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Charity Abseil: A Distraction

My usual distractions from writing usually include games, deep philosophical thoughts and conversations with other people on the internet (usually facebook).

This one is a little out of the ordinary. Saturday the 9th of february I’m abseiling about 200 feet down Avon gorge in Bristol for the Trauma Recovery Centre in Bath.

I’ve mentioned these guys before as half of the rights to Innocent Hearts was given to them as well as 10% of all my fantasy works going forward. If you want to know more about them, and all the wonderful things they do, their website is here.

I’d really love it for those of you who have some spare cash to sponsor me here and help me aid them in continuing their work. I’m really rather nervous about doing this and if every one of my regular blog readers each gave only £2 I’d hit my target with ease. It really is an amazing cause!

Entropia Land Deeds: A Year’s Worth of Investment

Just over a year has gone by since Land Deeds were introduced to Entropia. I’ve had one since the beginning and kept track of the returns. I did a post a while back on the early returns so I thought I’d post about the first year’s worth of investment.

In the first 52 weekly payments I received 241.81 Ped back or $24.18 which was an average of $.465 per week. It’s not quite as high as the initial amount I estimated in my two month post. It seems the first two months of the year were the best as I’m finding it’s picked up a little since then as well.

I initially predicted that the deeds would all be sold out within about six months and they are now all pretty much gone. The Planet owner kept a few to give out as prizes here and there but the vast majority of the 60,000 are now in the hands of others and interestingly I think about a quarter of them are all owned by one person, although one unnamed person. The resell price has also increased around 15-20% which I expected would happen, so my deed is now worth at least $115 so my total increase on the worth of the deed as well as the pay is at least $39.18 and is of course a 39.18% return.

At the end of two months I predicted that I would have my $100 back from payments by 20th April 2015, that’s now changed to 18th January 2016, which is unfortunately quite a bit later but I’ll actually have more than doubled my money by then if the deed value holds at $115. So a new estimate based on the new deed value of having a total of $200 value (deed resell value + revenue received) is 1st June 2015.

Although that is still after the initial estimated date, Mindark, the people behind the platform, have been putting extra effort into increasing marketing and new players to entropia, specifically planet calypso and have recently informed the community that the number pf players is growing. As they continue this into 2013 it may well see the amount per week grow again and these numbers may well improve. It definitely doesn’t look like they will decrease any further.

Christmas

I like Christmas and it’s only one week to go or seven sleeps as people keep saying. The big problem I find, however, is I don’t get much work done in December.

Planning for Christmas actually takes a lot of time each year. There’s all the present buying (which I usually quite enjoy), wrapping, putting the decorations up, writing cards and christmas letters to people we don’t see so often, organising who’s going where over the holiday period and making sure there’s enough food in the house of the right sort (ie, a big enough turkey), christmas dinners, nativity plays, carol services, and all sorts of other little things that all add up to make December a very busy month.

All in all I often find that it’s actually quite a lot of fuss over something that tends to be over quickly and not always very pleasant. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for remembering the true spirit of Christmas and I love watching the kid’s nativity every year. I also really love seeing Santa Claus the Movie with Dudley Moore as Patch the elf, but most of the preparation is part of the Christmas day celebration itself, which tends to revolve around giving people presents, hoping I don’t get anything where I have to fake my smile of gratitude, and eating far too much food that probably took longer than really necessary to prepare. All the while, hoping that everyone gets along and no one says anything that’s going to cause offense (which can be really easy with a lot of families). In short Christmas can actually be really stressfull, not to mention the fact it’s never anything like the Christmas that movies and advertising imply we should have.

I’m not going to go into the details about what Christmas should be. I actually think enough other people will cover the Jesus angle. I just find myself wishing we did some of this all year round. I think I’d like to be able to make less effort at Christmas to include all these things and instead do them spontaneously the rest of the year. I want to have people over for a good dinner in other months too and give people presents on other days that aren’t their birthdays. I’d like to have pretty things in my house and the smell of yummy things baking regularly. But mostly I want to celebrate, appreciate and smile about good things all year round.

Artistic creativity vs logical creativity

This is one of those subjects I’ve debated several times in person and one that was struck up by some friends recently on twitter. I chose not to really get involved on twitter as I hate debating on such a limited social network but I am not great at leaving this topic of conversation alone.

From what I can gather the rough comment that sparked the debate was – Logical people can be creative, but it’s creativity within logic. Creatives can be creative outside this.

