Wednesday, 21 September 2016

1991 in Music: Part 1. Journey

No, not "Journey". You can stop believing if you so wish.

THE Journey... How I got there.

Where? Well, in this case, 1991. But we start a bit earlier, 1980 in fact...



Assuming their family had a half decent record collection or radio around the house, it's fair to say that a young person's musical discovery starts pretty much as soon as they are able to dance to their favourite tunes.

My earliest memory of having a favourite song was at the age of four when my *Mam walked into the room to discover I had found out how to work the record player and had put on one of her Beatles records. Specifically she walked in to find me dancing to Yellow Submarine. I actively remember that incident and the thrill of putting the the needle down (probably not as gently as i should) on the vinyl.

My Mam being a young lady of the 60s and 70s, there was ample good music for me to discover when rummaging through her vinyl collection when she wasn't around. At the poppier edge of things without been full-on "Hit Parade" and with a penchant for country music, some of her favourites included Neil Diamond, John Denver, Don Williams and Smokie, all of which have ended up being favourites of mine. I even used to play a cover of Don Williams' "She's In Love With A Rodeo Man".



If anything, my Uncle William's record collection was an even bigger treasure trove. A bit like that scene in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" when the young lead (also called William) looks under his bed to see the bag of records his sister has left him and starts flicking through them reverentially.



I remember various Bowie records and possibly Tommy by The Who, but I always seemed to end up lingering over the ornate double gatefold 12" of Elton John's Captain Fantastic, which seemed so thrillingly weird at the time.


In-between those two record collections was a small c60 cassette given to me when I was about 8 years old by a friend of the family who had grown up in the 1950s. This one small mix-tape became my musical life for a short but meaningful period. Away from the collections of my Mam and Uncle and the weekly screaming along to Top of the Pops with my sister as we bellowed Yay! or Boo! accordingly as the top ten was read out with accompanying thumbs up or thumbs down, the cassette along with my new and prized walkman felt thrillingly grown up to me and very much "my own" as no one else I knew was listening to this type of music.

The cassette was, of course, full of late 50s and early 60s Rock and Roll. There was no Elvis, Buddy Holly or Bill Haley on there, but it was rammed full of classic tracks Eddie Cochran, Bobby Darin and Jerry Lee Lewis amongst others.

The playlist below is pretty close to that cassette. Though I've probably forgotten to add a few tracks.



Being 3 years older my sister was an enormous influence on my musical tastes too and we grew up through the early 80s both enjoying the new music we discovered. She would occasionally hand me mix-tapes of stuff she found out about whilst the walls of her room were covered in various A-ha and U2 posters with lyrics cut from Smash Hits blu-tacked here and there.

But by the late 80s I noticed a shift in tone. A-ha posters were replaced by a band called The Cure, all large hair and black makeup, while song lyrics may still have been cut from Smash Hits but the songs were called things like Girlfriend in a Coma. Something odd was going here and it was interesting. While I was dabbling with things like Del Amitri and Hothouse Flowers my sister had gone and wandered down a path called Goth.

Though I never followed her all the way down that path beyond the odd Sisters of Mercy or Cult single, it certainly meant we had a new musical landscapes to wander through in our house. But while my Sister meandered off into a Siouxsie and the Banshees shaped future, her last musical gift to me being a Wonder Stuff album (1989's HUP), I was stopped from following her after being hit square in the face by two new music scenes. One from the UK and the other the US.

Next 1991: UK

*Mam: Noun, Informal; "One's Mother"
  • Derived from Gaelic and used in some British dialects, especially in the North East of England.
  •  Akin to Mom, Mum, Mama
  • "Mam! I'm hungry!"

Monday, 12 September 2016

Did we need to know that?: Origin Movies and Too Much Info



TheAliMonster and I recently finished the full MCU marathon (the self-styled Marvel Cinematic Universe with added Amazing Spiderman 1 + 2 slotted in) before we sat down to watch the recently released Cap America Civil War. And... OK, we love them. Highly enjoyable from the highs of Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy to the oft mentioned low of Thor 2 (still don't get the hate for that film. Deriding one of these films for having a ridiculous plot is a bit like kicking a kitten for being cute).

Thing is... when you watch them back to back,  and I admit we did it over a week as we're not as young as we once were, you do notice that as good as they are the story telling leaves very little room for mystery in terms of character. It seems we're no longer allowed to meet a fully formed character and enjoy their adventures without being told the minutiae of their life to that point. We certainly aren't allowed to use our imagination to fill in the blanks about their past.

