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Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

TV quiz shows have always been big business for those who want to win some quick cash, a holiday, or a badly made crystal decanter set (remember back to the shows in the 70’s and 80’s?)

Most contestants are people like you and me. Good common sense, can find the UK on a map, and know that oranges grow on trees.

But then, somewhere from the depths of the Amazon jungle, TV producers dig up people who give answers like these…

 

Q: What kind of dozen is 13?

A: Half a dozen.

Q: Who was the Prime Minister before Tony Blair?

A: George Bush.

Q: Of all Beatrix Potter’s books, which is the only one to feature a human in the title?

A: Peter Rabbit.

Q: Who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?

A: Leonardo Di Caprio.

Q: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging character, clad only in a loincloth, did he play?

A: Jesus

Q: How long did the Six Day War between Egypt and Israel last?

A: (long pause) 14 days.

Q: What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963?

A: I don’t know, I wasn’t watching it then.

Some of these contestants can’t even ‘get’ the answer with the presenter helping them a little, or in most cases, a hell of a lot:

Presenter: What is another name for “cherrypickers” and “cheesemongers”?

Contestant: Homosexuals.

Presenter: No. They’re regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you.

 

Presenter: What’s 11 squared?

Contestant: I don’t know.

Presenter: I’ll give you a clue. It’s two ones with a two in the middle.

Contestant: Is it five?

Answer: 121

 

Presenter: On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?

Contestant: Er…

Presenter: He makes bread.

Contestant: Er…

Presenter: He makes cakes.

Contestant: Kipling Street?

Answer: Baker Street

 

Presenter: Where is Cambridge University?

Contestant: Geography isn’t my strong point

Presenter: There’s a clue in the title

Contestant: Leicester?

Answer: Cambridge

 

Presenter: What ‘K’ could be described as the Islamic Bible?

Contestant: Er…

Presenter: It’s got two sylla-bles… Kor…

Contestant: Blimey?

Presenter: Ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run…

Contestant: Silence

Presenter: Okay, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I…

Contestant: Walked?

Answers: Koran & ran

 

Then, there are the presenters that just give up, knowing their contestant is a lost cause:

 

Presenter: What religion was Guy Fawkes?

Contestant: Jewish.

Presenter: That’s close enough.

Answer: Roman Catholic

 

…. And lastly, there is this person…

 

 

So, what is the best Q and A combo you’ve every heard?

 

If you want more of me, you can also find me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,GoodreadsKloutand Linkedin

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As you’ll see, I haven’t used a picture at the top of this blog. I’m actually thinking about going through ALL my posts and deleting/changing any photos that aren’t mine.

Why?

I read a post today about copyright and photographs via the wonderful, Roni Loren… And it was scary! According to Roni’s recent, and horrifying experience, Fair Use doesn’t seem to exist. It doesn’t matter….

  • if you link back to the source and list the photographer’s name
  • if the picture is not full-sized (only thumbnail size is okay)
  • if you did it innocently
  • if your site is non-commercial and you made no money from the use of the photo
  • if you didn’t claim the photo was yours
  • if you’ve added commentary in addition to having the pic in the post
  • if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server
  • if you have a disclaimer on your site.
  • if you immediately take down a pic if someone sends you a DMCA notice (you do have to take it down, but it doesn’t absolve you.)

It really made me think, and I commented so.

My question?

If you are looking for an image to use for your blog, as many of us do, and type, say, “desert” into Google images – you are likely to find that same image, only from different websites. How are you supposed to know who it originated or belongs too?

I deleted my Pinterest account a long time ago when rumours of lawsuits began washing over the internet. Some photos I use on my blog and Facebook (especially my banners), are my own personal pictures that I have ‘shot’ myself. I would not expect anyone, after a year on the internet, to know they originated from me.

So, what about you? Have you used Google images to find photos? Would you sue someone for using one of your personal pictures? Have you ever been asked to remove a photograph? Or, have you had your own lawsuit to fight?

If you want more of me, try checking out FacebookTwitterGoogle+GoodreadsKloutBranchOut and Linkedin

 

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No matter what age you are, everyone is doing it.

Er,… texting, that is.

So, yesterday it was brought to my attention that us ‘oldies’ have our own text chat abbreviations.

None of this ‘LOL laughing out loud’, or BRB ‘be right back’ rubbish. Ours is more sophisticated.

