MØ45: A bloody party

 
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Morning Øutput #45

Alrate!

Wow, what a weekend. My fiancée planned a surprise party for my 30th. I wasn’t supposed to know about it, but did, so I printed off a surprised face in preparation. 

I don’t know how much I drank that night and I don’t even remember going to bed. But there was definitely a lot of alcohol consumed. I also half-remember drunkenly trying to slice limes with one of our sharpest meat carving knives and failing pretty spectacularly. I woke up with my fingers covered in tiny cuts. And I must’ve been using my phone whilst bleeding because the thing was covered in dried blood, especially around the home button. I wonder how much got inside? I’m half-expecting Frank Cotton from Hellraiser to start growing out of my phone, demanding me to kill people for him. 

“Hi Apple, I need to get my phone replaced. Yeah, there’s a skinless guy from Liverpool growing inside. What do you mean that's not covered under the warranty!?”

All in all, it was a good weekend, minus the ritual bloodletting. Now back to the work at hand.

****

THE WORK I DONE THIS WEEK

I finished my short story for The Other Stories this week. A story about a contortionist called, The Amazing Kieslowski. I think it turned out pretty good in the end. Not my best but… pretty good. Sometimes you just gotta try something a little different. Short stories are perfect for a little experimentation.

The big win for the week was finishing my draft of KEITH. I decided to get it done before the week ended and ploughed on through a mammoth editing session on Friday. Once done, I printed it all out, just so I could hold it. 105 pages of pure Keith.

Already I know some bits I want to cut out, but I have a good enough working document to send to some people who are going to be working on the film with me. It feels good to get such a big part of the filmmaking process done and out the way.

**

ÎNPUT

WATCHED

Big Trouble in Little China: There's a point in this, maybe ten minutes in, when the lightning dudes show up, where you have to say... "I don't know what the hell is going on!? ... and that's okay."

The Ritual: This got a limited theatrical run in the UK but they tried to market it as another Brit Horror Comedy like Shaun of the Dead or Attack the Block. The trailer made it look bad. Real bad. But the film ISN'T that. It's a really solid, well executed, folk horror film. 

Deep Blue Sea: We watched this last night in prep for Horror Hangout and I think I'm still processing.

*

Right, bit of a short one this week but I feel like I need to go grab a bottle of Lucozade and replenish my electrolytes. 

Until next time,

Luke & Family

 

MØ44: I'm thirty today!

 
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Morning Øutput #44

Hi.

Today I turn thirty years old. I finally got hit by the big three-oh. Which, weirdly was the name of the horror novel I wrote last year. I think my subconscious was telling me something.

How old do you feel?

That’s a question people ask sometimes. Me? I feel about thirty. 

Remember… age isn’t everything.

I know it’s not, but it’s a pretty good measure of how many years I’ve been alive. I feel thirty… and that’s okay.

Although I did I clean my room yesterday. Not only that but I gave it a good deep clean. I whipped the mattress off and everything, hoovered all the nitty-gritty bits. That’s not something the 29-year-old Luke would’ve done on a Sunday afternoon so maybe I am different. Maybe I’m a man now.

I remember when time didn’t mean anything. The first few years of my life seem like soup to me now, but I do remember the exact point at which time started to mean something. 

It was the first day back at school in 1995. My second year of primary school. Back then we used to write the date at the top right-hand corner of every page of our exercise books. I remember this exact moment because I wrote 1994 by accident. It was the first time in my life that I realised that time was finite and that the years were going to keep going now. There would be a 1996, a 1997, maybe even 1998. It was the first time in my life I felt the gears grinding as they shifted. It was my first existential jolt. I was seven.

Here’s what my seven-year-old self would ask my thirty-year-old self.

7 - Why are you like this?

30 - Why am I like what?

7 - Why are you not an action hero?

30 - Well there’s not really a market for action hereos, you know… there was a recession-

7 - And where’s your hair!?

30 - Wow, that’s to the point. Well, let me explain something called male pattern baldne-

7 - You have money, right? You have like… billions of pounds. 

