Best Moment Award

Best-Moment-Award

I owe a heartfelt thank you to Sandra over at quirkybooks who nominated me based on my blog post – 50,000 Plus! Thanks Guys. This is the first time I’ve received this award and I am, to put it plainly, chuffed to bits (in American English that means damned happy). So  again, Sandra, thanks!

I also owe a gesture of gratitude to the kind folks over at Moment Matters who started this whole thing in the first place. They’ve even made up an award logo for the recipients to paste on their wall. It is the one at the top of this post and it is very impressive looking.

The words and music that accompany this award are below:

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.

Pretty nice, I think. As with all awards that are bandied about in the WordPress Blogging community there are rules. These are listed below and since this is my first time winning this award, I hope everyone will forgive me if I muck the process up!

Rules:

Winners repost this completely with their acceptance speech. This speech may be written or video taped (vlogged)

Winners have the privilege of awarding the next recipients. The re-post should have a new set of people/blogs that are worthy of this award and then you have to tell the new folks that you’ve chosen.

Resources:

(I’ve included these as they were in Sandra’s post and any help is good help, if you need it)

  • What makes a good acceptance speech?
    • Gratitude. Thank the people who helped you along the way
    • Humor. Keep us entertained and smiling
    • Inspiration. Make your story touch our lives
  • Get an idea from the great acceptance speeches, compiled in MomentMatters.com/Speech
  • Display the award’s badge on your blog/website, downloadable in MomentMatters.com/Award


Acceptance Speech:

I accept this award with gratitude and heartfelt appreciation.

For any person who takes the time to look at my blog, I am truly grateful.

For every person that likes my blog, I am thankful.

When a person leaves a comment on my blog, I am inspired to continue blogging.

For each person who interacts with me, I am elated.

For any person who Follows me, my face lights up with pleasure.

For every blogger who shares their knowledge, wisdom and thoughtfulness, I am blessed to be in your company.

Every moment in life is precious, so make sure you do everything you can to cherish and enjoy it.

*I have used the acceptance speech from Sandra’s post as it is damn near perfect. I would only add that my inspiration comes from within and without and my urge to share comes from your views and “Likes” and comments. This community and all who stop by, rock.*

The winners for the Best Moment Award are:

Serendipity

Films and Things

For Henry

terry1954

And that is that. An incredibly short list I know, I follow a huge amount of blogs. The ones I have chosen have inspired me “outside” my box. In other words they’ve touched a part of me and my thought process a bit more deeply than usual. I feel what they are saying. These are the folks who have affected me one way or another by one or more posts.

I will apologise now if any of you feel left out. I have many wonderful followers and it pains me when I have to choose some over others in these things. But such is life and I’m trying to play by the rules here. (at least I hope I am)

You will also notice that I’ve chosen non-film related blogs for my winners. As much as I love film and can talk/write about it till the cows come home, this award isn’t about film or film related things. It’s about life and living the moment. My winners are doing that.

The last part of this Award process is the instruction to share this with your followers and to tweet your “success” with the hash tagged  #MomentMatters.

Congratulations to all my winners and I want you to know that you’ve all written things that have touched me. Deeply.

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A New Start

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I got up early this Easter Sunday to bring up those little things that you need when you are moving out and in my haste to get away early, I forgot about half of what I meant to bring.

So I’ll have to make another trip to bring the other things that Meg and Max need in their new home. They both moved out on Good Friday and have been sorting their new place out over the long weekend.

This is actually the second time that my daughter Meg has left the nest. The first time was when she left for university and her mother and I were still married. That was quite a long time ago.

She moved in with me after she finished uni and we limped along for a long while. I enjoyed her company and she helped to keep the house sorted and she was my movie and gaming buddy. But while she was living with me her life was stagnating. We lived in the wrong town and just about the time we decided that we needed to change what we were doing, I got injured at work and then almost died.

While we were both dusting ourselves off from that catastrophe she and her fella Max re-kindled their spurious connection. They had met in 2011 and despite the fact that they were both interested in each other, neither of them were in a good place at that time.

After a year-ish, they got together and the “Gods” must have smiled because they were so in tune with each other that they formed an instant couple.