I mostly agree with this statement although the outside this is a little ambiguous and does imply a lesser creativity is harnessed by logic to the creativity harnessed by artistic means. That part I don’t agree with. Both are important and needed in life.

Let’s start with the fundamanetal of what a person does whether aristic or logical, making a song or writing code. Both types of people are taking a blank canvas of some kind and are filling it. They are taking nothing and turning it into something, therefore on the basic level something has definitely been created!

The biggest difference is why they are doing so. A logical person probably has some kind of job (or is studying for one) that involves taking a problem, like how to stop all the harmful gas in a mine being leaked into the air or how can we make a more efficient car that runs more cheaply for an average family. There is a problem and solving it provides some kind of gain to our way of life, preserving the planet, saving us money, saving lives etc.

An artistic person can create for a much wider set of reasons (not necessarily more or less important). They might feel hurt and wish to create something that comforts others in similar situations, they might feel it necessary to challenge a particular worldview or opinion to ensure humanity doesn’t go down a dark path. They might not even know why they are creating but feel the need to do so anyway and express what’s inside them in the hope to gain clarity.

Notice in the logical examples it is some kind of physical need, in the artisitc examples it is all centered around feelings, emotions and morals.  This is what is drawn on to create our new thing, whatever it is. An artist often draws on the emotional side of things to create, often creating their best work when they have freely explored that emotion, often in a very unlogical way (the brain often just dredges up all the associated experiences they’ve ever had that relate in no logical order).

A logical person sometimes has a brief of what their project has to do and they set about thinking through how that is going to be solved. Often the process going on in their brain is as subconscious as the process going on in an artistically creative’s brain. They are trying to come up with the best solution to the problem but often their emotions are unengaged. My husband frequently tells me that he can’t code and think about coding while angry or even happy. He has to focus on something that is neither of those and similar to the process of solving a sudoku he goes through a bunch of logical steps (drawing on previous knowledge and understanding often subconsciously) to solve the task.

Then comes the editing side of things, A coder checks for bugs and might tweak code to make it more simplistic – the aim is an elegant coding that solves every part of the initial problem. Again another rather logical process. It’s not a fun stage of things. It requires being critical and deliberately looking for flaws.

A songwriter tweaks odd words, and checks for jarring notes – the aim is a graceful piece of music and lyrics that conveys the message it’s meant to. It can seem more logical. It is when all the technique and knowledge is applied but it’s still done from an emotional position. If a word can be changed because the new word conveys more of the emotion intended it is. Words have meaning which goes beyond face value. They drudge up memories, thoughts and associations that the artistically creative draw upon. The same with colours, textures and visual effects. This can often be a painful process for the artistic. They are looking at the creation that has often come from a very vulnerable emotional part of them and they are examining it critically for flaws.

The wonderful part is both logical creativity and aristic creativity brings satisfaction to the creator once it is complete. Both have strived for beauty and elegance in what they have created and both get the same sense of achievement when they manage it, they have simply done so by drawing on different states of mind. One the logical need to solve a problem, the other the emotional need to solve what is also considered a problem of some sort. The problems are just set by different things physical needs or emotional/moral needs.

It also comes intuitively. Neither task requires the problem solver to tell their brain which method of creativity to use. I’ve never had to sit down with a sudoku and tell my brain to turn off it’s emotions and just apply the logical things it’s learnt. It knows to do that. Likewise I never have to sit down to write a poem and tell my brain to focus on the relevant emotion. It knows to do that.

Most of the time we find ourselves better at one of these processes than the other, either drawing on our emotions or the logical knowledge we’ve picked up during our life. They both come with their stereotypes. The mad scientist who forgets everything but the speed of light and spends hours studying light’s properties but ten seconds putting their clothes on and the artistic person who doesn’t care if they’ve eaten as long as they’ve made the world think about the importance of love.

Different but both important and, in their own ways, both beautiful.

Tolkien and the world he created

Now I’m finally writing my own fantasy I’m spending more time looking at the lovely world created by Tolkien. He was a very brilliant man and a genius in his own field of linguistics. Occasionally if you’re looking for it you will see his name along side others on particular translations of the Bible.

Lord of the rings was the first book of his I read but it was swiftly followed by the hobbit, the silmarillion and I even own a few others of the many books of stories that his son and grandson have since published.

In my opinion Lord of the rings is by far the best. I know a lot of people say it would never have been published today but I really hope it would. Yes, there is a lot of description and sometimes it feels like it drags but it is a fantastic example of an epic quest undertaken by the unlikeliest of hero.

