REVIEW: Pulling the trigger by Adam Shaw and Lauren Callaghan

REVIEW: Pulling the trigger by Adam Shaw and Lauren Callaghan

Pulling the trigger: The Definitive Survival and Recovery Approach for OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression Adam Shaw spent his life running away from the terrifying thoughts which tormented him. This lifelong struggle with mental illness ultimately lead him to a railway bridge and the brink of suicide, and it was at that point that he met psychologist Lauren Callaghan and was finally able to get the help he needed. They share this practical approach in their new book, Pulling The Trigger: The Definitive Survival and Recovery Approach for OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression. The book, divided into two helpful parts, provides both first-hand evidence for sufferers that recovery is possible, and a user-friendly blueprint for mental health support and recovery. For my review of this book, I enlisted the help of Huw Davies, football journalist and OCD sufferer. Davies has written about his own experiences with OCD for publications such as The Guardian and ShortList. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder,...
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REVIEW: The Other Side of Silence – Linda Gask

REVIEW: The Other Side of Silence – Linda Gask

As a psychiatrist, I walk a fine line of understanding. While I can try to empathise with the people I see in my clinics and on my ward, I cannot truly know their experiences. Sometimes that helps to give me the distance of objectivity, and sometimes it leaves me lacking. Linda Gask has a markedly different perspective. She is a psychiatrist and academic who has experienced mental health problems from both sides - that of a clinician and that of a patient. In her book The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist's Memoir of Depression, Linda draws on both her professional knowledge and personal experience to take the reader on a "guided tour" of depression - using her own life and anecdotes about patients to illustrate the complexity of this illness and its manifestations. What I love about The Other Side of Silence is that it sets aside the traditional, medical model of psychiatry and instead embraces a whole-person, holistic approach to the...
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NaNoWriMo and Beyond

Yesterday, I woke up with 6,500 words left on my NaNoWriMo target. Somehow, I stumbled across the finish line, completing 50,000 words of my latest November novel. Congratulations to all my fellow wrimos and thank you to everyone who cheered me along the way. Suffice to say, I don't have a lot of energy left for updating my blog after running that marathon. Thankfully, I sorta planned ahead and wrote some other things that were kindly hosted and highlighted by my fellows in the writing community. Over at Bang2Write, I wrote about 5 Ways to Keep Writing After NaNoWriMo, because real authors don't get to retire in December. Writing is not always writing. Sometimes, writing is thinking about writing, preparing for writing, or deleting writing. Confused yet? Writing a novel is a process far beyond just putting words on a page. It is certainly more than typing each individual letter. Hopefully, before NaNoWriMo, you put together at least a rudimentary plot and some characters...
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BOOK REVIEW: Rule Zero by Laurence Timms

As I'm currently wending my way down the road of traditional publishing, my appetite for books of all stripes grows voraciously. So when Laurence Timms told me about his new book RULE ZERO - a "darkly comic fantasy thriller" - it sounded right up my alley! It follows Harry Bacon, a shady man from the depths of the Ministry of Defence, previously leading a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and now largely mothballed. But when experiments from his past start exploding all over the place, and his friends use their dying words to warn him, he is dragged back to adventure, recruiting unlikely allies to stop a mission of revenge. The style reminds me greatly of Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair, etc.) and it has the same irreverent approach to the status quo, though it is nominally a universe similar to ours. The novel uses gateway characters to good effect, using folk with no idea of this topsy-turvy underworld or those with only...
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2011 Top Eleven

Here are my eleven favouritest things from this year. They all come with my highest recommendation. X-Men [Colon] First Class Out of all the comic book movies released this year, this was undoubtedly my favourite and a good film in its own right. It takes two big characters with decades of history and brings them back to their potential. It shows a complicated relationship develop into the closest of friendships - and then shatters it. The supporting cast enliven the film and the action plot ain't too shabby. Come for the fights, stay for the characters. Tangled After Disney's recent output, I was nervous about a new film. But the trailer sold me instantly and the feature didn't disappoint. The first song threw me completely, as I'm now accustomed to Pixar's style, but the dynamics between Rapunzel and Flynn (who I want to call Gwaine) sold it. Easily Disney's best film for ten years. Easy A I missed this at the cinema, so rented it on...
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Lord of the Rings: to extend or not to extend?

