Writers’ Corner update 25/03/2017

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 25/03/2017!

My apologies again. I have been totally absorbed in my edit of Raising A Vampire, Book 2 of the SuckerS Trilogy. I get so emotionally involved that all else tends to fade to the background 🙂 . But I haven’t forgotten you, my loyal readers, so here’s what I have accumulated for you this week.

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In Writers’ Corner I have two articles. One tells you that Everything You Think You Know About Feelings Is Wrong. Interesting. The other article is about the Five Common Traits of Good Writers. I’m not sure I have all five traits, but definitely suffer from (5)!

I have more articles in Focus on Filming now that I found I can actually specifically look for it. There’s a Complete Guide to Choosing Music for Your Video Work From a Film Scorer’s Perspective, Three Variations on Lighting a Single Shot Commercial by Art Adams, one on Drone Film Festivals, one that teaches you More About the Meaning of Camera Movement With Film Riot (one that I need to work on with my film club), and, last but not lest, How I Got My Feature Film On Amazon Prime and How Much I have Made (not very encouraging though).

Favourite this week was in Health Herald and is the article on How Bioengineered Bacteria Could Give Robots a Living Brain. Great if you’re writing Sci-Fi! There’s a personally interesting article that let’s us know that Using the pill can protect women from certain cancers ‘for up to 30 years.’ It actually also tells us that women have no greater chance on getting other cancers due to taking the pill, something that I always thought was true. There is also an article that says a New Alzheimer’s test can predict age with disease will appear. Not sure if I’d want to know though. Neuroscientists keep finding out new stuff. This time they Accidentally Discovered a Whole New Role for the Cerebellum. You can test your colour vision in Four Games That Test Your Color Vision and there is a New drug to prevent heart attacks.

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Apart from the article on Living Brains for Robots, there is another favourite in Sci-Non-Fi, which tells us that Astronomers May Have Heard 234 Signals From Aliens! Spooky…

Sorry, no new articles in Pretty Pictures. Did you practise photographing waterfalls yet?

If you’re interested, you can join my launch team for Raising A Vampire, Book 2 of the SuckerS Trilogy. You’ll get the book before the launch date, which is going to be soon! I do hope that, if you like the book, I can count on a lovely review on Amazon 🙂 .

 

Writers’ Corner update 17/03/17

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 17/03/2017!

Due to health reasons I took some ‘days off’ this past week and hence am running a bit late. My apologies if you have been waiting for new articles.

In Writers’ Corner I have an article about Character Development. I put it in the magazine 8 days ago, so not sure if you’ve already read it. There’s an article for sci-fi fans which explains how we can now store data in DNA, which blew my mind away. Another article is from the psychology department and explains Why We Feel The Need to Conform – Safety in Numbers. I couldn’t resist putting in an article explaining Dexter’s Darkness. He is my favourite serial killer 🙂 . Get all eight seasons here.

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I’m afraid there’s nothing new in Focus on Filming. Filming is not a subject that a lot is written about, other than movie reviews and which actor has done/is doing/is going to do what, which is not really about filming itself. Such a shame.

Health Herald has quite a few new articles. One is about an Ancient technique that can dramatically improve memory, but I can’t remember what technique that was (LOL!). A study found that Violent video games DO NOT cause antisocial or aggressive behaviour. Thank heavens for that as my son doesn’t do much else. There’s articles on Why men die earlier than woman, 6 warning signs your body give you before a heart attack, the first physiological test for schizophrenia and depression, and according to another the use of Ibuprofen appears to be linked to increased risk of cardiac arrest (which, btw, is not the same as a heart attack. Just in case you wanted to use the other article for it). And there’s another reason to drink more red wine as a Study Finds Red Wine Compound Slows Aging in Muscles and Neurons. I knew it!