The description is seen as a good thing by some people, however. The details in Tolkien’s world is immense. He knew where everything was and had countless notes on the little towns and big cities, the races and everything else he thought he might need to remember.

While writing my own it’s very easy to delve into what he created and get lost in it for hours and the extended editions of the three lord of the rings films are fantastic too.

On top of that there is the very awesome trailor for the first of two hobbit films out this Christmas. I can hardly wait.

Olympics

I know this could be considered a little late but I thought I’d give my opinion on the Olympics this year, considering that my country were the hosts too.

First off there was that opening ceremony. This was the part most of our country was worried about. We could have done an awful job but actually it was amazing. I don’t expect that everyone in other countries would have really understood it but it was very British and well planned out.

My favourite bit was when James Bond went to pick up the Queen in the cut away video. We all thought it was just a Queen lookalike but when she turned around and greeted him and revealed that it was indeed our monarch a cheer went up in our house full of spectators.

I had heard she had a good sense of humour but I think this just proves it. She even allowed her darling Corgis to be in the video.

On top of that I have to admit I really quite like Daniel Craig as James Bond. He’s not the best actor that’s taken on the role but for this moment he seemed to have the perfect expression. His face when the Queen said ‘good evening Mr Bond was spot on.’

The other thing I loved was how they managed to turn this —>

into the industrial age, tower-filled forge below. And yes that is the same house in the shot and that ring to the left is covered in grass in the first shot.

Amazingly they managed to do this while stuff was going on around. Workers appeared and stripped back grass while others appeared to be winching up the towers into the middle of the stadium and Isanbard Kingdom Brunel surveyed it all with satisfaction after reading out an excerpt from the Tempest.

On top of that we had sillyness from Mr Bean and one very amazing music medley of 60’s to the present. The final stunning part, however, was the Olympic flame itself. Not only had they managed to keep it secret that seven young athletes were going to light the Olympic cauldron instead of an established professional as it normally is but they had also managed to keep it quiet that the copper petals each country carried in with their parade actually all came together to make a stunning cauldron.

Each petal alone was stunning as you can see to the right. and there were 204 of these that came into the arena, one with each country. All we knew as they were coming in was that they were very pretty and we were told they would all feature later. Well they all ended up in the centre in a spread out spiral. As the bottom few were lit the flames jumped from petal to petal around and up the spiral and then it was all lifted up to create one large cauldron.

Not too bad really for an opening ceremony from us. I also really liked that almost everyone involved was a volunteer. It was nice that any old joe could give up time to practice and get to take part, as well as all the builders being honoured during the torch bearing.

Unfortunately the first day of the olympics didn’t go quite so well in Britain’s favour. We had hopes in the men’s road race but just couldn’t get enough other teams to work with us to catch some early leaders so none of the British could get near a medal.

The following day saw us pick up a couple of medals, however. We did a lot better in the women’s road race and picked up a silver, then a bronze in the pool with Rebecca Adlington.

Monday saw us do well in the Equestrian cross country after our good start in the dressage. We also did well in the gymnastics, though there were upsets there with the Japanese fall that was possibly a wonky dismount.

Tuesday granted us a silver in the team equestrian which wasn’t too surprising after the amazing cross country we had the day before.

Then all of a sudden it really took off on the Wednesday with the female rowers getting us our first gold medal and then over the following days we got loads more in the cycling, rowing and even a few unexpected ones in the athletics.

The second Saturday was our best day with six gold medals being acquired throughout the day. I believe they were two rowing ones, a cycling one and the female heptathalon, men’s long jump and men’s 10,000 run. On top of a bunch of silvers and bronzes.

By the end Team GB had 29 golds 17 silver and 19 bronze medals, a lot more than had been expected and I think our best games for over 100 years. The whole buzz and excitement of the olympics was extraordinary too. Almost everyone was talking about it and watching as much as possible.

Eventually the games reached the end and we came to the closing ceremony. This was put together by someone different but still followed a similar theme to the opening ceremony. There was a lot of music and bands playing. Unfortunately not everyone could sing as well as they used to but they did their best.

It started with Winston Churchill reading more of the Tempest from inside the top of Big Ben while chaos ensued around him. There were suddenly street parties and golden oldie songs beginning with Our House by Madness, who popped out the back of a newspapered covered truck driving around the edge.

