House Of Pain Wrestling ‘Christmas Tour’ Night One FULL Results

21 Dec

Striking your head on exposed steel is never fun. Steven Harris fears #HeavyMetalThunder, as he should, but a coward’s way is not a champion’s way. I guess Steven Harris and Heavy Metal Jack Kastor just have different aspirations. #Wrestling

Wrestle Ropes

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Out of Africa – The holiday of a lifetime

29 Jun
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The stunning view from Rourke’s Drift Lodge, as the sun began to sink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ‘Twelve Apostles’ of the Drakensburg mountains on the way through the Sani pass into Lesotho.

South Africa to be exact.

So I’d say this is by some way the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited, it’s bursting with boundless terrain, Middle Earth-level mountain ranges, endless forest plantations and some of the happiest and friendliest folk you’ll ever meet.

This was a trip in which I breathed in a great deal of history, visiting battlefields predominantly from the Anglo-Boer and Anglo-Zulu wars, as well as visiting the Nelson Mandela capture site where he was arrested in 1962. It was most interesting to hear accounts of these historic conflicts from a local perspective, as opposed to the largely ‘colonial history’ that so often dominates the global dialogue.

As a writer and as a person, it opens you up when you visit anywhere particularly unfamiliar. Absorbing the sights, sounds and smells of another country encourages you to think differently, and helps you embrace that ‘otherness’ of things you have never experienced before.

If you’ve never been on a safari, I highly recommend it. We set out at 6 AM around Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, which is the oldest proclaimed game reserve in all of Africa and we saw the most incredible sights. A herd of buffalo dashing across the road in front of us, several groups of giraffes hogging the road also as well as sightings of elephants, white rhinos, nyala, wildebeest, zebras, impala, monkeys and beautiful bird species such as the African fish eagle.

Of the most memorable moments from the trip was visiting Emdomeni Cat Rehabilitation Centre where I had the great privilege of stroking a fully-grown cheetah. The fur on the back of his neck was really course and fluffy and I learned that cheetahs purr really deeply. Completely unforgettable. It’s tragic though that the cheetah population is in such jeopardy, with infertility and inbreeding both posing huge problems for the specie. In a few generation’s time, I sure hope that people still have the opportunity to experience what I did these past couple of weeks.

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Welcome…to Giraffic Park!

The last-hurrah to this adventure was a two hour horseback ride through the ‘Forgotten Valley’ of the Drakensburg Mountains. I rode a horse once, about nine years ago, so I really didn’t know what I was doing when I saddled up. Despite this I ended up galloping – yes, actually galloping – across the flat fields of the valley. But not up the narrow winding paths up the hillside, no, we walked nice and slowly up those. It was a warm, dry day, with deliciously clean air and the smells of wildflowers all around as the mountains rolled off into nowhere.

I wish to thank Thomson’s Africa for an unparalleled holiday experience, and the incomparable Siboni, our guide, for sharing his vast knowledge of his country with us, driving us over a thousand kilometers and for making us laugh with his brilliant anecdotes and cheeky sense of humour. For now, though, it’s back to writing Robot Wrestler’s in Space, and marketing my steampunky Kindle E-book offering, ‘Voudou and the Machine,’ which as always can be found right HERE.

Thanks for reading, WordPressers! Keep on keeping on.

Before I go though, I’d like to ask; where have YOU been that you feel has really changed you as a person? I’d genuinely like to know what your experience was, and why it had such an effect on you. Just stick it in the comments. Nice one.

 

Photo credits: Evie Wolfe

 

 

Robot Wrestlers In Space – Writing My First Novel?

2 Jun

I might be writing my first novel, but I’m not entirely sure. 

 

The word “Novel” might be five letters long, but to me it is one of the biggest words because it represents a great unknown for me. It is the summit of Everest, it is the Challenger Deep, a potential Pandora’s box of plot-holes, loose ends and unrestrained waffle. 

I am a writer of short stories. They’re easier for me because once I start to write them I soon find myself stumbling into the ending. But what if ‘Robot Wrestlers In Space’ doesn’t develop an ending? What if, once started, it sucks me into a self-replicating vortex of tangential plot generation from which I never escape, inevitably leading to a coffee-soaked demise, slumped in a chair smothered in cat hair and the crumbs of old biscuits? 

