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: Brian Connell “Msomi And Me”

WELCOME to another author interview, this time with an exciting adventure writer, Brian Connell, who was born in Kenya and spent most of his youth with famous wildlife photographers and film makers. He built and ran a game lodge for many years, and is a huge advocate for wildlife protection. His two books, “Msomi & Me” and “Elephants Are People Too” make exciting reading for both adults and children.

Here’s what he has to say:

Author Brian Connell
Author Brian Connell

“Having been brought up in East Africa, in the company of some of the greatest wild-life photographers and film-makers the world has ever seen, it was only natural for me to attach a camera to myself and follow in their illustrious footsteps. I am by no means in their league, but the lessons I learnt from them has, in my humble opinion, led me to make some worthwhile images.

Taking photographic skills and a love of the bush, I started a bush-camp in the middle of nowhere with the intention of running photographic workshops in the wilderness of Africa. For seven years I had an absolute ball, enjoying a lifestyle that few have ever experienced. My mentor, Msomi, and I lived in close proximity to the wildlife; learning, teaching and above all: living!
This collection of anecdotes will give you, the reader, a fair idea of what living in paradise is all about. Interspersed in the text are a number of stories that I have collected during my travels – myths and legends and wonderful stories from Africa. While having little to do with life in a game lodge, they show a side of Africa that few people know about. I hope you enjoy them – I do.”

Acquiring, building, and running a game lodge in Africa must take up a lot of time, however did you manage to find the time to write your books?
Quite correct. Running the lodge was extremely time consuming, but a tremendously fulfilling experience. By no stretch of the imagination could it be called ‘work’. I unwisely formed a partnership with an aquaintance who skipped with all the cash and some of the assets, forcing me to sell up and leave the lodge just to try and stay out of debt. As it was, I ended up owing the banks an absolute fortune. The books were written quite a while after the devasating loss of the lodge, suggested by a good friend as a way of getting over the pain. It worked, to a degree.
There must be lots of adventure in your experiences growing up, how did you decide what to include and what to omit in your stories?

I was brought up in Kenya, in the company of many of the wild-life greats. Armand and Michaela Denis, Alan and Joan Root, Des and Jen Bartlett to name a few. It was their influence that engendered my abiding love of the wilderness. The stories in the books are solely experiences we had while at Nokuthula, my game lodge.

Do you think you missed out on anything important by growing up in East Africa? If so, what in particular, and how do you think you would be different for it?

I probably did miss out on a lot of important stuff, but each individual has his or her own idea about what constitutes ‘important stuff’. I was too busy having fun, adventure and excitement traveling around with my film-maker friends to worry too much about was going on politically, or even socially.  This desire to be in the bush as often as possible resulted in losing out in the girlfriend stakes and becoming a bit of a loner. On the plus side though, it exposed me to people from all religions, colours and social strata, making me tolerant of all and better person for it.

10749918_592661784195430_5264524405469079307_oWhat was your favourite book as a child and why?

I was, and remain, a voracious reader, but if any one book has to be singled out, it is Jock of the Bushveld. It really made me wish I had been born into a much earlier time.

Is there an element of writing you dislike or find challenging? How do you overcome it?

I have a well-known sense of humour and am able to find the funny side of virtually any situation. This trait comes over well in my books, but it is patently obvious, when writing about poaching, for instance, that my emotions are running wild. My writing style tends to change a bit, something my readers have commented on. The only way to overcome that sort of challenge is to write it as if I was speaking aloud, warts and all, and let the emotion flow. Writing about man’s inhumanity to animals is the most challenging and emotional experience for me.

Do you have any tips or advise for new authors and writers?

I write about my personal experiences, so it’s perhaps a bit easier than writing a novel. I tend to day-dream a bit, telling myself stories in my head and let my sub-conscious work away at it for a while. Then write! Let it flow., and it will! Let the words appear, disregarding good grammar or ‘correct’ sentence structure. You can always go back and edit. But above all, don’t be shy to display your emotions if writing about something dear to your heart.

Would you like to add anything?

My books tell stories of Africa, a place of mystery and adventure even today. But Africa’s wildlife is in dire straits with the terrible poaching epidemic currently underway. I would plead with anyone who has a heart and a sense of adventure to read my books, get a feel for the wonders of living in the bush and doing everything they can to help out.

 

Click on any of the pictures above to access Brian’s website, and please share this interview with your friends. Together we can all do our part to help protect the dwindling wildlife around the world that is being cruelly slain illegally. Once the wildlife is gone, there won’t be any more!

 

 

 * * *

49q hard coverANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for both children and adults. His elaborate first novel 49Q? THE ENIGMA CONTINUES 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.

