Friday, August 28, 2009

Descent into Madness...

...Rise into Power.

I've gone ever so slightly (more) insane today. At approximately 7.45am local time, the Universe opened up. The Titanic fell from the sky. Fat walked the streets. And the Darkness came... In the middle of it all, a little blue box with a fantastic engine roaring through the sky.

And I thought, "I'm in Heaven."

You see, ladies and gentlemen of Earth, it was The Doctor. "Doctor Who?" I hear you ask. And I say EXACTLY! Season 4, everyone. Season 4, in which Donna Noble travels the Universe, through time and relative dimensions (in space.)

So, you might be wondering how that relates to the title of this blog post. All I can say is, all in time. No pun intended. Well, maybe a little. But there is something that may or may not be coming. A history that maybe never was. A world that no one remembers.

Change was here, change will come again. This is my descent into madness, and the rise into power.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Longest Wednesday of my Life

I've been dying to talk about this for a while, but I wanted to vlog about it first. On August 12th, I received my Leaving Cert results. They weren't the best set of grades, but they got me my place in college! In the days I call the Longest Wednesday of my Life, running from the 12th to the 17th of August, my results were released and my college place was offered to me.

I'm going to be studying in Mater Dei Institute! Education, Religion and English. By the end of it, I'll be a qualified teacher of second level students! Hurray!

You can watch my vlog about this too... seriously, watch it. It's long, yes, but that's because I talk about a lot of things... I flail my arms around a lot too, which is a bit weird. Enjoy!


I apologise for the length of it. It's crazy, I know. I just couldn't shut up. Still, it's a vlog, and you have to watch it or else.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Flash Fiction

Hello, good people on the Internet, readers, writers, bloggers, vloggers, retail workers, office drones, party people, anti-socialites, and mermaids; I'm back after a much too long absense (*gasp* six whole days!). The reason for this absense is that I have news for you all that I only want to spread in Vlog form. Or at least, start in Vlog form and write the matching blog here too. My family have been against me on this agenda... By that I mean I can't make the video because they're never all out of the house when I'm still here!

Until such time I might be able to Vlog again, I have more news better suited to this blog. As you might guess from the title, I now write Flash Fiction. It's a rip-roaring barrel of fun and I highly recommend it. So far I've written four stories and submitted each one to a different magazine that my delightful followers on Twitter recommended to me.

Now it's your turn to recommend something: music. I know, it doesn't seem connected, but I'm going to attempt something mad that encompasses songs by a particularly fantastic band, and I'd like to know I have the creativity in me before I go forth. So, songs (they must have lyrics please) that I might be able to make a story out of. The only ones that are excempt otherwise are songs that are already stories (for example, Journey's End by Chameleon Circuit, or A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash).

By September 22nd latest, I will have heard from the first magazine. At that stage, if I'm successful, I'll leave a link to the story. Until then, music, music, music!!

Leave the song and artist in the comments below, or a direct link to the song on YouTube (which is where I will be going to listen to these wonderful songs). If you prefer to reply on Twitter, use the hashtag #musicpaul and I'll get all the recommendations. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Busy Body's Blind Wish

I hope that title confused you... Let me explain now. I'm the Busy Body in question. For the last few hours, the time set aside for my dinner excluded, I've been planning a novel. The title, for now, is Blind Wish. No, it's not a novel about eye-sight, or anything really to do with eye-sight besides observation and general vision.

I'm not here to tell you all about my novel, however. It's not written, not even a little bit, and therefore doesn't qualify to be blogged about. What does qualify, however, is the method I used to plan it!

Some of my Twitter followers remarked on the idea; I used PowerPoint. That's right, the presentation tool! Each slide was a chapter, except two slides that were a single chapter. I had two characters whose viewpoints would be followed, and I could move the chapters about as freely as I wished. Eventually I just planned in order of where they'd be in the story. However, I think you get the idea. I had complete freedom!

At the bottom of the screen in PowerPoint is the notes section. Conveniently, you can also print these notes with the presentation! So I can print out the general jist of the story, and some extra notes on each chapter, and voila, I have my plan all done and easily accessed!

I found the software really easy to use, so if you're a writer who wants to try plan a novel but you don't know how, give it a shot. Use a slide a chapter, or a slide a scene if you prefer, and use the notes at the bottom (well, mine's the latest version - I don't know where they are otherwise) to add in a little more detail. It's easy to read, easy to co-ordinate, and you can change it easily whenever you want!

Tomorrow I'll have to print it out and bring it with me to lunch. A friend of mine loves that I write, and this new planning method may get his interest!! Until next time, dear reader, goodbye! And thanks for reading!

I'd like to take this chance to point out that my blog now has my videos on the top of it if you want to find them easily. Just saying...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Review - Black and White

Black and White (Icarus Project, Book 1)Kessler and Kittredge, Jet and Iridium, Black and White.

A Dublin phrase might be used to describe this book - "pure whopper." Normally I despise colloquialisms, but in this case it's rather fitting. Black and White is an in-your-face, kick-your-ass Super Hero novel that will rock your world!

Following two characters, Jet and Iridium, the novel sends us all around New Chicago as both girls learn some secrets best kept in the dark; we learn of their childhoods, their daddy-issues, love interests, their time in the Academy and everythign thereafter, all the while with the two of them hating each other.