30 -  Err... not exactly. 

7 - So… what’s good about you then? What's the point of you?

30 - Simon Pegg once gave me a Jaffa Cake.

7 - Yeah. Cakes are good I suppose. But who the fuck is Simon Pegg!?

Okay maybe the seven-year-old Luke wouldn’t swear. But he had aspirations, I’ll give him that.

****

THE WORK I DONE THIS WEEK

I finished the new draft of KEITH and it’s pretty good. I’ve got a list of bits I want to go over and fix but it’s so much better than that piece of crap I wrote two years ago. A lot more focused, a clearer character arc, some genuinely shocking moments. At least I think so.

I also just finished a short story for the Theme Parks theme of TOS. It’s a little crime story about a contortionist called The Amazing Kieslowski. Named after but not about one of my favourite film directors.

The advance copies of Take The Corvus are DONE and DUSTED. They are currently available exclusively for my patrons. Dan asked me what my goals are for that book and I said, “Well definitely not to make bank.”

I wanted to put together a book that underlines these last five years of my writing. Something of a portfolio piece, I guess. But a portfolio piece I’m happy to shove into people’s faces and say - “This here is me, fucker!”

In other news, They Rot went on a freebie giveaway over the weekend and hit number one of all free Post-Apoc books on Amazon.com. Considering there’s like a gazillion books on there, I think that’s pretty cool. Oh yeah, and The Other Stories is up for Best Fiction Podcast over at ThisIsHorror.co.uk. Go check it out and give us a vote.

***

Birthday Presents

If you did want to support me and my work, or maybe give me a little birthday gift, here are some ways to do that.

  1. Become a patron over at Patreon.com/Lukeofkondor
  2. Buy a book
  3. Subscribe to one of our podcasts
  4. Leave a review for a podcast or a book.
  5. Or just drop me a message and say hello. 

**

ÎNPUT

WATCHED

The Cloverfield Paradox: It was okay. My friend, John Lees, put it best in his review - "A perfectly fine mid-tier exercise in sci-fi suspense."

Role Models: Remember when before Paul Rudd was amazing? No. Me neither. I've been in love with that guy since he showed up in Friends as Mike. My fiancée says I have a man-crush. It's not a crush if it lasts forever.

Sinister: Apart from the jump scare fodder, there's something really effective about Sinister and it's better on second viewing. Those little snuff films creep me the hell out. That lawnmower, guys, that fucking lawnmower.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Good but a little janky in places. I still think McDonagh's got a fantastic track record and I can't wait to see what's next.

The Cabin in the Woods:  One for Horror Hangout. An absolute blast. A pitch perfect meta-horror comedy.

READ

Mountain Home by Bracken MacLeod:  Absolutely solid little novel. It actually sits right at the 4 1/2 mark for me. The story bounds along and has some really lovely touches. The idea of the Kreewatan was fantastic. Joanie's little flashback was heartbreaking. Oh, and the author has a very cool name. Which is most of what I look for in a novel.

LISTENED

This wonderful collection of music from the recently deceased Jóhan Jóhannsson.

*

Okay I'm currently in the middle of my birthday and I'm supposed to be chilling so I'll leave it here.

Until next time,

Luke & Family

 

MØ40: Marshmallows

 

Morning Øutput #40

Hi.

So we were about to wrap up a podcast recording when Cat burst into the room. I looked over, a little miffed. After all, this is my precious podcast time (I wonder if my dad ever used that phrase).

“Alaska’s something something," she blurted.

“What?” I said.

“Alaska’s having a reaction.”

So I looked over, nodded, looked back to Ben (who was patiently waiting on Skype to finish our recording), then I looked back to Alaska and the realisation hit me like an ice cube to the scrotum. 

Oh my god… Alaska’s having a reaction!

An allergic one!

Her usually smooth, fine, furry face had become marred with marshmallow bumps. She looked like a cumulus cloud. No, better yet, she looked like the header image on one of those BOTOX GONE BAD clickbait articles. Never use toasted sesame oil for your botox! Her cheeks were puffed right out and her eyes looked ready to prolapse. 

