SoulThief

Review: "Prism City: Gun for Hire & Heir to an Empire" by L K Weir

Introduction “Prism City: Gun for Hire & Heir to an Empire“ is the debut novel of L.K. Weir and was published earlier in 2020 by Prism City Press. I came about reading it when I saw the author describe her work as science fiction noir (or something similar). Back in my youth I was a fan of film noir and had even once made a four minute promotional film noir

I designed a Facebook ad and it wasn't that hard!

Anyone who has followed me on Twitter knows that my sister-in-law Kylie is very clever and has written an App for Apple phones that lets users create check lists for all sorts of projects from moving house, organising a party and so on.  The App is called Check It Plus and it is very cool. Anyway, Kylie asks me if I might design the graphic for an ad to go

Author David Lee Summers interviewed by TG Geeks

I must admit that I spend a lot of my travel time (home -> work -> home) listening to interviews, podcasts and panel discussions on the topic of writing and writers. Often the same ones over and over in case I can learn something new. The Coronavirus has put a short halt to this as it only takes me about three seconds to travel from my bedroom to my new

Painting interuptus - Almost not finishing The Three Sisters

February 2013. I had finished the portrait of my daughter Rhiannon a few months earlier and I still felt upset that it had not met my expectations. I did not want to touch a brush again. Then, out of the blue, I was contacted by Richard, an old school friend who now resided in Japan. He had seen the post of Rhiannon’s portrait on Facebook and wanted me to paint

Review: LinkedInLearning course "Deploying Scalable Machine Learning for Data Science"

Today I am reviewing the LinkedIn Course entitled “Deploying Scalable Machine Learning for Data Science”.  The course is one hour and 43 minutes long and reminded me a lot of my time at university except with the added benefit of being able to pause the lecture and go and explore things of interest when they popped up. There is definitely a prerequisite in respects to knowledge. The tutor assumes that

2012 - The time I painted a portrait of my daughter

Tracking through some old Facebook posts I stumbled across a 2012 series in which I described the painting a portrait of my daughter Rhiannon. At the time I whined about how my Keratoconus impacted my ability to see properly. I guess it was the year before I had to have an operation on left eye and my sight was pretty bad. But let’s forget that and look at how I

Review: LinkedInLearning short course "Machine Learning and AI Foundations: Decision Trees"

This is the second Machine Learning course that I have attempted, and the first through LinkedIn Learning. I must admit that I have yet to write a review on the first course because I am unsure as to whether I took away any deep understanding of what it was trying to teach. One day I will explore why. This course, however, proved a lot better. A little background rambling first.

How I redesigned my web page

Are you like me? Have yourself a WordPress web site, seen some fancy theme, got it and still your site looks a lot less beautiful and functional than the theme promo says it should. Why? Why? Why? Well, we all know the answer: some whiz designer has weaved their magic making the theme do just what they want. But we are not fancy designers ourselves and so… yeah… average. Or

#Writing the second draft of the first scene

This post is about editing a first draft. Anyway, about the way I do it. You can compare the product of the first edit (this post) with the unedited first draft (last post). Note: as with any of my other posts in this section of my blog, it may contain spoilers to my writing. So proceed at your own risk. In my last post I discussed my routine of reading

#Writing the draft of the first back story scene

I now tend to write scene by scene rather than chapter by chapter. I imagine each scene as something from a television show or film. What is cohesive? What sticks? What camera angles? Who do I focus upon? When do I shift focus? These thoughts tumble into a rough plan in my head. I play with this plan, not yet having started to type. When I do eventually type I

Old photographs, Machine Learning and DeOldify

In my day job I am a database programmer. I love data. The reason I love data is twofold. Firstly, within data there resides stories and I adore stories. Secondly, data offers a challenge in its presentation. How do you present data in a manner that is not only meaningful but also engages and inspires? For work I have been asked to find out more about using Machine Learning to

Backstory to Darius Hakim for LK Weir @lkweirauthor

#writers #writing It was one of those twitter discussions. I was asking about using characters in short stories as a means for discovering their viability for a novel. (Don’t ask me what that means; it made more sense at the time). Author L K Weir responded along with Katheryn Bigelow,  Simone Green, Benedict, Randall Garcia, Alexander Boukal, Rob Dearsley and A S Akkalon. I’ve added links to them as a

Review: "The Astronomer's Crypt" by David Lee Summers

NOTE: David Lee Summers, author of this book, is a blogging and Facebook friend of mine. This said, the following review is an objective one, warts and all. David has, as always, packed an awful lot of ideas, information and tropes in his horror novel The Astronomer’s Crypt. Love it! The basic premise revolves around the trope of stolen Native American artifact with supernatural qualities and the havoc that ensues.

Interviewed in #MidnightEcho

Hi all, just a quick one. I was interviewed in Midnight Echo along with a bunch of other #horror authors and artists. It’s really only just one question about my inspiration, but I tried to make the most of it. The interview can be found here: Midnight Echo 14 inspiration interviews – part 2 It’s nice to have a little bit of success. I’ve had a few rejections for some of

Exciting to see my name turning up in the TOC for #MidnightEcho

Today award-winning author Deborah Sheldon contacted me to inform me that the table of contents for the upcoming 14th issue of Midnight Echo Magazine has be published. My name appears there. Yippee. So please hope over and take a look at the stories in the upcoming issue. Thanks. :) Greg 0

How not to plot - dissecting my first attempt at a novel

From 2013 to 2015 I wrote a science fiction / fantasy novel called Tempting in Shade. I sent it to Beta Readers who were very kind. Then I sat back and reread it. In doing so I came to several conclusions, the dominant one being that the novel was unpublishable. This post examines my decision from the perspective of four years later. It focuses upon how I mangled the plot.

Two achievements - a short story and a computer graphic - yippee!

My health has been a little dodgy recently and, with a minor hospital procedure this week, I cannot say that I had been in a good mood. However with every cloud there comes a silver lining – and I got two! The first was that the magazine Midnight Echo bought one of my short horror stories. Yay! The story is called “Alive!” and examines one alternative for prolonging existence. Apparently

Authors Publish - a useful resource for writers

As a struggling author one of my common Google searches is “Call for submissions fiction.” Now my my future novel has turned into an epic series (when will I ever finish just one of these books?!), I find myself writing little pieces just so I know that I can actually finish something. The good news is that I am getting nibbles in respect to these short stories and that is

Review: The Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell

You may recall that my last book review was of David Lee Summer’s second book in the Scarlet Order series.  I enjoyed it thoroughly and despite being a vampire tale it brought back memories of the historical novels that I used to enjoy. So I decided to look for a historical series that was new to me. Having been an incredible fan of authors such as  C. S. Forester, Alexander

Review: "Dragon's Fall Rise of the Scarlet Order" (Book 2 Scarlet Order) by David Lee Summers

Disclaimer: David Lee Summers is an online friend. This said, I have endeavoured to be completely objective in my review of this novel. Key take-aways It reads like a combined Mary Renault and (adult) Rosemary Sutcliffe novel crossed with Anne Rice novel It covers about 2000 years from Classical Greece to the Renaissance and so tends to jump centuries at a time I enjoyed reading it Overall This novel is