The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky

Last week I announced that The Rats by James Herbert was the ‘WOW’ book I’ve been looking for. (see post)

Now I am forced to announce that it held that accolade for a week before being usurped.

The book that usurped it was one recommended to me by a colleague at work and one that completely circumvented my expectations.

That book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky.

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Novellas: JK Rowling and So Many Owe You One

Novellas.

Pieces of fiction that are longer than a short story, but don’t fall into the widely accepted word limit of a full novel.

Whilst they are sometimes looked down upon, I have noticed that more often than not they are the springboard for a lot of writers who have grown to dizzying heights.

With this in mind I have put together a list of top authors and the novella that launched their careers.

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Off Topic: Ernest Hemingway

I was just doing some research on what constitutes the length of a novella and I came across this interesting anecdote about Ernest Hemingway.

Thought it was worth a share.

“The shortest work of literature is attributed to Hemingway, who was reportedly bet that he couldn’t write a complete story in 10 words. He could do better than that, he countered, offering this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Source

Painting The Monsters

In my life I have only ever painted four things and most of those were at school.

Yet the other day I left work with an overwhelming desire to buy paints and a canvas as I had an image I couldn’t get out of my head.

Below is what appeared after 2 and a half hours and £13 worth of art supplies.

I’m quiet happy as it looks exactly like the image in my head.

What are your thoughts?

(I wish the photo quality was better as the colours got light washed when I took the below picture)

My Top 3 Modern Authors

Lately I’ve been thinking about the authors who inspire me the most.

I’m going through a period with my own creative writing where I’m becoming disenchanted with my own style. I have hundreds of ideas and yet I am trying to confine them all to the same style.

To use a metaphor I like to apply when I’m discussing politics and morality with my friends ,I am trying to fit different shaped cakes in the same shaped tin.

In an attempt to help me loosen up my writing style I am spending a lot of time looking at my own favourite authors and working out what it is about their style that I like.

So continue reading to discover the top 3 modern authors who inspire me the most. Continue reading

#Standwithtrans

Completely disgusted by Donald Trump’s comments about transgender people in the military.

It is abhorrent a head of state in one of the most powerful countries in the Western world can promote discrimination like this.

The discrimination Transgender people face is vile, and now they are facing it by a leader of the ‘free world’, just because they want to join the military and serve their country.

We must stand United.

#standwithtrans

Anna Karenina – The Mind Reading Of Leo Tolstoy

SPOILERS AHEAD

This week I have finally got around to reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

The novel is a masterpiece. I enjoyed it from start to finish and personally thought Levins character development was gripping. Every character is unique and i found myself becoming so invested in the events unfolding that I actually cheered when two of the main characters finally got engaged.

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Don’t Blame The Victims

With the attack on a mosque in Finsbury Park by Darren Osbourne, I found myself reading all the reactions online, including those of Former EDL leader, Tommy Robinson.

Throughout his video he makes a fair point that he is not inciting violence against any Muslims. He slanders the man who performed this attack and states he is abiding by the democratic process. Whilst my views on Tommy Robinson are that I really don’t like the guy, I’m not going to ignore the fact he condemned attacks on Muslims. Continue reading

Tory 2020 – A Poem

The year’s 2020
The NHS is long gone
But who cares about health when you can see The Bake Offs new scone?

The dementia tax succeeded
There’s more dead on our sheets
But who cares about age when you can still watch Coronation street?

Brexit has failed
Bojo fucked up
But who cares about trade when you’ve got the world cup?

Who cares about our country
When we’ve got tv
In the new land of the lost, no one is free

Blood, Blisters and Back Pain

Let’s make all those MPs who voted against the law change forcing women to work in highheels if their boss tells them to walk around in high heels for a week.

Let’s see how quick they are to change this rule when the backs are cutting in their heels and their toes are being squashed at the bottom.

Blisters, Blood and Back pain to pay the bills.
I had to wear a pair of these for an hour as a joke at secondary school and they killed my feet. Barely lasted the hour.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/waitress-forced-to-wear-high-heels-at-work-shares-photo-of-her-bleeding-feet-a7025466.html?cmpid=facebook-post

Don’t be Fooled By Andy Street

Today I got home from work to a booklet from the government.

This May in the West Midlands, UK we have the election for the first Mayor of the West Midlands.

I took off my bag, opened the letter and began to read. Every party has a nice two page spread where they outline their points and policies. I work for a Design company so I inadvertently found myself admiring the aesthetic layout of rival parties spread. Continue reading

The Life I Want To Live

I  know the type of life I want to live, even if to some it isn’t really a life.

The life I would like to lead is a more a collection of random mistakes that somehow fit together to make an adventure.

Despite all my interests in politics and world history, my biggest dream would be simply to get on a raft or small boat, push out into the ocean and see where I end up. Continue reading

Stop Hate for Hates sake

To people sharing the below picture of the muslim woman and thinking she doesn’t care about because she’s on her phone, I want to tell you something;

Last month I had the unfortunate scenario of seeing a women bleed to death in the middle of Wolverhampton high street during Hurricane Doris.

When a person is dying in front of you you are limited to what you can do.

Option 1: Try to revive them.

But if there’s already someone doing this then you can’t help.

