Tag Archives: sci-fi

Reading, Writing and Psychotic Creators

I am most unusual for a fantasy, sci-fi and horror fans for the fact that I don’t actually read or watch much of the big famous stuff like Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Angel, Being Human, 24, etc.

I don’t do it on purpose, it is almost always accidental or because something has got into the way of me being able to watch or read it, finances or simply not having access to a certain television channel or the time to watch copious amounts of TV in general.  I am also unusual for modern humanity in general, I watch approximately six hours of television a week and that is about it, unless of course it is a special occasion, such as Spring Watch and the other Watch programs or the BBC Proms, Crufts or the RHS shows.  Then you have to consider I don’t watch a lot of what I want to watch because I sometimes lose my hearing completely due to an ear disease I have and regular infections.

I am also an extremely slow reader.  An average reader reads at the rate of 250 words a minute, I can barely read 180 words a minute, 150 words a minute ensures I comprehend at least 73% of what I’ve read and can relay it, and I’ve done an online test for that.  http://www.readingsoft.com/index.html#results

All of this is strange because when I read non-fiction I must faster and I have a better comprehension rate, I can read about 300 words per minute with a comprehension of 84%, but I can understand it – when I read fiction I visualise too much, like I am watching a movie, I read it with a voice in my head; when I read non-fiction the voice goes and I more or less skim read but I actually remember what I am reading more.

Anyway the cusp of the subject for this post is that I am not well versed in the subjects I love the most simply because I don’t read as much as the average fan of those genres, or at least what I do read are very obscure to present fans of those genres because they are from authors who are hardly known or were a big thing in the Victorian age or the 60s, 70s and 80s. 

I tend to stumble upon movies and forgotten television series that had flopped, sank or got axed due to lack of interest from the public or were simply rated as B movies.  So after talking to several fans of these genres about what I love the most, they often say to me “So you really love crap then huh”?  This hurts, because I find those so called B movies more diverse and fresh than the big stuff.  OK the acting is often poor along with the special effects but the imagination for bigger things is there, but the average observer doesn’t see that, especially if they are not creatively inclined.

For me, a lot of my ideas come from these forgotten (or tucked away in shame) shores.  Told this, those people who know me can’t understand how my work is as good as it is, they say to me “but surely if you fill your brain with such rubbish you will produce rubbish, I think you should lay off these things in case it starts polluting away your actual talent”.  I feel flattered for that, but I also feel that if I started to read and watch the more popular big stuff, then I will start to look like everyone else and I won’t come across as fresh.

Now, I have had almost an instinctive inclination to NEVER read or watch certain fantasies especially.  I never knew why my instinct acts up whenever I try to read a handful of the big stuff, but it became clear to me in the last couple of days when I actually ignored this instinct and decided to read the first book in The Game of Thrones.  I am only 76 pages in and I have almost lost the will to continue the 2 fantasy novel ideas I had because there are 7 major things in this book that matches exactly what I have been writing for the last decade, even down to names and clothing descriptions.  Now I am trying to sit myself down and talk to my inner creator rationally about how it is not such a big thing because those are just names and names of events etc. the actual idea is not going to be copyright invasion because it is going to be a very different story, but my inner creator hasn’t stopped whining about this yet.  My inner creator was sure that I may have accidentally slipped up online a few years ago about my plans, but I had to remind my inner creator that this book was published when we were 17 and we only started on our idea when we was around 21.  I do have to treat my creator self as though I am a separate person because this is how I cope with it all, so excuse me if I sound a little you know… psychotic. 

I have an idea so far into the book that is a similar story to the war of the roses but with a fantasy twist, this is how Game of Thrones looks to me so far.  My story isn’t like that, my story is much different, yes there are royals and there is war, but the factions are not warring against themselves, families are not warring with each other if they are blood related, there is a different factor.  I am also trying to tell my inner creator the idea of the 12 banners I had can still be effective, because in ancient Earth cultures every clan had a war banner, this is not going to harm my novel or our reputation at all.  But she still panics.

