Superhero for hire

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ImageSome days I wish I can hire someone to do all those little irritating jobs around the house. You know what I’m talking about – changing a light bulb, painting a wall or even walk around the house inspiring me.

What if I can hire a superhero for a day? But who will I hire?  The possibilities are endless.

This is the list I will keep next to my phone:

  1.  Thor – hammer-wielding Norse god.  He has it all.  Blonde good looks, tall, killer smile and biceps to make you faint.  Not a lot will get done.  I’ll be too busy getting a lifetime of inspiration from him.
  2. Superman – not any Superman. I want the Smallville hero.  For me Superman will never be the same after Smallville.  Who doesn’t want the tall, dark haired hero with the most gorgeous smile and broad shoulders?
  3. Iron man – surprised? Me too.  He doesn’t have the bulging muscles and he’s not that tall.  BUT he has a huge personality and a ton of attitude.  It makes him totally irresistible.   It also makes for a very entertaining day.
  4. Green lantern – good looking and funny. And he has alien powers.  Do I have to say anything more?
  5. Green arrow – millionaire playboy and a deadly archer. My imagination is running wild.

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 Who will not be on my list:

  1.  Batman – the gravelly voice and pensive moods are not what I’m looking for.  And a batcave?  Dark, damp and full of flying rodents – NEVER!
  2. Spiderman – he is the typical geek turned into hero. I prefer the alpha male, not a boy struggling against the world.
  3. Hulk – I’ll be too scared saying the wrong thing and he’ll turn green and…lots of cleaning and rebuilding to do after he leaves. How will I explain it to the neighbours?
  4. Wolverine – I was a bit torn in two. I don’t like the volatile animal instinct with metal claws that can rip you to shreds.  Then there is Hugh Jackman.  Do I have to repeat myself?  Maybe I will put him on a ‘maybe’ list.
  5. Teenage mutant ninja turtles – maybe for entertainment at a birthday party or if I have a ton of leftover pizza, otherwise they can stay in the sewers.

 

Who is your ultimate superhero for the day?

(Enough senseless fun for one day.)

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Would you pay to see One Direction?

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My teenage daughter tells me about an upcoming One Direction concert. Her friends are waiting with typical teenage angst to buy tickets. They are prepared to pay small fortunes to be in the golden circle, which is apparently as close to the stage as you can get. I wonder if you get a complimentary gold bar for the price you have to pay.

It makes me think – will I be willing to pay so much to see any rock/pop star?

I have nothing against One Direction. I’ve never listened to their music, so I can’t make any judgments. But the thought of screaming writhing hordes of people scares me to death. Especially hordes of teenagers.

After hours of thinking – yes, I have nothing better to do – I have an answer. I will pay to see Bon Jovi. I’ll even pay extra to sit on the stage. I’ll have the best seat to gawk, scream and drool. Best yet, nobody will think I’m a middle aged creepy woman…Jon Bon Jovi is older than me.

I’ll also pay to see Jason Mamoa. Lots and lots of money. But that is a fantasy for another time.

Who will you pay to see?

Creating an alien

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Are you thinking of using an alien in your next novel? Writing science fiction and fantasy can be very rewarding.  You’re not bound by rules – your imagination is the only limit.  As with any character, it is important to take time and develop the alien race you’re creating.

  1.  Physical appearance – How does the alien look?  Remember you’re not bound by any rules.  He can be as weird looking as you want him to be.  Don’t be lazy and make your alien look like a dog.  Except if it is crucial to the story.  He’s an alien – make him look like an alien!  If you can, make a sketch before you delve into a detailed description.
  2. Personality – will an alien behave the same as a human being?  You have to decide on the basics – is he good or evil.  Are they able to love or hate?  Giving an alien human attributes will make the reader able to identify with the alien as a character.  Give the alien quirks, goals and the desire/reason for acting the way he does.Image
  3. History – aliens must originate from somewhere.  Yes, you have to build their world, even if your story is taking place on earth.  It is maybe the most important aspect to creating an alien.  The atmosphere, gravity, how the planet looks has a ripple effect on the physical appearance as well as personality.  A planet covered with oceans will most likely have creatures that have fish-like attributes.  All living beings evolve to adapt to their environment.  Delve into the history of the planet.  Were there wars or any cataclysmic events that shaped their future?
  4. Be realistic – I know I said your imagination is the only limit, but you also have to be realistic.  If an alien has no physical form or is a huge slimy blob, how on earth did he build a spaceship?

