#FREE #COMPETITION #WIN #BIG #PRIZES

It’s competition time! Watch the video below to see how you can enter ‘Tone Def Tony’s Big Prize Giveaway’:

Enter now for your chance to win loads of exclusive and collectable prizes, including original oil paintings, limited edition signed books, merchandise, and much, much more.

SAGE: A Better Acronym For The ‘Scariant’-Age

With all the talk in the media now about changes to our ‘promised’ freedom in June, as we are once more being ravaged by a new ‘Scariant’ – I mean, VARIANT – to which actual scientific experts (the mostly silenced ones!) all agree is no more worrisome than the original strain, and just like FLU (another coronavirus!) will continue to change and adapt and have many, many more ‘Scariants’, I ask the question, “Just WHO are these people behind SAGE…?”

WHO Is Behind SAGE…?

To be totally honest, prior to this ‘panic-demic’, even though I had heard of Wuhan, China, as I have traveled through it, I’d never heard of SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies). I also never knew that an UN-ELECTED panel of people could wield so much power over a (so-called) democratic society, and based on their ‘expertise’ create so much chaos, fear, and damage. When I did hear about it, since I come from a marketing background, my first thought was that it was a very clever acronym, as it implies wisdom without there necessarily being any – it is merely assumed from the title! A very clever marketing and PR trick, if you will. I’ve therefore come up with my own interpretation of what SAGE means from my meager vantage point:

SAGE

Please feel free to use the above jpeg, if you agree with my sentiments, and share it around. I’m rather proud that I managed to create it with my very limited knowledge of computer technology!

Who Picked These Experts?

I’m a very simple man, and a bit dim at that, but I do ask a lot of questions, and the past 15 months or so have sent questions swirling around my head like never before. Firstly, I was amazed that the world reacted as it did, based on the information that has been shared with the public. What information did they get that we still haven’t gotten that made them panic so much, and send terror into the hearts and households of the country I love? They’ve never done it before. We had MERS, and SARS, and WWII bombings… what on Earth was different now? But all of those questions took second place to who this panel of experts were that were calling the shots and causing all this panic, mayhem and disorder?

As said, they are not elected like our politicians (not that that makes much difference!) so, who picks them? Obviously they SHOULD BE experts in their fields SPECIFIC to the emergency at hand, right? Not in this case, it would appear. Why were so many ACTUAL experts overlooked? Or were they just silenced for fear of losing their funding from Big Pharma, or bad press at their universities? Surely the person that picked them must by default be a BETTER EXPERT for being able to pick them, yes?

Survival Of The Fittest!

This wasn’t meant to be an essay, and I hate long, drawn out posts, all I wanted to do was share my new acronym. Personally, I think the damage is done, and worse it yet to come through the fall-out of cancer patients waiting for treatment, those suffering from isolation and lack of contact with loved-ones, and let’s not forget the tsunamic, Titantic-iceberg-like economic crash that is heading our way very, very soon. People die all the time, and only a tiny percentage of ‘extra’ mortalities have happened during this panic, so people, let’s get real: there are MUCH bigger issues to deal with, and we HAVE TO take back control of our lives and get on with living again…!

Etsy Shop Now Open For Business

Now that Bungling Boris Johnson’s ridiculous Covid-19 Lockdown measures seem to be relaxing, it’s time for business to reopen, and in true keeping with my complete lack of technological understanding, I’ve finally wrapped my head around this whole Etsy-shop-thingy, and my art shop is now ready, live, and finally open for business:

BUYARTBYANT ART SHOP

back-to-business-open-sign-close-up-blue-window-shop-displaying-message-182277684

I’d love to know what you think of it so far – and yes, feel free to comment, “Rubbish!” I only have two pieces of art up for sale as of writing, but will be adding new, original oil paintings for sale over the next few days. As always, I appreciate your support, so please keep liking, sharing, etc.

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Michael and the Magic Hiccup(4)

A wonderful, new, illustrated children’s fairytale, by author Anthony James Donnelly available now via Amazon, or by clicking the book cover opposite. Fully illustrated with over 20 black and white pictures to accompany the story, drawn by the author, and offering the opportunity to personalise the book as a colouring books memento for years to come!

#FREE Books For My Birthday Weekend!

That’s right, those of you that know me well, know I tend to give away my books for my birthday each year as my presents to you. So, since I have my latest children’s book out there this month, “Michael and the Magic Hiccup” I’ve decided to give you the chance to download, read, and share the Kindle version of it for free from March 25 until 29 over my birthday weekend.

Click on the book cover below to take you to the Amazon page to download your free copy, and please share the word. All I ask in return, is give it a star rating and a short review when you get the chance:

Michael and the Magic Hiccup(4)

Naturally, if you like the Kindle version and want a hard copy, it’s also available in paperback on the same page. If you like the illustrations and want to colour them in, click on this link to download a pdf of all 22 black and white pictures in the book.