Now they are taking that first tremulous step together and have moved into their first flat. I am happy and excited for them. I helped them to move and they’re now cleaning the disgusting carpet that the previous tenant obviously never apparently hoovered.

Sitting here watching them strenuously steam clean their carpet, reminds me of all the new times that I’ve had a “new” start or just a fresh one. Either with one wife or another or on my own (although the last time I moved into a new place I had the Meg’s help) and now it’s her turn.

I’m sitting here on one of their three chairs (they’ll get the rest of the furniture later) and I can’t help but be filled with enthusiasm for the new life they’re starting and how lucky she and Max are to have found each other.

I’m having a new chapter open up in my life as well, but, that will be another post for another time. Until then, I’ll help my daughter and her fella out as much as I can and interfere as little as possible. Now I’ll raise my coffee in a toast to the new life they’ve started and to their freshly cleaned carpet!

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Skull Full of Kisses by Michael West: A Short Story Stradivarius

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Skull Full of Kisses is a ten story collection of Michael West’s short fiction. I can tell you know, that if you go to read this collection, you will find no two stories alike. Each and every one is different, unique and damned scary.

There is a short story in there for everyone.

Interested in Japanese culture? Fascinated by the Yakuza and Japanese Demons? Well Jiki will be right up your alley or basement, in this case.

West gives us glimpses of the horrific haven of Harmony, Indiana and a look at the Lovecraftian village of Colonial Bay; where you definitely don’t want to ask the question – What’s a nice girl like you, doing in a place like this?

There’s a great little place that’s just out of reach in the desert unless you take Einstein’s Slingshot; a one-way ride into the realm of nightmares and things that like human flesh.

If you ever dreamed of being an astronaut, you’ll want to avoid the story To Know How To See, which feels like a Twilight Zone episode with tinges of The Outer Limits.

While I’d love to set here and give little “teasing” clues about what is in the book and the themes of each story, I won’t.

What I will do is urge you to read these…quickly…while with friends…and in the daylight. If you attempt to read these alone, slowly, or at night, you might just have bad dreams. Or more correctly nightmares.

When Michael West tells a scary storynothing can be considered safe. Not even your loving girlfriend who never wants to let you go (For Her).

At the beginning of this post, I said that all the stories were scary. I will hold my hand up and  admit that this is a lie. I will not divulge the title of this particular tale. I’ll let you stumble upon as I did, by reading this collection. It is, I think, my favourite and no, it is not scary in the traditional sense, but is it very good.

West has a little “afterward” in his collection where he talks about what gave him the idea for each story and when it was originally published. It is a fascinating look into the mind of a horror writer. He warns about not reading this section before you read the stories as there could be spoilers hidden there.

I would listen to him. If you skip to the back, he might find out. And, I don’t know, you could wind up in one of his stories.

Now where I might find that entertaining (there’s nothing worse than one of those people who jump to the back of the book) if you are one of those people, I cannot think of a better punishment. Because as much as I love being scared by West’s scary denizens in his stories, I’d hate to have to deal with them.

Another great addition to the Michael West collection I already own and I will now wait (not so) patiently for his next offering of terror.

A real 5 out of 5 for creative and non-repetitive horror. If this collection was a musical instrument, it would be the Stradivarius of its peers; playing with a deeper and more resonant sound than other stories in the genre.

Read it.

Author Michael West and a fan.
Author Michael West and a fan.

Silent Hill Revelation 3D (2012): by Michael Smith

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I missed the 3D version of this film when it came out at the cinema. Which is a shame, as I think it would have looked even better than the 2D that I had to download via iTunes. Despite the lack of the 3D it was a surprisingly good sequel.

Written and directed by Michael J Bassett (he helmed the superb films Deathwatch and Wilderness) Silent Hill Revelation follows in the footsteps of the first Silent Hill film.

In this film, we get to see Heather and her father Harry as they come to another “new town” and new school for Heather. They’ve been on the run since the first film. Mum Rose is trapped in the netherworld of Silent Hill and we are treated to a flashback where Harry promises Rose that he’ll protect their daughter.

On Heather’s first day of school, everything goes disastrously wrong and she loses her dad, her helper, and her independence as she goes to Silent Hill to save her father.

