Last Thursday I was told by my doctor that I potentially have PTSD due to having watched a woman bleed to death last year. Continue reading
Is fighting to get out
Whilst the heat
Parole has been denied
I’ve been away for a while sorting myself out. Trying to anyway. I’ve made some great memories through the different comic-cons I’ve been going to.
Pleasures of The Damned is an anthology of poems by Charles Bukowski which span over his fifty year career.
MicroSerfs to Coupland is what Times Arrow was to Martin Amis; a defining epitome of a brilliant literary body.
I’ve read a lot of Coupland yet this is the book of his that hit me like a literary train.
Horns by Joe Hill is one of the best modern horror novels I have read.
The story of a devil seeking redemption, Joe Hill takes us on a horrific journey through the betrayals of small town America.
The Rub of Time is a collection of essays by English author, Martin Amis.
Whilst this title sums up Martin Amis’s acceptance that things are changing with time, I believe a more appropriate title would have been Love Letters to Nabokov.
Say the name loud enough and nearly every poet and aspiring contemporary novelist will shout back with a Bukowski witisim.
I would like to say that this is a review of an excellent novella by Truman Capote, but I can’t.
Instead it is a review of the tales principle character, miss Holly Golightly.
I feel myself sinking,
but I’m ok with that
I never wanted to learn how to swim because on the way down
There is so much to see
A school of lies
A bedrock of ‘Fuck It’s
A tangle of ‘Me before yous
The below is just as important
as the above and between
I feel myself sinking
and I’m ok with that
He cries immortality
His pen ran out
Become times ash
Their phoenix makes me soar
A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.
– Sidney Sheldon
Now that 2017 has been and gone, I want to share what the top 3 books I read In 2017 were.
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
For my review of this heartbreaking classic, Click HERE
Times Arrow – Martin Amis
For my review of this wonderfully austere novel, Click HERE
The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky
For my review of this haunting coming of age tale, Click HERE
Happy New Years everyone!
My first entry of 2018 and I want to start with a film review.
On December 31st 2017, I brought the JAWS, 3 disc box set (Jaws 2,3 & Revenge). On January 1st 2018, I watched my first horror film of the year.
Jaws 2 is a massively underrated sequel.
This week I have finished reading the Nobel Prize winning, Lord of The Flies by William Golding.
A novel with no Dialogue is called a Epistolary Novel.
These are tales told through documents such as letters, police reports, transcripts etc.
Famous examples are Carrie – Stephen King, The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky And Dracula by Bram Stoker.
As it’s the festive season, I decided this week to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
This is a tale I haven’t read since secondary school. over five years ago.
As it is the Christmas season, the television is filled with the same old “TOP 40 CHRISTMAS SONGS OF ALL TIME” (Usually ending in The Pogues – A Fairytale of New York)
Well not on my blog!
At The Dowsing Rod we have a sense of humour!
Find below my top 5 comedy Christmas Songs!
Work emails said so much
I’m a person who used to self harm.
I don’t want to go in the reasons why, but I used to do it frequently with whatever I could find lying around.
A month and half ago I self harmed for the last time. Since then I have faced further challenges and have been able to fight to the urge through distraction techniques and seeking help.
However todays like today make it hard.
Today I finished reading The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks.
It was the excerpt on the back cover about the protagonist murdering their family which persuaded me to buy it as I found it a jarring paragraph to parade on the back cover.
Sadly, like a modern film trailer, they showed me the best part to lure me in then dropped the ball.
No author has captured my imagination as much this year as Martin Amis.
After having borrowed Dead Babies from my boss, I have aimed to devour every book of his I can get my hands on.
This includes the horrific tale; Times Arrow
My new painting. I don’t even kid myself with my painting ability. I focus more on just trying to get the creature out my head then worry about the rest later.
As it’s Halloween, there is no better way for a horror fan to celebrate the day by giving you a list of my top five horror movies.
I stand in clouds made of memories
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.
Have you ever had writers block?
Have you every had that moment when you want to get something down onto paper and don’t know how to do it?
Visit my new page and see how as a professional copywriter I overcome these challenges!
For nearly two years I have been looking for that ‘Wow’ book.
The book that makes you stop what you’re doing and begin to wonder what it must be like in the authors mind.
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.
The great enemy of art is Why; Art should be its own justification.
– Clive Barker
Friends in unexpected places,
Enemies with familiar faces,
Oh, isn’t life a treat…
– Darren Brixton
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.”
What is that one film you watch when it’s raining outside?
We all have one.
That film where you sit in front of the fire , with a blanket wrapped around you and a drink by your side.
For me that film is the 2000 contemporary piece, The Beach by Danny Boyle.
A few years ago I had a penpal who used to live in Canada.
I found her by accident on a social media site when I was going through some stuff with a friend at school and we started messaging a lot.
We have long since stopped talking, but what has always stuck with me was the vivid descriptions she used to send me about living in Calgary.
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
With the announcement that Jane Austen is going to appear on the new £10 note starting later this month it got me thinking, what other British authors do you think should appear on our currency?
Read on and find below five authors I think are worthy of appearing alongside Jane Austen.
This year the horror community has lost George A Romero, Martin Landau and now Tobe Hooper.
I’m saddened to hear about the passing of Tobe Hooper, the creator of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, just to name a few. The tale of Leatherface and the notoriety surrounding its release is the stuff of cinema legends.
As today is World Book Lovers Day I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate to write about than my top 10 books of all time.
Book Finished: Hitch Hiker’s Guide to The Galaxy.
Last week I finished reading all four books in Douglas Adams Hitch Hiker’s Guide to The Galaxy.
I enjoyed books 1,2 &4, whilst finding book 3’s Kriket story line a feeble attempt to hit a publishers deadline.
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.
I’ve just heard that the lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, has committed suicide.
I know little of his music, but I know how he inspired my friends and helped them through rough times.
Mental health is no joke. Continue reading
I never talk about my health online, but I want to now as it might help some people.
Earlier this week I found a lump near one of my testicles. I went to the Drs in case it was cancer and thankfully it’s simply turned out to be a swollen vein.
What i’m trying to say is check yourself. And if you find something don’t be embarrassed about going to the Drs. Continue reading
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.
This week I have decided to have a break from reading political books and have returned to one of my favourite literary genres; Classic Literature
I have returned to it with open arms and have decided to tackle Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. At the time of writing this I’m only 150 pages into it.
What strikes me so far is Tolstoys writing style.
Today is World Refugee Day.
As I was reading through hundreds of tweets offering support to the victims of displacement, be it through war, famine or persecution etc, I came across the following picture.
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
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
Goal: Can I write 25’000 words in a month.
Whilst less than 1’000 words a day might seem easy to some, I have work and my activism for the Labour party to contend with.
What this means I am staying up until two in the morning to work on my writing.
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.
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 news talks about the ‘debate over immigration’ but there is no debate.
If you want immigration control you’re a Nazi.
If you don’t want immigration control you’re a Special Snowflake.
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
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.
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?
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.
A blind man and man who can see can both get lost in the same maze.
Having knowledge is not the same as having answers. To truly see you must first understand how to use what you have learned.
Take Donald Trump seriously.
It may be hard given his lack of eloquence and ability to create ‘alternative facts’ on the spot but we must take him seriously.
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.
Victor Hugo said ” To love another person is to see the face of God”
For a short while I got to see the face of god.
Then it went.
As chaos descends and we feel morality slip into an icy abyss, it is the work of writers, poets, musicians, sculptors and many more vestiges of the arts to try to make sense of it.
Today on Saturday 4th February Black Sabbath will be performing their last concert with the original line up (not including Bill Ward).
For metal fans around the world this is a historical day as the band that created the heavy sound say farewell to career that has spanned roughly half a century.
So it begins.
On Friday Donald J Trump became the most powerful man in the Western world and took office in a building that has held over a centuries worth of saints and sinners. Continue reading
Throughout my life I have made plenty of decisions I later regretted, but the one I regret the least is joining a political party.
The Labour Party.
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
“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.
I’ve finished writing another play.
The play is the same one I referred to in my post, Changes; Exit Stage Right, which I hoped to finish by Christmas. I did it by the 23rd of December which I’m happy about. The downside though it’s that instead of having a day off I have decided to start another project (another play).
Recently I had the pleasure of watching The Human Centipede. A brilliantly sick tale of surgery and domination set against modern day Germany.
This has inspired me to write about the horror film genre.
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.
Today at work me and my colleagues was talking about gender stereotypes and the harm they cause.
We chose to discuss the male gender stereotype that says men must be strong, emotionally distant, not interested in things such as poetry etc.
This should not be accepted. Continue reading
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
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!