Jan 232012

These girls were in no way associated with my Yoga class.

Today was bizarre to the point of being a truly freaky experience. For a start my girlfriend is doing Karate, not that great considering she is a pretty hot headed woman to begin with. Her and one of her friends saw a month’s free training and thought, what the hell they’ll give it a crack. Now even though I am more of a Krav Maga kind of guy I didn’t have a problem with this till today. Why now you ask? Well, and this is hard to admit, because whilst she was off learning to kick guys in the junk I was at Yoga.

Before you get all “Oh my god Jack’s a bit of an alternative wierdo” I’m completely cool with Yoga and Pilates and those sorts of girl-workouts. Having limped around with a parachuting injury for years (after landing on my pack at night), I’m all for stretching and strengthening. I’ve tried nearly every type of exercise available. I even dabbled in Bikram Yoga, but after passing out in a superheated room whilst I tried to touch my toes, I decided to give it a miss. Anyone who thinks they’re a bit of a tough bastard should try 90 minutes of that. . . trust me humping 10 miles with a 70 pound rucksack is more fun.

Yep.... sh#t just got weird.

Anyway a mate invited me to a regular Yoga class, so I thought, hell it’s a Chinese New Year why not try something new…FAIL. Normally I wouldn’t have a problem with Yoga but the reason this session weirded me out was while my girl was karate chopping wood and stuff I was holding another man’s hand and chanting… seriously WTF? The class started well, lots of stretching and strengthening, then it all got weird. It started with dancing, letting all your muscles go by waving your arms around like Jackie Chan on muscle relaxants… Hey, I gave it a go. I mean I’d paid my money and I wasn’t about to walk out. The thing is sh#t just got wierder and wierder. Before I knew it I was lying on my back doing some crazy arse cross country skiing move that looked like I was the birthday girl at a bukkake party. However it wasn’t until the last ten minutes that things really started to freak me out – ‘The Circle of Healing’.

That's going to be one big f@ck off circle of healing.

OK so picture this – a whole bunch of dudes and chicks sitting in a circle holding hands and chanting like some sort of demented cult. In the middle lay the people who need healing. This I wasn’t cool with. For starters the only circle I had formed in the military had two guys in the middle of it punching the crap out of each other with 16 ounce gloves. Secondly, wasn’t this the sort of thing that led to drinking blue Kool Aid and waiting for the mothership? I was freaked out and looking for an exit strategy. Finally it ended, but then some bleach blonde hippy girl asked why the meditation was so important. The instructor responded by saying it was a science, that meditating could change your DNA. Holy crap, I thought that required an exotic species of irradiated spider or a dose of solar radiation – sign me up for more meditation and a lycra superhero suit. Jack Silkstone’s gonna change his DNA and become YOGA MAN! Some people are just born stupid, I’m going back to running with my weighted vest and grinding out my knees.


Jan 012012

Twilight - it shrinks balls.

I was on the train the other day and I noticed the guy opposite me was reading a Twilight novel… Wow I thought, has man really de-evolved to this? In my head I ran through a scenario where I plucked the book from his hands and beat him with it.

In all seriousness WTF is wrong with men today? Seriously have we checked our testosterone at the door? Have we castrated ourselves and handed our balls over to our women? When did we start reading women’s magazines and wearing mascara?

What happened to men reading manly books. Tales of adventure, action and moral fortitude? If you walk into a bookstore now you’re immediately ambushed by what I like to call the ‘tweentard genre’. It’s all vampires, werewolves and sh@t. Now don’t get me wrong there is a place for these books, teenage girls and lonely women need something to read, but is it for men? F#ck no! Hell I have female PRIMAL fans that show more manliness than a Twilight gimp.

OK I hear you – you want to pry this teenage romance novel from your hands and replace it with something more masculine – but what? Well the big publishing houses have left you pretty high and dry. They’ve been fighting over the tweentard scraps and neglecting what men really want to read. Result, heaps of vampires – not a whole lot of action thrillers. Yeah, there are the staples out there that you can turn to, Forsyth, Clancy, Cussler, Griffen etc. But a lot of these are past their used by date. What’s more, a lot of them are being penned by other writers. Sure there is some contemporary gear out there that’s solid, Flynn, Eisler and Thor can be relied upon for a good thriller, but they also come dripping in their own political agendas. I want to read action, not a diatribe of political mumbo jumbo.

Fortunately, the maturing of the eBook market in the last twelve months has allowed a bunch of authors, me included, to publish their own work. What does that mean? It means you can get your hands on ripping action novels that haven’t been diluted by crack sniffing publishing houses who just want to sell the next Twilight series.

So Jack, you say, who do you read? What indie authors are ticking all your boxes at the moment? We’ll I’m glad you asked. If I flick into my Kindle I’ve got three authors that I’m currently reading.

PROMIS Vietnam - kick arse action.

The first is Jack Murphy, a former SF operator turned indie novelist. Jack’s novellas are fast paced, action filled and a great read. He’s also constantly developing as an author and his work is improving at rate rapid. His lead character Deckard is one cool cat, check him out in the PROMIS series.

Absolute Gold!

The second is Henry Brown. Like Murphy his background is military, he  has been writing for a while and it shows. His work is very much a contemporary blend of modern day themes and old school commando style action. ‘Hell and Gone‘ comes highly recommended and showcases his polished style.

The third author I’m going to plug is Dan Tharp. Dan’s a former navy guy who like Brown is trying to bring back the ‘male fiction’ genre. I recently read the first novel in his Task Force Intrepid Series, The Gold Of Katanga, and I really enjoyed it. Fast paced, great action and a bevy of rock solid characters.

Balls to the wall action.

Now I’ve given you  a three  rock solid indie authors that are fighting back against tweentardism. Get out there and support them, and next time you see a grown man reading twilight, slap him in the face with your action packed kindle.

Till next time,