New Children’s Book Coming Soon!

It’s been a bit peaceful over here on my blog, as I’ve been distracted promoting my charity Christmas song on my band website, but my writing and artwork projects have still been simmering in the background.

Michael and the Magic Hiccup – Coming Soon!

Although I wrote this story back in 1998 before I emigrated to the US, like many of my other works that have only been more recently published, this too slipped through the cracks. In my twenties as an up-and-coming writing sensation, having written ‘Eric, the Brick‘, I had bragged that I could write a story about anything. I was challenged to write this story by a close associate at the time based upon five random words/ items: a goldfish, a teapot, a broom, a ginger cat, and  a dragon. The obvious solution was a fairy-tale about a common or garden gnome!

Here’s a sneak peek at a draft idea for some of the cover art:

Colour cover draft

Stay tuned, as I’ll be posting up other artwork and a sample chapter to read as the weeks progress. Naturally I will let you all know when the book is finally available for pre-order in due course. Read a sample of the book here: First Sample

When The Rainbow Smiled – Feedback

One of the nicest things about being a writer for me is getting responses from my young readers. Sure, it’s fun to spend time creating new stories and doing the artwork, but that feeling fades with time, and is often overshadowed with the real hard work of promoting and marketing the work afterwards. That’s what makes it especially wonderful when I get feedback. Most of all it’s the best when my works inspire young people to get creative and either write their own stories, or draw pictures. Look at the wonderful artwork I received today…

Natalie rainbow 2 (2)

Natalie rainbow 2 (1)

Inspired by my work When The Rainbow Smiled available from Amazon.

#BlackLivesMatter: Food For Thought…

Let me begin by stating that irregardless of the colour of your skin, your political or religious beliefs, your age, your sex or sexuality, ALL LIVES ARE IMPORTANT. That said, since the world appears to have gone completely insane this year, first with the SARS-CoV-2 madness which hasn’t killed the millions it was ‘profiled’ to, but has caused global economic chaos that will have to be paid for somehow, and second by the latest wave of protests responding to the unfortunate death of George Floyd in the US, I simply had to express my own commentary.

Red wine glassFrom the safety of my home, with a nice glass of Malbec red wine, I am conducting my own protest against injustice, but not breaking any lock down instructions nor endangering any other lives, including law enforcement officials. You can join me in my peaceful protest, if you feel the urge:

#RedWineMatters

Although it is a fundamental right for all citizens of this world to have and express their own opinions, and even manifest that in PEACEFUL protesting where other lives are not endangered, utilizing the logic of current protestors, should we also all come out in protest the next time a white criminal is killed by the police, or for that matter when a black criminal rapes and kills a defenseless old lady in her own home?

Additionally, IF Black Lives MATTER so much, as these protestors insist on chanting with such great enthusiasm, how many of them have actually gone to AIDS-infested Africa and volunteered to help? How many are prepared to be part of the solution rather than perpetuate the problem of racial unrest? How many are prepared to protest and work towards actually protecting Black Lives in Africa (and elsewhere in the world) by helping stamp out Tuberculosis, Cholera, Typhoid, AIDS, etc.?

My point…? Stop responding to spoon-fed sound bytes and following the ‘sheeple’, do your research, understand your TRUE history, and if you want to stop discrimination and not fuel further racism you have to be the solution you seek. ALL crimes are wrong. If Black communities want to improve their standing in society they have to respect where they live, help law enforcement stamp out the criminals and drug dealers, stop feeling entitled to things they haven’t earned, and actually participate in making this a better world for everybody.

Stop feeling so put upon and hard done by! Since you are no longer slaves, stop acting like one, and take ownership of your life! History is filled with ‘heroes’ you can research that have come from a ‘poor’ background, people who have chosen to take control of their lives and overcome adversity, learn from them and ACT upon your life! Things won’t change over night, but with persistence and commitment we can all make this a much, much better world for everybody: you just have to do your part and change what is directly in your influence to change.

“Be The Change You Want To See In The World.”-Gandhi

* * *

cockroach coverAnthony James Donnelly is a writer, actor, and entrepreneur.

He is the author of The Cockroach Chronicles: A great primer into the topic of discrimination and prejudice, accessible to all ages. Filled with words of wisdom about compassion and understanding. Available on Amazon.

 

 

#Lockdown The Best Time To Set Some #Goals

We can all agree these are strange and uncertain times. Nobody really knows what the outcome of the current global policy changes will mean on our futures. Nobody really has any clear idea or plan for when these lockdowns will relax. But we can all be certain that our lives will be vastly different moving forward.