So, without further ado, I give you:

TEXT CHAT FOR THE OLDIES

ATD – At The doctors

BFF – Best Friends Funeral

BTW – Bring The Wheelchair

FWIW – Forget Where I Was

GGPBL – Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low

GHA – Got Heartburn Again

HGBM – Had Good Bowel Movement

IMHO – Is My Hearing Aid On?

WAITT – Who Am I Talking To?

GGLKI – Gotta Go, Laxatives Kicking In

IPMSA – I’ve Pissed Myself Again.

So, now it’s your turn. Have I missed any out?

If you want more of me, try checking out FacebookTwitterGoogle+GoodreadsKlout, BranchOut and Linkedin

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It’s been a while since I wrote a totally random post, but today seemed as good a day than ever – so here goes.

Yesterday, a friend on Facebook (Donna Beckley Galanti for those who want to check out her page), posted a status asking what our addiction for the day was. Naturally, as my mind is always on men (purely for character research you understand), I commented ‘Paul Walker’.

This then had me thinking. Yes, I do think. Why does a certain type of man stand out to me? What is it about these particular individuals that hold my interest?

So, without further ado, and with the help of Paul Walker, Jensen Ackles, Daniel Craig, Jason Statham, and Timmy Olyphant, here’s my Top Ten of what makes my perfect man.

1. BODY

Oh come on. Did you really think I was going to say ‘personality’? This body is awesome! I’d be the biggest liar on the planet if I put this anywhere other than first on my list.

2. HEIGHT

Timmy Olyphant is well over 6 feet. I think he is something yummy like 6.4. I have shoe heels taller than this so I need a man with height to hold on too.

3. EYES

Blue, brown, green, or Hazel. They must have that ‘sparkle’. Eyes are the window to your soul and what draw me in. I want to get lost in dreamy eyes.
 

4. HAIR

Ask my hubby…I absolutely hate long hair on a man. The back of a mans neck is a sexy thing…. hair should be cut every week, well-shaped, and defined. Long or messy haircuts are a big turn-off!
 

 5. ROUGH AND READY

I don’t mean I need him to be a biker hooligan. But, a man needs to be able to take care of himself….. and me! A strong, gun totting, fast thinking, martial artist  hunk isn’t too much to ask for – is it?

6. LITTLE BOY LOST

Strong and fearless is good, but a man still needs to show he is human.

7. EXCITING

Isn’t excitement and mystery the secret of really keeps a girl interested? The exhilaration of stepping outside our comfort bubble and trying something completely different is an adrenaline buzz. No? Oh well, it’s just me then.

8. PROTECTIVE SOFTER SIDE

Oh My God! This scene makes me melt. Enough said.


9. SENSE OF HUMOUR

Boy, do I like to laugh. A lot. I’ve been told I have a laugh like Harriet Potter from Carry On Camping. My hubby even has it as my caller ring tone on his phone. If a guy doesn’t have a sense of humour (and he needs one with my laugh), then I don’t care how many abs he has. He’s gone.

10. PERSONALITY

This is a null and void question. If the man has all of the above then he will have a personality I will love. So, lets talk cars and money instead :)

 

Just what we all want to see when being picked up by our date. Come on, it is a fantasy after all. :)

I’d like to thank Donna Beckley Galanti for pulling me away from my novel deadline so I could spend the morning lusting over these men.

Now, I want you lot out there to let me know what you think makes the perfect man. If you can’t sum it up, them let me know what TV character does it for you. Men, you can have a go – but let me know what attributes make the perfect woman. :)

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We’re all writers, right?

And every story starts with a beginning. So I thought I’d share the beginning of my writing journey with you.

Like 95% of writers, I have always loved writing. Back in the eighties, 1985 on a Friday night if memory serves, I used to video tape (remember those)?, a TV cop show called Dempsey and Makepeace.  Then on the Saturday morning I’d get up at the crack of dawn, before anyone else, and watch, write, and rewind the show until I’d written the whole script. Makes me laugh now, knowing how easy it is today to find scripts on that revolutionary tool called the internet. But, back in ’85, I had to make do with a VCR, writing pad, and my trusty biro.

The crime stopping duo

So what was my reason for doing this?

Why, to adapt the episode into a novel of course.

And my passion for writing never dwindled. Well, I misplaced it for a few years while I went to college, worked in a chartered accountants, slogged my guts out at OK! Magazine, and wrote a car off while at Essex Police.

Then, a few years ago I began writing articles for magazines and my passion returned.

So, how did I get to where I am now? Well, I have two different stories.

