Fresh Start

Hey guys,

I Just finished my exams after my first year of uni, I’m home now and want to dedicate more time to the blog.

I’m also undertaking a diploma in freelance journalism this summer with the British College of Journalism, which should really help out my writing style and commitment to posting regularly and to start writing the stuff I intended to.

To mark this change, I’ve moved all of the posts from here to my blog ‘Pieces Of Interest’, where all subsequent posts will be made.

If you could please take the time to follow the new blog I would be so very grateful ❤

More stuff coming soon over at: http://craigdingwall.wordpress.com/   (Pieces Of Interest)

thanks for the support,

Love Alex Craig x

 

The Fault In Our Stars ~ John Green

I promise this blog isn’t going to become a collection of my reviews and discussions of John Green’s work, he just happens to be very good and very much what is happening in my life right now.

I won’t discuss the plot in depth or reveal any spoilers, if you have already read the book then you’ll understand all of what I write here; if not the perhaps I will be able to entice you into venturing into ‘The Fault In Our Stars’; you’ll find your mind opened, sympathies and understandings widened and above all, you will fall in love with a story, characters so perfectly written that they couldn’t possibly be real and yet to imagine them as works of fiction, created by John’s mind is impossible, they live on, beyond the confines of those pages, in our hearts .

The situation our characters find themselves living with day to day is one that is not discussed enough; yet how can it be, for most mere mortals to even begin to understand the reality of cancer, especially in one’s teenage years is too much to ask, myself included. Green writes, almost poetically, unveiling the day to day life, the consistencies and inconsistencies of living with cancer; yet not letting it kill you before you actually reach the end. The struggle is by no means made to appear easy, it hurts, the characters and the readers. I think at this stage I will quote my Tumblr post on this book:

“I’m not sure I’ve ever just wanted to put down a book, forget about it and live on in perfect, blissful ignorance as I did about two thirds of the way through ‘A Fault in Our Stars’.

John Green, it was perfect, it was painful, it was raw, it was beautiful, it sucked ass and I loved having the privilege to read it.

I don’t know if I have a favourite book, books do different things in different way; but I know this book will stay with me for a very long time ❤

For however long my infinity lasts”

 

It isn’t poetic, or well written, but this is how I felt reading the final section of this book; this is the best way I can think to convey the readers involvement, and their pain and their love of this story. Actually I don’t think it matters how much more I write about this book, I could write you a 10,000 word essay, but the raw honesty of my emotional state at the end of this book writes a better review, and sells it to you better than any sales pitch I can come up with.

Hopefully fellow readers will understand the very special place this book leaves you in, and maybe, just maybe, one person might decide to head to their local book store (or Amazon I guess) and give it a shot. I hope you do, and I wish you the best of luck in your venture, may you treasure each page as I do; or conceivably, you may find this book entirely devoid of beauty, such is the magic of the written word.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, your support and feedback means the world to me, love you guys

Craig x

Me, for anyone who wants to know more about the source of my nonsense

This is meant to be a brief summary of me, my likes, influences, what I do, what I care about, what I write about; that sort of thing for anyone who likes what they read and want to know more about me. Just one Problem, I was never very good at brief, so good luck to you.

I’m a first year history student at Newcastle University, with plans to undertake the LPC to convert to Law after my time here, maybe. I like most people my age (a humble 18) don’t really know where I’m going in life just yet; perhaps I’ll be a top city lawyer, or a famous journalist or budding young musician; realistically I’ll probably end up stuck in an office doing something I don’t care all that much about, but that’s OK because I’m not there yet, for now at least I can still live my life.

There are a few things in life a value very highly, music is one of them. I have a wide and varied taste, to pigeon hole myself I would chose Alt-Rock, Punk-Rock vibes by artists like Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic and You Me At Six. But that wouldn’t represent me at all, I’m currently listening to The Strokes, I’m just as often found with Led Zeppelin, Nirvana,and The Jam on the speakers; or the more relaxed tones of James Taylor, Clapton and Ben Howard; and who doesn’t appreciate some Bach or Mozart or Otis Redding  from time to time. The only thing you’ll find missing from my iTunes collection is the current ‘popular’ music, not because I claim to be a hipster or have a profound musical taste that sets me above the common urges; but because the songs most frequenting MTV and the radio just don’t connect with me right now; I’m about music that pushes boundaries, through complexities or emotion, not just seeing how many profanities can be squeezed in to 210 seconds over a repetitive beat. I anticipate pop culture based rants will soon enough feature on my blog, I am quite looking forwards to that.