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleWe are now in the third quarter of the year, and many of us have a lot more time on our hands due to the lockdown. This makes this an ideal time to either readdress your goals and plans, or take the first steps to implementing some plans for the future.

If you’ve never set goals and plans before, my simple book lays out all the steps you need in plain English and with no jargon. It will show you that you already set goals, but don’t realise it, and will build on what you already know. It’s perfect for the novice, or as a refresher for those that have set goals in the past, but let the habit slip.

Things you might want to think about might be a career change and learning new skills; better financial planning for the future, as that’s one thing that’s a definite: the global economy will take a very long time to rebound from this. Perhaps you want to improve your health and fitness? Maybe you want to finally learn that foreign language and plan a trip abroad once the movement restrictions are lifted. Whatever it is you want to do, this simple-to-use guide will hold your hand along the whole journey.

Set some goals. Change your future!

 

Covid-19 Epidemic: A Time For Reflection…?

A year ago I had great plans to celebrate my 50th birthday. It was going to be the big HAWAII-50…! I had many other great plans as well that I was working on. I’m sure many of you reading this had made plans for this time of year, however great or small, but also never anticipated what the world is currently experiencing due to this sudden and unexpected outbreak of the coronavirus. It has impacted the lives of practically every single person on this planet, and has changed our lives forever. Most countries are on ‘lock down’, many people for the first times in their lives are being forced to isolate. Thankfully I was already in a semi state of lock down due to caring for my fiance going through Chemo and Radiotherapy – we were already isolating and limiting our contact due to her potential lowered immunity – so my 50th birthday plans had already been put on hold back in December.

This time of personal isolation, and now witnessing the rest of the world do likewise, has given me time to reflect on a few things, a few things I thought it worthwhile to share in the hope that they resonate with some others out there.

As far as I can remember in my lifetime, this is the first and only time the entire world (or a pretty decent chunk of it at least) is fighting the same enemy.

At school I learnt about both World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, was born during the Cold War – the fear of the H-bomb dropping at any minute! – and lived long enough to live during the metaphorical ‘War On Terror’ (whatever that is really supposed to mean?) but never did I have to experience an invisible, indiscriminate, ‘enemy’ like we are facing today, until now. And do you know what? It doesn’t scare me. It encourages and empowers me to think that if the entire world can drop its petty squabbles and power-mongering and focus on combating a ‘common threat’, what hope we might have for a truly better future!

Take America, for example, in their 250+ years as a united state, there have been fewer than 10 years that they have not been at war with some country or another, including themselves! Isn’t that insane? Look where wars have taken us: they make the armaments industries even richer, they make the bankers richer, and they make the business elite richer, whilst it’s the ‘man on the street’ who puts their lives on the line. That sounds like insanity to me. I’m not singling out America, they are just a very obvious case that both produces and uses the weapons of ‘terror’.

What if that energy was put to better use? What if it was used for positive purposes? Isn’t this new ‘invisible’ enemy more deadly than the ‘perceived’ enemies we have been told to fear in the past? More on this later, perhaps, but let’s look closer to home…

A complete change in the way we live our lives: time to reboot…?

In the same way we impatiently ‘reboot’ our computers when they are not functioning correctly, perhaps this is the wake-up call the world has needed to tell us all we are off track? Why not think about using this enforced down time to reflect on your own life and see where you could make tiny, daily changes to become better, become more grounded, help others more, give more than you take, participate rather than criticise, seek more happiness rather than more money…? How can you reboot and defrag yourself…?

Most people don’t stop and pause at all during the day. They wake, they have breakfast, they dress, they go through the motions often thinking of something completely different, never completely in the moment, never truly experiencing their lives. I often compare this to reading a book without punctuation – can you imagine that? No capital letters, no commas, no full stops, no breaks, no pauses, no paragraphs, no chapters… It would be exhausting to read. So why would a life lived with no punctuation be any different?

“If we are going to change the world, first we must change ourselves.”

I want to change the world. I’ve always wanted to change the world. I just never knew how. Government and politics didn’t seem to be doing a good job, so that was the wrong route. The only way to execute change on a massive scale is through the people changing, and that means on an individual basis. If I wanted to change the world, I first had to change myself, change my thoughts, change my actions, change my beliefs.

Everybody is in the same boat, let’s paddle together!

We are in completely uncharted waters. What is happening in the world has never happened before, it can’t even be compared to the Spanish Flu. Countries are so much more inter-connected via the financial markets, global businesses, international trade, conglomerates, international travel, etc., and the Internet allows a much greater level of information to be dispersed – both good and bad. Don’t be fooled that governments have any better idea what’s going on than you do. They may have more information, yes, but do they know what’s going on and how to react to it correctly? Of course they don’t! I think they are right to advise people to limit their direct interactions with others to the barest minimum (and I do wish people would understand that the more times you go out, the greater the chance of spreading this becomes! PLEASE only go out if you ABSOLUTELY have to, PEOPLE’S LIVES DEPEND UPON IT, including your own!)

