The Hell Butterfly

Project Spotlight

Project Spotlight #7

So, hey, I haven’t done a Project Spotlight in a while. As y’all may know I don’t give these out lightly. But I do have a good cause this time to take the coveted Number 7 spot.

Today I am sharing with you a new blog that has a lot of potential. True, there isn’t much there right now, but I get the feeling this could be good. Below is a link to their blog, do go and check it out.

http://ndbambi182.wordpress.com/

I have a good feeling about this page, there is a nice focus on topic (comics, gaming, maybe politics and general rants) so anyone interested in those areas should definitely hit the doobly-doo.

Right now there isn’t much to say about it, but I would recommend y’all to keep an eye on it. It could be big and as current bloggers I’m sure you all remember the scary moment you begin and don’t know what you’re doing. So let’s throw some support behind this. I’m sure if we had someone supporting us from the start we’d have appreciated it.

So hit the link, check it out, and watch that space. Good things could come from it.

As for the future of The Hell Butterfly, I will try and keep up with posts but I’m in the process of working on another focus for this blog. When it started it was about writing, then as y’all may remember it was more personal and that seemed to work well, but recently I’ve had to rethink what I blog about. Don’t worry, my regular posts should keep coming, but don’t be surprised if some random posts come out every now and then. As my dissertation for uni is going to be about Young Adult Fiction I might try and do some posts on that, I’d be glad to hear your opinions on the topic. That’s about it for the update, so have a good day folks.

Write on.

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Project Spotlight #6

Keeping to the theme of Music May, I have here a local band to shine a spotlight on. They are an Indie Rock band and they go by the name of Propeller.Image

Tom Keith – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Adam Drewery – Drums
Lewis Gerry – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Gareth Thomasson – Bass, Backing Vocals

Formed on April 16th 2013, this foursome have quickly gained popularity and I am glad to say I am among the fans. They have only been together for about a year, and yet the promise they show speaks for itself.

Propeller have played a number of local shows, including Battle of the Bands in which they won a number of heats. They are now in the final on May 15th and I wish them all the best with that. Not only have they been busy on the live action front, they have also produced their first EP, Fearsome Fables of Sunday Afternoons, and I must say it is pretty darned incredible. Click on the dooblydoo to be taken straight to the EP page where you can listen to it on Soundcloud and then purchase the EP in physical form once you realise you love it: http://www.propeller-music.co.uk/?audio=fearsome-fables-of-sunday-afternoons#prettyPhoto

Hear a sample of their live performance here:

ImageNot satisfied by my word only? Then check out a review of the EP:

Propeller are a South West based band consisting of Tom Keith (Vocals / Rhythm Guitar) , Lewis Gerry (Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals), Gareth Thomasson (Bass / Backing Vocals) and Adam Drewery (Drums). Fearless Fables of a Sunday Afternoon (7/10) is their first EP release.

The EP kicks off with “No Matter Where” which features fast paced verses,a laid back catchy chorus, overdriven guitars, foot stomping bass and drums. Special mention goes to Lewis’s high backing vocals which suit the song and his amazing solo towards the end of the song; a great start to the EP.

“Shine a Light” is the highlight of the EP, a very catchy tune with intricate guitar work, massive riffs, attitude and lead singers Tom Keith’s smooth vocals leading the way.Image

The EP is consistently fun with the ska infused “Do or Die” (which hints at the heavier nature of their live performance); the Clash era brit punk of “Dance With Me”and the dirty funky baseline of meandering “Astronauts”.

Production wise the EP is a little rough round the edges (which adds to it overall charm) and it would nice to hear some more of the harder edge the band bring to their excellent live performances.


This is a great summer EP, packed full of charm, bright guitars, abundant energy and catchy songs which will appeal to fans of Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Biffy Clyro and The Libertines.
ImageCurrently they are working on getting into Q Magazine. The final track on their EP, Astronauts, is up for rating, and if you like what you’ve heard so far, or just want to show your support for an ambitious local band, then head over here to listen to it and rate the track five stars. It would mean a lot to the band to get this opportunity so let’s show our support.

ImageAll images and information are courtesy of Facebook, the Propeller Official Site and the Propeller Youtube page.


Project Spotlight #5

You can never have too much kindness in the world. At least, that’s what I think when I see videos like this.

Today’s Project Spotlight is focused on the greatness of humankind as presented to us via GoPro.

Now I love the GoPro Hero3. Mostly because I just saw these videos shot with them, but also because it is generally amazing. In fact, if I get accepted onto the internship program I just applied for, I’ll use some of my pay to treat myself to the GoPro Hero3 White Edition. Maybe if I’m feeling extra-generous with the cash I’ll even upgrade to the Black Edition. Either way, the film quality is impeccable.

But this post is about more than the fantastic quality of this camera. This is about the beautiful moments captured by them. All credit for the following videos goes to GoPro. From the folks who make the cameras, to the other folks who run the Youtube channel. This one is for you.

Oh and I’m sorry not all the videos are within this post. I tried and tried and only half of them would appear here. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But seriously, click the link as they’re really worth watching. Plus, I kinda don’t have a post without them.