I love playing too, mainly acoustic guitar, taking influence from the likes of James Taylor, Bon Iver and Ben Howard, I adore the more adventurous Open C tuning and the intricate melodies and chord plays it makes possible. Songs with meaning and a real sense of personality are hard to come by, so when you set your mind to learning to play a Ben Howard song, you find yourself immersed in the feelings and emotion of their creator, it’s an invaluable connection to a young musician.

As far as film is concerned, I’m far more central, but still most appreciation is directed towards older classics, but perhaps that is unfair, as I don’t rave about every 1999 film just because Fight Club was one of the greatest films ever to be produced. There are still gems being produced today, I recently watched The Wolf Of Wall Street, I loved the boundary pushing Scorsese built in to the film, I think we’re approaching a very interesting time in cinema where what is considered acceptable material is being redefined, which can only producer bigger, bolder films; some of the future greats will be born because of this revision. I find myself in a relationship with an avid film watcher, a lover of independent labels and Clint Eastwood, so I’m constantly left feeling uncultured and in pursuit of something special, this drive leads to amazing discoveries and demonstrations of creative genius; the world of film is still very much alive. 

A little appreciation is owed now to the world of animation, where the money grabbing, big production damage can be seen in cinema. The beautiful simplicity of The Fox and The Hound, Bambi, Treasure Planet and Fantasia doesn’t exist in new releases as hand drawn 2D animation is moved to faster to produce CG models and computerised rigs, changing animation from The Lion King to Wreck-It Ralph. I certainly prefer the beauty of 2D work, like the hugely successful The Snowman and The Snowdog, the love is still there, just not the studios willing to fund less profitable ventures.

As far as politics may be concerned I come from a lower working class background and listen to an awful lot of Punk, so there isn’t much love towards the Conservatives, but I don’t find myself particularly attracted to the Liberals following this shocking display of the art of bending over; so I’m still open to someone speaking sense in the political world, it’s going to be a long and fruitless wait I feel.

I’m running out of steam and you, kind reader, of interest so I feel it is probably time to part ways soon, just one final comment on literature is needed. I love fantasy adventures Tolkein, George RR Martin, Paolini;  also the classics of Dickens, Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde. The ability to lose oneself in another, more profound existence is ever tantalising. I’m currently exploring John Green’s works portraying the angst, fears and similarities of a teenage mind perfectly, whilst broaching major philosophical concepts and hard to discuss topics, without losing the essence of the story; an excellent ability you’ll have noticed I’m lacking in.

Well that’s me, much of my writing will revolve around topics mentioned here, along with current affairs of interest and perhaps the occasional promotion of a historical event, I do find such topics fascinating, although I appreciate my minority there. Thank you for taking the time to read this, the support, comments and feedback of readers is what gives all writers purpose, even if it is just a student playing with their blog, you’re supporting my escape from the monotony of just living, and as a reward I will share my experiences of living life to the best of my abilities; if they occasionally inspire some thought or even interest in what I am saying then I feel I’m succeeding in this venture. See you soon, Craig.

ImageCredit Dactik – DevientART for her character design of me.

“Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the only way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in the back corner of the endless maze to pretend that I was not lost, but home.” ~ Looking For Alaska, John Green

There are more poignant, harder hitting and more emotive quotations in this book, but appearing as you reach the last few pages, when you’re clinging to the last few words of wisdom John Green has to convey, this is a very striking passage. The meaning and way out of Simon Bolivar’s labyrinth is a constant discussion throughout and leads to more than a little soul searching; to me, the way out of the labyrinth is to embrace it, accept it and live your life anyway. You’re probably not going to be remembered for hundreds of years, so make sure while you’re here you dedicate you efforts to enjoying life and your energies to showing another that they are the most special person in the world; because that means something and isn’t that the most incredible thing, to be able to touch someone else’s life and to improve it?