Vlog Time 46 – Away Day

Better late than never…

(P.s towards the end of this vlog I make a few brief comments regarding the Paris attacks, this are just a few of my thoughts and in no way intended to offend anyone else, I did consider removing them as I do not normally comment on this sort of thing but I have always tried to be honest in my vlogs and not to over edit them.)

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Vlog Time 7

I decided to make the Vlogs weekly rather than fortnightly in an attempt to keep the time down so I decided to give you one today but normal scheduling will be for a Friday from now on and that means you get a #TBT photo ever week of me as well which I hope you enjoy, I would love to see some #TBT photos of you guys so if you are up for the challenge post one this Thursday for me to come and smile at xxxx

A to Z Challenge 2014 – D is for Duran Duran

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D  Put your hands up if you guessed this one was coming.

I did debate a few different topics but I came back to this one for several reasons, first of course there is my 30 year crush on a certain bass player who like a fine wine has aged rather well, but then there is the band dynamic as a whole.

Duran Duran was formed in 1978, despite various members leaving at different times to pursue personal projects and for various personal reasons, the band has not only endured but gone from strength to strength.  Their fan based comprises of all ages, from those who like me fell in love with them as teenagers to those in their teens and twenties who grew up with mums playing it at them while declaring the 80’s to be the best decade for music ever (we just won’t mention the clothes.)

The reason though I am talking about them today is not specifically about their music but rather longevity in general.  There are few bands, artist or authors that stand the test of time over their own life time.  An author like Jane Austen may be read for hundreds of years but success in her own lifetime was a very different matter, in terms of actual books published she does not have the sort of volume produced by many authors today, consider JK Rowling wrote more Harry Potter books than Austen did novels.  While we know Austen’s life was cut short by illness it is unlikely she would have written more than another three or four books given the restraints placed on her by the age she lived in, likewise if you consider the Bronte sisters.  Then consider more modern authors, someone like Stephen King who has an impressive catalogue of work, King was my introduction to adult horror as a teenager, I loved his books but there came a point where I drifted away from him, for me one too many novels set in Castle Rock diminished my suspension of disbelief.

For a person or group to remain successful within their own life time they need to diversify, develop and evolve, stagnation is something a modern audience will not forgive.  If every song sounds the same, eventually people will look for something different no matter how much they love the band, but it is a double edged sword because within the development there must always remain a thread of the reason your fans loved you in the first place.

In any form of entertainment it is hard enough to get a break and requires a great deal of luck whether you are a musician, and artist or a writer, but once you have that lucky break it is sheer hard work and determination which will decide your long term success.

If we are lucky those who join us on our journey will grow with us, the clip I picked is taken from a concert the week after I saw them, I chose to see them on the home leg of their tour in Birmingham, I waited thirty years to see them live and will not be waiting that long again.

D is for Dancing

20130210-230657Come on hands up who thought D would be for Duran Duran or Doctor Who, go on confess I know you did lol.

To be fair both of the afore mentioned D’s have caused me to do the D in the title on more than one occasion.  I thought I would do some thing I little different today..

Take my hand and lead me to the dancefloor

It doesn’t matter what dance we do,

A whimsical, whirling waltz

Or a raunchy, racy rumba.

A flighty, flirty foxtrot.

Or sizzling, sexy samba

As long as we dance to the same beat

The tempo does not matter.

A tempestuous, tawdry, tango

Or a quaint, quirky quickstep

Or a steamy, sensual salsa

Just keep the music going

All night long

Day 26 – A song by your favourite band

Well no prizes for guessing who the first choice has to be by the only question is which song do I choose with thirty years worth of music to pick from but I think it only right I take you right back to where it all began

Then I am giving you two more because I can’t decide between them

Day 24 – A cover song

Very rarely are cover songs ever done well, and there are some who would argue against my first choice given that it is once again my favourite band I really do love the original of this so I shall actually post both

The other is one of those genuis moments

While looking for the other I found another that I love

Book Review – In The Pleasure Groove By John Taylor

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOkay it would be really easy for me to just give this full marks based on the grounds that the guy is a god but I won’t.  I shall be good and review it the same way I would any other book so here goes.

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First lety me say that if anyone picks this up looking for juicy gossip about Duran Duran or the 80’s pop scene they will be sadly disappointed.  In The Pleasure Groove tells the story of Duran Duran’s creation and early days, the struggle to cope with the pressure that becoming an overnight success and pop pin up creates.  It has been well documented that John Taylor had demons to overcome and he talks very frankly about what he believes caused his spiral into addiction as well as the steps he has taken to recovery.  Before I really get stuck in here is a clip of the man himself reading from his book.