When you want to be a writer you have to separate yourself from your work to maintain some sort of sanity and control over your initial tantrums, your initial emotions, you have to sort of step outside of yourself and talk to yourself like you are somebody else.  If you struggle in doing this, then these sorts of things will consistently stop you from writing and you will not finish anything; because you throw your novel across the room in a fit of rage about the unfairness of the world and sulk for the rest of your life about it, whereas it is totally unnecessary because your book will be very different.  If you sit back and view the whole situation as a second person, you will rationalise it all and be able to continue the work you love.

I have had such irrational things spout out of my inner creators mouth that I had to more or less act like a patient psychiatrist to my inner creator and say to them… “Look, how can this be so?  The author who has stolen your BIG idea died in 1886” see how irrational your inner creator can get sometimes?

Just write whatever you want to, don’t worry about copying someone else or having someone else copy you, because you need to get over this first draft, then you can weed these similarities out.  The first draft doesn’t really matter that much, because there will be many, many drafts after it before it is polished.  That is how you can write and finish your book.

Also, if you need more convincing on this matter please read this book “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, I consider her a genius on this kind of stuff.  Elizabeth Gilbert tells us that ideas are alive, they have a spirit of their own, they go from person to person looking for someone to write about them but sometimes the ideas are not happy with the result so they go on and on until they feel perfected by someone and oftentimes many people will get the same idea at the same time, but all of them with their individualities will be slightly different to each other.  No one can be 100% identical in the way you write, what you write, how you write it, how the ideas came to you and how others are going to feel about the work. 

Yes there are coincidences in the world, this is a world of constant coincidences and that is all it is “Coincidence”, synchronising a little from other brain waves, but never being 100% the same, just similar and you can’t get sued for being a little bit similar, unless of course you have copious amounts of sentences in your book which matches people identically, but that’s a different subject for a different time.

So stop procrastinating by reading this post and get on with your work.

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Rediscovering Vampires

I love fantasy and yes, there are many popular fantasy TV series and books I have never ever experienced in any format; they include ‘The Game of Thrones’, ‘Season two of Once Upon a Time’, ‘Grimm’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘The Shannara Chronicles’, ‘Supernatural’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and episode four and beyond of ‘The 100’ to name but a few of those missed experiences.

Along with those television series there are several books I have never read too and they are; all the above that have novelizations.  Book four and beyond of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ series of books, the third book and beyond of Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’, ‘The DragonLance Series’ and ‘Goosebumps’ to name but a few there too.

Now, I am currently trying to make amends for all of that.  I am currently re-reading the first book of ‘The Vampire Chronicles’ by Anne Rice with the aim to read right through all the chronicles by this time next year – next week this will be put on hold right after I have finished ‘Interview with a vampire’ because I have ordered from my local library a trilogy from Michael Moorcock ‘The Eternal Champion’ because I am curious about a symbol I am rather fond of which apparently originates from these novels.

I am also watching some of the above mentioned television series, back to back, one to three per night – the ones I have started with is the box-set I have bought of ‘The Vampire Diaries’.  You are probably wondering why I have bought something that expensive if I have never watched one of the episodes first.  Well, it’s about vampires; I know I will love it.  Its touch and go in regards to Twilight but I guess because it has vampires I might find it tolerable, who knows… Twilight is another vampire movie I have never watched and I am a die-hard vampire fan, go figure.  Well I was too busy to keep up to date with my vampires for about a decade, so I am forgiven right?

The vampire Diaries has me hooked by the way; I have watched five episodes this week so far.  I am scrutinising the whole thing because I specialise in vampires in my novels and I don’t want to clash too much with anyone and I was nervous at first because something in the vampire diaries has clashed with my novels (the corvid) and the fact that a few of my vampires have the ability to roam the day too.

I am also hooked because Damon gets my hormones going… but let’s not talk about that, we’re talking about vampires in general and fantasy, not my hormones on some women’s health site. 

So, yes, I am happy to find that this series hasn’t brutalised vampires too much for me like True Blood has, I feel True Blood went too far in de-romanticising vampires.  I was distraught about that.  In the True Blood series you couldn’t tell the vampires apart from anything you see in a normal human to human slasher movie, werewolf movie or zombie movie, vampires in my opinion are much more far removed than those other movie types and I found it hard to chew.

Although being a horror fan I did love the brutality, but I was too angry that it was caused by vampires drunk on blood, dripping with blood and acting like psychotic corpses.  A lot of people will argue with me that vampires are just that ‘psychotic corpses’ but I will deny that is what vampires are, vampires to me, love very deeply and have a gentle demeanour about them, they are not rabid animals.

So, yes, I am returning to vampires.  I am returning to my love for them and with this reunion come rediscovering my hidden identity again.  I feel like I am filling up the hollowness in me and I am feeling more like who I was meant to be, rather than some obscure faint shadow.

I don’t do short stories of vampires unfortunately.  I linger too much on my vampire novels that I am ashamed to say they are epic sized.  I can’t stop adding things to them.  I think ‘War and Peace’ will have nothing on one of my vampire stories.

So that’s it for today, more to come tomorrow. 

Thank you for reading and do post a comment below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Henry’s take on Dr Strange

My son is getting quite excited about a new movie coming out called ‘Dr Strange’ he is a huge Marvel fan.  I was shocked to discover that Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking the lead role, because I would have thought he’d be too busy for it, but also thrilled at the same time, he is a very talented actor.

He is looking forward to the prospect that other characters from Marvel will be having their own movies in the future that would be suitable for his age; he is six years old.  He wants Elektra, Blade and Dr Octopus.

I will say however, he has never seen Elektra or Blade the current movies, but he knows them from his Trump card collection.  He also knows Elektra from DareDevil the movie, which he watched only last week.

 

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The Watch

I do not claim any rights to this image.

What fantasy fan would be complete without venturing into the genres of science fiction, comedy and horror occasionally?
As a Ben Stiller fan, I wasn’t too disappointed with this movie although it’s not his finest moment, but it was very funny nonetheless. Ben Stiller’s character Evan is the solid citizen of a small town in Ohio. Evan worked as the manager of Costco supermarket and one of his employees got murdered mysteriously one night whilst on security duty. Evan being very close to his employees felt that he must do something about it, so he sets up a neighbourhood watch group with which only three other local men became a member (all oddballs in some way or other).
Things turned out pretty strange for Evan and his group members as they accidentally ran something gooey over, they found a strange metallic sphere and took it home with them having no inclination that it was other worldly.
Strange people start entering the groups lives, particularly Bob’s daughters life and things get out of hand – alien sightings happen, more murders and the group becomes more and more determined to make the town safe.
The movie isn’t without its drama and ups and downs despite it being mostly a comedy, foul language rages rampant in this movie with plenty of sexual innuendos, a mass alien shoot up and twists in the plot.
By and large it was a good, if somewhat weird movie that had a very “scary movie” feel to it.

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art, feminism and technology

Yesterday I decided to paint something that was emotionally lead and unplanned; the result was a horrible mess of gloomy colors around a shadow person bleeding from the upper thighs. When done, I reflected on my emotions and they took me to a place I wasn’t sure was a factor mentally. A place where I am screaming about feminism going too far, a place where I see lackluster mothers at the school gates waiting for their children to come out, only for them to act like they’re not home when they go, ignoring their children’s existence and having one child after another.

I was feeling strongly about this because I am a mother, I have a five year old little boy and I wanted so much to give him siblings, but due to ill health I was and still am unable to fulfil that. I come from a family where having lots of children is expected by and large (particularly on my father’s side), but also a family where fertility doesn’t last past 35 (on my mother’s side) and I am 32 right now and so far, I seem to have all the health problems of my maternal side of the family.

I crave to play with my child, go out with my child, have fun with my child, but due to sickness a lot of events I have to miss due to being bed bound. Unfortunately or blessedly in many cases, I have a child that is far too independent for his age, he is strong emotionally, he doesn’t need me as much as most five year olds need their mothers. He is unusually mature and above average intelligence academically. He would rather read quietly alone, listen to Lady Gaga music, play dress up, do painting, all alone. I offer to play with him regularly and his response literally is “No thank you, I want to play alone” or “Not now, I am listening to music”. I can’t even tempt him with treats, because he is unusually moderate for a child. You give him a whole bag of candies and he will never eat more than 12 small ones. Now you’re probably thinking he is a dream child and to many modern mothers he is, but to me, he is a nightmare come true in some respects. I wanted children, because I am a big kid, I am imaginative and naturally playful and I have to admit I am rather crestfallen at how serious my little one is turning out to be.

I see children running around screaming, playing tricks, wanting attention all the time; “mummy play with me”, “mummy hug me”, “mummy, mummy, mummy”. My little boy isn’t like that.

