Author Archives: skyespitfire
A selection of quotes (by me). I’ve always loved quotes, but think it’s about time I indulged in my own musings (bear with me – having a bit of a ‘Miranda Sings’ moment!)
Was it not Oscar Wilde, a great man and hero of mine who said – and I quote! – “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
Our passions are ours alone, a unique blend of experience, emotions, intellect and beliefs; if we can articulate them, then we are duty-bound to do so.
This is an emergency blog post and your help is desperately needed. If you are in China, Hong Kong or know anyone with connections there, please take heed; even if you don’t, please share. This dog is Cam, a survivor of the brutal and horrific Dog Meat Trade. He was due to begin a new life in the USA, but things took a terrible turn when the pet moving company lost him at the borders during his final health check, just before he was about to board the plane. Reports show that Cam snapped at the vets and ran across the border into the riverbed in China. The Chinese militants allowed the rescue team one chance to try and retrieve him on the condition they pay $1300 – but after a failed attempt at retrieval, the militants, in most disgraceful fashion, refuse to allow anyone to try and rescue him. Cam is now in very grave danger; and for a dog that was so close to finding a warm, loving home, who had originally been destined for the barbaric Dog Meat Trade – who may yet still fall victim to it – this truly is upsetting. That is why it is so imperative you help us find him. Cam was last seen across the river bank in the 6th military army in Guangdong province. He is wearing a red collar and is described as very shy. There is a $2,000 reward for anyone who finds this dog and brings him alive back over the border. The pictures below show where he went missing. The first pic is the river bank where Cam is located. It stretches from Shenzhen to Hong Kong and he could be anywhere along this bank.
The Chinese soldiers refuse to assist and the rescue team are desperate for your help. Please share this post on Facebook/Twitter and if you have contacts in this area, please alert them. The more exposure this is given, the more chance we have of getting him back. If you have any news at all, please contact Judy Stark on 415-531-8173. Help this dog get back to his owners – don’t let him go back to the trade!
Once, there was a smart, intelligent, independent woman who one day decided to marry a powerful, wealthy man. At first things started out OK and, like most marriages, they were happy together in the beginning. But as time went on, the man’s grip over his wife became tighter; he dictated what to wear, who she could socialise with, what to eat, how to think, what to say; despite the fact that the woman had inherited much wealth of her own, he controlled the purse-strings and they were bound by marriage, so his word was law.
Slowly, the woman lost her independence, confidence and self-esteem. He warned her that if she ever tried to leave him, she would be bankrupt and cast out into the street. The wife’s confidence was so low by this point that she believed him and realised it’s better to be a prisoner, because at least she’s secure; but what she didn’t realise is that she’s not as secure as she thought because her husband has been lying to her; his finances are in trouble and there’s a chance he could lose it all; furthermore, he is rapidly losing control of his businesses because of rebellion within the industry. But he will do and say anything to keep her under his control, because he is an abusive, manipulative tyrant.
But the woman can break away whenever she wants to, if only her faith and self-esteem is restored. And as time went on, she realised how miserable and unhappy she is; she realised how much danger she is in because cracks are showing, and her husband’s crumbling financial situation is not as secret as he thought; he continues to feed her lies and crush her confidence, but slowly she comes to realise that it is better to be free and possibly struggling for some time, than to be a prisoner for the rest of her life in the hope that she may be secure. She still has her own wealth to safe-guard her and once she is no longer under his reign, she realises she can use her long-forgotten intelligence and dynamism to build her own success. In the end, the woman decides to be brave and leave him, because no sacrifice is worth losing your independence. So who is the imprisoned woman and the abusive tyrant? The wife’s name is Britain, the husband’s name is the EU. And that is why you must vote to leave on June 23rd – free the abuser from her controller and let her take back what’s rightfully hers.
Britain – we value our independence, sovereignty, history, identity and culture; we value everything our grandfathers and ancestors fought for – a free, independent, democratic Britain – and we’re not willing to make a mockery of their courage and sacrifice by laying ourselves at the mercy of the failed experiment, the EU. And if you believe in not only honouring our ancestors but also safeguarding our descendants, then vote to leave on June 23rd.