The first involves a lady you all know very well; the fabulous Kristen Lamb. By sheer luck, she came across a chapter I’d written on the internet, and through sheer generosity, she emailed me some critism. And, there began my novel writing career and my friendship with a true hero.

Up until that point, I’d only written one novel; a romantic thriller called ‘The Stalker’. Friends had read it and loved it and naturally I thought, “Hey, I’m onto a winner here.”

I worked hard with Kristen as she bomboozeled me with plotting, character profiling, the three act structure, conflict, ARC’s, inciting incidents, antagonists, protagonists, minions, Big Boss Trouble-makers and, oh yeah, pulling me out of my comfort zone, I realised what a load of rubbish I’d actually written. The story was okay but the characters were so boring and one dimentional – worse, they had no flaws!

Of course, now I’m a fully fledged psychotic nutter and there’s no switching off my imagination. In fact, my tag line “I could write for Days of our Lives” as seen in my banner, is Kristen’s description of me.

So began my second novel. Only this one I was writing the Warrior Writers Boot Camp (WWBC) way. After months of researching, character profiling, plotting, and re-plotting, I was ready to start writing another thriller……

Only Jason Statham could play my villain

And then I met Natalie Hamilton-Duggan. She’d just finished film school in London, wanted to write a paranormal screenplay, and asked if I’d like to help. At first I was a little apprehensive. I am not a massive YA paranormal fan. Sure I like The Vampire Diaries and True Blood, and Supernatural is one of my favorites, but I’d had enough of vampires. They’d been done to death. After a full five minutes deliberating, I agree to become a co-writer. I knew nothing about script writing but what the hell. There was one condition though….. No Vampires!

So, together we began to plot out a story. Kristen’s WWBC training became invaluable and I applied it to screenwriting the same as I had my novel.

Now I was working on two different stories in two different formats at the same time.

It was during this time that Kristen invited me out to Texas to attend the DFW Writing Convention. I thought, why not? I could pitch my novel to an agent and see what they thought.

Also, Natalie and I had finished the script to the now titled “Legend”, and decided to take the plunge and stop in L.A. first, you know, to see if we could get a bite out there. We emailed hundreds of queries and waited.

Wayne Alexander, an entertainment lawyer, read it and promptly emailed it across to Amy Schiffman, a manager and literary agent colleague of his at IPG. She loved the script and wanted to meet us.

So out go Natalie and I, wet behind the ears, totally out of our depth, and expecting the whole experience to swallow us whole. We couldn’t have been more wrong. We loved Wayne and Amy, and they seemed to love us. Amy became our manager, gave us a ton of ideas to start work on, and asked if I would adapt the script into a novel.

After three whirlwind days in L.A., Natalie and I flew to Texas; where I pitched an idea for a book I hadn’t even thought of writing two days previously. Luckily the agent loved the idea and asked to see a chapter or two when I’d written them. Oh yeah, as if that wasn’t amazing enough, Kristen gave me a fabulous stetson and took me shooting, and I brought a wicked pair of cowboy boots.

 

Since then Natalie and I have written two TV pilots and I’m half way through writing ‘Legend’ (the novel version). I’ve two agents in the UK who are also waiting to read it.

With regards to WWBC, I now help Kristen teach other writers, along with my WWBC team mates and writing buddies, Piper BayardNigel BlackwellKerry Meacham, and Xandra James. I just hope I can help them as much as Kristen has helped me.

So, what’s your story? How did you start writing? How long have you been writing? Do you have an agent? Have you been published? How did you feel seeing your book in print? Have you even just taken a chance and come up trumps?

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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I was going to blog about writing today, but a wierd thing happened to me at the beginning of the week and with it, mixed responses. It made me question whether my decision was right or wrong. Let me explain.

On Monday, I’d arranged to see a friend. As I neared her house, a police car drove up behind me, lights flashing and sirens wailing. I pulled my car to the kerb to let him pass and then continued on my way.

The police car stopped not far from my friends house. Passengers from two stationary buses had unborded and the police officer were talking to a young man.

I got to my friends front door, watched the police for a few minutes (as I’m nosey), then went inside.

An hour later there was a knock at the door. My friend was busy making lunch and asked if I would answer it. When I opened the door, a young man smiled, apologised for bothering me, and politely asked if I would telephone for an ambulance as he had chest pains. I recognised him immediately as the young gentlemen the police had removed from the bus some sixty minutes earlier, and I questioned him on this. He confirmed it had indeed been him and that he’d only been trying to get to the hospital.

