Episode 32: Dating Conundrums

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It seems we’re on a theme here people. I don’t have a guest so I rant – A LOT. So here’s what happened with the show: I couldn’t find the energy to record it and since I have a cough every time I sot down to the mic’s level I go crazy.

So what I did is I took a long chord and a mic and recorded this stand-up style. Which explains this next part.

I originally had a topic I wanted to discuss but I wanted to talk about trying to get back in the dating scene again. I start telling stories (tragedies from my past) and before I knew it 30 minutes were up. I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO THE TOPIC.

So if you enjoy the sort of ranting I am prone to, where I discuss things like the Friend-zone and options that beta males have to get laid, in a stand up way – this is the show for you.

(But seriously, make sure you’re alone in the room)

Enjoy the show:

 

 

Music:

Rapid Fire

Blue Stahli
www.fixtstore.com/bluestahli 
www.youtube.com/fixtmusic

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Shark Jumping

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Today’s phrase of the week is “Jumping the Shark.”

(Hey I didn’t know we were doing this phrase of the week thing. Little heads up next time)

(We are in his head you idiot)

Dude! I’m trying to work here!

As many of you know I’m not from the US, which makes my knowledge of American idioms somewhat lacking, often to the point where my editors are like “What the fuck does this even mean?” in big red circles like a 70’s schoolteacher on meth.

Turns out that jumping the shark has no actual relation to sharks or jumping (what the shit???!!!). No seriously, it’s just a phrase that indicates the moment or scene when something begins it’s decline (oh you mean like this post?).

But the best part is that usually jumping the shark refers to a climactic scene designed specifically to capture the audience’s attention because they don’t have anything worthy to show you. (For more information, please tune into the E! Network and watch Kim take a trip down south – ironically whilst holding a little person named North. Who writes this shit??!)

So I researched this subject in depth, spending a full ten minutes on Wikipedia (hurray for educational system) and found out this all started when Fonzie (yes, THE Fonz) literally jumped over a shark – WHILST WEARING WATER SKIS.

@@

So why am I getting all hyped up about this? Well, excuse me for being excited to learn! I am a huge fan of sharks and jumping and will of course include this in one of my stories (In book 3 Erik will jump off a whale – does that count?).

Perhaps I will one day coin certain terms like “fondling the dragon” or “Pissing in the abyss” or “HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER THAT THE CAT FUCKING DRAGGED IN WHILST WEARING JUMP SHORTS WITH A PICTURE OF SHARK ON IT THAT SAYS “EAT ME, BITCH.”

You know, the stuff that would make grandma proud. . .  *sigh*

(Yo shall we end this travesty?)

(Yeah, let’s go watch some Fridge Nuking)

(Oh yeah I totally forgot about that one)

(Well it’s your fault for not including it. We’re done now, so suck it)

(Hey take it easy on us)

Sorry – internal affairs. . . hehe, get it?

OK I’m done. Peace out. (Do the lizard thing. Promote motherfucker)

Oh yeah. Follow the lizard,

Ryan

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(We done?) (Yeah I think so) (Wow, we did jump the shark with this one) (Hang on, watch this)
Disclaimer: No actual sharks were harmed during the making of this post. They are all leading a wonderful life, doing sharky things. Everyone wins - except Ryan. Dude's fucked up.
(Awesome. OK we’re done now.)
(Great. . . . Hello? . . . ah, shit)
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Episode 31: God Bless America

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This week’s show is kinda heavy, in that it has a deep message and the comedy is dark. I’ve been writing some emotionally heavy stuff, which brought up certain feelings from my past, and this is a good a way as any to deal with them. I suppose it’s all part of the artistic journey, and even in our down side, we can still reach people and deliver a message – and there I go again with the heavy stuff.

Today’s show is about the movie God Bless America. It’s  a dark comedy about political satire and in my opinion should be part of everyone’s education. It’s smart, brilliant, and has a lot of food for thought.

I start the episode by detailing a story of how the blackout the day before affected me, how I find myself taking stances against certain factions of life and then I decide to quote this movie. My voice was shot, (I cannot speak at all today) so no voices.

But that didn’t stop me from talking about social media, societal evolution, the government, our growth and communication, television and those bullying shows that pander to the masses, our lack of values and morals, etc ,etc.

