Monday, April 20, 2009

Life Lessons Galore In This Years Britains Got Talent...

Anyone else watching Britain's Got Talent? I'll admit I'm a sucker for shows like this. Pop Idol, X Factor, choosing Joseph and Maria for West End Stage productions - I'm there for them all. Yup, me and millions of others. But Britain's Got Talent can sometimes be hit and miss for me. Maybe there's a little too much weird amongst the wonderful. There are times when I end up cringing for people. But MAN is it worth it for the good ones. This year we're only a couple of weeks into the audition shows and already the stand-out acts have been bringing hilarity, cheers of encouragement and - several times - a dropped jaw. But it's more than that. Maybe it's because of the recession everyone is suffering through across the globe, that seeing people take a chance and reaching for the golden ring is the kind of story of hope we can all get behind. Life can get in the way of dreams sometimes. Sometimes we get disillusioned. Sometimes we doubt we can do it. Sometimes it's just easier to quit. Britain's Got Talent, for all it's cringe worthy moments, shows everyday people get up in front of an audience - and not a particularly KIND audience at times - and going for it. I kinda love that. So I thought I'd bring you a small selection of the best so far this year to peruse over your coffee.

First up, 'cos Riverdance is so close to my wee Irish heart and because I love to laugh, we have what is my favourite comedy dance act in a very, VERY long time. I tell ya, this made me literally laugh out loud! Plus seeing the close bond between a father and his son was just wonderful. I LOVE that kind of thing!!! So, I give you the Greek equivalent of Riverdance's Michael Flatley in the form of... Stavros Flatley... And can I just say? THIS is MUCH CLOSER to the way the vast majority of Irish people would do Riverdance if asked...

You can watch it HERE.

Then we have dance group Flawless, who show us what hard work, talent and dedication can result in. Can't tell you how much I wish I had even HALF their energy! What I love about them apart from how amazing they are to watch and how skilled they were at putting it together? That this is a group of guys who get together and do this because they LOVE IT. And I tell ya, it shows! There's a certain joy to that, that's hard not to benefit from as a viewer...

You can watch them HERE.

Now you can't watch Britain's Got Talent without talking about the singers. I sense this year we might have so many talented ones to choose from as the show approaches the final, it's gonna make for must see viewing and a serious dilemma in my house about who to vote for! Course, I'm a sucker for the kids. Who isn't I ask you?! Shaheen Jarargholi showed us that even with talent, we don't always get it right first time out. But given a second chance...

You can watch him HERE.

And of course we can't leave out the world-wide phenomenon that is Susan Boyle!!! Proof positive a book can NEVER be judged by it's cover and that we should never give up on our dreams, no matter what life tosses in the way to make us think they can never come true. It's gonna take something beyond amazing to beat this woman in the final!

You can watch her HERE.

So that's my selection of favs so far from this years crop. Thank goodness for YouTube and the facilty to skip the cringe-worthy stuff! Now if I could just take the feel good factor from Britain's Got Talent and put it to good use in my creativity. Mind you - that would involve real life getting the heck outta the way so I can REDISCOVER my creativity... darn it...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Continuing Crush On Nathan Fillion..

It's no secret among my friends (and thanks to a small online wrestling match with Ally Blake a couple of years back), that I have a bit of a crush on Nathan Fillion. Okay, it's a big crush. But I'm not stalker material. There are laws against that kind of thing...

So in answer to the MSN message I got last night from the lovely Jenna Bayley-Burke I would just like to publicly answer - Yes hun, I HAVE been watching Castle!

It's Nathan's new show doncha know. And let's just say if I didn't have a crush before, I sure as HECK would have one now. Nick Castle is MY KINDA HERO. He's cheeky, funny, popular with the ladies (to say the least), irreverent, unpredictable and he's a writer to boot! So the show has plenty of allusions to life as a writer with references to everything from writers block to being asked where he gets his ideas from to falling asleep over a laptop. I swear. If Nick Castle was a real person, I'd be seriously considering breaking those stalking laws about now! YUM.

Add that wonderful package to a straight laced female cop and we have a show with the same dynamic as Maddie and David in Moonlighting or Brennan and Booth in Bones, so you can understand why I'm glued to Castle on a weekly basis. I'm finding it thoroughly inspirational as it happens. Gotta love it when that happens. And believe me I can do with all the help I can get these days. Remind me why I do this job again???

So if you haven't checked it out and you're able to glue your eyeballs to the show then I can highly recommend it. I just wish I could watch it with Jenna every week the way she suggested. We could wear comfy clothes, eat tubs of ice cream and sit on the sofa giggling like teenagers the way we did when we were roomies at Nationals in Dallas (though we didn't have ice cream then - why didn't we Jenna?)

Check out this promo and you'll see why I'm now a fan of Castle:

Meanwhile here at home we've had a mixed week. You may remember Dougal, our first foal born on Mayday three years ago? Well this year his mommy, Flash, and a new mare we bought last year, Angel, were both in foal. We had this wonderful vision of foals playing together this Spring and Summer. But unfortunately last week Flash lost her foal - a double for his big brother Dougal - and we were all heartbroken. A cloud descended over the place. He really was very beautiful. Understandably we've been watching the other mare like hawks ever since, fearful of the same outcome while we poured love and attention on Flash. This morning out we go and Angel has presented us with a mini-me half sister for Dougal. We haven't officially named her yet, but we're considering calling her Hope. The pictures are a bit fuzzy cos she's indoors and is a tad on the lively side, but it should give you an idea of how adorable she is. She's her mommy's first foal and Mom is doing a wonderful job, especially considering the bundle of mischief she's just had. And remember these are miniature Shetlands's we're breeding, so our new baby pony is about the size of a Golden Retriever dog height wise...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rant Of The Day - ILLEGAL Downloads

This is me:

Because when you're fighting your way out of months worth of writer's block, the last thing you want to find on a Google search is your books available for ILLEGAL DOWNLOAD on the internet! I've just discovered a site that had one of my books and when I automatically searched my name I found... are you ready for this? 14 ENTRIES. On ONE SITE. And do you know what I have to do now? I have to individually flag and report every single damn one of them for copyright infringement. Do I have time for this crap? DO I HELL.

It's one of the curses of the internet. But what the people who enjoyed my books enough to share them this way maybe don't realize is that they are STEALING FROM ME. I'm sorry, but they are. It's why books are copyrighted. And Harlequin's books are copyrighted ALL OVER THE WORLD. I'm grateful the company has a legal department for this kind of thing but GOOD GRIEF. What am I supposed to do? HIRE SOMEONE to look up all the links and sites for me??? Yes. I'm a tad MIFFED. So PLEASE, if you find any of my books available for illegal download anywhere on the internet LET ME KNOW. The same goes for any author. Trust me. We'll thank you! Personally I'm fully prepared to dedicate books to you for it!

Meanwhile I plan on de-stressing this Easter weekend with a couple of four-legged friends: