Creative Play – Week 4

Last week, I didn’t do any creative play due to illness. However, this week I’ve got back on track. Here’s some drawing and writing from this week:

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My Drawing: Writers Award
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My Drawing: The Gay Bible Book
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My Writing: The Cleaning Lady

Blog soon,

Antony

Book Review: Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

eve-&-adam-book-cover After being hit by the car, Eve goes flying through the air. The next thing she’s vaguely aware of what’s happening – her mother arguing with the doctor and then being transferred to her rich mother’s pharmaceutical headquarters.

It’s like a private hospital where Eve is the only patient. As she recovers, she’s got sexy Solo pushing her around in a wheelchair. Then she comes to an agreement with her mother to trial software to create the perfect man for herself, who she names Adam.

But there are secrets everywhere. Eve is about to uncover these secrets and then will have to make some difficult choices about what to do with the truth.

I really wanted to enjoy this book. Especially after loving Michael Grant’s Gone Series and knowing that Katherine Applegate is his wife. I hate to give a bad review, but I was disappointed with Eve & Adam.

I just didn’t care about any of the characters. At the beginning of the book as Eve is flying through the air thinking that her life is about to end. Rather than thinking of loved ones, she thinks about an Apple. I felt that the authors had done this conceitedly to make links to Adam & Eve for the purpose of marketing the book. It felt unnatural and therefore Eve felt unreal.

Solo marginally more real, but was a great source of conflict for me. He’s this techno whizz-kid who is described as looking like a surfer, yet doesn’t know some of the fundamental details of his own history. Details that would have been in the computer systems that he so expertly knows after living at the pharmaceutical headquarters for so long.

Aislin, Eve’s best friend did have some believability and depth but was a minor character. It’s always worrying when authors make a minor character more interesting than a main character.

A problem I had with all of the characters is that they conveniently had all of the knowledge, skills, equipment and resources as they needed them. The authors did this by slotting a sentence of backstory in that the reader didn’t know up until the point the characters needed something. It felt like very convenient and lazy storytelling.

The plot was tediously predictable at times verged on being boring. The only reason I carried on reading when I felt bored was because I was half way through the book. I hoped it would get better, have some interesting plot twists, but it didn’t.

Eve & Adam isn’t badly written. The description, dialogue, grammar, punctuation and spelling are all good. It was just the characters and plot that I didn’t enjoy.

Eve & Adam is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

Amazing Illustrations from the Talented Sye Watts

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Left: The Old Logo, Right: The New Logo (2011)
Some time ago I commissioned my good friend Sye Watts to design a logo and some icons for my blog. I asked for a cartoony feel and he did a brilliant job.

Then for my Christmas present in 2011 Sye redesigned my logo (see image left for the two designed compared). It reflected a more mature blog, to match a more mature me.

Recently I commissioned Sye to redesign some of the old cartoon icons and create some new ones to match the new more mature style of the new logo. He did a fantastic job and created some amazing illustrations. Here are the old icons, redesigned, based on the brief I gave him:

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Left: Old Goals/Adventures Illustrative Icon, Right: New Goals/Adventures Illustration.
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Left: Old Books Illustrative Icon, Right: New Books Illustration.
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Left: Old Photos Illustrative Icon, Right: New Photos Illustration.
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Left: Old Celebration/Good Times Illustrative Icon, Right: New Celebration/Good Times Illustration.
home-compared
Left: Old Home Illustrative Icon, Right: New Home Illustration.
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Left: Old Paganism Illustrative Icon, Right: New Paganism Illustration.

And here are the new illustrations:

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New: Blogging/iMac/Contact Illustration.
cats-large
New: Cats Illustration.
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New: Diabetes/Health Illustration.
familyandfriends-large
New: Friends & Family Illustration.
film-reel-large
New: Films/Movies Illustration.
gay-world-large
New: Gay/Gay World Illustration.
gay-love-large
New: Love & Relationships Illustration.
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New: Financial/Money Illustration.
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New: Technology Illustration.
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New: Creative Writing Illustration.

Sye Watts is a truly Talented Illustrator. Professional throughout the process. He allowed me to sign off on the work – so that all of the illustrations were exactly as I want them and exceeded my expectations in all regards.

If you need an Illustrator I would without any hesitation recommend Sye Watts. He does a wide range of work including: logo design, illustrations, posters, comics, personalised gifts, etc. Sye is friendly and helpful – so please get in touch with him if you have a project that you think will utilise his talent, skill and knowledge.

I’ve used the illustrations for the background of the blog, along with selected ones at the top of various pages.

I’m also excited to announce that I’ve used some of the illustrations to create a new page Blog By Topic. Blog By Topic is an easy way to view blog posts by topics, categories or tags.

Blog soon,

Antony

Book Review: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

spin-catherine-mckenzie The night before her interview at The Line magazine for her dream job, struggling Writer Katie Sanford goes out and gets really drunk. She wakes up the next day late and attends the interview still drunk.

Katie doesn’t get the job, but instead is offered an assignment for sister magazine Gossip Central. The assignment seems simple. Katie is to go into rehab, get close to ‘It’ Girl Amber Sheppard – dubbed The Girl Next Door (TGND) and write a tell-all scoop. If Katie can pull this assignment off, they’ll reconsider her for the job at The Line.

So off Katie goes to rehab, her goal clear in her mind. But what will happen when she develops a friendship with TGND, meets Connor Parker TGND’s on-off boyfriend and his attractive manager?

Spin is chick-lit and has the perfect balance of lightheartedness versus depth. This is achieved through loveable, flawed characters, particularly the main character Katie. All of the characters felt real and were well developed.

The description is clear and concise. The storyline is paced well and was occasionally reminiscent of one of my all time favourite films 28 Days. The romantic sub-plots were interwoven into the main body of the story and felt natural.

Spin is written in Katie’s first person perspective and is an enjoyable read. It compels the reader to read on. I finished it in a few sittings.

Afterwards I logged on to Catherine McKenzie’s website and found that since she’s wrote Spun. Here’s what Amazon says it’s about:

In this funny and touching novella, bestselling author Catherine McKenzie returns to the story of Amber Sheppard, It Girl and celebrity train wreck from McKenzie’s reader-favourite novel, Spin. Life has been rough for starlet Amber since leaving rehab. She’s been two years sober, but no one seems to believe her — not the gossip media, not casting agents, and most certainly not her spotlight-loving parents. With her friendships ruined by betrayal and her career at a standstill, Amber’s just trying to get her life back on track. It doesn’t help that her former love, movie star Connor Parks, keeps trying to draw Amber back in, not just to their relationship but to his hard-partying ways. One fateful night, Amber breaks down and agrees to join him on board his private jet as it readies for take-off — a decision that will change her life forever and expose her to a whole new level of scrutiny and heartbreak.

(From Amazon, Last Accessed: Sunday 7th September 2014.)

I’d love to read Spun.

Catherine McKenzie is a talented writer that deserves to do well. Catherine needs to reach her audience through good marketing. There’s a vast number of readers out there that will love her books. And I should know, I am one.

Spin by Catherine McKenzie is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

Copyright © Antony Simpson, 2002-2014.