Most recently published stories in Humans.
2020 when the world was suddenly switched off.
I was in work when the news broke out that the pandemic Covid - 19 was now considered very serious in the United Kingdom and there was talk of the place I worked shutting down. I was sat in my work's canteen all of the staff looking up at the television to hear the news that there was going to be a worldwide lock down. Everybody was stunned and even some people where I worked were in tears because they could not believe what they were hearing about our planet earth being shut down by a deadly pandemic. Nobody saw this coming and nobody could have predicted that we would be locked up in our homes day after day for months for our own health and safety. Every day I would get up and switch on the news and listen to all the stories of the pandemic around the world and how people had been affected by it and even died from it and as I was watching and listening to it I could not comprehend that this was happening like everybody else. Thank god we had a boiling summer in 2020 months of glorious sunshine shining through our windows and plenty of time to sit outside and enjoy the sun on our faces. Living alone I had plenty of time to just sit on my patio and listen to the birds in the sky and the bumble bees buzzing all around me it kind of reminds me of the birds and the bees. ( the story our parents gives to us when we come of age). I am a philosopher and I love to think a lot about planet earth and what our purpose for really being here is all about, you know what is humanity all about?. I spent so many days and weeks during lock down just looking up at the blue sky and wondering what are the secrets of planet earth? and why is it that we are not allowed to know them?. I suddenly had an idea to write down my thoughts of philosophy and a journal of my life during my time having no work and just having my thoughts for company. I have always found planet earth a very overwhelming place to live and I have personally had many challenges and struggles living my life from a boy to adulthood and even today I still have my struggles but I have always somehow got through it all I must be a very strong person. On the other hand planet earth fascinates me because it is such a huge place and it has such beauty and wonder about it and you are a very lucky person if you can get to see so much of planet earth and it's beauty but again that I guess comes down to how much wealth a person has in the bank. Thank god I was given a special gift at birth and that gift was creativity as I have always been very theatrical and always over thought everything making life much bigger than what it really is. I have never really been a black and white person but my thoughts go way beyond that which I believe is why I have struggled with life. On the other hand maybe I have struggled with life for a reason and that reason I believe was to write about what I have been through and put my challenges onto paper. I truly believe that if it were not for my writing and creativity I might have gone on to have a nervous breakdown because my life was one of repression and fear and the human mind and body can only take so much before it explodes. I could not have taken my own life I just could not have done this but on saying that I have always been very much in control of my body and mind and if I had been under the influence of alcohol and drugs and the undercurrent of unhappiness that I was going through at the time in my youth then anything could have happened. We all know life is not fare why is not fare? again a question I would like answered when I get to the pearly gates of heaven I hope!. So my new e book here then which I published last night is about me living alone under lock down and how at the time me and planet earth had so much in common for the first time because we both led very quiet lives my life has always been quiet but planet earth mirrored my own life for just a few months. People even said to me " did I make this happen " because for the first time ever people were now living my life and many of humanity could not cope with living " my life ". Something many people would deem a very sad life and I can see why they might think that after all I am still a virgin at 43 years old but please do not judge me on that after all I have had my challenges in life. I hope you all do take the opportunity to read my e book and just be curious about what went on in my life under lock down or even read it for philosophy reasons maybe you can find something in my writing that reflects your lives or somebody you may know out there. I have not made it boring some of the politics are boring but I have tried to make it different and creative just giving it my own unique philosophies of life and the wonders of it all as we all took time to slow down and just enjoy the peace and quiet of a very manic world being put on hold for just a time and how humanity dealt with this all around the world. I wanted to capture this time in history and put it all down into words in as much detail as I possibly could and grasp the pandemic in as much written detail as I had in my fingers. It was not easy and I did struggle with this book because I was not writing fiction but I was writing about actual events happening to our world but as always including creativity into the story after all I am a writer and even on actual events of non fiction I love to throw in my creative words of wisdom and why not!. You can buy my book as an e book on Amazon or as a Paperback on Amazon but if you enjoy philosophy or if you just want to revisit 2020 and the year we went through or if you just want to read something different about the pandemic not just another boring history book then this book has that something different about it. You can view all my work on my website which is here: www.julianblackbooks.co.uk also you can purchase again on paperback or as an e book a revised version of my memoir called : I was screaming inside but nobody could hear me, now the world listens again it is on Amazon published by Page Turner Press.
