Thursday, 29 July 2010

Block Off

I just realised I haven't posted since Sunday, I actually though it was more recent than that. I've been distracted this week by a mixture of personal distractions and creative ones as well as the Mother of all Writer's block which has moved over from one particular troubled writing project to encompass all of them. Annoyingly this seems to include my blog also but I'm going to work through it by posting today on the subject of writer's block itself and hopefully by doing so it will free up my creative flow.
In 2004 writer and Neurologist Alice W Flaherty argued in her book The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block And The Creative Brain, that literary creativity is a function of specific areas of the brain, and that block may be the result of brain activity being disrupted in those areas. Sounds believable to me as someone who has suffered brain damage it would make sense that it would corrupt my creative process from time to time I just wish it wouldn't do it when I'm on a role with my latest story.

Reason For Writer's Block

1. Lack of Inspiration
2. Distracted by other tasks that need doing first
3. Poor planning
4. Depression
5. Physical Illness
6. Sense of failure both personally and professionally
7. Intimidated by a previous success
8. Stress
9. Boredom
10. Lack of energy

Cures For Writer's Block

1. Outline your story fully
it's amazing how many people don't outline I for one never outline unless I'm writing a script but it can be a valuable resource to come back to later in times of writer's block.

2. Remind yourself that the first draft doesn't need to be a work of art it is just a blueprint for the many that follow.

3. Switch off the phone put on some music to chill out to and relax your breathing take long deep breathes and close your eyes.

4. Stretch as many muscle groups as possible as a way to relieve your body of stress, sounds stupid but is recommended by a very reputable writer and psychologist.

5. Force yourself to write down your thoughts no matter how poorly worded, this is helpful to distinguish between a creative block and a block for another reason such as depression or self doubt.

6. Talk over your project with someone whose opinion you respect not a family member or someone who can't give you creative feedback someone who will tell you straight. This is often said to be the worse thing you can do but I have found this helpful in the past.

7. Break the writing into smaller steps
If it's a novel don't think of writing the whole 90,000+ words think of the first 500 it's a less scary proposition and we all know we got 500 words in us.

8. If it's boredom you are suffering from take time to do something else you enjoy and always remember to break your writing time down into manageable chunks of time to stop boredom creeping in.

9. Lack of energy is usually down to lack of sleep take a break relax and come back to your writing later when you feel refreshed as there is nothing worse than sitting staring at a blank screen and you can barely keep your eyes open.

10. Sometimes if you're working on an assignment and the subject is just not talking to you maybe what you need to do is look at it from a different angle and find something in the genre or subject matter that you can relate to and if the assignment allows go with that.

Anyhoo I'm back writing again so I guess this post has helped me and I hope something in here will help you guys.

Thanking You
The Housebound Writer

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Mixed bag part 2 more mix less filler

Just a short post today guys as I have been busy trying to write an E-Book which I'll get back to talking about later but first here is some Movie News I meant to post last night.

Movie News
As I stated a few posts back the role of Bruce Banner will be recast for the upcoming Avengers movie and recast it has been step forward Mark Ruffalo. This to me is a great piece of casting and will certainly relieve a lot of fans awaiting this movie as there had been fears that Ed Norton would be replaced by an unknown for financial reasons but alas it's just as I speculated previously it's due to Mr. Norton's poor communication skills with directors shall we say to not get sued, lol.

I heard the news yesterday evening that a friend of mine named James L. Aaronson has been hired to script a new film for a major studio which is loosely based on the 1970's Italian horror film "Till The Blood Drips No More" which was about a vampire who due to hate of what he had become tries to kill himself only to be saved by a beautiful medical student who he falls in love with. The rest of the film is basically him trying not to give in to his animalistic urge to feed by draining her of her blood. The movie had a great central theme for the time but was poorly executed as it developed into gore for gore sake and that late 70's horror tradition of excessive nudity but I think the new version will be more akin to the modern Vampire tale like in "Let The Right One In" so one to look out for next year, and of course congratulations James you deserve it buddy.

Me News

It's been relatively quite of recent for me not much to report, (hehe) I have been experiencing some major back and neck pain as of late that I'm looking to get checked out more extensively very soon and I had a scary moment the other night when I lost the feeling in my legs for about 45 minutes which caused me to have a panic attack but luckily I remembered the breathing exercises my psychologist has been teaching me and that calmed me down. On the seizure front I've been having less of late (knock wood) and my memory has improved slightly so all these mind numbingly boring memory tests must actually be working for me.

On the productive front I've been suffering from terrible writer's block as of late when it comes to the E-Book I have been writing so I thought I'd tell you guys about the plot to get your feedback and to see if you think it sounds OK or not, I know this is the exact opposite thing every book about the writing process tells you to do. The story is about an ex SAS officer (a UK military special forces unit) who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and frequent seizures due to a bullet lodged in his skull, I know I'm projecting some of my problems onto him but they say write what you know. Anyhoo he is pretty down on his luck when his old commanding officer pays him a visit to hire him to help find a missing teenage girl who happens to be his ex commanding officer's Goddaughter.

