Author: thelionmutters

Ecletic. Happy Go Luck-ish. Too Forthcoming. Kind of Neurotic. Writing and TV Series Addict. Ellipsis Lover. Awkward. South African. A bit facetious. Journalistic.

Call Me by Your Name – Twitter Book Review

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Read “Call Me by Your Name” and I was frustrated. At the start it was just another gay romance being about how characters don’t even get to enjoy the romance.

I did a live-tweet reaction to the book which I will post here:

After finish reading Call Me By Your Name, I realized that it was a beautiful piece of text. Plot got iffy in the middle but the way it was written was beautiful.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experienced.

Loved the touch of melancholy and “the better to have loved and lost than never loved at all” thing was sweet. I still am tired of this type of narrative though…where all queer men just get unhappy endings but Aciman gets a pass because the story that he told was beautifully done.

At least no one died for the romance to end. It was just life.

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Film adaptation review: http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/call-me-by-your-name-review-1201966646/

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CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 4

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Fiona Tanzer and Shameez Patel Papathanasiou:

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The Smell of Roasting Meat

by Fiona Tanzer

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Fiona: I enjoyed having this story just flowing out and onto the page quickly and without a great deal of conscious thought. I suppose that this is because the story premise comes from my long-standing fascination with people’s beliefs (ever since I can remember!) and something that I have frequently ruminated over for many years.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Fiona: My inspiration was in one sense my abiding interest in how would a person’s beliefs appear in practice? – and in the more immediate sense, the title phrase just popped into my mind one day and sparked my thoughts on people’s beliefs – and I just sat down to write without any planning.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Fiona: I would like people to take away from my story the reality that whoever we are as people, we all share the same love of family and care for one another, however different our beliefs may appear on the surface. After all, we developed our beliefs and practices ultimately as a sign of our spiritual care for one another.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Fiona: The most challenging aspect in this case was the notion that I am writing about another cultural belief system and while I believe that I have done so respectfully, I hope it came across well. I also wanted to make the story general to Africa rather than particular to one specific locality in South Africa, and to give no indication of historical period so that the generality of the belief system comes through. I chose my characters’ names according to names that I happened to like – but unwittingly I chose names from different traditional groupings in Southern Africa. Ms Masobeng pointed this out to me (for which I am grateful) and I gave it some more thought but decided in the end to keep the different names in token of the intended generality of this belief system. So the name choice ended up adding to the story theme. Obviously, it would have been too much of a stretch to use East and West African names as well.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Fiona: I’ve chosen the story to be loosely set in Southern Africa because that is where I live and have grown up, but the basics of this old traditional spiritual belief system in Southern Africa is shared not only throughout much of the rest of Africa, but indeed throughout most of the rest of the world at one time and another – both today and throughout history. And that, I find fascinating.

 

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In.Hold.Out

by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Shameez: I love writing about smart, strong women

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Shameez: I have experienced the anxiety of having an intruder in my house and it was a different situation, but inspired it nonetheless

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Shameez: Someone, somewhere will read your story and enjoy it. If you don’t, that’s okay too

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Shameez: My story is anxiety-inducing and I am easily frightened, so basically, I frightened myself

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Shameez: Keep writing, regardless of recognition and money, as long as you enjoy your own work

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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The Lion’s Tunes #13

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Welcome to another edition of The Lion’s Tunes.

At the suggestion of a close friend, I decided to put my love of music to good use.

She pointed out to me that since I love music and listen to so much of it, I should share what songs I’m currently jamming to at the moment.

I usually tweet or Facebook about what music has got me all caught up and catching feelings, but putting it into one space really allows me to savour the music.

I’m by no means a music expert and I won’t pretend to be. Most of what will be written here is information I’ve learned on the net and just my personal opinions on the songs.

Since it has been a while since I have updated this will be quite long… There is a playlist for this edition that can be found of the end of this post.

· Song: Grigio Girls
Artist: Lady Gaga

This came off of Joanne, and I really really enjoyed it. It was from the deluxe addition, but it’s just such a great fun jam, while still being country.

Understandably there was a lot of Gaga fans who while enjoyed the country vibe of Joanne, they missed pop Gaga.
Much to the delight of Little Monsters, Lady Gaga delivered a new pop jam when she performed at Coachella Music Festival.
(Tidbit – While at the festival, she was filming with Bradley Cooper for their new movie “A Star Is Born”)

· Song: Rooting For You
Artist: London Grammar

There is something so beautiful and haunting about this song.