I am thrilled to announce the release of my third novel, a children’s book, ‘The Experiment of Professor Polgas’ in June 2016. Here is the cover for the novel – and what a magnificent cover it is! It is by Luke Ahearn at Creative Covers. I stumbled upon Creative Covers on Facebook one day and one glance at Luke’s prior designs was enough to convince me that his artwork would be an excellent match for my story. With only a few email exchanges, I gave him a rough idea of what I was looking for, including the first few pages of my novel. The result was astounding and better than I could have hoped. It was as though he had ploughed away at my imagination, picked up various, scattered creative bricks in my mind and constructed the perfect model! It is a talent that is hard-pressed to come by and I could find no fault with the final result.
As the author, it is extremely important to me that the cover of my books matches the overall mood/tone to my stories; for this reason, I tend to create my own covers, but this time I took the plunge and branched out. I am, of course, very pleased that I did and count myself very fortunate to have found a cover designer with such a keen eye and intuitive insight into what I was looking for. As well as this, Luke is an extremely courteous, friendly and easy-going person – and fast! I was blown away by the speed with which he worked. He had the final product back to me within a couple of days. I can only say that my experience with Creative Covers has been a fantastic one and I highly recommend him to my fellow authors and anyone looking for an original, creative piece of art. Link here for anyone who’d like to check him out! http://lukeahearn.com/
Keep an eye out, folks – this is my first released children’s novel. It’s a fantasy set in London, the prologue to How the Wolf Lost Her Heart, and revolves around the lives of three teens who are invited to take part in an experiment one day. This experiment changes their lives in ways they never could have imagined. An update to come!
For thousands of dogs in China it’s that time of year again. Puppies will be bought from stores, but not, as you might expect, to go to loving, warm homes; they, along with stolen pets and dogs plucked from the streets, will be boiled alive, skinned alive, burned alive, choked, strangled and mutilated; people will hear their cries and screams, but no one will help them. Because the Yulin Dog Meat Festival exists only to serve the barbarians who torture and consume them for their meat – they justify this barbaric, vile trade by claiming the dogs “taste better” after they are bludgeoned to death and disembowelled.
It is a topic close to my heart, one that makes my stomach lurch every time I think about it, let alone see pictures/videos of it. It’s impossible not to weep as you witness the dogs crammed together in cages, the fear on their faces palpable, not understanding why the humans are doing this to them; it’s futile not to cry when you watch them being thrown into a vat of boiling water, screaming in agony as it rips the fur from their bodies and they flap their paws desperately in an attempt to get out. It is a nightmare of the very worst kind and yet in China, and other countries in South-East Asia such as Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam, it is a very real, very horrific reality. In China alone, an estimated 10-20 millions dogs are murdered for human consumption every year. And each year in the beginning months of Summer, there are those who celebrate the slaughter of these dogs by partaking in a ‘festival’ where they can have a jolly old time and eat to their heart’s content, not once giving a second thought to the suffering and terror that preceded this annual occasion.
It makes me feel sick to be human. Granted, these people have nothing to do with me. I do not know them, I’ve never seen them – I hope to never see them, and God help me if I do. But they are the same species as I; they’re humans. They’re the ones inflicting insurmountable amounts of pain and suffering on these innocent creatures, the same animals that are widely considered to be Man’s Best Friend for the unconditional loyalty and love they give us. In return, our kin torture and murder them. It is the very height of evil and a prime example of how we truly are the most spiritually sick and cruellest of all living creatures on this planet.
But there are good humans among us, too. That’s you, me and every single person on this planet who abhors the unfathomable horror of the dog meat trade. It’s those of us who feel the pain of these animals as though that pain is our own; those of us who understand that the dog has a place in millions of households around the world specifically because he is one of the closest to Man and a part of the family; those of us who firmly believe that the torture and slaughter of millions of dogs is an unforgivable sin and must be stopped at all costs. Yet despite nearly 5 million signatures last year petitioning the Chinese government to put an end to such cruelty, the “festival” continues. The dog meat trade flourishes. Yulin is once again set for June 2016.