He accepts out of loyalty only as he no longer has faith in his previous talents but as the plot unfolds he has to rely more and more upon the things he did for his Country that his Country wouldn't like to know occurred, to find the girl. I weaved in possible culprits along the way I've implicated her father a powerful business tycoon, her step mother a slush and a gold digger and I've implicated various police and members of our hero's own team the problem lies with this, how do I get over the problem of him thinking like me instead of me thinking like him? What I mean is he has started to sound like me I've lost the character's voice along the way and am interested to hear if this has ever happened to any other writer's out there. I think it may have happened when I took my eye off the ball and changed the story from character driven to plot driven around the middle of the story.

Anyhoo I look forward to your comments guys.

Thanking You
The Housebound Writer

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Guest Post

Well today's post will be a little break from the norm as it will be written by Ms. Emma Murty, I met Emma online at a discussion board about independent cinema where we discovered our mutual dislike for Paul WS Anderson films and his crazy fans, now Emma's never blogged before so go easy on her guys and all I can say is thank God for spell checker, lol.

Hello to you all,

With an introduction like that the only way for this to go is downhill fast ,lol, well some people who read this blog will know my name from the comments pages on here, discussion threads and an Interview on BlogCatalog but others won't so here's a quick bio for you. I'm Emma, I'm 21 years old, I hail from Hamilton Scotland, I'm the oldest of three sisters and I recently graduated from The Royal Glasgow Institute Of Fine Arts with a degree, yippee, and I'm a very good, good friend of the blog master himself Drew (DB) Carson the DB thing is a private joke don't worry if you don't get it. We talk everyday and share a lot of our lives together, hint, hint.

Now when he double dared me to write a blog post for him I of course said yes but then quickly found myself wondering "what the h*** will I write about?" I won't do the whole film reviewing thing justice compared to Drew and my life troubles are nothing compared to Drew's own so I thought maybe I'll just blabber on and hope at the end of it all something not to embarrassing or off putting to Drew's audience would be created. (wipes sweat from forehead) Man this is hard how do you guys do it?

The one thing I can definitely write about is art well art and coffee I love my coffee, lol, but I think I'll stick to art for now and in particular my photography. I've always had a camera in my hand as far back as I can remember and take my Canon Digital Rebel T2i everywhere I go because inspiration can grasp you anytime and you need to grab onto it.

These two are two of my favourites in my collection because I think there is real emotion on display well as close to real emotion as you can get out of an old boat and a deserted beach, ROTFL, but I think you guys know what I mean.

I always find that the hardest pictures to get right are nature pictures. You get very little time to line up the shot get the focus right and shoot (poor choice of words I know, lol) but they are so worth it when you get a good one.

I like to think these two represent hope and inspiration but I'm not quite sure if they pull it off (another poor choice of words, ROTFL) I think they are at least optimistic in concept and helped me gain that degree I mentioned as I turned both into paintings for my course.

These are two Glasgow landmarks, the one on the left is the S.E.C.C building where many concerts and shows are put on and to the right is the Clyde Arc or as it's affectionately known in Glasgow The Squinty Bridge. I just love the modern design of the bridge which is not far away from the classic sandstone buildings Glasgow is famous for, it truly can take your breath away at the right time of day.
I think I've taken up enough of Drew's blog now, hehe, hope this wasn't to painfully bad big man. I would like to thank everybody who reads this and please don't stop following this blog this was a one off trust me, lol, I'd also like to thank Drew this was actually really fun and I'm glad you talked me into it, I'll need to think of something to make it up to you (thinks hard, smiles) ROTFL, see you soon Drew.
Well let's hear it for Ms. Murty's very well written blog post and great pictures to go with it, we'll make a blogger out of you yet girl. I bet you used the spell checker almost as much as me though, am I right?........ Thought so.
Thanking you
The Housebound Writer

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Aller au cinema

This is the first in what will become a regular feature, not that regular, possibly do it again feature on foreign films. A fellow blogger and outstanding poet Kenia Kris asked me via comment on this blog if I liked French Cinema? And if I would write a blog post about French films well the answer is yes but where to begin on dissecting the film industry of that great Country? If I started a blog post about the influences of French New Wave cinema on Hollywood in the 60s and 70s I would need to start an all new blog for my other topics.

Well thankfully another friend had the answer 'Blog about the last French film you watched and go from there, du'h', the immortal words of some girl named Emma something or other eh, eh.... Oh yes Emma Murty, lol. The last French film I watched was the modern day classic known in France as "Ne le dis a personne" and to the English speaking part of the World as "Tell No One".