Option 2: Get Away.

You run away in case you become the next victim. You might not know why they’ve died and you want to protect yourself.

Option 3: You call family/friends to make sure they’re ok and to stay away.

I speak from personal experience, what she’s doing in that picture isn’t wrong. There’s already people trying to revive him so she can’t help there. Also to her He might die (he did), she probably doesn’t want the image of a dead body stuck in her head like I have.

Stop spreading hate for hates sake.

Game of Thrones Theory

What if George R.R Martin is waiting until he dies to release the last Game of Thrones book? 

Wouldn’t it be poetic irony if the man known for killing off all his own main characters waited until the greatest main character of all, the author himself, had died before letting the Game of Thrones story continue? 

Yertle the Turtle

Since I got interested in politics over six years ago I’ve read over three hundred books on the subject.

I’ve read everything from Marx’s Das Kapital to Hitlers Mein Kampf and have spent countless hours studying historical politics from all around the world.

Of all the political books I have read my favorite isn’t Marx, Hobsbawn, Chomsky or Palast just to name a few.

My favorite political book is Yertle the Turtle by Dr Seuss.

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Unity

hope

Before I get into this post I first want to state that I am Agnostic.

My belief is that we can not categorically say there isn’t an afterlife, but nor can we absolutely say there is an afterlife and considering we can’t answer these questions until we’re dead why worry about it? As long as we continue to do good during our lives we are covered if there is an afterlife.

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The Dowsing Rod

The title of my blog, The Dowsing Rod, originated from the novel Generation X by Douglas Coupland.

There is a very soulful piece of dialogue by one of the novels protagonists in which she talks about how one day she will walk through the desert with a dowsing rod, wandering lost and aimless, looking for nothing. She talks about how one day she will meet a man who is wandering with his own dowsing rod and when they meet, they will continue to wander together. Continue reading

Les Miserables; There are no useless words

“Victor Hugo spends too much time going into detail about things that don’t need explaining”

This is what I hear every time I approach the subject of Victor Hugos divine epic, Les Miserables, with my friends.

Whilst I can imagine over a dozen dissertations have been written to debate this thought, I am going to punk my way through my thoughts on Victor Hugos masterpiece, albeit not as eloquently as those students before me.

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Snoopers Charter: The growth of the legislative dictatorship 

This week in the UK Theresa May has finally pushed through The Snoopers Charter.

In a week where MPs used the death of Fidel Castro to condemn mass surveillance and the self righteousness of politicians to put themselves above the laws they govern, UK MPs have become hypocrites.

The introduction of the Snoopers Charter aka The Investigatory Powers Bill will allow over 20 government organisations to access your Internet search history at will. So be it the Gambling commission or the Welsh Assembly, your Internet history is up for grabs like a buffet at a low entertainment party.

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Comicon: A New Frontier

My costume: Brendan James – Scream Netflix series

Today was a first for me.

It was my first time going to MCM Comicon in Birmingham and it was also my first time cosplaying.

Like a lot of people growing up, the concept of dressing up as fictonal characters in public and adhering to this sub culture felt very ….wrong. But what I’ve realised is how wrong I actually was. Continue reading

A Tribute To Literature

This is my first post and I have decided to go with a tribute to one of my three greatest loves in life; literature.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I see is a bookshelf above my bed and the well thumbed edges of the books which rest upon it.

The novels that call this shelf home are the works of fiction that changed my life.

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis, Generation X by Douglas Coupland and The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger just to name a few.

The reason these novels have had an impact on my life is that they aren’t afraid to tell the truth. They take pride in removing the veil of obscurity that deceives us with every supermodel driven advert or four chord wonder on the radio. 

 Growing up as a Millennial (to quote Coupland) means to grow up around computers that change quicker than you can to save for them and to witness bomb after bomb hit a sand covered country most of us couldn’t point to on a map.

It is to grow up with the adverts telling you globalisation gives you the next super thin, breath activated phone (that rarely gets used for its original purpose), whilst the news shows us the true impact of our consumer lifestyle.

The works of fiction I have mentioned seek to show us just how frivolous and meaningless this lifestyle is. How full of ennuyeux we become when we can order things with a click instead of  actually going out and seeing them for ourselves. In Britain everyone is going crazy over the new £5 note (It’s plastic. Ta Da!) yet the value of this money is already undermined by online shopping where we can spend our entire lifes savings without holding a coin in our outstretched paws.

When i read American Psycho by B.E.E i am numbed by how relateable Patrick Batemans rhetoric is. His distaste for the consumer lifestyle, shown through his blatant indulgence in it, comes into focus more in the modern day as the volume of adverts on TV/phones/buses/computers/toilet stalls etc wraps itself around us like a blanket of plastic and metal.

There is an important place in society for the novels and authors i have mentioned. They offer a contrasting bulwark from the media onslaught and seek to show us where we’re going, as their generations have been their before. Every carefully crafted sentence, every blank page after an abortion, every half sentence that leaves you asking “what happened next?” all seek to shatter the illusion we’re living in and tell us to find direction.

These are the type of novels that have faced banning or have nearly been banned by the mainstream media and special interest groups. We can not allow things like this to happen.

Stay tuned for more insights, thoughts and tributes to the world around us!