DVD Review – Dangerous Minds (1995)

220px-Dangerous_mindsNormally I would not think of worrying about spoilers for a film this old but it does actually strike me that there may be those out there who did not watch this film because of the age group it was marketed at.  I was twenty three when this first hit the screens and it was aimed at those younger than me, teenagers really caught up in the newly emerging rap culture which was making its way into mainstream UK from the US.  I watched it because I love Michelle Pfeiffer (though I wish she had an easier name to spell) and she was playing the main role in this film I will give you a taste for it by playing the trailer.

I think what fascinates me most with this film is knowing it is based on a real story Lou-Ann Johnson was a real woman who decided she could make a difference, she is the sort of person who needs to be not only teaching but actually implementing changes that make those from disadvantaged backgrounds believe they have a choice, that teenage pregnancy or crime is a career choice and the best one they can aim for.  Most of us as parents teach our children to reach for the stars, but who is there for the parents who can’t or don’t care, too many teachers are left in a position which no resources and no options other than crowd control in these situations we need more teachers like this to help give children hope when they have none.  I love the song from this film and I well up with tears listening to it because I have seen the film, if you have you will if not I hope it will inspire you to take the time to watch the full film.

For anyone who hasn’t watched the film but now wants too the link at the end of this will play the whole film.  I give this 5 out of 5, is it 100 percent true to the real story of course not this is the Hollywood version but the fact this woman exists and inspired not only the children but the film and millions of people around the world to stop and think about how things could be changed even if it was only for the length of the film is worth every star in the sky.

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 9: Create a villain and describe them in 500 words or less

Day 9: Create a villain and describe them in 500 words or less

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Orlando stood looking down at the earth below him.  It was debated whether he was an avenging angel still or whether he had become a vengeful God.  He did not care what name he was defined by his purpose was the same to destroy anything that took Her attention away from him.  He remember the days before she was broken, he was one of a few immortals who knew her true name, he was the only one who still called her by it, he knew that it was one of the few things that could still illicit a response from her.

In hindsight destroying her mortal lover had been an error he should have been patient, waited for him to die naturally, after all their lives were so fleeting compared to the eternity his kind endured.  But jealously had led him to lash out and instead of turning to him in grief she had turned away nursing her anger and pain deep within.  He could never admit he had failed, that he would never win her affections.  He was convinced if she had never walked amongst the weak pathetic creatures below she would have been his, the fact that since time began she had spurned his advances lost in his own convictions.

He too walked amongst the humans, cloaked in a body that drove the females crazed with desire he would assume a position of power, bathing in the lust that accompanied the wealth.  His visits to the flesh never lasted long the human body was not designed to contain mortal fires and it would always end in death or madness, not that he cared what fate awaited those foolish enough to fall at his feet.

He felt the passions welling inside, maybe a brief immersion in the human world again would quell the flame that burnt for her.  He looked round at the others going about their normal business, they all avoided the edge of the plane where she sat gazing down below.  A thought flitted through his mind that maybe this time while he was there he would find a way to bring her back to life, to intrigue her into taking an interest, ignite the fire deep in her soul.  He could handle her anger, he would enjoy taking her through battle but the silence she maintained was unbearable.  Something must be done.

Bonus Tv Review – Blakes 7

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It could be seen as procrastinating from picking the Mysteries of Udolpho up again but the reality is that one thing leading to another has brought us here last week I discussed my love of the Doctor and the podcasts that I listen to as a result, well I have been listening to back episodes of a couple and listening to one by The Ood Cast another of my childhood favourites was mentioned.  I am fully aware for non UK followers this programme may be unknown unless they have the geek gene but let me introduce Blakes 7.

Now I know that by todays standards it looks terrible it has aged badly when you compare it to CGI technology but it still has something, these characters made you love them or in some cases hate them, as kids we played Blakes 7 in the field behind where I lived, we ran round pretending to shoot each other with sticks that were our lasers, teleported by jumping, and of course we girls spent as much time rescuing the boys as they did rescuing us.  I have to say in many ways my childhood was far more enjoyable than that of my own children, we had far more freedom, places we could play safely and less pressure to produce results at school which ironically led to far more creativity.  Now we have almost gone full turn where people expect children to learn by rote rather than thinking, they have targets to meet rather than time to develop but that is another story for another day.

Of course all good stories need a bad guy or in this case a very bad girl.

She always wore the most fantastic outfits sadly as a bit of a tomboy I never appreciated them at the time I was always far more like Cally who was a telepath aswell as her other talents.