We will see the death toll hit One Million before this is over!

This isn’t scaremongering, it’s probability. The curve is going upwards every day, and it will continue to do so for a few weeks – more if people continue to go out and socialise as much as they are currently doing. Only go out if it is ESSENTIAL. Yes, I know you love your bike and cycling. Yes, I know you love jogging. Yes, I know you need to get of the house/ flat/ room/ whatever, but is it essential? Could you put it on hold for three weeks? Could you try to be less selfish and save other people’s lives? Could you maybe think about other people for once in your life? Could you? It won’t kill you not to go out, but it might just kill someone else… Or could it kill you…?

It’s going to get much worse before it gets any better, and that’s a fact that we have seen in country after country, and none so far have gotten it under control completely. It’s a virus, they have a very clever habit of adapting very quickly. Even once we get our ‘R’ number in check (and we’re a long way off from that folks!) we still need to make sure it doesn’t flare up again and we’re right back where we are now, or worse!

A Global Village Experiencing an Epidemic… is World Peace that far behind?

If you’ve read this far, well done! I didn’t really expect anybody to read these crazy ramblings of a (now) 50 year old…! I’m probably preaching to the choir, but since you’re still with me, let’s explore the real positive possibilities that lie ahead of us. I loved the concept of a ‘global village’ when the Internet first started out, but never really quite understood what it meant until now. I believe spiritually we are all interconnected, and technology has allowed us to communicate faster, but not always better. Now we have a real chance to reach out to other ‘villagers’ in the world that are going through the same ‘war’ and see if we can’t forge a new world of better understanding and peace.

Most people are only thinking of themselves and their own survival right now. Many don’t even see what is happening here and around the world as such a big deal, but it’s only just begun. As isolation continues, and as restrictions begin to tighten (as they will) people will want to reach out. Look inwards first, before you get angry. Make peace with yourself, then make peace in the world around you. Forgive.

Take this time as a great opportunity. Sit quietly and make a list of all the people you hate, dislike, have a grudge against, cut you up on the freeway, short-changed you, called you names, whatever! However petty it may seem, make a list of everything that consumes your unconscious thoughts in this way and purposefully forgive them, let it go, even go one step further and picture them having an amazing life, picture them successful, happy, loved… Let go of the baggage – the real baggage – that has been weighing you down.

The future…?

What sort of world do you want to live in once this is all over? Who do you want to lead you? How much responsibility for YOUR life will you continue to take? Will you continue to go for money rather than happiness and quality of life? Allegedly we all live in a democracy, so we can participate and decide what kind of a world we want to live in, right? So, put some thought to it. When the next epidemic appears – and be sure there’ll be another – how prepared do you want your new world to be? Do YOU want to be more prepared? How do you want your country to be run? Do you want the people to have more say and input, well that starts with you caring more, doesn’t it?

I think the only way forward is for people to rely less on hand-outs and being happy abdicating responsibility to others, and taking more self-responsibility for their life circumstances. I think they need to look at what really makes them happy rather than believing what they are told will make them happy. I think they need to pause and think more about how they are living their lives. If nothing else, this virus has made many people think about their own mortality. Sadly for some people, they may not live long enough to read this post. But if you have read this far, you brave soul, let’s work together to make this an amazing new world, a world of love and peace.

Imagine… World Peace…

Thank You NHS Song…

Inspired by the #clapforourcarers event tonight, I was struck with the idea of a song to say thank you. As many of you know (although I’m definitely NOT a musician) I have written lyrics in the past and a whole bunch of poetry. It’s a pretty big challenge, but perhaps there are some people out there that would be interested in cyber-collaborating on putting this to music…?

 

THANK YOU NHS SONG

by Anthony James Donnelly

 

To all the nurses and doctors putting their lives on the line,

Tirelessly working to beat this virus in time,

We want to thank all of the people at our NHS,

Though in isolation, we think you’re the best!

 

These are critical times and we must all play our parts,

We want to thank you sincerely from the bottom of our hearts.

Day after day you turn up for work – uncomplaining

To save the dear lives of all us that’s remaining

 

Thank you NHS! Thank you NHS!

You do us proud, you help the sick.

Thank you NHS!

 

We’ll fight this together, we’ll work as a team,

What lies in the future remains to be seen.

But one thing’s for certain, of one thing we’re sure,

We’ll beat this together, and we’ll find a cure.

 

Thank you NHS! Thank you NHS!

You do us proud, you help the sick.

Thank you NHS!