Sunday, 26 August 2012

Art Makes The World Go Round!

Occasionally I get sent artwork by really cool people who are into the books. Which awesome! It's great that people love the stories so much that they've taken time out of their busy lives to create something for me. It really touches me and makes me realise that the world really is full of great people.

So I thought I'd show you a couple of most recent pieces.

Based on my profile picture apparently! By Cawlm Selena Kauket

Another Steampunk'd pony for me. Love these guys so much! This one by Jane Sharp

This was created DURING the book launch by a very kind audience member. Best gift EVER!

And finally, the awesome Veetu Industries logo! Love it!

Thanks to everyone who creates cool stuff!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Music Is The Food Of Life

A lot of different artists have inspired my writing. Their music has stirred my soul and my mind. Here's a list of albums I've listened to since I started writing the Veetu Industries series. I'm also open to suggestions so feel free to leave some in the comments!

Deadmau5 – Random Album Title
Deadmau5 – For Lack of a Better Name
Deadmau5 – 4 x 4 = 12
F5 – A Drug For All Seasons
F5 – The Reckoning
Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast
Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Iron Maiden – Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden – Brave New World
Metallica – Ride the Lightning
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Metallica - S&M
Megadeth - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying
Megadeth – The World Needs A Hero
Megadeth - Risk
Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction
Megadeth – Endgame
Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine
Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero
Pendulum - Hold Your Colour
Pendulum - In Silico
Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites

At some point I'll get around to making a play list on You Tube. :)

Monday, 20 August 2012

RIP Tony, the Top Gun of Film-Making

This morning, the world changed. It changes every day. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Today, the world brought me a small dose of sadness.

Several years ago, I attended film school. I wanted to make action films and was inspired by the likes of Top Gun, Die Hard and Indiana Jones. These days I want to make inspiring documentaries but the drive and passion is still there.

This morning, I woke up to the news that one of my all time favourite directors, Tony Scott, had jumped from a bridge in LA.

He was just 68.

He'd have been in his late 40's when he made one of my favourite films (True Romance). As of yet, we don't know why he decided to take his own life. I, for one, hope that he's in a better place. I hope that whatever was bothering him so much to take that last, final walk, is now gone, erased forever. I pray for those he's left behind, his wife, his children, his brother Ridley and the many friends and fans.

RIP Tony Scott. You've left a great legacy on the world. We'll miss you, buddy.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Olympic Spirit

I was a dyed in the wool hater. I didn't think we should have been hosting the Olympics.


Well, because the UK's crap at hosting things/the London transport system wouldn't cope/we like to moan about everything/it rains A LOT.

For some reason people think we're not great at doing things. Heck, we had a terrorist attack the day after we found out we had the 2012 Olympics (the running joke was that the French weren't happy that we'd been chosen over them. That's the British sense of humour for you right there).

Everything began to change when I was invited to an Olympic Opening Party. As the countdown began for the opening ceremony, I burst into tears of joy.

Then the medals started rolling in.

Then I was handed a ticket for a bonafide Olympic event (football at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Except it's currently the City of Coventry Arena because Ricoh aren't an Olympic sponsor. Which I think sounds better than "Ricoh Arena".).

Notice the use of "was" in the first sentence.

Yep, I'm now a dyed in the wool Olympic fanatic. I don't think the UK has really screwed this up (there was the mess with Korean flags on the first day but that's been forgotten. Hasn't it?). People are complimenting how nice it is, how well all the sports are going, how great the opening ceremony was. Apparently America thinks London has replaced Disneyland as Happyville. And the British press have finally (and mostly) gotten on the side of it all. London's still standing, no one's tried to blow us up, we're still smiling, we're still here.

To me, it's great. These people, the athletes, those putting their hearts and souls in to this, are the ones we need to be raising up as celebrities, not those who seek their 5 minutes of fame in reality shows. We need to show everyone that glory comes through hard work and dedication, not falling out of a night club and showing the world your knickers.

Come Sunday, when the closing ceremony lights up our screens and the flag is handed over to Brazil, I'm going to be sad. It'll be the closure of an epic few weeks.

But come the end of August comes another sporting event. Yep, the Paralympics. Where do you think I'll be? Yep, cheering on Team GB.

Thank you, world, for coming to see us. We're loving having you here. Enjoy the rest of it (and the sun, while it lasts!).

Friday, 3 August 2012

I'm An Addict!

Hi! My name's Rae and I'm an addict!

Well, former addict now. Once upon a time, I was hooked on cocaine, amphetamines, ketamine and alcohol. At one point, I pretty much blew my brain thanks to everything I was taking. I was hooked and I loved it. I didn't care that my skin was yellow, my hair was thinning and I was on the verge of losing my liver.

Addicts can be selfish fuckers. I didn't care who was picking up the tab as long as I was drinking, eating, getting high and had a place to sleep. I didn't care if my hand was in your pocket. Hell, you'd better count your fingers once I was done with you. I didn't care as long as I was as high as a kite and had something to bring me back down. Some people may remember me from those days and, to them, I'm sorry and I thank you for staying beside me and believing in me.

For the most part I was a functioning addict. I held down a job and had a relationship. But one day the lights went out. Something in my brain flicked off and on and I found myself spiralling downwards. Hallucinations, shakes, I had the lot. Whether it was an overdose or just my brain deciding it had had enough I don't know. I was admitted to hospital for brain scans and eventually put onto medication to level everything out. One friend dutifully took me to the hospital whenever I needed to go. We spent a lot of time discussing life, the universe and mental health. To him I will be forever grateful. That was in 2004. A couple of years ago I was finally diagnosed with bipolar, something which may be a result of the “breakdown”. I'm still on medication and may be for the rest of my life. I still hallucinate from time to time. The worst episodes see me locking myself away in the windowless bathroom.

It took me four years to get back on my feet. Four years of not working, not writing, not doing a lot of anything. I hated myself. I felt useless and broken, a waste of space and a drain on resources. Several times I contemplated suicide. Eventually a wonderful person in the north took a chance on me and gave me a job. I was finally able to feel something akin to pride.

I've moved since then and am still in touch with the wonderful people from the north. I work another job now. My first novel has been published, my second will be out in October and I'm currently working on my third. Occasionally my brain still flips out, still breaks down. So I still have to be ultra careful, not pushing myself too hard. Occasionally I forget and everything stops.

Why am I writing this? Why am I airing my dirty laundry? Because, no matter how you're feeling, life's not useless. If you feel like crap remember that the sun will rise tomorrow. If you feel like life has lost its lustre, go and find something which inspires you. Never give up no matter how bad you feel. There will always be bad times but there is hope. There are people who are willing to help you. Tomorrow is just another day, another step closer to the person you want to be, another chance to do what you want to do. No matter where you want to be, keep going.

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!