Monday, 26 December 2016

2016 Strikes Again


GEORGE MICHAEL
June 25, 1963 - December 25, 2016

So terribly saddened to hear, this evening, Christmas day 2016, that George Michael has passed away at the age of 53.

This man, his talent, his God-given ability to move you to joy, happiness, peacefulness, calm and even tears, was as iconic throughout my life as he was throughout the music industry. A turbulent life in his later years, George Michael struggled with his demons, and if it were not for his public incidents associated with his troubled life, we would not have been aware.

Nonetheless, his fan base still loved him and for a while his music lifted both he and us, and it is now that we are left to pick ourselves up from the shock of his passing. 2016 has been an awful year on many fronts, none more so than in human cost. It is as if this year has had one purpose: to remind us of our fragility within this world and the frail grasp with which we cling to it.

F**k you, 2016. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.


Monday, 5 December 2016

Unsure...

Once upon a time, back in March of 2011 I thought I knew what I wanted from my blog, and started out on a journey of which I knew all directions. Then I stumbled upon a junction. A choice. Which way? I chose the undiscovered country road into writing.

Now don't misunderstand me, I was happy travelling my new path. Meeting new, interesting people, sharing thoughts, learning new things and getting involved in a whole new community. It simply fizzled with energy and possibilities - the potential for greater things cocked its finger and beckoned me on.

Now it's December of 2016 and I no longer walk the path. It saddens me greatly, for truth be told, I was happiest mixing with my new-found writerly friends and taking part in projects, exercises and fun distractions.

So what happened?

I lost my muse, my mojo and my direction. I left the path, and turned my back on my blog, teased away by the shadowy figure lurking by the roadside trees, otherwise known as distraction. I lost touch with new friends, of whom barely a handful kept in touch. Of the rest, like a man fallen overboard from a vast, great vessel mid ocean at night, I watched helplessly whilst treading water, as they carried on their merry journey oblivious to my absence. I resigned to my fate.

But of all, including the very few who have kept me company from time-to-time, there is one, only one, that has stayed and offered words of encouragement, taken time to read my tiny offerings and asked for nothing in return. She has been a point of light upon which I have focused and drawn inspiration and hope from. I am truly lucky to call her friend.

So this is for you, Elise Fallson, my one constant in my journey. Always there with a comment and encouraging word, an example of what friendship means: no expectations, no judgements, no conditions - a beautiful human being and talented writer. My friend. I present to you, more from Kate Bush. Enjoy  :)


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Relaxing Day

As the title suggests - relax today (if possible).

Here, I present for you - yet again - Billy May III's ambient/drone music, which he is offering his entire music library for free download until Obama's Presidential term ends.

Follow this LINK to take you to Billy Mays III's site to download his music for free - just select the music you want, enter $0, and away to go. I, personally, have supported Billy and his music for several years now and feel donating is a small price to ask for his beautiful creativity. And he's such a lovely guy as well.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Knights of the Dining Table


Copyright ©2016 M.Kelly.
Episode 1 ~ Perspectives.

  The inn of the First and Last sat nestled a cart's width away from the northern wall, home to the main gate that led all travellers in and out of the heart of Sellat.

  The Inn's sagging support beams gave it an air of a very tired giant, the muddy glass panels of its grubby windows glowed a warm, fiery light from within, pushing back the deepening darkness that settled across the city. The rattle of carts hurrying to the safety of warehouse, the cry of pedlars eager to sell the last of their wares and the lazy drift of woodsmoke from freshly lit hearths signaled the end of another cold day in Sellat's trade district, and the last hours of safety before the denizens of the night took to the streets and made them their own.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Last Time





Why can't I make time stand still?

The hopeless plea filled her mind as she placed a trembling hand upon his chest. Tear filled eyes looked to the life support machine by her husband's bedside. The mechanical hiss of the pump raised his chest then let it fall with an exaggerated click.

The intrusion of tubes and wires defiled the once strong, handsome man she'd fallen in love with twenty years ago in a life full of heady days exploring everything life had to offer and sharing secrets together.

