HIGH ON LOVE – A New Novel, Input Needed.

CHAPTER ONE – STONED-BAKED PIZZA

 

There wasn’t anything particularly special about Daniel Jones. He was just your average, twenty-something kid trying to find love and happiness in a world he was desperately trying to understand. He wasn’t good looking, there was nothing striking about him, and his personality matched his physical appearance. He had no real ambitions to speak of, and spent most of his time trying to work out what it was he was going to do with the rest of his life. If you met him – not that you’d probably even notice him – you’d probably say he was a geek. He’d agree with that statement, he was a geek. He liked StarWars, and SciFi in general, computer games, the Internet, and weed. Oh, yes, he really liked weed.

In fact, weed was a very big part of his life. He’d discovered weed when he was a teenager, and it just ‘fit’ his lifestyle. He loved everything about it: the smell, the buzz, the culture, the fact that all his problems melted away when he was stoned, everything. He was stoned most of the time, which wasn’t a problem, it helped him cope with life. Although they didn’t notice at first (it took a year for them to actually realise) his weed habit was of great concern to his parents at the time, as his weed-induced cloud of apathy meant his grades were slipping and he didn’t really engage with anyone or anything.

In stark contrast to their son, Daniel’s parents were over-achievers. His Dad had charm and wit, and had made a name (and an awful lot of money!) for himself in sales. He had ‘the gift of the gab’, as they say. Likewise his Mum was attractive and popular, which helped in her role as a medical consultant for a large pharmaceutical corporation. They both worked a lot, an awful lot, and growing up they weren’t really very active in his life. That was all immaterial now, as they had both died tragically a couple of years back in a hit-and-run car accident. To many people that would have been a hard event to overcome, but because he was stoned when his uncle told him the news, and the fact that he’d just inherited a ‘small fortune’, all he could say was, “Cool…”

The small fortune turned out to be a very large windfall: two life insurance policies, investment portfolios, the house and other assets almost amounted to 8-figures. As an only child, it was all his. His uncle, being a financial consultant, packaged everything in such a way that Daniel would never have to work a day in his life, if he didn’t want to. An allowance check was deposited into his account every month from the interest of the collective portfolio, a check larger than most people’s salaries. This was very handy for a geeky stoner like Daniel, as it meant he could indulge his passion for pot without distraction.

That is exactly what he was currently doing, and had been for a good few hours. He was lying outstretched upon his couch, staring up at the ceiling. The ashtray – or ‘hashtry’ as he liked to call it – balanced on his chest, where he occasionally tapped the ash from his joint. He blew smoke rings up to the ceiling as he watched a very large spider crawl along upside-down.

‘I wonder if the blood ever rushes to its head?’ he mused, wondering if the spider was as high as he was. As if sensing his thoughts, the spider stopped directly over him, and very slowly started to abseil towards him on a tiny spidey-thread.

“Cool…” he said, exhaling a plume of smoke.

The spider stopped about two feet from his face and just dangled there, as if doing some David Blane trick.

“Totally cool…”

Daniel toked the remains of the joint and stubbed it out, as the spider climbed all the way back up the thread and continued its upside-down walk upon the ceiling.

“So, what are you going to do today, Dan?” He often talked to himself when he was alone. A little more worrying was that he often answered himself.

“What time is it anyway?”

He moved the ashtray to the table as he slowly sat up and looked around the room. He’d sold the family house shortly after the funeral and bought a smaller property not far from the beach. It wasn’t grand, but it was large enough: a few bedrooms, a great deck to the back, an adequate kitchen, and a huge living room. The couch was in the middle of the room, a large plasma TV on one wall, a coffee table, beanbag seats scattered around the room, and his pride and joy: a classic pinball machine. He rummaged in his pocket and retrieved his phone: 16:02.

“Fuck! No wonder I’m hungry.”

He stood, felt totally stoned, and collapsed backwards onto the couch.

“Fuck!”

He burst into uncontrollable laughter.

“Let’s try that again, shall we…”

This time the head-rush wasn’t so intense and he maintained his balance. He shuffled towards the curtains and slowly pulled them open. A brilliance of Californian sunshine exploded in his face. Like a paranoid vampire, he immediately drew them shut again.

“Oh, fuck!”

“Not a good idea, Dan…”

He blinked and felt rather confused. Like an amnesiac searching for a memory, he wondered what the fuck he was doing standing in front of the curtains.

“Oh yeah, food…”

As he turned in the direction of the kitchen, he caught a glimpse of his weed paraphernalia upon the coffee table, but thought better of skinning up again, and shuffled towards the back of the room. Because he didn’t like shopping, and he certainly didn’t like cleaning – and he could afford it – he had a cleaning lady that came twice a week, and he had a part-time house keeper that stocked the kitchen with food, so there was always stuff to eat.

The refrigerator doors were wide open still from that morning – the last time he’d remembered he was hungry. It was packed full of food: meats, cheeses, milk, juice, yoghurts, and beer – a lot of beer.

“So, what do you fancy for…” he paused, thinking, “is it too late to say breakfast? Is there even a specific time for breakfast…?”

He caught sight of the beer bottles and decided he really should have a beer while he pondered the question. He popped the lid and took a refreshingly long drink.

“Breakfast of champions!”