As they sang more newspaper covered cars, people and dancers appeared around the stadium and the stadium led a rendition of parklife, which led into westend girls by the pet shop boys being driven around on bright orange chariots. I kid you not. Bright orange chariots! I did spend most of my time wondering how their drivers could see and also wondering if the petshop boys had done something naughty to deserve their black dunce caps. It was entertaining at least, however and did make me think of their whacky music videos.

Unfortunately then came the first of the oldies who is getting a little past it now in terms of singing voice as Ray Davies tried to treat us to a rendition of Waterloo Sunset. It could have been better but it was bearable and watching everything else going on around him was at least interesting.

This was rescued by Emeli Sande who sang read all about it on her newspaper covered car. Thankfully at this point all the newspaper disappeared and the parade of atheletes final medal ceremony and all of the official things happened. The best bit of this was allowing the atheletes to enter from all parts of the stadium so all the crowd got to see them and congratulate them as they walked in. I thought that was a great idea.

After everything official they started us off again with an excerpt from Bohemian Rhapsody, which led into Imagine by John Lennon, sung by The Liverpool Philharmonic youth choir, followed by more madness from George Michael’s white light and the Kaiser chiefs version of Pinball Wizard.

Then things got more odd with David Bowie’s fashion and those lorries that were newspaper covered earlier all came back with lots of big fashion brands and models on their sides. At the end of the song they all opened up to reveal models for each brand and some very lovely dresses, plus one man.

And at that point, just when you didn’t think things could get any more odd Annie Lennox came on stage to sing Little bird. Her mode of transport was a sail-less boat, complete with a guy holding wings up for her. Thankfully she sang better than she did in the Queen’s jubilee celebration and I really liked her boat. Everything else was a bit odd but the boat was cool.

The next song was pure genious with Ed Sheeran singing Wish you were here with a band comprising of a genesis member, a pink floyd member and several others.

Russel Brand then added his mix of eccentricness into it by singing pure imagination from the original charlie and the chocolate factory film followed by I am the walrus. Which led into Fatboy Slim dj’ing from a giant octopus for a couple of songs and then a medly from Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taoi Cruz, who sang their own songs followed by coming together to sing the Beegee’s, you should be dancing.

Unfortunately this very bright vw camper powered octopus was followed by another oops of the closing ceremony. Five taxis came driving into the stadium with some passangers most people probably didn’t want to see, the Spice Girls. They climbed onto the roof of their taxis and drove around singing a medley, although thankfully some of it was mimed.

When that was finally over the director decided to take a leaf out of the opening ceremonies book and went back to the eccentric humour the brits are best at.

Cue Eric Idle and, Always look on the bright side of life, complete with new olympic lyrics and some great dancers. Yup, that’s us Brits right there.

After this it pretty much wound up to the extinguishing of the olympic torch with the official olympic song by muse, a brilliant screen of Freddie leading everyone in random scatting from a recorded concert moment and a phenominal guitar solo from the ever loved Brian May. He was then joined by Queen’s drummer and Jessie J helped provide the vocals to We will rock you.

Once the flame was extinguished there was Take that and finally a trio of songs from The who. All in all not too bad if you forget the few that seemed more pointless. I Am torn between Eric Idle and Queen +Jessie J for best act of the night, however.

This concludes my olympic round up. Right now I’m very proud to be British.

Cornwall 2012

This summer I was invited to spend a week in Cornwall to see the J class regatta being held in Falmouth. I made mention that a good selection of the Mountifield family were hoping to get a moment or two on the J class yacht Velsheda.

This boat was built in the 1930’s and was one of only 6 boats in it’s class at the time. I believe at the time the J class also represented the largest single masted sailing yachts.

Velsheda’s first ever captain just happened to be a Mountifield. A Captain Alfred Mountifield. One of Alfred Mountifield’s grandsons is alive today. I call this man Grandad. His eldest son is my husband’s father. So I married the direct descendant of the first ever captain.

Not that long ago another of my Mountifield relatives found a photo of the original captain at the helm. As my uncle in law had been allowed on Velsheda before to have a quick look over while she was docked in Falmouth in a previous year he let the whole family know they were in Falmouth again this year and emailed the new captain to request the possibility of the grandson, great grandson, and great great grandson (my husband) all being allowed on board to get photos in the same position as the old one.