After a stressful period of applying it finally happened: you landed that job! That’s great right? Of course, you’re happy to finally get off the couch, but for some this is where the stress levels actually go through the roof. As exciting as it is, it can also be difficult to get settled in a new team in a new company – especially if you’re not particularly the social type. Let’s help you analyze the situation and see how you can keep your cool.
The world is bragging about the betterment of the Israel Palestine conflict. The worse reality is, things are going to be much more dangerous now after Benjamin Netanyahu. Naftali Bennett is much more dangerous than the previous prime minister was. The Israeli government is not humanitarian we need to understand this, and the fact is, they appoint those people who sharpen their knives more and create a stronger impact on the world.
How to Remember a Departed Loved One on Valentine’s Day
On every fourteenth of February, people celebrate and express their love for their beloveds. It is undoubtedly hard to observe for people who have lost a loved one to age or disease. They can focus their attention on ways to memorialize their loved ones in meaningful ways. It helps to channel their energy to celebrating life during this holiday. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to contemplate the love they shared, finding comfort in their memory.
Slumdog Millionaire Review
This review comes from my Letterboxd profile, where I write reviews about every movie I see. This is the kind of movie I can see a lot of people reflecting on today and thinking it's overrated. It won a ton of Oscars back in the day, including the coveted Best Picture award, and this is one of those films I can see being more scrutinized today than it was back then. However, to me, Slumdog Millionaire is still a total blast of a film with legitimately visceral direction from Danny Boyle. His style is very particular, and when it works in the stories he's trying to tell, it works. Usually, I hate that kind of choppy slow motion that is manually created by the editors instead of filmed using slow-motion cameras. It's been done in films like Lord of the Rings, and it always puts me off every single time... except in the case of 127 Hours and now this movie. For whatever reason, whenever Boyle utilizes the technique in his films, it feels natural for his particular vision and actually fits in the film's structure. I don't know how he does it, but honestly, I'm not complaining about it.
Good Omens Review
This review (which combines a first and second watch review together) comes from my Letterboxd profile, where I write reviews on the movies and limited series I watch.
I Introduce to you "The Rubber Lady"
I've been many different people throughout my life, but no other personality is more memorable then "The Rubber Lady". From 1985 to 1994, I embarked on a journey. There are many stories, way more then I can begin to tell in just this one page. So, I've been asking myself, how the heck do I even explain The Rubber Lady? Well, it helps that I have a lot of photographs. The Rubber Lady had a way of attracting photographers, from students to professionals. All photos are my property and include photo credits.
This review comes from my Letterboxd profile, where I review all of the movies I see. This. This, this, this, this, this. This is the film that I'm going to be using for years, if not decades, as an example of masterful and unique storytelling. This is a film that embraces its culture, appeals to everyone, establishes stakes early, uses every second of its runtime to its advantage, and uses familiar and cliche elements in a unique and stylized way to create their own voice, their own character, and their own unique experience. I genuinely believe that Wolfwalkers is a modern animated masterpiece, and I don't usually use that kind of hyperbole right off the bat. Yes, I'm good at hyperbole, but not to THAT extreme.
Twin Flame or Trauma Bonded?
I feel dumb. Not for writing this because I’m all about honesty and growth, or about the other article I couldn’t be more wrong about. But for believing someone like that can be a better person with no visible growth. If I ever felt as if I’ve spread things that I’ve figured out later couldn’t be further from the truth, I will correct myself. I’m still learning, I hope to continue to learn things often until the day I die, but I just wish my wisdom and lessons came from less hurtful or negative things. I do know now for me to heal from all the narcissistic abuse and trauma bond I still had in my life I had to have this happen- to remember this for the future, stop the cycle and, realize I can't help or save everyone especially someone as broken and evil as a narcissist.
