Saturday, 29 March 2014

ANOTHER 5 STAR REVIEW!!!!!!!!!

OH YES! I'VE NOW GOT 8 FIVE STAR REVIEWS AND ONE SNIVELLING ONE STAR ONE (JERK)

Here it is if you want to read it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R3IOC8JBWP4D4V/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R3IOC8JBWP4D4V.

"Two All - All For One" (that's my book) is currently being re-proofread - so DON'T go and buy it just now, okay, I'll tell you when it's been tidied up and I'll stick it out for free for a bit when it is :) 


Friday, 28 March 2014

Dr Ross MacIver at you Service.

Well, I'm back.  "Fall Out Boy" were most excellent.  The support band "New Politics" were also very good and gave it some wellie.  The other support band "The Pretty Reckless" were pretty bloody awful and had really annoying lights but hey ho.

Youngest son, James (13), very much enjoyed his first proper gig and my daughter, Ciorstaidh, and I would have given ourselves beamers (see also "red necks", "red faces", general warm feeling of embarrassment) had we been shy retiring sorts who had gone oddly crazy for one night only - but we're not - so we had an uninhibited ball.  We sang like banshees throughout, fist pumped, pointed a lot at some point up and in front (as you do) and generally showed large amounts of enjoyment and enthusiasm (all without the aid of excessive booze. I don't do that at such gigs in case I forget anything I saw or heard). Great fun, just what the doctor aught to prescribe:  "Yeah, sorry, Mr Boss, sir/madam, but the Doc says I've got to go and let it all hang.  And he says that at no point have I to give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks, so.....what can I do."

Tell you what!  I've just had a great idea!! If you want - nay - need to bugger off to a similar event but work/ a family member or similar are preventing you; either through emotional blackmail, regular blackmail or just by saying no - get them to email me and I'll pretend to be you GP. Fantastic, glad  I sorted that situation out for you, don't mention it.

Night :)

Friday, 21 March 2014

The Airport and Not Being Cool.

I'm travelling to the Fall Out Boy gig in Glasgow by plane and the carry on at the airport is already getting me pre-infuriated. I am becoming annoyed at the prospect of having to take off stuff I haven't even put on yet?! (My husband says I can't go to bed dressed in my travelling clothes. What?!  I like to ready in plenty of time.....it's my thing. I have never pretended I was cool. If I was cool I wouldn't have a blog.

I have this fantasy thing that amuses me greatly, of getting to the security check, and when I set off the buzzers and they go through the carry on with their paddle thing, of just slipping a hand up my back, unclasping, and WHEECHING my bra out of my sleeve, going: "I believe this may be what you are looking for, Sherlock.  It's a new fangled contraption called an under-wired bra.  Invented in the 1900s (poss. 1800s) for elevating one's bosom.  You've heard of them?  Then why the hell are we going through this freaking pantomime, you dick, sorry, dickess."  Ocht, flaming heck, that's the least of it.  I'll have to take the clasps out of my hair, take my lace-up boots off (bet I have Xmas socks on again), take off my necklace, unclip my fob watch, and that's before they discover all the drugs I have stashed!! (The contraceptive pill and my asthma inhaler - see! told I wasn't cool!!!).  So, you might say, why put all that stuff on in the first place when you know what's going to happen? BECAUSE! OKAY - JUST BECAUSE.....that's how I dress, I don't do...none metallic, sans bits and pieces - tsk, may as well go in my PJs if that was the case.  HEY! THERE'S AN IDEA. I'll just get dressed in departures - see how they like that :)

Bye,
Love, Big Dxx


FALL OUT BOY and the cool-losing gene.

Well, this time tomorrow night, I will be in the Glasgow Hydro to see FALL OUT BOY, accompanied by my daughter, Ciorstaidh and youngest son, James.  He's 14, it's his first proper gig and the poor wee bugger has no idea how crazy his sister and I go at such events.  I'm just hoping he has the cool-losing gene she and I have, in the event of listening to good, live music turned up to 11 and over :) 

See you on the other side.....

Tune: Save Rock and Roll - Fall Out Boy

Friday, 14 March 2014

Attempting to be of Assistance - NO, REALLY - cont. - (a writing thing)

Today's attempt to be of assistance is a writing thing.  Yes, I am fully aware I know nothing - I am merely a toe-in-the-water type myself.  However, I am still a number of steps beyond the person who is still sitting scribbling in notebooks or typing like a fiend, imagining the day they finish..... The day they write that final word, open the back door to breath in cool, clear air, and, blinking into the sunlight, see an army of (hmm, not a very imaginative collective noun - how about a "safe bet of" or a "next JK of" or  a "goodness-only- knows how many shades of")  publishers and agents standing before them, oozing with expectation (possibly  a moment foretold by a prophecy, maybe read from the strewn entrails of a Hooded Crow?? ........... but maybe not). The bidding war begins - perhaps even with actual fisty cuffs - for the rights to the manuscript. Ahem...okay..........