One thing I have noticed is the age of the actors, if this was made today they would all be played by people in their early to mid twenties, for potentially two reasons one of course being sex appeal but the other reason I think is partly down to how long a series can be spun out while it keeps making money, Blakes 7 in some ways is unique in that it has a very obvious limitation in its very title, Blake himself.  His companions can change and if fact Blake himself did not appear throughout all four series but even when not an actual screen presence he was very much still part of the story line, fan fiction has suggested the possibility of clones being involved at the end of the series for its continuance but we will come back to that at in a minute.

If you have not watched this and now have an urge to watch the full series stop here! No seriously stop! Go Away! Because I am abut to discuss the end of the series so if you think you might want to watch it toddle off now the full episodes are on You tube.

Now for everyone else…

Blakes 7 ended with a massacre.  There is no other way to describe it, and today in a society where we have come to terms with the idea of things lasting forever this seems strange, although there was the slimmest possibility of one or two characters possibly having miraculously escaped according to certain fan circles, the reality is that a story line would have to be pretty far removed from reality to allow it.

Part of me would love to see this series remade, but part of me would be scared of what they would do with it.  While I am sure they could do amazing things for the special effects I am not so sure they could re-capture the spirit of it and that they would stay faithful to the ending.

Book Review – To Her Knees by Chantal C

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This is a hard one to review for not because the author is a fellow blogger but because of the subject.  Erotica is such a subjective area what turns one person on may turn another off completely so bearing that in mind I can only review it with my own personal tastes taken into account.

My first complaint is that this is far too short I picked it up and read it in an afternoon and was certainly left wanting more.  I need to be careful here about how much I reveal as I am guessing this is one book that most have you won’t have read.  The central tension focuses upon that thing I think most people have experienced at some point unwanted attraction – now I am not talking someone fancying you that you don’t like back I am talking about that person you really really don’t like, you don’t want to like but somehow manages to make you get tongue tied and weak kneed in their presence.  It is the attraction that makes bad boys so appealing, that ensures awkward moments when confronted with an ex, the boss giving you grief that you can’t help wondering if he is as dominating in the bedroom as the boardroom, it is the arrogance of Mr Darcy in human form.  It is also more than that it is about the surrender of self – the placing your emotions in the hands of another even though your head screams against it – in some ways it is about trust and putting that trust in the one who has the potential to do the most harm.

The actually erotic parts are really well written but for me is is as much about the emotional dynamics as the physical act and for the most part it is really well written allowing you to get caught up and swept away with them.

There are negatives the first as mentioned previously is that it ends too soon at 42 pages it is more of a prologue than a novella and is frustrating in that the potential is there for this to be so much more.  Secondly it has to be said there are a few typos but I will say that the story is so good these can be forgiven and do not generally detract from the reading experience.

Over all I give it 4 out of 5 stars Iam detracting half a star each for the two faults I have mentioned

Supporting Cast

Every heroine requires several things, firstly a bad guy or girl to battle, then a support cast of characters to aid her in her journey through the story.  Last week I spoke about where the initial story came from the legends and stories from history and the online game I played.

Now I have to apologise or my drawings am out of practise but wanting to avoid copyright issues I thought it best you get my scribbles.

It was here in the game that a few of the characters initially started life. That is not to say they are based infact on real people or even on their in game personalities but that is where the seed was planted.  The bad guy Wend began life as a larger than life in game persona who was a bit of a rebel. In real life he is a lovely guy but a few of his antics sparked the idea for the bad guy, I am lucky that no matter how bad I made my fictional character he lapped it up quite happily claiming credit for being the inspiration for Wend Y Mawr.

Celdwady comes closest to his real life inspiration not that I believe my friend has magical powers, well not quite, but he is a Pagan who if I had to describe him I would classify as a Druid.  He has been a real inspiration on advice regarding that aspect of the novel, teaching me about the uses of various herbs and the potions which it is possible to brew using them.

Not all my characters appear in human form in the novel.  The Lady and her Lord appear frequently in wolf guise.  The wolf had special significance in many societies so it seemed fitting that this was the animal form my Goddess would appear in.  I also have a huge soft spot for wolves I hate seeing them in zoo’s and although it will never happen would love to see them reintroduced here in the UK.  It is fitting that part of the theme of my novel is about the balance required in life between good and evil but also between man and his enviroment.  Here in the UK the wolf was hunted out of existence by man so the whole concept of the bond between my main character Jacantha and the Lady in the guise of the wolf fascinates me.

I think in part the cast of characters actually creates the whole.  Each  in the novel has a part to play for each character there is a counter to balance out the elements of each personality.  While literally there is a cast of hundreds of extra’s I made a concious decision that only the characters that are essential to the story line are given names.