The only article in Sci-Non-Fi is the one on DNA storage. It’s pretty impressive though. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

In contrast of the amount of articles on filming, there is an abundance of articles on photography. For Pretty Pictures, I try to pick out the ones that are do-able by people like you and me, not the ones describing how to use a multi-thousand dollar lens. So, to start off with, there is an article on 9 Common Photography Mistakes – And How to Fix Them. One article talks about Sensor Noise. There are 10 Tips and Tricks for Making Difficult Selections in Photoshop (for if you want to change the background for something else for example). I was very pleased with Adobe’s ‘Make It Now’ Series that Teaches You Photoshop Tricks in Just One Minute. Awesome! Most favourite of all this week was the Landscape Photography Composition Rules You Need to Start Using Today. A fun one I added is on how to Make simple and cheap DIY smoke for photos and videos. It’s very small scale though, but fun. And last I added Tips for Photographing Waterfalls by the Washington Trails Association. Now I wished I had a Neutral Density filter when I was photographing waterfalls in Karijini, Western Australia.

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Made it to the top!

On Sunday, 12th of March 2017, I was filming with the Aberdeenshire Film Productions crew again, going up Bennachie. Never will I write a story about going up a mountain again. I thought I’d die this time! It’s like every time we go up it gets harder and harder 🙂 .

But the weather conditions were, as usual, good. Too good actually, as we were supposed to film a lightning strike. We had planned to go up on the Saturday, which had perfect cloudy weather conditions, but the actor ‘forgot’ to show up (strange creatures, these actors!). Bad management on my behalf as producer, you could say. I should have sent a reminder. Fortunately Mother Nature didn’t leave us completely stranded and produced some grey-ish looking clouds at about 2pm, so our editor will have to use those to add in the lighting strike.

We got some funny faces from other climbers when we put out the ashes that our actor is supposed to turn into. We had to mention very loudly that we were very happy that our friend was willing to supply the content of his wood fire to us for this purpose 🙂 . And of course the moment you start rolling the camera, the wind dies down. We had to wait several minutes for a slight gust of wind to give us some ‘action.’

All the climbing footage has been shot now. We only have the first scene to do, which will happen next weekend. It will be filmed in my home, so no climbing involved!

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Writers’ Corner update 09/03/2017

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 09/03/2017!

And have I got some nice articles for you this week! In Writers Corner there is one about consensual non-monogamy (CNM), or Maybe Monogamy Isn’t the Only Way to Love. It poses an interesting idea that may be material for contemporary romance (definitely for my book 2 of the Suckers Trilogy that I’m currently rewriting!). There is also an article of Word vs. Scrivener. I use both and have only recently found out the ‘speak’ button in Word. I find both programs invaluable for my writing. There’s also an article about How Your Birth Order Can Predict the Person You’ll Become. So having a bit of backstory to your characters may help define them. There are more articles, have a browse. Scrivener-vs-Word-jaBlog-600x300.jpg

The biggest hit by far this past week has been the 30+ Free E-Books That Will Help You Master Filmmaking in Focus on Filming. I haven’t had the time to download the books yet as I know I haven’t got time to read them myself. One day though…

If you wake up during the night to pee, there’s an article in Health Herald that the FDA just approved a Drug to Limit Frequent Waking to Urinate. I hate it when I have to get up for this in the middle of the night and I have found that you can train your body. Just resist the urge for as long as you can for three nights. If that doesn’t work, maybe this drug is for you 🙂 . There’s also good news for severe asthma sufferers and certain terminal cancer patients.

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I got visions of Total Recall when I read that NASA wants to put a giant shield around Mars so we can live there. There really seems to be no limit as to what we can do and where we can go these days. You can find the article in Sci-Non-Fi. There’s also an article on 10 Smart Accessories for Your Car. They’re not as spectacular as I had hoped, but then again, I don’t own eight of them. Yet. And check out the article on BioLite’s new CampStove 2.

Pretty Pictures has lots of articles on how to improve your photography. I like the ones on Lightning, Creating Fours Seasons In One Photo, and Learn How to Use Tone Curves (okay, the last two are more a Photoshop articles). There’s also Going to Be a Spectacular Starry Light Show in the Skies This Month, so keep your battery pack charged!