He closed the refrigerator doors, and stared aimlessly out of the kitchen window at the deck and yard. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d actually gone outside. He was sure he’d had a deck party not long ago, but it could have been weeks past. That was the problem when you spent every day smoking weed and just chilling out: life just blurred into one long foggy memory. Most of his bills were paid automatically through the trust, and about the only thing he had to worry about was that he had enough weed to smoke.

“Oh, shit…!”

The thought of running out of weed terrified him for an instant, and he forgot about food, and rushed as fast as he could (which wasn’t that fast) back to the living room. In a paranoid daze he surveyed the coffee table and took inventory: there was his pipe, his papers, a number of lighters, half a pack of smokes, and – thankfully – half a bag of weed.

He flopped back down on to the couch and took another swig of beer. His heart was racing. Pulling out his phone, he checked the time again: 16:32. There were no messages, which was a little odd, as he usually got a call or a text from one of his stoner buddies asking if they could come round and hang. Finishing the beer, he realised the buzz from earlier was wearing off, and he probably should skin up again.

He took a long, hard drag on the joint, held it for as long as he could, then exhaled a huge plume of smoke, and watched it merge with the semi-darkness of the room. The more he smoked, the more he drifted into the ether. He leant back into the couch, and connected with the extreme relaxation that flowed through his body.

“Have you ever wondered… if we really are spiritual beings having a physical experience, how come we don’t have super powers…?”

When Daniel finally woke up and came back to Earth, his living room was filled with ambient music mixing with the aroma of weed and incense, and three of his stoner buddies had materialised.

Nick the Hippy, so called because he looked like Nick Nolte and was an aging hippy, was posing his usual questions about existence. None of them were sure how old he was, as he knew so much about life and the world, but didn’t look old enough to know what he knew. He was a cool dude, and always had some amazing shit to smoke.

“We do,” replied Paul, “well, I do… I’m Blow Boy… I become invincible when I’m high…”

Paul was the youngest of the group, and a polar opposite to Nick the Hippy. He still lived with his parents, worked at the local coffee shop, and knew a lot about nothing. He was always good for a laugh, because you could guarantee he’d say something so ridiculous at some point and have the room in stitches of laughter.

“Blow Boy?” said Mike, chuckling, “You sound like some character in a gay porno!”

The room filled with snickers and laughter as the rest of them joined in the joke. Mike was probably the most ambitious of the group. He’d been a young entrepreneur and had created some really cool app that made him a lot of money at the time, but had since become obsolete. He’d never quite regained his former glory, but still believed his next best idea was just around the corner.

As Daniel slowly came to, he glanced around the room. Cartoons played on the huge TV screen, with the sound off, casting strange shadows across the walls. The two lava lamps ‘glooped’ like alien jelly fish in their tanks. Two large pizza boxes lay on the floor.

“What time is it?” he asked foggily.

“Hey dude!” said Mike, offering his lit joint, “Hit…?”

“Sure.”

“Welcome back to Earth…” Nick the Hippy always said that when someone came back from a trip.

“I thought Blow Boy was a good name,” said Paul, trying to regain some credibility and rekindle the conversation. Instead it just brought more giggles, which Dan joined in with this time, as the weed took root.

“Is it a bird…? Is it a plane…? No, it’s Blow Boy!” Dan’s comment sent them all over the edge, and laughter echoed around the cavernous room once more.

“Faster than a speeding blowjob!” added Mike, which stirred up even more laughter.

“It’s not that funny!” said Paul, the only one not joining in the laughter. “I’m getting a beer… anyone want anything?”

As he left the room Dan reached over and grabbed a slice of pizza, remembering he’d not eaten all day. He checked the time: 21:12.

“Fuck! No wonder I’m so hungry.”

“That’s the munchies, dude,” said Nick the Hippy, packing some weed into his pipe. “Try this. It’s some new shit I’ve been cultivating…”

Dan took a good, long drag. “Wow! That’s really smooth…”

“Wait until it kicks in…” said Nick the Hippy, a new moon smile beaming across his rugged face.

Ripples of serenity washed over Dan’s body, and he closed his eyes, it was like floating, like being a warm wave, like being vibration, like nothing he’d felt before.

“Good, right?” said Nick the Hippy.

“Oh yeah…” sighed Dan, as he drifted deeper into bliss.

Paul appeared in the kitchen doorway, an unopened beer bottle in his hand. “Has anyone seen the bottle opener?”

“Why don’t you use your super powers Blow Boy!”

As Nick and Mike fell into laughter, Paul turned back to the kitchen, irritated, and continued his quest for the allusive bottle opener. Dan opened his eyes again and looked admiringly at Nick the Hippy.

“That’s some seriously good shit, man!”

“Right?”

“And you recon that’s gonna be even better in a couple of weeks?” Mike had tried some about an hour earlier, and was still buzzing.

Nick the Hippy had barely moved from his Buddha-like stance upon one of the beanbags, legs crossed, his distended belly exaggerating the colourful tie-die t-shirt he was wearing, a bead headband holding back his slightly-greying long mop of blonde hair.

“These are just some leaves I pulled off and dried, just to try it. In about two weeks I’ll try some again and probably harvest the whole plant…”

“Cool…” said Mike and Dan in unison.

Paul stormed back into the room still holding the unopened beer bottle.

“I give up!”

“Not much of a super hero Blow Boy if you can’t even open a beer.”

Finally joining the conversation, Dan said, “Oh, you need the beer opener…? I’ve got it here in my pocket…”

“Thanks!”

He took a long swig of beer and sat back down on his beanbag.

