An open apology to my editor

Right, so a few months back I wrote a post pretty much berating the editor I hired for my book since I do have a deadline that is looming and well I haven’t seen it since I sent it off almost a year ago.

I had no communications or updates and naturally I didn’t have my novella, so naturally I made assumptions.

I knew the subject matter would not be everyone’s cuppa tea or cup of Joe! But my god these were false ones, it’s no secret that I’ve been under some drama recently and out of respect for my family I can’t discuss it here, but it was rough.

I never thought that others would be under their own drama and battling their own demons, which is private to my editor and will not be discussed here. I choose her because she is a wonderful person and never really thought of her while I was waiting for my book.

However this week I got the explanation why…and needless to say I feel like crap since right now my file is being located in the USA to send to me.

Miscommunication can lead to assumptions and I drew the wrong conclusion since I’m thousands of miles away in London, and you’re in America, a country I need to visit one day.

But anyway, please let me say that I am so sorry you are going through so much drama and if I knew I would never have reacted like I did. I will not delete the original post since I stand by my words at all times, but I really wish I could have been told earlier so these conclusions valid as they were would never have been made.

It was after I Googled you and saw the feedback of the other authors that you helped, and yet you never got back to me…ok, I felt hurt since I just thought it was because of my character’s lifestyle.

Not everyone approves of it, but I respect everyone’s opinion on it. No right or wrong answers in life after all, and at the time it was the only conclusion I could come up with.

So all I can say is that I’m sorry, and if you ever come across this, I hope you accept it one day

Love Jodie xx

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The Geek List: Climbing the O2

Ok, so the plan is put into motion to complete the Geeklist, so here I tackle the O2 Arena.

https://jvoportugal.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/the-geek-list-amended

So, I'll be climbing that!

So, I’ll be climbing that!

When I created the Geek List, let’s face it…I was off my head on Tramadol and trying to figure out how to get my life back on track. And now here I was, at the O2, in Greenwich, the site of the failed Millennium Dome finally doing when I set out to do.

I was joined on this misadventure with my nephew C, who’s just finished his exams, waiting for his results, so it was a grand day out and yeah I got a discount with Groupon! So here we both were, standing there watching people ascend what we would be doing in an hour because it’s something different and take in the views.

Ready for an adventure

Ready for an adventure

Have to admit even though the O2, has been opened for years, it was only three years ago  some genius looked up and thought “Climbing that would be fun”, especially since the O2, or since it was renamed for Olympics “The North Greenwich Arena” due to the corporate sponsorship ban.

Prior to that, it was empty, a waste of space, a blight on the land, the white elephant of failure called the Millennium Dome. Which I didn’t visit because it was only open for a year, and fifteen pounds was expensive back then and for way of celebrating the Millennium and Great Britain, for those who pay enough to sponsor it, and those dumb enough to buy tickets for it.

I do give them dues for its symmetry and incorporating Greenwich Mean Time, since it has 12 supports that represent the months of the year and the hours on a clock face. This is an attempt to pay homage to the role of Greenwich Mean Time. The circular dome also has a diameter of 365 metres to represent the days of the year and centre, which we climbed, is a full 52 metres tall to represent the 52 weeks in each year.

According to the website, only six million people bothered that year, so it was closed, the stuff and exhibitions demolished, what was imagined to be one the same level as the Eiffel Tower quickly became a joke in the capital well until five years later when the plot of land in Greenwich that was once sick and polluted was reborn as The O2 Arena.

Now over the years I’ve been to this venue a few times, the first was the time I’m managed to score free tickets to see Bon Jovi, which was fantastic and the second that really sticks out was when sister R brought me a ticket to see The Spice Girls Reunion Concert! Having never been a fan of the group, at least I was spending time with my sister. It didn’t change the fact that fortified by wine I knew all the words to the songs, which scared me on some level.

