Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Time flies when you're having fun

Update on writing: Copper Moon rewrite is going well, might even finish it in the next three months.

Several other projects are in progression: another novel, two novellas and several short stories. I'd expect most of these to be finished by the end of January.

I'm going to see 'Avatar' on Thursday at IMAX and I'm hoping that it lives up to the hype!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Cuddly vampires

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in 'Twilight'

Whatever happened to Nosferatu with his sinister glide and oversized fangs? Or even Dracula, blood dripping from his gaping jaws as he infects another victim with vampiric poison...

The vampires of today look like they've stepped out of a Levi jeans advert. Robert Pattinson flicks his tousled hair and gives his moodiest piercing glance to send shivers of a different kind down the spines of his female fans.

I blame Buffy, a friend of mine blames Anne Rice. Whoever is to blame, there can be no doubt that the modern vampire has been de-fanged. No longer a figure to provoke revulsion and intense fear, the vampire is now pin-up material, a rock star, a teen idol. Popular culture has sunk to new lows.

The shadow of Nosferatu

A Small World

About three weeks ago, I accepted an invitation from a volunteer who helps me with Italian football research to join a website called 'A Small World'.

ASW is a social networking website, very similar to Facebook with one major difference - it's invitation only. Once you join, you have access to all features of the site. However, despite gaining access you don't immediately have the means to send out invitations to others. ASW say that "Trusted and loyal ASW members who meet certain criteria have the privilege of inviting a limited number of their friends." As yet, I do not have the power to invite others to join. It's the highbrow Facebook, basically. Tiger Woods is a member, along with numerous other celebrities. However there are strict controls on who you can contact and what kind of things you can post in discussion forums and the 'events' areas of the website.

ASW also has this to say about itself to potential advertisers: "An integrated media company, ASW is an ideal match for advertisers seeking to target the world's tastemakers and develop heightened mindshare within our sophisticated and influential membership."

Obviously I was intrigued by the possibilities this website offered and the high status that its members imagine they have - it's like being in the VIP section of high class nightclubs as much as it is being a cerebral professor locked in an ivory tower and 'social networking'. So I posted an advertisement for this blog on one of ASW's hallowed forums, to see the response from the 'intelligentsia' there. Unfortunately I was less than overwhelmed by the responses. Most initial responses were negative. One poster suspected me of looking for ideas to solve writer's block, while another criticised football for 'cretinising the world'. Many had issues with a blog that merged the themes of football with creative writing. Another was certainly not interested in anything that had been written for the News of the World or The Sun newspapers.

Now they may have a point, and certainly I have been at fault for using this blog as a place to store dry, factual football articles that I have been writing and compiling for the past 2 years. Clearly this blog needs more of a coherent identity rather than my previously hastily-posted short articles and football profiles. Therefore, I will attempt to improve the quality of the blog from this point onward. I was not impressed by the patronising intellectual snobs of ASW, but was reluctantly forced to admit that they did have a point. However I am not sure whether I will continue to mingle and socially network with the upper classes and high society crowd!