“Can we please stop with the Blow Boy shit now? It’s not that funny!”

Dan looked around the room again, and realised someone was missing, “Where’s Tram tonight?”

“Oh, didn’t you hear, he got a new job,” said Mike. “He’ll be by later with more pizza… that’s where the pizza came from… he’s delivering for Pronto Pizza now…”

“Cool…”

“What happened to his last job?” inquired Nick the Hippy, loading up his pipe again.

“He failed the whizz-quiz…”

“Bummer!”

“Yeah! Who knew you had to take a piss-test as a delivery boy, eh?”

“This world’s fucked up!”

“Amen to that, brother…”

Realising he was still very hungry, Dan asked, “Speaking of pizza… is there any left?”

“You took the last piece, dude.”

“Shall I order us some more…?”

“Your kitchen is full of food, mate…” said Paul, glad to finally get back into the conversation without the mention of Blow Boy.

“I went there this morning… and this afternoon… I didn’t fancy any of that…”

Taking a huge hit off his pipe, Nick the Hippy said, “Food, food everywhere, but not  a bite to eat…”

“I’ve got the latest StarTrek DVD! Anyone want to watch it?” Paul wasn’t sure why he’d changed the subject from food to StarTrek, but he brandished the DVD like he’d won an Olympic medal.

“This really is great shit…” exhaled Nick the Hippy.

“What time did Tram say he’d swing by?”

“After his shift…”

“What time’s that?”

“I don’t know, it’s his first day… Probably after eleven…?” Mike said, questioningly.

“What time is it now?”

“I’ve not watched it yet, but it got really good reviews…”

Everyone was ignoring Paul, the failing Olympian.

“Time is an illusion…” plumed Nick the Hippy.

“It’s almost eleven…”

“I’ll just pop it in, shall I…?”

“Time is as real as you and I… the ancients knew that…”

If the spider on the ceiling was still around, and had the ability to understand, it would have been completely disoriented by the disjointed conversations happening in that room. It might even have fallen off the ceiling in confusion, or it might have realised that it didn’t exist and disappear completely. But it wasn’t, so it didn’t. Instead, the door bell rang, bringing them all back to ‘reality’.

“Oh, fuck!”

“It’s the door,” said Paul, “shall I answer it?”

Before Dan had a chance to respond, Paul was on his feet, DVD in hand, and had opened the door wide to reveal their nocturnal visitor. In the darkness of the porch all that was visible were two overly large white eyeballs and an enormous toothy grin. The gunshot laughter immediately revealed who it was.

“Anybody order pizza?” said Tram, stepping into the room. “Oh, cool, the new StarTrek DVD, I’ve been meaning to get me a copy of that…”

Tram was a hybrid of Cedric the Entertainer and Chris Rock, all teeth and eyes, and an infectious laugh, very loud, until he got stoned, then he’d mellow out.

Strutting into the room, brandishing the insulated pizza case, he repeated, “I said, any of you niggas order pizza?”

“Perfect timing, Tram,” said Dan.

“Fer yo masser, I bringin yer favorit: Quatro Staggione…” he said, feigning a black slave, and handing one of the pizza boxes to him.

“Awesome!”

“An which one of you animal eating motherfuckers wants the meat lovers…? Fuck it, you’all can help yerself… I needs me some canna-bliss…”

He dumped the pizza case in the middle of the floor and started skinning up a massive joint. Toking strongly on the huge doob, he said, “Now that’s what I’m fucking talking about…” Flopping down on one of the beanbags, he added, “So, what you sad motherfuckers up to…?”

Tram was a new addition to the group. They’d met under very similar conditions as that night. He’d been delivering pizza for another company about a year ago, and rang on Dan’s door in much the same way as tonight. As Dan swung the front door open, Tram was hit with a cloud of weed smoke and an extremely high Dan.

“Damn motherfucker! No wonder you’all ordered so many pizzas! You must have the munchies of a motherfucker!”

Dan just smiled at him, holding the door for support. Tram stepped into the living room and looked at the motley group of stoners: Mike, Paul, and Nick the Hippy, who offered up his pipe.

“Would you care to join us…?”

“My kinda niggas!” he said, putting the pizza case down and sparking up the pipe. “Oh… now that’s some real smooth shit, man!”

The other four just nodded knowingly, and started tucking into the pizza.

“Yo having some kinda party or something…? Where the girls at…? Oh, this really is good shit…”

“It’s just us, it’s pizza night!” said Paul, which wasn’t particularly funny, but the rest were so stoned it set them into convulsions of laughter all the same. As soon as Tram started laughing with them, he had them rolling on the floor.

“You wanna hang?” inquired Dan, “Or do you have more deliveries to make?”

He didn’t, and the rest, as they say, is history. Tram became their delivery boy of choice, and a regular nocturnal visitor and toker.

“It’s pizza night!” said Paul.

Nobody laughed.

“Shall I put the DVD in?”

“I thought you’d done that ages ago, Blow Boy,” said Mike.

“Blow Boy…?” asked Tram, pulling the last remnants of the pipe.

“Yeah, it’s his super hero name…”

“Blow Boy? Sounds like some gay porno or something!”

“That’s what we said!”

Laughter filled the room once more.

Trying to ignore them, Paul put in the DVD, mumbling, “Alright, I’ll put it in now…”

“Nah! That’s the other guy’s line!” Tram snorted, sending them all into more fits of laughter.