Tell No One (from 2006)

The film is adapted from a novel by Harlan Coben, Coben originally auctioned the rights to his book off in Hollywood with director Michael Apted attached but after that deal fell through Coben turned to French actor turned director Guillaume Canet who had been calling Coben up for months telling him his take on the book. Coben was impressed by Canet's vision for the story and his understanding that the book was a romance first and a thriller second something Coben believes Hollywood never truly realised. Starring Francois Cluzet who also appeared in French Kiss and Round Midnight and the always wonderful Kristin Scott Thomas, this is a must see movie and a great introduction to modern French cinema for anyone interested in the Foreign Film section of the local DVD store.

The plot centres around Alexandre Beck still tortured by his wife Margot brutal murder 8 years previously, a murder for which Alex was the prime suspect. Alex soon finds himself the prime suspect once again when two bodies are discovered near where the corpse of Margot was dumped 8 years previous leads the police to reopen Margot's case . The mystery escalates when Alex receives an E-Mail showing Margot older and alive. The supporting cast is fleshed out with familiar faces from modern French cinema including Andre Dussollier, Gilles Lellouche, Philippe Lefebvre and Florence Thomassin.

In my opinion Tell No One is one of the best thrillers of the last decade and has something for everybody, romance, action, twists and great performances all through the cast a real 4/5 stars film and it is also blessed with an outstanding soundtrack.

(oh and if any of those names are spelled wrong just remember I'm Scottish I can barely spell English words right)

Future film reviews in this series will include:
36 (Quai Des Orfevres)
District 13
Two Days In Paris (don't blame me, picked by Ms. Murty)
Me News

Today was my weekly visit to the psychologist which I always look forward to, no that's not at all sarcasm. Today we were talking about the "3Rs" Relaxation, Recreation and Relationships and how important for someone in my position it is to not neglect any of these. My homework last week was to fill in an hour by hour schedule of what I did and how stressed it made me to do it. This homework was slightly annoying to be honest but it gives them something to work with to see if stress affects my seizures in any way, shape or form.

The one thing I noticed about this schedule was the amount of time I actually spend writing, the best part of six hours a day not including my blog or my activity on the discussion boards. Scary amount but apparently this counts as being productive towards one of the 3Rs, recreation. The other somewhat startling statistic is the lack of sleep I get, I hadn't ever sat down and tried to work out how many hours sleep I get a night before it turns out on average this is less than two and a half hours a night.

Don't be alarmed if you are in the same boat as me on the sleep front as lack of sleep doesn't really have any long term problems associated with it other than feeling sluggish, moody and forgetful and forgetful oh wait I already wrote that, lol. The other topic discussed today was me getting angry with myself when I'm in pain this adds to the stress levels so when I get angry towards myself I'm to remember and say 'What would I say to a friend that was in this position?' I'm guessing I would say something like 'I'm sorry to hear you're so ill that must really p*** you off, eh buddy?' Maybe that's an answer I'll keep to myself and think of a better one for therapy.

Oh and as it will really annoy my good friend Emma here is a picture of Ms Murty, say cheese!


Thanking You
The Housebound Writer

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Quote 1 Quote all

Recently I was called up on the fact I tend to use quotes a lot on discussion boards to enforce my point of view, to be honest I just use them cause they tend to come to mind at the time and I use them as a kind of title for my comment.

Now a lot of these quotes are from such greats as Plato, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Robert burns, Oscar Wilde and of course Billy Connolly but I also tend to throw a few of my own into the mix and I have decided to make a blog post out of them. Now I'm not a philosopher, great poet or a wondrously funny comedian but as a writer I find that opening myself up to writing different styles helps me in developing my own.
Now most of the sites out there with quotes on them tend to have photographs of amazingly beautiful far off locations to inspire the reader I'm going to go a slightly different way myself and showcase my home town Airdrie, Scotland to the World and maybe up it's profile a little and by little I mean little, lol.

I'll post the quotes and underneath I'll try to give a little info on the subject I used that quote for. "The bravest of them all is the one who asks for help the earliest."
This quote was one I came up with for a discussion on what gets in the way of people seeking help for depression, my opinion was it is often pride and/or lack of self worth.

"A minority is less in number but equal in value."
This is a quote I posted on a discussion thread that I found the author of to have a very bigoted view of minorities in his local area.
"Scotland is a land of faith, faith that the wind will always blow and the National team will always suck."
This was a quote I used for a sport thread, I thought it was quite funny at the time.

"To know the truth ask one friend to know a lie ask three more."
Now I'm not 100% sure this is one of my own but I used it to describe the difference between a true friend and Friends that will tell you what you want to hear.

"To trust another with the truth is to trust yourself with a lie."
I can't quite remember what this was used to represent on my part I remember I was feeling quite depressed when I wrote it.