All Your Best Selves
A curious little bastard I'm a child of many passions but one of my more important ones is an idea that I happened to trip over and find. It's an idea connected to the transcendence of the art forms of acting and improvisation from the realm of illusion to one of realism and naturalism. To live truthfully in imaginary circumstances. Using real human emotions and a real human mindset. The thing is, we don't have two different sets of emotions. One for the stage and one for life. Nor do we have two different minds for the same purposes. Therefore all the skills actors and improvisers use to build themselves for their performance can also be used by non-actors to build themselves for their actions in life. This isn't merely a simple idea, it is well supported by science. The following is the Introduction to a book I wrote that is currently in the editing process. If I were to win this contest I would put the money towards publishing and marketing. The title of the book is All Your Best Selves: How the Performing Arts Toolkit Can Help You Thrive Anytime, Any Place and with Anyone.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” When someone shows you their true colors, stop trying to repaint them. Do yourself a favor & don’t make the same mistake TWICE. Or in my case, thrice. Is there a quantitative measurement after thrice when counting consecutively? Who knows, but, I have a better question for you.
Here is your kit
Last summer, like every summer in Texas, it was deafeningly hot. Temperatures reached the triple digits every day for weeks. The air was sticky with humidity and the sun baked the sweat on my skin. It was too hot to be outside without shade, sunscreen, and a body of water. I wanted nothing more than to dive deep into the cool, consistently 68-degree water of Barton Springs Pool here in Austin. But like everything else in early summer 2020, the pool was closed. Uncertain when it would reopen or what other safe, socially distant options were available to me, I did what we all had already been doing for the past few months. I stayed home. I stayed inside. I cranked up the air conditioning, trying to stay cool. Inside my apartment, I had so much time on my hands. I was unemployed, laid off due to the pandemic like millions of others. I tried baking, reading, writing, you name it, but usually I ended up with a screen in front of my face. Watching TV and endlessly scrolling on my phone soon filled me with boredom and anxiety, as too much screen time tends to do. I decided to do some late “spring cleaning” one day. During my clean, I rediscovered a container under my bed that was filled with a stack of paper that had been cut and ripped out of old textbooks, atlases, and picture books. This was material I saved years ago when I would collage with friends, a fun and easy activity for even the least "creative" among us. We used to spend hours collaging. I was enticed by my old hobby and its potential to lift me out of my boredom. I started going through it. It contained beautiful, intricate, and fascinating images of people, animals, places, and inventions. These pages were from books about photography, the desert, airplanes, Marilyn Monroe, gardening, and everything in between. When catching up with the friends I had collaged with, who now live in different states, I asked if they wanted me to create a collage for them. I had plenty of time on my hands. And so did they. So instead, they asked for me to curate pieces that I thought they'd like and send that to them. In a way, it was a win-win. I flexed my creative muscles by assembling something beautiful and they took those random pieces and did whatever they wanted with them. That's how I started creating collage kits, which came to be the brand Here is Your Kit. Each kit is a one-of-a-kind montage of images and words that I found striking enough to want to pass on to someone else. I've been told kits I've created have reminded the recipient of a relative who passed away, a happy childhood memory, a trip they took, or a place they'd like to visit. Collage kits are a way to connect us to whatever it is we need. And during the summer of 2020, there was so much we needed to feel connected to. To me, they are the best embodiment of the phrase "everyone is creative" - something I believe with all my heart. It's been almost a year since I've created my first kit. Since then, I've created over 100 kits for friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers to celebrate birthdays, Christmases, holidays, and just because. It gives me such joy to cut and curate these little pieces of art. They reflect the endless potential we all have to do, make, and be. If you'd like a kit, please message me on Instagram at @hereisyourkit. I'd be happy to send you one; it'll be one of a kind.