Lead singer Hannah Reid’s voice is so achingly beatiful with depth and emotion.

It was a great decision to leave the first verse half of the song as only her vocals.

· Song: 1000x
Artist: Jarryd James ft Broods

· Song: Stranglehold
Artist: Kevin Garret

There is something intriguing about the lyrics that this man writes.  He just taps into the deep emotion and I’m able to resonate with him.

Something I recently discovered was that he actually wrote Pray You Catch Me which is a great ballad on Beyonce’s Lemonade album

· Song: Issues
Artist: Julia Michaels

When I first heard this song, I became so enchanted with it, and it just stayed with me.

There was just something so truthful about the lyrics and vulnerable, which I completely find brave because writing something so revealing can be so daunting.

This was echoed when I heard her perform the song live, because this version of it, it is something that gave me goosebumps

· Song: So High
Artist: Doja Cat

It’s a vibe

· Song: Say Something Loving
Artist: The xx

· Song: Sleepover
Artist: Hayley Kiyoko

I am in love with this song and vibe. Especially after watching the video. This song made me want to be lesbian. Women are really beautiful creatures.

· Song: Phases
Artist: Howling

I discovered Howling when I came across him/she/them after watching a Taken movie. Yes, the ones with Liam Neeson. There is just soemthing so cool about the atmospheric music that they create.

· Song: Crowded Places
Artist: Banks

· Song: Stoned On You
Artist: Jaymes Young

I just really love the song and it’s so hypnotic. It really is.

I heard of Jaymes young before, but this was something different that really made me take note of him.

Also this other song of his is not too bad either.

· Song: Quit
Artist: Cashmere Cat ft Ariana Grande

What I love about this song is how Ariana Grande’s vocals sounds on this track. It also doesn’t hurt that Sia wrote the lyrics, and that if you listen closely enough you can also her here background vocals.

This is honestly such a smooth jam though

· Song: Lust For Life
Artist: Lana Del Rey ft The Weekend

This is the second time that the weekend has collaborated with Lana Del Rey, but the first time I have heard a song of theirs. This is so wonderful and their voices really complement each other so impressively.

· Song: Whatever It Takes
Artist: Imagine Dragons

This newly released song from Imagine Dragons is quite catchy actually. I thoroughly enjoy it. It is really quite a dope ass track. They’re a bad slowly settling into being under the radar, but that seems to be okay for them because they get to make the music they want and still have a loyal fan base.

If it means they keep putting out tracks like this then that is something that I’m okay with

· Song: There’s Nothing Holding Me Back
Artist: Shawn Mendes

I am so here for this new Mendes track. If this is what his next album is going to be like, then I am definitely excited. I really love this vibe.

· Song: Young and Menace
Artist: Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy is back with an new single, and it is quite the unexpected sound from the band.

It might not be for everyone, but there is definitely something here that has my attention, and is keeping it.

· Song: Reminding Me
Artist: Shawn Hook ft Vanessa Hudgens

I came across this because of Vanessa, it had been a while since she released music following her High School Musical Days and now to hear something new, it made me interested to hear what music she was lending her talented voice to.

Also the male artist she is singing with, has a nice voice that contrasts hers.

· Song: Amsterdam
Artist: Nothing But Thieves

· Song: Regret in your tears
Artist: Nicki Minaj

As much hate as Nicki Minaj gets, she is really talented.

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Playlist for all this edition of “The Lion’s Tunes”

CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 3

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Rets’epile Motiki and Caroline M Reid:

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HIDDEN FIGURES

By Rets’epile Motiki

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Rets’epile: Hmmm…the last part of my story makes me smile. Now finally everything falls into place in favour of Mary. She exposed to everyone and most importantly to her father, the kind of friend he has…despite the pain she was feeling, laying in hospital…she smiles, “…Daddy…Mummy!”
Her father was her favourate and so, even she speaks to them both, she always calls first her Dad.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Rets’epile: More often than not, most girls suffer silent abuse by people who are pretty close to them. And even when they speak out to make parents aware, they are not believed.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Rets’epile: People should basically beware of everything and everyone. No matter how close one is to them, they just need to take a special note that there is always that hidden musk-like figure behind each person and each and everything.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Rets’epile: The biggest challenges I met were the naming of the characters and expressing the depth of each character’s immense being as of how I wanted the message to cut across.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Rets’epile: Either way good or bad, people have hidden figures. Know that.