Panic immediately set in as we tried to work out what the hell was going on with our dog. Did we break her? What did we do? We'd read the manual and everything. I ran to the corner-shop to pick up some antihistamines and Cat got the vet’s number as she had a good look around for anything Alaska might’ve eaten.

I got back, wrapped some of the tablets in blocks of cheese, made her shake my hand for her meds. It’s only polite. And after ten minutes or so, it started to settle. We started to settle. The next morning her face was back to its lovely smooth finish and our little puppy was back. We still have no idea what it was that she ate. 

Nothing like a good scare to get the heart racing, though. 

If anybody has any ideas of what it might’ve been, I’d love to hear them. It's put us on edge a little bit, watching everything Alaska eats. I think we're giving her a complex. 

It all reminded me of this sketch with Nick Frost:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc0KIQBf7zU

👌

*

The Work I Done This Week

I hit the 60k mark of They Ruin and I’m currently working on the denouement. I’m expecting to wrap up my draft by today or tomorrow. If you’ve been reading our Rot books, let me tell you, this is the most action-packed book in the series. It’s out-and-out brutal in spots. It follows Colin’s journey to London to find his wife and child. He takes Joanna, Sunny, and Dylan along for the ride and finds that sometimes when you’re chasing something you used to have, you run the risk of all the good you currently have.

Book 3 is short and sharp and should lead us nicely into our final book in the series.

I also wrote my short story for the Nightmares theme of The Other Stories. It’s called New Year, New Me. It's a story about a nightly mediation app (like Headspace) that literally changes you into a new person. Like most of my Other Story episodes, it ends right nasty. 

It feels good to get that first story down for the year. I’ve also been having various brainstorming sessions for new stories to write. One idea of which sounds particularly exciting but also maybe way too hard to pull off.

But that’s what this year is all about for me. Taking my craft to the next level. I want my prose to really sing. I want each and every story to crackle. How I do that, I’m not so sure. 

Oh yeah, I also put out a new short story for my patrons called Toother-Two. A Post-Apoc Western. Action, horror, and robots. Fancy it? 

**

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The Hawk & Cleaver Book Club

Are you looking to read more this year? Are you looking to boost your book count? Well, why not come on down to the Hawk & Cleaver Facebook Group and join our monthly book club. Each month we’re voting a book to read. Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller, whatever. And then reading it over the course of the month and having a little internet waffle about it. 

For January we’re reading Joe HIll’s Strange Weather. A book comprised of four short novels and it’s been a ton of fun so far. The second novel, Loaded, ended in such a way, such a perfect line that I literally guffawed. I couldn’t believe he had the balls to end on that particular sentence. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

So yeah… come and join us… we’ll be voting on February’s book soon.

***

ÎNPUT


WATCHED

Rosemary's Baby: One for Horror Hangout. A fine film. A damn fine film. Oddly it only makes me want to visit New York all the more.

Thirt13n Ghosts: We've decided to do a guilty pleasure episode of Horror Hangout and we picked this. I'd not seen it in years and I can't say it was much of a pleasure to revisit it. It was interesting at least to revisit that campy MTV horror of the mid-naughties. It was a certain brand of high-budget horror that got swallowed up by Blumhouse and his low-budget behemoths, Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Conjuring, etc.

Dirk Gently S2: I don't know many people who caught Season 1 but I enjoyed the hell out of it. I loved the mix of whimsy-quirk and bloody thriller. The tone is very similar to my Hipster novels. Which is very weird because the theme music is composed by the same guy who I wrote most of those books to -- Cristobal Tapia de Veer. 

LISTENED

I stumbled upon this weird little synthy album called Black Corner Den and it's made for wonderful writing music. Totally recommend for those times you want to drown out the outside world and lose yourself in your horror.

****

So that's it for this week. This is a relatively small newsletter. My subscriber numbers are teeny compared to our main H&C ones but the open rates are through the roof. I can only assume that means you like it. 

If so, then why not do me a favour and recommend it to your friend. I made a simple signup form here --> Luke's MØ

But yeah, that's all for this week.

