Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Blog - "Villainous Scourge"

I finally got around to reading that Neil Gaiman book I was given: Neverwhere, and I was struck by a very simple realisation. While reading, I found myself much more interested in the activities of the bad guys, compared to the activities of the heroes. I do love a good heel.

There are two main villains in the piece, who I will refer to as Mr. C. and Mr. V. Being as big a fan of the bad guy as I am, I likely analysed them more than I would typically analyse. This is usual practice for any writer reading a book. Every phrase or interaction potentially holds a lesson of large import. With the bad guys, this is essential because a poor connection between villains is something that can bring a good tale to an abrupt end.

You see, heroes usually have their connection with their friends as their particular strength that puts them above the bad guys. By comparison, your evil, vile henchman or genius is either on their own or working for someone who is intentionally on their own. It's all very obvious and formulaic. A good bad guy has to be unique in the way in which they threaten. Intelligence, such as Smith from The Matrix, connections, such as Blofeld from the Bond films, or wealth and fame, such as Gideon of Scott Pilgrim, can keep things interesting.

The job for any writer is just to keep things interesting, and to thus try and be unique. In this, Gaiman does even better than expected, though his secondary heroes suffer slightly for it. Mr. C. and Mr. V. are masterful. Of these, I would love to read so much more.

I've spent a lot of time developing my villains, trying to make them unique and engaging. To be honest, I've worked harder on them than I have my good guys. I can only hope that Victor, Robin Harris or Charles Crowe can be the same.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Blog - "The Wembley Dream"

Last night, to my surprise, I dreamt of Wembley. This, for me, is rather strange.

It began with four friends pledging their determination to meet each other there, at the very home of football, and turned into a massive advanture. We only had tickets for the Carling Cup, which has been and gone, but somehow, we were going to find a way to the FA Cup final, to watch Liverpool.

I should point out that I'm nowhere near as football mad as this suggests, but there you have it.

My adventure started with a lift into London with Steven Gerrard; always a good start when you're off to watch the club he Captains, but there was an accident on the road in, damaging his chances of playing, and leaving me stranded and lost in London.

I arrived in an arcade and was met by two people. Ricky, my best friend in real life - who can't stand football - and a cute teenage lesbian, who actually turned out to be twenty-four, and smoked.

Together, we had to slip through the back of a Chinese restaurant, which resulted in me being chased by knife wielding maniacs.

At this point I woke up, realised I didn't need to, and promptly went back to sleep, where the dream had moved on without me.

The three of us encountered two more friends of mine next: two youth workers named Brian and Jim. They were at a hotel nearby for reasons unknown, and convinced me to take up an awesome little suite for myself and my friends. It was an incredible place, rising in layers to the beds at the top.

Before my journey continued I encountered a girl I met one time at a music festival, famed for wearing custom made shorts so short you could see she wasn't wearing anything underneath. You could see everything underneath. She somehow found my hotel room, attempted to seduce me and was rebuffed.

This made me ask questions of my lesbian friend. She had apparently turned lesbian after poor relationships and men in her teens constantly demanding that she give it up, when she didn't want to. In fact, she'd never engaged in lesbianism, but used it as a cover. There was some pleasant enough kissing to follow, though she had a bit of a dry mouth.

That night would be the last at the hotel, and I watched as Miss Short Shorts went for Jim using exactly the same method as she went for me. He decided to go for it, so I slipped him a condom and went on to do my former lesbian in the bed upstairs, but still in that room.

The next day, leaving them all behind to come back to later, I walked to Wembley and, when there, let out a big cheer that caught the attention of first two, and then the third friend I had promised to meet. Curiously enough, we were all wearing Manchester City shirts.

The dream ended there, without any football taking place whatsoever.

Maybe I am football crazy.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Blog - "Going Digital"

For a while now, I've been working with a friend of mine from UG called Andrew Apanov. Some of you may have spotted a link to his website on my Facebook page. Now, having left UG, he's decided to move on with some of his own projects and continue his development with his own blog and music marketing website: Dotted Music.

The work I've been doing has been directly relative for him. While he's been builting his marketing website, different to his blog, he's been asking me to develop the copy for it, despite having a decent run of writers working directly with him to create new and imaginative content for the blog. You see, there's only so much you can say about marketing. When you add in the limitation of marketing for the music business, is swiftly becomes very difficult to write anything for a prolonged period of time. I did one series and then happily called it quits, but he keeps enticing me.

The copy in question was, in my mind, some of the best I've done. It's simple. It's enticing without being overly self-flattering. I just thought I'd lay some out, since it is my work, and I gladly don't take any credit for it on the website, much like the copy for the Widgets on the main page of UG.

"Websites & Design

Having a centralised hub where your fans and the big names can connect may facilitate development as an artist, but attracting people in their droves is a greater challenge. Dotted Music creates a genuine experience for each fan every time they log on. Yet we're not here to tell you what to do; we're here to enhance your image while respecting your own unique identity. It's still your show; we're here to make it even better."

