I’m Moving to Japan

This feels like de ja vu, just then when I typed in the title and began writing this post, I could have sworn I had done this before at another time in another life maybe. I’ve always wanted to see Japan, always wanted to visit it and I am not entirely sure why? Maybe it is because I’m a country boy, maybe it is because I’ve always been drawn to places where there are little to no people. A trip to Scotland, where I visited the island of Raasay has been one of the best get aways I have ever had, I remember a time when I was wandering the wilderness, it wasn’t like the woodlands in Wales, it wasn’t anything like forests in England..No, this one was far more wild, with carpets of green moss blanketing the woodland surfaces, masking huge round rocks, climbing up tree trunks and housing all sorts of mammals and insects. Plant life was everywhere, there was no path to walk or any sign of a straight line, it was picturesque, the way nature had intended things to be, balanced yet in ordered chaos. Before I left this green wonderland however, I spotted in the distance, coming out from the forest, a stag with huge antlers. For a moment I froze, eyes locked onto a creature I had never seen in real life before. The stag eventually moved on but was followed by another three beautiful stags! It was an incredible moment, a moment I’ll never forget, but at the time I did not appreciate the visit or this sighting whole heartedly, because I was a rebellious little seventeen year old who knew everything about the world and how it worked..We’ve all been there right? Unless you are not seventeen yet in which case you’re probably staring into your phone right now rather than reading this or God forbid a book of somekind, but over time, as you get older, such memories forge themselves into diamonds – Even throughout Europe I always felt at ease when sleeping in the forests or atop mountains where there were no people around other than the one or few I was travelling with. I’ve always been one to love my space and bask in the silence, but something must have happened to shift my perspective on things, because now I am aiming to go to one of the most busiest places on the planet, Japan. Compared to my previous few posts this one will be relatively short, but here are my reasons for wanting to work and live in the country of Japan. Enjoy.

  • I cannot stay in the UK; As much as I love the island which I consider to be my home, as much as I love the house and environment I grew up in, it is not the place I want to spend my entire life. I truly, have some priceless memories there, it has been kind to me and I will die there, but I am alive, I still have plenty to do, to see, to experience. I cannot live out my life there nor on this island. I may be a late bloomer when it comes to this travelling game, but I am embracing the change and going for it.
  • I’ve spent the majority of my time seeking space and evading large clusters of people; Perhaps it is time one tries a different approach. One of the lessons I’ve learned over the last few years is that when you step out of your comfort zone, as hard as it might be, you grow extensively from it and create fond memories to look back on. What with the Japanese culture, the language barrier and the giant population, I wonder who I will be facing in the mirror in a few years time.
  • I’ve always wanted to go to Japan; This would be the second time I’ve said this but when I was younger, all the magic I experienced, all the cool shit that I was exposed to in games, films and other artistic platforms, most of them came from Japan. I kind of built up a place in my head of what it was like there, a technologically advanced, sci-fi culture and although this may be stretching it just a little bit, it isn’t that far from the truth, they have always been a few steps ahead of us. Whenever we hear about the next big idea, or the latest break through in science, it would be a fair bet that it came from the minds in Japan.
  • I want a challenge; It is going to be hard, it is going to be expensive. I’ve paid for the visa, all I need do now is fill out the application forms, liaise with the embassy so we can establish what it is I’ll actually be doing for money over there, sort out accommodation and book a plane ticket. Given the amount of rent I am paying in Oxford, taking into account living expenditures and tallying it up next to my earnings, this will be difficult if I want to be out of here by June, but it is achievable. I can do it, it is just going to be hard. Even if I do not make it out by June, I’ll find a way, but I can pass this test even if it means working extra and doing a lot more over time.
  • I’ve never had my own place before; Besides that of my dorm in the first year of University which I loved, I’ve never lived alone, I’ve lived like a student for the majority of my life and even though there is nothing wrong with that (what with the expense of accommodation these days) living this way is very freeing, it is easy and the responsibility is shared among the others I live with, the others being my two brothers and Dave. The idea to live in my own space again is a very appealing idea, and from what I’ve been told, in Japan they build up, so it is likely I’ll be given a killer view. This is exciting.
  • The fantasy genre is taking off; I really should do my research before I type this up, but I have a shower to take and work later this afternoon, and my hair takes a long..Long while to dry, so I’ll be brief. I was sent a link which I’ll search for on my messenger feed this evening, the link was about epic fantasy novels growing in popularity overseas, anyone who has a book in this genre is urged to get it translated into Chinese, Japanese or both, because success has come to some and can come of it with mine. Please, if anyone can correct me or help with any information regarding this, feel free to use the contact links below.
  • I have no idea what I am in for; People will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure. In a similar way it is fear of the unknown that stops most people in their tracks to do the things they really want to do. They convince themselves that they cannot achieve whatever it is they want, whether it be circumstances, pointing the finger or blaming, and although they may win the battle, they lose the war by keeping themselves in a state of comfort and the familiar. Over time this longing for change, the feeling of unfulfillment resides and grows. This feeling in months if not years to come, after doing the same old thing day after day, working the same job, seeing the exact same people, following the same routine, will turn into regret and resentfulness within themselves, realising that the pointed finger has turned onto them. I literally have no idea what to expect! How I will handle this!? If I will have the necessary funds!? What I’ll be doing and where I’ll end up!? This is fucking scary but even scarier than that, is looking back in years to come, and regretting not having taken the risk. Find me a great story where our hero or heroine, walks into adversary, confident of victory? You are the star of your own epic story, who are you going to be?

That is all I can think of at this moment in time, I am sure I’ll think of a load more reasons throughout the day. As I said, I am aiming to move at the end of June 2018 or in the first half of July before my birthday. I still have a few more forms to fill out, accommodation to research, a job to find and a plane ticket to buy at the end of it all, but all of this will be worth the struggle, the hassle and stress when I look out my window to a view I simply have not seen before. If anyone reading this can send me any relevant information, please do so using the links provided, it will be greatly appreciated. If anyone wants to help this lonely writer along with his travels, you can always purchase my book ‘The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream,’ on Hardback or if you’d like it on Kindle you can buy it from the exact same place, just be sure you purchase Volume One. If you are not interested in my books but still want to help, then you can always just write me a cheque or send me a briefcase full of money, either way I’d be open to it.

Thank you for reading, and I hope at the very least this inspires you to not let fear and doubt overpower your decisions, decisions that can change your life for the better even though it may not feel that way at the time. You only live once and living your life on repeat is not living at all, it is merely existing. I quote William Wallace from the movie Braveheart, the Scotsman who fought for his country’s freedom and independence; ‘Every man dies, not every man really lives.’ Do something you do not think you can do, go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, take that job or work towards that job you’ve always wanted; And yes I am no great example, I am far from achieving my own goals and at times I do not take my own advice, but what I do know is that nothing will change if you just sit there, you’ll only resent yourself in the future. I’ve made the choice to go to Japan after my options were made clear, I’ve made the choice to continue writing Episode Two and there will come a time when I’ll be faced with another set of choices, one of those choices will be to do nothing. Do you think I’ll take that choice?

_____

E-mail – taotome@outlook.com

To my Author Page UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6

To my Author Page US – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6

My Twitter – @MegasTeque

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*The pitcure I used was not mine, it does not belong to me. Link to the writer and creator is listed below.

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D.W.Gill

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For me – What is Love?

Since publication, I’ve entered into a new domain..Sort of..I’ve had to manage and maintain an online presence, it has been a pleasure at times, not so much at others, I’ve had to be sure to thoroughly revise absolutely everything I’ve put out there because people are reading and watching, and I’ve learnt how to take criticism of ALL kinds. I believe and have said before that there is no such thing as negative criticism, if someone does not like your work, fine, if someone loves your work, fine, if someone has something constructive to say, then you can only benefit from that, it depends what is said, and how you take it but the worst thing you can do is not act or continue to repeat mistakes that have been pointed out to you prior, but I digress. In doing this, I’ve slowly woken up to the fact that this project isn’t just a sketch on the back of a receipt, it’s not a College project or a manuscript anymore, it is something that has grown up, transformed, something that has evolved once it graduated from drafts, into a Kindle and into a Hardback, and people are reading, a lot of people are reading in fact and it is one of the best feelings in the world, I get messages almost everyday from those who are following. Most who read are in fact friends, mutual friends and family, I love waking up to positive messages from people I’ve not spoken to in ages, or getting the odd few throughout the day that brightens my day at work. It is very touching and I thank all of you for taking an interest and the time to contact me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your time spent reading my stuff is greatly appreciated. There is a wide percentage however who are reading whom I’ve never met before, who are complete strangers. Most people so far like it, if not love the work I’ve put out, I haven’t really received anything negative other than the odd seriously sensitive person who thinks it is too violent or certain scenes are too graphic, I do take this into consideration none the less, but when people read, they like to be transported into that world not of our own, and it is my job as a writer to paint the most vivid picture possible to ease the transition, and if it so happens I am talking about a battle sequence involving men with sharp melee weapons, the results are not going to be pretty, are they? You can also flip the script here and describe a sex scene between two characters, there are people out there who are perfectly fine with swords entering bodies, but not okay with a males piece entering a female. In these situations you just have to let that sort of thing slide and just carry on with the work, because no matter what you do, you cannot please everyone. There is an age restriction on the book, there is adult content, do not let your children read if you are a parent or guardian, and please if you have a complaint, be sure that it is a genuine concern and not something silly like the sex scenes are too graphic. I actually re-read such scenes as few as they are and they are not exactly that explicit, more suggestive than anything and romantic. I am proud of them and would not ever change them. Never the less, a few weeks ago I got a call, a call from a young girl, I think her name was Emily or Emma, I forget the signal was pretty weak, and she said she had been reading Episode One – The Utopian Dream. One of the first things I said to her was ‘Are you old enough to be reading? The book is more for grown ups.’ She said very little about herself, but what she did want to talk to me about was something I’d never talked of before. She loved my main protagonist, Isabelle, she enjoyed the love story between Isabelle and the Dark Rogue, Teo Liolas. She seemed more interested in the relationship dynamics than anything else I had written about, she even suggested I write less epic fantasy and more love stories; This got me thinking about this next post. It’s February, Valentines Day is round the corner, hence I thought I’d talk about something a little meaningful and pretty complicated, a topic that embraces so much.

I’ve been writing on this Blog for over a year now, it is actually coming up to two years since I opened it, time seriously does fly, it is crazy! Yesterday I was a twenty-four year old, working up a story, going to the cinema once a week with my best friend Fenix and occasionally going out with all sorts of people doing ill-advised things, things that usually involved a high cliff, a rough sea below it and that wonderful thing called gravity to take control. Now, I am thirty, I’ve seen so much more of the world since, my skills in story structure, my creativity has tripled, I am working on so much and my views on life, self-growth and wisdom have broadened, and people still call me a baby, it’s great. I’ve written about so many topics since this Blog opened though, the subjects mainly centred around my book work of course, but I’ve varied it from time to time to talk about other things, such as life goals, favourite video games, films and books. I’ve responded to other Blog posts, revealed excerpts of the current project, shared encounters I’ve had with companies, the most recent one being the scam artists Voyage Media. I’ve talked about a few of my adventures but not once have I EVER talked about one of the most powerful human emotions we can experience..Love..I will not say it is THE most powerful emotion out there, it certainly ranks within the top three without a doubt, and it is so very important to try to understand and recognise..No, I will leave you to guess which feeling IS the most potent or at least the one which I think is the most powerful within a human being till the very end of this post. Yes, the idea is to keep you reading till the end, come on if I was not familiar with this simple anticipation tactic I wouldn’t be very good at what I do, and I want to be the best at this fantasy story game. I am not going to deny it and I believe I can be one of the best, I believe anyone can be the best at what they do if they are determined enough and try, using their passion, their strength, even if it just for a brief moment in time you cannot stop doing what you feel like you are here to do, you cannot give up, you have to keep fighting and overcome whatever barriers get in your way in order to reach your goals, to be the best person you can be. Not only will I talk about love and what it means to me, but I will share with you a few pieces of music that helps stir up this emotion in me, they are best heard with headphones, in a quiet room without interruptions. These are tracks special to me, and I hope you will be able to relate. Let me know what you think of them using the contact info below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them and on what I share with you in this article; If you’d like to share with me which emotion resonates the strongest inside you, please get in touch, tell me why I am wrong perhaps, but for now, let’s get on with; ‘For Me – What is Love?’ I’ll also dive a little into Valentines Day, talk about relationships and share my own quirkiness that I hope you find interesting.

Before I’ve even started, already I’ve hit a wall and gone a bit cross-eyed. Where does one even begin to answer this question? How can one actually put this feeling of love into words? It encompasses so much, it is unreal! I guess, after a lot of coffee and thought, staring up at the ceiling, gazing dreamily into my stuffed Imp (my soft toy) I figured the best place to start is to define it. I checked the dictionary and it says:-

Love – Noun

  1. A strong feeling of affection.
  2. A great interest or pleasure in something.       

Love – Verb

  1. Feel deep affection or sexual love for someone. 

Of course, the definitions go on and on in extensive detail, so much detail in fact that if I had shared them all, it would have filled up a whole A4 page, but the noun and verb written above sums it up pretty accurately for most to understand, in as few words as possible. Don’t worry, I am not going to sit here and write you up a clinical evaluation on such a universal feeling, although Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty makes a pretty funny assessment of it in Season One, Episode 6 – Love Potion, one of my favourite episodes of this genius cartoon. I hope to not bore you with other people’s written definitions revolving around logic and reason, because love is a little divorced from these two words in the first place, we’ve all caught ourselves in a crazy position acting on loves impulses and thought; “What the hell are you doing?” or “This is insane!” It makes us behave in very strange ways, sometimes makes us say and do foolish things, it can get us into trouble, cause us to act daft, irrational and at times just plain stupid, but it also can have the opposite effect. Love can focus us, it can get behind the wheel and drive us, give us a strength we never thought we had, enabling us to do extraordinary things and perform heart warming gestures. Just after writing the last few sentences it has made me re-evaluate what I had initially wanted to say, and I’ve had to go back and re-do this post. Realise that love is just..Strange..Effecting each and every one of us in vastly different ways and I do not need to tell you that every person you meet, and happen to see along your great human journey is different, different to everyone else due to a HUGE amount of factors! There are many ways to love, many different forms of love and they do vary; For example, I love my parents, I love my hat, my Imp and I also love a handful of my friends, the wording is the same but the meaning attached to each sentence is different. I do not love my hat in the same way I love Imp or my Mum and Dad, I do not love my friends in the same way I love my nephew who turns four this year, or someone I am intimate with. So there are indeed many forms in which this emotion takes. I am going to write about what I think love is however, what I think it means from my perspective, from a straight males perspective, a man in love with a woman. If you happen to be a woman who is interested in women or if you are a gay man who loves other men, this article also relates to you, but because I am lazy, I am not going to change the pronouns around okay, you’ll have to do that part yourself when they fail to pop up because as I said, I am a bit lazy, I type quickly and have a lot of things to do today. I believe whole heartedly that love expressed between gay people is the same love expressed between straight couples, that is the way I have always seen things. If anyone disagrees with this, then you can disagree, you are free to do so, although I do not share this way of thinking and suggest you think about changing your psychology. I strongly suggest you talk to gay couples, listen to them and you will see that what they say, what they share with their significant others, is no different to how a man cares for his woman or a woman cares for her man. With all that aside, this is what love means to me. Enjoy.

Love is indefinable, it is something no one word can properly define, something that science cannot measure and value or maths can put a number on, it’s an expression, a human emotion. It is a connection, a unique feeling deep within you, an invisible bond you build and share between you and your partner. One way to describe the feeling is, that it feels like going home or returning to the familiar, at least that is part of it, there is so much it entails it would be impossible to list them all, it can appear in a smile, the simplest of gestures, a kiss or even a light touch. Another way to put it is; It’s an attachment, an attachment that can bend, sway, rise, fall and can sadly in some circumstances, break. I’ve felt and experienced my fair share of success’ and failures and believe me when I say, there are positives that can be found within the negatives. You can grow from unpleasant experiences and from loss and even if it does not feel it at the time, you will rise to be more than what you were after a loss, a better version of yourself so to speak. For those of you who are young, and have not experienced the strains and pulls of this bewildering emotion, I can tell you that it can hurt, it can hurt beyond any pain you have ever felt. You can suffer in ways that you cannot imagine, its torture in some moments, but please, do not let this deter you, if it hurts so much, if you are in pain over a great loss, it is a reflection of how much you cared, it means you are capable of loving someone, in some ways what you are experiencing in the moment is a poetic tragedy, a beautiful sadness, and this sadness comes with life and the human experience. What I mean when I say this; Is that nothing will motivate you more when you are loveless, it will hurt, it will make you ill, it will fill you with all sorts of negative emotions and you’ll literally feel like death, but like a caterpillar hides and withers away, it eventually emerges from its cocoon into something far greater than it once was, grows wings, develops colour and takes flight, in time so shall you. It is okay to feel depressed, it is okay to feel angry and to punch a hole in the wall risking the bones in your hand, do what you need to do to heal from a loss, but do not bury it, because it won’t go anywhere, it will only manifest and grow like a sickness, you have to let it out. There is a saying out there, ‘It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.’ What really matters though is what comes along with love’s connection, and what you’d give to hold onto that connection, because what comes with being human is the knowledge that we are all organic, sadly we all will die someday, the lights will go out, and our experiences while alive on this beautiful planet are finite. With this in mind, ask yourselves this question; What is the most precious thing you can give someone else? Have a think before you read on … If your answer was a diamond ring, the new XboxOne console, a mountain of chocolate, a bottle of whiskey or a Pony, I am sorry but you’re wrong (although the new XboxOne would be great). No, the greatest gift you can give someone else, is the gift of your time. Our time here is valuable, spend it with the right person, spend it with someone who wants you around, who gets excited to be with you, who shares and embraces your interests, who would do anything to make you smile, who would not only look after you when things are getting you down, but someone who looks after and takes care of themselves.