The film has been blessed with a brilliant cast:

Adelaide Clemens
Kit Harington
Carrie-Anne Moss
Sean Bean
Radha Mitchell
Malcolm McDowell

Unfortunately all the “headliners” as it were are restricted to cameo roles, including Sean Bean who, with Carrie-Anne Moss) spend a bit more time on camera than Radha Mitchell and Malcom McDowell. *On a side note here – It was wonderful to see Ms Moss again, although admittedly I didn’t recognise her at first; starting at the screen and thinking who is that, she looks so familiar…)

Just like the first film, this edition of Silent Hill appears to have mixed several different iterations of the games together to flesh out the story. Although arguably they have really included some of the basic “sets” from each of the first three games. The fairground has been a feature of Silent Hill since the first game.

Where did this come from??
Where did this come from??

Although a tiny dream segment is spent on the “spitting” monsters (so tiny in fact it amounts to about a nano second) from the verse, more time is spent on the nurses and good old Pyramid Head (who appears to be twins in this film) with his giant killing tools and who some what amazingly appears as a Saviour at a couple of points in the film?!

Still, random character twists aside, the place looks like Silent Hill and sounds like Silent Hill. The melancholy music is present throughout (and I will unabashedly state that I love that piano riff) and the villains look like they could have stepped out of the video game. So overall, I did enjoy the film.

But.

I did have some problems with it.

Was it just me or did Adelaide Clemens look an awful lot like Arielle Kebbel? Although in one of the flashback scenes where she had brown hair, she looked more like a younger Maggie Gyllenhaal; and Kit Harington looked like David Boreanaz Junior with long hair. The fact that these two actors made me think of other people disturbed me a bit. Although nothing Clemens did convinced me that she could ever scream as good as Kebbel.

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I also don’t understand the use of Malcom McDowell. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the man. I just don’t see the reasoning behind using him in this film. Are they alluding to his recent Horror Film link in Halloween? Is this a nudge and a wink to his appearance in other horror films? I don’t know and it’s puzzling.

I was also disappointed to see that Radha Mitchell’s Rose had no more than a few seconds screen time. Not just because I adore this woman, but because I was hoping that she was going to explain how “Heather” got out of the predicament that both of them were in at the end of the previous film. Apart from the medallion device that is mentioned by Harry,Vincent and ever so briefly by Grandpa Leonard it is never satisfactorily explained. So points off for that little omission.

I do know that there will be a core of Silent Hill game fans who will detest the film just as much as they detested the first film. To them I say, plug your Silent Hill 2 in the old Playstation and enjoy that experience and stop waiting for films that are going to recreate the magic and the uniqueness that is the “old” Silent Hill verse.

Okay?

But apart from the very few things that put me off (not many really) I’d say that this gets a 4 out of 5 scary Silent Hill bunnies. Just because I’m a Silent Hill fan (of the game verse) and the fact that I love the use of the music; I’ll not take off too much for the lack of Radha Mitchell.

Scary Silent Hill Bunny!
Scary Silent Hill Bunny!

1989 Television commercial for Tonka Turbo Tricksters.

Just thought I’d pop this old telly advert of mine up from 1989. When it aired in the states they had another actor “dub” me as they changed some of the information. I’d filmed my bit in Holland so they couldn’t get hold of me. This is the “un-dubbed” version; Just for fun!

Come on folks! Lets all help to make this happen. I’ve got a “vested” interest in it and I’ve already donated some bucks toward this venture!!

Films and Things

obtsnewAfter everything I learned over the past few months at uni about producing short films, I decided to put it to practice and start an independent project myself.

The script can be read here: Screenplay

It’s a good job I thrive when I’m bogged down with work or I might otherwise have collapsed and given up by now! However, it’s not anywhere near as hard or as scary as I thought it would be!

My first step was funding, I’ve sought several ways to fund from offering to do my housemates washing up for a donation to online crowd funding and applying for a grant from a trust fund at my secondary school that’s designed to help students past and present. I actually designed their letter heads back when I did graphic design at GCSE!

Funding is looking promising so far, it’s early days and while we only have a…

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