I get that Superhero"Origin' films are seen as hugely important when setting up a potential franchise with ongoing films (and merchandising opportunities) and though they vary in quality, on the whole they do it well. The problem, is that the guys in charge don't seem to want to stop there.

Guardians was a good origin film taking the separate members of the team through a great story until they became, at the climax the the film, the titular heroes. And although their past was mentioned throughout, enough for us to fully understand their motivations and personality traits, at no point were we shown a 5 minute flash back of how Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot became the characters who we met at the beginning of the film. Extremely good writing got us past the need for that so we could move onto something much more exciting. Take note Suicide Squad... THAT'S how you do an ensemble piece!

OK, the beginning of Guardians was an entire flashback of how Peter was taken from Earth as a small child, but as his parentage is a big part of future plots we can probably let that go. Plus, without that scene the Awesome Mix Tape Vol.1 soundtrack would have no reason to be in the film so it's worth it for that alone.

On the other hand X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a pretty poor origin film, ironic given the title. And the problem isn't just that the film wasn't as good as it should have been (and it's OK, just not great) the problem is that over the course of X-Men and X2 we were shown a fair bit of Wolverine's origins, so did we really need a third film to tell us even more? X2 was practically built around his back story yet we were still left with room for mystery and mystery often makes great characters. Let's face it, knowing that underneath Darth Vader's mask is the miserable face of pent-up pubescent rage has rather taken some of the menace from the character when re-watching parts IV to VI. But we know very little about the origins of Boba Fett and Han Solo and yet they remain enigmatic and engaging characters to this day... until the origin films come out that is... sigh.

The most menacing pubescent in the galaxy
Hollywood seems utterly entranced by the idea of showing us the history of characters that we, the viewers, are desperate to see the future of. Ironman was a great origin film in that we met Tony Stark at the height of his pre-suit powers, were shown the incident that changed him and moved straight on to his new heroic destiny. But in subsequent Ironman, Avengers and Captain America films we've seen Tony as a small child, CGI'd teenager, young man taking over his Dad's company and arrogant party boy. Some of these events may have been relevant to the plot, some certainly weren't, most could have been resolved with more focused writing.

The reason I got to thinking about all this was Midnight Special, which we watched just before the Marvel marathon and in hindsight what a difference. It's just so refreshing to watch a story that drops you straight into an ongoing situation with no explanation of the characters, their motivations or what is happening to them, with no option but to watch and try and figure it out. In fact you don't really get a handle on what's going on and how the characters fit until halfway through the film and even then a lot of questions are left unanswered and at no point are we shown how the events of the film started (never mind how all the characters became who they are).



It's not a perfect film, certainly, but it was lovely not to be shown everything, even to the point that the film ends with the merest glimpse of something clearly wondrous, a glimpse that in other hands may turn into a trilogy of movies itself, yet in this film is cut off as abruptly as the film starts.

I say all this in the knowledge that by the time Spiderman Homecomings comes out next year we could well be averaging a Spiderman Origin film (little radioactive spider and all) once every five years since 2002. I hope not... the signs from Civil War are hopeful given that (and i assume this isn't a spoiler) we meet a fully formed if very young Spiderman. Perhaps Marvel will get that by now we all have a pretty good idea about how Peter became Spidey and that we don't really need a slightly different version of the same event. But what's the odds they can't resist showing us anyway?



Friday, 29 January 2016

A Route To Self Publishing: Part 1 - Preparation

There are many excellent resources for the prospective self-publisher from other writers and forums to the publishing platforms themselves and I'd advise anyone who is interested at looking into publishing their own work to look through the various guides on Smashwords in particular.

However, the journey to becoming self-published can be quite involved with many available options and the path is different for each writer. A number of people have asked over the past 18 months how I got started and I always had to add a caveat to my advice that my route may not necessarily work for everyone. But perhaps it may be useful to some. So at the risk of being lost amongst all the other voices offering advice, I'll add mine to the pile.

A Note on Indie/Self-Publishing/Vanity-Publishing services.

There's no getting past the fact that self publishing your work is a daunting task with a seemingly endless array of options, many of them quite technical when it comes to formats, publishing platforms, distribution, pricing and payment options and marketing. All elements that need serious consideration and can't be ignored. 