His hands lay unmoving and limp. A life, a home, a family he had built with these hands. Hands that had tenderly held her through times of great sadness, lifted her when she needed it most, and caressed her when the moon and stars bathed their skin. Now her fingers urged his to respond.

"Are you ready?" the doctor's voice seemed distant and hollow.

Tears rolling, she nodded, clutching her husband's once strong hands.

The doctor flipped a switch and turned off the life support machine.

The nurses disconnected all the tubing and wires in silent reverence and quietly left the room. Only the doctor remained.

She raised her husband's limp hand to her lips and kissed it, then lowered her head onto his chest one last time and hugged him, tears flowing freely, "I'll see you soon, my love."


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Unity Adam Demo

A short video created using the Unity engine (used in the latest computer games) and showcases the engine's amazing capabilities and can be run at 1440p for those with monitors and graphic cards new enough to take advantage of this setting - but 1080p looks equally amazing ;)


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Game Cinematic Gold

I came across this cinematic for a new free-to-play online game, 'Asura Online'. I've looked at the game, and in all honesty, it's not one I'd bother with. But this cinematic is utterly brilliant. So if you enjoy a good bit of high fantasy CGI, sit back and enjoy the next 8 minutes on full HD. enjoy :)


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Multi-Award Winning Animation

Always one to share my enthusiasm for things newly discovered, today is no exception. Sit back and enjoy this fantastic animation short entitled, "The Looking Planet".




To see more fantastic animation shorts similar in quality and dazzling skill, click on the link HERE where you will be taken to the YouTube page of CGBros, and enjoy.  :)

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

WoW... Simply Gorgeous!

I saw this on YouTube and was blown away and mesmerized by it. Following on from my previous 'Warcraft' film review I felt this deserved a post all of its own. It is the cinematic trailer for the World of Warcraft's next expansion: Legion. I dare you not to be impressed. Once again, this is how the 'Warcraft' film SHOULD have been made. Enjoy ;)

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Warcraft - A Film Review

I love a good film. I love even more a film in the fantasy genre done with brilliant CGI. Now, combine this with a game franchise that has spanned 12 years, with its release back in November 2004, and you have the potential for a fantastic film and some very orgasmically happy World of Warcraft fans drooling and grinning from ear-to-ear.

Unless of course they screwed it up.

Before I go any further this will not contain any spoilers - so chill. I have been a WoW player on the Darkmoon Faire world server for over several years, but have since ceased playing, but the fond memories are still fresh and the screen shots great keep sakes.
With this in mind I was both reluctant and curious about this film. I wanted to see how one of the most influential grandparents of MMORPGs (the other being that of 'Guild Wars' - the original game released in tandem with WoW and not that pile of garbage, GWs2) has been transferred to the big screen.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Vox the Bag Maker

© copyright 2016 Mark Kelly.
Vox was a highly skilled, yet humble crafter, who believed in the ancient traditions and ways. And it was this that caused many to seek him out and keep his workshop ticking over with producing bespoke pieces of personal attire in the form of belts, containers and bags and satchels, all guaranteed for off-world use.

Then a very rare material arrived at his workshop via his supplier, Gryb. Initially Vox had protested about the high sum of crystal Gryb was demanding, and then he had looked into the box.

His slitted eyes grew wide with wonder. Reaching out gingerly with one of his six appendages, Vox stroked the contents. His gelatinous form visibly rippled with unknown delight. The materials were so soft, warm, and the patterns and colours - such variety!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Music Feature - 65daysofstatic


© copyright 2016 Mark Kelly.

People who know me and know me fairly well are familiar with my love of pc games and eclectic musical tastes. Here I combine both.

First I shall introduce a British band by the name of 65daysofstatic, and by clicking on the name you will be taken to their website.
Formed in Sheffield, UK back in 2001, described as ' heavy, progressive, guitar-driven instrumental post-rock, interspersed with live drums ' - the rest you can read on the wiki entry HERE.

Approached by Hello Games, 65dos were asked if they would like to get involved with the project otherwise known as ' No Man's Sky ', and have produced a procedurally generated soundtrack for the game - which, I believe, could be the first of its kind? Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

The music fits in beautifully with the game visual and adds to the atmosphere wonderfully. I, for one, am looking forward to exploring this vast, procedurally generated universe, whilst listening to the fantastic music along the way. The video below is so clever in using Rutger Hauer for the voice over as an homage to Blade Runner and that classic end-of-film dialogue that begins with, "I've seen things..." Brilliant.

So, will you join me in No Man's Sky?

Friday, 20 May 2016

The Sunday Crew Kickstarter

© Copyright AmodeiVisual & The Sunday Crew 2016.
Like all great ideas there is a cost. And 'The Sunday Crew' is a great idea that costs, and for the actors, production team and everyone else involved, the cost has been high.

So this is where the fans get to help by showing their support via The Sunday Crew Kickstarter. This will help raise funds to enable these dedicated, ambitious and talented folks get this mini series up and running as it should, and with your help (and a bit of luck), get the attention of mainstream backers that will help to turn this mini series into a major series.

To get to the kickstarter site click > HERE < and show these guys'n'gals some real support and love. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely piece of promotional poster art below. Many thanks for reading :)

© Copyright AmodeiVisual & The Sunday Crew 2016.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Sunday Crew

© Copyright AmodeiVisual & The Sunday Crew 2016.
I'm all for new and exciting things that appear on tv, and it is with great hope that these dedicated and talented people get all the exposure they need to make it mainstream.

To what do I refer? It's a new web series about a criminal gang in Norway trying to make it big. Unfortunately, their personalities have a tendency to get them into trouble with both the law and the local underworld. And what are they called? Why, 'The Sunday Crew', of course.
I've been following these guys for a little while now, and I would liken their style as a cross between Lily Hammer (of Netflix fame), for its Scandinavian heritage and touches of humour, and to my mind, and small extent, reminiscent of one of my all-time favourite French cop dramas: 'Spiral' - for the gritty atmosphere that is sometimes present.

The music is also spot on and gives an added dimension to the 'street vibe' of the web series, using local musical talent, it reflects the diversity and cultural mix within the program's setting.

The characters, of which there are seven (so far), with the nicknames of: Cheese, Cream, Bom-Bom, Shorty and Hoover, are an eclectic mix that seems to work rather nicely, each 'street tag' is explained in the small character vignettes available to watch online.
There are several other central characters involved: Larsen, Tsar and his daughter Alexandra, and Tsar's right hand man, Martin.

I have, as yet, to pick a favourite character out of the bunch - sorry, Alex, no favouritism, buddy ;)

A synopsis to the series can be found by clicking HERE.

One of the characters, Hoover is played by a buddy of mine, Alexander de Senger. Total nice guy and committed to the success of 'The Sunday Crew'. He's dedicated so much to reach this point in his budding acting career, I can't but help admire and respect his determination and tenacity - no doubt mirrored in his fellow cast members - and can't begin to imagine the type of sacrifices it must take to have come this far to date.

So, as by way of showing my support, I'm hoping this post will generate some more fans and followers for this embryonic web series, 'The Sunday Crew'. So, if you like what you see, like them on FaceBook, subscribe to their YouTube channel and spread the word. Below is one of my favourite teasers. Enjoy :)


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Return



Laying languid, limbs slowly moving, mesmerizing in their sinuous contortions, her body a riverbed of unexplored shadows and contours, she beckoned for him to approach.
The night covered them in an ocean of darkness, depths of unexplored shadow pressing in on the silvered orb of light between them, pushing and testing, seeking entry, a chance to swallow them whole. Creatures of the beyond swam in silent hunger around them, seeing but unseen.

  "I am here at your behest." The words he spoke tumbled like sands of an hourglass.
She sighed in the thrill of his seduction, a rippling of pleasure spreading out as his fingers touched her flesh.
  "Yet to be born I hear their crying, and my heart weeps." Her soulful orbs of midnight blue shot through with stardust from a million stars tenderly touched his heart.
  "Together our love will bring them life and our spirits will soar back to the firmament and beyond, to the place where we will be reborn."