The movie started, but nobody was really interested except Paul, who tried desperately to engross himself in the film and ignore the comments and laughter of the others.

The Blow Boy comments dried up, and finally Tram remembered, “Didn’t you say you were buying a gravity bong the last time I came round?”

“A gravity bong? Serious shit man…” said Mike, curiously.

“Yeah, I ordered it today… I would have ordered it sooner, but I got stoned and forgot.”

***

It’s just Chapter One… there’s more to come, but I’d really like to know:

  1. Did you enjoy it? Why? What?
  2. Would you read more? Likewise.
  3. Which character(s) do you like most? Why?
  4. Can you see this as a film?

I’d very much like to hear your comments below, and everyone that comments will get a signed copy of the final book.

I thank you all in advance for your help!

 

 

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindle

Anthony James Donnelly is an author, motivational and business coach, and life guide. He has spent over 20 years working directly with individuals and corporations to adjust their perspectives on life. In his latest book, “My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals”, he concisely explains how to get whatever you want out of life.

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Rachel McAdams: Who Do You Love?

rachel-mcadams-gets-new-boyfriend (2)In such a PC world as this, do people still have ‘pin-up girls’? Can one even still use the word ‘pin-up girl’? I don’t know, and truthfully, I don’t care! I do, but I don’t. I think most people can relate to that, right?

I don’t actually know what a ‘pin-up girl’ really is! To me, a pin-up girl is someone that you admire, perhaps adore, look up to, aspire to be, or see something in them that you’d like to be like, have, or want.

We’ve been so confined, constricted, and constipated by being seen to ‘do and say the right thing’, but what is right and what is wrong?  Where are the true role models that can lead the way?

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is looking.”

John Wooden

My confession, if you hadn’t already guessed, my ‘pin-up girl’ is Rachel McAdams (did the photo give it away?) I don’t know that much about her, but from what I’ve seen, and what I feel, is that she’s a very grounded, normal, smart, attractive, and committed person. All traits I aspire to have! I think and dream of meeting her – and I’m certain I will – I don’t know how, but that’s not up to me! But I know when we meet it will be such a normal meeting, like old friends that knew each other years ago, but we mis-recognised each other!

For me, Rachel McAdams is the essence of who I feel I am meant to be with. I can’t make her love me, and I can’t love her without feeling her energy, but I’d like to. How on Earth are celebrities allowed to date? Isn’t our talent enough! We are not gods! Leave us alone! But we don’t want to be alone!!!

Golly! That was a big confession…

A-hem!

So, back on track… Who do YOU love? Have you started with loving yourself? Aren’t you good enough? You are. Give yourself a hug, or better still, give someone close to you a hug – now! Didn’t work? Perhaps your dream or ‘pin-up’ is as extreme as mine. Maybe you have to ask yourself, “What kind of a person do you have to become to attract them to you?”

Don’t Put People On Pedestals

There is only ONE person you should compare yourself to: The Person You Were Yesterday. The wonderful thing about this world is that everyone is equal: we were all born, we will all die, we all have choice… Ah! Here’s where the ‘rub’ comes…! In a year that SHOULD be celebrating equality, it should be celebrating WORLD PEACE.

IMAGINE if all the people in the world, just for one minute, (one second!) stopped thinking what they were thinking, stopped doing what they were doing, and actually contemplated WORLD PEACE, thought about happiness, thought about YOU being happy, thought about, “How do I want to feel LOVE?”

What would the world look like? Brandson knows… Elon knows… Warren knows… Gates knows… Facebook-bloke knows… Amazon-bloke knows…

Anthony and Rachel’s World

In OUR world, we live in abundance… and we share it!

I have enough, and you can have food…

I have more than enough, and you can have a proper education…

I have water, and you can have clean water…

I have love, and I am the world.

 

Face-tox Diary: Day Four – “Are You Okay?”

I didn’t write yesterday, as I was too busy doing things. It’s amazing what you can do when you are not distracted with Facebook crap anymore! I got to play 18 holes of golf… the garden looks great… I actually enjoyed the garden for a change… I’m reading more books…

BUT, I had to write today, as after four days, finally somebody has noticed I’m NOT on Twatbook – sorry, Facebook – anymore. A text arrived this morning shortly after 7am:

“I couldn’t find you on Facebook, are you okay?”

What a lovely text to receive (I just wish they hadn’t sent it so early, as I was fast asleep after a late night reading, and had nothing much to wake up for that early!) I’m probably an unusual Twatbooker, as almost all of my (less then 100) Twatbook friends are actually ‘friends’, people I’ve actually met in person, or are family – hence so few!

Some I have already personally been in contact with, but it was rather surprising that after four days only ONE person had noticed that I was no longer online. I wonder how many of you that have waaaaayyyy more ‘Twatbook Friends’ (most of which you don’t actually know) than me realise that the vast majority of your ‘Friends’ have probably ‘muted’ your feed, or don’t take any notice of you, or have so much Twatbook-misinformation coming at them that they don’t really care what the crap is happening in your life?

I can definitely say detoxing from Twatbook is much easier than detoxing from smoking! By day four I would be craving a fag something wicked, and almost wanting to kill somebody! In comparison, Twatbook-detox is very painless and very rewarding. For four days I have not been exposed to stupid, uneducated opinions about the election, what people have been eating, pictures of cats, mindless quotations that say, “Like if you agree” or any other mindless crap that says the same, or, “Read this, it’s AMAZING…!”