The last concert I saw there were The Backstreet Boys, which was amazing since R got it for a Christmas present for me, and since at the time I was still in moon boot so she got floor tickets. I know right!

So over the last ten years, this crap storm of a tent has become a beloved London icon because there is so much to do there. But now I was going to climb it, after we walked in, and had to sign waivers, of which I had to sigh C’s because he’s a minor and if anything happened to him I would be responsible…and if anything did I would live in fear of my sister K for the rest of my life!

So here we were waivers signed, and watched a film giving out the impression of a global expedition, no man get left behind, Captain Oates sacrificed himself for the team type of thing. Which explained what we would be wearing, and how we would be harnessed and clad in boiler suits and how we had to do what our instructor said.

Our instructor for this mission was Ben, an ex-PE teacher, who does this at least four times a day, who explained that we would be harnessed at all times, and there would be no way to fall, as we were escorted to the next room to put our stuff away and because the weather was great we could wear our own clothes and these waistcoats for the harness attachment.

A bit better than looking like you’re about to conquer Everest, speaking of which on the wall of the changing area these was a picture of Sir Edmund Hillary, the apparent first person to conqueror Mount Everest. Yeah, always been a bit dubious of that, are you really trying to tell me the Sherpa living at the foot of the mountain for hundreds of years never looked up at that and thought “You know I’m off work tomorrow, might give that a try?”

But anyway, we were in the waistcoats and about to be harnessed through the legs and over the body, and let’s just say the guy who designed the harnesses never factored in let’s say Viking looking woman, because it was tight and put on the special trainers we had to use, to protect that surface from cross contamination and dirt and all that stuff, but have to give them their dues I may have been the thousandth person to wear the shoes, but they were really comfy.

So here we were in the lift, at the ascent, looking up with a moment of “Oh my god what the hell am I doing?” with a right foot hurting in advance, since I forgot to bring my deep freeze with me…I know right. Foot full of metal, and I forget that. Because of this C and I opted to go at the back, so we wouldn’t hold anyone up, and after the souvenir pictures, we were attached to the O2 cables, from that moment, no backing out, it was done.

Now that cables leading up and down to the building, have two functions, one is to keep you attached at all times, the other is to make sure that your own safety and everyone else’s is observed, in the cables, after a few meters is a wedge that you have to release your harness over before you go to the next section.

Have to give them dues for designing these things, even if they are fiddley sods, and trust me there are over two hundred you have to navigate over in total, yes at the end you feel every single one, but at the same time, there easy to ignore.

As we were going up, my plan to film the entire thing failed when we were told at the ascent and descent, there is no photography allowed, since people have done so and dropped their phones onto the O2 roof, which must lead to one of the funniest cancellation calls ever, sadly we never saw any on said roof as we went up.

Now we were all expecting a hard surface, instead the blue platforms are made of spongy material, which is also the same thing the O2 canopy is also made of, now as we were ascending there is a moment where the support on the edges drops away and we’re open to the elements.

From the bottom it looks working, since it’s the sharpest ascent point, but open to the air, and since I’m not that fantastic with height both of us were expecting to be concerned, but there was nothing, just a beautiful day climbing on the building. Ok, the walk was hard, but not too extreme, as we finally made it halfway and to the viewing platform.

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Now after going up the London Eye, on the South Bank, hence there is so much stuff to see, in Greenwich, well not so much. There is Canary Wharf, and some nice views of the Thames, but it’s nice views, it was a clear day and were standing between the iconic yellow supports, with camera at the ready, whilst C being a gymnast fulfilled his ambition of doing a handstand at the top.

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To our right was the Emirates Air Line cable car ride across the River Thames which we considered doing, but decided to do that at a later date, now at the top looking around feeling a sense of achievement for managing to get up there, which took about twenty five minutes, it was a perfect day, for once the weather was wonderful, there was a nice cool breeze in the air even though there was really nothing to focus on as view go, it’s one of those moments that London, well London that we could see looked beautiful.