I've read a few creative writing books for the first time recently, and to be honest, most of them state the bleedin' obvious and just break down into words stuff you probably know instinctively from reading all your life, which as a writer or aspiring writer, you probably have.  But here's a couple of things that maybe aren't so obvious that just might help you and stop you making mistakes that I made and will stop you wasting time I wasted:

Tip 1: Have another look at all your characters and evaluated how important they are to your plot. Be honest, be brutal. Are they required.  You may love them to bits, but readers who are not as deeply involved with your creation and this new person as you are can be very impatient with superfluous characters.  For example, in retrospect, I should have killed off "Charlie"  in my book "Two All - All for One"  - during the jail break, but it didn't even occur to me.  It was Charlie - I couldn't kill Charlie, my one true Highlander!  And I knew Charlie - everything about him, loads of stuff that no one else will ever know.  He was as real to me as anyone.  No he wasn't.  I don't know half as much about my nearest and dearest as I do about Charlie... I even know how he actually dies because I kept him alive, eventually, it's not memorable, it won't make any story, but I know.  But how much more Highland would a dramatic, heroic, noble death have been than ending up another cast member.  Sorry Charlie.
,
I did have another character that I did "kill off" but not in the story as it is now, this was before it even got to publication  and his character was absorbed by another - a composite character - that's how superfluous he was, but it took an early draft reader (the greatest people in the world) to point it out. I loved him too.  But - and here is the great revelation - it might feel like you are really attached to them - these characters you create - but you're not.  It's a weird thing and I wouldn't have believed it till I did it, but it's true. We, as writers, are as heartless as the most judgemental of gods.  Getting rid of people is not as hard as you think it will be, it doesn't hurt at all, it feels right and you don't miss them for more than a second after you say goodbye.  Same goes for passages you love because they are "brilliant" - works of genius - in my case, gags that have me laughing out loud that are going to have the whole world peeing their pants with hilarity - but you know in your heart they don't work or fit. :(  Stick them in a word document all of their own for your next book and carry on without it.  Trim the fat, people, trim the fat.

That said, if you are totally happy with it or them - leave it or them in. Fuck it - it's your book :) I have read too many books where I couldn't give a toss what happened to the characters because they have been left soulless because someone has cut too close to the bone.

Tip 2:  As I said, I have recently read stuff about creative writing (not a lot though, and maybe I should have done it before :S - I'm sure one isn't supposed to punctuate with emoticons.......so sue me) and such instructive tomes suggest the reading of quality literature.  See now, I'd disagree there.  I have learned far more in the last while from reading really bad stuff and trying to learn from their mistakes  (easily found - on Amazon free kindle books - don't look for no stars - that just may mean they are new - look for lots of stars at about three or less).  You read a good book - it should flow over you, so you are in it and not studying the way the writer formed a particular character's arc or the way a scene could be broken down into the three main fundamentals - or whatever.  However, you read a bad book and - boy oh boy - not only do you get to feel smug as hell, but you learn.  Here's an eg: I read a novella recently. It was a good story (you could tell the author liked Steven King - it was a bit derivative, but it was still good) - however....POV - point of view - he had it all wrong. The story was written in the first person; an old man recalling events in his childhood. Trouble was I kept finding myself going: how would the kid know that?  Did his Aunty tell him?  Jeez - can't imagine when that conversation would have been appropriate. These mistakes with POV kept taking me out of the story and back to the real world. If you get one of those moments when your reading, look back and see what the writer did wrong that that happened and try not to do it in your writing.  But it's not just us newbes who make mistakes. I read a book by my favourite author - an established proper writer  - and there was a HUGE mistake near the end when a character who was supposed to be dead suddenly came back to life - it was an accidental name switch. But that was big old hardback - how many people hadn't done their jobs right for that to slip through :)  

If you are out there writing and you think I might be able to help - get in  touch.  When I had "Two All" done , I didn't know where to go and I contacted that favourite writer to ask and he never got back to me.  I'll get back :)
Tune: Because I'm going to see Fall Out Boy next weekend in Glasgow -  my new favourite song.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Bit from the Prologue to my Sequel

'Egt Dreth Caill - The Dark Heart - Starfall Created, but one of a kind - rose up out of the pit, black Horde blood running from her in rivers.  She flicked the short axe she carried and a clod of something unpleasant flew from it. “So, what have you cheeky, little funsters been up to this time,” she said, addressing the Chief Architect. “Because I could have really lived without this, you know.  You’re just lucky The Desolation could get me here so fast.”  Grasping the end of her tail, she gave it a shake and a glob of congealing blood plopped off the leonine tuft at the end, as she shook out her midnight blue wings.  “Right – direct me to the backside that needs kicking or was this a cluster fuck up.”'