"The bonnie heart, scented by the flower of spring beats in time with my fretful heart."
This one came from a challenge by a person who thought that no man would have the guts to post a romantic verse on that thread.
"Fortune is to some the frivolous fold of green and ink but to others the joy of a warm embrace."
This was a comment header on another blogger's blog post about greed.

"Scotland is a lot like Heaven, cloudy."
This was first used by me on a comedy thread about describing your Country or town.
"For each a new day and for each new day a smile."
This wasn't posted on any thread but instead on the comments page of a friend's blog where I was trying to cheer her up, I hope it worked.

"To Hope for sun is to ask for rain."
I used this on a discussion thread about people who never have enough and always want more.
I think that will be enough and I thank any who managed to read this far, I'll be getting back to my normal posts about movies and myself very soon, anyhoo....

Thanking You
The Housebound Writer

Friday, 16 July 2010

Review of the Redeye

I was asked via shoutbox on Blog Catalog by good friend and fellow blogger Juliana Matthews aka Ladygoodwood to review two films she had just seen on a flight as she thought I'd do a good review of them, well ego boosted I set out on my mission to complete this task. Funnily enough I actually believed I owned the first film Invictus on DVD but realised I had just picked it up in a store before but didn't buy it so I took a trip to an online DVD store and then two days later it arrived in the post and eagerly I set about watching the film and I was not disappointed.

The film tells the inspirational true life story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's national rugby team Francois Pienaar to help unite their Native Country. Newly elected President Mandela knows all to well his Nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing there to be only one way to unite the people of his Country through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the Rugby World Cup final against the most dominating force in International rugby of that time the mighty All Blacks, New Zealand.

This is a wondrously well crafted film based on the novel "Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation" by John Carlin and expertly reworked for the screen by screenwriter Anthony Peckham whose other screenwriting credits include "Sherlock Holmes" and "Don't say a Word" but it's in the direction of Clint Eastwood that brings this film to forefront of great films of this decade, once again Eastwood has chosen a subject matter that as an actor he wouldn't have been given the opportunity to work with and created one of his best films of his career. His career as a director is vast approaching eclipsing his historic career as an actor with this his 31st film as director and with Hoover and Hereafter which will reunite him with Matt Damon on the horizon there is another Oscar nomination or win in his not to distant future.

The central performance by Morgan Freeman is as great as you would imagine being that he was born to play this role and play the role he does. He portrays Mandela the man not Mandela the myth which is something I think most actors would fail to accomplish. His performance is filled with grace and gravitas befitting the great man he is portraying my only question is where does Mr. Freeman go from here? He's portrayed God, the President of the United States and now President Mandela what iconic figures are left for an actor of this stature to portray? I had heard of a rumoured Clint Eastwood pet project about the life of the Blues great BB King maybe this would be a great role for Freeman if he is willing to bulk up.

I was skeptical when I heard that Matt Damon had been cast as Francois Pienaar as I could barely remember him as a player and didn't really see a strong resemblance between them or think a non South African should play the role but humble pie I must eat as Damon owns the role completely. As an actor I actually do like Damon's work, The Bourne movies, Dogma, Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan and in the Departed he puts in stellar performances I guess it's the whole Team America thing every time I hear his name I remember the way that puppet said it 'Mattt Daaamooon', and it makes me laugh, childish I know but it was really funny the first time I saw that movie.

I think special praise should go out to another actor who has been criminally overlooked by most reviewers of this film and that would be Tony Kgoroge who portrays Mandela's head of security Jason Tshabalala in the film. With very little dialogue for the length of screen time he has he created an incredibly well rounded character that really sticks in your mind. He also manages to do this while sharing the screen with Morgan Freeman who is putting in a career best performance which makes it all the more impressive.

Invictus was budgeted at $60,000,000 and grossed $124,479,778 worldwide and earned two Oscar nominations and is a great film even if you don't understand the rules of rugby or aren't a sports film fan in general there is so much depth to the film that there is something for everyone.

The Boat That Rocked or Pirate Radio as it was distributed as by US distributor Universal is an ensemble British romantic comedy with a twist as the romance in the film is between the young British people of the 1960's and pop music. The film is very loosely based on Radio Caroline, a popular pirate radio ship with a similar history and style. Directed by Richard Curtis (Love Actually) and starring an amazing cast including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Nick Frost, Gemma Arterton and a surprisingly short appearance by Emma Thompson the film is about a group of rogue DJ's that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined that era and standing up to a government that believed such music was almost pornographic.

With a script written by Richard Curtis who wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, the Bridget Jones movies and Love Actually I was slightly hesitant of this film at first. I'm not a big Rom-Com fan and found the movies mentioned above to be to sappy even for my taste but as he also wrote such classic British works as Blackadder, Not the Nine O'clock News and French and Saunders I was willing to give it a go.