Again apologises for the drawings I really do need to get some practise in.

Twitter Trolls

An extra post today I have spent a day watching sport with the monster.  His favourite event today…the diving.  The British pair of Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield came fourth the worst place for any athelete to finish.  Daley put his hand up taking responsibility for the one poor dive which may have cost them a medal.  They tried their best, tom made one small error and what happened….this

While Tom Daley makes me proud to be British, trolls like this make me ashamed.  What has this troll done with his life that he thinks he has the right to comment on anyones performance?  Has he spent hours training everyday for years to be deemed worthy of representing his country?

These sportsman are not the ones earning huge wages for a few hours kicking a ball about on a weekend.  The are the ones who wear their team uniforms for pride and deserve our support, win or lose.  The trolls are the people who society could do without, they are the ones whose parents should hang their heads in shame at their offspring.

As you can tell this has wound me up just a little bit.  Trolls are cropping up wherever social media exists, Twitter, Facebook even here on WordPress, yes we should try to ignore them not give them the attention they crave but I would ask everyone who knows a troll or worse still is related to one do the rest of us a favour and knock some sense into them.  Teach them that old saying If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekly Round Up #5

As followers of my blog will know I got slightly sidelined this week over the Lennox issue, and while it is tempting to let you know over every campaign and petition out there that is not what this blog is about.  This blog was set up  to share my writing journey and this week it has been quite some journey I have learnt writing poetry while upset is not good for me it takes me to a dark place where I have no wish to travel at this time.  I have learnt how to force my mind to focus on the task at hand and avoid distractions ie turn the internet off while writing and do not turn it back on to check frequently.  And most importantly I have learnt the value of fresh eyes when editing I want to especially thank my fb friend Susan and Heidi for patiently reading through my edited chapters and picking up on all my typo’s and pointing out where something didn’t quite read right to them.  We have had some fun translating english/american spelling differences but we are getting there understanding each others spellings lol.  So lets see how I did on the tasks for this week…

 

1) The novel is divided into three parts so this week I want to edit part one

Nearly but not quite but as I completed 8 out of 27 chapters it is nearly a third so I can live with that

2) The usual promise of a book review, a poem and a flash fiction

Delivered all three this week yay! Reviewed Third War, wrote a poem from a characters point of view here and posted a flash fiction even if it was an old one here

3) Write up two pieces of flash into the note book

I actually managed to write up three so quite pleased with that

4) Start working on synopsis of novel for submission

Well mentally I started thinking about it does that count?

5) Fit some reading in I have so many books waiting to be read and ones waiting where I promised reviews I need to make more of an effort

Not done too well on the reading if it was a school report would ‘say must try harder’

 

So now some tasks for this week

1) Edit to end of part to of WIP

2) Usual regular posts of book review, flash fiction and poem

3) Catch up on reading blogs again have fallen behind this week

4) Do some reading I will try harder this week lol

5) Start writing the synopsis and thinking about the letter I need to send aswell about why I deserve the bursary.

I have a couple of posts to reply to tomorrow one award and another set of tag questions to answer so at least that is a blog or two taken care of lol I am still debating joining the austen in August reading challenge I need to think about what books I can read for that if I do or maybe I am just looking for an excuse to read Pride & Prejudice again while the TBR pile is still growing

How has your week been?

In Her Dreams

Okay back to a purely writing post, as you all know this week I am knee deep in the mire that is editing.  I have been working my way through the first section of my WIP and apart from a few arguments with the grammar setting on spellchecker its not going to bad.  Last week I read a post now this is the bad bit I cannot remember whose blog it was on (sooo sorry I remember exactly what you were writing about if it makes you feel better you will know who you are) where they did an interview with one of the characters from their WIP.  I loved the post and the idea but stupidly deleted the email to be able to go back and give proper credit.

Now I am not exactly copying their idea more appropriating the spirit of it lol in that today the chapter I edited was one where the bad guy Wend infiltrates the heroines mind as she sleeps forcing his thoughts into her dreams.  I was thinking about she would feel afterwards about what had happened and her voice came to me so I thought I would share her words…

Unbidden he comes

An intruder in my dreams

Through the darkness he emerges

Wanting, longing, demanding

I pull away

Yet he remains encroaching

His hands ply my flesh

My mind protests

My body betrays

As the flush of shame

Sweeps my brow

My treacherous flesh

Yearns for more

Sins of carnality

I know but have not tasted

Primal instincts aroused, alight

Base responses of animal lust

I cannot push away

Though my heart protests

I hate this man with all my soul

But in the dark of night

I answer his call.