All the best,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ39: Old & Grumpy

 
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Morning Øutput #39

Hi.

Now that I'm a month shy of turning 30, I think I'm allowed to get a little grumpy. My skin is souring so why not my attitude? 

So... can I just have a quick whinge about a certain sort of type of person... the sort of person who just so happens to be in the fucking way?

I consider myself a pretty positive guy but man oh man this one truly grates on me. So I mean physically. I mean you're walking somewhere and some jerk is mindlessly tickling their nipples as they gormlessly watch the skies, taking up all available space and won't let you pass.

"Ain't it pretty," they say as they snail-slide across the high street, right in front of where you've got to get to.

I don't care, you think to yourself. Get the fuck out of the way. 

Worse are the groups of people who do this side-by-side, taking up any and all space on the pavement and the only way to pass is either stepping onto the road or to scream "red rover, red rover," and King-Leonidas your way through.

I'm not one for lingering. I don't like hanging about. There's far too much to do and if I'm on my way somewhere, I want to get there and I want to get there soon. Call me impatient. Tell me I need to chill. Say it's the Londoner in me. Fine. But there is a certain amount of ego involved with people who think they're entitled to stand at the entrance to a café or a shop and hang about as if they own the door. 

"You shall not pass," they say. "Whilst I choose a podcast to listen to."

Worse, still, are the people who know they're in the way, but still won't let you pass, as if seeing you trying to overtake them gives them Mario Kart flashbacks and their competitive edge floods back to them in waves of stars and turtle shells.

"You weren't there, man. You weren't there!"

I pride myself on being someone who gets out of the way. It's the polite thing to do. Be polite. Get the fuck outta the way.


Take The Corvus

One of my big aims for this year is to allow myself to follow the muse a little more, experiment with different mediums, do more audio, video work. So far I’ve doodled with some songs, got my sights set on making a Twine game, an audio VR story, and recently made a book trailer for my upcoming book of short stories. 

I went in with a simple idea and got so into the audio design, the glitch work, narration, etc, that it came out with something quite absurd, almost a short film in itself. It was a right good time and exactly the breath of fresh air I needed.

So come on down... enter the world of the Corvus:

And just as a quick reminder, this new book is a greatest hits sorta deal. My best short stories from my first five years of publishing. It will be out very, very soon.

 
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The Other Stories is open for submissions

We’ve been writing nearly all of the TOS stories for the past 2 years and we want to start opening it up. If you think you’ve got a short horror story in you and are looking for a good platform then this is it. We can’t offer much in the way of remuneration but we do get a good chunk of downloads and you’ll be free to promote anything you want on there.

My tips on a good TOS story?

Start at the end. Make it so that the big thing is happening right now, or is about to. Your character is on the edge of the cliff, looking down. Start at ten, then jump back, work your way through. Then end on the reveal, the big scary, the rug pull, the twist, sting, etc. 

It’s a good format for keeping the tension nice and taut and if you work it right, it should end with a satisfying final snap.

Pucka.

Also, try to enjoy the writing. Feel it. Be in the story. Be scared for your character. Or, as I tend to do, laugh maniacally at the torture you’re about to put them through.

Check out the submissions page for the details.


The Work I Done This Week

I’ve been focusing on my first draft of They Ruin. I’m 50,000-words deep and I can feel it coming towards its final climax. Dan once said something along the lines of "writing novels feels like your carefully nudging a boulder to a cliff-edge, waiting for it to roll, slowly at first, building with its own momentum until it comes crashing down on your characters, smushing them.”

Well, the boulder is definitely starting to roll now. 

I also finished an essay on a writer’s morning routine (one for the Patrons) and I’ve just about finished my final proof for Take The Corvus.

I tell you what, though, my head is swimming with ideas for Keith. I’m chomping at the bit to get cracking with it. I got the New Year shakes, riddled with inspiration. I want to, need to, work work work work. I better see a doctor.


The Blackest Mirror

Season 4 is another triumph. I think this season doesn’t quite aim to blast you into despair like the previous seasons. They're just interesting stories told well. 

