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Posts tagged “Great Expectations

How to write a novel | Imaginary names

The Oak House West Bromwich

If you have been following my series of blogs about how to write a novel, you will know the story so far. Last week Nick and Lily were on their way to see Lily’s university friend Victoria who lives with her grandparents in a gatehouse to a country estate. I have used a picture of a Manor House, this week for a little inspiration. I imagine the Manor House on the estate to be a little like this. An old black and white building and the gatehouse would be very similar except very much smaller.


Social Media – career enhancement

Neodigital Art - It shows creativity and possibly a respect for nature

Horoscope Aquarius

Sunday 10 April

Look towards your health and well-being. The Moon in your wellness zone is encouraging you to slow down, not so easy for someone who is currently whizzing around at a million MPH. So think about nurture and nourishment. You need the kind of foods that feed your nervous system, brain food, if you like. Eat well like this and you’ll feel so much better.

That’s my horoscope for today. I need some brain food; I have chicken for dinner that is loaded with tryptophan and I’ll have lots of veggies too. My health is the most important thing to me but we have to think about other things and make life interesting. Man cannot live by chicken and veggies alone! (more…)

The Year of the Ox!

About 8% of the world's population was born in a year of the Ox

The Year of the Ox

1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, speak little, and inspire confidence in others. They tend, however, to be eccentric; but make very good friends. They are suited to all kinds of pursuits from the technical to the creative. They are easy going but quite stubborn. They speak little but when they do speak they are eloquent and speak after giving the subject a lot of thought. The Ox may be stubborn but can always be relied on to carry a heavy burden. (more…)

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

A little modern Neodigital Art - The Metro in Central England

Neodigital Art - The Metro

Great Expectations

Last week I wrote some satire entitled The Emperor’s New Clothes stealing the title from Hans Christian Anderson’s story. That story of course had a moral, Emperors, Kings, Queens, Presidents and politicians will believe anything they are told; if it suits them to do so.

This week I steal my title from a classic by Charles Dickens and one of my favourite books. It was about a young boy; Pip, who steals food to help a convict and later inherits his wealth; giving him Great Expectations. The story is quite complex and has many morals; there are two young ladies Biddy who is poor and ordinary and who treats Pip well helping him with his education. Then there is Estelle, who lives at the big house and treats him badly, but she is beautiful and rich; he of course falls for Estelle. (more…)

Iconic Branding…

Iconic Branding

I wrote this blog as a guest blog and posted it on and I liked it and so I have posted it on my own blog. It is meant to be funny…

Chinese students

My Chinese students haven’t been getting on well for a while; one insulted the other yesterday. Insults are serious stuff in China and can get you murdered in your bed for insulting someone. Honourable student number One works hard and didn’t take the insult well. I helped Honourable student number Two who hasn’t been working hard enough and has been playing computer games instead of doing assignments. I rewrote her assignment for her and that took a while; I left the Harvard referencing to her and the bibliography too. I can’t do everything; my grapes needed harvesting in Farmville. I had an email from Honourable student number Two saying she is unhappy and intends to work hard and be more like hard working Honourable student number One. I may have eased tensions for a while.

Branding and Iconic branding

There are lots of brands and many of them successful, but what makes them iconic? They are sort of pervasive. Iconic brands like Google and Coca Cola use all means possible to promote the name and the brand. Mc Donald’s is considered by many to be iconic; Facebook certainly is. Coca Cola benefitted from their bottle being used as a subject for ‘pop’ art by Andy Warhol. Iconic brands have a symbol, even the blue F that represents Facebook is displayed in the tab of a browser as a favicon. Facebook has a favicon, a blue F; LinkedIn has a favicon, a blue In; I have a favicon, a small pirate ship; now Shari wants a favicon! I think perhaps attention to detail is important in creating iconic brands. The names are important. They are often quite silly when they start out; but unique. We have names like Yahoo, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Mc Donald’s, Burger King and so on. They all have visual images to represent them, even if at times they can be tiny.

Jesus Christ is the most iconic person and the symbol of the cross is the most widely accepted; it’s still going after 2,000 years. That is typical iconic branding. Jesus offered unconditional love, a basic need. Some companies offer social interaction, some drinks, (water is basic) others are a representation of another basic need; food. To take your brand or idea to iconic level, look at primitive and basic needs. Sex works well of course and is used to sell. I tried to think of an iconic brand based on sex; maybe Victoria’s Secret? No; a brand, but not iconic…

Sex in advertising does appear to over shadow the product and I can’t find an iconic brand that uses sex! I must invent one and make a billion pounds. I found this quote while doing a little research:

‘In the animal kingdom, the massive size and impressive quality of a peacock’s tail is used to signal to females the size of handicap that a male can endure while also meeting his basic needs. This is known as the handicap principle.

In humans, the tendency to show off how much we can afford to waste has resulted in gamblers risking the loss of a million dollars on the turn of the card, kings building palaces with hundreds of rooms, and rappers covering themselves in gold and silver as part of “bling” culture.’

That explains why Rolex, Cartier and Gucci are iconic brands; they are ‘bling’ and the human equivalent of a sexually attractive peacock’s tail. I thought that being a writer attracted the opposite sex, but apparently it is not that. It is commitment and enjoyment that is attractive. If you are committed to writing or anything else creative to the point of obsession; like me, the opposite sex finds this attractive. You can commit to anything creative, photography, art, writing or even a commitment to something like  pop culture or even Harley Davidson’s can be a turn on. I could get a Harley and take hot babes for rides on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe not; I have been through my biker phase once. I do need an iconic brand to promote with a new Facebook page. I think the Pesky Punctuation Page was a good idea, but not iconic. A Dead Writer’s Society would be more iconic because it’s a bit; spooky.

I never wear jewellery, I’m blingless. I do wear a watch, its a few year old and needs a new strap. I can’t find anywhere that sells the straps I like! I’ll have a lot of straps specially made when I’m really wealthy. I may join that group of people that have promised to give away half of their wealth by the time they are 65 years old. The guy that runs Facebook is the latest to sign up. Do I want to belong to a group that has nerds in it like Bill Gates? Maybe not… I wanted to be a philanthropist at an early age. I became fascinated with the idea after reading Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. If I had a billion pounds, I could do rather a lot. What would you do? That is a good subject for a blog. What I would do if I was a billionaire…

I could make that the subject of my next blog…