I am surprised he likes being alone at home and playing quietly because he is also naturally gregarious; he will super socialise with everyone outside of the house and will do things in large groups of friends, teachers at his school has said he is unusual for this. He is very caring and sharing, creative and fun with other children and even other adults outside of the house – but inside the house and with other relatives, he acts too adult for me.

I am not sure which personality is his natural one, the one when he is at home or the one when he is at school or going out with me.

I scream at feminism going too far because a lot of women these days are forced to be equal whether they like it or not, to the extent that women’s rights have taken rights away from the traditional women. Women have to work to support the bills even if they are married because of their financial difficulties. Therefore a lot of women have careers and in my opinion, hardly know their children because of it. Feminism and women’s right’s aren’t the only factor here though; the increasing dependence on technology is another problem. Women are known to be very social at the best of times with other women, therefore women are never away from their mobile phones or tablets or social media websites. Women are more dedicated to their relationships with other adults and their gadgets than they are with their children and what is worse, they are encouraging their children to have the same unhealthy relationship of being plugged-in to any type of computing device, just to get them out of mummy’s hair.

Feminism and technology together are slowly killing the mothering instinct. It has been proven through generational breeding various animals that after several generations of having their off-spring cared for by others, the mothering instinct dies and even if forced to rear their young the mothers usually have forgotten how; breastfeeding for example, is a skill lost to a majority of women these days because of the access to formula milk, so much so that breastfeeding has become a taboo in public and a taboo subject to discuss. How ridiculous the world is becoming! I truly believe this is a serious problem and I plan on writing a story about this soon.

Keep in tune.

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Droid Pox

In a previous post last year, I mentioned that I play scrabble to rev up my brain for writing each day and also to assist me in writers block; some games take on a life of their own and bring about themes or stories unwittingly.
This happened to me again on my last game.

The theme seemed to be robots, technology and disease; it gave me a wonderful idea for a story that I don’t think I can pull off because it’s too technical and I am not a very technologically minded person.

The words played were “Droid”, “Pox”, “Robot”, “Death”, “Fail” and the idea these words gave me were…

A futuristic tale based on robotic advancements that are so great, robots take on a life of their own and a new computer virus is designed by outcast Eco-warrior type people who live rurally around the cities, specifically designed to kill off the new robotic race; quite similar to the idea behind the cyber-men in doctor who; this made me think of a droid pox that affects metals, electric and robots irreparably as it sort of corrodes the metal, this will also affect the infrastructure of the world – basically things that aren’t robot specific.

Obviously such a thing will cause a collapse of buildings, bridges, transportation, trade, importation, and society, as humans will have to start relying on their own manual labor as they did centuries before the collapse and they can’t cope – some can’t cope emotionally because some of the droids affected were disabled relatives that were given lifesaving or life enhancing robotic organs and limbs etc.

I really have no idea how to pull this off as I am not scientific or technologically minded at all and I really want to write this, but I think this will be an abandoned idea.

Shame really.

I am willing to discuss this with people who are science/technology savvy on this subject and perhaps we can work together on this story?

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Cosmic Order Cafe

The cosmic order sounds like a cafe on a galaxy highway

A stop off point between Venus and Mars

Serving alien coffees and chocolate bars

Martians stop there every day, drinking tea and ordering cake

Plutonians stop on their long journeys too, they hope to reach the Earth’s moon by noon

 It’s a funny little saying though, when you hear people shout and go “it’s the cosmic order you know”?

I wonder if it’s true, that somewhere up there, that’s what aliens do?

 

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robotic limbs

 I had an idea for a sci-fi but not sure where it would go.  The idea was based around humanity living in a worldwide single leader dictatorship with advanced medicine, the dictator wanted full control of its residences so he organised for everybody to have all their limbs removed and replaced with mechanical body parts, so if there were ever any trouble with an individual a law enforcer could use a special gun to point directly at the limbs to stop them from mobilizing at a distance, rending the person completely disabled.

But personally I don’t think I’m smart enough to write sci-fi so I think I’ll stick with fantasy and let this idea fall on the wayside.

If my son found out he’ll never let me live this down, I really should write this story for him because he is absolutely in love with the idea of robots and machines.

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