The smell of alcohol was evident, and his demeanor suggested he’d had more than one drink. Nevertheless, I told him to wait where he was and I would telephone an ambulance.

After I shut the door, my friend asked who had knocked. I explained the situation to her and then telephoned the local police station. They asked several questions: How old was the gentleman? What was he wearing? My friends address? I explained the earlier bus situation and that I suspected the young man to be intoxicated, hence why I opted to phone the police and not an ambulance. The police said they’d send an officer and also contact the medical service.

I relayed this message to the young man, who still waited on the doorstep, and then shut the door again.

Outside was absolutely freezing and at this point I also considered taking out a blanket to keep him warm. My friend laughed at me and said she would have sent him on his way. But, her mum said she would have done the same as I.

Also, by now the man had drank another can of beer and now lay on the doorstep.

Less than ten minutes later a paramedic arrived. He parked a few houses down and my friend told me to go outside and get him – which I did. The paramedic checked the man, who was now unresponsive and to be honest, looked dead.

Eventually, the man opened his eyes. The paramedic worked wonders. Within two minutes we knew the guys name, age, and that he stayed in a shelter. He was only twenty-five. This revelation brought tears to my eyes. How could someone so young have already reached such a low?

The paramedic discussed the complaint of chest pains and explained that an ambulance was on it’s way but the young man couldn’t lie just to get a warm bed for the night.

Then the ambulance arrived and the man was propped up and helped into the back.

At this stage I went back indoors.

My friend thought I was totally nuts even entertaining this man in the first place, and my sister, who I later retold the story to, agreed. However, my mum and my friends mum said I’d acted correctly. My husband sat on the fence with his decision because he knows me and understood my conscious wouldn’t, regardless of this mans lifestyle, let me live with turning him away.

I am not a stupid person. I have worked for the police. I know how to deal with people, how to question people (well, apart from I when I am with Kristen Lamb and we visit Bonsai Gardens, but that is a whole other story), and under no circumstances would I have invited this person into the house.

So, my question to you is this. What would you have done? In today’s age, where people are attacked in the street and passersby don’t lift a finger to intervene, was I right? Would you have done the same? Or, was my friend and sister right? Should I have ignored him and closed the door?

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Please note: Contains pictures and videos of a bloody nature. If you are easily offended, please do not read further.

What was you expecting? Hearts and flowers? I’m a paranormal/thriller writer. My day job is to scare the crap out of people and then kill them.

Oh, okay. Just for you lovey-dovey romantics out there……

Right, now back to business.

Valentines Day, or February 14th to those of us who don’t receive cards, is a time for secret admirers, romance, love, weekend getaways, roses, chocolates…..and murder. So I thought it would be fun to look at the horror side to valentines day.

First, let’s hit my DVD collection. And in no way do these two films reflect on me as a person…I’m just very easily pleased – even though my hubby would argue that point . :)

My Bloody Valentine

With a mad miner running around killing everybody in sight – what this film has to do with Valentines Day other than the title is anyone’s guess. But it has my man Jensen Ackles in it and that’s good enough for me :)

There’s also an ‘okay’ twist at the end…. Although, no to my liking.

What else do I have on my shelf? Ah, yes. The devilishly handsome, Mr Boreanaz in

Valentine

Now, I’m not declaring these films to be the beez-kneez of horror movies, but at least this one incorporates the Valentine theme.

It gives a couple of good scares and is totally predictable. Good news is you can probably pick up a copy for next to nothing. Happy Days!

 St Valentine’s  Day Massacre

Everybody knows this story. Al Capone had seven of the Moran Gang shot and executed on the morning of February 14th, 1929.

I can find no reason Capone orchestrated the killings to take place on this date, which is a shame.

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Even novelists are using the date to hook readers into their stories. The most famous being, Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. At the request of the publisher, Lindsay left out the final chapter, leaving the mystery unresolved.

This decision was a canny move and led to movie adaptions and unrelenting discussions that the ‘disappearances’ were in fact based on true events.

So, there is my romantic outlook on Valentines Day.

Just remember, the next time you receive an unsigned card, a dozen red roses, or prepare for your romantic blind-date, it may mean you will never see February 15th.

Happy Valentines Day :)

Now it’s your turn. What do you have planned for Valentines Day? Have you ever received anything weird on February 14th? More to the point, have you ever sent anything weird? What is the most amount of cards you’ve received? Do you know of any other movies or stories depicted around Valentine’s day? In fact, if you have anything to say and it’s related to Valentines Day, add it in the comments.

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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