Here is a list of questions to ask when creating an alien:

–          How does he breathe?

–          What does he eat?

–          How does he move?

–          Can he speak and what language does he use?  If he speaks English in your novel – how is it possible?

–          Why is he on earth? (or where your story is taking place)

–          What is his goal?  Has he invaded earth for its resources?

–          What is his culture?  Delve into questions about beliefs, customs and religion.  It will indicate how he will act.

–          Does he have any special abilities?  Does he have super powers or telepathic abilities?

–          Is he from a technologically advanced species or not?

–          How does he travel? Spaceship, stargate etc.

–          How human is he?  Does he have feelings?  Is it necessary for him to have human traits?

Please add what else you can think that’s important!Image

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How to survive a zombie apocalypse

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How to survive a zombie apocalypse A mad scientist or the government – no wait, don’t all mad scientists usually work for the government- created a virus that mutated into a super infection turning the human population into brain craving zombies.

Nothing much you can do about it, except if you are a highly intelligent scientist yourself and are able by some miracle to reverse or cure the disease.

You’re only option is survival. To persevere and endure until someone else, a little smarter than you, find a cure.

Here are a few tips on how to survive:

  1.  Forget about your family.  That is harsh, I know, but let’s face it – your uncle with the beer belly and your ancient grandmother won’t be any help during a zombie apocalypse.  Now its survival of the fittest.
  2. Now I mentioned the word ‘fittest’ – how fit are you?  Will you be able to outrun a mob of zombies?Some zombies are really slow. They stagger, slump and moan towards you.  In fact they are so slow that you can have a whole conversation with a member of your group and drink a cup of coffee before the need arise to stab them in the head.Then there are the Olympic athlete zombies – we saw them in World War Z – that can run faster than the average human and scale walls like Spiderman. They are the ones to watch out for.So get off your couch and start exercising!
  3.  Forget the treadmill and yoga classes!  They will not help you stave off the hungry mob of the walking dead.  You need to join a martial arts class – karate, Tai kwon do – anything that teaches you how to chop, kick, throw a hunting knife and wield a sword.Image
  4. Can you make a fire or hunt?  Join a survival class and practice your skills every day in your garden.  You will be surprised what you can catch in your own yard.   If you are not up for the whole roughing it in the wild experience, then stay in the city.  Find a building you can hide in and stock up on canned food and chocolate pudding.
  5. Think twice before joining a group.  The humans that had managed to survive thus far are usually a bit unstable.  That includes you.  Being crazy is a good thing!  You don’t want to join the nice normal people – THEY DIE FIRST!  Find the deranged individuals with lots of personal issues and maybe a tattoo or two and become their best friend.
  6. If all else fails – befriend a zombie.  You heard right!  Bat your eyes and show your dimples and maybe, MAYBE, his heart will start beating again and he won’t eat your brain (I give no guarantees for your boyfriends brain)

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Lastly, on a rather personal note, I want to ask anyone that has the misfortune of experiencing a zombie apocalypse: Please stock up on clean clothes.  Nobody wants to see you day after day wearing the same filthy, blood smeared shirt you wore on the last day you went to work.

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Vampire survival kit

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You moved to a small creepy town in the middle of nowhere.  The sun only shines a couple of days a year.  The coffin selling business in the town is booming. The newspaper is filled with reports of mysterious disappearances and the blood bank of the local hospital is the hotspot for a serious of burglaries.   People are always trying to smell your neck…

The town is infested with vampires.

Your choices are limited.  You can become the next victim to the blood sucking immortals, join them and become a vampire yourself or be prepared and kick some vampire butt.