As two became one, the silvered orb encased them, its light protecting and warm, slowly lifting and rising through the depths of darkness, chasing away the creatures of the beyond, who cursed and snarled helplessly as they watched the orb pause in its rising, shrinking in size as if squeezed by an invisible force, then with a thudding, concussive shock wave of sound, burst skyward faster than any of the hungry eyes could follow.


Saturday, 14 May 2016

A-Z Thoughts/Reflection

© copyright 2016 Mark Kelly.
Two weeks post A-Z Challenge and I have this rumbling I need to get off my mind/chest regarding the Challenge.

To begin with, I love the A-Z Challenge. I have missed one, and failed in another, but taken part in, and completed years '12, '15 and this year. On the positive, I feel it brings out the best in me in thought, word and creativity, and I have found this year's A-Z to have been the easiest yet in terms of energy and productivity, plus there was no post-challenge 'slump' I recall experiencing after my very first A-Z.
Then there are the wonderful bloggers and blogs you get to meet and visit. BIG bonus there. A veritable smorgasbord of topics, images, art and creativity on offer. More than you can shake a stick at, which makes me very happy.

On the downside there is the quietness of the comments section. For me, this year has been the quietest. And if I am honest, as a blogger, it is nice to have visitors come and read/view your hard worked post and leave a comment and sometimes even add your blog to their list of followed blogs.

It makes me question the time and effort put in during the A-Z Challenge: Is it worth it?

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Book

Copyright ©2015 CO.AG Music - YouTube Channel under CO.AG Music.

  "If you want it reach out and take it," he ripped open his shirt, glistening sweat caught in shafts of half-light cutting through the smoky gloom. His hands trembled, breath wavering as a scream, desperate for freedom, clawed at the back of his throat.

The dark mass hovered over the bodies of his family, tiny wet tearing sounds punctuating the bloated silence. Two fiery orbs eased through the shapeless mass of darkness and stared at him.

  "Is it this you fear?" the vicar ripped off his dog collar letting it fall to the floor.
The fiery orbs briefly followed the falling collar, then snapped up, ensnaring him it their burning, hungry stare.
  "No? Then it must be this," his trembling hand went to the gold crucifix. "You want me to take this off? Is that it?"

The fiery orbs pulsed white hot in response.

This was all his fault. His tear-filled eyes looked to the fallen shapes of his beloved family. He had insisted on reading from the book, but his wife knew it was evil. Repeatedly she had told him not to. Little Daniel had begun crying as his father began reciting the Latin within it.
His wife had tried to take the book from him, but a wild fever had taken hold and he lashed out and she fell.

  "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..." his trembling hand gripped the crucifix.

The orbs flared and moved closer.

  "... I will fear no evil..." He ripped the chain from his neck. The foul blackness pounced upon him.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Artist vs Designer

© copyright 2016 Mark Kelly.
What to say?

Is a Massage Therapist the same as a Physiotherapist, or vice versa? Yet in the past I have been called both. Is a Designer the same as an Artist, or vice versa? And once again, I am being called both.

I note of late I am being referred to as an 'artist'. Strange, but true. Oddly enough I consider myself to be a Graphic Designer over an Artist. Why? Well, for one, my BA (Hons) is in Graphic Design, and my Diploma is in Art & Design, and I love fonts and letters and words. I also love colours and painting and drawing with pens, pencils and markers. But to my mind this does not make me an artist. I love taking pictures but I am not a photographer.

I love words and the power and emotion they can evoke if combined correctly - something akin to alchemy with words - and I have been known to write the odd poem, the snippet of a story, or the winding paragraphs of something broader and deeper. But I am not a writer. A dabbler, yes. And the same would apply to my 'art'.