The film has it's moments Hoffman, Frost and Nighy are on top form as always and the rest of the cast do their best with what they are given but I felt some of the other characters where underwritten and the plot dragged a little in the middle, the 2 hour running time could and probably should have been cut to closer to 90 minutes but on a whole I found it to be very charming in a very British way. It's a 6/10 kind of film for me, I like it, just not loving it but I will watch anything with Bill Nighy in it the man is a genius.

The Boat That Rocked made $29,800,000 worldwide which is very healthy for a British comedy as British humour often doesn't translate well into other languages or other regions. If your looking for a no brainer with a couple of good laughs check it out if you're looking for something with a bit more meat on it's bones I'd go with Invictus.

Thanking You
The Housebound Writer

Monday, 12 July 2010

Mixed Bag

Today's blog post is a bit of a mixed bag and contains movie news I meant to post last night so it's no longer new news so to speak. The reason for the lateness of my blog entry is actually a good one I was busy writing a guest post on a friend's blog and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank her for allowing little auld me to have that honor, so thank you Jazz.

Movie Not So New News

Ed Norton will not be appearing in The Avengers movie after Marvel revealed they plan on recasting the Bruce Banner role with an unknown actor. This has caused a very split response amongst fans of these kind of movies online on the message boards. People either don't Care as they didn't like his performance in The Incredible Hulk or they are mad at Marvels' cost cutting on their dream movie.

My take on it is there is only three reason for casting a different actor:
1. Financial
His character doesn't appear on screen enough to warrant Norton's pay check and with Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth (next big thing), Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston already in the impressive cast you can see why cutting costs is on the Studio's mind.

2. New Direction
Marvel want to take the character in a different direction or concentrate more on The Hulk than on Banner.

3. Difficult Actor

It's well documented that Ed Norton can be a difficult actor to work with unless you like your actors to confront you when you have a different take on a scene than they do, frankly I wouldn't see this as a problem myself a confrontational actor is a passionate actor and worst case scenario I would just lamp him one.

The Plot

The plot is a closely kept open secret as Marvel will neither confirm or deny Internet rumours. I see the recasting as a clear signal that the plot will centre around The Hulk as the villain controlled by Loki, a plot device that Ed Norton has been vocally against for some time but Marvel see big bucks in an on screen confrontation between Thor and The Hulk. The only problem is with casting a new actor it will be the third actor in as many movies to play the role and isn't continuity something Marvel preached about when setting up this franchise gatherer?

Me time

Today was my weekly visit to the psychologist and for the second week in a row I have come away with homework, I didn't get this much homework in High School but every little piece of the puzzle we can find can help determine a way to improve my stress and depression problems. I still find it kind of funny that a person who sits at home all day doing SFA can have stress problems but I'm told it's all part of a vicious circle of get depressed which stresses me out which makes me more depressed yadda yadda yadda anyway I got this timetable thing to fill in with every hour of the day on it. I fill in the blank spaces with what I was doing and how stressed out of 100 I was doing it. It humorously starts at 7am in the morning which is funny to me as I tend not to get up till 11am. How many of these boxes are going to be filled with "was online" or "was watching TV" do we think poeple, 1/3 or most, lol.

I went for a family excursion to a shopping mall today after dinner, parents were buying a silver wedding gift, my Brother was going to look at the magazines and X Box 360 games so I thought as my back has been calm today I would tag along. We separated into two groups upon arriving, parents went one way us kids (me 28 him 33) went another. We went to WH Smiths which I don't think will be a name my overseas readers will know, let's think how to describe it? Eh, a hell here's the link they sell this stuff:

I think that will work anyway back to the story. We were looking at the magazines my brother the video game magazines me the blues music and film magazines and when we had found some that looked interesting enough to buy, which is harder than it sounds I find, I went up to the checkout to pay. The cashier was staring at me constantly while the line was decreasing in front of me and kind of freaking me out, I was thinking have I got something on my face? Have I knocked something over? As I approached the checkout I handed my soon to be purchases over to the short smiley girl behind the counter and fished nervously into my pocket for my bank card, damn magazine prices have gone up, lol. This was our brief conversation.

Smiley Girl: Your that guy right?
Me: Whit? (I'm always so polite, lol)
Smiley Girl: Yeah yeah your that guy, right?
Me: I'm a guy yes, how much for these?
She scans the magazines and then picks up a bag.
Smiley Girl: £13.32
I place my card in the chip and pin and nervously await my pin request.
Smiley Girl: I know you.
Me: Do you? That's cool.
Enter pin, get card back.
Smiley Girl: You got a blog don't cha?
Me: Yeah that's right.
Clapping her hands.
Smiley Girl: I read your blog, I read your blog.
Me: Cool thank you.
I reach out my hand to receive the magazines.
Smiley Girl: Say it.
Me: Sayyyy What?
Smiley Girl: Your catchphrase.
Me: I have a catchphrase?
Smiley Girl: Yeah you do, at the end of every new one you write it.
Me: What thanking you?
Smiley Girl: That's it, that's my favourite catchphrase I use it all the time.
Me: Oh OK.
She nods towards me.
Me: Thanking you!
She giggles.
Smiley Girl: Haha that's manic, love it.
Me: OK bye.
Smiley Girl: Thanking you!
I smile then leave quickly, my brother finds this very funny.