Essentially this episode is a 30 minute rant about a variety of topics by a slightly feverish writer with way too much coffee in his system.

The show ends with a eulogy to Robin Williams, who deserved to be mentioned. I choose to honor his death not by thinking how he died, but by spreading the same kind of joy and laughter that he did, to everyone around me – especially myself. We have to carry on his legacy, and speared the laughs.

Enjoy the show:

 

 

Music:

Rapid Fire

Blue Stahli
www.fixtstore.com/bluestahli 
www.youtube.com/fixtmusic

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Are all Artists Addicts?

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This post had been a long time coming. And I do mean a long time. Usually I think of blog ideas and write them down in a couple of days, getting rid of my thoughts as soon as they formulate. I heard on Joanna Penn‘s latest podcast episode that she writes to figure out what’s in her brain and I couldn’t agree more.

But this topic has been swimming in my head for a month or so, existing as a sticky note on my desktop, constantly reminding me that maybe I should go ahead and write about it. I can’t predict what will come out of this topic, but fuck it – if that doesn’t make life interesting, what will?

Any of you who follow my podcast or blog (this site) or have ready any interviews know that I do not drink. This is a self imposed exile due to the fact that clearly I cannot be trusted with something which I view as “should be fun.” Let me explain myself:

Back when I was around the age of 16 (and that’s the legal drinking age in my country) I discovered booze and was told that this is something fun. This foul-smelling, petrol-tasting, asshole-creating liquid was supposed to make it all better. Back then I was a lost soul, like most teenagers, still looking for some purpose to my life. And it wasn’t peer pressure that got me drinking – it was my desire to find the fucking answer.

I did not find the answer, no matter the amount drunk. My strategy had several key problems with it, the first of which is my tolerance. I did not, could not, get drunk. To this day I have never had that feeling of loss of control, something which terrifies me.

Problem number two: money. I would buy booze, drink the booze, finish the booze, wait for enlightenment, find none and then realize that my accomplishment for the evening was wasting my hard earned money on fuck nothing.

Problem number three: I am a funny, insane person. And if you listen to my podcast, that is what I sound like everyday. Here’s what I found out about my head. I have this hyper sensory thing which allows me to observe more than the average Joe and often be overwhelmed by a lot of sensory input at once. This is why I cannot stand loud ambient noises or flickering lights. To me a nightclub is hell, and yes, I do retreat into a corner or just run away.

There are papers upon papers on how to treat this thing but I think it’s all bullshit. The premise is that your senses are out of control – I on the other hand firmly believe that nature does not hand you something you cannot live with. And the way I learnt to live with this is by immediately turning anything I observe into a joke. When all I’m thinking of is how to make people laugh, I’m not overwhelmed at all.

Why do I bring this up? Alcohol made me quiet, hiding inside my shell rather than bray out louder than the rest of the asses. But my brain still kept going – being tipsy meant sitting in corner almost in tears as my brain got overwhelmed by sensory input and I could not filter it out. As such, when I was forced to talk, nothing good came out. I was mean to friends, I lashed out and I was a dick.

Thus, my cold turkey exile at the age of 19. Until I began writing I never thought about this.

Don’t kid yourself – we are all addicts to something or other. Some of us cannot live without three or four doses of caffeine. Some of us need that daily processed food intake at Burger King or a fast food joint to make it through the day. I once knew a guy at University who could not make it through more than half an hour at a lecture before he excused himself for a smoke.

We tend to associate addiction with hard drugs, when in reality, addiction is simply a ritual that is taken far beyond it’s intended purpose. Humans are addicted to ritual, to our daily, hourly, routines. This makes our brains healthy, so long as it’s controlled. Addiction is nothing more than that schema taken far beyond it’s intended purpose, into something dark and twisted.

We all have our demons. We all have that void that we are trying to fill – however some people have a bigger hole than others. Philosophers have spent the past three thousand years trying to figure out what is the meaning of life, when the answer is simple. Life, in it’s spiritual meaning, is filling the emptiness inside of you.

Artists, I believe, are all subject to an addictive personality. There is an archetype that we all seem to fit. After all, people who become artist do not do it for the money. Sure, we all like to become rich (who doesn’t?) but we mostly do it to fill this void inside of us, to find the answer to our existence.