We can only do what we can with the tools we were given. And though it may not seem apparently obvious at first, each of us possesses a phenomenal amount of power. We can be the voice that gets louder and louder until we’ve cumulated in one massive roar that will bring the dog meat trade to its knees; while they’re busy torturing our dogs and turning a blind eye to their screams, we’ll be screaming ourselves, letting them know that we will not tolerate this barbaric cruelty any longer. How will we do this? By spreading the word. By making sure our voices are heard; by screaming and bellowing so loudly that they have to stop and listen to us. Some of the louder voices among us, such as celebrities Ricky Gervais and Judi Dench, play an active role in doing what they can to oppose the dog meat trade. Charities such as Soi Dog work tirelessly to save as many dogs as they can from slaughter for human consumption; the courageous leader of The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, Marc Ching, has saved the lives of hundreds of canines, often at great risk to his own life. But they need our help. Humane Society International has now launched a petition appealing to the President of China to end the Yulin Dog Meat tradition this year. It is the first step we must take to save the lives of millions of dogs, to give them a shot at happiness which many of their more fortunate counterparts are lucky to have. Not to leave them condemned to a life of cruelty and slaughter at the hands of those who lack any form of conscience. So for the love of our furry friends, for the sake of our own humanity, please sign the HSI petition below. Let’s be the voice for man’s closest ally; it is a voice so many of them lost when our fellow humans chose to commit the ultimate betrayal – by sentencing them to pain, suffering and death when their only crime was to bestow us with love, kindness and affection.
*Please spread this article and petition far and wide. Together, we can put an end to the brutal dog meat trade. Thank you for signing.*
Great news, everyone! My Young Adult Paranormal Romance with a Dystopian twist ‘How the Wolf Lost Her Heart’ is currently FREE on Amazon today (Wednesday 3rd February) and tomorrow during a special two-day promotional offer! So if you wanted to get your hands on a copy, now would be the perfect time to do so. A run-down London two centuries from now where thugs and criminals rule the city, heroes and heroines who can shapeshift into their spirit animal on command, twists, thrills and a blossoming romance, it’s the perfect read for both Young Adults and Adults alike. Has gathered excellent reviews worldwide since its release last year. Get your copy here while you can!
*Can also be purchased direct from Amazon Eu and Amazon Japan*
It’s funny how, the instant you mention there’s a side of your character which is more spiritual than physical, people automatically assume you’re a crackpot who watches too much Supernatural.
I’ve got a vested interest in other realms, dimensions and entities, because they’re a solid part of my life, just as I have a big interest in more physical matters – politics, human nature, current affairs – because they are also part of my existence. The subconscious mind interests me more than the conscious one does – it holds far more secrets and depths to explore. But one big mistake that people make, particularly in the psychiatric sector, is thinking that the subconscious mind is simply there to obey the conscious mind. That’s not all it’s there for. The subconscious mind is a gateway to the spiritual world and a direct tool we can use to access our soul. It’s what enables us to astral project, lucid dream, see spirits, communicate with spirits and have psychic experiences. Some of this stuff is dangerous and that’s why the subconscious mind remains locked – mankind is still too immature to deal with it.
The only people who don’t believe/scoff at the spiritual world are those who are scared of it, ignorant of it or too arrogant to think there’s anything THEY could not possibly know. Their conscious mind is too powerful – a bit like every average person in society. You can only truly free your mind, both conscious and subconscious, when you free yourself from the constraints of society.
What a year! Not the most exciting, not the most traumatic, not the most enlightening – but definitely the most challenging. From crossing the spiritual mountains in Japan to being thrust into the wild nights of Soho; from personal drama on an extreme scale, to persistence and perseverance towards my goals, which resulted in the publication of my second novel (the most difficult thing I ever had to write – but, by far, the most rewarding); from the conflict, epiphanies, evolution and, above all, the courage and conviction required in the face of adversity. I’m no stranger to challenge, but this was one year where everything I believed in and much I have been striving for was put to the ultimate test. It has been affirmed to me, once again, that love, friendship and loyalty are far superior to the dark forces that threaten to overwhelm us. We didn’t escape totally unscathed – but we won, nonetheless. And that is why much of my end of year message must go towards the gratitude I feel for family and friends – you all know who you are – who stood by my side, fought with me, leant unfailing support during some of the more darker moments and never once abandoned me, though it would have been entirely understandable if they did so. It is a gratitude I hope to repay ten-fold in future days.