As the weather has turned from sun splitting the trees to the trees getting washed away down the street in Scotland I thought I'd finish with a picture of Oscar to cheer myself up, here's one with him wearing his favourite hat.

Anyhoo here's a special one for Smiley Girl

Thanking You
The Housebound Writer

Friday, 9 July 2010

Short Fiction 2

As I've not posted one of my short stories for awhile I thought I would put that right, this one like my blog post back on May 15Th I have a title and a character name but the rest I will just see what comes as I'm writing, writing blind here people which should be fun.

Insomniac Dreams

By Andrew G. Carson

For the love of the chased requiem had engulfed her and her faith in this love was unequalled and not without reason for slumber had been a best friend and lover for Nora's entire twenty one years on this traveling fireball we call home. Slumber had been the only constant in her ever changing life but tonight he was lost to her and she could feel the bitterness of realisation that her lover may be spending the night in another's arms. Insomnia affects all of us differently some use it to release their inner creative force others feel like every bone in their body is on fire and the reaper is at the door but for Nora it was neither of these just the feeling of betrayal from her most trusted friend.

She lay on her bed staring up at the off white coloured ceiling of her sparse apartment bedroom, her eyes already accustomed to the darkness engulfing her boudoir like a late night prowler. How had she arrived at such a lonesome point in her life with no friends only coworkers, no boyfriend only memories of past sorrow and no family on speed dial only Chinese take away restaurants. She hadn't always been this way she was once the life and soul of every party she attended, rooms lit up with her mere presence but now the closest thing to a social gathering for her was when her neighbour's cat would pay her a visit.

It was 03:21am and the noise of birdsong from beyond the ever lighter shade of dark coloured bedroom windows was driving her mad, what have they got to be so damn chirpy about? Thought Nora as she impaled the back of her head into her pillow hard while pulling the sides up over her ears. How can this side of the World sleep with this incessant racket drowning out the peace of silence? She questioned her inner self as the thought of choking that bird to silent death sprang into her head raising the sides of her mouth to a smile. She rose from bed and awkwardly stumbled to the window to gaze out upon her tormentor but alas she could not see him for the hundred year old oak behind her sandstone apartment building shaking it's leaves and branches at her menacingly in the early morning breeze.

She shrugged and staggered sleepily towards the kitchen through the conjoining living room turning the living room light switch on and off as she passes it as she does so her elbow knocks her receptionist of the year award off it's shelf, a plaque which she was only given to her as a peace offering after she was overlooked for a promotion. She entered the kitchen and opened the fridge unleashing a light that could lead the dead to heaven. Why has sleep betrayed her tonight of all nights? She paused to consider, did he not know of her important appointment in the morning, had he not listened to her thoughts of worry? What if she turns up looking like she has been out all night drinking? She would definitely not gain favour with the team over at Gilbert & Hall and she desperately ached to do so for this would free her from her shackles at Muir and Hollis where she has been overlooked time after time for they only give promotions to members of the boys club and she had the wrong kind of plumbing to join their club.

She stood back and brought the bottle of water in her hand up to her waiting parched lips she felt a slight buzz from the cold liquid as it slid down the back of her throat en route to her stomach, ahhh she said quietly to herself as she gathered the much needed energy to return to her chamber of sorrow. She placed the now half empty bottle of water back into the fridge and closed the door on the teasing light, with a deep sigh she walked back into the living room and picked up her least wanted award and placed it back upon it's dust covered shelf next to the photograph of her parents she paused briefly to look at the photo before turning the light switch on and off like before, a creature of habit Nora definitely was but this time as the light retreated out of the corner of her eye she spotted something...

It couldn't be her mind must be playing tricks on her she thought but when she tried to continue on her journey she found her feet not moving. "I know you saw me." a voice from behind her said quietly. Her body stiffened and she could feel a cold sweat on the back of her knees, Nora closed her eyes briefly before turning round. "Who's there, who are you?" she said with a notable wobble in her voice. "The man that's going to kill you if you don't do what I say." The reply came without a hint of emotion to the voice. "take anything but just don't touch me." Nora called out still to afraid to turn on the light switch. "Oh I'm going to take what I want you stupid C***, I don't need your permission." he replied. That word, the "C" word was one she hated and she wasn't going to let this bastard get away with calling her by it.