Which is why you’d find artists who spend their entire lives working harder than anyone else. Sure they have bills to worry about, but compared to finding the answer to that burning question, to the empty void – it doesn’t even compare.

Most famous classical artists are in fact addicts to more than one thing. Apart from substance abuse, of which there are many cases, you’ll find that an artist’s biggest addiction is their own work. You see they know that the answer lies there, within the path they began excavating. All that matters now is how deep they dig.

And if they happen to dig their own graves in the process, then so be it.

So, is this the behavior of an addict? If so, are all artists intrinsically addicts?

But then, how does one search for answers without losing themselves in the process?

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For Writers: Exercise your body, exercise your brain

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The benefit of exercise for writers by Shannon.

Originally posted on Shannon A Thompson:

For Writers: Exercise your body, exercise your brain

Exercise. The dreaded e-word. I get it. People are busy. Between working and managing a healthy diet, finding the time to go for a run is difficult, but – ::sigh:: – it is important for many reasons. Taking care of yourself is vital to maintaining a healthy brain…and (spoiler alert) that healthy brain can be the make-it-or-break-it point for a writer on the verge of insanity. I figured this out after I broke my sanity and had a sob fest in a public gym. (Cute, I know.) You can only sit in your plush rolling chair and stare at your computer screen for so long, and getting up and out might help you surpass that writer’s block you’ve been battling for three weeks straight. So here are three, helpful tips I wish I had that I think pertain to many people (but…

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Episode 30: Heists

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Today’s show is all about heist movies, something which I have been indulging myself in for a while because

a) I needed some ‘research’ for Evil Plan Inc. Ep 4

b) I LOVE heist movies

Originally I just wanted to talk about Foolproof (2003) as this is one of those movies which I love – the final plot twist at the end, and the crew of characters are reflected in what I was writing about. However, the show just wasn’t happening and I tanked it.

Then I watched The Perfect Score (2004), got a contact high from that movie and BAM – perfect show recording. In addition to those two movies I also added what in my opinion is the best heist movie ever made: The Italian Job (2003).

Heist movies are all about plot twists, something which I absolutely love. Whilst I find it easier to write character driven stories, especially for a multiple perspective story like Evil Plan Inc., I do include heavy plot-motion elements; hence my need for ‘research’.

And yes, I can technically claim this as research even if I did said research in bed with a bowl of crisps. It’s still research dammit!

I open the show by signing a few tunes (of course), then talk about my vacation and the sagely lizard I met there who taught me a valuable life lesson – no I did not do any acid. It’s metaphorical. Read this for the full details.

Then I talk about me finishing Evil Plan Inc. ep 4 (which is the last thing I had to write for this year’s schedule) and about the ‘petite mort’ I was feeling at the conclusion of both Pandora book 1 and EPI ep 4. I did not properly process those feelings and so I had to deal with a lot these couple of days – emotionally speaking. Right now I’m writing a standalone novel that is years ahead it’s publishing date. It’s a drama and it was inspired by a short story I had written years before I got published, which a lot of people fell in love with. It’s one of the first things I’d ever written but to this day both I and my readers still love it. Read it here.

I think that’s enough talking. Enjoy the show:

 

 

Till next time.

Peace out and stay cool,

Ryan

 

Music:

Rapid Fire

Blue Stahli
www.fixtstore.com/bluestahli 
www.youtube.com/fixtmusic

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The Lonely Lizard

Listen to the Lizard. He knows something we don't.

Listen to the Lizard. He knows something we don’t.

 

As many of you know I decided to take a break from my routine of writing everyday (or every waking hour really) – hence my relative radio silence for the past few days. But the good news is that I’m back and boy did I bring stories with me.

Sure I can’t use any of them in my books (because who the hell would read them), but I guess they work in a blog post.

Let’s start with the location – where did I go? Gozo.

Yep you read right – Gozo. Malta’s sister island, sheltered in sea, sun and a shitload of dirt. Maybe it’s just me being cosmopolitan or maybe it’s the forty degree C weather, but I had a less than stellar time.