Because our time is so limited, this goes to reason as to why I encourage EVERYONE to do away with what others ‘think’ you should do! (Yes, it’s ranting time!) I am here to tell you that you do NOT need to be married by the age of twenty-five! Marriage is nothing more than a contract that allows the Government into your relationship anyway, but that is a rant for another time. You do NOT need to go to University in order to be successful! You do NOT need to have a fast car, wealth or a banging career to make a lasting impression! You do NOT need any of that, all you need is a brain in your head and a tongue in your mouth, do the things that you want to do, do something that inspires you, that elevates you, that encapsulates who you are as a person and share it with the world, be proud of it…Or…Keep it to yourself if that is what makes you happy, not everything needs to be made public. For all of you who are alone today or have been alone for a long time, trust me when I say, you do NOT need to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend in order to be happy, this could not be so far from the truth. Being alone can strengthen you in more ways than you can imagine, being able to depend on no-one but yourself is admirable. Embracing your own independence is not something everyone can do, in fact not many can handle it and chase after partners, but it is a sign of power and to my mind is the sexiest thing someone can put on display, independence. In spite of what you ladies may think of us guys, it is not I repeat it is NOT just about a good set of legs, a sweet-smelling perfume, colourful eyes and a figure shaped similarly to an hour-glass all fitted nicely inside a red silk dress, no, it is actually all about behaviour, positive personality traits and how you carry it and how you express it. Empathy, compassion, humour without complete humiliation, intelligence, witt, ambition…Embrace these things, let them shine for no one but yourself and others will notice. Love is about giving, love is about being playful and having fun. Loving someone else is more to do with sharing your happiness together, if you get into a relationship while miserable within yourself, that other person may stick with you for a little while, you may start out just fine because being with someone is exciting, but sooner or later you are going to need to fall back onto yourself and your own life, and if you were unhappy to begin with, nothing your partner can do will relieve that feeling, and she may leave you because without even knowing it, you have become so dependant on them as a source of happiness, you’ll suffocate them for affection, you’ll come across as needy and this is not a desirable thing. In short, you have to be content within yourself first, you have to be fine by yourself first before you even think about building a life with someone else, because building a life with another human being is not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, it is hard, it is so very hard dealing with your own issues let alone another set. Along the way, you will not only be given gifts of joy, happiness and pleasurable times but you WILL stagger and fall from time to time, you will feel waves of sadness and unhappiness and depending on the man or woman you have chosen (and you must choose them everyday) they will help pick you up, they will stick by you, they will help you through thick and thin, they will communicate with you, and they will respect you. You cannot love someone without respecting them, you simply cannot lose self-respect, it is as vital as trust in one another. Do not go into this thinking that they will always be there for you, they are not your mother or elder sister, they will help you but you must be able to help yourself if your love will survive the test of time.

Love can sometimes be about the bigger picture, sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation with someone where you both have those same feelings for one another, but the circumstances just won’t allow it to bloom into something more, this is a sad situation to be in because it is almost like fate won’t have you together. Some of you are probably wondering what circumstances? Well, what if you love a girl who is in a family who hates yours for whatever reason? What if they don’t like you for some bizarre reason and do all they can to stop you two connecting? What happens if you are separated by continents? What if one of you has strong religious convictions? Now, this is where I need to be careful with what I say because if a woman loves you, and if you really love her, then religious convictions, friends, family, distance and whatever else you may want to throw between them, none of that matters, seriously it doesn’t matter! In spite of what the majority will tell you, this is false! I believe that if the feelings are well and truly there, if they are genuine, then you’d both do everything within your power to be together, this is what makes love beautiful, people will fight for it and overcome great barriers to achieve it. I say this because I do honestly believe it AND because I’ve experienced it and witnessed it happen elsewhere, I know that there is something more to it than what Rick Sanchez says, no disrespect Rick. If you are not willing to break the mould, if you are not feeling that urgency, that drive to see her face again, to touch her again, to laugh with her and to just be with her in the present moment again, then the feelings are either not there, they haven’t been given enough time to properly develop, or it quite simply isn’t meant to be. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about or cannot relate to this, just you wait, just wait til you meet that one person out of the billions out there who doesn’t just flip your entire world, but makes it better. That is part of what love is I think, it doesn’t quite make sense, it does warp your own reality and makes you do crazy, spontaneous sometimes even uncomfortable things, but as I said, it is not always sunshine and rainbows, sometimes it is messy, sometimes it is weird and challenging and in the moment you won’t see this, but when you look back in months or years to come, I promise you that those frowns you pulled WILL be replaced with insistent smiling.

A common misconception of love really does test you and reveals who you are as a person underneath. This misconception can take you back to square one, it can reverse everything that you thought you knew about love and cause you to re-think your concepts of what love is – And that is the ability to just let her go…I know, you just said “What?” Give me a chance to explain – The ultimate act of love is contradictory to what most people (and the media) may think, most people hang on for dear life especially when going through a break-up a divorce or a separation of any kind. It is in these moments of panic, fear and stress where our true feelings and real self are revealed. Some people refuse to accept the situation, refuse to move on, they lose all empathy for the other person and turn inward, going against everything that what love stands for. They cling on, they call, they txt, they send endless e-mails and letters all in a desperate attempt to re-connect with that person, while they ignore what their ex-partner needs, disregarding what SHE wants at this moment in time. If for example, someone breaks up with you, or if you were the one who ended things and want them back and she rejects you, you have to respect that, you have to walk away and let her be. I am not saying you should not fight for that relationship, you need to do what you can within reason and understanding your situation, because every situation is different. If you’re in love with her then you will inevitably do what you can to hold on, but you need to know when to stop, you cannot manipulate or force reality to be anything other than what it is – If you do that then you will suffer and worse, she will see through what you are trying to pull and it won’t end well, for she will lose all respect for you and no one can love someone else without respecting them. If you pursue or try to force things to happen in your favour, you’re done, you need to cut that shit out instantly because that is not what love is, in fact it is the complete opposite, you aren’t pursuing them because you really love them, you are chasing them to sooth your own anxiety and this is in part a very selfish act. In doing this you will make yourself sick, you will make yourself crazy and you’ll ruin everything you built with her over the time you were together, forever tainting all of those wonderful memories you made.

Love is not about making anyone do anything; In the beginning you did not make her want you, in the beginning you did not force anything or at least I hope you didn’t because they are awful foundations on which to build a loving relationship. I imagine things happened naturally and slowly progressed as it should, and now it is over you’ve lost the connection and will employ every and all irrational strategies to try to get your way, to sooth that sense of fear, and as tempting as this may be, nothing you do when in this line of thought will work, you need to remain in control of yourself, you need to keep your calm and hold yourself together as best you can. I understand, I really do, it can be hard, the feeling of losing someone, being separated from someone you love is like death and it dates back to when we were small babies, if our care givers left us alone for an extended amount of time, we’d die because we needed them to survive; Anxiety is the urge to DO something to prevent death, so when you are going through a break up, all these old feelings boils up releasing those same anxious feelings, and this causes us to do irrational things, usually in the form of hounding your ex partner to the point of insanity. I get it, I really do, I’ve been there, I’ve done it, I’ve regretted it and apologised for it, but come on, you’re not a baby anymore, kicking and screaming throwing a tantrum is not going to help your situation, it is only going to make it worse. You’re an adult now, you are not going to die without her, let the feeling beat you up for a while, and it will win everyday for a long time, until you catch it off guard one day and knock IT to the floor instead. This is where the phrase ‘turning a corner’ comes from and you should not be afraid of it, even if you still love that person and want things to be different, you gotta get on with things.

Letting someone be happy without you; Letting them be free, living the life they want to live without you, and falling in love with someone else in turn shows that you DO love her, because love isn’t just about you, understand that it is about her also, about her needs, ambitions, her goals and desires, and as hard as this is to hear/read, as hard as this pill is to swallow, if she wants to end things with you or if your relationship breaks down, if you truly love her, you should want her to go off, to be and to do, she is an adult too, and if the situation were reversed, you’d want her to respect your decision. Now, if you happen to be someone in a similar situation to those I’ve just described, who say has displayed manipulative tactics to try to win her back, don’t worry, I was guilty of it too years and years ago, I’ve done some batshit things in previous relationships, things that make absolutely no sense causing me to laugh at myself for doing them at times, but the key thing to remember is that I took those experiences, learned from them and decided to never do that shit again, and life has improved since. Instead, when in those dire moments of loss and doubt, give yourself time alone, be angry, be depressed, be upset, do what you have to in order to rise above it, realise that you are worth something, that you still have so much to offer someone, that you can still live a wonderful life. Also, be happy for her (Unless she did something horrific, like cheat with multiple people or make tea by putting the tea bag in with milk, then fuck her off completely and never look back), the fact that she is still out there, doing things, experiencing things, growing as a person, meeting new and interesting people, living her life, this should bring a smile to your face, and you should also remember to live your life too, you must carry on with your own interests, your own goals and dreams that are centred within your being. This is something you should have been doing even when you were with her, getting into a relationship does not mean you stop being yourself, she accepted who you were, just as you accepted who she was in the start, so it is important you always maintain your own individuality, this independence that makes you, you and unique. Independence is super sexy, a seriously attractive feature.

A little tip, more for the guys but it can apply for women too, and it is about flirting. I’ve seen so many relationships end because typically the guy, cannot handle her flirting with other men at say the club or at a party where you are present, and I feel the need to address this because you can categorise such behaviour under jealous and neediness, the two ingredients that are the main causes for break ups; Women flirt okay, get that into your head, they do it a lot of the time and it fills them with empowerment and a sense of joy, it comes natural to them and no girl I’ve ever met, does not, not want to engage in it from time to time. Obviously kissing and suggestive touching isn’t flirting, unless you are in an open relationship then you need to communicate a few things to your partner, but when it is just harmless talking and laughing with other guys, this is absolutely 100% fine. I suggest guys, that you accept that this is what women do and understand that when she flirts, it does not mean she is going to jump into bed with the guy (or girl) in the next hour, it does not mean she is not thinking of you, because in actual fact she is, and because most guys freak out and get all butt hurt when they see this, in turn losing their emotional self-control, this causes a lot of problems; When you do the opposite however and just hang back, you are displaying confidence and self-worth, why don’t you flirt with the girl standing next to you, your partner will see this, and if you have that bond there, that attachment, that trust, she won’t only see you as more of a catch, but the fact that other women find you desirable makes her love you more. It works both ways but men in my experience, from what I’ve read and seen, exhibit jealousy more than women. So, let your partner flirt with the opposite sex or even the same-sex for that matter to establish a stronger connection with one another. To me, seeing my woman flirt is actually seriously attractive, again the trust needs to be there whole heartily, but when you’ve established this bond and an understanding with one another, seeing her strut her stuff across the dance floor or at any social gathering, seeing all those guys drewling over her should not be seen as a bad thing, it should not cause jealousy or raise any kind of concern, instead I see it as an empowerment, I love seeing the woman I am with flirt with other guys because I know she is safe in her natural element, it is nice to see she is such a catch, it is nice to know that other guys are jealous of our relationship and if nothing else, it makes my partner feel great; Why would you deny this pleasure from her? If it is what she wants to do, let her do it, meet up at the end of the night and laugh about it, compare pick up lines just have fun with the girl who you’re with. Love is playful and fun, it is not serious.

Another thing I’ve heard being flung around especially around Valentines Day which I have participated in, but generally speaking I’ve not really bought into, are sentences like “I need you” or “You complete me.” Lines like this sound sweet on the surface, they sound rather comforting and warm and loving but in truth, they are a little off to me. I don’t know about you but if a woman were to say to me that she ‘Needed me’ that she ‘Couldn’t live without me’, I’d be a little concerned and rather turned off. To me, things like this are a red flag as with all the ambiguous quotes you see floating around on social media, some are quite nice, not all of them are cringy, but most make me want to hide under the stairs and lock the door. If such or similar quotes fit your dynamic, if they speak to you and your partner, then more power to you, share them, send them, speak them, I don’t have a problem with it, but for me, emotional strength is appealing, independence is appealing, kindness, compassion, someone able to see through marketing gimmicks, able to think for herself, to do her thing, someone who is able to be fine WITHOUT me, this is important! Who would want someone who depended on you for a good life? A more attractive prospect would be to be with someone you grow with, someone who doesn’t require you in her life but CHOOSES to be there, so you can learn from one another, even clash with..Yes, arguing is not always a negative thing, actually you could consider it healthy to argue, bicker and disagree from time to time, it would be pretty boring if you agreed on everything, hearing someone else’s opinions and their own points of view regardless if they line up with your own, is interesting, have fun with it, question them learn from them. Simply just talking about things over a coffee or chatting while driving in a car should be moments you look forward to. I’d rather have a woman write on a card something like ‘I don’t need you, I desire you’ or ‘Lets not just grow together in this pot, lets grow in many pots’ or ‘Don’t do anything on Valentines Day, be a slob with me in bed instead.’ These are just a few funny examples I listed quite literally off the top of my head, the idea though is that as vacuous as Valentines Day is, making an effort is not a bad thing, I’d agree by doing something is better than nothing, but do something that is unique to you two, do something that is special to you and your partner, refer to how you two met, think about a special moment you shared, list a few of her favourite things, things she loves and maybe even dislikes, going against the grain, being a bit unromantic can actually be quite sweet and humourous, but be sure you know what you’re doing, you don’t want to have the opposite reaction to what you’re going for. If red roses, love hearts, chocolates and big teddy bears are what you two click over, then Valentines Day is pretty convenient, but for most of us, for those who live in the real world who have partners who do not eat up what is thrown in front of them, do something to match your partners individual traits, make her feel special in her own unique way.     

I’ve talked a little on relationships in this post, I’ve thrown in my views on Valentines Day, pointed out some do’s and dont’s in my book of passion, even ventured into the shallow waters of anxiety territory. Maybe I’ll follow-up on this article with another that goes a bit more in-depth with these things, but this has been centred around love. Funny, even after writing all this I still feel like I’ve explained and revealed absolutely nothing, maybe the links below will help, music and visuals can help stir up this emotion. So before I close, before I reveal what emotion is more prominent than love and why (yes I’ve not forgotten about that), I would like to share with you a few scenarios and situations that I feel can say ‘I love you’ without you actually saying it, these are things that should apply throughout the year, not just on one day. Because I am a guy, this is suited more for guys in relationships, but it still works for women and same-sex couples, we are all human at the end of the day, I mean I am only assuming all who are reading this are human, I have met a few cyborgs in my life and cold calculating machines, but on with the scenarios:-

1) If your woman comes home, tired, frustrated, pissed off; Listening to what she has to say is all you need do, don’t try to fix her problems, you wouldn’t like that, just listen to her, contribute but don’t lecture, sometimes venting can be good.

2) If it is a particularly cold night, if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, chop some wood up, buy some coal and light the fire, keeping her warm at night speaks volumes.

3) Making her a cup of coffee or a tea without her asking for it is always a lovely gesture. Being aware that it has been a while since her last drink or bite to eat and then meeting her needs without her politely asking, this is amazing.

4) Being proactive around the house, like hoovering, being sure things are neat and tidy before she comes home can only be positive. If she has the following day off, if it is the end of the week, running her a bath for when she gets in or simply getting dinner started will be greatly appreciated.

5) Whatever she is doing, it doesn’t matter what (unless she is driving a car or piloting a helicopter), giving her a spontaneous hug or a soft touch she is familiar with, says a lot. You can just be passing each other in the hallway, but brushing up near her or a slight caress on her hand is a nice way to say ‘thinking of you’ without saying anything.

6) Handing her a glass of wine, getting behind her and just massaging her shoulders and neck…I cannot stress this one enough. Learn how to massage, learn a few techniques preferably from a pro, this will benefit both you and your partner, I promise you.

7) Taking her out at random provided her schedule is clear. Don’t tell her where you’re going, just say to her, ‘We are going out in a few hours, be ready.’ The dating does not stop when you’re in a relationship you know, you have to keep romancing her every once in a while.

8) Learning when to shut the fuck up, this definitely applies to both parties. There is a great scene in the film Pulp Fiction, when Vincent and Mia share a silence together, then Mia (played amazingly by Uma Thurman) says something that could not be further from the truth. I’ll leave a link below at the end of this article, check it out because I think we all can agree with what she says.

9) Leave her alone. Guess what guys, she doesn’t want you around all the time, be okay with when she tells you to bugger off, use this time and don’t feel afraid to tell her to remove herself from your presence when you want some space, but the idea is to be able to read the vibe in the room, and act accordingly without the words ever leaving her lips. We all want peace and quiet sometimes, plus the space will make one think of you.

10) Have your own life. Yes fellas, the world does not revolve around her, if you do not have your own passion or ambition in life, your own goal, what exactly are you actually striving toward? She probably has things on the side that she is fascinated in, when you are done talking about those things at the table what do you contribute? Think about that one.