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One thing I do give them credit for, was that we were never rushed, and the tour guide knew London well enough to point out several landmarks, and take out pictures as well as moving across the extremely large platform, until we were told to go down. Now this was the hard part, due to the pressure and because of this I was at the back with C, as Ben pointed out great views, even though the final decent part, was torture on my foot, have no idea how everyone else was but I was in pain, but worth it.

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At the bottom out of our harnesses and suits we had the option for souvenirs so I got a fridge magnet for us, but overall, it took just over an hour to do it all, but was it worth it. Well if you want better views go elsewhere, but thanks to Ben who was a fantastic guide, and the experience of climbing something that only fifteen years ago was a blight on the land, yeah worth every penny.

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Baby ear piercing is not child abuse!

Right, this has been on my mind for a while since every few months a comment goes around Facebook stating that “Baby ear-piercing should be banned”, shows like Blinging up Baby (never seen it, but it started a Twitter row) set a bad example and every parent who apparently subjects their baby to this gross form of mutilation, is a child abuser on the same level as committing Female Genital Mutilation.

Now I was raised to respect all opinions, even those that I don’t agree with, but this latest version in which baby ear piercing is trying to be banned is brought to you by Ms Susan Ingram, who I can imagine is a wonderful woman, who decided to bring this upon us.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/ban-ear-piercing-for-babies-toddlers

I especially love the part where it states

“It is a form of child cruelty. Severe pain and fear is inflicted upon infants unnecessarily. It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the parent’s vanity. Other forms of physically harming children are illegal- this should be no different.”

Right, because something that takes seconds, is child abuse, now this statement disgusts me because of the assumption that my parents who worked hard all their lives, raised four children, and are two of the most wonderful people you could even meet abused me and my sisters K and R, because we all had our ears pierced when we were six weeks old

Yes, 6 weeks old, by my first Christmas, you did read that correctly.

About a week after this picture was taken I had my ears pierced. Oh, the toddler is my sister R!

About a week after this picture was taken I had my ears pierced. Oh, the toddler is my sister R!

I guess back in 1980, people weren’t as uptight back then, and respected parents right to make decisions for their children, since my mum took me for my six week check-up, and then at the end my Doctor asked her if she wanted my ears pierced. Yes, we went to the Doctors, it was done in a sterile professional environment, I cried for about a minute and that was it…the end.

The fact that this was done by my GP, shows that my parents cared about my welfare and didn’t take me down the local tattoo parlour, because that’s pretty much what the petition indicates and they did it because they knew it would be easier to get it done as a baby, than wait until I was older.

Sadly as it happens, my tiny baby studs didn’t take very well, and shortly after I had them removed and the ears closed up. I can imagine a bad parents wouldn’t have cared, but my parents did the right thing and assured me that I could get them redone when I was older.

Cue the happy childhood, but I was painfully aware that I was different from my sisters, aside from the fact that their left handed along with my brother T.

They wore pretty studs, graduating to hoops and creole earrings and everything else since big was better in the 1980’s, and I didn’t. What made it worse was that so many members of my family didn’t realise that my ears were closed so brought me pretty earrings for my birthdays. I do remember getting a nice pair of ruby studs when I was seven and ten-year-old R’s eyes practically lit up since she knew they were now her’s.

This unfairity made me determined to get my ears pierced again, so in the end when I was eight, K took my to get them done again for my birthday (she paid, I was very happy). Thought I was ready, but nothing prepared me for the pain, even with the sleeper hoops in, and then infection because I didn’t clean them properly.

Yes me, my choice, my responsibility and my laziness. However my primary school was one of those where you didn’t have to tape your ears with PE or Sports Day, and taught us that if you ripped them it was your own fault, because schools in the 1980’s weren’t as uptight as they are now.

In the end, I was forced to take them out, because of it and I hated myself because I couldn’t deal. Even though mum assured me I could try again in my teens, which was poor consolation, but needs must.