And to save the best for last:

GoPro – Be a Hero

These people are.


Project Spotlight #4

This one is more of a double spotlight.

Firstly, the genius that is children. I recently came across this article and the advice is priceless. Children giving relationship advice, it doesn’t get much better.

15 Adorable Relationship Tips From Kids

Secondly, and to be honest quite a bit more importantly, a cause I came across courtesy of Nadia Giosa of Bitchin’ Kitchen.

Gray For Ray! Gray Matters!

Below is the description of the cause. Please, if you can spare some pennies, donate to this cause, worthy of the #4 spotlight:

Welcome to Gray for Ray!  Ray was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma (CANCER) in October 2012, after a visit to the ER for a headache.  Shortly after Ray underwent his first brain surgery to remove the tumor in his brain, they removed 88%.  Shortly after his surgery he started Proton Therapy(Radiation Treatment), 5 nights a week for 6 weeks.  Ray graduated 12/28/2012, his next hurdle was his next scheduled check up in February 2013.

A year later 12/1/2013 the tumor was back…We fast forward to January 2014 and Ray is back to square one.  Having the same exact surgery he had in October 2012.  10+ hours on the books for surgery #2 and it was successful with removing 92% of the tumor.

Ray was in and out of the hopsital in 5 days.  He is currently at home recovering and preparing to head to Texas.

Krystal (his wife) wrote this…

Rays surgery went really really well!! He has and continues to amaze every doctor, nurse, therapist, family member and friend on how well and FAST he’s recovering. Ray spent less than 1 day in ICU and 2 days so far since in step down recovery. His surgeon said he could go home today but he wanted to keep him another day because he just had Brain surgery on Thursday. Lol. On the flip side… It’s tumor regrowth. (We are still awaiting official report) Rays neurosurgeon wants him at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,TX by the end of the week to meet with a doctor who is the worlds leading doctor in Ependymomas. Keep praying and sending positive thoughts. We are taking everything day by day and will continue doing so. Thank You.

So this leads me to this.  Insurance isn’t covering squat.  Ray needs to get his butt to Texas and see this doctor.  They are determined to get there on their own, but I know we can all help.  Whether it’s $5  or $5000 any lil bit helps.  They have a long road of travel fee’s, medical bills, ect ect.

GRAY FOR RAY!  Lets do this!


Project Spotlight #3 – Calling All Creative Writers

Love to write creatively?

Want to earn money for it? Or want to get published?

Then come on down!

No, seriously. My university is amazing and have recently handed out a bunch of links to websites looking for creative writers. Some have deadlines, some don’t. Some have cash prizes, some have publication prizes. Some have entry fees, some do not.

Project Spotlight #3 is to draw attention to, and celebrate, creative writing opportunities. In particular, the ones open now. Now me, I love a good creative writing competition. I have had a number of poetry submitted and received for publication, and while perhaps only small time, at least it’s some time. I don’t mean to brag – who am I kidding? I totally mean to brag – but I’ve had the following poetry published:

‘The Dream’ into PoP, aged 12.
‘Traveling Tide’ into somewhere I can’t remember the name of, aged probably 13.
‘Claustrophobia’ into somewhere else I can’t remember the name of, aged 16.
‘Vampire Me’ into Young Writers, aged 18 (only just made it before I was to old to enter).

I’m rather proud of my achievements, even if I have a memory like a sieve that’s let out the names of some of the places I entered. Although, I would be lying if I said I remember all of the poems I wrote. I had only one copy of ‘Traveling Tide’ that I gave to my teacher to look at. She liked it and so sent it off for me. I never saw it again. I know it was good for a thirteen year old, but I wouldn’t know. I can vaguely remember something along the lines of standing on the shore watching the boat leave with everyone but me, feeling all alone because they’d left me for better things, but turning around and seeing others like me standing on the beach, and we turned and walked away together. In theory it was probably cool, but I don’t remember the words.

Anyhow! Here are the links to the competitions. Check them out if you want to have a look. I assume they are all open to anyone, however I must say I haven’t looked too closely at them all. Have a look, and hopefully you’ll find something interesting.

Modern Dreams – Call for Novella Submissions

Short Fiction Story Prize – Deadline of January 1st – March 31st.

Writing for Radio – Opening Lines – Deadline of January 6th – February 14th

Dead Ink – Call for Reviewers – Deadline of February 1st

Personally, I’m thinking I might enter the Short Fiction and Modern Dreams competitions. I’m no good at reviews and wouldn’t be any cop at radio. I have a few short stories up my sleeve, and for £10 you can enter two stories and get a free issue. Modern Dreams may be a challenge, but I like creative challenges. It’s a novella with specific guidelines – apologies to anyone not in Britain as, though I believe you can enter from anywhere, it must be set in inner-city Britain.

Good luck, and have fun.

Write on, folks.


Project Spotlight #2

It has taken me a while to find something worthy of taking the second spot on Project Spotlight, but at last I think I’ve found it. The piece of art that I instantly knew had to be shared with you all. For the first installment of this Project, click here (no really, this page is worth looking at).