About the same time we were talking about this I was also working out the plot for the sequel to Sherdan’s Prophecy and had a scene I wanted to be on a boat out at sea. Being the kind of person who likes adding in little gems of family history (there’s a relative of mine in the Caribbean at the same time as With Proud Humility is set and he’s mentioned in the book) I wanted that boat to be Velsheda so my uncle in law mentioned that too.

Unfortunately the new captain didn’t take too kindly to the idea of people wanting to go on the boat he commanded and wasn’t particularly polite in his replying email. To be honest I’d have understood if he’d said he was too busy, or even said something like you can come take a few photos but you can’t sail on her, or something like that. I’d have been disappointed but I would have given him the benefit of the doubt and possibly just emailed to ask nicely if he’d answer a few questions about the boat so I could still do enough research to include it in my novel.

Despite the mildly grumpy Captain we did still get to see Velsheda race against some of the other J class yachts. Including Lionheart, the newest J class. The shot above and the few below were all taken from my camera off Pendennis point at Falmouth as they sailed out in the waters in front of us and sailed back into the mouth of the river.

As you can see from the photo above all the J class yachts are a lot bigger than the normal ones that look tiny dotted around the outside. Although it’s not the clearest of photos it gives an idea of the sheer size of these yachts. Hopefully I can still find enough info out about one of them to include it in a novel even if it can’t be Velsheda.

The rest of the holiday was spent in a very chilled out fashion, often near the coast and gazing out to sea. Something about being near the sea or at sea that I find relaxing.

Mixing things up a bit

I always find new ideas a bit distracting but I got very very distracted by a blog post here about mixing genre’s and general book mash-ups. I noticed in the list of genres for insipartion my old favourite, steampunk, and remembered that a while ago I had told myself I should really see if I could come up with some kind of steampunk book. I also really like the concept of dragons. I always have, great big fire-breathing monsters with wings, who wouldn’t like them?

So I suddenly had an image in my head of a victorian style house all powered by steam, and who makes that steam, you guessed it, the posh victorian families pet dragon! Steampunk, dragon style! So far all my plot consists of is that thought and something to do with a young servant, either male or female. It’s not much to go on but it’s already got me totally distracted.

Of course I have no idea where or when to set this book (other than something vaguely victorian) but that leaves a lot to be decided. Shame I’ve got a few too many other projects to be looking at to write it just yet but we’ll see. I do want to write a choose your own adventure style book though so you never know, choose your own dragon steampunk adventure anyone?

 

You’re a young male servant to the lord Rushdale and live in the servants quarters there. Your main job is to feed the two young dragons that provide the fire needed to create steam for the houses many contraptions. As usual you head down to the cellar of the house and to the semi-tame pets that will already be waiting for their food. The sun is not yet up, just like the family you serve but the four deep gold eyes greet you in the deeps of the house.

The left one, coughs and lights a fire, chasing away many of the cellar’s shadows and showing you both animals. They are still just babies but almost completely trained. You chuck them the six lambs you’ve been lugging over your shoulder and watch as they chargrill them and wolf them down. The slightly larger of the sibling dragons turns it’s eyes back on you as if to beg for more, just as you notice their spiky tails have knocked a hole in the back wall.

While you’ve been waiting the sun has started to rise and you can see daylight through the opening. You walk past both animals, neither of them aggressive to you and rightly so, you’ve been training and feeding them since they arrives six months ago.

With a little extra force from a tail whip or two the opening could be made big enough for the dragons to get out. You pause, thoughtful as the male dragon nuzzles your hand, really hoping there will be more food.

What do you do?

Get some more lamb and ignore the hole?

Tell Lord Rushdale about the hole and see to it the dragons don’t escape.

Encourage the dragons to make a bigger hole?

Historical accuracy

Lately I’ve been doing research for my fourth novel and also with my first historical book out and my second very very close to being out I’ve been thinking a lot about historical accuracy.

There’s a lot of history and studying any one section of it well can take an entire lifetime. This can present a problem when writing historical novels. I’ve only got soo much time I can devote to researching an area. Admitedly I usually stick to my favourite era and the one I know the most about, 1790-1850. It’s the regency era, the French revolution, the abolition of slavery and the early parts of Queen Victoria’s reign. There’s obviously more to it than that but I feel fairly comfortable in that era.

The other problem is sometimes the plot and story is deemed more important than a historical fact, after all I write fiction, and to me, writing relatable characters who go through something people can understand is often more important than whether they really would have spent time with that person, or would have prefered a bow and arrow over a spear. If they don’t spend time alone with that person romance won’t blossom and people in battle with only spears get one or two hits in then get massacred, but bows and arrows means the fights a little more even. I’m sure you get my drift. Sometimes I deliberately write something historically inaccurate.