And can we take a moment to appreciate the talent we have in Charlie Brooker? I think we take for granted that he wrote nearly every episode of the series (I think one or two of the ideas were donated from other people). This guy, this absolute legend, wrote six of the best episodes of TV this year and hit an incredibly high standard with each one.

Did I tell you I met him once? At the London Screenwriters Festival. I asked if he was going for a beer afterwards. He said no. 

Nice guy.

Fantastic writer.

So if you’re curious. Here’s how I rank the episodes:

  1. USS Callister (how could it not be?)
  2. Metalhead (B&W AI Slasher directed by David Slade — i.e. Hard Candy.)
  3. Hang the DJ (Lead performances made it for me.)
  4. Black Museum (Very very good.)
  5. Crocodile (Very good)
  6. Arkangel (Good)

ÎNPUT

WATCHED

John Wick: Chapter 2: Doesn't have the same emotional pull as the first but is super stylish.

68 Kill: A bloody irreverent comedy about a guy who can't say no to attractive women.

Mayhem: Joe Lynch's low-budget horror is a lot of fun, even though the logic of the disease doesn't quite hold up.

Cube:  We revisited this classic from my childhood. Still great.

Carrie: See HORROR HANGOUT

The Good Place: We're finally getting the other half of Season 2. Still great. Still very, very clever.

PLAYED

Doki Doki Literature Club: Free-to-play. Someone told me it's a horror game. It is. I won't tell you how. I just promise you that it is.

LISTENED

Crazy Clown Time by David Lynch: I didn't like this when I first listened to it a couple years back but it's definitely working for me now.


And done. This MØ came out a little long. Sorry to waste your time. I feel like I'm standing in your way. I apologise. I will move outta the way.

Until next time,

Luke & Family.

 

MØ36: Jedi Radicalism & My New Book

 

Morning Øutput #36

Hi.

It’s been five years since my first story was published in a little-known collection of short-shorts called, ‘Flash Fiction World’.

So to honour, move on, ritualise, something, I’ve decided to take the best (audience favourites, most downloaded, personal selections) short stories and put them into one halfway decent collection. 

Introducing:

 
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Take The Corvus: Short Stories & Essays by me

It will have stories previously published. It will have some new stuff. It is a best-of. It will be FREE to all of my patrons. I will be doing some signed print editions. I’m definitely going to want a copy of this on my shelf.

I haven’t worked out the blurb yet but here’s the track-listing:

  1. Take The Corvus
  2. Finders Keepers
  3. Women’s Running Magazine
  4. Doghouse
  5. Tusk
  6. Photoshop Wizard
  7. Chew Toy
  8. The Three-Oh
  9. Hell’s Kitchen
  10. Mr Lundin
  11. Ocean Eyes
  12. The People Who Live In My Beard
  13. The Old Fools of Tudor Close
  14. It’s Wednesday Night!
  15. Monty’s Meats
  16. Toast
  17. @boyonawall
  18. Old Knobbly
  19. Blackberry Gap
  20. Cardboard
  21. The Last Days of my Dad
  22. The Corvus Takes
  23. ESSAY: Tales from my first Five Years in the Womb
  24. ESSAY: On Writer’s Block & Other Buckets of Shit
  25. ESSAY: What I Learned from Writing a Short Story a Day for a Year
  26. ESSAY: How I made an Award-Winning Short Film in 7 Days with No Money, No Camera, & No Ideas.

The stories are all written but I’m going to go over and do another round of editing. So it should be primed and ready for the new year.


Star Wars - The Last Jedi

I went to see TLJ last week. I liked it. I didn’t love it. I laughed at all the jokes. I was in awe at all the beautiful bits. I got all tense at the battle bits. But something didn’t click for me. 

Now, for me, I give it a B. 

I’ll definitely rewatch it at some point and that may change, but what’s been more interesting to me, is how people’s reactions have almost turned into a parody of left-wing, right-wing politics.