You see, Malta is technically an archipelago. I live on the mainland, which is really just a rock with a few cables running through and really insane drivers. But Gozo takes the cake – I mean this place is the next best thing to a shit storm. I don’t know how they do it but apparently the people on this island have yet to discover the internet and all it’s wonderful gifts, some of which include kittens hanging from branches, useless pseudo-philosophical advice and porn.

I firmly believe that Gozo is built on a giant underwater Faraday Cage, with enough transmission to let the progress bar get three quarters of the way though before the connection times out. I uploaded a total of 3 pictures while I was there and nearly had a stroke with each one.

And it was during one of these stroke-inducing moments that I realized the root of my problem: I, like many others, have become dependent on technology. Knowledge is power and it is usually at our fingertips, ready to enlighten us on how much calories a tomato has or what does the fox say or how many of our friends that we never really talk to still like us. Our daily lives are now controlled by a series of pings, bloops, bleeps and ringtones that notify us when someone we remotely know is doing something that may (through algorithmic chance) interest us. We are constantly on call for that one email or that one text that might change our lives and once that is taken away from us, we freak.

We no longer have a fear of being alone – we have a fear of radio silence, of being that only lonely dot that is not in the pie chart.

We’ve become terrified of that moment – when we reach for our device, knowing deep down that you’re in for another stroke inducing failure to load the ice cream sundae image that you took, and the only friend you have is one lonely lizard which stares back at you with it’s big curious lizard eyes as if saying

“Hey man, how’s it doing? Take a Chill Pill yo.”

I don’t know why but the lizard sounds lot like Keanu Reeves in the movie Point Break. Perhaps that’s just me.

But sucky actors aside, I do believe that the lizard is right. (The irony is that I’m typing this whilst being online after checking my emails – maybe we can bend the lizard rules a little.) We gotta let go of some of this crap and focus on things at really matter. Listen to the lizard, man.

Just listen to the lizard.

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Building a Killer Email List

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

wanted-alt71-200x300There is a lot of upheaval in publishing today and I think that’s likely to increase rather than decrease. The best insurance policy any writer can have against the future is a targeted mailing list.

I’ve written before about how the author with the biggest mailing list wins, and I’ve invited Nick Stephenson along today because he’s got some great ideas on how to boost your list.

The cool thing about his approach is that it’s something anyone can do. And, as you will see, it really, really works. Here’s Nick with more:

Building a Killer Email List

As an author, I try to read as much as possible. I tend to get excited over 8 or 9 different authors across a few different genres, and I always buy their new releases as soon as I hear about them. Whenever I find out there’s a new book on the shelves, I go…

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Episode 29: Ray Vogel and AEC Stellar

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Today’s guest is Ray Vogel, sci-fi author and CEO of AEC Stellar.

Now here’s the thing about this guy – he’s my manager and he’s the founder of the publishing house that publishes me. Which means I was very nervous about interviewing him because we had never spoken to each other properly before (other than email).

Ray is the most calming person I’ve ever known. He just sat there laughing throughout most of the show and provided much fodder for banter. The show was originally an hour and sixteen minutes which I managed to cut down to a little over an hour. Don’t worry – I just eliminated some dead air and my bullshit. Since Ray and I clearly have a great working relationship, we tended to veer off on tangents: like when it took us 5 minutes to get through one lightning round question at the end.

He’s awesome and I’, sure, after listening to his interview, you will think so as well.

Enjoy.

 

 

Music:

Rapid Fire

Blue Stahli
www.fixtstore.com/bluestahli 
www.youtube.com/fixtmusic

 

Ads:

Noveltunity – enter promo code AESNOV30 and get a 40% off registration and 15% off from any book in their store.

Mystery Launch Party, 7-9 Central, on facebook, where you can  win a crapload of prices. I made an error on the show and got the date wrong apparently. But the party is on the 27th of August. More details here.

We have a new promo and it’s for HEI!books, the online platform to promote your book  FOR FREE. Go over there and tell them this show (or Ryan) sent you.

OK I’m done.

Peace out, stay cool.

Ryan

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Interview with Fantasy Author Ryan Attard

Originally posted on obsidianmirrorblog:

Ryan AttardHow many fantasy authors do you know who live in Malta, study martial arts, and write wildly funny, action-packed stories about a wizard who can’t use magic? There’s only one: Ryan Attard, author of the “Legacy” fantasy series.

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