You will need a vampire survival kit:

  1. Garlic – Vampires have a heightened sense of smell and cannot stand the smell of garlic.  Keep a vial of crushed garlic in your kit and have bulbs of fresh garlic in the house.
  2. Holy water – Very easy to get.  Fill a bottle with ordinary tap water and let your local priest bless it.
  3. A Cross – Religious objects make vampires flee.
  4. A bottle of rice grains.  Vampires have an obsessive compulsive issue.  Throw grains of rice at them and they are obligated to stop and count the grains, giving you enough time to run away or kill them.
  5. Rope with knots – Again they will have to untie the knots first, before sinking their fangs into your neck.
  6. Wooden stakes – You can easily make your own stakes with a piece of wood.  Remember the stake must pierce their heart for them to die.
  7. Silver – Dip the stakes in silver.  If you miss the heart, they will still die.  Silver is poisonous to vampires.
  8. An axe or sword – To chop their heads off.  Warning: some skill required.Image
  9. Matches – Remember to set the vampire on fire after you chopped off his head.  You don’t want him coming back!
  10. A bag of blood from the blood bank – Maybe you can entice them with an appetizer, giving you enough time to run.
  11. A car – Why don’t you just get into the car and leave the small creepy town full of vampires?

I give no guarantees that any of the above will help you when attacked by a vampire and cannot be held liable for any blood loss.

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Music is inspiring

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I’ve tweeted about this before – I need dark depressing music to write. The fact is music is a necessity for me to write.  My family is used to seeing me typing away with my shocking pink headphones on my head.

It doesn’t sound strange at all, except for the fact that even when my character is gleefully prancing through the forest with a bunch of lovable bunny rabbits, I’m listening to the “Unforgiven” from Metallica.

Music inspires me. It delves deep into my soul and brings forth a myriad of emotions which I diligently plough back into my writing.  It sparks my imagination and creates new stories in my head.  Let’s face it – inspiration and creativity are very important to any writer. Some writers even describe it as essential to good fiction writing.

Do all writers need to listen to music that could drive a normal person to suicide? No.  You should find the music that inspires you.  I’ve found a few practical tips while researching the inspirational value of music:

–          Avoid music that you can sing along to. Apparently it will distract you from writing.  You will be too busy having your own karaoke party and spend less time honing your craft.  Do I agree? No, no, no!  I need to listen to the words of a song.  I need to feel it, experience the emotions.  What is the purpose of a song if I can’t sing along?  I don’t spend the whole day singing, I usually wait until the family is not at home before letting it loose.  My singing is not that good.

–          Choose music that fit the genre and the mood.   Now we are getting back to the bunny rabbits and prancing through the forest.  Upbeat music doesn’t inspire me to write light hearted pieces.  Emotional music inspires me to write with emotion.  It doesn’t matter if my character is sad or happy or in the throes of exhilaration.  Music draws out the emotions in me and I am able to use them in any way necessary for what my character needs at that moment.  Does music that fit the genre mean that I can only listen to zombie music while writing about zombies?  Convulsing to rave music doesn’t give me a deeper insight to the teenage psyche.  I’ve listened to “The way you lie” from Rihanna while writing about alien invasion.  Again, find the music that inspire you.

–          Use music to block out everyone around you. Now I agree.  Writing with a household of noisy kids, their friends, pets, music, phones…You get the point.  I need to block out the noise and to create my own private space where I can be alone with my thoughts.  Hence the pink earphones.  When I put them on I’m in my own world and I can create.

–          Use music to combat writers block and to challenge yourself. I found a wonderful website http://www.writingforward.com/category/better-writing where there is a whole piece dedicated on how to use music to challenge you.  Basically you choose a song and use it to write a short story.  It’s a great idea to use music to practice your skill.

The advice I would give to you – don’t just listen to music. REALLY listen to it.  Take in the words, own it and find the emotion inside yourself.  Let it make you a better writer.  It doesn’t matter if it’s LMFAO or Coldplay, the only important thing is finding the inspiration and using it.