Tuesday 19 February 2013

The Truth Is Out There...

My post on Friday was largely influenced by the meteor that hit Russia and I stated that the threat of a meteor plummeting to earth is something that frightens the hell out of me.  The belief that it was a giant meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs is near enough proven, with a crater found beneath the gulf of Mexico large enough to have a devastating enough effect. 

And you only have to look at the other side of the moon to see the amount of boulder marks that scar it to realise that it happens all the time.  I know there are authorities that are keeping an eye on the sky and tracking paths, but the question is still asked.  What if...?

However, to say that a meteor threat frightens me, isn't to say that I'm not fascinated with the mysteries that are out there.  That's an understatement and a half.  Each time I see the pictures below, I'm filled with awe - so much so that I just have to share for those who are unaware.

This first picture represents the size of earth in comparison to other planets in our solor system:
Venus, Mars, mercury and Pluto

This second picture represents the above planets in comparison to the giants,
Saturn and Jupiter

  This picture, however, represents the size of all our plants in comparison to our sun.  

Now this is where it gets interesting.
New planets are being found all over, and the below picture depicts the size of our sun
in conjunction with three new planets, Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus.
(Notice that Jupiter is one pixel whilst Earth is not even visible)

And it doesn't end there.
All of the above planets are now overshadowed by Rigel, Aldebaran,
Betelgeuse and Antares.

Go on, say it.  You know you want to.  Wow!!!

And with new, Earth like planets still being discovered, who's to say what's out there, and for me it's hard to believe that we're the only life form around.  I just can't see it.

So all those writers out there who dabble in a little sci-fi, you may not be too far from the truth...after all, the truth is out there!! (sorry, had to throw that in there somewhere :D )

Friday 15 February 2013

Pic of the Week . . . For Russia's Meteor

So...Russia was attacked by a meteor, huh?  Wow...*Shudders...

A little fact about me:  Things like that scare me. I couldn't even bring myself to watch Deep Impact and Armageddon when they came out (still haven't to this day).  These films may be fiction but the threat is very much real in my eyes.  It could happen and it's that defenceless feeling it leaves you with.  There's nothing you can do but wait and pray for a miracle.  

I once wrote a short piece for our writers group and posted it on here a few years back (although some of the characters were changed).  What would you do if you only had an hour before the world ended?  How would you spend that last hour?  In truth, I'd probably spend it alone.  My family are too far away, my husband away most of the week, and so it would be me and my cat. And then I began to feel guilty because as much as I love my cat, I wouldn't be able to protect her.  In the end I contemplated a nice bottle of wine, some sleeping pills to share with my feline friend and a warm bed to snuggle down in.  Even now, just thinking about it makes me shudder.  What would you do in the last hour?

And so, to honour those who have had the fright of their lives today I've gone for a Sci-Fi theme picture.  A wallpaper.

Enjoy and have a great weekend, everyone. And remember, keep looking to those skies :)


Wednesday 13 February 2013

Exercise Your Imagination . . .

I bit the bullet the other week and joined a gym.  One of my friends had a free pass at her gym and she invited me to join her for the day, so I went and I was taken by it.  But the price was a little off-putting for me.  After having struggled financially through the past few months and having to deal with unemployment and accidents and the likes, I couldn't justify forking out £50 a month for a gym membership.  And what was worse, you had to sign a yearly contract, so I would have to pay that for twelve months.

I didn't join.

Instead I shopped around and found another in my area for just £13 a month.  That's a huge difference.  It may not be as plush but it has all the amenities needed.  And with a rolling month contract, I joined.  As sods law would have it, I hurt my leg just after joining (and not a gym injury) and so couldn't go for the first week.  I was p***ed off with that.  I was all syked up.  So last night was my first gym night.

Exercise plays a huge factor in most people's creativity.  It breaths life into the imagination.  And us writers need regular exercise.  As you can imagine, a full time writer theoretically spends all day sitting at the computer typing.  Whereas their fingers get a huge workout as they constantly navigate the keyboard, the rest of the body doesn't.  And for me, working in an office has had the same effect.  The pounds soon pile on and an unhealthy routine is soon adopted, not including the laziness in imagination.