So in my teenage years I had them done again, finally I could wear pretty earrings, finally I could be like everyone else and grew up to lose one of them after a night of clubbing. Yes, after that I only wore the cheap ones which turned green!

Now in my thirties, I hardly wear earrings, because of my job even though having the same holes pierced so many times it means I can push a stud through them with no problems.

So essentially, it’s no big deal. It’s not child abuse…it’s nothing.

Also one thing I can’t stand is this petition totally negates the cultural and historical significance of ear piercing, since it goes back thousands of years and King Tutankhamun was found with his ears pierced and remember he was known as the Boy King. Yes, I went on wiki…here is the link.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earring

However this petition, to me just smacks of something out of 1984, Big Brother is Watching You. Deciding your every move, taking every piece of free speech from you, including how you raise your children.

Another thing it fails to mentions since it’s too busy in making its statement, “It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the parent’s vanity.”

Right, because in some societies it has cultural and historical value which is negated due to the suggestion of vanity, which in truth does come across as both totalitarian and racist.

By some sheer coincidence, even though my family left Brazil in the 1890’s. It’s common for babies to leave the Hospital, with their ears pierced as for a baby girl, it’s a symbol of femininity, and it’s traditional. So who the hell is anyone to tell you it’s wrong, especially the State?

Another thing is if we remove this power from the parents, then who decides how old someone is, a piercing is a lot different from a tattoo when the legal age is 18. Should there be a set age, or do we just wait until the child says. “Mum, I want my ears pierced”. At least by doing it younger, you’re reducing pain and infection and isn’t that a good thing?

However, I can see things from both points of view, hence the reason I posted the link, and if you want to sigh the petition, then knock yourself out, and join the 40’000 odd people with nothing better to do. Perhaps you see it as tacky or too working class? Because, perhaps you need a reason.

But as someone who had them done at a young age, and grew up fine. All I can say, as eloquently as possible to Sarah Ingram and to every single one of you.

Mind your own damn business.

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The Geek List: Amended

Right, whilst I was incapacitated, I wrote a list and since life had been so strange recently, I’ve made a decision to try to complete all of it. Including the impossible things at the bottom. Well, wish me luck.

  1. Do a charity abseil, bonus points if it’s Battersea Power Station, completed 12th July 2014
  2. Be an artist’s model, I have scars on my right foot and a Rubenesque figure. There must be someone who wants to immortalise me!
  3. Go Paintballing
  4. Go up a mountain, and when I get to the top re-enact Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights…not singing it, because no one can sing it but her.
  5. Jump off a building onto an inflatable, bonus points if I can get St Barts, since it’s the one Sherlock jumped off!
  6. Get my third tattoo, completed 14th March 2014
  7. Walk up the stairs, all fifteen step without holding onto the wall or anything, completed 1st March 2014
  8. Walk the dog, completed 15th June 2014
  9. Give Blood, completed 14th August 2014
  10. Get “the dream” to come true
  11. Take part in an historical re-enactment
  12. Go Larping
  13. Stay in the Ice Hotel and see the Northern Lights
  14. Re-enact “What’s Opera Doc”, on stage
  15. Walk up the O2, completed 18th June 2015
  16. Do Cosplay
  17. Learn a ballroom routine to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme.
  18. Mediate under a waterfall. It’s called Misogi.
  19. Visit Hobbiton. Peter Jackson kept the set, people can stay in it…I know right!