Dumb, mindless, Twatbook, pricks!

I’m sure if you are reading this and still a Twatbook member, you’re smart enough to read the humour, and are probably trying to work out how the heck you can get out of the trap that is TWATBOOK…!

My best advice for the election, since it’s tomorrow, is don’t vote. If nobody voted, they’d realise that we all know we don’t live in a democracy, it’s just a farce. They don’t act on our behalf, so why vote for them? They are all elitist snobs, that are educated the same, indoctrinated the same, brown nose the same, and have the same INTERNATIONAL paymasters!

I think Guy Fawkes was on the right trail…

 

***

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleAnthony James Donnelly is an author, motivational and business coach, and life guide. He has spent over 20 years working directly with individuals and corporations to adjust their perspectives on life. In his latest book, “My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals”, he concisely explains how to get whatever you want out of life. Dumping Facebook is just the first step to freedom…!

 

Thoughts Behind the Making of “One”, a Short Film by Anthony James Donnelly

I AM truly amazed – and humbled – by the great, early response to my debut short film, “One”. Thank you all…! Since it has been so well received, I thought I’d share some of the concept and thinking behind the project, just in case any fellow actors and film makers are interested.

Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve wanted to make films: I’m fascinated by the whole process behind film making, and I feel very fortunate that I am able to act in the industry for a living. A little over a week ago, I invested in a video camera, and whilst playing around with it, I got the idea in my head to make a short film – how difficult can it possibly be, right?

The brief was quite simple: “With no budget and no other people involved, could I film and produce a short film that told a compelling story and hopefully evoke an emotional response, all in only one week?”

To stack things in my favour, I decided to shoot without dialogue to save the challenges of dubbing and syncing up the sound in the editing process – and I’d never edited anything before! The theme of ‘one’ became the focal point initially, then as I began shooting rough footage, the story of this lonely man emerged. I love playing with words, and I saw that in the word ‘lonely’ you have the words ‘one’ and ‘only’, so I started to evolve concepts of mundanity and how we overlook the ordinary, yet essential things we use in life – including people! Additionally, there is an interconnectedness between things: a toothbrush needs toothpaste, gloves come in pairs, etc.

I was fortunate enough to discover some royalty-free music by the talented composer, Kevin MacLeod, which gave the footage a very sombre feel, yet had a lot of diversity in the melody, which I hoped to utilize in the editing phase. Adding to the bleak feel of the film, it was a very early decision to shoot the whole thing in black and white.

Utilizing the ‘Bollywood’ shooting method (minimal number of takes, no complicated scenes, just shoot and move on) I was able to get an awful lot of footage in a very short period of time, often doing only one take. My biggest concern was shooting footage of myself – as I was also the cameraman! – I wondered, if I set up my camera on its tripod and then walked away to go acting, would somebody run off with my equipment? Thankfully, the opposite was true, almost as if passers-by couldn’t believe there could only be one person involved, they all steered well clear of the equipment!

All in all, it was an incredible experience, and I believe my little experiment has worked. It’s already inspired some fellow actors to follow suit and try to produce their own shorts. Hopefully you have found this inspiring as well, why not give it a go. I had a lot of fun shooting this in between working and daily life. It IS possible, if you have the will and the motivation. I’m looking forward to shooting my next short film soon.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t give too much of the plot away, but I’d love to hear any constructive comments and feedback, either on here or on the youtube page.

Many, many thanks, I hope you enjoy it…

FREE Books For Christmas

Rainbows New CoverIt’s Christmas. A time for love, generousity, and for giving, or ‘forgiving’. For this reason, ALL my kindle books will be free both today (Christmas Day) and tomorrow (Boxing Day) as a way of saying thank you to all my friends old and new, and spreading more of the spirit of the season.

All I ask in return is, if you download a copy of my book, please take a few minutes to honestly rate and review the book on amazon 🙂

 

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:

Dr Wayne DyerI’m not really one for making resolutions for New Year, but at this time I do like to reflect back on the past few months and take stock. Like many of you, I’m sure, this has been a great year, but also a bummer of a year. I lost two very great and dear friends: Dr. Wayne Dyer, a motivational force in my life, and Richard Anthony Eyre, an old school friend.

Richard Eyre
Richard Eyre 1970 – 2015

They will both be missed.

 

On the upside, I’ve met and made numerous new friends, mostly in the film and TV industry. Another positive to the year: I’m very excited at the great progress I’ve made since April of breaking back into the acting world again. A short film I starred in landed at Cannes, thanks to the wonderful director Miho Sugita. I finally got an agent! And I have two new film scripts doing the rounds. It’s almost as if my life has come full circle and I’ve arrived back where I was before I left sixteen years ago!

On the writing front, my books continue to sell – Thank you all for that! Although I feel a little lazy at not having completed ALL the new books I had planned to publish this year, they are still in the works and WILL BE published in 2016. How about that for positive thinking?!

Talking of positive thinking, it’s been wonderful to connect with some old friends (Tony Wilson, and Trevor Oakland, to name just two!) from the distant past and indulge my other passion for self-development and motivation. When there’s something you just can’t help yourself from doing, then that’s a good sign you should be doing it (if it’s positive in nature!)

 

Did I Give Enough, Live Enough, Laugh Enough, and Love Enough…?