The complex nature of this process has led to a new model within the publishing industry which will take care of some or all of the above elements for a fee. Some have likened this to Vanity Publishing, though I think that's very unfair as Indie Publishing is still very much a viable and professional publishing model for many.

A number of the companies offering "Self-Publishing" services are actually linked to, or subsidiaries of, some of the big, traditional Publishing houses. Others are smaller publishing presses who perhaps use Self-Publishing services as an extra source of income. Some companies offering these services are not actually publishers at all acting more like a self-publishing consultants. While there are an increasing number of writers now offering their skills and experience in this regards, again, an excellent source of further income when many writers are struggling to make ends meet.

I can certainly see the appeal of a service that offers to take on the burden of self-publishing allowing the writer to concentrate on, well... writing. And perhaps there are those who feel getting to grips with the various aspects of file formats is just beyond them, so paying someone else to do it is a good idea. And that's fair enough. I wouldn't tell anyone not to use these services, though I personally never have for better or worse. All I would say is that if you decide to take this route, take time to know who you are dealing with and what they are offering as it can be an expensive process and you don't want to pay for something that isn't exactly what you need.

But here's the thing. I think that anyone who has the drive, skill and talent to complete a manuscript to the point it can be published can also get to grips with every aspect of Self-Publishing. Yes it will be frustrating, complicated and time consuming and there will be times when actually all you want to do is pay someone to take it off your hands. But with a little patience, effort, time and the utilisation of the resources available, I believe the majority are more than capable of publishing a book without paying others to do it.

Part 1 - Preparation

MANUSCRIPT: How to write a book and how to publish a book are very different topics and I'm not going to assume to tell anyone how to do the former. But I will offer some advice to those who have finished or think they have finished their manuscript. As I pointed out in an earlier post, getting to this point is a huge achievement, which many of those who attempt it fail to reach. But in the excitement and relief of finishing a work it's easy to blindly upload it to Amazon and hit "Publish" before the book is anywhere near ready.

In this regard I speak from experience. Even though I followed the advice I'm about to give and thought I was on top of things, in retrospect I still published my book before I should have, not once... but twice. A mistake made worse not just because you have to go back and amend the uploaded document, but also because once it's live it's there for people to judge... and they will. Luckily, I probably got away with it. Other than a few friends and family who I excitedly sent an early copy too (sorry guys... I know, I know) and a few bloggers who more than likely dismissed it with ease, I doubt anyone really noticed the swift and slightly embarrassed exchange of versions available so early after the first was published. *bangs head on table*

One of the ways the Indie Publishing scene is very similar to traditional publishing is that, in the end, a book will be judged on quality, not its marketing; not its cover. So it's down to you, and you alone, to make sure that book is the best it can possibly be. Selling books is hard and the competition is huge, so if your book isn't the best it can be... if you haven't put in everything you possibly can... you're putting your work at a disadvantage right from the start.

Yeah, that 3rd draft was a killer to finish, but run it by people you trust before you sign it off.

You consider yourself a good writer who can spot a spelling mistake? Believe me, you WILL still need not just one, but a number of people to proofread your work. Here's an embarrassing admission (what, another one?) I edit and proofread as part of my job. And yet it still took me three attempts and numerous other proofreaders to publish something I eventually was happy with. And I'm still fairly certain there are some mistakes hiding away in the book, sniggering in corners.

The thing is, no matter how good you think you are it's almost impossible to successfully proofread your own work. You wrote it and then re-read it countless times through various drafts. Your brain knows what's coming and will likely skip-read through bits of it even when you are trying your very best to look for possible mistakes. The only way around this is to get someone else to read through the book for you. And even then things might be missed, so ask someone else... and someone else. Basically just assume that your book is merely a collection of spelling mistakes masquerading as a story. It doesn't mean you're a bad writer, it's natural. You can't throw 80,000 words at a page and expect them all to stick. But you must try your best to find the buggers afterwards and certainly before you happily send it off to Amazon.

COVER: Remember when I said that there really isn't any part of the Self-Publishing process that a determined writer can't do themselves? Well I'm going to contradict myself in a second. The book cover is a vital component, even for an eBook. It must be engaging both at full size and thumbnail and be of a quality that doesn't scream "Amateur!". It certainly shouldn't be a last minute bodge to enable you to publish your book ASAP.

