Simple Tips for Novel Planning (Video Request)

I’m currently working on a new novel…rather excited about it actually – I promise I’m going to come through with this one (motivation through “wooooo, you can do it!” calls would be greatly appreciated!) so it is rather bizarre that I got a wee video request asking for tips on planning out novels…

If you have any advice for myself or other writers then remember – sharing is caring! Would love to hear what has worked, and what hasn’t worked for you! 

Oh, and if you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Adult/Child: The Battle

I’ve been getting nostalgic regarding my childhood – like most people I think it would be GREAT to be a kid all over again; just to be so carefree, and wild! In this video I mourn over my loss of childhood, and also take a look at some old photos from when I was a kid.

Fun to watch, but the message runs deep for all of us!

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Bustin’ a Nut

Forgive me for venting, but don’t you think nuts get unfairly branded negatively just about everywhere you turn? I’m not sure who decided on the marketing decision to use nuts as a frame of reference for just about everything that isn’t wonderful in the world…but whoever it was has totally ruined the good nut name for generations since, and I for one think it’s not right.

Baby Born GIF

This is how much it upsets me (approximately).

Everywhere a nut dares to venture in the world it has to face horrendous stereotypes…typecast automatically before anyone can even get to know it. That’s largely because the n word has been stretched and contorted out of all reality, and transformed into something that it doesn’t resemble at all…here are just a few unfortunate but all too real examples:

That guy licking his dog’s leash looks like a nutter – let’s cross the road.”

– when detailing a possibly mentally ill man, and his infatuation with an inanimate object.

He thought he had came back from the dead to spread Noah’s message. He was completely off his nut.”

– when gossiping about a friend’s recent revelatory adventure whilst in the throes of an opiate high.

Urgh, this disgusting salad has a nutty taste…let’s go get a burger instead.”

– when blaming nuts for the overall dissatisfaction you have with your grossly unfulfilling healthy choice.

Omg Aragon GIF

Aragon is absolutely sick of it.

But you see it shouldn’t be this way, and we can be the change. After all nuts can be your friend, if you would only look past all of the false tall tales and into your heart. They can be great sources of protein, and from my personal experience are great listeners. They’re also rich in antioxidants, and have a number of other uses; such as something to throw off people who get too close to your picnic, a last alternative to have with beer if the world runs out of salty/cheesy snacks, and a whole host of chat up lines – such as “you remind me of a walnut, because you have a brain and I want to eat it.”

With all these plus points it’s an absolute insult that they remain slandered at every opportunity…so what are you waiting for? Get out there and reclaim nuts for all of their positive traits! Don’t let a few bad apples ruin it for the rest of them…

Snow White GIF

For the record she loves nuts.

…and if you really have to hate on a certain group, make it apples. They don’t keep the doctor away at all – just ask Snow White. 

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Five Reasons to be HAPPY!

Alright guys, I’m done with moping around – I’m done with the feeling sorry for yourself, kind of stuff! So I came up with five reasons that there are to be happy – this should help me, but it should also help you…or anyone else, who is a moany, groany bastard lately!

Enjoy! Oh…and if there are any more reasons – why not share them! Would love to hear ’em! 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Stop Thief!

I danced a lot on Saturday night…like A LOT, A LOT! It had been quite some time since I had “went out” in Korea, so I guess that I had just stored all of this boogie energy up, and was releasing it all over the sticky dancefloors of Seoul!

One army-looking guy commented that he “likes the way I move” several times, which sounds creepy in retrospect – but I think it was just an appreciation of all the boogie work I was putting in, and also perhaps he felt sorry for me because my friends were at the bar, and didn’t join me until they had reached an optimum alcohol induced state. But I didn’t really care, I was in the zone…

Lebowski Dance GIF

I really wasn’t aware that I’m a Chris Brown fan (honest!) – but apparently my body is. 

Anyway, the fact that I was so focused on busting moves meant that my mind wasn’t on other things – which is a positive thing, I was just having a good time, and totally living in the joy of the moment. But thankfully I wasn’t so oblivious as to not note every single thing…

You see in the next bar I was doing much of the same, dancing, and just having fun – probably thinking that I look absolutely fantastic, but in reality probably looking more like an oxygen starved flapping fish. But hey, no matter. And I was also chattering away, as I imagine I do after a few lemonades…

…but that’s when I vaguely noticed a tall-ish Korean man standing by the table…in a long coat, and with a highly suspicious look plastered all over his face. I attempted to ignore him, but for some reason it struck me as necessary to keep one eye on him…I turned out to be right…

Hermione Shocked GIF

You see my one spying eyeball caught sight of his outstretched arm…reaching right for my dance-partners purse on the nearby table…he pulled on it once – bringing it closer…I watched in disbelief…he pulled on it again, so close to his pocket now…I was still doubting what was happening, or at least what was about to! 