Nora reached around and flicked the switch to illuminate her would be attacker, he was average height and of stocky build and he had a pair of stockings over his head like the old bank robbers used to wear squishing his face out of shape to hide his identity. "F*** you!" Nora found herself saying with an anger in her voice that she had never heard before. "What did you say b****?" He replied shocked by her new found strength. "You heard me, get out of my house or so help m.." he cut of her line of thought as well as her speech as he lunged for her, his hands encased her neck, squeeze, squeeze her windpipe would surely crush under the pressure. Squeeze, squeeze he seemed impervious to the punches and slaps thrown by Nora for he outweighed her by sixty to seventy pounds and he was a good five inches taller than she was.

Squeeze, squeeze Nora's eyes bloodshot and on the verge of bursting with the pressure. "you stupid little c***, I'll kill you." His words echoed in her ears, that word again that "C" word Nora reached around to find something anything to save her life. Her fingers stretching up behind her back as her attacker continued to choke her the way she had thought about choking the singing bird. Nora's arms ached due to the contortion they were enduring to find a saviour, squeeze, squeeze his eyes glistened with glee through his stocking mask. Nora was close to the end when her hand finally reached something with every ounce of strength she outstretched her arm and swung her new found weapon colliding it with the back of her attacker's skull.

Slowly he dropped to his knees with a shocked expression upon his face the thought that a woman had ended his existence was something he could not believe. Nora dropping her weapon stumbles over to the kitchen door and reaches into the fridge and to grab her water bottle and slowly, slowly she raises it up against her bright red savaged neck. After a moment she looks over at the motionless body on her living room floor and her blood stained plaque. "Who's the c*** now? " she barks at her attacker before collapsing onto the floor, " Who's the C*** now?"

After hours of police questions Nora still shaken and traumatised by her ordeal finds herself lying in a hospital bed alone with her thoughts once more only a vase of cheap flowers sits beside her bed with a card attached from 'the office of Muir & Hollis', she looks over at the window and watches the rain collide with the glass, slowly, slowly she finds her eyes begin to close and before long her lover has returned to her as she drifts off to slumber.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

And a Little Mo'

Today has been a great day so far my back so far has been downgraded from severe to bearable on the pain scale and I have just downloaded the new Keb' Mo' album Live and Mo' from ITunes and am quietly chilling out listening to his crossover easy listening Blues sound. If you're not familiar with Mr. Keb' Mo' here's a brief Little history of this great artist:

Keb' Mo' born Kevin Moore on October 3rd 1951 in South Central Los Angeles, he is an American Blues singer, guitarist and songwriter who currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. From a very early age Keb' had an appreciation for the blues and gospel music and by early adolescence he was already an accomplished guitarist.
His career started with him playing the steel drums and upright bass in a calypso band. He moved on to play in a bunch of blues bands and backing bands throughout the 70s and 80s. His recording career started in the 70s with Jefferson Airplane violinist Papa John Creach through an R&B group. Creach hired him when Keb' was only 21 years old and Keb' appeared on four of Creach's albums, Filthy!, the hilariously entitled Playing my fiddle for you, I'm the fiddle man and Rock Father.

In 1994 Keb' released his self titled debut album, Keb' Mo', which featured two Robert Johnson covers "come on in my kitchen" and "kind hearted woman blues", in the Martin Scorsese miniseries The Blues, Keb' states that he was greatly influenced by Johnson. Which is why in 1998 he went on to portray Robert Johnson in the documentary film Can't you hear the wind howl?

Keb' is also a political activist and in 2004 participated in the politically motivated Vote For Change tour alongside his long time friends and frequent collaborators Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne. Keb' Mo' is also part of the No Nukes group which was against the expansion of Nuclear power. In 2007 the group recorded a music video for a new version of the Buffalo Springfield song "For What It's Worth". Keb' Mo' has also won 3 Grammy Awards over the years for his albums Just Like You, Slow Down and Keep It Simple. Since his debut album Keb' Mo' has released 10 others including his most recent which I'm currently listening to which is a mix of previously released tracks, live recordings and four new songs and would really make a good introduction to his music for anyone who is unfamiliar with him.
The only blip so far today was when I entered the kitchen and didn't realise the floor just next to the fridge was wet and as you've probably guessed the klutz that I am slid on it and went down like a ton of bricks on top of my ankle. The reason for the wet floor was simple my little sidekick Oscar had just been having a drink and drooled it all over the place, now I know that he didn't do this on purpose he's just a messy drinker but when he comes over to you when you've just fell on your butt and he has a big daft grin on his face and those mischievous eyes it's hard not to think he knew what he was doing.


Thanking You
The Housebound Writer

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Kill Me Now!