These are just a few things that I think will help benefit you and your partners romantic lives, of course I could write dozens more but I need to go to bed, it is 4am here and I have work soon. Just remember that there is no rule book for this sort of thing, no manual or instruction sheet, you gotta do things for her because you want to do them, not because you think you’ll get something in return, that defeats the purpose of caring in the first place, it is unconditional. For me, providing love for someone I am intimate with, is something that grows the connection and strengthens your bond which is what you want if you want it to last.

Love in such a way that allows the other to feel free, when they are with you and when they are no longer romantically invested with you. No one wants to be held down, no one wants to be told what to do, how to dress, how to act, how to behave, who they can or cannot hang out with and when, what to eat, what to drink, what career or passion they should pursue, this is not a healthy way to be around your partner or with anyone. I see so many guys coercing their girlfriends into doing what suits them…For fuck sake you love this person!? You trust this person!? You share a bond with this person!? You are intimate with this person? Then why in the hell would you want to cage her!? Let her be free and independent, let her be who she is and show it as often as possible. She will shine when you embrace this psychology, she will smile from ear to ear at times when you eradicate any neediness you have or jealous tendencies that linger inside you, she will see the good in you and love you in ways that make you feel like a mountain. There is a lot we can experience in this life, but one of the best feelings in the world is having her love. With her in your corner, you will be the best person you can be and the world will see this.

(1) Malukah – Reignite – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2JtwAwkgxA

(2) Malukah – Frozen Sleep – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBlWKhXaLeA

(3) Halo4 – Original Soundtrack – Green and Blue – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ommLyaaLnc8

(4) Tron Legacy – Original Soundtrack – Father and Son – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_6ppCa_Xks

(5) The Village – Original Soundtrack – What Are You Asking Me – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyUwUW-lRjY

(6) Titanic – Original Soundtrack by James Horner – Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave (This music goes best with the actual scene involved. Whenever I think of what love is, this scene truly expresses it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uFlzTvUnjE )

(7) The Amazing Spiderman 2 – Original Soundtrack: Phosphorescent – Songs for Zula – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK5tjbFrBqs

8) Paul Wagner – Little Ditty – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHWTTLhUZ9I

9) Final Fantasy X Tidus and Yuna Scene – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms9fXm5QKp0

10) Pure Shores – All Saints – The Beach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfZ6PLvzlVg

Mia’s Profound Speech –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1E2cYCcn64

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I guess you want to know which emotion is more powerful than love right? This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for I can tell, and screw you if you skipped to the end just to see this message, I took a lot of time to write this article up and to get it out there before Valentines Day, so I hope you’re happy (Just kidding)…It’s hope…Hope is more powerful than love and I’ll explain why I think that. People can survive without love for a partner, you may be missing a side to ones self but we can evidently get by when we have little to none in our lives. Some people in my circle of friends actually have been without love for years and years, and they are indeed very happy, thriving if I am being totally honest. We cannot get by or survive without any hope, I challenge anyone reading this to find me the man or woman who is completely hopeless. You won’t find them because they do not exist. Hope is the reason why we dig deep during the darkest of times because we know how precious and how valuable it is to survive, it is the reason why we scrounge for a mere drop of hope in the most horrid of situations, because even just a little bit of hope, the tiniest amount can influence the biggest and hardest of decisions. Hope is something we find everyday without realising it, it is what gets us up in the morning, it’s what keeps us fighting when we are at our lowest, keeps us waiting and ticking over day after day for something to happen if we are stuck in a low point. It is when we know for a fact that there is no hope where we really do lose it. Love is powerful, yes, and it can be responsible for some pretty incredible moments in life, moments you will treasure forever and just as equally it can drive you crazy and bring around sorrow even humiliation, and hope is behind both scenarios. When you find yourself at the end of a divorce for example, when there is no love coming your way from anyone, you will get by, it will be hard but you can work through it and hope will be the driving cause, hope that someone more suited for you will love you in the future that makes you leave your house, hope keeps you working toward something you are passionate about, makes you go out when you really do not want to on the off-chance to meet someone special; This is a mild example I know you who is reading can probably come up with something better but it’s true. To get a bit deeper, let’s pretend someone close to you is seriously ill, and the doctors say that there is no hope for him or for her to pull through, terrible situation, love for that person will assist with the fight, you will do all you can to make them as comfortable as possible, although the fight in all parties would be gone. Whereas, if the doctor says “There is a small chance they’ll pull through but it’s unlikely” that small chance does not just become a ‘small chance,’ it blows up and changes the game entirely, and you keep on fighting and holding onto that hope for as long as possible. This is why I feel hope is the stronger of the two emotions. Tell me why I am wrong, tell me what emotion resonates within you the most, I’d like to hear what you have to say.

“Deprive someone of love and they can still flourish finding hidden strengths. Drain someone of all hope and you’ll drain them of the very essences of what makes them, them.”  – D.W.Gill

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To The Ancestral Odyssey – https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6

Promotional Trailers and Material –  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-nc_VEmC27AIz6pP51UVkQ?view_as=subscriber

E-mail – taotome@outlook.com

D.W.Gill’s Twitter – @MegasTeque

Malukah’s Twitter – @malukah

Malukah’s Website – https://www.malukah.com/

*I do not own any of the links I’ve shared in this article, they belong to their respective owners and talented creators.

“What people call love is just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed. It hits hard and then it slowly fades, leaving you stranded in a failing marriage. I did it your parents are going to do it, break the cycle Morty, rise above, focus on science.” – Rick Sanchez – Rick and Morty.

D.W.Gill

Favourite Female Fembots

A little while ago, on the 31/08/2017, I wrote an article called ‘Six of the Classixs.’ It was a list about some of my favourite classic PS1 games, games that I adored when I was growing up. The list consisted of Medievil, Wild 9, Final Fantasy VII, Silent Hill, Legacy of Kain: Soulreaver and Oddworld. They are truly fantastic games and if you do get the chance, if you have the opportunity in the future I suggest you give them a play one evening. I do understand that it is hard to play such classics nowadays, it can be a mighty hassle obtaining the know how, what with the progression of viewing technology times really have changed, but like with old books and old movies, there is a wonderful sense of nostalgia found in reliving some of your childhood memories. Not that there is anything wrong with that article but I saw that all of the protagonists in those games were males. This triggered this post, I found myself thinking about lady characters found in video games, hence the birth of this article, ‘Favourite Female Fembots.’ I’ll be focusing on female’s found in games, I’ll be fair and list off six. Make yourself a pot (tea) and I hope you enjoy. There will be a few spoilers unfortunately, so look out for the warnings.

Jill Valentine / Resident Evil and Resident Evil Rebirth:-  I first played Resident Evil back in the mid to late 90s when survival horror had never really been done before, and this game was responsible for making the franchise into what it is today. Whether you like it or hate it (I hate it for reasons I’ll get into) you cannot deny it has been massively successful. I personally do not know anyone who doesn’t know of Resident Evil. I am focusing not on the god awful movie franchise that this game spawned one too many of but more on the games, which I do still enjoy, even though they have moved away from survival horror puzzle games, where you have to conserve your ammunition, use your wits and unravel a mystery surrounding the area you are investigating, and transformed into a run of the mill generic third person action adventure shoot’em up..No, I am focusing on the very first game brought out in 1996 and re-released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002 (which is possibly the best remake ever made in my opinion) where this franchise was new, exciting and very scary. If you’ve played Resident Evil you’ll know the scene when you encounter your first zombie eating one of your team mates, it peers over its shoulder, looks at you and proceeds to tear you to pieces, when me and a friend of mine first played this game, it took us hours literally hours to work up the courage to run round the corner, see it and run away again it was that intense and has engrained in me priceless memories of joy and I won’t even get into the scenes when you encounter the giant mutated snake in the attic, the great white shark in the aquarium under the guardhouse, and when you return to the mansion after exploring the gardens to find the dreaded hunters wandering the halls that can kill you instantly by taking your head off. Fuck I need to learn to control my rambling, let’s talk about the character I used to have a minor obsession with as a kid, a character I still love playing as today, Jill Valentine who has had many voice actresses over the years, but I’ll be talking about  Heidi Anderson, the woman who voiced her in the particular game, Resident Evil: Rebirth, the remake of the 1996 version to the PS1, whose voice for Jill is unknown. Jill Valentine is a member of a special police unit called S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics And Rescue Service). She is part of Alpha Team and is dispatched to locate the whereabouts of Bravo Team, who went missing during one of their missions in the forests surrounding Raccoon City. Upon discovering the fate of the team, Jill and her companions find themselves in similar dire circumstances, fleeing from a threat into a great mansion linked to the Umbrella Corporation, an incredibly influential, powerful hungry company with their hands sunk into everything, especially medical, military and pharmaceutical organisations. The game starts once you’ve entered the mansion, and you’re all in pretty strung out shape, one of your companions was torn to pieces before you fled and another, is missing. Resident Evil games are renowned for having cheesy dialogue, even in the remake, the 2002 edition for the GameCube where they improved EVERYTHING, turning tacky, mediocre graphics into what can easily be mistaken for reality, Resident Evil would not be Resident Evil without a few cringey lines thrown in there from time to time. If you’ve played it then you probably have a few you can quote off the top of your head, mine is the ‘Jill sandwich’ sentence, so shit. Even though the game is long, very long if you do not what know what you’re doing, there are only a handful of cut scenes and moments of characterisation, but Jill comes across as the most genuine of the group or at least she does for me, you can argue that Chris Redfield is a genuine person but I found playing as him is boring and uninteresting. Jill cares deeply for her teams well-being feeling waves of sorrow whenever one of them dies or is found dead. She expresses anger when foul play is afoot but does not deal with it in the way most people would, in a hail of bullets and manly aggression, instead she is smart about it, able to obtain her answers while always listening to what the perpetrator has to say once she has the upper hand. This tells me that she is a very trusting, decent human being even when she is not rocking her amazing S.T.A.R.S blue uniform, blue being her signature colour. Able to utilise a lock pick which is incredibly handy and take initiative when the shit hits the fan, I like Jill Valentine and every time she appears in the later games I am always giving her my full attention. She truly shines in Resident Evil 3, when she is separated from her group and has to escape armies of zombies while teamed up with Mercenaries. Resident Evil Rebirth is a game I play once a year every year, a game where I can sit back, exercise my brain, enjoy incredible graphics and an easy to follow storyline put together by Capcom. Before I move on I must say I loath the character of Jill portrayed in the films which could not be so far removed from the character I’ve described, a trusting, intelligent, fair and capable woman who looks good in uniform. Reasons as to why I dislike the franchise is because of the movies, apart from the first one which was a pass, they completely trash what Resident Evil is, especially Jill’s character, she is nothing like she is in the games but the complete opposite, which is a shame.

Tifa Lockheart / Final Fantasy VII:-  Final Fantasy VII is one of the greatest games if not THE greatest game ever made, disagree with me if you wish but you cannot ignore the enormous fan following, the dedicated team behind it who recently scrapped the remake which was in development for a number of years because Tetsuya Nomura, the creator of FF7 wasn’t happy with the way it was turning out, this tells me that he and his crew care more about the quality of the project than racking in the profits, this is unusual in this day and age because MOST companies especially EA, centre themselves around profits. I do not even like to call it a game (but I will out of convenience) because it is not like any others out there. Other Final Fantasy games have come close to re-creating the epic worlds, the drama, the battles and bonds between certain characters which we all can relate to. Final Fantasy VIII for example which is on par with its prequel is an extraordinary game, it has some incredible moments and wicked characters but in my opinion, Final Fantasy VII takes the gold each and every time. I played VII back in 1997 and didn’t/couldn’t finish it till a few years later because I was so young and didn’t quite know what I was embarking upon, it didn’t feel like any other game I had played before, nor did I understand relationships between people, the complex story and the underlining story of what was really going on. It was a mature game and I was immature at the time, so after many failed attempts to get through the first eight hours, I put it aside and came back to it when I was ready. This must have instilled in me respect for FF7, it was always THAT game I stayed away from until I knew I was ready, the grown up game, the hard game that no one could do. Like I said, it wasn’t till years later after its release when I hunkered down and really REALLY got into it feeling like an adventure in itself just to beat the first few bosses or figure out some of the puzzles. The story truly touches upon a variety of emotions if not all of them, it made me genuinely angry in some cases because the good guys did not always win, characters die and some enemies kick the shit out of you no matter what you do. Each character from the group you journey with has a different contribution to make to the plot, giving you the chance to connect with and identify with their own unique personality and individual struggle. I’ve written a little about FF7 in my article ‘Six of the Classixs,’ Cloud Strife is the protagonist and a great one at that indeed (he is my hero, you may know him as the guy with spiky hair and a MASSIVE buster sword), but he is nothing without those that follow him, his companions and friends, Tifa Lockheart being the main one. I don’t think you could have Cloud in a lone game and use him effectively without Tifa to back him up, and the same goes for Tifa, you gotta have them both in each others lives to bring out their true selves. Tifa Lockheart, you could say was my first female role model, the first female who inspired me and got me interested in how the opposite sex behaves, some of you are laughing right now, and that is understandable, I wasn’t your usual youngling, but if given the choice I would not change this way of growing up, I know for a fact it has helped me understand women, helped me handle situations that occur in real life, this game shaped me and I’ve had an awesome life because of it. Besides my Mother of course (who is the best mother in the world and school girls who I just ignored because most of them were cold and uninteresting) Tifa opened a door in my mind for me, as I played and played and played I found myself giving a shit about her, drawn to her story more so than the others, she acts as the voice of reason, she is always calm, always optimistic, always focused on the positive and shows real, raw human emotion. Tifa’s character taught me that a woman’s emotions mean everything to them, that you should always take them seriously, that you should listen to them and not simply just hear them. When Cloud and some of the others bury their pain upon the death of characters, Tifa openly expresses them. This does not mean she is an over emotional, super sensitive crying little baby, far fucking from it, Tifa can take a hit, she can fight brilliantly and beautifully, she has some of the most satisfying and colourful combat moves in the game, she has some of THE best scenes, scenes which have made me tear up and also shouted out ‘YES!’ After saying all this, understand that Tifa is just one character in this masterpiece of a game and easily earns a place on this list. For those of you who are wondering, yes, I loved Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the only flaw I could find with the film was that it catered more to the fans, if you watched the film without having the nostalgia of the game, then you probably would still be impressed with the fights and the CGI, but the story and the empathy for the characters would be lost on you because you have not had the 40+ hours of game time before hand to back it up, but I loved it. I loved it so much it still gives me tingles when thinking about it, especially when Barret shows up with a new gunarm, when Yuffie drops in by parachute, Cid flying in with a spear screaming, the final fight between Cloud and Kadaj, I could talk about this for years, literally years and yes of course, Tifa made an appearance, we got to hear her voice for the first time by actress Rachael Leigh Cook who looks remarkably like Tifa. She has a new outfit, we get to see her in action, we have a moment between herself and Cloud, fuck I love FF7. I’ll leave one of the first trailer to the film and the game below, please check it out when you’re done.

Sniper Wolf / Metal Gear Solid:- I don’t think there is a gamer alive or even a friend of a gamer as matter of fact, who does not know or rate Metal Gear Solid as absolutely fucking amazing. Like with FF7, referred to as a big boy game, Metal Gear Solid (MGS) too was within the same leagues when I was growing up, this being the first real tactical espionage game I have ever played and still is the best in my opinion, maybe not mechanics wise but still is the best overall when it comes to story, characters and a number of scenes that really makes one think, about war, the cost of war, the technology and the very real threat of nuclear devastation. Sorry Splinter Cell, my apologies Thief, you are very good, but just not quite on the same level as MGS1 or MGS2. As I was thinking about how to break down this stroke of genius stealth/action game, I realised I had to focus on the first installment released in September 1998, and not the sequels that follow, because they are all so good, all so worthy to write about. I’ve only gotten as far as MGS3: Snake Eater and touched upon MGS:Acid for the PsP back in my University days, but beyond that, I’ve not gone any further with the series, when I really should because I do love this universe that Hideo Kojima has created, he being the director and project leader of MGS, a guy I’ve watched being interviewed and read about in a handful of gaming magazines. He is easily one of the most creative people I know of and I am always intrigued with whatever project he is working on or is involved with…cough cough Silent Hill 5 cough cough…Anyway, let’s get back to MGS shall we, and lets talk about my favourite character from among the terrorist group called Foxhound, who a collection of very unique villains set against you (Solid Snake) the protagonist. They are all just as brilliant, just as fleshed out and are as interesting as she is, the difference between Sniper Wolf and the rest however comes from one particular scene which I will describe and will be revealing some spoilers, so if you’ve not played it and do not want it spoiled, skip ahead, skip ahead to Miss Regina below from Dino Crisis, and then jump back to this one when you’re ready. {SPOILER START} Wolf is an assassin, Foxhounds best sniper, silent, deadly but funnily enough, empathetic. Leading up tp the scene where you puncture one of her lungs with a PSG1 bullet, defeating her in her own game, you are lead to believe that she is this merciless killing machine, one who lacks all empathy toward others, who will kill anyone who opposes her, bereft of an ounce of compassion. To a degree she is all of these things, she even (depending on how you play) kills one of your team mates, Meryl, picking her off, keeping her incapacitated just so she can get to you. It is a memorable scene indeed where you are but a few feet away from Meryl, unable to do help or do anything because Sniper Wolf is waiting, waiting for you to reveal yourself so she can pick you off. After this encounter, Sniper Wolf disappears for a while and reveals herself later in a location which gives her maximum advantage over you, within a snow field during a blizzard where there is next to no cover. You have to utilise your own sniping skills, search for her through your scope, and kill her before she kills you. This boss battle stands out not because of what takes place during, but what takes place after, when Sniper Wolf who’s real name is never revealed, dying before your feet. With moments left to live, struggling to breath, she tells Snake (you) her tragic story before you put a bullet between her eyes, a bullet she asks for, finishing the job. During her last few moments, you learn that Wolf is not an evil woman, she was made the way she was by war inflicted upon her and her family by the Governments of the world responsible for the deaths of each and every one of her family members. Gunfire, sirens and screams were her lullabies, everyday she preyed just to make it through the day, for she was always hunted, stalked and living in fear. I like to think that when Wolf became a sniper, she not only took revenge on the world by joining Foxhound, but found revenge on the people who killed her loved ones. It is not mentioned much in the game, but apparently she held a relationship with one of the key characters, Otacon who arrives the moment she dies, while her wolves are howling in the distance, as she asks for a death she has been waiting for, longing for, and Solid Snake gives it too her {SPOILER END} By this point, all Snake needs to do is destroy the final threat which wraps the game up, Wolf being the penultimate boss, it being the most emotional, the most moving scene in the game and gives our protagonist a new perspective, making Snake a little more human, especially when he relates to her, talking to her educating her a bit about wolves and dogs, referring to them both as dogs of war. Not only does MGS provide an incredible story, amazing characters, brilliant dialogue and special moments, but it educates you on a great number of many things, things you would not expect to find in a game. I love MGS1, I love this scene and I love Sniper Wolf voiced by Tasia Valenza, a killer yes, but an honourable killer who does not kill for sport, but desires justice in the broken world, but above all peace.