YOINK! And the purse was in his pocket! And he was heading for the door! GONE, HE’S GONE! I rubbed my eyes, and ran out after him – shaking off my friend who was trying to pull me back, probably thinking I was all danced out, still oblivious to the fact that her keys, cards, and cash were about to turn up missing!

I pushed over a few people in the mad adrenaline fueled burst, but I had no time to pay attention to that, he was getting away, HE WAS GETTING AWAY! 

Chasing GIF

Well he was – but he didn’t get far! It was just outside on the street where I grabbed him – and snatched the purse back out of his hand. “Huh? Whaa?” He began, as I shook my head like a disapproving Grandmother! I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do other than that…it wasn’t exactly a combat scenario, and suddenly he was so nervous all of a sudden – a far cry from the slick chameleon he was attempting to be inside the bar!

I turned back, and returned to the table. 

“Where did you go?” started my friend, until I cut her off – and put the purse into her hands. I was puffing, and panting, which made me recognise that I’m certainly too unfit to be any kind of hero…it’s simply not for me. I’ll just stick to dancing, there’s a lot less danger in that!

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FASCINATION with Celebrity…

I speak on the crazed love of all things celebrity…and why this may not be the best thing…

What are your views on this blind fascination with celebrity?

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Judging (The DON’T Judge Challenge)

There’s something particularly unsettling about the recent #Don’tJudgeChallenge that’s doing the rounds…a trend which purports to be powered by a positive message, but misses the mark in a rather obvious and cruelly ironic way…

Here is the so called ‘best of’ just in case you don’t know what I’m on about (TOP TIP: It’s really unnecessary to watch the whole thing):

So yeah…where to begin? Well how about the start? …this whole bizarre viral trend was born from an arguable desire to encourage others “not to judge a book by it’s cover”...and I think in essence that’s a great thing! But what I can’t quite get my head around is the fact that at its core it’s just people pretending to look comically ugly…to only then reveal that; OH NO NEVER MIND, they are actually rather good looking (and also completely in love with themselves). 

Call me a fuddy-duddy or whatever, but perhaps a true #Don’tJudgeChallenge would center on something other than, errrrrm, judging people based on their looks? Perhaps we could see something amazing that a person has done…whether that be a life-saving invention, a touching work of literature, a heart-warming musical performance, or even helping an old lady across the street – just anything that betters others lives in some way or makes the world a better place to be; then we could see what these people look like…and we’d witness that they are of all colours and creeds, all backgrounds and religions, all shapes and sizes…and appearance would be an unnecessary feature in an otherwise touching narrative.

But that’s not what this trend is about…and you know what it actually feels too glaringly obvious to even point out! I mean, how does this even make sense? These people are actively and obnoxiously judging people based on their looks – highlighting things that they deem to be unattractive or undesirable; spots, moles, scars, glasses, mono brows…the list goes on – and then pulling back to marvel at their own beauty as they rub their face, along with their overbearingly large ego.

How does watching these videos feel for people who have any of these so-called ‘ugly’ afflictions? Probably not great I’d imagine. Or maybe I’m wrong – maybe a teenage girl with cystic acne is watching these videos of people wiping off drawn on spots and suddenly feels fantastic…or maybe she feels put down, demoralized, and even more self-conscious by the self-rightgeous and hurtful movement that is the #Don’tJudgeChallenge. 

But hey, maybe I’m wrong…these are just my thoughts, please don’t judge.

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Strange Sunday!

Sunday should be a time for relaxation, a time to unwind with family and friends. put your feet up with a cup of tea and just chill out (all the while trying to forget you have work on Monday). Well this particular Sunday had all of these promising traits; I’d had a significant lie in, had a greasy brunch, chatted with family and piled enough carbohydrates in my body to run a marathon (naturally I didn’t do this, instead I took a nap even Snorlax would be proud of). Sounds perfect? Well it was. But what came after dinner shook my whole Sunday out of sync…

…as I fell out of my favourite Chinese restaurant clutching at my (now) spherical stomach, I saw three men sprinting at full speed towards me – one guy in a police/security/mall cop/traffic warden/YMCA outfit, another lazy Sunday clothes similar to what I was in…of course I just stood there like a rabbit in headlights – as usual you think about doing something, but the fear of tackling the wrong guy and then being labelled a massive dick by the local press freezes you to the spot. So yeah, I just stood there still clutching at my bump (but still thinking about dessert), as they advanced closer and closer. Perhaps this gross image freaked them out a little, as instead of running past me they darted into the Chinese restaurant instead! What came next was better than anything I’ve ever seen on Sunday afternoon telly…

Watching Tele GIF

As the three burst into the restaurant, it became immediately obvious which one was the antagonist between the three…it was the lanky, slightly more dishevelled one, who happened to have foam coming out of the sides of his mouth (no, this wasn’t obvious straight away! I was taught not to judge a book by it’s cover! Humph!) – anyway, so he started raving and screaming at the other two, as bewildered diners looked on or ignored him completely in favour of their noodles. It seemed he took exception to this; he demanded the stage, Godddamnit! So as the other two edged closer he grabbed a beer bottle from an unsuspecting pensioner’s table and smashed it to smithereens, leaving only a jagged shard in his hand as a make shift weapon  – cue shrieks and wild “oh my GAAAAAD” hands from the entire population of the restaurant.

