Happy Birthday Blog! [I’m 2!!]

MniS 2 year
This is 5 days late because WordPress only told me today, but my blog is two years old!

Good times.

A lot can happen in a year…

The first steps into freelancing I mentioned taking in last year’s birthday post have become my full-time job! You can read about quitting my day job here. That was fun! And terrifying!

The flash fiction series whose glacial progress I mentioned last year have gone virtually nowhere! But honestly, I will do more soon –  a friend bugged me about it recently, so there’s more to come, promise.

‘The novel’, from which only a cryptic segment was ever posted here, is currently with the (other) judges of a wonderful literary competition called Ink & Insights. The judges (including me!) provide detailed feedback on the first 10,000 words of novels for budding authors. That’s a lot of words and you get a lot of feedback! Anyone with a novel sat stewing, throw it I&I’s way, it’s a great competition and entries are open now!

Other than that, I’ve just been working pretty much. I’m very lax about when I get up but that does mean I have cool dreams and I’ve started writing about them – check out the dream lessons tag for those.

Oh, and holidaying. I give myself a lot of holidays – Luxembourg, Sweden, Scotland, Italy… life is too short to work all the time, even when you love what you do!

And that’s that. Like last year, I was on holiday for the actual day but today I am working (next mini-holiday’s on Friday!) and I must get back to that. Much love, fair readers!

Happy Birthday Chase

[I have a friend called Edd. During a discussion of what American names would suit us, we inadvertently became an unstoppable boyband duo known as Chase & Lance. It’s his birthday. Here is an early draft of one of our singles. Keep an eye on the charts.

Note: for a sense of how the hell this song actually goes, listen to the first two minutes of Slam by Pendulum. The below lyrics start at 0:22 on this version. (Please note: I don’t condone sniping in such attire)]

 

It’s Chase and Lance

We’re Chase and Lance singing…

our new song, the best yet.

 

New Chase and Lance

Drop a new beat that’s sick…

the ladies, they love us.

 

[static-y breakdown]

 

And tonight, across this small island, we’re gonna celebrate…celebrate…celebrate.

 

We are the bestest boyband on the planet

We sing great songs and the crowds go ballistic!

 

Then…

When we dance…

They all scream

Chase and Lance!

 

We are the best looking band in existence

We just make tune after hit after banger

 

All…

Of the time…

We rock hard

Pose for photo

And we pout.

 

#ChaseAndLance

 

 

 

40 Reasons to watch Deadpool (No Spoilers!)

Ok, so I originally promised 100 reasons, and I promised lots of pieces from Morocco to be the next things I posted. Only problem was that, high on life after watching this film, I became super productive and achieved lots of things that weren’t blogging, and while there undoubtedly are 100 reasons to watch Deadpool, I’ve forgotten a few in the intervening 3 weeks. Still, 40 reasons, which make this one of my longest ever posts! Oh, and as for why this isn’t something from Morocco, it’s because I can’t wait any longer to convince you to watch this. Just do it.

I kinda lied about the spoilers. There are 24 spoiler-free reasons, and then, because I just want to gush about specific things, 16 spoilerful reasons. So you can read the first half of this in safety*, I’ll give you ample warning. I’m assuming things like the cast and the fact that is has a soundtrack aren’t spoilers.  Without further ado…