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DR WHYE & sSOPHEE

By Caroline M Reid

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Caroline: Writing can be solitary, and this collaborative project mixed it up a bit. There was a community created around this anthology; writing, reading, and editing. (And a busy WhatsApp group!)

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Caroline: I am surrounded by scientists who have an intense dedication to their art. 

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Caroline: I wanted to write about how research can be an isolating experience and take over your life.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Caroline: The leap from having your story as a private document on your computer, to putting it in the public sphere.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Caroline: Enjoy!

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 2

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Wesley Jade and Agnes Masobeng:

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Wesley wrote the first the story that first appears in the anthology:

FATAL PERFORMANCE

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Wesley: I enjoyed the process if diving into a world that’s different from our own.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Wesley: I was thinking about actors and how they would be perfect assassins because they could pretend to be anything they wanted. It was a really random thought. And then I was thinking about lost civilizations, the Akkadians, the Atlanteans and the Muin (Lemurians). Then I just combined the two thoughts, and Fatal Performance was born. This story is only the beginning of a bigger story I’m working on.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Wesley: I think that sometimes people do things that we think is wrong, but is actually done to protect others. I dunno, I think that people who end up in bad positions always start out with good intentions and a pure heart. It’s up to the good and honest people to help those who are on the beaten track, to help them find the right path again.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Wesley: Finishing it! Haha! I always start things easily and the flow well, but halfway through I peter out. So the challenge comes in finishing something.

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Uitlanders’ Sweet Bitter Revenge 

by Agnes Masobeng 

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Agnes: Describing my characters especially their physical appearance. Putting them out there, visualising and contemplating about them managed to put smile on my face. The other thing I really liked was the boldness of the students. It is not always the case to find young people standing up against the elders fighting for what they belief to be true.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Agnes: Camping at the strict church B&B in town one time for the Macufe WordFest brought the slighted inspiration of this story as I imagined how it’d be like for strangers to do the unspeakable in the unknown land. Clearly what they’ve been advised against when they left their country and when they were allowed accommodation at the B&B.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Agnes: Revenge. Most of the time the story of revenge never produces sweet fruits. It is true that most avengers have good clear intentions and motives about their vengeance but, as I know of, revenge often times never serves a good cause in the end.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Agnes: Changing non fiction to fiction. Every time I wrote a word it always forcefully wanted to reflect back to the actual events of the WordFest. Therefore creating the atmosphere, the plot where the story is at the moment was very challenging.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Agnes: In the end, I guess we all have to stand up for what we belief in sometimes. No matter how dangerous as long as we are opinionated, raising our voice to be heard and doing away with exploitation, oppression, corruption and et cetera. We’ll be good to go.

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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CEA Writers without Boundaries –

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

First up is the man who came up with the concept, and pulled a variety of different writers together – Shaun M Jooste who also wrote, Maze for the Dying.

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Q: What made you want to do an Anthology?

Shaun: I’ve always wanted to write with other writers. Being a publisher now, I have the opportunity to gain exposure for other writers.

Q: How exciting/strenuous was the process of wrangling writers, who are notoriously slow movers, to get involved?

Shaun: It was more exciting than strenuous. Im pretty easy when it comes to deadlines and I found that when you all share a passion for writing it is easy to work together.

Q: What was the process like of putting together?

Shaun: Since I have my own templates that I have set up for ebook and paperback, pretty easy. It is just a case of copy and paste into my formats, and then setting up the distribution agreements. If I have structure in my workflow, it becomes a piece of cake. The only issue is finding the time, which becomes tough with a family of two kids and a day job.

Question: Turning attention to your story, “Maze for the Dying”, what did you enjoy about writing it?

Shaun: Developing the suspense and thrill at each turn.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Shaun: The original Resident Evil game and movie.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Shaun: That nothing is ever as it seems.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Shaun: Developing a thrilling story with suspense that makes sense and drives fear.

Q: Lastly, how proud are you of the finished product?

Shaun: Absolutely on top of the world. I think all writers pulled their weight and above on this one and we all have a reason to be proud.

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

 

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My Men’s Health Makeover…

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Back in January, I met met with a former colleague of mine for drinks, and we were chatting. The conversation naturally drifted towards how there was this one person in her office who she thought was someone I would like – because we pretty much had similar interests according to our social media habits.

She then shared a comedic story about how he got roped into their monthly makeover feature within her work’s publication – Men’s Health.

She said he had been reluctant but once he got involved, and once the process was complete the pictures from the makeover were everywhere over his social media.