I am a creative designer who 'dabbles'. But thank you for the compliment of 'artist', it has made me smile.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Luna

 

  She eased out from under the cool cotton sheet like a ghost and padded across the bare floor boards with feline grace, her movements a ballet of pleasure, moonlight casting her naked form in a pale silver-grey.
  He watched in breathless silence, drinking in her beauty, tears rolling down his cheeks, heart filled with love, his soul at peace with time stood still, the gentle honeysuckle breeze teasing gently across his skin, senses heady and drunk. "You look like a beautiful angel," he sighed.
  "I'm no angel." Her eyes regarded him with feral interest.
  "I know," smiled his voice. "I love you so much."
  A veil of midnight black fell across her face, only the twinkling of her eyes remained, "I must leave."
  "So soon?" He moved to stand in front of her, head bowed like a child scorned.
  She gently lifted his chin with her fingers and kissed his lips tenderly, "Summon me on the morrow of dusk, my love." Her moonlit form fading to nothing as tear drops flowered upon the floor at his feet.


Saturday, 7 May 2016

Truth


  "Truth is a gift that will set you free," he said, as he lowered himself slowly and gently on top of her.
  "No," she breathed softly, feeling his warmth touching hers. "If I told you my truth it would drown you..."
  As two became one, she climbed the waves of his passion and murmured, "... and we would die."


Friday, 6 May 2016

A-Z Story Now Closed

© copyright 2016 Mark Kelly.

Apologies to anyone who was reading through the story in installments, but due to copyright protection reasons I have deleted all my A-Z Challenge story sections. I have however, saved them all to my hard drive for further development.

I feel that I want to explore the characters further and see what develops between them. I need to flesh out the story in greater detail. As I said, when I wrote those sections they were unplanned and done 'on the spur of the moment' after getting in from work and sitting down in front of the pc. This usually meant no time for anything else, just eat, type, bath, bed and sleep, then up at 0530 am the following day for work - then repeat the whole process over again.

What didn't help was the last three days my internet decided it didn't want to co-operate and dropped for no discernible reason whatsoever other than 'it could'. The joys of switching over to a new internet supplier.

Oddly enough, when I began writing the story, I assumed it would be all about Abigail and Burt. The stranger on the bridge wasn't Connor to begin with until the moment he called out "Eve! EVE! You're in danger!", then the whole concept took on a new direction.

I wasn't sure who Connor was, what he looked like, his personality or his connection to Abigail/Eve? But as I said, this was totally unplanned and only fleshed out on the day/night of writing. And so it continued. A thoroughly enjoyable (and rewarding) process.

The way I perceived this challenge was to make it a challenge, which it was on several levels:
First of all was the story itself and having to dream it up on the spot.
Secondly was the size of each section - it couldn't be overly big due to time constraints (midnight was always the deadline), plus I didn't want readers to lose heart when faced with a wall of text.
Thirdly, the A-Z letters themselves. I had created a set just before April started, but felt they had to look different, so I played around with them again during the A-Z in Photoshop until satisfied I had something I could use for each posting.
Last of all was selecting music that fitted in with the theme/feel/vibe of the section of story. Sometimes this was almost impossible to do, otherwise I would have had music attached to each entry.  So that chewed into my posting time as well. But by and large I think it worked reasonably well.

I will say this to new folks starting the A-Z Challenge this year for the first time: it gets easier. It does depend on your mindset and willpower. I didn't participate in 2013, and 2014 saw me crash out due to a brain funk and external forces at work. Shit happens. If this does to you, don't beat yourself up over it. Just mark it off as experience gained and look forward to the next A-Z to follow.

Finally, a big 'WELL DONE' to everyone who took part, even those of you who might not have completed it - at least you tried and, hopefully, learned something from it.

I look forward to reading you all next year  :)

Sunday, 1 May 2016

I Survived... Just

© copyright 2016 Mark Kelly.

As the title says, I only just survived the A-Z Challenge. Why? Well, we recently switched internet providers to Plusnet, and the night of letter 'X' the router began flashing amber - no broadband!

By the time it had reconnected itself I had to retire to bed as it was just after midnight and I had to be up at 0530hrs for work. The story was written, but not uploaded.

The following day the broadband still hadn't corrected itself, so 'Y' was written, but not uploaded. Everything came together on the night of 'Z'. Thank God.

