Category Archives: Writing

General writing stuff

Songs That Grabbed Me – Disturbed, The Sound of Silence

Back when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s, you never admitted to liking your parents music. In fact you usually forced yourself to not like it, despite how good it was. We were probably too immature to recognise the quality. We were strictly pop chart top 20.

Simon & Garfunkel were one of those artists that in my group were considered ultra daggy. As we grew we learned to recognise great music. Then soon we were game enough to admit it. We could say we like the Sound of Silence and not fear being ridiculed.

A few years ago (Yeah, I’m late to the party!) I happened to hear a song blaring out of my son’s bedroom. It was an angry version of The Sound of Silence I’d never heard before playing on the radio. I’d come along midway through to witness the rising of the vocals and I had to stop whatever the hell I was doing and look this up. By Disturbed, Son said. Who are they? A metal band. This is a metal band? Geez this guy, David Draiman, can freakin’ sing! His voice had feeling. It gave the song a whole new dimension. Several of them, in fact.

I immediately looked it up on Youtube and played it from the start. Man, that song glued me to the screen. I bought it from Google Play and I don’t easily buy music. This song literally did grab me.

Then I came across a reaction video. I was so happy to see other people reacting to it in the same way I did. In fact I’ve watched so many reaction videos to this song and of the live version they performed on Conan. It’s even really satisfying to see reactions from vocal coaches who are equally impressed with it. I love hearing that Paul Simon endorsed this version. It’s just a freaking amazing version of an already fantastic song.

Official Music Video:

Live on Conan:

And also search for the reaction videos. You will enjoy the inclusion you feel as you realise many other people react in a similar way.

Guest Post: Writing and Self-Publishing a Fiction Novel

Today I am featuring a guest post by Ben Russel. Ben has offered to write an all-important piece for the beginning novelist describing the essentials of writing a novel. Ben is an avid reader and writer. He’s now more into essay writing teaching high school and college students how to write different types of essays. One of his recent articles is on how to write a picture analysis essay. Okay, take it away, Ben. Continue reading

Anagrams in Novels – Clever or Cringeworthy?

I’m really bad with picking up anagrams.

I recently realised that the name of a famous ebook reading device is an anagram of “book”. (That’s the Kobo, in case you’re worse at it than me.)

And it was only this year, 11 years after the last instalment of The Matrix Trilogy was released, when I realised that for three movies of NEO trying to work out if he is the ONE… you see? And that was only after someone pointed it out to me. Continue reading

Meet My Character

G’day! This week Goran Zidar was kind enough to give me this opportunity to introduce you all to one of my favourite characters. Thank you Goran. Before I launch into my character’s bio, here’s a little more info about Goran and his work. Continue reading

Guest Post: Nikolas Baron – Research with a Shovel, Not a Spoon

Today I welcome guest blogger, Nikolas Baron to the Ramblings. Nikolas works for the marketing department of Grammarly, an online grammar checker. Nikolas loves the written word as much as the rest of us and has kindly contributed this piece on the appropriate tools and level of aggression required for research when writing. Take it away, Nikolas! Continue reading

Songs That Grabbed Me – 5 Seconds of Summer, She Looks So Perfect

Typically in this series I’ve talked about songs that have stuck with me over the years for various reasons. Today will be a little different. It’s a very recent song and it’s by my daughter’s favourite band. Yes, it’s a teeny bopper song. There. I said it. 44 year old dude likes a teeny bopper song. Continue reading

Book Review: Blood in the Paint by Jordanna East

Lyla Kyle is an artist. Her favourite subjects are married men who cheat on their wives. She paints them. She paints and sculpts many things but she is particularly fond of and protective of her works featuring those philandering men. She paints them using shades of red mixed with their blood. Blood she drew from their dying bodies.

Jillian Atford is a psychologist with a past she’d rather put behind her, to say the least. Soon realising one of her clients is connected to her regrettable past, she finds herself spiralling uncontrollably toward a major crisis.

Officer Jason Brighthouse, a Philadelphia patrol cop, wants to prove he has his late father’s detective intuition and while checking out a reported dead body in a car park, feels something very inconsistent with an accidental death and decides he must test the strength of his inherited skills.

Jordanna East allows the reader deep into the minds of each of these characters, to understand the psychology behind their motivations, allowing an empathy to develop for each of them. It was difficult to pick a side, leaving me to root for all three, despite their indiscretions.

This novel is riddled with scenes that left me thinking “How on earth will he/she get out this situation?” East does a superb job in creating realism in a world where many OMG moments occur, leaving the reader wondering what could possibly come next. And what does come next is exciting, believable and edge-of-your-seat thrills.

Finishing up with some scenes of heart wrenching sadness, triumph and satisfaction and a neat twist leaving many question marks, Blood In The Paint presents a compelling invitation to read its sequel, Blood In The Paper. 5 Stars.

Here’s the Review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Review: Blood in the Past by Jordanna East

The following is the review I wrote for the book Blood in the Past by Jordanna East (Amazon link).

BloodInThePast-cover“Blood in the Past by Jordanna East is the prelude to a psychological thriller series, centred around three serial killers. This book introduces the three killers and touches on what makes them tick.

Jillian is a university student with a psychology major and falls for a cop who investigates the mugging of she and her flatmate. They embark on a steamy affair until…

Lyla finds her mother dead and believes she killed herself. She blames her father…

Jason’s father died trying to rescue a colleague trapped in a house fire…

Certainly well written and edited, this book draws the reader in with its dark themes and internal conflict gnawing at each of the killers’ minds as they battle their own reasons and desires for settling scores and satisfying perceived needs.

I felt the situations the three people find themselves in, and the conclusions they arrive at a little convenient. Two people might have been believable but three serial killers born of the events presented, probably approached, if not exceeded the bounds of credibility.  But that’s what you’d expect in the genre so I’m being picky. Nevertheless, and despite the book not quite giving equal exposure to all three killers, each did have their own reasons for beginning a killing spree. Lyla was arguably the most developed character and the one I found myself the most interested in. The story does make the reader wonder how they each continue on that path. I am interested to know what drives them to continue rather than stop at the first. A gripping prequel to the greater series.”