Movie Review: Logan

– Spoiler Alert!!! –

Score: 9/10

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20th Century Fox promised to bring you a more character based movie with ‘Logan’ and boy did they deliver!

The movie starts showing you an old, scarred, limping, grey Logan and immediately you are thinking wtf? Logan (played by Hugh Jackman) is supposedly the ultimate everlasting, self-healing superhero. That was his power. Nothing could kill him. So why do we see this image of a deteriorating, old man? Only towards the end of the movie is it made clear why.

Logan is taking care of Professor Charles Xavier (played by Patrick Stewart), together with Caliban, also known as The Albino/The Seeker (played by Stephen Merchant). Recognising Merchant in the role immediately brought back the line “Good luck finding your cars” (those of you who have watched ‘The Tooth Fairy’ know what I’m talking about) as well as his shaking butt in the epic lip sync battle with Jimmy Fallon and Joseph Gordon Levitt.

Xavier is an even older man, suffering for a neurodegenerative disease which causes him to loose control of his telepathic powers if he doesn’t take his medication. And this is where the humanity of the movie lays. Logan has to take care of Xavier in all ways imaginable. Where ‘normal’ superhero movies never mention that one of them has to pee (I always wonder how they do this in their full-body suits), in ‘Logan’ it is even shown how Logan puts the wheelchair bound Xavier on a public toilet. It depicts the shame of it all for Xavier and the reluctance of Logan to have to do it. Yet he still does it. A true hero.

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Logan is saddled up with Laura (played by Dafne Keen). Keen is a young actress who was obviously chosen for her agility and she shows it off beautifully. Logan has to take care of Laura, even though he only just met her, when her carer gets killed. Again, the movie shows the reality of being saddled with a burden like that and the lack of experience for Logan to deal with it (although I think they could have improved on this bit). Laura is being chased by cyborg Donald Pierce (played by Boyd Holbrook) and his robotically enhanced goons, which gives the movie the action it needed.

Of course there are the wtf-moments during the movie, but I’m willing to oversee them. This movie was so different from the standard superhero movie that it’s sort of a class on its own and I don’t want to degrade it with standard comments. It has a few GoT elements in it, but I’m not going to spoil those for you.

The flow was good and the music well chosen. CG was great, I didn’t even notice it!

It wouldn’t be an American movie if it didn’t have a ‘good’ ending, which it sort of has, although not all of you may agree (I for one don’t). There are still questions lingering of what happened in between the other X-men movies and ‘Logan.’ I hope that Hugh Jackman will agree to one more movie to explain it.

Writers’ Corner update 01/03/2017

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 01/03/2017!

Flipboard finally seems to be working as per normal, yay! In Writer’s Corner, there are lots of articles for you to ponder over that you could use for your writing. You could polish up on your Books for Understanding Global Politics, find out about what happens during CPR, get your sci-fi story going with the article on the TRAPPIST-1 System or the one about When The Lights Went Out In The Universe. I couldn’t help myself and added an article on Justin Trudeau’s Butt. Something for the romantics amongst us 🙂 .

In Focus on Filming I have an article on what it means to have ‘Green Light’ for screenwriters, an article about The Dark Knight’s Pencil Scene, and a good one on how fighting scenes of Jackie Chan are filmed.

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In Health Herald there is a very interesting article that tells us about a Giant Neuron Wrapped Around the Brain that may hold the key to consciousness. Another article tells us that Under-25s Turn To Mindful Drinking (at last!), and yet another how Good Gut Bacteria Could Transform Your Health. And while you’re reading this, why not do 5 Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function?

Sci-Non-Fi has 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017 for you. Apart from the TRAPPIST-1 System article earlier mentioned and a video example of Future Medical Learning (I just love this one, you’ve got to see it. So cool!).

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I’ve been pretty busy in Pretty Pictures this week. Photography has always been a hobby of mine and I couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist adding a few articles beside my pretty pictures. There’s one about Why Black and White Photos are More Elegant at Times and one about Why The Camera Matters, But Not in The Way You’re Thinking. Hmmm, what way could it be then? Go check it out!