The biggest killer though is that 90% of the historical information we’re taught and we read in other books is actually wrong (yes I have just made that stat up). Though in all fairness, most of my sources these days are the internet and we all know how consistent that can be. Sometimes I will find something out, think I am right, and be wrong. Likewise some people will read my books and think I am wrong because they’ve read something different somewhere else, but I’ll actually be right. On top of that we all make assumptions. Someone may read that people in the 1800’s in the US could rarely read, even nobility, so assume people in London in the 1800’s also can’t read. Most people in the Uk are fairly aware they could, however. Jane Austen’s and Beatrix potter’s sales figures anyone?

It’s history, and by definition of a lot of it no one from then is still alive to tell us what it was really like, and it wasn’t the same everywhere even if we know what it was like in one place. You can’t compare a 1810 regency historical romance with a 1810 American-front historical romance. You can be pretty sure the two sets of societies had very different sets of rules, issues, and quirks.

I don’t write regency historical romances. I actually don’t like them (the whole chaperoned everywhere all the time missconception gets me angry. It was only really London and Paris and there were certain ‘public’ places you were allowed to talk unaccompanied) so I’d really appreciate it if people stopped comparing my historical adventure novels set in the 1800’s, in other places, to regency.

In fact I’d really like it if people just generally started off from the assumption that the author did do research and generally only think they didn’t if some big glaring mistake was made, like having steam power in the early 1800’s. Although, if that does happen and you’re worried, check you’re not in the steampunk genre. If you find you are, and are about to throw said book across the room in disgust at the historical inaccuracy of having steam almost 100 years before it was invented, please put it down gently and make a note to not read that genre again, you won’t like it.

Oh and also people, read the blurb, it helps give you an idea of where the book’s set and if you’re getting that regency romance you want. Also don’t tell me you didn’t know my first book was set in the Caribbean. It does say so in the blurb and last I checked Montserrat hadn’t moved.

People who are just ‘good’ are going to hell

I have noticed recently (there’s been an unfortunate amount of deaths of people related to friends lately) that a lot of western people think thus: If a person tries to be good for their whole lives when they die they will go to heaven.

This particular thought isn’t something I know is often challenged. In fact it seems to be a widely held norm for a lot of people just going about their daily lives in the UK and US (probably most of western society too) I want to challenge this thought because it’s actually not all logical.

Yes it is the one thought all major religions hold in common. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus all think that being good and kind as a part of their way of life, however, none of them say that this alone will get you to heaven.

From a Christian point of view you need to be following Jesus, getting to know him and doing as he asks, which can often mean being good but there’s more to the relationship side of things than just loving people.

Jews believe that we are all sinners as well and to be given God’s blessing and the chance to go to heaven we need to repent of our sins and offer sacrifices. We also need to seek God in prayer etc. So loving people and being nice alone isn’t enough here either. Muslims are similar I believe.

Both Buddhists and Hindus believe something slightly different to the other three in that their version of ‘good’ isn’t quite the same but they try to achieve a greater purpose in life than themselves. To devote their lives to something else or they don’t get to go to their versions of heaven either.

So where has it come from that people think being a generally ‘good’ person is enough to merit heaven for eternity? I think personally it’s out of a sense of being rather selfish. Most people don’t want to follow a particular belief system. They think they are too restrictive, boring, meaningless in todays world etc. (Excluding athiests who obviously don’t think heaven even exists) but they want to think there is some purpose to their lives. Like they want the prize of living right but don’t actually want the restrictions that might come with it.

Another possibility is hope. It’s sad at a funeral and naturally people are missed when they die. There is the desire to see people again and the idea that they’ll be waiting for us in heaven and we’ll get to see them again someday when we too get our brownie points for being good, is a comforting thought in the grips of grief.

Is it right though? Can people really expect the Christian/Jewish version of heaven when they’ve not actually done everything the Christian/Jewish faith asks them to do in order to go to heaven? There are some people I know who would say yes, it’s down to personal belief etc. I guess I wonder at the reasoning behind only believing in the easy/good parts of something and not the whole thing. It kinda says I reject your version of reality and have decided to substitute it with a lighter fluffier version of my own. And since when is life always light and fluffy?

According to every major religion on the planet though everyone who is just ‘good’ and doesn’t add to that is actually going to hell.