 

 

49q? The Enigma Continues – REVIEWS

There’s a surprisingly good reason why 49q? The Enigma Continues is climbing up the Amazon bestseller charts – people are buying it and they like it!

49q hard coverIt’s a VERY unconventional book, and even when I devised the concept almost 20 years ago, I wasn’t sure how well it would be received. I still think readers will either LOVE IT or hate it. Here’s some reviews of those that (obviously) love it:

“One of the most interesting stories I have read on Amazon”

“This book is amazing. This book is insane. This book is vital. This book is unreadable. This book died for your sins.”

“Two thumbs up!”

“Each chapter unravels a totally unique plot that keeps me driven towards the story and I just can’t put it down.”

“This is an excellent story with lots of interesting action and great development of plot.”

“This is a very imaginative well written fantasy with lots of action and good character development.”

“This is a great concept novel from author Anthony Donnelly. His works are among the most interesting and ground-breaking on the Kindle store.”

VERY humbling reviews, and I thank ALL my readers that have taken the time to post their comments and reviews online. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about and write your own review, why not take advantage of the 80% discount that’s currently on offer. Order your copy today!

49q? The Enigma Continues

#NEW #KINDLE Novel 4 #FREE

49q cover 149q? The Enigma Continues is currently FREE to download in Kindle format. Please help spread the word and share this blog, tweet it up, and post it on Facebook…!!!

Currently ranked #58… can we get it into the Top 10 together…?

“This is a great concept novel from author Anthony Donnelly. His works are among the most interesting and ground-breaking on the Kindle store. I think that Anthony is a very talented author and that we will soon start hearing of him in respected book publications.”

(one of the 5 star reviews so far)

 

 

#FREE #BOOK #GIVEAWAY Excerpt from the Free Novel #rt

My full length high-concept SciFi Novel “49q? The Enigma Continues” is FREE TODAY on Amazon.

Here’s a quick sneak peek inside part of the enigma…

“The Quasimodo Theory?”

“Yeah, like I base my whole life on a hunch.” He belched again.

Fanny was now fast asleep on his lap, her face buried in his crotch. J-R still snored in the corner, despite Stump’s efforts to annoy him by throwing each of his empty lager cans at his head. Blagg had called for room service about fifteen minutes earlier and complained that the bar only had four lagers left in it. He had snorted that it wasn’t fucking good enough, and if they didn’t want him to come down to the lobby stark naked and prove why he was called Blagg Hardon, they should fucking well get some cold lagers up there pronto – 49 cold lagers to be precise. Needless to say, five minutes later, room service rang the bell of the penthouse and forty-nine cold lagers were trollied in. Twelve of them now littered the floor where Jonny-Ray slept.

“But that still doesn’t answer the question of where you get your lyrics?”

Read more for FREE by clicking on this link: 49q? The Enigma Continues

49q cover new

Please share, retweet, and let all your friends know about this FREE OFFER !!!

#Free for One More Day!!!

Good news everybody! I just discovered I have an extra FREE day for my book, THE SHEPHERD, to be downloaded for FREE.

The Shepherd Cover Art

If you missed out on the original launch party giveaway last week, you can benefit from my oversight and get your free copy today only.

Please share this offer on facebook, twitter, your blog, wherever. I really need the extra push and support.

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

#newreleases “Writing Buy The Book.”

“Balls-deep in Paradise.” coming later this Summer… a sneak peek…

I think this first draft introduction to the new work says it all… it’s a really tough piece to write, and I am so honored and thankful to have all of you as supporters and FRIENDS cheering me on in the background – don’t worry, I’ve changed the names to protect the guilty…!

"Balls-deep In Paradise" by Anthony Donnelly
“Balls-deep In Paradise” by Anthony Donnelly

Introduction:
MY Secondary School English teacher, William R. Malyszko (just to give him credit!), once told me, “Write what you know.”
How could he possibly have gleaned from the vacation story writing assignment for which I submitted THREE NOTEBOOKS – instead of the asked for three pages – that I had a passion for writing? The aforementioned comment and the ‘F’ rating of my assignment (thankfully) didn’t diminish my passion for the written word. It could have done, however, and it pains me that people of leadership/ role models abuse (or don’t acknowledge) the power they have. Thankfully, far from perturbing me from writing, it planted an unconscious seed in me instead (something teachers and other folks of influence are all too often unaware of) it pushed me further into the realm of seeking exciting experiences to write about.
As the ‘experiencer’ (made-up-word – hopefully!) of my life, even though I have been a CEO, an actor, a freelance writer, a world traveler, and a hobo, I never really thought of it as exciting, adventurous, or even entertaining. How many of us actually reflect back upon our lives and think they were of any real significance? People say we all have at least ONE book inside us, but who truly believes their life is worth writing about? Even the celebrities bow down to PR-heads that tell them their fans are dying to read something, but they never – rarely – write the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as is read in later memoirs lamenting the fact, and admitting their slavery.