Regina / Dino Crisis:- Another game developed by Capcom, Dino Crisis released July 1999. It’s about a science base that goes quiet and a rescue team code-named S.O.R.T (Secret Operation Raid Team) is dispatched to figure out what went wrong, to investigate what happened to the scientists. The team consists of five members, Rick, Gail, Cooper and the red-head Regina. Each team member has a special ability, Cooper handles communication, Rick is the computer genius while Gail and Regina specialise in weapons, her agility and quick judgement are and always will be her best defence. Dino Crisis when looked at is nothing new and original, you could quite easily replace the dinosaurs that roam the corridors with mutants or zombies and it would not really impact the story, all it would take to alter would be a few lines here and there and boom, you could rename it Zombie Crisis or Mutant Crisis or Giant Fish Head Pizza Men Crisis, you get what I mean. There is nothing special about it story wise, it is slow-paced to begin with, the graphics are okay for the time, the puzzles are either frightfully easy or mind-numbing, there is nothing in between. It has a few nice little touches that its cousin Resident Evil did not have, like you can become injured and leave a blood trail that attract Raptors, and weakens you over time if not bandaged. You can mix up poison and tranquilizer darts instead of using up bullets and you can make a variety of health packs turning yourself into more of a medic than a weapons expert. The guns may I add are limited, all you get are three, a pistol, a shotgun and a grenade launcher, all of which can be upgraded and modified depending on how well you play and how thorough you are, but when you come off games like Resident Evil 1 and 2 and things like Devil May Cry which was going to be Resident Evil 4 at one point until Capcom decided otherwise, returning to just three guns is a bit..meh..Bet you are wondering how Regina made it onto the list and I promise you it has nothing to do with the red hair…Well maybe it does just a little, always like the colour red. No, the reason why Regina is here is because no one else had played or seemed to be playing Dino Crisis at the time, it wasn’t as successful as Resident Evil, none of my friends were talking about it, my brothers weren’t that interested, so when I picked it up one winters evening and decided to give it a go, I felt a little attached to it, like it was my game, my little project. I found myself wanting to play it properly, I wanted to unlock all the secrets and all the endings, because there are multiple paths you can take that lead to different cut scenes and outcomes. Remember, I grew up in a time without the internet, I could not just tap into YouTube a puzzle code or Google a guide, no, kids like me back then had to figure things out for ourselves, and I did, I became extremely frustrated but was rewarded greatly when I cracked certain obstacles and was able to advance further, and I did all this alone, with Regina as my heroine. I loved the outfit S.O.R.T wore, especially Regina’s, hers was slightly different to the boys in ways you probably already have guessed, she looks the part. I enjoyed guiding her through the game, I looked forward to how she would react in certain situations and admired her ability to make peace, she created a balance between Rick and Gail who clash all the time, she being like the middle sister of the two. That’s how I feel about Regina, in an odd way that is how she comes across, as an elder sister who knows what to do, knows how to behave and adapt quickly, works well with others, she can be aggressive when threatened but under that is a chilled out, grounded, funny chick. I like Regina, and when I saw the trailer to Dino Crisis 2 years later, I could not believe how badass she looked, and just like Dino Crisis 1, I rinsed through the sequel, continuing Regina’s story, only I was more invested like I knew her on a sibling kind of level. It is a shame that Dino Crisis 3 took the series into a whole other direction, as far as I know Regina is not in it, I did not like the game mechanics or the way it played, the idea of Dinosaurs in space comes across as a bit silly, so I could not take it seriously to begin with, and it just didn’t feel like Dino Crisis, this however could all be washed away with Regina’s presence, voiced wonderfully well by Stephanie Morgenstern. If a character in a not so great game, can compelle you to continue with a not so great series, it means you have a pretty great character, one worth investing in. Oh and if any of you know Regina’s last name, hit me up because I only know her as Regina. It’s probably something wicked as well.

Cortana / Halo:-  I think I have reached full nerd, I actually think I have levelled up in Class Nerd department, a bright light just engulfed around me and I dinged, not only that but other nerds came up to me and said ‘Congratz.’ When you find yourself talking about Cortana on your own Blog you know something has gone wrong somewhere in life hahaha! That is the first and last time I will write ‘haha’ on this Blog by the way, you have my promise lol…Jesus fuck what is wrong with me!?…Cortana is from the Halo series, she did not start off as a helper button on your PC desktop, that I assure you. Halo is a series that began with the launch of the original Xbox in November 15 2001. There are only a handful of titles that make it or get close to Halo’s success, Gears of War being one of them and currently the only one I can think of exclusive to Microsoft off the top of my head, which was released around the same time as Halo, probably a little later if I think back, Gears of War is amazing I must add. Whether you like or hate Halo, you cannot ignore the impact it has had on the gaming world, being one of if not THE most successful game of all time and for good reason, the reason being is that it is good, it is really really REALLY good. It’s not a game without flaws because it definitely has some, more springing up with the release of the remastered edition than with the original I hate to say, although I do enjoy both editions, I do find myself coming back to them nd playing through a few levels. Without going too far off topic, I must say that I am not interested in Halo’s multiplayer…I know crosshairs have just lined up on my forehead, and a warrant for my capture dead or alive has just been issued, I am well aware that Halo’s multiplayer community is massive, but I have no interest in it. Multiplayer first person shooters to my mind is COD’s and Battlefront departments, Halo is where I get my story on and is the main reason I play it, for the characters created by Bungie who later sold the project after its third installment, handing it over to 343 Industries who have released two titles so far, Halo4 and Halo5: Guardians which I felt was a disappointment, a failure in its marketing and an unbelievable ending, leaving you with not a sense of awe but a sense of ‘No, that simply would not happen,’ but again I digress and want to talk about Cortana, a character I thoroughly enjoy and am eager to learn more about when Halo6 is released. Cortana is state of the art artificial intelligence, created through human DNA by an incredible scientist named Halsey. Cortana appears mainly through holograms and on monitor screens, she talks to you through a head-piece inside your helmet when you’re exploring the many planets and space ships you visit both alien and human, but as the series progresses you often see her as blue and beautiful A.I female construct. However, in Halo4, you glimpse her as a regular sized woman, where she appears to rescue you, its a great scene and hits those emotional cords pretty well. So why is Cortana on this list, how can a machine representation, compare to a human representation? The answer to this is where the real power of Halo comes through, again it is the reason I follow this series. Yes, it is spectacular game with a lot of battles, cool guns, wicked monsters and some truly amazing visuals, but the real power lies between the connection shared between your character, mainly a Spartan 117, a brilliant soldier whose name is John, and the A.I Cortana. At first when I was very young I’ll admit that I did not find this relationship very compelling, and I wasn’t very invested in these two, holding the popular belief that Cortana was just a robot, nothing more than just a collection of digits and programs to suit certain situations, which she is but she becomes something more, a true humanitarian who has more soul than most of the real people. It wasn’t until the ending of Halo2 and the beginning of Halo3 where I started to really care where this was going, and when Halo4 hits, you are (at least I was) totally invested in these characters. While talking about Cortana, let’s talk a little about the Spartan, code 117, John, because together they compliment each other in more ways than I initially thought. Spartans, generation one especially are part machine, in order for them to be the best of the best soldiers in the UNSC’s (United Nations Space Command) armed forces, they need to be integrated with technologies, technologies that cannot be removed once joined. The technology added to them improves performances significantly but lowers their ability to feel, the less humane they are the better soldiers they are, or so the theory goes, compassion and empathy have no place in war. John, is different, he has been told that he is broken, yet he is the one that Cortana chooses to stay with, he is the only one left alive after from his platoon that was wiped out by alien forces known as The Covenant. John’s companions often refer to him as a machine, a cyborg and by some he is considered inhuman, until he is paired up with Cortana, an A.I able to bring out his buried humanity over the series. With each installment their bond grows stronger, they rely on one another and help one another parted or not, becoming this unstoppable force in the Halo universe, a force that ensures the survival of humans and earth. The banter between them is also enjoyable, Cortana has a great sense of humour, voiced wonderfully well by actress Jen Taylor. Cortana is obviously incredibly intelligent, can hack into any system, can open up any area and unlock any door for John, so he can then maximise and utilise his own skill sets, for which usually revolve around guns, grenades, sniper rifles and rocket launchers. The dynamic between these two is something I find fascinating, Cortana showing more emotion than many if not all other character in the entire series, and SHE was the one who was built, and John being a cold, calculating soldier learning how to feel his emotions again just by being exposed to Cortana’s personality. It is an interesting set up, one that the more you think about grows on you making more sense. Halo4 finishes it off for me, which earns Cortana a place on this list. I am of course talking about ‘that’ scene, their final scene together where all is revealed. It’s inspiring when you’ve come so far, and us Halo fans are rewarded with an actual face to face, toe to toe meeting with Cortana, you can tell, even though John’s face is hidden behind a Spartan helmet, you know he is breaking inside, knowing that their journey must end. I remember it being slightly surreal, I always believed that nothing could come between them. It is followed a little later by a moment John has with one of his friends, Officer Lasky who meets him on the bridge of the spaceship called Infinity. The conversation they have is short, almost one-sided because John does not talk much, but it validates some of what Cortana had said to John throughout the Halo series, Officer Lasky leaves you alone on the bridge, and you miss her, an A.I. It’s awesome.

Olympia Vale / Halo5: Guardians:- I know, another Halo game has found its way in and I bet those of you who are into games as much as I am, are a bit shocked to see Spartan-Olympia Vale from Halo5: Guardians, voiced by Laura Bailey found in this list when there are so many others out there worthy of a spot, but I’ll do my best to explain why it is I like her so much. I really do not feel like going into too much detail with Halo5: Guardians because honestly, it is not a great game, visually it is absolutely stunning with text-book controls, a wonderful soundtrack and is filled with some incredibly enjoyable moments, the opening sequence for example is mind-blowing! But it lacks so much in story and logic it puts a palm to my face. This game had SO much going for it, I mean the hype was unreal, I was pumped for it and avoided the internet until it was finished. Finally we see our protagonist, Master Chief, Spartan-John 117 going up against a truly worthy adversary, an antagonist who you get to play as for a large portion of the game worthy of the franchise, a Spartan hunter who wears sapphire blue armour named Commander Locke. Finally we get to see more of John’s old team mates and are introduced to his group, and Locke’s group they being a newer generation of Spartans, one of them called Buck, an ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper) voiced by Nathan Fillion, he played the captain in the film Serenity and Firefly if you are wondering. who he is. Already you get the feeling of the old and wise going up against the bold and new, this always has being an interesting dynamic of mine so Halo5: BRING IT ON! We were to see a hunt across the galaxy and an epic battle between green (John) and blue (Locke), what we got was something else, all the brilliant trailers that lead to this final moment, all the build up and suspense of the hunt to the mystery of John’s mission that forces him to go rogue, wasn’t in it and if it was, it was a washed over quickly and replaced with a different set up, not the one we were ALL hyped for. I will not spoil anything here because you probably already know what went down, and just like with Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, it likely still hurts to revisit. This is about Miss Vale, not about me ripping into one of my favourite franchises. That being said, there are a few gems hidden in this game, and when I say a few I mean a handful, Vale being one of them. There are a lot of characters and besides from the main ones, those we have known about for a long while, Vale to my mind is the only new one who stands out, regardless of the fact she gets very little screen time, sorry Nathan/Buck, but it’s true, she was the only one who added to the story, the only one who had an interesting background especially when the villain was cycling through each character highlighting some of their flaws and weaknesses. When it came to Olympia, the villain hints at her diplomatic understanding, her advisory role which is learned mid-way through the game and her troubled upbringing involving her parents separating. Unfortunately, you cannot just play the game and learn all there is to know about Vale, this is in part one of the main problems with Halo5: Guardians, it relies too much on the pre-existing lore for characterisation and plot understanding to get by without actually having to go into detail, you are expected to just know because if you play Halo, you must have read the books, you must have a deep knowledge of this universe by now right? No! I have not read any of the books, I shouldn’t have to in order to be given well-rounded characters that I can relate to in a game, that is the job of the writing team and Halo5 I am sorry to say, does not score very high marks for good writing, I mentioned the opening sequence being amazing, which it is, but go back and watch it, find it on YouTube or play it again and listen to what Buck says about God…It makes no sense. I know what you’re thinking, like with films, games only have so much time for characterisation, and because there are so many, it would have taken hours for us to characterise them all and the more time you spend on something the less time you have to focus on what we all want from a Halo game, it’s story. This problem can be averted, for example, I knew nothing about John in Halo1, he didn’t say much or do much besides follow Cortana’s lead and blow stuff up, but I was still able to grasp what kind of guy he was and by the end when he was flying away in the Long-Short-Fighter, you knew a little about him and left you intrigued, you could tell he was a brilliant soldier who gave a shit about his men, and had a sad history with others like him just from a few uttered lines. In Halo5 you weren’t given much of anything and the same goes for Vale, but what you DID get from Vale’s scenes however minimal and her few lines, was in my opinion the most intriguing and interesting, she being the lesser character made of cardboard by the end than the others, leaving me wanting to know more about her. Of course, there is the most obvious point as to why I like her, it’s her beautiful red armour (told you I have a thing for red) and her aesthetic, she actually looks a bit like a friend of mine, a girl I used to work with which is pretty awesome. Vale regularly uses SMG’s, this type of weapon is something I go for, she also employes tactics similar to Black Widow from The Avengers, to out manuever her opponents with speed and athleticism, she’s very impressive. I’ll leave a link where you can learn more about her below. Maybe, because this game was such a let down, the positives shine even brighter and I have clung onto them a little too tightly. 343 industries are planning to make a sequel to this game, and there is just enough in it I guess to keep it afloat and my appetite wet, but I would be lying if I said I was really excited about it, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Well, that is my list for some of my top six favourite female characters in games. I am proud of this list and it would be wrong for me to say that these characters have not motivated me, taught me and inspired me, because they have greatly, I am always intrigued if they pop up in a remake or happen to appear in other games because they all have left a mark on me. Thank you for reading and I hope to see you in the next one, bye for now.

Amazon Page to The Ancestral Odyssey – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6

YouTube Page – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-nc_VEmC27AIz6pP51UVkQ

Twitter – @MegasTeque

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Trailer 2004 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuIvvl_C-yg

Olympia Vale Bio – https://www.halopedia.org/Olympia_Vale

D.W.Gill

An E-mail to Voyage Media

This article will partially be about adapting ones project into a film or a TV series, in my case it will be from a book into a potential movie, a dream I’ve had ever since I started almost fifteen years ago, it was always in the back of my mind. The other part will be about those willing to take this dream, to play upon the idea and take you for however much they can get from you. I am not clued up on all the facts or aware of the entire process of making the switch, very few are but I am positive it is a fiendishly complicated process and even gut wrenching for creators who have to toss out great chunks of content to make room for a more simplistic plotline, or to deny the existence of whole scenes and characters that do not contribute enough to the theme but add buckets of depth and weight to the story you are trying to tell. It is a struggle from start to finish from what I’ve learned and been told, but if you are lucky enough to be in the position of working toward your projects adaptation, count yourself extremely lucky to be where you are and make the most of it, go to work every single day, stand up for what you want but remember to bend within reason, it is your project after all, your baby, your gift to the world. The idea is that before you hand over the rights of your work, be sure to negotiate that your voice, your opinion, your thoughts and feelings should be heard, do not give over all the power and trust to people in charge, because we all know that such people never make the best decisions. I’ve found that most people who end up in this wonderful position do not aim for it, it just happens, but most make it due to the fact that it is not WHAT you know, but WHO you know. There are so many great artists, writers and musicians out there who never get a glimpse of recognition because they either lack marketing skills or simply their ideas are just not fit for what the public want at the time, it’s unfair because let’s be honest, there is so much crap out in circulation today that could have made room for something worth while. I will do my best to describe to you what I know and detail some of my experiences when attempting to get my work into an office, on to a desk and into the hands of a Hollywood producer or a ‘Suit’ as I prefer to call them because the road I am on, seems to be going on forever, and I won’t last forever, I have thirty more years  in me tops before I need to start thinking of leaving this planet. For those of you who are already smirking or rolling your eyes at this ambitious idea of writing turning into visuals acted out by actors and actresses, believe me when I say that I do the same thing to myself, especially when ever I snap myself out of a fantasy envisioning my book coming to life on the big screen, but I will not be dishonest, this fantasy does serve as motivation and acts as part of my creative process, a process that some people I’ve encountered disagree with. So, let’s get to it, hope you enjoy.