As much as I sincerely wish everybody has already heard of this, I recently discovered a friend from my university course who hadn’t. My jaw hit the ground. The genius – though that word is so overused it has almost lost its significance – that I am about to share with you has been massive in my family for years. When this was performed live on stage, we went to see it. And yes, I would go again, and again, and again. It will never get old.

The topic for today’s Project Spotlight, is Jeff Wayne’s musical interpretation of The War of the Worlds.

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I will admit, I have never read the book, but having listened to this soundtrack time and again I almost feel as though I don’t have to. I will, of course. But I’ve heard it is a good interpretation nonetheless, lifting quotes directly from the page to keep the story correct.

I am unable to find you the full album to hit play and listen to the thing in one, however here is a sample. For anyone with iTunes, Spotify, or simply a love of CD’s like me, the album can be found for your enjoyment pretty much anywhere except YouTube.

I’ve decided to bring Jeff Wayne’s musical genius under the spotlight because it never fails to “bring about the warm fuzzies”. It “gives me all the feels” and all the other phrases which aren’t quite real English, yet somehow manage to describe the feeling of intense emotional movement by nothing more than a piece of music better than using the actual English language. It makes me go cold. The war cry of “Oooh Laaa” sends shivers through my entire body every time. Not even once per listen, I mean every time they cry – which is too many to count, and too much effort to do so when I’m trying to enjoy the track.

In terms of the translation from book to music, this can be compared to a book-to-film adaptation. It is always going to be scrutinized, some people will always prefer the original, some will hear the track and never know of the books existence, some may enjoy both. But there is one significant difference between music and film: film allows the use of both sight and sound – music does not. When reading a book you have just one sense: sight. You read the words on the page and that is all. When translated into film, the sight is still there, but sound is able to be added. While this may seem like a good thing, I personally believe this can hinder the impact that a book has. In this way Jeff Wayne was able to hit me harder than any film adaptation has, and probably ever will. I believe this is because, like a book, music allows only the use of one sense: sound. We can immerse ourselves in a book, just as in music. We can surrender ourselves totally to that one sense and it fills us. We are not forced to divide our attention between sight and sound. We can lose ourselves in the instrumentals, the lyrics, the narrator’s voice-overs. In the pure masterpiece.

I really do hope you all, if you are not already familiar with it, check out this album.

Or alternatively, go and see the live show in 2014. I went to the 2012 tour and, while thinking the album couldn’t be topped, I found I was severely mistaken. In the London 02, capacity 20,000, fully packed, I stared slack-jawed as the giant metal construction lowered from the rafters – the Martians had literally descended on London. As you may be aware, I find nothing makes me feel more alive than being at a live concert. This is my home from home, the place I feel complete. So being in an arena with 19,999 other people, body shaking with adrenaline, from excitement, as the orchestra filled the building, our bodies, with their music … it doesn’t get much better. I was tingling all over from sheer awe at the spectacle.

For tickets to the 2014 UK and Europe tour, click right > here <.

Below is a picture from the tour, and I’m not even going to make it smaller for the purpose of fitting in the page. Take it in, in all its glory.

ImageSo all the spotlights are on and directed at you, Jeff Wayne. Thankyou for creating such a magnificent piece of art. It holds a permanent place in my soul, and I am forever grateful. You truly are a genius.


Project Spotlight #1

As of today, I’ve decided I would like to do a series of blog posts I’m calling Project Spotlight in which I essentially turn the spotlight on something amazing that is happening somewhere in the world. It may be sharing an amazing blog post I’ve found on my travels, a piece of happy news from around the world, or shining the light on a good cause.

So for the first edition of Project Spotlight I would like to turn your attention to a very good cause indeed.

A friend of mine, Richard Cook, is doing a charity skydive for Wild Futures on March 1st 2014. He will be dressed as a monkey as he falls from the sky in the name of charity. What a trooper.

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The following is Wild Future’s Mission Statement. For anyone interested in learning more you will find the link above:

About Us – Mission Statement

At Wild Futures we are all too aware that flora and fauna around the world are becoming more endangered at every moment. For some species, it is too late – they are gone forever. The future of all that remains lies in our hands and the time to act is now.

Every species of plant and animal plays a vital role within our intricate and dynamic ecosystem; the eradication of any one species inevitably impacts on the survival of others. The protection of non-human primates is at the forefront of our work, following almost fifty years of working to protect primates from the abuses they face both in captivity and in the wild. By focusing on primates and their protection, we aim to ensure a wild and safe future for all.

Wild Futures is dedicated to:

  • Promoting the welfare and conservation of primates

  • Conserving and restoring natural habitats in the UK and abroad through funding support, education and sustainable practices

  • Working to end the trade in primates for any purpose and abuse of primates in captivity

  • Offering a home for life to primates in need of rescue and rehabilitation

 

Please donate to this worthy cause by clicking here and spread the word. It’s not every day a bearded monkey-man falls from the sky for money! I wish him luck – he’s a braver man than me. Anyone wanting to leave a message for him can do so in the comments below or on the donation page if you choose to donate something yourselves.

 

Remember: Charity is like Tesco’s – Every Little Helps.

 

If anyone has suggestions for future Project Spotlight ideas leave a comment below. The world is always grateful for good news.