By the way, yes – I had a fantastic view from outside…and had decided on triple choc chip ice cream for dessert once the show was over. 

Well anyway, as the crazed character (let’s call him Bobby) edged around the perimeter of the restaurant, he was met with more screams as he waved around the shard of glass defiantly in the air…I wasn’t sure what Bobby’s game plan was from here on in, but I was thrilled to be a spectator of this great escape…well, apparently his would-be captors weren’t quite as confident in Bobby’s abilities as I was, as they continued to advance on him…slowly but surely…

So, to increase the terror level to 11, Bobby decided to shift gears; try something different, it was do or die, fight or flight – it was a crazy plan, granted – but sometimes the crazy plans can provide new hope! (I’m not trying to relate this to Star Wars, this was of course nothing like Star Wars) As the cautious faux comforting arms got within reaching distance of Bobby, he grabbed for another larger bottle and smashed it again (cue more shrieks and hand waves of course), but this time placed the glass shard to his cheek, threatening to cut should anyone come any closer – I know, right? Bold strategy Bobby!

Clapping GIF

It was then that I wondered if I would get chocolate sauce on the triple choc ice cream, or was triple choc ice cream chocolatey enough without it?

This thought was interrupted when I saw Bobby, who was not getting the response he hoped for, held the glass a millimeter from his eye ball – this seemed to do the trick as people gave a resounding “whoa, whoa, whoaaa” as if Bobby was some kind of overzealous horse, it was this break that Bobby was looking for – so as soon as he spotted a gap he darted over tables and raced for the door. – only to be met with the heartbreak of some party pooper holding it closed from the outside (not me, obviously – I would never do that to Bobby), as he turned around in disappointment he held the glass to his cheek once more, but I could tell his heart wasn’t really in it this time, and he was subjected him to an involuntary five man game of pile on, until he dropped his make-shift weapon.

After seeing his defeat I continued my wander home. Later I was told it was pretty “normal” behaviour in Korea (using the term “normal” very loosely here of course), when a person has their backs well and truly up against the wall it is thought to be just mental enough to work…so much so that it is often parodied and satirized in Korean dramas!

Well that was my story from last Sunday…if you take anything away from this it should be this – there’s no such thing as too much chocolate, not on a Sunday anyway. 

p.s. FREE BOBBY.

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The Psycho Stalker…

Some stories write themselves…and some take years, and years…well this particular one has been waiting in the drafts for a long, long time. Every time I went back to it I just couldn’t find the words, I couldn’t express all of the oddness, craziness, and horror on the page! I came close, but it didn’t ever seem quite right… 

So at long last it is done! But in the form of a video – seriously the funniest one so far, and well worth a watch! If people need a giggle…and also a way to not fall asleep at night (sorry in advance for the impending nightmares!) then press that play button!

How would you have dealt with this one? Remember I don’t know kung fu, so that’s out the window…

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

A Day of Feelings

I have realised that we go through various feelings in any given day…at least I do…it’s very rare I have a completely ecstatically joyful day, or a terribly woeful one. There are patches that trip me up, and situations that most certainly help raise a smile…

…let’s have a little look at a few of them, shall we? 

1. When you have to battle to drag yourself out of bed in the morning…one side of you knows you should – the other half doesn’t care! But jobs, and bills, and rent – and all that – urgh.

Wake Up GIF

 2. When something doesn’t quite work out the way you wanted…the first sign of a not so perfect day…frustrating to say the least – can’t I just go back to bed and not deal with anything?!

Soda GIF

 3. When dealing with your first inexplicable idiot of the day…take a deep breath – in, out, in out…now drop the hammer you’re holding and keep walking.

Fart GIF

 4. When something goes right for you, and you feel more self-confident than Jedi Obama…

Obama Jedi GIF

 5. When the hunger pains set in…and no one is safe – NO ONE! Am I hungry because I’m bored, or bored because I’m hungry? I can’t remember…BUT GIMME THAT!

Butterfinger GIF

 6. When your boss asks you to work late…you may smile brightly, and say “sure no problem!” But really you are thinking…

Queen Liz GIF

 7. When you finally get out of work, and your time is now completely your own…you can do anything…the world is yours!

Dance GIF

 8. But…then you fall in love with a stranger on the commute home…

Love GIF

Nevermind, there’s always tomorrow…

Well that’s my lot! Did I miss any important ones? Let me know!

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