Writers need exercise, even if it's just a 20 minute walk a day.  It's a must and an important part in anyone's life.  Stephen King is a classic example of this.  He used to go out walking everyday for about an hour - until he got knocked over and nearly killed.  But he understood this importance.  And when I used to walk everywhere before I got my driving licence, my imagination was fit and healthy.  I was writing at full steam ahead, then when that changed it sloooowed.

I'm hoping now that I've joined a gym things will pick up again to the pace they used to be - not to mention ridding myself of those extra few pounds...

So if your creativity is struggling to thrive at the moment, why don't you consider turning your attention to a little exercise?  It really does work wonders :)        

Saturday 9 February 2013

Pic of the Week . . . Chinese New Year

This weekend celebrates the Chinese New Year and this year welcomes the Year of the Snake.  Therefore for this week's Pic of the Week, I've gone for a snake theme.  I was looking for a chinese artist but this piece struck my eye.  Unfortuntely it was from a Free Wallpaper site and it didn't quote the actual artist, so, if you happen across this post and you're the artist of this wonderful piece, then please state and drop me the address of your website and I will credit you.  Have to give credit where credit's due...

So, for those celebrating the Chinese New Year, I hope you all have a wonderful time.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Biting The Bullet And Finishing That Novel...

Firstly, I'd like to congratulate one of my writer friends on finishing the first draft of their second novel.  It's such a great feeling when you actually come to the last page and get to finally type the words 'The End'.  You know you still have a huge journey ahead of you in the form of editing, but just finishing that first draft and having a full manuscript in front of you spreads a warm feeling inside caused by a mixture of emotions including pride and love.

You done it!  You finished it!  You've beaten all odds!

Not every aspiring writer reaches the end of their first novel.  A common problem that I've seen in many writers over the years is just getting past the first few chapters.  For those who know me, I've written a fair few novels in my time.  I'm a sucker for finishing what I started.  Editing is a different matter for me though and it's only been in recent years that I've started taking this just as seriously as writing. 

However, one topic of discussion we once had was 'how do you actually reach the end?' 

A lot of writers suddenly become obsessed with their opening chapter and the few chapters following, constantly going back editing things, changing things and tweaking things.  They just can't get out of this habit and thus they never break forth into the rest of the story.  My response to this was to just bite the bullet, forget about those first chapters and write.  Just write!  You know there may be things that need changing but do that later.  Write and then write some more.  Don't worry too much about spelling, grammar, or those little plot holes.  Write - and before you know it you've finished your book.  Yeah, it's only a first draft but it's finished; you've written those two words; and most importantly, you've beaten yourself and your habit.  You've climbed out of that rutt!  It's such an achievement that you never thought you'd reach before.  THEN you can go back an edit and change things.

My friend was in this position when I first met her.  She spent god knows how long stuck on the first few chapters of her first novel, and after having this conversation, she took what was said on board, went home and wrote.  Now, low and behold, she's just finished her second novel.  She's moved on so far since those days of struggling, and so deserves a HUGE congratulations and a 'good luck' for the rest of the editing ahead.

'Sins of the Father' is the second instalment of Susan Maylor's 'Nathan Turner series'.  The first thriller, Justice Served Cold, is available on amazon for Kindle and will also soon be available in print.


Saturday 2 February 2013

Pic of the Week . . . Mark Molnar

Bonjour all

Allow me to introduce you to Mark Molnar.  (Check out his blog here)

He's an extremely talented digital concept artist/illustrator working in the entertainment industry and developing projects for international game, film and animation companies.

Apart from his magnificent pieces - which I'm fortunate enough to see everytime he blogs - the one thing that draws me to him is the fact that he uses programs like Photoshop on levels that I can only dream of.  I may be talented with a pencil and be able to throw together a book cover quite confidently, but there's still so much more to know when it comes to programs like these, and one day I'd love to learn.

For today (again, a day late.  Sorry) I couldn't make up my mind which of his pieces to use, so I've gone for two.  AND, if you get a spare few, check out his video below on 'speedpainting' and watch him create a masterpiece.  His confidence astounds me :)

So anyway, enjoy and have a good weekend - what's left of it :)

Floating Mountains

Whale Watching