For those who did follow and read, I thank you. I just hope it wasn't too mundane, but I did enjoy writing it. In fact, I'm thinking of carrying it on further but off blog. I have the urge to expand each section and try turning each into a proper chapter, fleshing out the characters, backgrounds, plot and sharpen up the writing generally.

Congratulations to all who managed to complete this year's A-Z, and if for some reason it didn't work for you, there is always next year :)

As usual, below is the A-Z collage of all the letters I created and used. Once again, thank you for reading.




Saturday, 9 April 2016

Comment Moderation Activated

Sorry people, but I've had to reactivate the Comment Moderation as my last post was spammed FOUR times by the same idiot.

Please leave a comment if you wish to and do not be put off by the moderation. God, this is the one aspect of A-Z Challenge that get's my blood boiling, the goddamn SPAMMERS!

GRRRR!

Friday, 25 March 2016

A - Z Choice of topic for me

©Copyright 2016 Mark Kelly.
Well, after much deliberation and mulling over of ideas and thoughts for what I can do for the A-Z Challenge for 2016, I have finally arrived at what I feel is something that will offer me a challenge, and hopefully, something entertaining for blog visitors.

A story, naturally alphabet themed - how the theme will work, I have yet to fathom?

I will write a short piece each day for the challenge. I have no idea what direction it will take, or for the moment, its subject matter or setting. Hopefully it will prove to be fun and interesting for both you and I. It might be funny (intentional or otherwise?), it might be topical, or fantastical. There might be romance, suspense... basically anything is possible. We shall just have to wait and see.

I feel the true test of this year's challenge is energy and focus (for me), as my current job has me getting up at 0530hrs on each working day and usually home by 1900hrs, sometimes 2030hrs. Factor into this trying to continue a semblance of normal daily life, i.e. keeping my physical routine of training going, decorating of the house (which seems never to end... sigh), and the usual gamut of day-to-day 'stuff' we all love and know.

Good luck all. May you be blessed with stamina and determination for this year's upcoming challenge. And for those who don't make it to the end. Don't sweat it. At some point or other, all of us hit an obstacle that stops us dead in our tracks. I should know - been there, done it. But at least you had the balls and guts to try it.

Adios my friends.  Until then, allow me to leave you with something quite amazing...


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Advice for Comments

Folks of the blogoverse, allow me to inform you of the nature of my blog and its comment policy for the upcoming A to Z Challenge.

Due to past 'anonymous' comments that led to spam and suspect links, I now only allow comments to be approved by yours truly and have stopped anonymous people commenting altogether. So if you wish to comment, you should have a valid sign up and ID - and if you're a blogger you will know exactly what I am referring to.

Gearing up nicely for the next A to Z, hope you folks are also ready to roll come April 1st 2016.

I'll leave you with a music video that always puts a smile on my face  :)

Friday, 4 March 2016

A to Z 2016 - My Subject Choice

Cortana, from the game "Halo" - ©Microsoft.
Well, I have to say that this year I am more excited than nervous about participating in the A to Z for 2016.

Why the excitement? Blame falls squarely at the feet of one Jeremy Hawkins at the amazing Being Retro.

All I will say is that we shall be, in a way, working together on this year's A to Z, and like last year, I shall be producing a unique alphabet letter for each day of posting.

As for my choice of topic? Well, I was considering choosing a rather obscure word for each day and marrying it with a suitable music track/video... but, I'm now thinking more along the lines of words associated with things from my life that I enjoy, have done and still do.

We shall just have to wait and see. To Jeremy - thank you, my friend, for adding an extra twist of zing to my A to Z :)




Watch this space. Good luck everyone :)

Saturday, 20 February 2016

2016 A to Z

Copyright ©2016 M Kelly
Hey people,

So are you all gearing up for this year's A to Z? Things could get pretty interesting this year, but when I find out more I'll post more about it, if possible.

Just wanted to wish all those going for the 2016 A to Z good luck and stamina, as those of us who have done it before know only full well, it isn't the easiest of things to do.

Take care all, post soon :)