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Zombie Gnomes. Lil' buggers need a good kick!

The last blog post, however real, was a bit grim so here are some little zombie gnomes for you to oggle--Mind your ankles in long grass!

And my favorite...

The Real ZOmbies

I looked out over Miami Beach earlier today to see traffic backed up across the causeway -- there had to be something more than just the weight of Memorial Day, surely?

This headline from The Miami Herald left me gobsmacked!

Real Zombies--If this doesn't shock you enough than perhaps my book might:

Naked man killed by Police near MacArthur Causeway was

‘eating’ face off victim


One man was shot to death by Miami police, and another man is fighting for his life after he was attacked and his face allegedly half eaten, by a naked man on the MacArthur Causeway off ramp, police said.
The bloodshed began about 2 p.m. when a series of gunshots were heard on the ramp, which is along NE 13th Street, just south of The Miami Herald building. Witnesses said a woman saw the two men fighting and flagged down a police officer who was in the area.
The officer, who has not been identified, approached and saw that the naked man was actually chewing the other man’s head, according to witnesses. The officer ordered the naked man to back away, and when he continued the assault, the officer shot him. The attacker continued to eat the man, despite being shot, forcing the officer to continue firing. Witnesses said they heard at least a half dozen shots.
Miami police were on the scene, which was just south of The Miami Herald building on Biscayne Boulevard. The naked man who was killed lay face down on the pedestrian walkway just below the newspaper’s two-story parking garage. Police requested The Herald’s video surveillance tapes.
The other man was transported to the hospital with critical injuries, according to police. Their identities were not released.

Read more here:

The Art of Goal Setting

I read an article about how Jerry Seinfeld kept his goals of becoming a better writer using a clever calendar method. (see link below)

Now there's a great little site that's taken this idea and made an easy interface to help you keep your goals. Here a screen capture of mine. (a work in progress) The secret, in a nutshell, is to not break the momentum and every day you do you something you get to add another yellow dot.

There are different thoughts about whether to share a goal or not.
Derek Sivers suggests to keep your mouth shut. Jason Fox has other ideas. Both videos are worth watching. (links below)

I believe in a mix; sharing some goals is a good idea. It makes you somewhat accountable to another person. Yet keeping quiet about other goals holds the energy in.

Your choice, as long as it's working.
By the way -- The goal of holding my breath for two minutes is something Archy tries to do in The 58th Keeper  Most people can barely hold their breath for one minute, but with daily practice two minutes is easily accomplishable. The whole idea for this goal was borne from a conversation with a friend here in Miami who free-dives and can hold his breath for an astonishing four minutes. That's incredible seeing as he smokes too! When I asked him how he does it he said it's easy; just add on a few seconds more than the previous attempt and do it as many times as you can throughout the day. Going to the toilet? 2 minutes! Boiling the kettle 2 minutes! I'll share this one--right now I can do a pathetic 55 seconds...just! But it's not how you start, right? It's how you finish. Ask me in year...

The only other things I would add, whether you keep goals to yourself or share them,  is that you can start today. New Year's Day or May 19th  take ACTION and make measurable progress.

Jerry Seinfeld
Derek Sivers
Jason Fox

What are your thoughts on goal setting?


November 20th 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - East Coast Tour Bus

Here is the tour bus for Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It was parked up while Jeff Kinney and Miami Book Fair was being rained on. The driver told me that this bus tours just the east coast.

There's a pretty amazing back story behind Jeff Kinney and his very funny books. I remember him saying that when he did book tours in the beginning only a few kids turned up and it was all very...wimpy. But now it's a $1/2 Billion dollar business.

More reading here:

Top 10 Places To Visit in London

1. Houses of Parliament

The houses of parliament is an impressive building indeed! You can get a better sense of it from chapters in The 58th Keeper It is also referred to as the Palace of Westminster because that’s what it was...a Palace. The first royal Palace was built on the site in the eleventh century, After a fire or two over the years Parliament buildings were built.You can’t miss it when you visit London unless you’re absconded by people with thick accents, blindfolded and shoved into a black cab during a blackout.