When I reflect back on this year, there’s one question I ask myself, and that’s written above. I have certainly laughed a lot this year, thanks to new friends, Stephen, Jo, Louise, Helen, Ness, Rachael, and Darryl. Did I give enough…? I’m sure I could have given more, but within my financial constraints I think I gave as much as I could monetarily, on a personal level, definitely! As far as living enough, I don’t think there’s much more this little chap could have crammed into the last 12 months. I always consider myself as lazy, but then look at what I’ve managed to do and wonder why I keep thinking that! And then there’s love… ah, that sweet, alusive thing… As far as giving my love away, that has been joyously done over the year. More on a platonic level than romantic, but there is always hope…! I’m sure, somewhere out there, there is a young lady that has the patience to put up with my ‘insanity’.

Well, if you’ve read this far, I commend you. What a ramble! Here are the links to my free books. Enjoy! Share! And for all of you I have not yet wished a very Merry Christmas and a superb New Year, that was it.

FREE BOOKS:

Click on the book cover to take you to the amazon link for the book (sorry, these are US links. You’ll have to transfer to the country link you need!)

Rainbows New CoverWHEN THE RAINBOW SMILED

A delighful, powerful short read accompanied by 19 exceptional watercolour paintings. Peace, love, harmony and balance.

 

 

The Shepherd Cover ArtTHE SHEPHERD

A new age parable about connecting and listening to your heart. Let the Shepherd guide you to where you should be in life.

 

 

 

cockroach coverTHE COCKROACH CHRONICLES

Can we learn about ourselves from probably one of the most detested creatures on the planet? Find out through a series of ten letters this brave, little thing writes back to those at home fighting the Eternal War…

 

 

49q cover49Q? THE ENIGMA CONTINUES

Not an easy read this one, I’ll give you that. This is an experimental novel, part of a trilogy, a film, and a musical album that never quite made it off the ground. Read at your peril, is all I say… It almost drove me mad writing it, but it’s full of philosophy, ridiculousness, and mischief. It’ll make sense once you’ve read it!

 

Remember, if you download a copy, please leave a rating and review, thank you very much!

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL,

AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

#PRESSRELEASE Bullshit London Comedy Walking Tours

*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***

A Well-earned Break From The Usual London Bullshit

Bullshit ReubenLONDON, March 25th, 2015 — Election year again, while most denizens of London despair at the volume of Bullshit gushing around there seem to be some people who want more of it. Bullshit London Tours are gearing up for an even bigger third year of comedic tom-foolery launching April 9th 2015. Having been voted one of Time Outs top 101 things to do in London, tours run every Thursday at 7pm. Book through their website (www.bullshitlondon.com).

Do you want to see the site where Queen Victoria exploded? Perhaps you want to learn about the Roman Renaissance movement of 1860? These walking tour guides will show you “the kind of London that would have happened if Monty Python had been elected Queen!”

The tour begins on the steps of St. Paul’s cathedral, and meanders entertainingly around the South Bank, ending at Trafalgar Square. Audience participation is thoroughly recommended, and the tour is quite brisk, taking about two hours to complete.

 

Editors for more information, photographs, or to schedule a free press tour: contact Reuben by email; reuben@bullshitlondon.com, by phone; 07588913297, http://www.bullshitlondon.com or speak to Anthony, ant@bullshitlondon.com,

Birthday Reflections

Happy Birthday Cake 004AS MY BIRTHDAY rapidly approaches, it is my habit to reflect upon the past 12 months and give thanks, make adjustments where necessary, make amends where due, and dream up new and exciting plans for the next 12 months.

TRAVEL

I am continually thankful for the fantastic opportunities that I experience in this life. Last year involved a lot of travel – some planned, some not. I was fortunate enough to spend a few months in Costa Rica and meet many, many wonderful people from around the world. Hopefully one day I shall return and see some of my great, new friends once more. It was in Costa Rica where I was finally able to release a lot of emotional baggage and ties to the past, and reconnect to the free spirit and lonely child in the depths of my soul.

Canada was an unplanned experience, but the ‘wanderlust’ had grabbed me. It was a great counterpart to my experiences in America, and I had an interesting time there, but I doubt very much I could ever call Canada ‘home’ –  the people are warm, but the climate is far, far too cold!

PATTERNS & CHANGE

Throughout my life, I notice reoccurring patterns. No matter how hard I try to push in a different direction, my passions (and what I’ve come to believe are my destinies) keep pulling me back to where I am happiest and most content. England was also an unplanned destination… homeward bound after 15 years… a perceived backwards move…?

My country of birth has changed much since I’ve been away, mostly politically, and not for the better! Europe appears to have strong-armed its way into most, if not all of our legislation… I think there is even a European mandate on the correct way to have a ‘stiff upper lip’! It did not feel like the country I left behind before the millennium.

Tara's Folly
Tara’s Folly

It was wonderful to connect with family and old friends from long ago. An early experience, and something I’d always wanted to try, was to thatch a roof for some dear friends of mine who were building a summer house castle in their backyard! In England we call such things ‘follies’.

Although I had no intention of staying, so many of my friends and family lamented the fact that I had given up on my childhood dream of becoming a professional actor. I hadn’t given up on it, merely shelved it for a more suitable time, in fact I had been quite successful before I emigrated to the US, back in the late 90s..

NEW EXPERIENCES

Being open to new things, and relaxing into being led where life wanted me (getting out of my own way!) it’s been a fantastic final sprint to the finish line. Although it took quite a bit of effort to raise the money I needed to get headshots for my new acting career, step one of the professional process started well. I’m currently batting four-for-four: four auditions, four castings! In the past month I have appeared as the lead, or co-lead in three short, student films, which will help with step two of the process: getting my showreel together. And in May, I begin shooting my first indie feature film.