But the cover is one area where many writers will need help whether they like it or not. Unless they have either graphic design or illustration experience or are just naturally gifted in that area, most won't be able to produce something by themselves that doesn't let down their excellent book.

If you're lucky enough to know someone who can help, great, but even then you must take note of the specifications laid down for covers by many of the publishing platforms. Your best option is to look online where you will find many illustrators and designers experienced in producing quality covers. It may not be cheap however and you will need to work with them to make sure the cover suits your needs and looks a bit different from the thousands of other books out there.

Of course, being wilfully stupid, I ignored the perfectly sound advice to hire someone to produce a professional looking cover. In my defence after 5 years of graphic design and animation at college I was reasonably confident I could come up with something decent, if not amazing. My main concern was to make something that looked a bit different to other titles available and yet didn't shout "Self-Published". 

I actually quite like the result and it was fun to try and depict the main characters myself. I feel I managed to represent them quite well. The thing is, while it was cheap (just my time) and is OK, I know it's not brilliant, so for the next book I will ask someone with a bit more talent than I have to illustrate both covers, re-releasing the first book in line with the second. You can see the current cover at the top right of the page. Let me know what you think.

BLURB: Other than reviews of the book and the cover, the other main way of declaring your book to the world is the blurb. As important online as it is to people browsing in book shops, the blurb, like the cover, can't be a last minute thing. It takes time and a little patience to craft what amounts to just a few sentences yet encapsulates your entire book. You'll probably need a few attempts at this to get something you're happy with, and even then it's worth returning to it every now and then. I've amended mine a few times and will likely do so a few more.

So before you even think about uploading your work to a publishing platform like Amazon, It's imperative that you are happy with not just the manuscript itself, but also the cover and blurb. Patience is key here. Indie publishing by it's very essence means you are in control. There are no market factors or release schedules that dictate when your book must be released. Set yourself a goal, yes, but take your time to make sure your work is ready first and don't press "publish" until you are satisfied that the three elements above are the best they can be.

Of course, the current digital age of publishing gives us all a great "Get out of Jail Free" card. Even with "Print on Demand" services like Createspace, you can always change the MS, The Cover and the Blurb at any point, but I would advise not to let that fact allow complacency. Think of the potential readers who may have passed on your work before you noticed a mistake.

In the next post I'll look at the different publishing platforms available, why I chose the ones I did and their merits to the prospective self-publisher. 

If you have any advice for things that need to be looked at before you think your book is ready, feel free to comment.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Re-reading books: Top 5 on my shelf

Someone said to me recently, "Oh, I don't re-read books".

In fact I know a few people who feel the same, though I'm certainly not one of them.

I can understand where they are coming from. In many ways you will never be able to re-read a book and have it surprise and delight as much as it did on the first read. The magic will always be slightly diluted by fore-knowledge of what's coming, no matter how much you love the book.

Others will point out that with so many books to read, re-reading leaves less time for new ones. Similarly, with so many entertainment and time killing activities available to us in the 21st century, time available to devote to reading is so limited it makes no sense to return to something you have already read.

These are good points and I can't argue against them. Time constraints and an expanding TBR list will always put pressure on your next choice of book and I do try to go for a new one most of the time. But occasionally, just occasionally, I like to dip into a story I already know.

If I was trying to defend the literary benefits of doing so, I could perhaps suggest that re-reading a book for a second time allows the reader to appreciate the nuances missed on the first pass, or understand links and hints to further works that were unavailable at the time. But while true, who am I kidding?

I'm not really talking about books that are read for a second time to re-assess the original view. I don't think I've ever re-read a book a second time without going on to re-read it many more times down the years. No, I mean the books you dive into to allow the characters and story to envelope you. Wrap around you like a blanket on a cold winter's day. An old friend, familiar in every way, yet a joy to be with once again.

I think many of us have books like this on our shelves. They aren't always big, clever or important.They may not necessarily be the best books in the world or even amongst your favourites, but they have for some reason clicked with you and are infinitely re-readable; the literary equivalent of comfort food.

So here are 5 such books that have stayed on my shelf since I bought them and have been re-read on numerous occasions.


Magician - Raymond E Feist




OK, so when I said they may not be amongst the best or your very favourites, I have to admit that this book actually is. A classic of the genre, without a doubt, Magician is a towering piece of work that fully engages you from the start in a story that unravels over decades for one of the main characters across two separate planets, and over millennia for the other main character across the entire universe. Yet if that sounds daunting, it never feels it.