Also, they were actually looking for more people to get involved.

I had said sure I was keen, because I had never done something like that, and besides it would be fun to get involved. I had always done things a particular way, and the makeover would afford me the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and let the chips fall where they may.

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The friend in question, who got me involved.

I’m not going to lie, the idea of handing over control over what people do with my hair and beard was a little frightening, but it was all part of my plan to try new things.

My friend had told me though that should I get involved, I wasn’t allowed to cut my hair and just had to let everything grow.

My goodness, my hair was already long but it grew into a min-fro and my beard grew scratchy.

It was soo difficult, and I looked haggard you guys.  It was so rough.

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We had email communications back and forth, but I had really thought that they had forgotten about me, because it gotten to the point where I was about to lose my mind and just cut everything off.

Come to the end of March, after weeks of emailing, they got in touch and set a tentative date for my makeover.

I suddenly got very nervous.

They asked me if I was okay to let them do whatever with my beard and hair, and I was just like – ooookay, sure.

Then I got an email asking me to visit their offices because they wanted me to come in, and see what look they wanted to style me in.

I went to their offices, and the Fashion Editor guy was really interested in making sure that they found the right look for me. I was all like: “Sure dude, whatever you want,” but for him he found it very important that they dress me up in a way that suited what I did, and also find me something that I would wear.

I must say I appreciated that, and I have a lot of respect for what he does, because you can’t help appreciate when people take what they do seriously.

So…I was at their offices, looking so rough while they tried to find me a look.

I must say, I could see that they were a little worried about what they got themselves into because I had just looked so rough.

After the fitting, they told me that my makeover would happen the following week and that I was to meet them at a local hair salon in the vicinity.

I had pretty much then just put the whole thing out of my mind until the day of.

I explained to my bosses that I had a prior engagement that I had to go to, and they were gracious enough to allow me the freedom to go.

Granted, it was something that had been coming since January, but still they could have said no, and then my makeover would have come to an abrupt end (so if any of you are reading this, Thank You).

I got really anxious in the car ride to the hair salon, and also I was running a little late, but I ended up at the place, met the Men’s Health Fashion Editor, and so began the process.

The look on the barber’s face at the hair salon when we met was something that I also found comedic, because he just realized, like “Oh, this is the guy I gotta work on”.

The Fashion Editor, then showed him a pic of what he wanted my hair to look like and then we got underway.

The looks on their faces as a attractive man started emerging out from the hair was a delight for me.

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I’m a naturally awkward individual so the process was a exciting experience, but beside that, I’m also a naturally shy person, so my first inclination is usually to just stay reserved and suss things out.

The look of surprise on the faces of those as my final look started emerging was such a delight. When all was said and done, I barely recognized myself which was a trippy experience.

I was looking in the mirror but it took me a while to connect that I was staring at myself.

It was so different walking out of the hair salon, because I felt self-conscious, and I noticed that people were looking at me. I usually don’t toot my own horn, but they were looking at me because I looked hot.

We headed over to a really nice restaurant close to my work where the second part of my makeover would take place… the photoshoot.

We got there, and a lovely British make-up artist chatted to me while applying foundation and getting me prepped before I changed into the look that I was being styled for.

It felt wonderful just getting to do something fun and model in front on the camera. I love to do it if I’m being honest, because I’ve done it once or twice for a friend, and you just get move around and be the centre of attention for a little bit.

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My previous photoshoot attempt.

I don’t always like being the centre of attention, but it’s not a bad thing to experience every once in a while.

When all was said and done, I quickly got changed back into my normal clothes, said farewell and had to pop into my office.

I had never seen so many gobsmacked looks than the moment I walked into the building after my makeover. The loud gasps and cheers, made me blush, but it was also very nice to elicit such a responce from the people around me.

I remember one of the comments that made me laugh was from a gay colleague who say sits opposite me, and he said “My god, you look fuckable.”

Everyone seemed to agree (to varying degrees) and mostly just said that I kind had no option but to keep the look, and honestly I will. Not because of their responces, but mostly because of how the look made me feel about myself.

It made me look at myself differently, and if you know me, you should know that I enjoy being able to look at myself and analyse my behaviour from a different perspective, because I believe you can never do too much introspection and self-reflection.

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So thank you Men’s Health, the makeover was a job well done and a surrounding success…now, I just gotta make sure I stick to the tips and tricks that I learned.

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Theo. Over and Out.