2. Big Ben

If you ask any Londoner, “Where’s the clock tower, please?” you will get frowned upon, spat at and then thrown from the top deck of a double Decker! You may never make that mistake again and will always call it, Big Ben.
You can visit the insides of it too. See where Peter Pan hangs out. And if there are security guards about stop them and say: “Excuse me. do you have the...time?” ---

2. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official residence (when she’s not staying at no. 312 C Henchman St. London W14). King George bought the place off John Sheffield. As it stands today it’s only 77,000 square meters. So, hardly enough room to swing a small nation. However, the Queen suffers it stoically and tends to the gardens while overseeing a vast herd of corgis. There is rumour that you can visit the Palace and actually meet and talk to the Queen for just $99.99 during August but that could be false... Failing that, in the summer you can tour the nineteen state rooms with the other riffraff, er... people.

3. London Tower

Get it wrong and this is where you would have ended up. Not for stealing a loaf of bread perhaps, but certainly for treason. If you visit the Tower you’ll find it distinctly creepy. Black ravens hop about looking to peck your eyes out if you attempt to take pictures, Yeoman warders (knows as Beefeaters) will prod you with spikes for loitering, and if you should enter without paying you will be executed and have your head stuck on traitor’s gate--deservedly.

4. London eye

Built as a amusement park by King Henry the VII in 1526 the London eye was original made of fine British oak. This is definitely worth a visit - and what better way to get an bird’s eye view of the great city.

5. Eat at a Fish n' chip shop

If you’re really hungry...well, let’s say you haven’t eaten in three days, and you’re actually are starving, then you’ll love Fish n’ Chips. Try and eat them olde school, wrapped in newspaper and dripping with enough salt and vinegar to melt ink and granite counter tops. Mmmmmmm....

6. Hyde Park

Every great city needs great parks. London has several, the largest of which is Hyde Park. Formerly private hunting grounds it’s a superb place to relax from touristy things, rent a boat and splash about or even ride a horse. Situated right in the centre of London you’re never far from it. Jump in any cab to escape there...(if the sun’s out)

7. Covent Garden

Don’t let the word ‘garden’ fool you as there aren’t many shrubberies around in Covent Garden. Some foolish people call it ‘convenient garden’ as it’s a nice spot to meet up. Always bustling with wonderful places to eat. It’s central and if you just want to plonk yourself down and watch the world then this is the place. Try The Punch and Judy pub for a refreshing, warm pint of beer.

8. Stonehenge

It is little known fact that Stone Henge was built sometime before April 22nd 1995 …(give or take several thousand years), and well before anyone could find out facts about stuff on the Internet. It’s quite a way outside of London. But if you need to get out of the great city then jump on a coach or rent a car and drive there. And If you can work out where on earth the stones come from then please feel free to email me. I will laugh at your ideas.

9. Shakespeare’s Crib

OK, not exactly close to London, but this is where genius is born! Not just a prolific playwright but a tremendous businessman. Removed from school ate age 13 young William went on to right stuff...
Visit Stratford upon Avon and Warwick castle (day trip from London) to get your muse engaged.

10. The Natural history museum

The Natural history Museum is jaw-dropping mainly because the entry fee is 100% of nought.
What a place to see dinosaurs and everything in between. Not just for kids, adults will love it too.

That's it!. 
Most of these places are covered in The 58th Keeper where you will be taken deep inside these landmarks and get to know strange secrets...

My Book Tour Starts December 5th

Hello book blogger/reviewers for MG/YA crossover: The 58th Keeper
My book tour will start December 5th 2011

I will hold interviews, give away things and make myself known.
I will be signing all Kindles with...a Stanley knife.

Interested to review -click here.

Keeping a Journal--do you?

In my short story series The Caldecott Chronicles (out November) I write about an Earl who keeps a journal detailing the invasion of his property by the undead in the summer of 1896.

His journal is written on-the-go and contains graphic sketches often splattered with..slime, guts, cordite... ink. Here's one below--there are twelve in total.
Dr. Fotheringham needs another brain...

Apart from his precious Purdey shotgun the journal is the one thing he treasures. 


Over the last few years I have (really) tried to keep a journal of events and my writing. I think I imagined I would sit down one day when I'm old to re-read them... after which I would die with a sickly grin on my face.

Like all journal keeping for me though whether written on on-line on paper (!) my efforts are sporadic.
I am the same with photography. Sometimes I'll take lots of photos and lots of notes and then months will slip past with nothing--I just forget. 

This article from the NY Times shows how a reporter found a journal written by a girl in 1934 and then tracked her down in Florida aged 96. 

Why do you keep a journal? 
 Is it digital or paper?
Do you mind when others read it? (because they will!)