I first bought this book not long after falling for Lord of the Rings (a book that may once have been on this list, but isn't as I haven't actually picked it up in about a decade). Like the version of LotR I first read, the copy of Magician I found (in a car boot sale for 50p in about 1990) was the complete work incorporating two books, Magician: Apprentice & Master. In fact, it wasn't until many years later that I discovered that the book could be obtained as two smaller volumes (ditto LotR and it's 3 smaller volumes).

It was these two giant classics of the genre that initially lead me to believe that a fantasy book wasn't really a proper fantasy book unless it was as broad as the moon, a notion I eventually put aside after reading one too many fantasy books that were basically people walking endlessly on tedious journeys with very little happening across a book wider than it was tall.

Thankfully, Magician is never anything but engaging. Despite being chock full of wizards and princes and elves and demons among other now common Sword and Sorcery tropes, it is never clich├ęd, feeling a more fresh take on what one might consider High Fantasy, something I put down to Feist's wonderful characters and dynamic, yet accessible dialogue. Where other fantasy authors may try to impress you, Magician simply entertains and is a much better book because of it. With two direct sequels and a further two indirect sequels all featuring the same joyous characters, I highly recommend setting some time aside to lose yourself this world.


Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers - Grant Naylor




The gestalt entity that is Grant Naylor is actually Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, the minds behind the cult BBC show Red Dwarf, which this book, along with the immediate sequel, is to a lesser or greater extent a direct novelisation of.

Why I like Red Dwarf is probably not too much of a surprise. I was 13 when the show was first shown in 1989 and I remember it was all my friends and I talked about the following day in Gym class, leading to a rebuke from Mr Mullholland who was more concerned with teaching us the finer arts of rugby than letting us discuss last night's TV. The show was like nothing I'd seen to that point. Sitcom's were supposed to be set in kitchen's or sitting rooms, not space; main characters are rarely killed off in the first episode and the word Smeg was unlikely to have been used in the Good Life (as great a show as that was).

Like a cross between Star Trek TNG and The Young Ones and in parts terribly juvenile yet wonderfully clever it became easily my favourite show. Whilst I loved watching Cheers with my Granddad or MASH with my Mam, this was a show that felt very much mine. They wouldn't like it... they wouldn't even understand it.

So of course I loved the book when it came out not long after. For fans of the show it's an interesting read as it presents many of the episodic events of the first 2 series of Red Dwarf as a linear story utilising 3 main elements. In some cases the scripts from those shows are presented almost word for word, in others the basic plots or scenes are used but are expanded upon to give greater detail or to make them fit in the new narrative, while finally there are a number of completely new elements that were never in the original show, added to give a much deeper background of characters and events or send the story in a different direction, the opening of the book explaining how Lister left earth and ended up on Red Dwarf being an example.

Familiarity is probably one of the main reasons for my enjoyment of the book. I can quote much of the first 5 series of Red Dwarf in geeky fashion (Ahem... not showing off... just saying), so having many of those scenes played out in the book is wonderful, though it's the differences as much as the similarities that make it so interesting. Many of the scenes depicted may be familiar, but they often lead to places some fans of the show would not expect.

Anyone interested in picking up this book may as well also look for the sequel, Better Than Life, as it tackles the third and fourth series of the show in much the same way. Even better, look for The Red Dwarf Omnibus, which combines both books into one volume with slightly expanded narrative.


Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton




I always loved Crichton's blend of thriller and science and have read most of his books, but Jurassic Park remains the only one to be re-read on numerous occasions. 

Again, familiarity could be a main factor here. I love the film and have re-watched it on countless occasions, at least two times at the cinema before I was aware of the source book, which I bought only after seeing it mentioned in the film's credits.

Whilst the Movie did keep the main elements and plot, the book is much darker, dangerous and more of a techno thriller than monster chase. Fans of the film who haven't read the book should really give it a go, though trying to picture the characters as anyone other than Sam Neil, Jeff Goldblum et al may be a challenge.


Good Omens - Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman




I've mentioned my admiration for Terry Pratchett before, in the days following his passing and to be honest any number of his books and, indeed, Neil Gaiman's, could have made this list. But choosing a book they co-authored isn't a compromise.

Possibly the most re-read book I own, it's a laugh out loud funny, thoughtful and wonderfully entertaining depiction of the end of the world as overseen by a couple of less than competent Angels (one fallen) who decide that having known it was coming since the dawn of time would rather not see the end of the world now it's here because, actually, when it comes down to it... the world ain't that bad... really.