Rollercoaster of Emotions

I almost didn’t post today, mainly as it has been a bit of a rollercoaster today with ups and downs.  But as writing helps me put things into perspective I thought I would share whats been going on as you will see most of it is pretty mundane but so often it is the little things that bug us more.

First thing I had to go into work for a meeting about my latest absence with my back.  No big deal they just want to see how I am doing and see if there is anything they can do to help.  Really not much anyone can say or do to help and I am as much in limbo as everyone else until I see what the consultants latest decision if after he has viewed the last scan results.

Then I get online and check my emails.  I have stopped trying to read on my phone.  I love all the blogs I follow I really do but today I turned off the emails from one ten posts over night is just a little too excessive for me.  The blog in question doesn’t follow me and as they do not allow comments I doubt they will ever find their way here.  If all the blogs were informative I would happily read them but most are just a few lines or reblogs from other pages so sadly I shall go visit when I get chance but I will save space in my inbox.  Then I checked fb said hi to a few people and replied to a few messages but the real reason I went on was for news of Lennox.  Lennox was a happy family pet snatched from his family under BSL laws and has been sentenced to death basically for looking like a Pittie.  He isn’t DNA has proved that but the council in question refused to back down and the courts have believed the lies they told to cover up their incompetence.  He was due to be killed today or tomorrow.  Huge protests took place in various places over the last couple of days it took one in New York today to finally get a politician here in the UK to take notice.  At first the newsfeeds were full of posts saying he had been released to be taken to the States by a Professional Dog Behaviourist ssadly they were untrue.  Tonight he spends another night alone in a cold stark cell waiting for one woman to decide whether he will live or die. You can read his full story of how he was taken here I know he is not alone in this fate and it is something which really gets me upset.  Night after night the roll call for those sentenced to death in shelters around the world brings tears to my eyes.  They have committed only one crime..they were born or in many cases bred, bred, bred some more then thrown on the scrap heap.  As you know I have two dogs Patch the puppy we did buy not from a breeder but from a friend of a friend had she been a breeder when I went to look at him however cute he was I would not have brought him home.  My old man Boris (pictured above) was a rescue puppy.  We rescued him age 8 weeks old he is now 11 years old and every bit as much a part of our family as those on two legs.  I look at him and imagine what it would be like for him to be ripped away from us and placed with little human interaction.  I cannot imagine throwing him away because he is old and not as cute as he once was.  I try to avoid politics and religion on here because I started this blog to learn more about writing and as a way to practise but today I cannot resist asking you all to hold your pets a little closer tonight and think of those who have been betrayed by humans.  We call them animals but many show far more humanity than those who claim the right to call themselves human.  I tried writing some poetry but to be honest it all came out as very bleak, dark and depressing.

On the plus side today and I did say there had been highs aswell as lows I got into a pair of my daughter’s jean.  Yes I see the puzzled looks.  I have been trying to lose weight and although mine were a little loose I did not believe I could fit a smaller size yet.  My daughter handed my a pair of her jeans while I was searching the laundry waiting to be put away and i put them on..they are two sizes smaller than mine YAY!!!!!

I have edited four chapters though to be fair two of them had some work done on the previously and the ones that are in dire need of serious editing are still to come.

The last positive was I spotted a coach trip going to Stonehenge for the end of this month.  It is somewhere I have always wanted to see and also with my beliefs also a little bit of a pilgrimage of sorts, however that will depend on this rain stopping before then as most of the coach trips over the last week had been cancelled due to flooding.

Crash

I was feeling a little under the weather yesterday so I decided rather than sitting at the computer last night to sort out the notebooks as I listed on my weekly round up.  I got the poetry one all done and up to date the flash one well that may take a little longer mainly reading my own writing lol.  But I also found a few things I wrote a few years ago as part of my Access course for entry to University.  Now given yesterday was 4th of July and I know a lot of my US friends will have had more than a few beers yesterday I hope this does not resonate with anyone.  The prompt we were give was a car accident…

Liquid rubies drop to the pavement

From the tiara on your brow

As you stumble to the ground

Eyes unseeing stare ahead

In a hurry going nowhere

To be the fastest set of wheels

Too much horse power to control

You never stood a chance

Blue flashing lights illuminate

The people gathered round

As each breath gets shallower

And your life force ebbs away

Like the turning of the tide

He gets up and walks away

The innocent, the victim, the unicorn

is slain

The one who did the killing

He will drive another day

I also found a couple of short stories that I quite like the idea of reworking at some point.