That old terrible thing started on Thursday around midday again, no it's not Keanu Reeves latest attempt at acting I'm talking about but instead it is something less wooden than that. What I'm referring to is my back or as I should say my back pain. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being a boo boo and 10 being oh my Christ kill me now! It's at about an 8 and working it's way up to a 9. Every nerve ending in my body feels like they are on fire and I can't for the life of me get comfortable be it lying down or standing up resulting in me only having about three hours sleep in the last four days but it could be worse I guess.

So far so not good it's taken me two and a half hours to write the first paragraph as I've had to get up walk about, crash on my bed and try not to swear to loudly as I curse my back using every four letter word I know and I know a lot of them trust me. If a passer by heard me they would think I was killing someone in here. Let's try and take a deep breath and try to turn this into a more productive blog entry, OK here we go, on the message boards I seem to have been given a new nickname my second so far the first was Non after the Jack O'Halloran role in Superman 2 as I am supposed to look like the guy I'll let you decide on that one.

My new nickname appears to be chewie after the wookie in Star Wars after a brief message board conversation on a film site where I had declared that I hadn't liked the newest three Star Wars films as much as the originals but this was probably due to the fact that I saw the originals as a wee kid and thought characters like chewie and C3P0 were real and without child's eyes anymore the magic had gone for me. I also said that I though Hayden Christensen was to short to play the young Darth Vader because David Prowse was like 7 foot tall. I like to put these kind of comments on this particular site when I'm depressed as it cheers me up to see the Star Wars fanatics jump all over them to defend all George Lucas' decisions because in their eyes he is a God, I know I'm pretty childish doing this but it gives me something to do with my time and it is very, very funny I recommend any depressed person out there to try it just ignore the impending death threats you will receive on the site cause mostly they tell you they are going to strike you down with their light sabre or some crap like that.

The only problem is I've realised a lot of the same people visit all the other movie sites that I do and the nickname has followed me, they tell me I'm called chewie because I said on a message board that when I get my height measured by the doctors I'm six foot seven standing up but six foot nine lying down, it's to do with the fact my back problems stops me from standing up straight as it's to painful to do so. So now I've been brandished with the nickname chewie as I'm tall and have a hairy face I guess the nickname could be worse and at least it's not offensive or to offensive.

Well my back just went up to a 9 so this will have to get wrapped up soon, it's taken over three hours to type so far and I can't actually remember what I originally was going to post about but hey it has past some time, some painful time but some time none the less, anyhoo.

Thanking You
The Housebound Writer

Friday, 2 July 2010

SpiderMan Revealed

-SpiderMan Reboot News-

The Marc Webb helmed do-over of the SpiderMan franchise now has it's star and he is Andrew Garfield. Garfield who has appeared in such films as the Red Riding trilogy, The Other Boleyn Girl, Lions For Lambs and The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus beat out competition from the likes of Logan Lerman, Jamie bell, Aaron Johnson and Anton Yelchin. The firm favourite for the role up until very recently was 17 year old Josh Hutchenson the star of the upcoming Red Dawn remake and Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant seemed to be on track to take the lead and it is seen as somewhat of a shock by most for Andrew Garfield to be cast not just because of his status in Hollywood but also his age 26, as the new SpiderMan film takes place during the lead character's school days.

-In Production-

Gotham Group and LionsGate are said to be extremely happy with the Pre Production of their latest movie Abduction, the film being Directed by John Singleton centres around a young man who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after he discovers his baby photo on a missing persons website. The film stars Taylor Lautner and has a very impressive supporting cast including Maria Bello, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs and Lily Collins. Production starts on the 12Th of July and is scheduled to run till 22ND of September and is expected to be released just prior to the big summer blockbusters next year in late March early April.

LOL-Laughing Out Loud is another LionsGate production currently in Pre Production and here is the plot: In a World connected by Youtube, ITunes and Facebook Lola and her friends navigate the peer pressures of high school romance and friendship while dodging their sometimes overbearing and confused parents. When Lola's mother Anne, "accidentally" reads her teenage Daughter's racy journal, she realises just how wide their communication gap has grown. Through Hilarious and heartfelt moments between Mother and Daughter, LOL is a fresh coming of age story for modern times. These were not my words but the words of the Studio releasing this film as you could probably tell. This film stars Miley Cyrus as Lola and Demi Moore as her Mother Anne with a supporting cast including Ashley Greene and Douglas Booth and sounds like the kind of film I will give a wide berth, not my cup of tea at all but I think it will probably have a healthy take at the box office thanks in part to Ms Cyrus' tween fans.

-Casting News-

And for any of you actors/actresses out there here is a heads up on the latest 20th Century Fox and Oscar winning Director Cameron Crowe's latest film (based on a true story) We Bought A Zoo. The film is currently in Pre Production and Casting Director Gail Leven is conducting a national talent search and online open casting call for three lead roles for two teens and a child, here's a link for details:

Thanking You
The Housebound Writer