20…I’ll find something

Some things I really wish could happen

  1. Meet Ron Perlman
  2. Be in a music video for Portugal the Man.
  3. Take part in a Dungeon and Dragons Campaign narrated by Vin Diesel.
  4. Meet Tom Hiddleston, even better have a scene opposite him…I just have to hand him a coffee or something, because that smile is wonderful!
  5. Have a voice in an animation opposite Frank Welker, the “voice acting god” and the direct heir to the legendary Mel Blanc.
  6. Be in an episode of Doctor Who, along with MT. He’s a total Whovian and it would be awesome to meet Peter Capaldi. MT and I are no longer together, but we’re still friends and I would like this to happen for both of us.
  7. Meet the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy.
  8. Be in the next Guardians film…bonus points if I get to be a Ravager.
  9. Go to the Labyrinth Masquerade in Los Angles.
  10. Go to Burning Man, all I need are friend in the USA…and a bike!
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Am I over not meeting Michael Rooker?

Yeah, this one is a few days late…sorry. So picking up where I left off.

So the final day of Starfury, of which I missed most of courtesy of the cocktails the night before. Did get there in time for Jena’s Q and A which was lovely, seriously she really is an actress who started out with nothing, and even though  hate the film Stepmom, she did a good job holding her own in scenes with Julia Roberts

Jena is so awesome

Jena is so awesome

Pretty much after this there was a special final event for the gold holders in which we could get a picture signed apart from Aaron Douglas which you had to pay a tenner extra, which for some reason is known as a “Badger”. Still have no idea why! I got that personalised, because why the hell not.

However afterwards, there was a lull in the convention, as in a three hour one. Ok could have gone home, but it was Sunday. I’m not used to this, three hours with nothing. Well, thankfully I found Neil and Emily again, along with a few others but three hours. If I’m every at a  Convention thee is always something going one outside even if it is two guys settling their differences by having a lightsaber battle with “Duel of the Fates” in the background! But this, yeah this is a downer side of Starfury cons. Was with great people to the point, and yes I did apologise to Neil for talking his ears off the night before, to the point I  almost missed the closing ceremony and had to sit on the floor!

One thing I will give the conventions is that all the guests were down to earth and so normal, since this is something you don’t normally get with conventions. A chance to actually engage with the stars, that’s never happened before now. With this you can really see how the Starfury goers really are a little family until themselves, the fact that they welcomed me straight away is saying something.

Another awesome cosplayer...I need to do cosplay

Another awesome cosplayer…I need to do cosplay

After this was the final party, of which I enjoyed a cocktail and a little dance, also I did spot Aaron Douglas filming a group of us dancing to Single Ladies…I live in fear of checking if he put it out online.

So my first Starfury, what have I learned?

Chilling out with your geek brethren is always awesome, no matter the location, however, three hours lull isn’t cool at times

Everyone was wonderful and welcoming.

However, I did learn from other guests that many people did book then cancel when Rooker and Gunn were announced as no-shows. They actually brought their tickets and decided not to go, so there were about 60 gold tickets and just under 100 main tickets, yes it was small, very small. But what is the point of not going, I still had fun. Ok I was gutted and on some level still am, even though I am determined to meet both of them to the point I am amending the “”Geek List.”

But even though I am the woman who wrote an essay about how miffed I was about Rooker and Gunn, I met awesome people, and may be going to the Vampire Ball in November and had a really good time.

Now please excuse me, just checked out the Guild…it’s awesome.

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Starfury Day 2 continued….

Paul's talk, he was awesome

Paul’s talk, he was awesome

So picking up where I left off, headed back to the Starfury for the cosplay competition, and before that they showed some clips of upcoming shows including s well as some Guild clips and this awesome song, which is now the official Geek Anthem.

This is our jam, from now on, spread the word and embrace this song. That being said, do we geeks have a song? Well, I guess the Imperial March in Star Wars, would come close.

We were also introduced to DC’S Legends of Tomorrow, which looks so badass, even though I know jack about most of the characters aside from their appearances in Arrow and  The Flash, however Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter. I bet he’s smug right now.

So anyway the cosplay competition, which was judged by the guests for the weekend, and that little boy I mentioned from the day before was Rocket with a little knitted Groot whilst his parents were Star-Lord and Gamora, as you can imagine there were a lot of Guardian entries, and these are the moments I wish I had the guts to do cosplay.