I often talk myself out of things. I think most of us do. But I have already written the first 5000 words of this for my MA degree spring semester. The next 14,000 words shall constitute my final dissertation. Will I finish the story by then, or will I be left staring into the gaping jaws of an unfinished narrative? An orphan fragment of something potentially greater?

My lecturer told me not to concern myself, and to “let the story be what it wants to be.” 

‘Are you crazy?’ I thought. It’s going to eat my life. ‘Robot Wrestlers In Space’ will tear a hole in my existence; I will wind up 94 years old, scrawling the last paragraph with what remains of my blood using an old quill pen on the thick padded walls of my own personal hell.

Or, you know, the whole process might turn out to be rather fun and rewarding. 

 

 

Dream, Play, Write!

16 May

I think Mr. Pike here has a few very good points. I hit all three of these key points as regards my writing (and a bunch of other stuff, incidentally); fear of failure? Check. Tempered Expectations? Check. Indifference towards money? Yeah, even that one. I think most of us, reading what Tim as said here can find little pieces of ourselves buried in the words. But who wants to buried? Not me, not anymore. I want to be free! Screw fear, and to hell with tempered expectations. I want to get paid for things I make up in my head, and I want it real bad. Let’s frickin’ do this!

Venturing into Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

11 May

 I have dipped my toes into the seething, bubbling ocean of digital publishing for the first time. 

I’m a bit lost guys and girls. 

 

My first babies to fly the nest are a couple of shorts I wrote for my masters degree at the university Nottingham – ‘Voodou and the Machine’ and ‘Lab Rats.’ I uploaded them both onto Amazon Kindle as a combined package for the minimum price I was allowed to – $2.99 (£1.80 GBP). I shared my venture on the ol’ Bookface, and one kindly soul agreed to bite and check it out. That’s £1.30 of royalties in the back for Jack. Strange how much that one sale means, you know, that someone actually shelled out some hard-earned cash for some stuff I made up in my head. Feels good, I tell ya. 

At the time of writing – stardate, the 11th May – it’s the only sale i have. That’s because I’ve only done half the work. Writing fiction and getting onto KDP is the first step, but then you’ve market the darn thing. This is where I find myself just treading water. In my professional life I’ve flogged a ton ‘o junk for other folks, but never something of my own creation. 

The ocean stretches far and wide, and all I have this rubber dinghy and a Fischer-Price telescope with which to navigate its choppy waters. It time to learn to ride the waves. 

If there is anybody out there, this is my S.O.S. Let’s ride those waves together. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JDL4B8Y is the golden link. If you like Scifi, Steampunk and the like, with dark tendencies then I’d really appreciate you checking out the free preview to Voudou and the Machine. It’s an attempt at a strong female protagonist from the 1st person, something I don’t feel I’ve seen enough of in the genre. 

 

Have a nice day, WordPressers and let me hear your thoughts! 

 

 

 

 

 

Trifextra Writing Challenge: ‘On the count of three…

14 Oct

“This weekend we are challenging you to write 33 of your own words to build upon the following:

On the count of three…

You can choose to include those words if you want, but they do not count toward the 33 words of your own”.

Challenge accepted.

 

Four,’ said The One.

‘You were supposed to tear its heart out,’ said Void.

‘Its beat is stronger than I,’ said the One. ‘The Music cannot die.’

The Void let loose the bagpipes.

http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/  made me do it.

Fire and Shadow

6 Oct

The fire still burns

 

Fire shouts. Shadow listens. In time, Fire fatigues while Shadow is sleep itself, feeding from Fire, engulfing, until only their legacy, Embers, Ashes and Smoke remain.

 

Is Shadow, then, the father? Patient, eternal. While Fire is creation, a bright transitory mark on the world that screams her passion, and is extinguished?

A Shadow, however, is merely the ghost of something. The cold plagiarist, existing only in tandem. Not so eternal after all, perhaps?

 A Fire is an idea, making one thing become another. Shadow, then, is memory. What we keep behind us and can never cast off  until the Smoke comes. Ideas breed memories, a subtle incest that shapes the world.

 
What we are left with is more Ashes, more Smoke, but more Embers.