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Announcement

Ok so, I’ve been a little quiet. I’ve finished my current project, but still haven’t clicked ‘publish’. I haven’t been networking as much. I haven’t been writing as much.

With a upcoming holiday, my publishing plans have been put on hold until after I return.

But what does this mean for the present?

It means I can formally announce the future publication date of my non-fiction book A Show Called Empire: The History of the British Empire According to the Movies.

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“They say a picture paints a thousand words. What picture does a movie paint?

From pith helmets to scarlet jackets, to tiger hunting and cigars and brandy, to the darker side of Empire, with its imperialism, its paternalism and bald faced racism, the story of the British Empire has many chapters. Chapters which have been immortalised by film-makers across the globe. So how do these films represent the British Empire in all its vastness?

Including discussions of well-known – and lesser-known – movies spanning from the 1940s to the present day, it details the pictures painted of the empire and the awakenings of burgeoning nationalities. It contains glimpses into the changing societies as time progressed from the final days of the empire and how this has affected the movie world and how it perceives and portrays the British Empire, the rulers and those they ruled over.”

I am pleased to announce that A Show Called Empire: The History of the British Empire According to the Movies, will be published and available from August 1st 2016.

 

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Wow, Where Does All The Time Go?

No seriously, where does all the time go?

Days seems to be running away faster and faster. The month of June is passing us by and before we all know it 2016 will have been and gone.

And I’ve not done half the things I’ve wanted too – already.

It’s putting my head down time. It’s time to pull up my socks.

I’m getting ready to get ready again to do something.

I’ve procrastinated long enough. I’ve been busy doing other things for too long now.

And am I ready yet? Not really no.

Why?

Things.

Work. Work. Work.

Then it’ll be Holiday. Holiday. Holiday.

Then…finally…joyously…

Writing. Writing. Writing.

time

 

 

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Phew!!!

Well, I’ve finally finished wading through Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Wow what a hefty read! It sure took a long time to get through it – even though I read as quickly as I could and picked it up as often as I could – just to get through it.

Well, now I’ve finally turned over the last page, let the last sentence wash over me and closed the book for good. So, what did I think of it? Nothing in particular. It was an ‘ok’ read, it never really gripped me and kept me wanting to read to the end. I failed to become engaged with any of the characters – and I found some scenes/outcomes fairly predictable.

Did I enjoy any of it? I did enjoy the humorous satire on the world of the courts, of the characters of lawyers/solicitors, and legal processes.

But on the whole that was about it.

Why did I bother? I’m currently reading through the top 100 books on the BBC Big Read list created in 2003. Seen as this book is on there at number 79,  I read it – as I’m determined to read them all.

In hindsight, if I wasn’t determined to read all the top 100 books on this list, I’m pretty sure I would have put it down. It wasn’t that it was badly written or anything, I just felt that the storyline ran pretty flat and while some interesting characters had been created, I didn’t feel engaged with them.

Oh well, sorry Dickens, but didn’t really ‘feel’ this one.

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Only ten more to go…

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For one of my 30 things to do before I’m 30, I wanted to read the top 100 books on the BBC Big Read from 2003. And now I only have a further 10 to read.

So far I’ve enjoyed most of the books on the list, some more than others – others much less.

But even if I am enjoying the majority of them, I’m still looking forward to the day when I can cross the final one off the list.

I’ve not read them in any particular order – many I was able to cross off the list before I set myself this challenge – still plenty remained though before I started it.

There are various lists out there on ‘books to read’, so I decided that it’s high time that I tackled on and read them all. It’s been fun at times – and other times I would have put down the book if it weren’t on the list – but I powered on through these ones.

But for the majority of them – it’s clear why they made the list.

When I have come across these ‘books to read’ lists, I always like browsing through them and counting how many I’ve read – which is why I decided to finish one – perhaps only for the vain and boastful reason that I have completed one of the lists. Who knows it may inspire me to finish other lists similar to this. Amazon has one similar – so you never know it may end up featuring on a list (if I make one) of things to do before 40. Or I may just tackle another one anyway – I’ve read countless books I may not have picked up in the first place but did because they featured on these lists and I’m glad I did so.

These lists are a great way to read books you may not consider reading.

But despite all this – I’m glad to say that the end is in sight for this reading challenge – in a sort of pat myself on the back sort of way.

The only down side perhaps is the ‘obligation’ that can occasionally be felt to read books just because they’re on the list and putting books that aren’t on the list onto the back burner until I’ve finished. Not that I haven’t read books I’d wanted to in between – but now the end is in sight I’ll concentrated on the ones I have left first.

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Just. One. More. Edit.

BookEditing

Just one more edit. Just one more read through. I’ve said this to myself half a dozen times already concerning my current/nearly finished project. Just one more edit. And I still find myself saying it.

It’s great to want your writing to be the best it can be and free from any silly typos, spelling mistakes or grammatical errors; and it’s great to want to make sure that every chapter, every page, paragraph and sentence is the best it can be. To make sure there are no holes in the plot or when a sentence doesn’t quite make sense to correct it. But it’s one thing to want to keep reading your work through – but at some point you have to put faith in your work and in yourself that your project it finally ‘there’; right where you want it to be.

If you keep reading it through, if you can wanting to make changes if you need to, then you’ll find changes to make. Any change – and you may end up losing something of the original thought that you put down on paper all those months ago. You may lose something of your own voice. Ok this is if you keep editing and editing and editing.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t edit; that you shouldn’t cover the page with red pen with corrections, no writer should neglect the editing stage if they want it to be the best work they can make it.

But at some point you – and I’m telling myself this too – you have to – to borrow a phrase that is now associated with a much-loved Disney movie – ‘Let it Go’.

Let it go, let it breathe and let it fly.

Still I’m telling myself this, and I think “Yes, I know, I will do, but just after one more edit and then one more read through – then I’ll be ready!”

“Aaaaarrrggghhhh!”

Stickerline-elsa-let-it-go

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Forthcoming Release!

I’ve mentioned a fair few times that my current project is nearing its end and will be published soon! [date to be confirmed]

I’ve been working on a non-fiction project; So what’s it all about?

 

A Show Called Empire

“They say a picture paints a thousand words. So what picture does a movie paint?

From pith helmets to scarlet jackets, to tiger hunting and cigars and brandy, to the darker side of Empire, with its imperialism, its paternalism and bald faced racism, the story of the British Empire has many chapters. Chapters which have been immortalised by film-makers across the globe. So how do these films represent the British Empire in all its vastness?”

“Including discussions of well-known – and lesser-known – movies spanning from the 1940s to the present day, it details the pictures painted of empire and the awakenings of burgeoning nationalities. It contains glimpses into the changing societies as time progressed from the final days of the empire and how this has affected the movie world and how it perceives and portrays the British Empire, the rulers themselves and those they ruled over.”

 

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Noughts and Crosses

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Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses is a surprisingly thought-provoking read. For a novel aimed at teenagers/young adults it is exceptionally dark and at times deeply disturbing given its undertones of historical, political and social relevance. It is much than a take on Romeo and Juliet, it is much more than a forbidden love story.

It is wonderfully gritty, yet surprisingly subtle. The reader is never slapped across the face with the racial overtones running throughout, and Blackman does amazingly to weave the prejudices into the story, so it shines through naturally and never appears forced, or commented upon for the sake of it. A book that I wholeheartedly recommend not just for young adults but for adults of all ages. I defy anyone not to find some moral relevance in its pages that makes them sit up and take notice of this modern masterpiece.

Highly recommended.

Absolutely fantastic.

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