102 Minutes - Jim Dwyer & Kevin Flynn




For the final book I could have picked a number of novels or non-fiction books, but found as I looked at my bookshelf (and at one point the Kindle folder on my PC) that one book stood out as one I'd read a number of times over the past decade. Why? Morbid fascination? Empathy with one of the signature events of my lifetime? A wish to read about unsung real life heroes? 

Where as the events of September the 11th 2001 are now mainly remembered for the geopolitical, social and cultural ramifications, the story from inside the towers and the history of the building and the emergency services that served it are rarely recalled. And I think that's why I find this book so interesting, it ignores the histrionics and concentrates only on the known.

It specifically looks on two areas. The history of the building and how it operated, taken from records and interviews. And the events of the day itself pulled together from emergency and personal calls made on the day from inside the towers, emergency service and military communications, official accounts and interviews after the fact. And I think therein lies the the interest for me. It is, if nothing else, a great example of journalism and writing in general, to be able to create such a readable and engaging story, based on such terrible events and using incredibly disjointed source material.

It's not an easy book by any means, but it is gripping and incredibly it tells a version of the story of that day that many people just don't know. What went on inside the towers.


So there you are, just 5 of a number of books I've re-read a few times down the years. Do you have books you regularly dip back into? Or do you prefer to read once and move onto to something new?

Monday, 21 December 2015

The Secrets of Ice Cream Success, Christmas Sale - just 99p


It's time for the now traditional (well, 2nd year running) Christmas Sale! Ho Ho Ho.

From today until 4th January 2016, The Secrets of Ice Cream Success will be available from the stores listed below at a special Festive Price. So if you're still looking for a last minute gift or fancy an easy going read over the holidays, what better than a book set in the height of summer? err... well, OK...  but it's cheap. So treat yourself. 

Here are some reviews from a few lovely readers to give you a taste.

And can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2016.



The Secrets of Ice Cream Success - Festive Sale

eBook available from:


Also available as a paperback here and as an eBook from all other good on-line retailers.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Beyond Cecil the Lion



The sad news regarding Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe has garnered an amazing response from many people and I've seen a number of petitions flying around social media asking for justice for Cecil. It's great to see so many people engaged in the fight against illegal poaching and the trade in wildlife. However, it's not enough.

The sad fact is, many thousands of animals are killed every year through illegal poaching and hunting. This practice has pushed a number of species, including rhinos and tigers, to the very brink of extinction. But most of these animals were never given names. Most never had the protection of Cecil in life (for what it was worth in the end) nor his fame in death. The media don't give their story time. The public is rarely informed about the issue.

If you've been moved to share Cecil's story or forward a petition asking for justice, then please do take the time to also visit our friends at TRAFFIC (www.traffic.org/trade/) who, along with their partners at the WWF are at the forefront of the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. On their site you can find out about the issues, how you can help and possibly even donate to support their work. I've seen first hand their work here in Malaysia. I also know what they are up against in a seemingly hopeless fight. Your support would be crucial.

You can also find more info from WWF: (http://wwf.panda.org/…/co…/species_programme/wildlife_trade/)

Or read the two blogs linked below on the issues facing tigers and the illegal trade in ivory.

http://www.dragonsr.org/…/2…/7/28/global-tiger-day-july-29th

http://www.dragonsr.org/…/time-to-re-commit-to-end-the-ivor…

Signing and forwarding a petition is great, but being informed about the bigger issues and perhaps getting involved is better. If you want real justice for Cecil, putting an end to the illegal wildlife trade is the only way. Please take time to look at the links above and share this post as much as you've shared the petition. The enthusiasm shown in recent days gives hope. Lets take the next step.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Global Tiger Day 2015


Today is Global Tiger Day, part of a campaign to halt the decline in global tiger numbers and double the current population by 2022. It's of vital importance that we protect these magnificent animals along with elephants, rhinos, orangutans and other endangered species as it impacts on much of our environment and well being, even in urban areas.

Here is a blog I wrote earlier today for Dragon Social Responsibility regarding the current tiger conservation efforts. Please do read and share.

For those interested, I wrote a similar blog regarding elephant conservation in 2013. It saddens me that two and a half years after writing the blog, the situation has grown worse and we still continually need to raise awareness of these issues.