Whenever writing a sequence in my book, part of the process is being able to see it in my mind, getting a grip of the time of day, the lighting, what the weather is doing, the tone and mood of the scene, which characters are involved if any, where they are and so on and so on until no rock is left unturned. The late actor Christopher Lee who was a massive J.R.R. Tolkien fan, who read Lord of the Rings once a year every year and contributed a great deal to Saruman’s character on and off the set of LOTR, said (or said something along the lines of) that ‘If you are to write a fantasy, you need to know your material down to the tiniest of details.’ This quote can be found in one of the extended DVD cuts of LOTR, it is in one of ‘the makings of documentaries’ that when put together, last as long as all three movies combined and I watched them all when I was in College and again in University, when I should have been out partying and drinking myself into oblivion..I went through a phase alright, don’t judge me!..But this lesson said by Christopher Lee, stuck with me. I never go into a scene without adopting this method of thinking and writing for me is easier when you can shut your eyes and visualise the world in which you’ve created, painting the scene bit by bit in your mind, working from the smallest of details up toward the biggest, from the wear and tear of the clothes worn on the characters, to the setting of which they are in whether it be wet or dry, and what is happening in the plot. Of course, as your skills progress you’ll learn that over writing is as damning as underwriting, everyone who writes books will know that you do not need to detail absolutely EVERYTHING, leaving the reader to use their own imagination is key. If you’ve read my last book, Episode One – The Utopian Dream, you will see that in parts I am guilty of overwriting, giving very vivid descriptions leaving nothing to the imagination in most cases. I plan to work on this design flaw while writing the sequel, Episode Two – Rise of The Black Doves. Instead of being overly descriptive, use your words wisely, give a wash of details to set the scene without boring your reader and to get to the point without wasting much time as quickly as possible. Films have the advantage in these situations, ever heard the saying ‘A picture describes a thousand words’  well it is true, films can skip this within seconds using visuals, where as books need to use descriptions, descriptions take time on both the writer and the reader, there is no way around it. Both have advantages and disadvantages however, neither one is greater than the other, but understanding that films and books are two different media’s will help you when considering your work for adaptation.

{Before I go on, let me reiterate, the idea of your work being made into a TV series or film is NOT impossible. Nothing is impossible, if that is what you want then go for it. I certainly would love to have my project made into a film, but it is unlikely to happen, but you do not give up. If you’ve done the work, if you’ve got the work out there, if it is good and you’re proud of it, passionate about it and confident in its ability to hook people, then all it takes is that one person, one ‘Suit’ to pick it up, to see what you see and boom, you’re in for a good chance of making a career.}

As I have said and I’ll say it again, I’d love for my work to be adapted into a movie, some people I’ve spoken to suggest it would be better to be made into a TV series because there is simply more time to get the information across, if you’ve seen the size of my first book and then consider that I plan to write four more and then a series of seven short stories as prequels, the TV idea is logically a better choice, but I’ve always been drawn more to film than TV, maybe it is because I grew up with cinema. My last article titled ‘Inspirational Mimicking’ describes a few reasons as to why I prefer film to TV, but either way, if someone came up to me and said ‘Hey, we like your stuff, would you like the opportunity to adapt it into a TV show’ I’d obviously be all over it which brings me to what has happened recently, because I received a dose of ‘maybe’ with a company called Voyage Media. Regardless if it happens or not, the books are what matters in the end.

So, who are Voyage Media and what happened between us? Well, as many of you are aware, social media has become engrained into our culture following everything we do, whether you like it or not (personally I think it causes more problems than solutions, but that’s just me) this is just what has happened over the last decade, and schmucks like us are faced with two choices:- (1) Accept the change, learn how it works, adapt to it and use it affectively to your advantage while dealing with the limitless string of FUCKING ADS! or (2) Resist it, go off grid and face the consequences for which there are many in this day an age unfortunately, because we all live through digital technology, but the rewards can be freeing in more ways than you can imagine. I’d love to drop off the grid, choice (2) appeals to me with each and every passing day, but until the time comes when I am in a position to disappear, I will go along with it with a cheeky obedient smile on my face, longing for the day I liberate myself from the one’s and zero’s, and live on an island among a forest with a squirrel – I digress. I found Voyage Media advertising themselves on Facebook, because I subscribe to a number of writing classes and publishing tips and tricks, Voyage Media popped up on my feed, and what they were offering appealed to me like a lager would to an alcoholic, or a curry to a piss head, so I did a little research on them but I must stress the word; ‘little.’ The project leader is run by someone called Nat Mundel, and the idea of Voyage Media, is to take material such as mine and give it a shot to hit the desk of a Hollywood producer. Being the piss head viewing the curry at this point, I took the bait without doing the necessary research before hand and gave them my contact details, I signed into their system and they quickly sent me through a form, a form every writer or creator loves to fill out. The form asked for information regarding my work, with joy I filled it out, ignoring the voice in the back of my head that screamed “SCAM! SCAM! SCAM!” Voyage were quick to respond with a string of informative e-mails detailing their intentions, their process and expressing keen interest in my work, giving me a run through about what they are all about. Honestly, it all sounded positive, they seemed legit, professional and Nat came across as a genuine chap, but the other (sober) version of myself in my brain, the guy I was fighting off at this point with a stick still cried (SCAM! SCAM! IDIOT IT’S A SCAM!) In one such e-mail from Voyage, they asked me to attend an online Skype interview, Nat wanted to speak to me personally at an arranged time on a date we agreed upon which was the 05/12/2017 at 21:15pm. I was set so it seemed and excited to talk to someone who had a foot in the industry, I had written out a number of questions in a notepad, brewed up some coffee and logged in on time for the Skype session.

First thing I noticed when I signed into the session, was that it had already started, and that I was not alone like I thought I would be, a one on one with Nat Mundel. I couldn’t tell but there were well over ten of us guys attending the same interview with Nat, there could have been more actually come to think about it, people were logging off and on all the time. Disappointed but not put off, I sat back with my coffee along with the others and listened to what Nat had to say. Nat Mundel came across as a nice guy, and I am sure he is (I think). He kept up the talk for about half an hour, never once faltering, talking about Hollywood, talking about the business and the process cracking a joke here and there. My hope to get my work in the hands of a Suit seemed to renew itself, until he said it, he had to say it didn’t he!? Validating the horrid reminder the voice in my head had been shouting at me from the get go. Nat asked for money, $397 to be precise – Need I go on? Do I really need to carry on with this article and explain the blatant scam going on here or are you guys happy for me to just end it? … Good. Thank you, thank you, thank you because I am currently sitting in a Cafe in Oxford right now, writing up a pretty badass chapter for Episode Two – Rise of The Black Doves, it’s about the elusive Dark Rogues – Out of Exile, roaming the deserts of Sand with their day owls scouting, in search of a cult obsessed with a pretty horrific Blood Angel. It’s really cool, really real, very gritty and quite funny at times when the rogues begin to interact with one another. The chapter embodies things which I have never written about before, such as the lunacy and sinister nature of our species, but also highlights meaning between friendships one of which is drawn from my life, from a guy I’ve known for over ten years. There is also a love story here, yes, among all this darkness, among all of the chaos and unfairness, there is a love story and it is not like a love story you see everyday, this one is real, one that I hope a lot of people can relate to, blooming in the strangest of scenarios between two of my favourite characters, characters I have not delved into much until now. I am thinking of posting this chapter called ‘Thank you for Everything’ on WordPress, once I am done.

Before I get back to the book stuff, I’ll finish off what little there is to be said about Voyage Media. Nat Mundel, eventually got us, the creators he had invited on involved in the conversation. We all got an opportunity to ask a question, finishing my coffee, dropping my notepad like a microphone on stage, I put the hammer down. Mine was obviously about the money, the poxy $397.00 Putting it forward, I said something along the lines of; ‘I/we should not have to pay you to get our work noticed. Never has it ever worked that way; Did J.K Rowling pay to get Harry Potter adapted into a film? Did George R.R Martin pay a cent to get Game of Thrones made into a TV show? The answer is no. Hollywood makes millions everyday, what is another $397 from people you have never heard about?’ The work should speak for itself, the quality should trigger the interest of the producers in those of high positions. Of course, Nat hit me back with a response, it was to be expected and the others licked it up like the sheep they were, nodding their heads like I was the bad guy, he had probably been asked this before so it came across as cold and scripted. This happened a while ago so don’t quote me, but he said that ‘This is another avenue for people like you to get your work ahead, and for it to be given the best chance of success, you need to pay us to look it over and get it ready for submission.’ … “BULLSHIT!” said the guy in my head, breaking down the door having gotten out of his cage, this time I agreed with him and I logged the fuck out of there.

I followed up within the next few days with an e-mail addressed to Nat Mundel and Voyage Media, a company so obviously looking to scam people out of their hard-earned money. There was a gentleman in the interview I attended who had been out of work for about six years, honestly he looked like he had come in off of the streets, to a closed library just to see Nat. I am not about to judge, he may have some incredible ideas locked away in that head of his, but he was clearly desperate, in dire need of that break, willing to hand over a large amount of money that he didn’t have, that could have been put on food, or on some nice clothing, perhaps toward a new laptop which would help him write his stories. I wish the guy all the luck in the world but Nat, from what I saw did not give a shit about that, he simply detailed further methods of payment. Voyage Media is a scam and I am not about to help fund a ‘company’ that does this, instead I am willing to let my work speak for itself, to not to try and cut corners again in the future, to let it happen IF it happens, and I’ll be the first idiot to admit that it probably won’t happen, and that is okay, I write for myself because I enjoy it, it makes me happy and I think that you guys will enjoy it to. I got a paycheck today from Ingramspark, the company that prints and binds my Hardback Edition, it wasn’t much but that money will go toward growing trees back home, it will go toward seeds for a forest and another coffee I plan to get in a bit, if this is what my writing will achieve then so be it. As wonderful as it may be to see my book on the silver screen, to see my ideas come to life, at the end of the day it is the little things that count and I strive to hold onto the little things, now and always.

Letter to Voyage Media– 

Nat Mundel

Hello Mr Mundel, I hope you have the time to read this e-mail, I acknowledge it is a little long. First of all I’d like to thank you for the string of encouraging e-mails you sent me in the last 24hours. I admire your enthusiasm toward discovering hidden projects created by people (such as myself) who work extremely hard just to get noticed by someone who is in a position, to bring their works off of the page and land them onto cinema and TV screens. I have no doubt that you instill hope to creatives and I am sure you have a number of success stories you can share with others and are proud of being a part of.

However, I am afraid I am going to have to drop out of your program, I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you and your team but my reasons are as follows:

– I value my work, I am very careful about revealing my ideas over the phone or on skype, I’ve been bitten in the past and I will not let it happen again. I take great pride in what I do and I care about the quality of the work I put out there, I want it to be good. I’ve worked for well over a decade to get to where I am and I still have another decade of work to do before I can even think about finishing, if you look at what I am all about then you’ll understand. If I was left to my own devices and not have to worry about paying my bills, travel, health care and having a social life, I could be done sooner, but this is not the case, I have to work everyday, I have to study everyday and I have to live a healthy life everyday and this means being away from the laptop sometimes. 

– More importantly, I strive to present work that is my own while understanding that changes must be made should my book be adapted into TV or film, I am perfectly willing to work with professionals within this field ONLY if my voice is heard at a seat at the table. This is one of the reasons as to why I went into Self-Publishing and created my own brand, you retain the power but have to do the work where as with Traditional Publishing, the work is less but you lose pretty much all of the power. 

– What you said yesterday while on the video call, the way you answered my question, the one to do with J.K Rowling not having to pay anyone to get her books made into films, your answer was part right but it was also a little inaccurate. J.K Rowling did not have such a massive fan base to start off with, she wrote a book that gradually grew in popularity, it was a book that was picked up by enough people until companies realised that it would make money, that it was a safe option to spend in order to make profit. J.K Rowling was paid for her ideas, it does not work the other way round, not now and not ever. If Hollywood sees potential in someones work, it is Hollywood who has to offer the creator of said work for a deal, I do not buy the idea that movie producers require money ($397) from people making less that 15k a year, some earn even less than that. I understand that you offer another avenue into this business, I understand the angle you are coming from, but it is not an angle I am interested in, I’d rather let my work speak for itself and rise in popularity naturally. There is a chance that my books may not ever make it beyond the page, there is a strong chance nothing will become of my project, but that is not the reason I write, I write for myself and if people like it, find it entertaining and want to read more than that is more reward than any sum of money. People who reach out with their thanks and appreciation is the best feeling in the world. This is the main reason why I cannot work with you, I’m sorry.

Because you speak with passion however, I am not closing the door on you all the way, because you do give people opportunities and other options toward success, I will leave links to my work below so you can see it for yourself. If you feel like it has potential, if you feel anything can come of this then please, e-mail me again in response to this letter and lets talk, but please understand that I am not reaching into my wallet, and no creator should if their work is worthy of production.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear back from you soon, all the best if you do not reply.

Duncan

_____

As you can see, the letter is polite, well mannered and not in anyway rude, I cannot say the same for this article however, and if Voyage Media sees this which they probably will at some point, I hope to get a response and see what they have to say. I’ve labelled it as a scam many times although I do believe that they have helped some people somewhere on some level, for which they should be credited, but overwhelmingly they take from the desperate. I’ve expressed my distaste for people and companies who ask for money with no promise of progress in this post and in previous ones and I think it is time we put a stop to this.

Auther Page – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6

YouTube Promotional Page – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-nc_VEmC27AIz6pP51UVkQ

Twitter – @MegasTeque

E-Mail – taotome@outlook.com

_____

One other thing, every once in a while I come across music, music which I listen to over and over again, music that stirs feeling and emotion. Here is the link to the music I’ve been listening to recently while writing this, it is a bit long at 8:29 minutes but still, it’s amazing and I praise all those involved in creating it. Of course this music and the image above is not of my own making, they belong to each to their own respective parties and nothing to do with me. See you in the next one, love you all.

D.W.Gill

Inspirational Mimicking and My Top Five Trailers

Howdy all. Felt like having some fun on this one seeing as the headache from my last article is still hanging over me like a bad, unyielding smell that won’t budge regardless of how much bleach I rub in. The article in question was in response to a post called ‘To The Men on the Other Side of #Me Too’ written by John Pavlovitz on October 16th 2017, and he pretty much demonizes all men as sexual harassers, deeming males sick individuals in need to own up to the affliction that I and all other men are born with. In my response, an article called ‘In Response to lunacy and Why I am Not a Feminist #MeToo.’ I pick apart his words with studies, facts and my own experiences, demonstrating that he is flat-out wrong on so many levels. It is still being viewed and oddly enough, I’ve not received any hate which I was prepared to take on. Usually when one speaks upon sensitive issues such as this, he or she is often forced into silence, ordered to apologise or drawn into heated discussions that can last hours if not days. I will not succumb to silence, instead consider the words of the late great Christopher Hitchens “Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. The grave will supply plenty of time for silence.” As for apologies, unless sufficient evidence is brought forward, unless I am downright wrong or the Humane thing to do IS to apologise, I will of course issue one, but as of yet I feel there is no need to and I stand behind what I wrote. Feel free to check out that article, tell me what you think, share it with those who you think will find it interesting but preferably send it to those who would disagree. I do not like to think I am in an echo chamber surrounded by people who agree with me, I’d rather be filled in a room with people who disagree and challenge my words and ideas, at least then I would not to be bored and the conversation could be somewhat interesting.

This article on the other hand will be about my personal favourite movie trailers. I first got into watching trailers when I was in College. I remember buying snacks and coffee and logging into one of the PC’s in the computer room on the second floor, I stuck in some headphones and watched trailers, it was a lot harder to do it back then because I had not discovered YouTube if it even existed and the internet wasn’t exactly reliable. This was a long time ago now, I was sixteen almost seventeen years old, and my book was in its early prehistoric stages of development, it being nothing more than a few sketchy maps, a handful of characters and a poorly written synopsis. Film trailers helped me get a visual glimpse of what my book could turn into should it be turned into a film, I used to replace the characters in said trailers with my own, switch around the names in my head and pretend what was happening was something to what I envisioned. It does sound a little weird, trying to explain this process probably confuses you, but for me at the time, it inspired me, it filled my vision and drove me to work harder and to create cool scenarios I’d record, and when the time came, entwine them into my story. I still use this technique to some degree, the idea is not to copy or plagiarise but to recreate the sense of feeling you obtain from watching these trailers and incorporating them into your chosen avenue of entertainment, in my case it would be in a literal format. I did it when I was a youngster and I still do it as a thirty year old, just not as much. I call this technique ‘Inspirational Mimicking.’ For those of you interested, some of the trailers I used to watch over and over in College, was Troy, Alexander, Spiderman 2, Tristan and Isolde and the mighty Lord of the Rings. Links to these trailers will be displayed below.

