Why ‘Insurgent’ is, unsurprisingly, utter crap – movie review

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I should not have watched Insurgent, movie two in the Divergent series. I knew it, I know it, but still I watched it. Blame the fact that movie 1, Divergent, while quite ridiculous , drawn-out and annoying for so many reasons, actually has a romance inside it that really appealed to my wife. ‘Maybe it’s not so bad?’ I wondered. It’s true that the lead character, Tris, is way better than Bella in Twilight, while also being more proactive than Katniss in Hunger Games. Those are good things. That it ripped off Harry Potter’s sorting hat and houses for its 5 ‘factions’, that it rips off Matrix-like dream sequences and Hunger Games-ish training sequences and of course the whole dystopian …

A future without teachers…?

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Last night I went to a panel discussion at Regent’s University titled ‘The Future of English’ featuring several luminaries (the ‘great men’) of the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) world. TEFL is my day job. David Graddol was there, who inspired my MA thesis. He writes about the megatrends of the world, like demographics, economics, military, culture and so on, and how they affect the role of English in the future. For example- if China became the dominant cultural outputter (surpassing Hollywood in amount and quality, perhaps), then will we all be more likely to learn Chinese? Of course if that happened, it may also reflect a surge of creativity and artistry in China, which would likely also …

That breakeven point I was talking about…

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The stats from Amazon are in and I can finally represent, in hard-data graph form, the beautiful surfacing of my books net earnings- up from the depths of debt and into the dizzying clear sky of profit. It has been a long time coming (two years self-publishing now) and there was never any certainty I’d get even this far. It is a great positive milestone, of which I hope there will be many more. The green line is cumulative total revenue (not total profit as the key says), the orange line is cumulative total costs, and the blue bars are cumulative net profits (ie- what I keep). As you can see, for all of existence they were negative. Deep down …

The Walking Dead S6 E01 ‘First Time Again’ Strategy Fail

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Count the number of tiny bandages on Rick’s face. Go on count them. 5? 4? 3? When it gets down to 1 he’s basically recharged and it’s clobbering time, like an Energizer bunny. Ah I love the Walking Dead. Zombies, Rick Grimes, murderin’, gore, zombie conga, it just gets no better. I love the episodes that open with a time jump and I’m left wondering- wait, is this episode one? I love use of black and white. I love zombie cattle drives, and uncomfortable looks between Rick and the woman whose husband he executed, and diggin’ graves, and brain stabbing, and all the delicious Shane-esque survive-or-die immoral pragmatism. But I do take issue with their strategy, from time to time. …

London Indie Writers exists!

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So after years of thinking about it and months of gathering information on what such a group might actually do, I’ve finally made my own writer’s group on Meetup.com called London Indie Writers. http://www.meetup.com/London-Indie-Writers/ So far it has two other members: they’re both ladies, one writes romance with a high level of success, and the other writes ‘cli-fi’, or climate fiction, or science fiction about climate change. Both of them pass the group requirement of one book out with at least reviews. I’m looking forward to meeting them and talking shop. Why make this group? Because there’s strength in numbers. The goal is for writers in the group to teach and learn what they know about marketing and sales, and …