Spoiler-Free Reasons

  1. The opening credits. Makes sense to start there.
  2. Ryan Reynolds.
  3. Morena Baccarin. I’ll admit to not knowing her but, I’m sure with Firefly, Stargate, Homeland and Gotham amongst her other projects, plenty of you will know how talented she is.
  4. The acting. The above two points were solely about how damn attractive they are, but they, and the rest of the cast, can really act.
  5. Going back to how attractive Morena and Ryan are, the fact they’re in a sex scene. Before I’m accused of anything for saying that, watch the damn film! It’s superbly done.
  6. Decapitation. This is one my housemate suggested, and she’s not a violent person, but there’s almost an artistic quality about the separation of heads from bodies in this film. Think Final Destination meets Kill Bill.
  7. The soundtrack. See Spoilerful Reason #12 for specifics, but this film has its montages set to some great tunes.
  8. The marketing. Despite not being part of the film itself, this is worthy of inclusion here (hence its lofty position in the list, rather than when we’re scraping the barrel at the end) as watching the film will make you appreciate just why that poster of Deadpool posing is so irreverent and relevant.
  9. The irreverence. Deadpool oozes it and shows it to everything from celebrity culture to other Marvel films to the genre, even the fact that it’s a film at all.
  10. A kickass old black lady. So much sass.
  11. Creative swearing. It’s virtually art.
  12. The moments of genuine humanity are remarkably well done for an action film, and provide a few touching seconds before the snap back to comedic reality.
  13. The very attractive villain. Dangerously attractive. More on him later, Spoilerful Reason #7
  14. Dark comedy. No topic’s off limits. Heart-wrenching tragedy? Gonna get mocked.
  15. Montages. From sex to sewing to slaying, the honoured tradition of time-lapse scenes is expertly executed.
  16. Making violence funny. Everyone loves a good knuckle with a chuckle. << I just made that phrase up. Get me.
  17. [Impromptu reason, this one] This film inspires you to write little rhymes about comedic violence, apparently. Such is its power!
  18. Dopinder, a loveable taxi driver, who brings a comic touch of normality to the situation, for a while.
  19. The explicit mentioning of the film’s name, and the moment when the name clicks into place. I always enjoy that.
  20. Little victories for the little guy. Dopinder features heavily.
  21. Unashamed bashing, and alternately following, of stereotypes across the genre and Hollywood as a whole.
  22. The back story of the film’s production. For those that don’t know, Ryan Reynolds got involved after the comic dissed him, and after a lengthy wait, a leaked test scene proved so popular with the fans that the film was given a paltry budget to play with.
  23. Clever fighting and efficient ammo use. No need to waste them. See Spoilerful Reasons #14 and 15.
  24. Ryan Reynolds.I don’t care that I’ve already said him.

 

[SPOILER ALERT!]

 

[SCROLL AT YOUR OWN RISK]

 

[OK YOU ASKED FOR IT]

Spoilerful Reasons

  1. A happy ending. Come on, who doesn’t love one!
  2. Breaking the fourth wall. A great trait to pull from the comics.
  3. Breaking the sixteenth wall??
  4. Ryan Reynolds commenting on Ryan Reynolds
  5. The hot alpha male getting to know the girl before they have ludicrously good sex. Always nice to take things slow for a bit. Admittedly not that long, but it is Ryan Reynolds after all.
  6. Ryan Reynolds. See Spoiler-Free Reason #24.
  7. Coming back to Ajax the hot villain, the scene with the sewing up of his katana wound and that bloodsoaked, tight wifebeater. I would penetrate him with my katana…
  8. In the general irreverent mood of the film, I will not retract or apologise for my previous statement.
  9. The holiday sex scenes, particularly Thanksgiving.
  10. Sequel potential (I hope you stayed for the bonus scene!)
  11. The bonus scene itself. Comedy gold.
  12. The specifics of the soundtrack (from Spoiler-Free Reason #7) being DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” when they roll in for the final battle.
  13. The bit where we get back to the opening sequence and actually see how it plays out
  14. The triple kill shot. So cool, so efficient.
  15. Ditching efficiency just to fire another couple of rounds into someone that annoyed you.
  16. Ryan Reynolds.

 

Seen it, loved it? Tell me about it!

*60%. Kudos if you thought that.

I Moroccan a Ton of New Ideas [Interactive Post!]

[Excuse the pun. We made a lot on holiday. It was wonderful, thanks for asking! (I’ve actually been back nearly two weeks now, but busy busy!) So relaxing, bar the occasional panic that I wasn’t replying to messages on Upwork quickly enough when I was out in the mountains with no WiFi… The downtime was great though, and one coach journey proved insanely productive: I wrote a dozen pieces during a three hour trip through the Moroccan countryside. As such, a fair few of my posts for the next while will be those pieces, starting now with an interactive one…]

Fill in the blanks. Comment your suggestions below. I’ll post a summary of the best from my readers (I’ll be honest, I expect the volume of comments to be low enough to allow ‘the best’ to be all of the ones I receive, but you can prove me wrong through commenting tons and sharing with all your friends and generally promoting my blog if you really wanted to!) and various other contributors at a later date.

“When a mummy and a daddy
love each other very much
they take off all their ____
and lie down in the ____
and rub ____ over themselves
until they ___.”