Trailers are almost as important as the films themselves, they even go through a reviewing process nowadays which is kind of funny. Without a great trailer however, people will be less inclined to go and park themselves in a cinema seat, it is that simple, trailers are part of the marketing process, good marketing strategy earns the company behind it money, money pays for future projects, money (unfortunately) makes the world go round. There is a formula though, there are certain do’s and dont’s when it comes to making great trailers and some I have linked in this article are guilty of some these tedious mistakes. For example, spoiling your movie or game within the trailer is a HUGE mistake, because your audience knows what will happen before it happens ruining the surprise possibly preventing them for even going to see it. Could you imagine the line ‘I see dead people’ uttered in the trailer of The Sixth Sense or ‘Luke, I am your father’ spoken in The Empire Strikes Back trailer? It would wreck cinematic spectacle. The most recent Terminator movie released in 2015, Terminator: Genesis is a good example or The Amazing Spiderman 2, when the studio not only revealed a death of a key character, but they organised it in such a way that you could actually categorise it under false advertising, because what we got was a very different movie.

Good trailers are supposed to be short and sweet, running for one to two minutes max! They should not reveal too much nor lay the story out as it unfolds, although if you do this well it can be pulled off, but it takes skill. Trailers need to whet our appetites and keep us guessing and intrigued. Cloverfield, directed by J.J Abrams released back in 2008, is in my opinion a well made trailer for a handful of simple reasons, because it does not tell us anything, other than something huge is attacking Manhattan, everything is going to shit and the monster appears to be unstoppable and menacing. I remember when it was released, I was in University and it had everyone talking. We all had our own ideas and opinions about what it was, what was going to happen and what it wanted. People were even saying it was the new Godzilla. The film itself is watchable, it is enjoyable, even though it gets a little flat and predictable toward the end, but never the less, I’d watch it again and there are a few secrets hidden throughout the film which give ideas about the monsters origin. Sometimes not telling your audience everything, and leaving them to their own devices really works.

The best marketing campaign however from what I have researched, comes from The Blair Witch Project released in 1999. Holy shit! If there was a movie like Marmite, this is it, people love it or people hate it, it seems like there is NOTHING in between, I have not come across anyone who says ‘It was alright.’ Personally, I love this movie for what it is and nothing besides a handful of similar movies have come close to recreating its effect. People will say that the only reason it was so successful, was because it began the ‘Found Footage’ genre, this is incorrect, Blair Witch was not the first to use handhelds, the medal goes to a movie called Cannibal Holocaust. The clue is in the title, so I won’t spoil anything, but it is rather brutal and very bloody. As for The Blair Witch Project, I do not see what is to hate about it, its sequel, Book of Shadows is loaded with flaws but the most obvious is that there is no mention of a book. Book of Shadows was not about a book at all! I found this kind of strange. The ‘making of’ documentary on the DVD is actually more interesting than the film itself, there are a number of mysteries hidden throughout, there are a few interactive puzzles you can participate in, I think at one point you need to play a section in reverse to unlock a code, but overall as a movie, it just didn’t work. Sure, it is pretty cool in parts and leaves you thinking afterwards about what actually happened, but ultimately it is nothing special, say for Jeff’s hair style which is awesome, I liked Jeff and the opening sequence with Marilyn Mansons song – Disposable Teens being played…I know, it doesn’t fit, it is out of whack but when it comes to Manson, I cannot not love it. The most recent Blair Witch is…Well it is okay, it is a bit clever here an there but I have forgotten most of it in truth, unlike the 1999 original which has burned itself into my brain. The acting is perfect and I’ll explain why in a moment, there is no music say for the end as the credits roll and even then it is just noise reminding me of things like Silent Hill for the PS1. The events are believable, relatable and horrifying without the use of buckets of blood and gore, there are no big monster reveals and flashy effects, it was shot on an extremely low-budget, the people who made the film even returned the camera equipment they had borrowed to make it, that should tell you something. It is dirty, dark, grimy and subtle. The tension rises slowly, the situation going from annoying, awkward, bad, sinister to really fucked up, to the point of blinding terror. The last thirty seconds are without a doubt the definition of horror and is arguably the reason why I love horror films so much today – Oh my God! It was intense, a very stressful experience and I encourage anyone reading this to watch it, be sure to turn your phone off, switch the lights off and crank up the volume so you can hear the break of every twig and the rustle of every leaf. After doing a little research into this movie, the marketing was the thing that made it so successful. People were unsure of whether or not this film was real, people went in thinking this was an actual final documentary of the lost students who went missing in the woods near Burkittsville. The parents of the actors who gave impeccable performances, received letters from people who expressed their sympathies, when in reality, they are all fine. If you watch the trailer however, it tells you nothing, it shows you nothing, it is a minute long and hits you with intrigue. The guys who made this movie really made profit, demonstrating that it does not take massive budgets to make compelling movies, it does not take a three-minute cut by cut trailer to get people in the seats, just a touch of mystery.

There is more to the formula, but I will not be going over it because I’ve ranted on for far too long, I feel like I’ve covered the key points so I will simply be listing off my top five personal favourites in no particular order. You can view them all by clicking the links below, I’ll give some reasons as to why I like them, will name a few honourable mentions and then will be moving on to writing up a description for my next post of the live teaser trailer I hope to make one day, for the release of Episode Two – The Ancestral Odyssey: Rise of The Black Doves, the sequel to Episode One – The Utopian Dream. I may write an article on my favourite game trailers some day but for now, I am focusing on films. There will be {SPOILERS} ahead, so for those of you who have not seen these films listed, if you do not want them ruined then please, read no further.

1) Kingdom of Heaven – Directed by Sir Ridley Scott and was released in 2005. This film stars Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, Edward Norton, Martin Csokas, Ghassan Massoud and David Thewlis who plays Hospitaler who is my favourite character, every scene he is in is clever, thought-provoking and sometimes mystical, the scene when he appears and disappears in the desert, when Orlando Bloom is tossing rocks at a dry bush, is a moment that will stay with me forever, I sometimes watch it over and over, it has inspired me to write similar scenes when it comes to my own work, the friendship between him and Bloom’s character (Balian) works extremely well and some of the things they talk about resonates with modern-day issues. I’ve even had similar conversations with friends in my own life, only they do not disappear afterward nor wear black under searing hot sun. KoH (Kingdom of Heaven) is set in the time of the crusades, a time when the Christians and the Muslims are on the brink of war in the holy land. It is an extremely violent time to live in, religion weighs heavily upon everything and everyone, power is changing, falling into the hands of lesser men and people on both sides of Christian and Muslim in high positions, start to make incredibly selfish, horrific decisions to bring about a conflict between the two cultures which has been brewing for one hundred years, since the Christians took the city of Jerusalem. They massacre innocents, invade lands and disrespect the other religious view points all in the name of their one true God, a God who happens to be similar but not quite the same as the other, all the while Balian, (Orlando Bloom) is struggling with his own faith after the death of his wife and still-born baby. I think Bloom does a really good job with Balian, he does capture the conflict within without actually bringing it to the surface, it is rather self-contained and is breaking him internally, you can see it in him as his brother, the Priest played by Michael Sheen is tormenting him in his workshop, right before Balian runs a sword through his stomach when learning that his wife has been decapitated and sent to hell. Because Sir Ridley Scott directed this movie, it looks visually incredible, you really do believe in the worlds he creates, you understand the harshness of the environments, whether you be out at sea, stuck in the searing deserts or tucked away in the palace of Jerusalem having dinner with the Princess Sibylla played incredibly well by Eva Green, one of my favourite actresses of all time, next to Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connolly. I never got to see this movie in the cinema which was disappointing, especially after catching the teaser trailer played randomly while I was working late on a project in College. I saw the theatrical edition of this movie first when I bought it on DVD and as impressed as I was, what with the realism, the grit of the world, the attention to details and the fantastic opening in the small village in France, I cannot re-watch the first release again due to the fact that an extended edition came out years later, and filled in so much more of the story, it is like watching a whole new film at times, there is around half an hour of extra footage which really broadens each and every character, especially Sibylla, who has a child with a fatal disease which claims King Baldwins life played by Edward Norton. They even re-assemble the music and cut up certain scenes which allows the movie to flow easier, not to mention seriously cool sword fight at the end which reminds us of Balians training at the beginning..‘Never use a low guard, strike from high.’ There are several trailers to this film, feel free to check them out because they all are pretty good, although my favourite is the one linked below. A lot of people have criticised it due to the selection of music, but I disagree, I think it fits very well with the pacing of the trailer. I like it because it does what a good trailer is meant to do, it does not spoil anything, it gives you a light run down of the story, introduces us to some of the characters and leads us to where it is all leading, a battle between two armies over a great, holy city in the East. It also hits you with one of my favourite quotes right at the start, a quote I carved into a post of a Hostel I was working at in Albania during my travels around Europe. KoH, for me is renowned for great sayings and wonderful philosophies with some memorable scenes. Enjoy.

2/ Prometheus – Another film directed by Sir Ridley Scott, this is one of his latest science fiction masterpieces released in 2012, the beginnings of a prequel trilogy to the one and only Alien, brought out in 1979. If you follow this Blog then you know how I feel about the Alien franchise, I feel like I have talked about it enough but if you’re new, check out my more recent posts, see what you think of my Alien: Covenant review, I am proud of it, but it will be nice to hear what you think. For now, let’s talk a little about Prometheus. If there was ever a trailer that set off intrigue, it would be this one. This trailer feels like a movie in itself and easily deserves to be on this list, it is THAT good. The word Prometheus comes from Greek mythology, he was a Titan that stole fire from the Gods and gave it to mankind, this is the name of the ship that our crew of seventeen use to cross the ocean of space, to reach a cluster of planets in an LV system, more specifically LV-223. There is an incredible TED talk that acts as part of the marketing material for this film and is one of my favourite speeches out there. In this TED talk which unfortunately does not appear in the final cut of the movie, you see Guy Pierce who plays the highly profitable, massively successful Peter Weyland, the builder of better worlds. He goes into details about his ambitions, his dreams and talks about technology, how it all started with fire, it is a brilliant speech which I encourage you to watch, hopefully you will be able to find the extended cut of the talk because it is more impactful than the cut version. Prometheus is a great science fiction thriller/horror although I’d debate you on the horror aspect because I did not find it very scary at all, more thought-provoking than anything else leaving me with questions beginning with; Why? Which is interesting because when critics left the theatres in 1979 after viewing Alien, they were asking; What? Prometheus stars Noomi Repace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pierce, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba, the casting is fantastic. I do not actually have a favourite character, they all give brilliant performances. People have criticised Logan’s performance, who plays Charlie Holloway, he is the one who looks a little like Tom Hardy but honestly, I did not find a problem with his acting, he is a talented guy. It visually looks incredible, every scene is beautifully shot as every Ridley Scott film is, and it does what every science fiction movie is supposed to do, and that is ask the big questions; Where did we come from? In this film, Prometheus answers it, at least to a degree it does, the plot is a little convoluted at times and it won’t be until after multiple viewings where you’ll be able to connect some of the dots (if there are any to connect). This film was and is one the most talked about films of all time, and what with the release of Alien: Covenant earlier this year, it has been revisited once more and has been praised further, when initially it left audiences scratching their heads, confused having not enjoyed it, because it wasn’t what was expected. It has been a while since a movie left us asking the questions instead of the movie doing all the work for us, so I can see why the first reaction to this science fiction film was negative. Prometheus I enjoyed from the get go, it wasn’t what I thought it would be but I am tired of Hollywood doing the same old shit over and over again, so I praise Ridely Scott for doing something a little different. I enjoyed seeking answers and thinking about it because if you go looking, you’ll see where the power of this film really lies, there is a lot that goes on that is not shown.

3/ Inception –  This film was never supposed to be made, the idea was pitched but never given the green light, it deemed too clever and abstract for modern-day audiences to grasp. However, that was before Batman: The Dark Knight was released and smashed the box office, going down in history as the best Batman film ever made. Inception was then reconsidered to be made into a film, a thank you present to director Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight, arguably the best director working today. Inception was released in the summer of 2010, on July 16th which is my birthday. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Michael Cane and Ken Watanabe. It is about dreams, more specifically it is about infiltrating the different layers of ones psyche while they sleep. One can plant ideas, uncover secrets and manipulate reality, it is really cool and you often wonder where the hell you are when watching. I have only seen this film once about five years ago, so I cannot exactly say much about it, but like with Prometheus, multiple viewings are required and a little researching is necessary if you want to understand the bigger picture. It is a beautifully complex film, well shot, well acted and well-directed. The music is top-notch and of course has a compelling trailer, one with a sick beat and a sense of epic proportion to it. Check it out and turn up the bass.

4/ Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice – I’ve always loved Batman, even before I sat down to watch any of the movies I used to play with the toys, read about him in the comic books and eventually moved onto the cartoons, which to this day are some of the best cartoons out there, they really do not make them like they used to, these cartoons are dark and seriously scary especially when The Joker and Scarecrow make an appearance. Of course, then we got into the movies, the first film I saw that Batman would appear in was directed by Tim Burton back in August 1989 and starred Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger. Batman has always resonated with me, he is and always will be my favourite hero (Ironman and Spiderman following) regardless of how much Marvel is pumping out what with all these overpowered aliens and colourful beings, Batman tops them all. When director Christopher Nolan made The Dark Knight Trilogy, he reinvigorated the caped crusaders presence on-screen because let’s be honest, Batman and Robin…I’ll say no more…Now, let’s talk about Batman versus Superman. First of all how can anyone possibly take on Superman? We all know that he is the ultimate protagonist, we all know he is an alien from Krypton and we all know that it is his weaknesses that make him interesting, and he does not have many weaknesses, does he? This guy can fly faster than a jet, survive in space so long as he is within the suns rays, he can pull aircraft carriers through solid ice, catch bullets if he wishes, snap metal like it was nothing and if you look closely, there is a scene in this film where you’ll see a newspaper snippet of Superman moving a continent…A FUCKING CONTINENT!!! He is truly a God among men, an invincible, unstoppable force that no one can challenge. So, why is it that when I heard about this movie in production, that my money was on Batman, without a doubt it was always on Batman, a cocky billionaire who lost his parents as a boy, who grew up with ninja training, who dresses up as a bat to fight crime and instil justice, that is literally who he is; How can a man stand toe to toe against Superman and live. I’ll tell you why, the answer is simple, because he is Batman, he defeats you before you even have a fight. I thought it was adorable that Superman thought he had a chance and for all those who doubted Mr Wayne, shame on you, watch this film and see how a man takes down a God. The very idea of Superman challenged is compelling enough, but when it is a man doing it, you have my attention, and that is where this movie falls shot I feel, they over did it, I was already sold on Bats versus Soops (yes I called him Soops), DC’s two main characters going head to head, but they take it too far and introduce a handful of other characters and over complicated plots that just were not necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this movie, I was excited to see it, although I was lucky and saw the extended version first, apparently the theatre release was not very good, so I got off to a great start and rate this film highly. Plus I have always been interested in the battle between mere mortals and Celestial beings, the overpowered versus the not so powered, it always has me hooked, always had the advantage to do well. The trailer in question is fucking amazing! If you listen carefully to the words being said at the beginning, you will learn that those speaking are talking about both Superman AND Batman. Some words like ‘alien’ are quickly replaced by ‘being,’ they both could also be refered to as ‘the most powerful men in the world.’ There is also the line ‘Devils don’t come from hell beneath us, they come from the sky,’ and ‘the world has been so caught up with what he can do that no one has asked what he should do.’ The trailer does a seriously good job of guessing which hero they are talking about, except for the line and I quote Niel degrasse Tyson, a famous scientist ‘We’re talking about a being, who’s very existence challenges our own sense of priority in the Universe’ I think that line was more for Superman, as is the chant of ‘Go home! Go home! Go home!’ I do not know for certain if I am correct about this, but this is one of the most compelling aspects of this trailer for me, and then it cuts to something that gives me tingles each time I watch it. We finally see Bruce Wayne played by Ben Affleck, looking at the bat suit with Jeremy Irons talking over him, saying ‘That’s how it starts, the fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness, that turns good men cruel.’ Even if I was 100% wrong about what I said earlier, and Superman was being talked about all along in the start, it quickly washes away when we see the reveal of Batman, his expression is psychotic, he looks like he wants to do damage and is somewhat fearful, and I absolutely love what this brief moment stirs, because we all know that Batman is not to be fucked with..EVER..And when we see the suit, a suit I rate higher than Christopher Nolans bat suit, when we see the symbol of what Batman represents, even the most avid Superman fan starts to doubt Supermans abilities. The deal is then sealed when we see Batman looking up at Superman under a thunderstorm and says ‘Tell me, do you bleed? You will.’ Such a good trailer, check it out now!

5/ The Revenant – This film…What can I say other than it is unbelievable. Each shot could be printed out and hung on your wall for a poster. Every scene has you hooked making you feel a wash of emotions. It looks real, it makes you feel cold, it brings on waves of sadness, relief, fear and intensity and the trailer captures what the film does so so well, what with the steady rise in heavy breathing, the scenes becoming all the more desperate yet not actually revealing anything about the plot or the characters, say for Leonardo’s character Hugh Glass who seems to be having a bit of a rough few days in the woods. If you haven’t seen this trailer, go and watch it. If you haven’t seen this movie, go and watch it. It is the film that scored Leo his first best actor award after six nominations..SIX! Every film Leo is in he deserves an oscar, he really is that good…Not quite as good as Keanu Reeves, but he is definitely getting there. I can watch this trailer over an over and not get tired, the best bit in my opinion is the ending, when the title The Revenant, comes up amongst the sound of natures silence, after it being so fast paced up until this moment. It is very effective, an important movie which brings us back to mans relationship with the earth, how cruel it can be, how wicked, how unfair but yet how beautiful and random it is. Tom Hardy also gives a stella performance and I look forward to what director Alejandro González Iñárritu, does next.