People have been radicalised in their opinions. It seems, either you’re a far-left ‘Best SW film since Empire’ sorta person. Or you’re a far-right ‘Triggered nerd boy who doesn’t want change’ sorta person. 

I’m sure there are many people who feel the same as me. Middlin’. But even I’ve felt a little forced over to one side based on people’s reactions.

When you read articles with headlines like ‘TLJ doesn’t care what fanboys think’ or meme’s like ‘Fanboys complained because Force Awakens was too similar, now they’ll complain because Last Jedi is too different,’ it forces you to try and justify your feelings, pushing you further and further into them. And then you come up with conclusions and you try to justify them, too. It turns into a feedback loop, pushing you further and further into your position, into your far-right, or far-left views.

Swap out all the Star Wars stuff and pop in something to do with Election Results or Brexit and I imagine the situation will be pretty similar.  

...or maybe not. Who knows? Politics is weird.

If you really care for my thoughts on the film, I’ll put an image at the bottom of this post. It will contain SPOILERS.



ÎNPUT

Currently in the middle of three separate books and I watched a LOT of films. Mostly HH stuff. 

WATCHED

Black Christmas, Jack Frost, & Krampus

All for the Horror Hangout Christmas episode.

Ringu 2

See above.

The Last Jedi *SPOILERS*

Here are my thoughts:

  • Act 2 and 3 are the wrong way around. (You end with the kamikaze, obvs.)
  • Porgs are cool. 
  • Luke fake out and then dying anyway isn’t emotionally satisfying and is actually a bit of a cop out. He meditated so hard he popped his clogs? Eesh. Dude needs a final moment of bad-assery.
  • Superman-Leia was awesome. I got goosebumps.
  • Such pretty visuals. 
  • Why are all the battle scenes so rushed? Take your time. Give us the ups and downs of the battles, dude. OG Trilogy had the best battles. Hoth comes to mind.
  • I kinda loved the Falcon going through the caverns. It reminded me of the run to the core of the Death Star II.
  • Maz Kanata scene was like a checkpoint in a game. “Now you must go find the codebreaker, bring me five alien-horse collars and I’ll throw in some extra bonus points.”
  • Ackbar!!! Dammit. That fish deserved better.
  • Rey & Kilo dynamic was the most interesting part of the film. 
  • Poe Dameron is a mutineer! And all his superiors can say is, “Awh, ain’t he cute.” No! He should be in fucking space prison. 
  • For me, it’s not as good as people are saying. It’s also not as bad as people are saying. It’s a solid B.

Like I said, I'll watch it again. It's a good film. But I can't lie and say I came out feeling particularly jazzed about it.

Life

A baked beans-on-toast sorta movie. Doesn't wow you, nor does it change your life, but it hits the spot. Also, the thing itself, Calvin, was really kinda scary.

LISTENED

The Robocop Soundtrack and this compilation of Star Wars tunes.


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That's all for this week. Hold onto your balls because Christmas is upon us, and Krampus is coming.

Until next time,

Luke & Family

 

MØ35: Homestretch, death, & a Tom Waits cover

 
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Morning Øutput #35

Hi.

I keep thinking about death. Every time I watch an older movie or TV show, I find myself looking up the actors on IMDB, Wikipedia, etc, getting all sad at the fact that these guys had their lives and then, in most cases, simply petered out. 

I was reading about Werner Krauss, the guy who played Dr Caligari back in 1920, and how he went on to become a Nazi, had to go through a denazification process for years, and how people would boycott his plays. And then, according to Wiki: Krauss died in relative obscurity in Vienna, Austria in 1959.

And that was that.

All gone.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm turning 30 in February, or that we lost four loved ones in 2017, but I've been taking a lot more pictures recently, spending a lot more time doing simple stuff with my family.

It makes me think of that Frank Turner verse: 

Let go of the little distractions
Hold close to the ones that you love
Because we won't all be here this time next year
So while you can take a picture of us

...

For me, I'm going to make the most of it. I'm not just going to take pictures but leave all sorts of marks on the world in the things that I make, stuff that I do, relationships I build. And I'm going to damn well enjoy it too. 