Much has been learned, and with it, much gained. There’s been some vital learning curves and hardship that many of us have undertaken – but it has been necessary in order for us to keep climbing those steps towards our full potential. Nor, on a national scale, can we ignore the threat that faces us from enemies that exist, both outside and inside our own borders. To defeat those who wish to do us harm, it is essential we stand together as one strong, fighting force and never waver in our loyalties to each other.
So now we say goodbye to 2015 – the Year of the Goat. One would not have expected the challenges posed in such a year represented by an animal who, by all accounts, is not considered a threat. But the goat is no ordinary barnyard animal – it has its horns, it has its stubborness, it has its fierce braying when under attack. It is a lesson to never underestimate anyone, regardless of who they are or what they appear to be on the outskirts. Now on to 2016, the Year of the Monkey (lucky for all you monkeys out there – and I know a few!). I hope it will be prosperous, fruitful and flourishing for all of you and that each of us continues striving towards all that is good and just in a world that needs compassion and determination more than ever – Happy New Year!
Hey everybody! I am interviewed here by bestselling author, Marysol James. This is one of my favourite interviews yet so please take a look!
Ooooh, a sweet and smart YA Paranormal Dystopian Romance, and one that I really enjoyed! Meet the author, Sarah Brownlee, below…
When did you start writing? What was the first thing that you ever wrote?
I started writing from a very young age – as soon as I could pick up a pen and form a word! The first thing I wrote was a short story about a dragon. No one liked him in the local town because he was so big and ugly, and he went to go live in a cave; he was befriended by a human girl who’d got lost on a hiking trip. No idea how it ended, I’m afraid!
Is writing your full-time job? If not, would you like it to be, and why? If so, what are the most rewarding and challenging parts of full-time independent writing?
I am a part-time author, but…
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There is a saying that exists – “Like attracts like” and, while simplistic in its expression, it is profound in so many other ways. It is the first thing that springs to mind when I think of Suikoden and its loyal fan base.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Suikoden series is the strong implementation of morals and values it instills in its storylines. Very often, the main character must make difficult decisions which result in tragic sacrifice; betrayal is not an uncommon theme, but very often such betrayal is not done with the intent to be cruel or selfish; this only serves to highlight the fantastic complexity of characters in this series. Emotion is an important aspect of Suikoden; courage vs cowardice, noble vs dishonour, strength vs weakness. And as emotion is such a crucial focal point of human existence, it is only natural that people who are particularly drawn to such feelings and challenges should be drawn to one another. This, from my experience and observations, is what has brought together the Suikoden family.
Like most families, the Suikoden family has its own share of values and beliefs: loyalty, honour, and the courage to stand up and do what’s right. They are qualities which, in a day and age where self-serving materialism and opportunistic gain lie at the heart of so many, are few and far between. This game has not only brought us hours of joyous play, bestowed us with some of the most beautiful music to grace our ears or tugged at every emotion imaginable; it has provided us with a community of like-minded thinkers and doers; people who embody attributes of the series itself. They are passionate people, dedicated people, courageous people; they have a strong sense of justice, a desire to make a difference and an innate thirst to do what’s right in a world where, so often, things go wrong. They are the type of people who will not sit idly by and do nothing in the face of corruption. They are, in essence, a reflection of the very games that stole their hearts.
The Suikoden family come from all walks of life; different nationalities, different races, different religions, different social backgrounds. They can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies; they can arrange delightful get-togethers, relishing in one another’s company; or they can fight like cat and dog, as many families do. Anyone can join this family and new additions are welcome with open arms. I do not believe I speak only for myself when I say that Suikoden changed me as a human being in more ways than one; this is the phenomenal power of the games and it is a feature that so many of us share.
And now, on the 20th Anniversary of our beloved series, the Stars of Destiny have gathered once more in a family reunion, a community rich with passion which does Suikoden itself justice. I am proud, as ever, to be able to say I am a part of it.