Okay time to dissect a little further, the first part of this book is amazing, you really get a feel for the boy who didn’t quite fit in who grew up to be a star.  The book deals with the meteoric rise to fame brilliantly and while giving you a feel for the lifestyle he does not glamorise it nor does he divulge the intimate details of those who succumbed to his charms.  All sounds great I hear you say but I know you are all waiting for the but and sadly there is one.  John Taylor has had a career spanning over thirty years, who honestly believed that it could all be crammed into one book?  My only hope is that the speed which this book spans over the last two decades is an indication that a sequel will be forth coming.  While I fully respect the fact that he wishes to respect his personal relationships, his discussion of his marriages is minimal to say the least.  I have been a Duranie for thirty years and remember the outpourings of bitterness towards his first wife, while I do not expect him to discuss what happened between them it would have been interesting to know how he felt about that, how he felt about the way she and their relationship was portrayed in the media.  The reason for not discussing this may be due to his addiction which was heading to its height around that time but from that point on the book feels rushed and as if he just wants to get it over with.  Descriptions of the latest phase in Duran’s amazing career are fleeting compared to those of the early days, one hopes that he still feels the same excitement and is planning to explore this Renaissance in their careers more fully at a later date.

If I could give this a mark based on the first half it would merit 5 out of 5 but if I am being impartial the second half spoils it and if it were written by anyone else I would give it 3.5 out of 5

Day 18 – A song you have as your ringtone/want to be your ringtone

Will have to be creative today and give you the song I have and one I thought about having I am sure it is probably possible to arrange different ringtones for different people on my phone but I haven’t worked it out at the minute lol.  So if you ring me this is what plays…

This is one I am tempted to have.

Day 14 – A song you like hearing live

Well it won’t take much imagination to guess who the first song is by, I waited thirty years to see them perform live and I have to confess was gutted that they didn’t perform my absolute favourite but this comes close.

The second one is actually more I song I wish I had heard live some things happen only once and I was too young to have been part of this as in actually going instead like millions of others I say transfixed to a TV screen watching history being made Duran Duran of course weren’t part of this bit as they were taking part across the Atlantic in Philadelphia but it is still a who’s who to 80’s pop.

Fantasy Vs Reality

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I have a lot of friends on here that write Erotica and will admit that lately I have been reading quite a bit, (Lee you might want to stop reading here – and Sammie and actually anyone that knows me in real life lol)

 

I am not about to start writing it any sex scenes in my novel are there as part of the plot rather than basing a plot around sex I don’t have the talent to do that well, but what it has got me thinking about is fantasy.  Erotica is based primarily on people’s fantasies diverging into many different sub genres to feed all tastes that could possibly exist.  The thing is as writers at times our imagination can lead us to have very vivid fantasies both in and out of the bedroom.  The question is can reality ever match our fantasy?

 

When I was sixteen I had my first love a few months of puppy love followed by the requisite mourning period of broken hearted youth.  We never slept together, so in my innocent teenage mind it would have been magical; roll forward a couple years and a chance encounter in a nightclub after the consumption of alcohol.  It seemed like a good idea unfinished business between the two of us, after we both agreed that though pleasant it had been a mistake, both of us felt disappointed that it had failed to live up to what we had built it up to be in our minds.

 

Last night I had read a post about fantasies and it got me thinking about my own, those I would still like to live out and those which I now concede are better left as they are.  Now for those getting excited I am not about to divulge those fantasies in detail here and now lol let’s just say that one of them theoretically were it ever to be lived out would place me in a position that could be potentially dangerous hence it will never happen, other fantasies include me not having control – well you guys know how much of a control freak I am that is never happening in real life.  The fantasy that I am most upset at finally realising I would now never act upon is my JT, now yes I live in the real world therefore know it will never be put to the test, he is never going to bump into explain he has split from his wife and beg me to run away with him, but the fantasy of it has been with me for thirty years.  Last night the sad realisation hit me as I was reading his autobiography in the bath that if in an alternate universe it did happen he could never live up to my expectations.  Frequently we see celebrities hauled down from the pedestals upon which we have placed them by showing themselves as mere humans, and on one level we can forgive them (depending of course what they have done) but what we can never forgive them for totally are the dreams they take from us.

 

Now you might wonder how this relates to writing, well lets all be honest we all have a writing fantasy or two about someone out there reading our work, falling in love with it, the offer of contracts involving a lot of noughts and film rights being discussed.  Even in some of the blog awards we share and love we ask who would play your character in a film then fantasise about our leading men, (I still haven’t actually decided on mine for the novel quite like the idea of unknown actors lol) I digress back to what I was saying fantasy writing comes with a whole heap of benefits while the reality for most of us is an inbox full of rejections then if we get lucky a small publisher will take a chance on us that will not allow us to give up the day job but will see your book in print.

 

The thing is this is one fantasy that it is harder to give up on.  We cannot all top the bestseller lists but we can all dream about it because in part this fantasy is not actually about anyone else.  It is simply about us, our abilities and our determination to succeed.  For some succeed is to write the perfect novel, to write the perfect poem, for some it is to get across and share a message but the final line is that it is possible if only we are willing to work hard enough, slave away at our craft, learn from our mistakes, take chances and risk failure.  Today I saw a friend of mine had received some news I shall not spoil it saying who but let me say I am thrilled for her she had almost been talked out of believing in herself, and into closing her laptop but today her fantasies are beginning to come true.

 

Believe in your own abilities, keep sight of your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you no – let your mind run wild with fantasies but only indulge in those that can do you no harm.