The latest episode of TOS is one of mine and it was one of the rare chuckle-as-you-write stories. The type that seems to fall away from the fingertips and you just can't write it quick enough. 

Also, Joe and Karl absolutely smashed the production. Check out the episode over at iTunes or Acast.


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SOME BITS

  • It's been a busy year of writing, reading, and raising a puppy. And by raising I mean cleaning up after.
  • Five years since I got my first short story published. I'm thinking of putting together a best-of collection. Would you guys be interested in something like that? Any favourite stories?
  • Dan put together his Top Five Reads of 2017.
  • How's your year been? I've seen people are already setting their goals for 2018. I'm gonna set aside some time at the end of the month. I still feel like I've got a few goals left to tick off.

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ÎNPUT

WATCHED

Wind River

I didn't quite enjoy this as much as I was expecting to. It was solid, no doubt, and there were some really harrowing scenes. Also, there was one scene with Jeremy Renner trying to comfort a friend that was simply fantastic. Worth a rewatch. 


Ringu

One for this week's Horror Hangout.

Wolf Creek

The TV Show. It takes place after the films and is all about an American women hunting Mick down. I wasn't sure at first but I'm about halfway through now, and I'm digging the outback road trip of death.

Hammer House of Horror Ep 1

Another on Shudder (god bless Shudder). A TV show from 1980 that is surprisingly violent and erm... nude. I have no idea how they got away with airing this on TV back in the early 80s. I can only imagine the stacks of complaint letters landing in the ITV offices.

READ

The Rats by James Herbert

A little clunky and a little sophomoric but not without its charm. There are some really fun death scenes and the pace just rockets on through to the end.

In The River by Jeremy Robert Johnson

Well, I wasn't quite expecting to love this as much as I did. Tragic, bizarre, magical, and downright horrific. A mix of The Road and Apocalypto. Looking forward to reading more of this dude's stuff in the new year.

Hellboy Vol 3: Wake The Devil

An absolute blast. I loved the short story format, dipping in and out of fairy tales, legends, myths, etc. I'm really enjoying just how bonkers the stories get. Looking forward to the next volume!

LISTENED

I've been looping this cover of the Interstellar theme tune a lot. It makes for fantastic writing noise. 

Also been hammering Tom Waits as it was his birthday. Actually, I recorded myself singing Green Grass the other day. Here it is if you fancy it.

Green Grass


Okay, that's all I got for this week. Take care of yourselves and remember to take lots of photographs. 

Until next time,

Luke & Family

 

MØ34: Out of Action

 

Morning Øutput #34

Hi.

This is gonna be a short one guys and gals. I'm off work today because I've been having these crazy stomach cramps (probably related to the two hernias I've currently got).

I think it might be my body shutting down after such a massive project. It tends to be the way.

NaNoBoozeMo Final Stats:

  • 50018 out of 50000 words written.
  • 64025 out of 50000 metres ran.
  • No booze.

Other bits:

  • The image up top is a little cover sketch for The 3.0, my NaNo novel. There's still a lot of editing and rewriting to do but I'm quite proud of it. Here's the blurb:

Black Mirror meets Ex Machina with all the violence of Battle Royale.

With the singularity just around the corner, City44 has put together the latest reality TV sensation — The Turing Test! 
12 Contestants. 11
human. 1 not. 
Join the millions of city-folk as they watch the housemates and judge every movement, every reaction, every word spoken, and help decide just who is the most human. All those nominated will be evicted — a process that strips flesh from bones and reveals the humanity, or circuitry, within.

If a human, they will be granted access to City44 to live out their days in the Internet-of-Experience, free from pain and toil.

Or… will the Turing Test finally be beaten and will our Bot prove their humanity, proving the creation of life?

The 3.0 is a story of outcasts desperate to prove their humanity and in the process, discovering what it is that makes them human in the first place — their guilt, their crimes, their relationships, their pain. All with the feeling that one wrong move, one wrong word, might end with them in the furnace, screaming as their skin melts from their bodies.