Two new books were published late last year (“The Shepherd” and “49q? The Enigma Continues”), and I have three more in the pipeline. I really does feel like I have landed right back in the happiest times of my life, back when I was last here as a freelance actor and writer! With more life experiences under my belt, and many, many more new talents, especially concerning business ownership, I feel supremely confident in the outcome of the next twelve months.

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

An old friend of mine plans to produce a play I wrote in my early 20s and enter it into the Lewisham Festival in November – naturally, I shall be co-starring.

On the business front, I have partnered with a new actor friend who runs ‘factually inaccurate tours of London’ (www.bullshitlondon.com) Drawing upon my past experience, not only will I be conducting tours later this year, but will be helping expand the business in new and exciting ways, and possibly creating some form of licensing program to develop other cities. Another ‘blast from the past’ friend – a highly successful business coach and self-development guru – offers an opportunity to indulge my love of helping people fulfill their true potential.

There are still many old friends I have yet to hook up with, but that’s all planned for this new year. It has been a really wonderful twelve months, and I have no regrets. As to thoughts, ideas, and plans for the next year…?

Don’t confuse confidence and happiness with arrogance when I say it is my fullest intent to be paid to appear in a feature film later this year. I will have an agent, and I will continue to help all those I come into contact with, as is my nature.

REFLECTIVE WORDS OF GUIDANCE

I’ll try not to sound too preachy here, but I really want others to benefit from the wonderful life experiences I have gained.

Take time to be quiet and calm, and connect with life around you. Do your best to find your true place in the world – don’t strive for something that doesn’t resonate, instead ‘feel’ where you should be and what you should be doing. Have confidence in your ‘true’ self, don’t let other people’s opinions or comments wrongly influence what your heart is telling you is right. Don’t sell your life for the mere attainment of money to attempt to buy back your happiness. Instead, choose to be happy in all things – be selfish (in the true sense of the word) and know that ALL of your real friends want only one thing for you: Happiness. Focus on what makes you fully happy, and the world around you will change for the better!

 

In happiness, joy, and love, I thank each and everyone of you!

 

*** CROWDFUNDING RESEARCH ***

Bullshit London CollageHi folks! Your help is need in a little bit of early research into a crowdfunding project I am hoping to launch in about 30 – 45 days time.

I have the fantastic opportunity to be involved with a brilliant, new actor pal of mine (Reuben) who devised an awesome, alternative London walking tour (www.bullshitlondon.com) back in 2013. I am rigorously learning the script as we speak…!

Together we hope to expand the business opportunity in many new and fun ways to create a wonderful new platform to help other actors earn a ‘dignified’ wage, whilst ‘resting’ and looking for acting work.

We haven’t established a monetary target as yet, but here are a few things you can help us with at this stage:

1. Would you consider donating to our crowdfunding appeal? (a pound or a dollar all adds up!) You don’t have to state how much you’d be prepared to offer at this stage, just a tentative yes or no is fine.

2. What sort of rewards/ incentives would entice you to offer more? Limited edition T-shirts (autographed!) posters, free tours, advertising… a tour dedicated in your honor… that sort of thing.

3. Would you help out with promotion and marketing – retweeting, sharing, commenting, liking the upcoming FB page, blogging, etc. Simple yes or no.

4. If you can’t help in any of the ways above, do you know of any workers/ offices in London that would like to book a private tour? (please add details below, or send them our website)

A HUGE thank you for reading all of this, I know you are all busy people, and we really appreciate any and all input. Please either email me (ant@bullshitlondon.com) and/ or add your comments below.

PLEASE share and tweet this link to your page.

Bullshit London Tours

Bullshit London CollageWhat an exciting weekend that was!

Whether you’re new to London or have lived here for centuries, Bullshit London Tours are sure to entertain and surprise you! I managed to piggy-back off a group of six Australian tourists that had booked an off-peak tour (main season is April – October) with our host, guide, and comic entertainer, Reuben Williams (if that name is to be believed!)

Learn who stole the clock from St Pauls… where God lives… the world’s smallest children’s prison… and much, much more…!

My favorite part had to be the guided tour of the famous Swedish soap opera film set…

As said, if you thought you knew London, think again!!!

For more details and bookings, check out their website: http://www.bullshitlondon.com/

“A tenner! This tour’s worth more than a tenner…”

“Oh, okay, here’s twenty!”

“Twenty! Twenty? Nah, nah, you have to haggle…”

If Monty Python did London tours… this might well be it.

 

SPECIAL TIP: Ask them about their special pub crawl…

 

#AUTHOR INTERVIEWS: Pat McDonald – “The Blue Woods Trilogy”

patmcdonaldWelcome to the next author interview… I have the great pleasure to introduce a very talented author, Pat McDonald. If you like intelligent crime fiction, this trilogy will have you hooked from book one. Imaginative characters and absorbing plot lines. If any of my production company chums are reading this, I think these would make excellent TV drama… But enough high praise, let me allow Pat to tell things in her own words:

 

  1. Your background is law enforcement. At what point in your career did you start thinking about writing a crime novel?

Writing is all I have ever wanted to do from when I wrote poetry and short stories as a teenager, it was my ambition to return to creative writing when I finished my career of which the latter part was spent in law enforcement. After seventeen years immersed in that arena it was inevitable that I should begin there although it wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened. Perhaps it was a need to download much of what my head contained and then leave it behind.

patmcdonaldbookI had a wealth of experience that I have used as a framework in which to allow my imagination to run riot. Inspiration for my books comes from my observations of the real world, which I think is reflected in them. The world is full of inexplicable phenomena and extraordinary people and provides me with sufficient material to allow my imagination to take it and ask ‘what if’ in those circumstances this was to happen. Just a twist can take something ordinary and make you wonder at it. I do think, however, that I have some deep recesses of my mind where lurks a murky pool of things to draw upon!

