Signing up to camp

Signing up to camp

So I have taken my laptop outdoors to get myself some fresh air for a change. While I am here, I am going to give some writing a go. I have not written in a long time because I have been through the period most writers will be familiar with, and that is the whole self-doubt situation we believe nothing is possible.

It is definitely time to try pulling myself out of this rut, so I have signed myself up to camp NaNoWriMo for July. I probably won’t do 50,000 words that is the acceptable goal, but I am going to set a much lower target 20,000 words so that I can do a little piece of work every day which will hopefully get me back in the swing of things.

This is more like a journal than the intended piece of free writing, but that’s what happens when you sit down without a plan in mind!

Mind you, at least I am doing something 🙂 for camp I will probably be working on my work in progress just to keep that going, but I am sure there will be the odd short story that comes to mind during the time staring at the blank page of the screen.

Wish me luck!

Audiobook review

Audiobook review

So, I decided to try and audiobook to see if I like the idea of having a story read to me. The book I chose was a step in the dark by Donna Augustine which is part of a series of books about somebody called Olie Witt. The narrator is a woman she called Angel Clark.

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The first book is all about the discovery that she is something called a Shadow Walker. This has given her the ability to see things that she calls monsters and till she discovers that correct term is crawlers. She learns when she starts getting visits from what can only be described as recruiters looking for shadow walkers. The reason shadow walkers are so easy to find is that there is usually some form of explosion where there is only one survivor. The one survivor is the person the crawlers wanted to live. She has lived through one such disaster that killed her family. As a result, she has become something of a recluse that is afraid to look around her because she might see a crawler.

She allows one recruiting team to take her back to meet their employer because they told her that he could provide answers to what was going on around her. This is how she meets Caine who runs a building known as the underground. He explained about the creatures and warns her not to talk to them. She finds him arrogant and so she walks away.

Unfortunately, she does not heed that warning and her apartment building is blown up. Caine finds her and they return to the underground where she begins a whole new life of learning about creatures she once believe did not exist, such as vampires. Caine tells her that shadow walking with him as an anchor to the real world means that she will be able to collect certain spells. He tells her that he wants one spell in particular and promises that if she gets it he will make sure that she never sees another crawler.

The book is then basically outlining the journey she makes as she learns what she is doing and realises that she is the most powerful Walker in decades. The price is a high though, and the results nearly drive her insane.

Then she meets a man in the shadowland’s and he helps her in any way he can. Sadly, this seems to backfire when he suddenly appears in the real world.

That was the end of book 1, and so I was interested in starting to read book 2. By then I had got used to the narrator and really enjoyed her style of reading so I continued this series is with my second audiobook.

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The second book is all about her discovery that she wants to walk in the shadowland’s once more because she missed the ability of magic that she had. She returns to the underground where she had previously ran away after releasing the man of the shadowland’s because she did not know what else to do. Caine tells her that he does not want her to come back and work for him and she begins to feel abandoned.

Things have started to go missing and people are blaming her even though she had nothing to do with it. This leads to her being tortured before rescued by Caine. Then he finds out about the man from the shadowland’s and abducts him taking him back to the underground. She follows only to be told that if she stays she will be in Caine’s apartment.

At some point she allows herself to be bitten by a crawler within the shadowland’s and she later learns this means she has been shadow kissed. This has given her a gift of an unknown amount of magic that could simply be one spell or hundreds. Suddenly she finds herself with the power to escape individuals, or even kill them.

Everything is going well until Caine disappears and she realises she has to confront whatever it is she feels for him. She becomes desperate to find him and decides to find another anchor so she can go searching in the shadowland’s. She very nearly gets trapped there but makes it out in the end because Caine returns and somehow manages to find her.

The writing is extremely clever in both of these stories and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I even enjoyed the style of narration and I found that I would highly recommend anything read by this one. The series does continue but where it left it seemed like the perfect ending and so am not sure I will try and find any more in the series. However, Donna Augustine has written many books and I am very tempted to look some of them up.

If you enjoy paranormal stories with the slightest hint of romance then I would highly recommend these two books. In total, I would give them 4/5 stars.

McKellen: Playing the Part (A review)

McKellen: Playing the Part (A review)

McKellen: Playing the Part

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I don’t often do a review of movies, but isn’t a movie. It is a documentary about a great actor and a very inspiring individual. I also saw the question and answer session hosted by Graham Norton which merely complemented the film.

Anyway, I have decided to say a few words about what I saw. Sir Ian McKellen is a great actor who began in theatre and eventually spilt over into the film and TV industries. In this documentary, he covers his entire life from growing up as a child. He said he did not think about becoming a professional actor even though when he looks back at his own life even he can see that the choice began a lot earlier than he first believed. As a child, he always loved performing, and love to dress up. However, he always thought that it would end up being a teacher.

In his first year at university decided the day was going to become a professional actor. The documentary is following his career at this point until he made a name for himself. Mind you, even though he knew himself that he was a homosexual he had not yet to come out to anyone. It remained a secret until the 1980s when AIDS was the big issue. Not only that, a law was proposed to prevent people discussing sexuality in case it was promoting homosexuality. It was then that Ian McKellen decided to come out and then with some main advocate for gay rights.

The documentary then focuses on the man himself and what he thinks about. He explained that as you get older, you start thinking about death and how it is going to come about. He also laments that he does not have a substantial other or any dependents.

I would highly recommend this as it is inspiring to watch how the phenomenon that is Ian McCallum came about. Anybody who is interested in acting or simply the man himself would be interested in watching this. It was very informative to watch the man himself discussing what went on in his own life. You can see when he discusses the death of his mother that it really affected him and probably still does. Then the death of his father when he realised that things he had blamed him for were not his fault. There is regret there that they did not be a better son.

The film makes for some very interesting viewing so get yourselves to a cinema and sit down and watch it.

Maybe I am biased because I am British, but I’m sure everyone can appreciate such a wonderful actor the man is. Nobody can deny what he has done for equal rights and is still doing to this very day.

Let’s hope it continues for some time to come.