  • I wrote an essay -- How To Win At NaNoWriMo -- for my patrons. 
  • People are already making goals for next year! I haven't even given a thought yet. What about you?
  • KEITH screened at the Filmed Up night in Manchester. It's always fun to see it in front of an audience. I can't wait to get stuck into the feature. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 16.43.49.png

ÎNPUT

WATCHED

The Brood

Starting off my Cronenbergian Christmas right with The Brood. Although there are a few pacing issues for me, this is pretty much a perfect horror movie. I mean, it's genuinely horrifying.


Gremlins

I actually fell asleep during this but only because I found it so warm and comforting. It was like wrapping myself up in a childhood blanky.


The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

One for this week's Horror Hangout.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000

My new favourite thing on Netflix. I don't want to explain a single thing about it. Just do yourself a favour and stick it on.

READ

Thinner by Stephen King/Richard Bachman

Thinner is a ton of fun. 
You go into it expecting something relatively simple but King/Bachman add a ton of extra spice with the scaly guy, spotty man, and the wonderfully obscene hitman mobster, Ginelli. Oh... and the breathing (SPOILERS!!!) pie.

Also really fun to find out the Lemke family are of Magyar descent. If you didn’t know, Kondor is a Magyar name. Also, I’m known as the gypsy at work because I’ve moved all around the country and worked at every office. AND… my future in-laws also call me the Hungarian gypsy. 
So… yeah… watch out… or I’ll curse yer!

#gypsyfam

This is a good 4 outta 5 and one of the better King endings.

Hellboy Vol2. Wake The Devil

I've been meaning to carry on with this series for quite a while. I wasn't completely sold by Vol 1 but this after this one... I'm getting there... 

LISTENED

Machine Head - Through The Ashes of Empire

Pantera - Random playlist

Been getting my old school metal on.


Gotta go.

Like I said. I got aches.

Until next time,

Luke & Family

 

MØ33: Quickie

 
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Morning Øutput #33

Hi.

Just a quickie this week. I'm coming to the end of NaNoBoozeMo. The dial is below the red line. The engine warning light is on. I went over a speedbump and something fell off. Not sure what it was.

NaNoBoozeMo Stats:

  • 44739 out of 50000 words written.
  • 60000 out of 50000 metres ran (overshot that one).
  • No booze (man I need a drink).

Some other stuff:

  • Thinking about putting together several lists at the end of the year. 10 Best Film Discoveries, 10 Best Book Discoveries, etc. Just stuff that I've watched, read, heard, that I've really enjoyed.
  • I'm happiest when I'm working on a project. Maybe you are too?
  • There's so much stuff I'd love to do and I'm scared that I just won't get around to all of it. A quality problem, I guess.
  • I wrote a short story for my patrons: The Friend I Lost In Blackberry Gap - #PROJECT12

ÎNPUT

Lots of films again this week.

WATCHED

Hardware

This film is so of its time it hurts. Feels a little like Robot Wars Xtreme.


Free Fire

There's a lot to love about this film. The fact that it's just one long scene is both the best thing AND the worst thing about it. Lots of fun characters, great lines, and pure chaos.


American Werewolf in London

The Nazi werewolves, the undead brainstorming how to commit suicide, the stalking of the three-piece-suit at Tottenham Court tube station.

All good scenes, but for me, the massacre at Picadilly Circus was just sublime. Made all the better for the fact that I used to walk through there to get to work.


The Exorcist III

This one needs a rewatch at some point. I don't know if I properly processed it all.
 

Kong: Skull Island

Way better than I'd been led to believe. I had a right good time. 

 

READ

The Rose Weapon by F.C. Shultz -- 

A lovely little novel about family, honour, and firey beasts in the sky. Also, there's a mountain named after me... which I always felt was missing in other novels. Looking forward to the next one!

LISTENED

Brace for the Turing - My NaNo Playlist

This Bon Iver live performance. Still listening to this.

The Shouting Matches - I Had A Real Good Lover


 

That's all for this week, folks. Back to the office.

Until next time,

Luke & Family

TAGGED: MORNING ØUTPUT