  1. You’re now on your third novel, do you find it is becoming easier to write or harder, and why?

I only intended to write one crime novel and as a ‘free flow’ writer my stories just pour out, so much so that I find it hard to end something I’m doing. This is why I have begun my crime fiction with a trilogy. I usually find I have more than one ending which leaves me with a cliff-hanger and a carryover plot – it is after all a potential real life series and real life doesn’t neatly fit most of our everyday time lines. I did manage to end the trilogy, although it would lend itself to a series if ever I chose to return to it. I would say that writing has perhaps become easier, although I would prefer ‘better’, sufficiently to try out something else.

  1. patmcdonaldbook2Do you draw on any specific experiences in your law enforcement career? Can you elaborate?

I haven’t taken any of the actual crimes from my experiences, but rather the setting and the process of law enforcement. However, I deliberately set it earlier than present day because some of the things I write about would not be allowed to happen today. My imagination can take a potential view of the ‘ordinary’ and turn it into something else entirely. Although my books are set within an imaginary police force, they also encompass the lives of the officers involved and the villains they have to deal with; sometimes the two become so fused that it is hard to separate them. My books are fiction with a real edge. They present characters and scenarios that I hope reflect reality, but the kind that doesn’t end in happy ever after – well real life doesn’t does it?

  1. If you couldn’t write in the crime genre, what would be your next choice and why?

My current work in progress is a move away from crime to a different genre. My Y.A paranormal thriller Breaking Free is about stalking and is set in the North of Wales, UK. It has a hint of historical W.W 1 drama that is surprisingly haunting! One of the characters in Getting Even escapes from the clutches of the bad Detective Chief Inspector and although he pursues her she drops out of the plot. I wanted to find out what happened to her, so I pick up the story when she returns to a small but close community in North Wales. I wanted to explore how someone could ‘lose’ themselves and to examine further about stalking and its outcome. I have recently found my ending to this story and am working the plot towards that end.

  1. What are the elements of writing you love and dislike the most?

I am a ‘free flow’ writer and as such do not plan my books. I sit with a blank page and allow the stories to develop as I write. I found this method surprising when I began, but love it and believe it works for me as a creative story teller. When I begin to write the next chapter or sub-chapter I have no idea what I am about to write. I love more than anything developing the characters that I create and imagine myself as each one whilst writing their particular chapter or sub-chapter. I love ‘oddball’ characters; describing and developing them gives me great pleasure. P.C Hugo Bott is a particular favourite and the most unlikely police officer who enters at Rogue Seed; he is a legend in his own police force for being in the right place at the right time and despite his communication limitations is a successful crime fighter or is he? I believe that most writers dislike the editing process the most; getting a book polished sufficiently for publication I found the hardest part of being a writer. But then my first book Getting Even is a lengthy one. I did however improve as the trilogy progressed and learnt how to reduce that, which may be why after publishing Boxed Off in December 2014 even that process began to become enjoyable!

  1. patmcdonaldbook3If you could offer one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, or someone considering writing a novel, what would that be?

I think that every writer will be different and I do have my own way of doing things. I would and do advise writers just to write. I tell them to stop trying to conform to a preconceived set of ‘rules for writers’, which I believe stifles creativity. Let it flow as you think it, give reign to your thoughts, ideas and imagination. I do speak out about people who write books and articles on how you should write, what words you shouldn’t use and a whole gamut of advice on the destruction of the adverb, because I believe it frustrates and destroys genuine expression. Think about your story and be true to it; you conceived it because you wanted to tell it, so concentrate on how you imagine it could proceed and end. Your style and way of writing is as valid as anyone else’s. If we all conformed to the one set of rules it would be like writing to a formula – how boring would that be for literature? Ask yourself though, is there more than one ending? There is nothing worse than reading a book and finding yourself disappointed by the ending. But at the end of the day it is YOUR story, so be true to yourself – how would you want it to end with a ‘bang’ or a ‘whimper’?

British Crime Author Pat McDonald lives in a rural part of the Midlands, United Kingdom. She previously worked as a researcher, project manager and programme manager in the NHS and in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. She is now a full time novelist. Her crime trilogy (nicknamed ‘The Blue Woods Trilogy’ because of an over active imagination at disposal of bodies!) consists of Getting Even: Revenge is best served cold, Rogue Seed and newly published Boxed Off.

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pat-McDonald/e/B00R372WK4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1424778904&sr=1-2-ent

Author Website: http://t.co/ImQ9ZT2ZbZ

Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pat-Mcdonald/502374626484358?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: Pat McDonald @issyblack

 

 * * *

The Shepherd Cover ArtANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His latest book, a short, inspirational parable THE SHEPHERD  is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance. Most recently you can see him back on the sets of films and in front of the modelling camera again.