                   PS.  The original is called "Two All - All for One" and is available on kindle

Learning from My Mistakes.

The two things this blog is mostly about are writing and running - add reading and I suppose that's my hobbies about covered, unless you count watching good things like scary ghosty films (got to be ghosty, not murdery, slashy, boobs-out-for-no-good-reason ones - see my husbands blog - Kult Kvlture for examples of the aforementioned).   But the thing is, and this was where I was going before I got distracted by my preferred genre of horror, I am an expert on neither.  You are witnesses, albeit by my own accounts, of my learning curves - steep and painful in both cases - in actuality and psychologically.

So, I was thinking, I should use the public forum for the good of mankind, instead of for getting random crap off my chest, and list the horrible things I have done to myself and have learned in order to pave a smoother path for would-be-writers (like me) and newbe runners.

I'll start with a running one.

Oooo, this is a belter - feeling it as I'm thinking about it. When I was first giving the old running a go, shifting my plump little body around the countryside at lightening speed (lightening is really slow isn't it?) I didn't think it was necessary for me to bother with formalities like cooling down. Cooling down was for proper runners.  WRONG.  Oh man, was I wrong. So I got back from a wee turn around the block (about three miles - pretty much my limit in those days - well, you carry 36Es around with you and see how far you get - two sports bras! I used to have to wear two!! Not a problem anymore - see Kult Kvlture for a man compensating for his wife running her boobs off - oops).  Any hoo - got back, wheeched (ye olde Scottish word for removed vigorously) off my jacket and strolled out to the clothes line in my tee shirt to take the washing in before it froze to the line, this being a crisp and even winter's day.  About an hour later, the back of my neck began to hurt - a couple of hours later is was really quite sore so I managed to get a doctor's appointment (still no clue what I'd done) and was lucky enough to get a doctor who practised what he preached and kept fit.  He pointed out the error of may ways, stressed the importance of cooling down and how MUCH more important it was than warming up (you see to this day warming up makes sense to me - cooling down not so but I have never shirked on it since).  He gave me the most humongous tablets I have ever seen and I headed off home. Before those tablets kicked in, I was in the worst pain ever - 9/10 if 10/10 is child birth.  I was curled up on my bed crying, actually crying, before I fell asleep.  The next day it wasn't so sore because of the pills but if I wanted to communicate with someone, I had to physically lift my chin up with my hand and point my head in the right direction - I had pulled a whole heap of muscles in my neck.

 Note neck here - not legs. Just because it feels like your legs are doing all the work, they aren't.  Run with your hands brushing your hips and held as is you are carrying an egg.  As you get tired you will notice your shoulders hunching and arms coming up, drop them and relax your shoulders and hands because otherwise if you are running a decent distance at all, you'll get a really stiff neck and remember, REMEMBER - always  roll out your neck as part of your cool down, just five rolls each side is fine.

And there endeth today's lesson on things not to do :)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Outside V Treadmill - a running thing

Had my first outside run today since I bought "The Beast" (my reebok treadmill) in January, and I sucked..........sucked so bad........even got cramp...............hmmmm.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Apparently I'm A "Cultural Capitalist", oh, and a Young Volcano :)

                                My son has just told me I am a "CULTURAL CAPITALIST"!!!!!!!

                                             A CULTURAL CAPITALIST!!!............

                   me?............. *sniff*............ that's what he said...........so harsh........
                                                 
                                                     so proud (of him).


No - okay- here's what it was, he was busy spreading  a horrible margarine product on his toast (it's only in the house because my husband keeps buying it; it's low calorie) and I....

[okay, let me just say,-  this is my fabulous hardcore Steampunk son, Angus, I'm referring to - he doesn't know he is "hardcore Steampunk" but he so is: he refuses to have a mobile phone; has a wind up watch ...okay that's it - so I'm hoping Steampunk rather than total Nihilist, but we'll see. He'll be lovely either way] scientific barrettes - he'd like those...

.                                                                                           .............commented on his choice of spread. and then he called me A CULTURAL CAPITALIST..............f*%&ing  bastard.......because I prefer actual, proper butter - no chemical, no fuss, rotten milk butter..............

HEY! DID I TELL YOU -  I'M GOING TO GLASGOW ON THE 22ND TO SEE "FALL OUT BOY" - MORE EXCITED THAN A 47 YEAR OLD HAS EVER BEEN   ( because I'm not just contemplating the grave or living totally vicariously through other people)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TUNE:  Young Volcanoes..Fall Out Boy - because I can't not smile when it's on and I figure volcanoes are old so yeah - I'm a young volcano :)