but he is smitten with her so goes along with the plan and allows the terrorists to use his apartment. The assassination goes wrong and they are all on the run and hide within a cave. One by one each terrorist is caught and gets shot by the police apart from the main character and Maria who catch a plane to North America.

Every inch of Maria is detailed, her wide gummy smile, her wavy raven hair, her button nose, her hourglass figure, the shape of her swollen nipples, the shape of her breasts and the wiggle of her walk. Bare in mind this isn't an erotica, she was never naked in a single scene. The men are described as a bearded man, a moustached man, a smooth shaven man, etc. The one thing that stands out the most of me is the scene where they hide within a cave. It's pouring with rain at the time and while essentially nothing happens, other than exploring the cave and getting muddy, it's an entire chapter and was far more detailed than the events leading up to it.

While the plot was completely far fetched and the ending predictable it was still such an enjoyable read. It's both a lesson on how not to write a book and how to not write one at the same time. It may have been a cliche but if that was what the author intended then it was a masterpiece.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Crazy Dream

I had a strange dream recently. It wasn't really the dream itself that was weird, as dreams can often be strange, but I kind of suspect that I was talking in my sleep. I was laying on the sofa watching TV with my cat beside me but as I found myself drifting off to sleep I switched off the television.

I kept waking as suddenly I'd hear a breathing sound. It was actually my own snoring.

When I did get off to sleep I dreamed I was given two cats to look after, one adult and one kitten. One of the cats jumped onto the armchair and settled to sleep while the kitten hid under the bed. Days passed in the dream and the adult cat, while still sleeping on the armchair, had eaten. It then occurred to me that the kitten was still hiding and hadn't eaten. I ran into the bedroom searching frantically under the bed screaming at myself. I kept yelling "You're sacked" over and over again to myself hoping I wouldn't find the kitten dead. I couldn't yell loudly however, it was as though my mouth wouldn't fully open.

As I awoke I wondered if in fact I had been talking in my sleep and that was the reason I couldn't speak loudly. It may had even been my own snores misinterpreted within my dream as words.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

ASMR, Relaxation & Panini Stickers

I was thinking about this recently as I'm the kind of person who gets a little stressed out now and again and feel the need to relax whenever I can. I often feel things getting on top of me have have the urge to hide away somewhere so it's good to have some me-time where I simply relax for the sake of relaxation.

There are ASMR videos on YouTube where someone, usually female but not always, will talk or do a mundane task making certain noises that can kind of put people into a hypnotic state. It's not true hypnosis for they are not adding any kind of suggestions but it can be very calming. Some of these vids can be very powerful while others don't have any desired effect, but I think it's more down the listener and their mood.

I remember as a kid at school doing mathematics and I'd have a box containing various kinds of rulers and protractors. I used to get tingly feelings in my forehead looking at the fine lines on the protractor, even now certain clock faces give me the same feeling when looking at the lines representing the seconds.

I recently bought a magazine that contained a Panini sticker album of Frozen 2. It came with some stickers within the album itself along with some separate packs of stickers. While sitting on my bed sticking the stickers into the album I began to realise I had the same forehead tingles as I had while watching the YouTube vids. There's something about looking at artwork on such a small sticker that makes my head feel funny. I certainly would not feel the same way about looking at a poster for instance. It could be a deep inner process of my brain going into a state of trance or the fine line of the art messing with my vision causing eye strain, either way it feels relaxing. The sticker packs are quite expensive however so it's not something I can do on a regular basis.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Alita Battle Angel - The Official Movie Novelization

My first blog post of the year. It seems so long since my last yet I've been posting so much on Twitter and Facebook it seems like I haven't been away, although technically my last blog post was September so it has been some time. Anyway I digress...

Some years ago I purchased the anime of Alita Battle Angel on VHS video. It was amazing and one of those animes that pushes the boundaries of the genre. Unfortunately I never got round to purchasing the manga comics so never realised the full extent of its popularity.

When I heard there was going to be a Hollywood movie I was surprised and a little sceptical as the Ghost In The Shell live action movie while good didn't do the anime justice. I was also surprised that they chose to give Alita very large eyes. Part of me felt the movie would be more of a spoof than a serious movie but I was so pleased to have my doubts shoved to one side when the movie turned out to be amazing. It didn't match the anime scene by scene but it certainly didn't stray to far away from it keeping the over all tone and feel.

I recently purchased the novel of the movie and while I haven't finished reading it yet what I can say so far is that it certainly matches the style of the movie. There's a lot more detail too that the movie doesn't have time to go into such as the history of Iron City, Ido's assistant nurse Gerhad, and Alita's reaction when she sees her reflection within the mirror.

I tend to read one chapter at a time so it shouldn't take me too long to get through. I likely post a full review at a later date.