You can go for the obvious answers if you want, but you’re creative types, so I’m sure you won’t!

Happy Birthday to Blog!

We are one year old today! [Cue confetti]

Some reflections:

This blog started out (EXACTLY one year ago – I’ve matched the time and everything) as a place to let out Skylance – the ‘wild, imaginative creative part of me’ – and for the most part that’s just what it’s been. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to let out, but it turned out to be a lot of flash fiction and poetry (I would link to them but they have their own categories anyway) alongside little pieces of songs, ultimate, and the straight up, ripped-from-my-younger-self’s-head fantasy I had in mind when I first began. One-off pieces like that proved a lot easier to write than any part of something more substantial, hence the glacial progress of my two flash fiction series and the only-once-ventured tie-in to my in-progress novel (way too many hyphens there!).

A big shock for me was the reception given to some of my posts about real life. I didn’t think anyone would be interested to hear about my own trials and tribulations, though admittedly, when a lot of them were about Tinder, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Another thing that’s really struck me is the community here on WordPress. I’ve met (well, virtually met) a ton of great people with so much interesting stuff to say, and I’m genuinely touched when, after a long absence from posting, I rejoin the WordPress world and am welcomed back so warmly. I couldn’t possibly list all my brilliant friends here, but Jane Basil needs mentioning for almost always being my first like, comment and welcome whenever I’ve returned. Big and warm shout-outs as well to Nurse Kelly and Lotte Lubach who have been my other most prolific commenters and readers. To all the rest, I love you all as well! I really enjoy it when I get a chance to sit and scroll through all the blogs I follow on my Reader, including many of my talented friends.

And where am I going next? Hopefully continuing to build a readership here and share my work as widely as possible, alongside my recent steps into starting as a freelance writer. Exciting times indeed!

That’s all, really. I’m on the last day of my holiday at the moment, so I’m going to go enjoy My Name is Skylance’s first birthday – have a great day!

Post To Be

[Deadpool post coming soon (I’m excited to convince you to watch it!), but in the meantime, here’s a song…]

Some posts just flow from me
Others I gotta work so they grow from me
Work’s what I got to show for me
Work’s what I got to show for me

And haters got this role for me
Tryna say this job’s all over me
But there’s so much more to me
Writing’s how I settle the score for me

Cos that’s what I got to show for me
That’s what I got to show for me
Trust when I say there’s more to me
And everything’s good like it post to be

[For an idea of the rhythm, the rhyme scheme, inspiration for the title, explanation of the final line and some of the material, see Omarion, CBreezy and Jhené Aiko’s Post To Be. Great song, y’all.]

Why Cynicism is Important

Why Cynicism is Important
I mean, it’s not really, is it. Let’s be honest, as much as a ‘healthy dose’ of it is lauded for its magical properties, the truth of the matter is that being cynical about the reality of the cold, cruel world still doesn’t help you survive its inevitable dreariness. And then you die anyway.

Why Optimism is Important 🙂
People have plenty of different outlooks on life (which is great because diversity is super important) but natural selection will eventually ensure that the best way to think about life – optimistically – proliferates. Studies will surely soon prove beyond doubt that believing things will turn out well has a positive impact on the actors concerned, such that it is more likely – if not certain (I reckon it’s certain, and that you’ll agree!) – to lead to a better outcome.

Why Humour is Important

The benefits of humour have been studied and proven ‘scientifically’, through the art of ‘experimentation’. Some of these findings are shown in Table 1 below:

Ingredient                                        Quantity
onions, peeled and chopped           2 medium
olive oil                                               1tbsp
garlic, peeled and crushed               1 clove
lean minced beef                               500g
mushrooms, sliced                             90g
dried oregano or mixed herbs         1tsp
tomatoes or chopped tomatoes      400g
hot beef stock                                     300ml
Table 1: Humour Benefits Findings

This study fails to mention another key purpose of humour: exercise. Laughing works core muscles in the abdomen and keeps people fit and/or healthy. It should therefore come as no surprise that many famous comedians are overweight. Persistent exposure to comedy leaves these ‘professionals’ desensitised to jokes, such that they engage in laughter or laughterous activities less often. In addition, the sellout crowds they draw to stadia across the globe provide ample dolla with which to stuff their greedy faces.

Why Writing is Important
What do you think?
Let me know!