Blog

Stranger Things and the art of Pastiche

10 Aug 2016 Category: television

There be spoilers ahead

Last week, I binge-watched Stranger Things on Netflix. It’s been awhile since I mainlined a tv show like that, but Stranger Things is worth it.

The plot involves a boy going missing in a small Indiana town, a mysterious government facility and a girl with telekinetic powers. There’s teenage parties and a monster that stalks the town. Basically, it’s a combination of many different eighties movies and books, most notably Poltergeist, ET and Stephen King books. Look at the main logo for example, a pitch perfect recreation of eighties horror titles. It’s also brilliant. A gripping...

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July Links: Summer was on a Tuesday this year

03 Aug 2016 Category: link round up

I’ve been really busy this month with all good things. I went to three music festivals, canoed down the Thames and generally had lots of good times.. But in between playing Pokemon Go, there’s been a few articles and things that are worth reading:

  • The ever reliable Leo Babuta with some writing advice. It’s advice from more of a mindfulness perspective. This is particularly helpful advice i feel:

    Anyone can write, and everyone should. You don’t have to be James Joyce to write. Even if you never want to be a pro, you can write in a...

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Just Walk Away: On Cynicism and Subjectivity

27 Jul 2016 Category: music

I was at Tramlines music festival in Sheffield at the weekend. There was sunshine, there was music, there was booze. Lots of good times were had. One of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing was Public Service Broadcasting, who did not disappoint.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BHIo6qwJarI

I think the band are really something special, with a unique blend of live music and retro samples. However, I can appreciate they are not for everyone. They were oddly scheduled as well, on the main stage before the headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen.

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Free speech, Twitter and 'So You've Been Publicly Shamed'

20 Jul 2016 Category: book review

Free speech is hard, especially on the internet. You should have the ability to say almost anything without fear of legal repercussion. Other than words that actively harm people, like shouting fire in a crowded room, or death threats, you should be able to say any stupid stuff you like. The beauty of free speech is that if you say something objectionable or offensive, people can argue with you and say you were out of line.

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Ponyo and Adaptation

12 Jul 2016 Category: films

Ponyo is a joyous film, a celebration of childhood and youth with beautiful visuals. It’s pure joy from start to finish, with inventive twists and a unique style. Generally, Studio Ghibli films are among some of my favourites because of the rambling yet emotional stories that feel very different to any other film. This film is no exception, with a wide ranging plot involving prehistoric fish and mysterious spirits of the sea.

Ponyo is the story of a fish who is swept ashore and rescued by a human boy, Sōsuke. She refuses to return to the sea and wants to...

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June Links - No Politics, I Promise

06 Jul 2016 Category: link round up

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nKF_0dEY2Oc

Given everything that is going on at the moment, I’m amazed we made it to the end of July. However, there’s enough good stuff out there to take your mind off the malestrom. Here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed:

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Always more to learn: Thoughts on 'Wonderbook'

04 Jul 2016 Category: book review

I’ve finished reading Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer. It’s a great read, full of useful information and exercises. Mostly, it is a nuts and bolts guide to stories and their various elements, characters, plotting, but the way it presented and the advice it gives about the imagination make it truly unique.

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A short play not at all inspired by recent events

30 Jun 2016 Category: politics

I wrote this for More in Common from the Royal Court, which is well worth checking out. It was written fairly quickly so it’s not perfect.

Viral

(A high street, just after all the shops have closed.
TOMO is sat on a bench. JAY is pacing up and down)

TOMO: Sit down mate.
JAY: Mate I’m so-
TOMO: Hungry?
JAY: Bored.
TOMO: Right.
JAY: Nothing to do here.
TOMO: Never is.

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Brexit and the story we have been told

25 Jun 2016 Category: politics

Given the clusterfuck that is happening in the UK at the moment, I’m probably going to be doing a few more political posts in the future. Just a heads up as I try work out what the hell is going on through words. I understand it is much, much more complex than I can do justice to, but this is just one take on it

So on Friday, I woke up to the news that Britain has utterly fucked itself over. The omnishambles of a political situation has boiled over and a majority of people voted to leave the European...

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Love, not hate

17 Jun 2016 Category: politics

On Saturday, some wanker walked into a nightclub in Orlando and killed 50 people with a rifle, injuring many others. It was an act of hate against the LGBTQ community and a disgusting act of violence and terror. People were understandably shocked and deeply affected by the news.

I was planning on leaving that paragraph there. But on Thursday, another dickhead shot and killed Jo Cox, a MP and a mum in Yorkshire. It was a sickening, shocking attack on democracy that is all the worse for being completely unexpected. She was a mother with two young children and the...

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A Knock on the door

15 Jun 2016 Category: stories

I wrote this in response to a prompt over at Terribleminds.com. It’s a bit rough, but I hope you enjoy

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Feeding my writing through a digital shredder

07 Jun 2016 Category: poetry

About a year ago, I got frustrated with my writing and decided to mess around with my first drafts and discarded attempts at stories. They had been languishing on my hard drive for years. I wasn’t publishing them and they weren’t being seen by anyone. To be honest, most of the stories just weren’t very good.

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May Link Round-up

02 Jun 2016 Category: link round up

Another month gone already. It feels like no time at all since I wrote my last link roundup, but here we are again. This month I’ve mostly been reading The Bone Clocks & Wonderbook, but in between there’s been a number of good articles.

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The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

24 May 2016 Category: book review

I’ve been a fan of David Mitchell since reading Cloud Atlas in my early twenties. Since then, I have enjoyed almost everything he has written, so I was excited to finally get round to The Bone Clocks. I’ve somehow never tackled it, possibly because at 500 pages it’s quite a time investment.

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'Show Your Work!' Six weeks in

17 May 2016 Category: creativity

I mentioned in a previous post how I was inspired to share more of my writing byShow Your Work! by Austin Kleon. This little book has been surprisingly helpful in sharing work, but also producing it. Six weeks into following some of the principles, I thought I would expand on how it has helped me.

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