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There were a lot of Guardian entries, even though 1966 Batman won it, oh well sometimes you can get rid of a bomb! Was fun though and got some great pictures…as you can see.

The winner

The winner

Now even though it was a cosplay night, and my foot was killing me I spent the majority of it outside  geek bonding with others and drinking cocktails, I don’t care if you judge me, I only get one weekend off a month, and I take my shift working job seriously enough to be a puritan most of the time.

Constantine and I

Constantine and I

Also met a fantastic couple called Emma and Neil who had a Star Wars Wedding, come on a Star Wars wedding…which I’m torn since if I ever did get married I want to have it centred around Batman to actually having it in Hatfield House since every single Batman film has been filmed there…yes, I have given this a lot of thought.

May not have met Rooker, but still met Yondu

May not have met Rooker, but still met Yondu

So the second night was pretty much-spent geek bonding and it was about one am when I finally headed home fortified by cocktails and wound up telling two female cosplayers dressed as Loki and The Winter Soldier, they were a fanfiction waiting to happen. This apparently was the compliment of the night. But even though twenty-four hours earlier, since I was gutted about Rooker and Gunn, enjoyed myself more than I thought I would.

Day three, I’ll get to tomorrow

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Day 2 of Starfury…sorta

Well right now there is a lull in the convention, so decided to head home for a few hours before heading back for the cosplay competition, and Party and it’s been a fun day. Since I’m not what you call a morning person and last night failed to get much sleep courtesy of Jenna (cheers dog) had a bit of a lie in before deciding to head back for the Paul Blackthorne singing at 14:30, only to see a message on facebook from a guy I met yesterday telling me there was a special event for gold holder at 14:00.

At this point it was 12:30 and I was coming out of the shower. You have never seen me move so fast in my entire life!

Thankfully I got down there with half an hour to spare, to find the specials event was half hour with one of the guests, and since I geeked out so much yesterday. Choose Jena Malone who sat right next to me, and got over my geekiness. Once again she is lovely, we got chatting about Pride and Prejudice since the Austenite’s are more rabid then The Hunger Game fans, and I remember the comments when she was cast as Lydia Bennet which I thought she did a stellar job, but she got grief because she’s an American. She nailed it however, and she spoke out the transition to adult actor after Stepmom and Contact. Sadly she couldn’t confirm if she’s Robin in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I hope she is.

Straight after it was Paul Blackthorne’s Q and A. Yesterday I mentioned what a nice guy he is, yeah he still is. He talked about Arrow, how he got started, his long hard slog to be an actor. I did ask him if there was a role he had always wanted to play, after he asked me where I was from “Thirty minutes down the road” he told me he wanted to play the lead in The Flashman series, but couldn’t get the rights. Oh come on, my dad reads those, he would have been fantastic.  Additionally he’s also missing the footie for the convention…now that is dedication to us fans. I salute you

He also told us of his travels in India, and meeting the Dali Lama, and gave some advice about trying to see the smaller picture before the bigger picture. Seriously I need to start thinking like that, he doesn’t know if he’s going to be in the second Arrow spinoff DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. I bet he will

After that was the Jena talk, but because my foot hates me, had to go on a walk about turned to go outside and there was Jena standing next to a wall drinking coffee, my first reaction isn’t the best reaction…yes I swore.

Something she thankfully found amusing whilst I apologised and slunk away, not that I didn’t want to talk to he, but she deserved her privacy.

After her talk (I’m going to the one tomorrow) was the actual signing, as a gold holder I got my stuff signed first, of which everything is signed including my Arrow Season 1. I’m a happy Jodie right now, and Paul complemented me on my glasses. Prescription, FCUK, deal at Specsavers…I rule.

With the cosplay competition at 20:00 then decided to go home to catch up with my sisters, both K and R having come back from abroad today before I head back, the moment I type this up. But been a good day so far

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