"Digital Marketing

At Dotted Music, we provide the platform, the launch pad from which you can spring. Our time-honed repertoire of services includes D2F, Press Releases, Websites, and Social Media . We have the connections and expertise needed to put your name right into the public eye, and the creativity to do so in a truly unique matter each and every time. We're living in the Digital Age, and we want to help you digitize."

"Online Management

Hosting for your website, server maintenance, streaming, ensuring your profile is a regular fix on social networking tools, and encoding your media to keep it safe while maintaining its availability for broadcast are just some of the wide-ranging services Dotted Music offers. With a focus on swift management techniques, we carefully balance your short and long term goals. We provide the platform, you achieve results."

And, of course, my personal favourite, pertaining directly to my job:

"Website Copywriting

A catchy line, a neat piece of prose, or something just a little personal can make the world of difference. When you’re Googled, it’s vital that you’re presented professionally but realistically – often a difficult fence to straddle. Introductions, biographies, news posts, and reviews are just some of the services we include in this package. Our copywriting approach blends poignant prose with an objective eye, ensuring you strike a strong first impression."

I love taking the piss.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Blog - "Neil Gaiman"

One of the perils of being a writer is that you lose pretty much all interest in being the kind of avid reader you used to be. In fact, working with words so often, you start to despise them more than anything in the world. Even now, doing it the lazy way in a Notepad file on my laptop, I can feel the bile rising in the back of my throat. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does present you with something of a major disappointment as time goes by. I recently re-purchased a Robin Hobb trilogy after my original copies vanished to Mexico with girlie one, and I simply haven't gotten around to picking them up yet.

One writer for which I'm attempting to reverse this lamentable situation is Neil Gaiman, under the prompting of numerous brain cells; some of which are my own.

Neil (why bother with formalities) first came to my attention as a person of interest within the realms of Doctor Who, where his episode, featuring the TARDIS essence being transferred into a living being, made mockery of Moffat's entire series, and did so with an almost casual fatalistic streak. The episode was impressive, though it could certainly have been acted better in whatever vocal coaching was given to the Doctor's nemesis during some of the scenes. As I was already interested, I decided to be slightly more interested, and thus dug a little deeper.

The Doctor Who Confidential episode provided me with what I wanted. In this, Neil read his own work, exploring the set and, like the storyteller he evidently wished to display himself as, we were treated to his own vision of the episode. I well recall reviewing the episode at the time and giving it a thoroughly glowing report, even before I knew anything of the artist himself.

I made a point of watching the film 'Stardust' recently, with no idea that it was based on a Neil Gaiman novel. Admittedly, the recurrent 'inanimate object into person' theme raised a suspicion, but only the one. I found it thoroughly enjoyable, except, of course, the sections wherein Ricky Gervais opened his mouth. Consuming the special features, as I like to do, I then started to pick up on mentions of the writer. I enjoyed most hearing about the differences he didn't approve of.

I've been given a Neil Gaiman book called Neverwhere to indulge in. Here, of course, we encounter the problem. When I have time to read, reading is never in the forefront of my mind. With a film, I'm sitting down after work, I can write while I'm doing it, and often do so. With a book - yes, I'm doing research, but my hands get bored just holding said book open.

The other thing I admire about Neil is that he still connects with the fans. That's important. He recently earned me, simply by virtue of being fellow writer, a free dinner on February 29th, in which I could actually be a writer for once by drifting off, telling tall tales, and pulling out a notepad every now and then to jot something down. Neil Gaiman feeds the poor. What's not to love?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Blog - "Vaginal Customisation"

Well, this is something that I never intended to write about, though hopefully I've come up with a unique twist that will keep things interesting for people. Whether you've heard of it or not, I think the explanation will tell you why I've been trying to avoid writing about it, then decided why it might be worth it to do so. Basically, I'm going to design my own (well, not mine) Vajazzle.

Now, a Vajazzle is a word popularised by an English television series called The Only Way Is Essex. The whole Essex county has recently come to my attention because this is where my new girlfriend is from, which made me think of this, and decide to add a design. The meaning of the word is quite simple: to ensure, using whatever means necessary, that your vagina is dazzling.

Personally, I'd like to see doorknobs. You know, on the lips that you can use to pull them apart, like entering a new room. I'd like to see more lightning bolt pubic hair died luminous blue, and I've always been a fan of a vagina that you can use to open a beer bottle.

I don't get the whole ping pong ball launcher thing. The less said about that the better, so I thought I'd say something about it, just because.

There's not actually all that much you can do with a vagina. An LED in place of the clit, that lights up when a girl is bleeding, could be handy for the less informed or able. You could paint underwear on, like painting eyes on closed eyelids, but that would be rather difficult to mask the fact that there's still a vagina there. Also, if said female shaves, or lets their pubic hair grow, you end up with a very difficult design of thatch.

It's an amazingly gripping part of the body. You can hold a baseball bat in there, I'm confident. A vaginal lava lamp would be interesting, I'm sure.

Obviously, I'm not cruel enough to actually do this to anybody. It would be rather a strange day. Thing is though, I'd always be more of a fan of any of this than piercing the head of my penis with a shiny diamond bar that makes my cock shine like Edward Cullen.

Fuck you Pejazzle. Fuck you.