This, therefore, is the book I’ve always wanted to write, but never felt was interesting enough to dilute my time to writing. I am writing about what I know, but I think it is dull and boring – thank heavens others don’t feel the same way. To them, I have led a precarious, fascinating, adventurous, nefarious, and down-right naughty existence. I cannot cast judgement on that, I lived the life I was born into – I think I played the hand I was dealt rather well – and I learned some tricks along the way. I know I broke hearts, I had my heart broken. I know I’m not a saint, but I’m not going to Hell either (I don’t believe in that! Which I guess helps…?!)
Unlike many of my other published works, this is very current. It is set in 2014, the time of my first trip to Costa Rica, a mesmerizing and enchanting country for which I have nothing but praise and admiration – especially for their performance in the World Cup! I won’t pass comment about England.
As you will read in this book – if you, hopefully, read more than this meager introduction, I was sexually abused as a very young child, I became a struggling, young entrepreneur, I dabbled in the quagmire of ‘sexual identity’, I was that typical ‘almost-ran’ who could have been anything, yet choose to be nothing, I loved, I lost, I married, I divorced, I traveled, and went from riches to rags… Boring, I know, but somewhere along the way I lost myself (or who I thought I was) found myself, lost myself, and found something much greater…
Do yourself a favor, don’t read this book. Unless your life is totally in the toilet, or you are lost, or you just have sympathy with a fellow human being… What am I saying? Please buy this book, put it in your toilet for friends to read when they are constipated – it might make them laugh so much they’ll shit (can you say shit? Not a made-up-word!)
I always had the dream of writing a self-help book that was as entertaining as a novel, I never dreamed I would have to actually LIVE that life to make it come true. Well, this is it… part memoir, part fiction (most of it, I assure you!) This is what it is – how I view my life right now: this is who I am, I have nothing to hide. Attack me, if you will. Praise me, if you will. My ‘Henry the Egg’ artwork sums up my life.
I hope you enjoy this story, or at the very least your friends have some humor whilst they work our their shit in your toilet…

 

Anthony Donnelly

The #Worldcup & World Travel

Every four years an amazing transformation happens to this expatriated Englishman… for four weeks during the World Cup he becomes an obsessive football (soccer) fan.

englandflagStrangely enough this is a fairly new phenomenon as he was never really that fond of football as a kid growing up – he played it, of course, but never really watched it, had a favorite team, or followed the game much. Much to his father’s disgust, who was an avid player and watcher of the game. He even turned down the opportunity to see a Wembley Cup Final with his Dad one time! This is the first World Cup his late father will be missing…

The games so far have been enthralling. The referees seem to have undergone extensive retraining. They have goal line technology – finally – which was a big point of concern at the last World Cup. And the teams seem to have entered the tournament with a renewed patriotic passion that has been missing in previous years. Perhaps it’s merely the exotic location of Brazil, but thus far there has not been a dull game yet.

Some incredible matches in the first few opening days, namely that of Holland and Spain – a fantastic comeback and an (almost) embarrassing end result. In similar fashion the comeback of Costa Rica yesterday – the underdog of Group D – proving that we may well be in for the best display of football the World Cup has seen in many, many years.

Obviously, for those uninterested in football or sports, this is probably torture, but there are many other channels for you to watch, so don’t cry too much!

For this world traveler, though, it does pose a wee bit of a problem. English by birth, the England team is obviously the main focus for me, and I must say that I was impressed with their performance yesterday, although a win against the Italians would have made me feel better! Having spent almost all my adult life (and ALL my football watching life) abroad, I have a certain affinity to other countries and their teams. A long time in Germany, I look forward to their first game. The England – Italy game was tough, as I was educated in Florence. More recently I have been living in the US (although I will be watching their game with a certain amount of sympathy, much like a father watching their children play a school game!) My latest travels took me to Costa Rica, so I shared ENORMOUS joy in their win against Uruguay – Pura Vida!

I often wonder, as I travel around, how many of the world’s troubles could be diminished, if we switched the battlefield for the football field, but I guess that’s probably just wishful thinking. For this converted footie fan, I’m just hoping for these exciting games to continue with the same passion and pace. I leave you with an old video of a patriotic song I co-produced many years ago… May the best team win!