Top Five Trailers (No particular order)

Kingdom of Heaven – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfq9U2tWWGo

Prometheus – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34cEo0VhfGE

Inception – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66TuSJo4dZM&t=2s

Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwfUnkBfdZ4

The Revenant – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRfj1VCg16Y

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Nostalgic Trailers and Honourable Mentions 

Troy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekshABiptOY

Spiderman 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWsLc3j1AWg

Alexander – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh6LKIdxqCU

Tristan and Isolde – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAJJay0Uv4M

The Void – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de3KP0RN76Q

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aStYWD25fAQ

Star Trek: Into Darkness – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOQMXNwp8wo

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuIvvl_C-yg

Sunshine (Starts at 0:17) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaJ6bLdoaxg

Cloverfield – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvNkGm8mxiM

The Blair Witch Project – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_Hw4bAUj8A

Nine – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY7Tge7ftxM

If you are interested in reading my response to John’s article, check back to my last post titled ‘Responding to Lunacy and Why I am not a Feminist #MeToo.’ All the information you need is in there. Thank you for reading.

Twitter – @MegasTeque

Amazon Page – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6

E-Mail – taotome@outlook.com

D.W.Gill

Responding to Lunacy and Why I am not a Feminist #Me Too

No one is denying that sexual harassment or sexual assault doesn’t exists. No one is denying that women suffer and have suffered for centuries at the hands of violent men not only throughout history but even in 2017, it happens everywhere and everyday, it goes on and we are all aware of it. I most certainly hope that no one is even suggesting that such foul behaviour and violent acts (especially physical violent acts) dealt against women, should be excused. It is disgusting behaviour that should be taken seriously when it occurs and never should we belittle victims of their traumatic experiences. This goes for both women and men, boys and girls of all ages. Sexual harassment makes me sick to my stomach, I feel for the victims and it adds another black stain upon the Human races list of spectacular failures, a species I am forever growing ashamed of being part of. I have no issue with anyone coming out with their stories of abuse, if this helps said victims in any way, then I am all for it. If it somehow triggers an action to further deal with the problem, then I do not see how anyone could or would object.

Over the past few days I like many others on social media (mainly Facebook) have seen large clusters of women coming out with their harassment stories. I’ve read some, some are worse than others but that would be missing the point entirely. It is without a doubt, awful behaviour and I certainly condemn it, and would act against it if I witnessed it happen. One thing I have noticed though and I am positive you have to, is that no men, to my knowledge have come out and used this hash tag. As far as I am concerned, sexual harassment is not a womans issue, it is a Human issue and should anyone argue against this is in need of educating. I forewarn those of you who engage in these sorts of debates, at times it will feel like debating a Flat Earther with evidence that planets are round or a Creationist who believes that evolution is not occurring and that our Earth is less than ten thousand years old opposed to the actual age which is around 4 to 5 billion years old, despite the overwhelming amounts of evidence available, despite it being the overall consensus of every respected scientist out there, some people can still stand as opposition – In my opinion stupidity is more of a concern than sexual harassment, I think stupidity is the reason why our planets dying, why the ice caps are melting, people are starving and economies all over the world are failing, maybe I’ll bring out a #NotStupid or something after this so we can hear everyone’s stories of stupidity – I have an idea as to why men and boys are not coming out in quantities you’d expect, and I’ll do my best to answer it in the following. Not to take the attention away from the victims who are the majority, women, I am simply approaching this from an angle I believe to be the correct one, the perspective of a Human being observing what he sees and hears around him, analysing the evidence as best he can and coming to a conclusion. If you agree or disagree with what I say I am not closing my door for discussion, I am open for discussion and the possibility to change my mind – I have arguments about the existence of God all the time and no one has been able to present compelling enough evidence for me to believe in him or it or her. Should evidence arise that lead to the possibility of a higher power, then I’d likely reconsider my position. – I am not directly responding to the #Me Too, as I said before if it helps victims, if it helps raise more awareness then I am all for it. No, I am responding to an article I read online, an article titled; ‘To The Men on the Other Side of #Me Too’ and it seriously pissed me off. I will also touch upon the reasons as to why I do not want the label of feminist and why I reject it. Before I begin however, my position on a balanced society is as follows, I do believe in equality of sexes. I do feel like everyone deserves the same level of respect, to be treated fairly no matter what. The more you contribute, the harder you work, the greater the reward. I do not indorse foul or rude behaviour but I am all for freedom and freedom of speech. Anyone who partakes in action that causes distress and misery to others, is someone I want nothing to do with and I hope is penalised justly. That is my position, putting it as briefly as I can.

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The article was written by John Pavlovitz and published on October 16th 2017. Quite frankly I find it insulting to both men and women, but mainly guys, if you’ve read it then I think you’ll find it hard not to agree. If you are someone who believes in equality of the sexes, if you are an egalitarian and do not buy into the hordes of insulting rhetoric of third wave feminism, which isn’t about equality which they will lead you down the rabbit hole to believe then you are probably going to revile this article as much as I did. Feminism is an ideology which is more about treating men and boys like garbage and then backing off claiming it is all for equality between the sexes. It’s an ideology that wishes to see female supremacy, an ideology that even attacks its own, forcing those who even question the movement, to forever be silent. Modern day feminism cannot decide what it truly wants to achieve having lost its real purpose for fairness. Now, it is just damaging, doing more harm to women ironically than it does to the gender it hates, men. You may even need a bucket to catch the contents of your stomach, it made me feel nauseous, the level of bullshit was far in the red. With all that said, my response will try to remain focused on John Pavlovitz article, although I will talk a little on modern-day feminism and some of the problems it has caused and continues to do and maybe you can see by the end how I was able to link the two. Although if you wish to know why I am an anti-feminist, why I reject the notion of a Western patriarchy and much prefer to call myself an Egalitarian :-

  1. believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

:- Please understand why I hold this position by researching the following people, because it is easy for me to sit here and spew out how much I loath it without providing any actual information. Maybe you can see how I came to this conclusion by doing some research yourself and the place I started was centred around these people:- Lauren Southern. Karen Straughan. Christina Summers. Dr.Helen Smith and Jaclyn Glenn. I know what you’re thinking; Where are all the guys speaking out against this poisonous movement, you’d think there would be many? Well, I could list off a handful of men who are anti-feminists who to strive for equality, but because they speak up for male rights, they are instantly without question, labelled sexists, bigots, misogynists, rape supporters you name it, simply for not taking the feminist position whole heartily. If you do not agree with the feminists, if you do not agree with absolutely everything, then you run the risk of being labelled, you run the risk of your job, your reputation, friendships even your family in some extreme cases, and I am running that risk aswell by writing this as I speak my mind in a ‘free’ country. The fact that I am second guessing even posting this article is testament to how deep this problem goes. Links to certain clips of their work can be found below, I selected the most apt Vlogs because after reading this post, I doubt you’ll want to do any more reading, you may need a pint of whiskey or something stronger (if it even exists). You can also find the article that I am responding to if you’d like to read it for yourself below aswell. So, lets look at what John has to say, so you can hurry up and ignore me, take what I say out of context and call me a woman-hater. You are free to do so of course but you’d be 100% wrong!

The article in question I found to be incredibly hard to read and sift through. There is so much in there that is plain wrong, misguided and laughable that I could write another response addressing what I’ve missed in this one. The first thing I found off about this appalling piece of wish washy writing was the title: To The Men on the Other of #Me Too. This suggests that it is only women who get sexual harassed, insinuating that men and young boys are sick, but I’ll bite into that later because I still cannot believe someone would write such a thing and accept a sickness that you do not have within themselves, its tragic. Does John’s article account or even mention women that harass other women, or women who harass men and young boys? The answer is; No, he doesn’t. Before I wrote my response I did a little researching and gathered some numbers from 2014 and it is indeed true, women do suffer sexual harassment more than men on the streets and in the workplace. In one such study commissioned by SSH (STOP Street Harassment) showed that 65% of women have faced some form of harassment in the United States. 23% had been touched inappropriately. 25% had been followed and 9% had been forced to do something sexual. For men the numbers are slightly lower, 25% being street harassed and 9% being that of homophobic or transphobic slur. The Independent wrote about sexual harassment and I quote a passage from a sobering and insightful article:- ‘Women were much more likely to face this treatment than men with 169 out of 4,116 – compared to just 11 out of 3,487 men – reporting sexual harassment by customers. Of those who said colleagues had done this to them, 48 were women and 31 were men.’ I understand where Mr Pavlovitz is coming from, I really do, just reading about this stuff and looking at the numbers combined with social media stories makes me ill. The title however implies that he is aiming at the predatory men who have committed foul play toward women, I was tricked into thinking this too but it quickly reveals that it is aimed not at those responsible, but at ALL men, that men are demons and women are angels. It didn’t take long to disprove, but harassment DOES exist on both sides.

The next thing he goes onto say is that how ‘grieved’ he is, that a lot of women are still not ready to come forward to share their stories. That is fair enough to say, people should not feel obligated nor pressured into sharing but instead, if they so wish, talk to people they know and can feel safe around, maybe seek out professional help if needs be to voice their traumatisation. But again, John fails to mention the vast amount of help that women do receive when harassment or worse has taken place. For men it is not that simple, we do not have nearly as many facilities or nearly as much support as women do regardless of the fact that 500.000 men suffer in household abuse each year. The networks that are easily accessible for female victims are often not there for males. When anyone tries to set up a mans shelter, a battle usually takes place, it is typically protested against by angry over privileged feminists denying male suffering under similar circumstances. If you do not believe me, then search for a man named Earl Silverman, a man who set up a Men’s Alternative Safe House (MASH) in Canada. He paid for it out of his own pocket, he was part of an abusive relationship and tried to help men and boys in need, because he too could see that there was nowhere for men to turn to when they needed help. It is a touching article, far more moving than the one written by John Pavlovitz, which we are literally just getting into. Sadly, Earl took his own life so we cannot continue the project he was undertaking, which I believe could have done some good in the world. I suggest that whoever is reading this, reads Earls article, published by the Huffington Post, 30/04/2013.

Seeing as we are on male suicides, male deaths tower over women’s which you could argue is linked to situations like Earls, or by the hands of our corrupt court systems that favour women over men. Want a few examples of female privilege, here are some:-

– Men go away to serve longer prison sentences for the exact same crime.

– A woman has legal power to sue a man for child support after stealing his sperm.

– A woman can rape a man or rape an underage boy and sue him for child support.

– A woman has the right to abort a fetus or give that child up for adoption without telling the father. (I am pro-choice)

– Men are forced by law to pay child support even when a child has been proven not to be biologically his.

– Women can sue a sperm donor for child support.

– Men often have to give up half or more of his assets in a divorce, risking losing the right to ever see his children while women, are statistically more likely to file for divorce than men are. We’ve all heard stories about men who get married, have children and then later on down the line they end up having to get divorced, and lose everything while she runs off claiming her ‘independence.’ Just look at the MGTOW movement, that movement didn’t arise out of nothing, it exists to teach men about the inadequacies that exist between us and warn us that this stuff is real and happens. All feminism is doing is broadening the gap between us rather than focusing on the needs and requirements of BOTH!

– Men are also at risk for being labelled rapists, the mere accusation is enough to ruin him for life, even if he is found to be innocent the damage has already been done, the stigma is forever attached to him and there is no penalty for the woman who destroyed him so easily. No charges come her way, no sentences given by a judge, she just walks away feeling empowered. Evidence of this can be found by looking at the number of male teachers working today, if you study the numbers then you should see a drop in men under many educational establishments.

– Men have no reproductive rights.

– Females do not get laughed at when they are the victim of domestic violence.

These are just a few of many female privileges that exist, at least in the Western world and why I do not accept female oppression. Of course women face issues unique to them and we must do all we can to accommodate them, but men have issues to and seeing as this article does nothing but demonize men and reduces women to frail, delicate little snowflakes that need our help, I felt the need to step in.

I admit and who couldn’t, that there are some countries (the heavily religious ones) out there that really treat women like if not worse than second class citizens, and these women are in dire need of our help, but feminists of today and white knights like John do not lift a finger to help real women who are suffering from true patriarchs over the world. No, instead feminists and limp men try to ban video games, complain about each and every film for treating women poorly, Blade Runner 2049 for example was recently attacked by lead feminist, Anita Sarkeesian who calls herself a professional gamer critique, even though she is not a gamer, her critiques are terrible and she has been caught and proven to steal content from other sources (real gamers) to aid in her ‘work.’ Feminists censor art and literature and treat men like absolute shit, teaching girls that it is okay to play the victim and be rewarded for it, that male mistreatment does not matter and should not be listened to, and that you should fight them when instances arise. Still, if you don’t belive me? Take a closer look at the scam artist Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, who went to the United Nations to try to ban rude behaviour on the internet, behaviour which is not acceptable for men AND women. Studies show that women attack and slut shame other women more than men do, that is a fact I am surprised people still need reminding of, but presenting facts to a feminist is a useless endeavour, they would rather shut their eyes, plug their ears and sing a Beyoncé song.

Look at feminists who attack other feminists like Emma Watson who played Hermione Granger in J.K Rowlings, Harry Potter and Gal Gadot, who played Wonder Woman in…Wonder Woman, in the new DC movies. They attacked Emma for taking part in a photo shoot and Gadot for shaving her armpits…Yes, you read that correctly. Feminists would rather focus on the hair under an actresses armpits than women who are disfigured by acid, simply for being a woman or by reading an educational book. Women in these countries are forced to marry old men, told that they cannot learn or have a life outside of the ‘life’ they have with their ASSHOLE husband and brainwashed families, who know nothing about freedom, nothing about love and have no idea how to see a woman as their fucking equals, as Human beings, as they should be seen on this shitty little planet conquered by a bunch of primitive hairless apes who still believe in fairy tales. I could go on and on, I could write a book on how damning the new feminist movement is, the examples seem to go on forever and honestly, I have better things to do than talk about this stuff, I want to do other things rather than engaging with these people who never listen, never learn and lap up shitty articles written by John Pavlovitz that does nothing but distance the gap between us, alienating men and women onto sides THAT DOESN’T FUCKING HELP OR ADDRESS THE PROBLEM! I know I keep making suggestions but please, do what you can, look elsewhere from here, see the damage feminism is causing for yourself, watching and researching the links I provide would be a good place to start, or just call me a misogynist to make yourself feel better.

Feminists also attack freedom of speech and I can now jump back onto Johns article to help demonstrate this. He said ‘In the times we stood silently in the company of a group of catcalling men; too cowardly to speak in a woman’s defense. In the way we’ve voraciously consumed pornography without a second thought of the deep humanity and the beautiful stories beneath the body parts.’ In response to the first sentence, let me ask you this, if you were surrounded by a group of women, the woman comparison to a male chauvinistic, sexist pig, and these women started bitching, complaining and being offensive to men, would you say something to try to stop them? Would you stick up on the mans behalf because we all know what happens if you do John. As for the second statement, it does kind of baffle me and it makes little to no sense, are you saying that we should get to know these women who are there at their own will? Are you saying that men do not appear in pornography? You do know that a woman is worth more than a man in this industry which is one of the biggest in the world, similar to how females are paid more for modelling than a man is. Why don’t you ask women the same question? Why pose this question for the men you are insulting with every other sentence of your article, why don’t you ask a woman to stop touching herself over the men they see in the porn they watch? See what she says if you say; ‘How dare you fap ferociously to these men without a second thought of the deep humanity and the beautiful stories beneath the body parts.’ Physical appearance is the first thing anyone notices on someone they do not know. It is hard to see someones personality as they walk around on the street or walk by in the office, I am not saying we should go up to them and say “Hey hows it going I think you’re sexy wanna have sex!” No, you have to be respectful, you do have to recognise that this man or woman is an independent person, with thoughts, feelings, goals, desires and ambitions and this includes porn starts who I do have a great respect for. But it IS okay to notice someones beauty before you know them personally, it IS okay to be physically attracted to someone before anything else, that is how nature works, that is the way it will always work, unless we all start walking around with signs that give us details of our personalities written on boards strapped to our chests. So when people like you and feminists start judging men for calling a woman sexy for noticing their appearance, you are moronic. Women do it too, I’ve dated a handful of women, I’ve spent most of my student and working life around women and guess what they gawp and stare and rate men as much as we do, they are brutal when it comes to who they want to sleep with, women do tend to be more picky than guys in this regard and that is fine, it is also fine that when women watch porn, they are given the fantasy, the luxury of skipping all that getting to know you bullshit and get right to business, and it is fine for men to do it to. Do you really need me to spell all this out for you? I hope not.   