Yesterday, for the second time in my life, I experienced an Extended Lord of the Rings marathon. My long-suffering partner had yet to see Lord of the Rings and was thrown in at the deep end. He survived - didn't even turn into an Elf (more's the pity?). But is sitting through over eleven hours of film really worth it? Couldn't one just watch the theatrical edition? Surely the extended versions are just for nerds and die-hard film fans? Consider: 1) Boromir One of the most important reasons to Watch Extended for me is Boromir's characterisation. In Theatrical, he is a weak man, tempted by the ring to bring power and glory to Gondor. He comes across as treacherous and, while struggling with himself, he ultimately comes out on top - but is it too little too late to redeem the man? In Extended, we see a lot more of the Gondor he's left behind. He has more conversation with Aragorn and shows more concern...
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Top 5 Fictional Swords

Seeing as some search engines seem to send seekers of swords to my site, I thought I would oblige for my hundredth post: Sword #5: Watson's Sword Cane Let's open with a Holmesian example and how a sword may epitomise a man's character: Dr John Watson carries a deadly weapon concealed within an innocuous gentleman's cane. And I bet he can kick serious ass with the thing. I gleefully await the moment in SH2 when he takes out half a room with it. Without even breaking a sweat. Before afternoon tea with Mary. Sword #4: The Vorpal Sword One, two! One, two! And through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back. How can you not love the vorpal blade that destryoyzled the Jabberwocky? It would have me calloohing and callaying for joy too. So, what do we know about it? Not an awful lot - apart from that it's pretty vorpal and belongs to the Beamish Boy....
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Be My Valentine, Persona

So, for those living in a cave, Persona launched yesterday! A two-minute soap opera? Downloaded daily to your phone of choice? For an incredible £1.50 A YEAR - and only £1.19 on the iPhone? Dude, why are you not watching this? The Story Boss is Phill Barron and I know Season 2 features the work of Laurence Timms. Which means this thing is hot on screenwriting talent. Also, I know how one of the Season 1 storylines plays out - and really, it's gonna be good. Tell your friends. As an aside, having tried both, I prefer the iPhone app, but it doesn't matter as long as you get your daily Persona fix. And why am I so excited about this? One - I think it's an awesome, crazy idea. And two - I might get to write some it. How does one get Persona? - Text PERSONA to 87474 - Download 'Persona Drama' from the App Store Simples!...
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Houdini-Holmes Psychic Mystery

Over on GITS, Scott flagged up the spec sale of Voices from the Dead: The thriller delves into the real-life relationship between magician Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle. Oh, come to Mama. As you may have guessed from my Steampunks Assassins project and my ravings about the Sherlock Holmes movie and BBC Sherlock, this pushes a lot of my buttons. But it gets better: Straczynski's script creates a fictional account of the two teaming up with a psychic to solve a set of murders in 1920's New York. A murder mystery! With a psychic! I absolutely adore police procedurals - mostly because I wouldn't have the first clue how to write them, due to the fact I'm completely unsuspecting of everyone. My favourite TV show is ABC's Castle about an NYPD detective and crime novelist who solve murders. Therefore, this is a dream come true for me. I hope against hope that this film gets made - because I want to see...
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Sherlock: A Study in Pilots

Today, I watched the original Sherlock pilot. It comes on the DVDs as an extra, the 60-minute version of A Study in Pink. *WARNING - EXTENSIVE DISCUSSION OF EPISODE CONTENT. WATCH FIRST.* My friends told me that it was pretty much the same as the aired pilot, with similar scenes and dialogue, and barely worth watching. When I saw Steven Moffat speak about Sherlock, he said that the unaired pilot suffers badly in comparison to the remake - but that, at the time, execs and distributors were wild about it and couldn't understand why the creative team wanted to remake it. My friends are right: the dialogue is exactly the same in places and the set pieces - the meeting at Barts, the pink murder scene, the "date" at the restaurant - are pretty much transferable between the two. And, then again, they're not. The entire look and feel of the two pilots is completely different, something that I believe I must attribute...
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