To demonstrate how far the brainwashing has gone, I can describe a social study performed by actors in central London. You can also watch it by clicking the link listed below along with other references I’ve used throughout:- Man and woman walking in the street, they are supposedly involved with each other romantically but this doesn’t really nor should it matter, violence is violence no matter who is instigating it and should be dealt with all the same. The man begins to act up, he begins to get verbally abusive and eventually grips and shoves her into a fence. Within seconds, you have people rushing to her aid and rightly so, you should see this behaviour in our society. However, when the roles are reversed, and it is the woman instigating verbal and physical abuse onto the guy, people are laughing, people are taking photos on their phones NO ONE GIVES A HOT SHIT! This to me is unacceptable, if it is wrong for one it should be wrong for the other. Now, men are biologically stronger than women, I’m sorry but that is just a fact, we have 50% more upper body strength than women making us (generally speaking) physically equipped to defend ourselves. Even though women have been statistically shown to be the perpetrators of more domestic violence against men, and I quote an article from Yahoo Lifestyle, written by Jenna Birch, October 26th 2015…

‘According to the CDC’s statistics — estimates based on more than 18,000  telephone-survey responses in the United States — roughly 5,365,000 men had been victims of intimate partner physical violence in the previous 12 months, compared with 4,741,000 women. By the study’s definition, physical violence includes slapping, pushing, and shoving. More severe threats like being beaten, burned, choked, kicked, slammed with a heavy object, or hit with a fist were also tracked. Roughly 40 percent of the victims of severe physical violence were men. The CDC repeated the survey in 2011, the results of which were published in 2014, and found almost identical numbers — with the percentage of male severe physical violence victims slightly rising.’

…I still do not think that this behaviour whether it be by a man or a woman, should be washed over and not be taken seriously. The article written by our friend John Pavlovitz, would have you believe in an attempt at cheap poetry, that men are the cause of all violence, that men are the ones that are broken, that men are in need of fixing and women are the ones who are always the victims and always the innocent, this is of course, incorrect but as John so eloquently put, in one of the last paragraphs in his post – It’s time we owned this sickness.’ Well, speak for yourself John! I do not own this ‘sickness’ as with every one of my male friends, nor have I ever done anything of the sort nor am I ever going to do so! I do not think men should own this issue which I say again, is a Human issue, I think we should do the opposite of what you say and discard the notion that men are sick entirely, because you are sending the wrong message. How dare you suggest that I and all other men are capable of such things or have participated in such foul actions! Have you no respect for men who built everything you see around you, who put food in your cupboards, who lay the roads you drive on with cars designed by men, men who keep the lights on, the power flowing, the internet working, the diseases at bay. Men who provide heat for when it gets cold and lets not forget, protect you from forces overseas who would threaten your freedoms. If you have any sons, cousins or nephews, can you honestly sit there and write something so wicked about your own gender? Are you saying that my three-year old nephew is sick just because he was born male? Are you saying what most feminists are saying, that all men are rapists in waiting? You should post an apology, you should feel ashamed sir!

Reading your article is such an effort John, I could literally pick it apart piece by piece grinding my fingers into dust. You say at one point that we are so ‘complicit‘ well I am here to tell you that we’re not. Speaking for myself I was involved with a woman who was sexual assaulted, a guy she actually lived with at the time. The moment I found out about it, I notified her parents, I drove round in the early hours, moved all her shit into my car and we drove off where she stayed at mine for a while. ALL of my male friends would have done the same. Do these actions appear to match those of someone who is complicit or sick? I hope you know the answer. You say that; ‘This isn’t the time for each of us to broadcast our self-created good guy resumes, to defend our personal virtue, or to imagine why these are all some other guy’s stories—because that’s largely the point here: these are probably our stories.’ I am curious; When is it the time to broadcast our self-created good guy resumes? I’ve certainly never shouted from the rooftops “I am a good, honourable, noble man and I do not wish to harass any of you” I don’t know anyone who has ever felt the need to do that, and if he or she did I would ironically look upon them with suspicion. The only reason I brought up my partner (of the time) was to try to demonstrate that I am not ‘sick’ or ‘complicit’ and I do not consider my actions to be good or heroic, it just shows a level of care and compassion for another Human being in need. Just because I was emotionally connected to this person does not mean I would not do the same for anyone else, man or woman. So these stories of sexual harassment, do not belong to the vast majority of men and women out there.

Another thing you said; ‘In the times we laughed along with a group of men speaking words that denied the intrinsic value of women.
In the times we used the Bible to justify our misogyny.
In the times we defended predatory bragging as simply “locker room talk.”’ 
In response to this, men make jokes, if you have male friends then you should know it is how we bond, taking the piss out of one another, making light at how stupid others can be and making the occasional sexist comment is funny, you know why because they are jokes and not to be taken seriously. If you’ve spent time around women, then you should know that they do the same thing if not worse. In my experience men whack you in the face, it’s more or less a done deal after that, we do not sit around a coffee table bitching for hours, texting everyone in their contact list about how the man or woman in question is horrible. Women are as dishonest and can be equally as dirty, equally sexist and horrible as men can be, but who fucking cares! People will talk about you behind your back, men and women both, we all do it from time to time and nothing is going to change that. Humour, for those who don’t understand humour usually has its roots in some very dark, very serious shit! Humour is this wonderful tool we use to transcend sinister things even if it is just for a moment, it allows us to see the lunacy of what we say for what it is. Pick a topic, you name it, there have been jokes written about it, and being able to joke is an exercise of your freedom of speech, no matter how horrible and distasteful the joke may be, you have the right to say it and others have the right to say fuck you! ..Jesus (pun intended).. I like how you bring the Bible into your article, I think this may be the one thing we can agree on even though the context in which you are using this holy piece of shit book is stupid, because if you read through the piece of shit Bible, and see how it views women, you’ll find that it’s pretty shocking. Women in the Bible are seen as a mans property, they aren’t quite as idiotic as say your cow or your donkey but they aren’t far off. Women are often traded off or married without a say to better your houses position, adultery is also met with extreme violence. You should check out the Bible passage Exodus 22:16-17, it basically states that if a man rapes a woman then his punishment is to marry her. Another passage goes onto say that if you’re at war, and you kill an enemies family and rape the daughter of said enemy, you also have to marry her and spend the rest of your life with her. So, the piece of shit Bible would not be in my opinion your go to place to justifying yourself, I would argue that it is quite possibly the worst place you’d go to, to try to justify you actions, but mental gymnastics are of course called mental gymnastics for a reason. Here is a tip for all the men you’re labelling John, here is my message to them; “If you’ve sexually harassed someone, whether if be yesterday or years ago, go to them, meet with them if you’re able to and offer THE most sincere apology within your vocabulary arsenal. If they accept or not, do not just leave it as an apology but do whatever you can do, to make amends for what you’ve done and if you feel the urge to continue what you’re doing, seek professional help and seek it now!” If I ever found myself in that position, that is what I would do, but what would I know, I am just a dirty atheist bereft of morals as the religious keep telling me, who cannot see what is right or wrong without an invisibly fucking man in the sky who condemns homosexuality and calls for genocide. The last sentence you mentioned in that statement falls under the freedom of speech spiel I already sent your way, so refer to that if you get stuck.   

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I disagree with you John, sorry but I do. I have enough respect for women to know that they can fight their own battles. I respect women well enough to know that they aren’t fragile, delicate little snowflakes that are in need of a mans rescue or is in need for men everywhere to answer for what most of us haven’t done and actually despise. I respect women to know that they can take a joke or two, they actually like to laugh and sometimes they like it at their expense, not all the time, don’t go laying into someone all night long but they have a sense of humour. A woman can do anything a man can if not better in some cases – I just watched that movie with Emma Stone and Steve Carell called ‘Battle of the Sexes’ I thought it was good, I learned something I didn’t know before watching, I enjoyed it. I respect women enough to see through your article. I try to connect with women on my level, an emotional level and maybe I cannot fully understand what it is like to be one or where they are coming from or to be in the shoes of one that has given birth, or has suffered at the hands of an asshole misogynist or worse a rapist who I would happily drop off on Mars if I was able to, I can at least try to empathise, I can at least attempt to get on their level, and that level is not beneath me or above me. We need to do away with men being guilty until proven innocent, we need to combat inappropriate behaviour, appropriately. What we need to do is start seeing everyone as equals while recognising and celebrating our differences, something I’ve been saying all along with millions of others from the very get go, something we should have been doing from the moment we emerged from the caves, but this species is flawed, this species is foul, it’s disgusting and we never seem to learn. Don’t get me wrong, I could have made my response a lot longer, but I’ve been writing all day and now it is time to do something else. I’m sick of talking about this, I’m sick of repeating the same God damn thing over and over. Why does this shit still need spelling out? Why do people like you keep writing such nonsense…Open your eyes! Think before you speak and pick your battles wisely if there is a battle worth fighting. I feel like you’ve taken on board what women victims have said and instead of actually thinking of a solution to the problem, you’ve done what all white knights do and feel bad about being a man, something you have no fucking control over and are bending over backwards to feminists who hate our guts…Well they probably love you, but they hate me, because I speak up for actual equality, because I acknowledge that discrimination exists on both sides. In your article I feel like you’ve attempted to justify your manliness by writing up a piece of how sad you are, how devastated you are that this happens and I can empathise, I can see that it is awful and has to stop. To give credit where credit is due, I do not think you are a bad person, and I know I’ve called you names, I know I’ve come across as a bit of a dickhead but I care to John, I really do and don’t look to me for a solution because I do not have one, all I have is what we always tend to fall back on, and that’s the statement of there are good men in this world who think the exact same as us; Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold (they are actually Incubus lyrics from the song The Warmth). There are ways you can do what you have done but in the process, not toss aside what it means to be a man, and what being a man means to me, is someone who works hard to achieve things, someone who wants to inspire good, to accomplish, to learn and to educate people. To fight corruption and not bow down to twisted ideologies and regimes that threaten our freedoms and a fair society. This can also apply to women aswell because they are just as capable as us, few biological differences here and there, sure, our brains wired a little differently, sure, but the last thing they need, is the men of this planet to lose what little backbone we have left. 

   Lauren Southern Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNErQFmOwq0&t=36s

Karen Straughan Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut2VVAW0MwM&t=910s

Christina Summers Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TR_YuDFIFI

Jaclyn Glenn Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbRwe9srFfA

Dr. Helen Smith. Men on Strike. Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPEb6Di9Ui4

John Pavlovitz Article: https://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/10/16/men-side-metoo/

SSH Reference: http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/

Independent Article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/sexual-harassment-workplace-depression-mental-illness-colleagues-customers-clients-a7964061.html

Jenna Birch’s Article: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/the-number-of-male-domestic-1284479771263030.html

Social Experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M0MW6ON484

Earl Silvermans Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/29/earl-silverman-dead-suicide_n_3179850.html

Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn march on the United Nations Vlog, presented byThunderf00t: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prmprJyPyv0

#Me Too – I was very young, I was playing in an arcade when all the power went out. During this time a woman grabbed sensitive areas and squeezed intensely.

My Twitter – @MegasTeque

My E-mail – taotome@outlook.com

D.W.Gill

The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream – Reviewed by K.J Simmill

Well here it is guys, the third and final review written by K.J Simmill, a very talented woman, author of the highly successful Forgotten Legacy Series, which currently has three books to its name. Before I expand on this author’s achievements and present her review, before I talk about the experience and give you my thoughts on what the reviewers wrote, I would personally like to thank all of the reviewers who took the time out to read and write about my work. It is so very touching to know what you think, whether I received good or bad reviewers it is important to thank the people who wished to share their critique of my book, a book I have slaved over for the past ten to fifteen years.

About the reviewer: K.J Simmill, is an award-winning British author who has written a total of five books. Books which are loaded with extraordinary details with a touch of professionalism that can only be found in writers who are in this for the long haul. Her works have taken an enormous amount of time and care something to be admired and of course awarded and written about. On a personal note, her series had me hooked and intrigued the moment I lay eyes on them and I will be making a purchase as soon as I am able. Every so often, whether it be a film, a piece of music, a game or in this case a fantasy book, comes along and inspires. As far as The Forgotten Legacy Series is concerned, there are three completed titles so far. The first book in the series is called;

Darrienia – ‘Winner of the 2016 Independent Author book of the year award for ‘Outstanding Fantasy’ and currently a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards.’

The Severaine‘Winner of New apple 2017 ‘official selection’ for Fantasy and Readers Favorite 2017 award for dystopian.’ 

Remedy – Released on the 30th Aug 2017 – Is about ancient sealed secrets locked away in a realm of fear and nightmares, where a lone adventurer is forced to unveil what is hidden within, all for the preservation and perseverance for future generations.

As for the other two called, Herbal Lore and Camels and Cake: Tea for Three, which both received 5/5 star reviews, touch upon K.J Simmill’s love for natural remedies and her passion for holistic therapy. Beyond her love for writing and every form of natural healing, from massage to aromatherapy, she is also an avid gamer, although she has not shared or specified what kind of games she plays or is interested in. As a veteran gamer myself, who usually plays grand RPG’s, psychological horrors and adventurers, will be interested to find out what Miss Simmill plays in her spare time and if she can talk about her favourite gaming titles with as much passion as she does her books. So, I suggest whoever is reading this, whoever is a follower of mine or is new to this Blog, check out K.J Simmill’s work, all links as always will be listed at the bottom of this article.

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Book Review and Mini Critique

Title: The Ancestral Odyssey
Subtitle: The Utopian Dream
Author: Duncan William Gill
Genre: Fiction – Fantasy – Epic

Appearance: 4/5

Plot: 5/5

Development: 5/5

Formatting: 4/5

Marketability: 5/5

Overall Opinion: 5/5

Review: Reviewed by K.J Simmill for Readers’ Favorite

“The Ancestral Odyssey: The Utopian Dream is an epic fantasy by
Duncan William Gill. Lethaniel had been thought dead, yet this lone
figure was found plodding through a field of death, a field of the
countless lives lost to the horror of war and death that he could
have prevented, at least that seemed to be the opinion of those
scarce few who were left alive. In a moment of reflection he knew
what must be done, a way to usher in victory and perhaps even ring
in a new age. The odds are stacked against him, against his people,
but he will stand his ground, he will prevail. There have been many
beginnings since this world began, and a new start is long overdue.

Anyone who knows me knows there’s nothing I love more than to
lose myself in an epic and this book is certainly that. Gill does not
shy away from embracing fantasy, and this is the kind of book you
can easily lose a day or two to. You cannot help but become
invested in the characters, and what an array of characters it is.
There is war, horror, and hope threaded with skill through a plot
both epic in size, scope and undertaking, and this only scratches
the surface of the magical world built and developed by Gill. This is
one heck of a fantasy read, a must for the libraries of fans of this
genre. From beginning to end, you’ll lose yourself in the well
written, wonderfully descriptive style and you’ll be amazed at the
attention to detail throughout. Make yourself a hot drink, get a plate
of sandwiches at the ready, because you will not want to put this
down.”

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My thoughts: Having read all three reviews back to back before I wrote this article, and having had the day to reflect upon them, I like K.J Simmill’s the best. Odd, you must be thinking? This last review when compared to the others, is actually the lowest rating of the three, but the thing that matters most to me and always has, is knowing that my work is being read, carefully analysed and enjoyed. This does not mean that I do not appreciate Romuald and Rabia’s reviews, of course I do and I once again send out all my thanks. However, what I have noticed since my book’s publication back in September of 2017 and the Kindles throughout 2016, is the fact that they are not perfect like I wanted them to be, there are issues, issues I have already begun ironing out, issues I have learnt from and will not carry over into Episode Two: Rise of The Black Doves. Hopefully before Christmas, I will re-release the Hardback Edition and the Kindles to appease my unhealthy thirst for perfection, until that is I find something else to bitch and complain about. I also feel that I should go back and do a re-review myself of Episode One: The Utopian Dream, that can be found in an earlier post on this Blog. What I have learned from this whole experience of Self-Publishing a book and having it be reviewed, is that it will NEVER be 100% perfect, no ones work is and it is important to recognise that fact and recognise it before you start losing sleep. Simmill, although giving me a high-grade, a 5/5 star rating awarding me with my third Readers’ Favourite medal, has picked up and found fault with the work, she demonstrated that she had read it by picking up on some of the details to do with the characters within the pages instead of just giving it a broad overview which as matter of fact, can all be learned simply by reading the synopsis on my Author Page or by reading through the first few pages. For that reason, I will rate her review higher than the others. Thank you.

If you are someone who loves epic fantasy or if you are someone who just loves to read and lose yourself within a book, then please, follow this Blog, consider a purchase using the links below, follow K.J Simmills, her Blog is incredible, she also reviews other people’s work so I highly recommend checking out what she does. In saying that, follow others who tweak your interest and send them an encouraging message if you like what you see, knowing that people are reading or are taking notice fuels people like myself and other creatives. It is a myth that we are rolling around on cloud nine laughing hysterically after a release of a book, or the release of say an album. Sure, we are happy to have accomplished something, we love the fact that we can move on and have something to behold after an enormous amount of work, but unlike a day job where you clock off at 5pm, we are always on the clock even when we sit down in an attempt to zone out for an hour or two. We never stop thinking or trying to find new ways to improve what we do, it is a relentless, ongoing pleasurable curse, at least that is how I feel about it, yet the rewards are unreal.

Follow K.J Simmill’s Blog and view the original review here – http://darrienia.com/2017/10/13/book-review-the-ancestral-odyssey-the-utopian-dream-by-d-w-gill-megasteque-‏

Twitter – @SimmillKj

Author Page: K.J Simmill – https://www.amazon.co.uk/K.J.-Simmill/e/B012ZG7R4S

Twitter – @MegasTeque

Author Page: D.W.Gill – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01JMZ2BE6

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-nc_VEmC27AIz6pP51UVkQ?view_as=subscriber

D.W.Gill