The once-friends are now sworn enemies, and victims to the society around them. In a similar way, their friends are torn apart; same-sex relationships between heroes are a major no, and a huge surprise! I shouldn't have been surprised, if I'd been paying attention, but it got me. It snuck up on me, shouting it's head off like some crazed lunatic and boy did it make the story shift a bit!

The authors, who I was only aware of thanks to the miracle that is Twitter, each took a character to write about; Kessler was Jet, the Shadow power, while Kittredge was Iridium, the Light power. I heard about the book only a few weeks before its US release and managed to get my hands on a copy a few weeks later. I'd been dying to read it! If you're lucky enough to be able to read this book, go for it! You won't be disappointed. Otherwise, just wait until its UK release in January 2010 for the masterful first book in the Icarus Project series!

Book two, Shades of Gray, is out in July 2010 (oddly enough, this is also the same time it's due out in the UK!)

The countdown has already begun, ladies and gentlemen; only ten and a half months to go!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tweetwall - Lying to the World

Slander? I think not!

During the month of July, a massive campaign, the very campaign that started the Word Nerd Army, was held to get one Rebecca Woodhead to the first place of the Ms Twitter UK competition. The battles were long and hard, but eventually Rebecca overcame the celebrities in the contest (including Vanessa from the Saturdays and Lily Allen).

She was Ms Twitter by right! She got the most votes, overcame her own disability and fought her way forward with spirit, haiku, six word stories and all manner of literary chatting to earn her throne.

Do Tweetwall care?

No. The top 20 people in the July competition were supposed to be kept on the winners' wall for all of time and placed afterwards into the Continental Competition. So what about Rebecca, Vanessa and Lily? Nope. All gone straight to the next level with no immortal position on the wall.

In other words, Tweetwall are lying to the world. They more or less fixed the results, and attempts to contact them, I'm told, proved futile. They refuse to acknowledge the "no-body" celebrity that is Rebecca Woodhead for her victory. This injustice cannot go on.

Spread the word: Tweetwall are lying!

EDIT: Here's the proof of Rebecca's victory too, straight from her blog. A screen-cap of the page!



Update: Tweetwell have fixed the error. All is right with the world

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Review - Stardust

StardustMy second review of Neil Gaiman's work; he really is a fantastic author, and he proves it in Stardust!

I entered the world of Wall and Faerie thinking, "I already know what's going to happen; I've seen the movie!" I was wrong. Yes, wrong. There are distinct differences between the two, which I won't go into very much detail on (why would I want to ruin the story on you?). I will say, however, that some parts are more violent in the book than in the movie, and less violent at other times.

Gaiman has an excellent style in the book. It read like a fairytale story... with a few swear words and a lot more evil. Perfect. There's nothing like evil and swearing to bring a fairytale alive! They melt into the text, become something of the world, make it more real.

I know a lot of people have read this book. I can see why now! It's not a romantic novel by far, as I feared it might be, what with Tristran and Yvaine's ultimate destiny (as seen in the movie), but an adventure story, a mock up of what a star should be like (she's bitter - it's funny). It was excellence in a book!

Stardust is highly recommended! Seriously, you'll love it if you're reading my blog right now. It fits neatly into my tastes, of which you are probably familiar with by now. I've thrown myself into worlds of demons and magic and sci-fi for years, with a few surprising indulgences of less fantasitical fiction in between, and I've loved every bit. It's an expansion of my choices for books. It's a fantastic feeling. Now I'm left with a slight despair that I don't have a lot of free time currently to go out and buy more of Gaiman's books! I'll have to compensate with other books in my possession, for now. A few more treats like Stardust will do me some good, I suppose.

Now go read it! (and might I just add, it's better than the film!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Knighthood

Well, it's official: I am Paul Carroll, Knight of the Word Nerd Army by the Power and Grace of Rebecca Woodhead.


Knight of the Word Nerd Army

It's a nice little piece I think. If I can figure out how to make it a permanent feature of the blog, I will do that. For now, we can all just admire it where it stands, in this post. I'd like to thank Rebecca publicly for this, and for all the work she's done to start the Word Nerd Army. I'd also like to suggest Googling "Word Nerd Army." Go on, do it now and I'll wait until you're back.

See that? My video was there! Amazing isn't it? Me! On Google. I'm chuffed.

And with that, I bid you farewell. There are books to be read (and a particular publisher that needs to get back to the public and say who won a selection of books!). Toodle pip!

Friday, August 7, 2009

When Twitter Was Down

Silly little poem. Enjoy!

When Twitter Was Down

Millions stranded,
Left behind,
Alone in the dark,
When Twitter died,
Searching for wisdom,
Courage and friends,

During those hours,
When Twitter was dead.
Searching the Net,
Wearing a frown,
Passing the time,
When Twitter was down,
Anything but life,
The thing we connect,
Everything to share,
With the Internet.
Silence fell on Twitterville,
No more chirps and Tweets,
The World Wide Web was bitter,
But life became more sweet.
No more death for Twitter,
As the weapon has been shown,
It shall be defended
(Our cybernetic home)
From virtual villains
And their techno-bots,
And everything else
That takes a shot,
So no one will cry,
Or moan or frown,
So that never again
Will Twitter go down.

Doctor Who and the Word Nerd Army

So, I've finally had a free moment from my family, and I made a vlog! I sound insane otherwise, just talking to myself. Best not to let other people hear it too.

So, here it is, Doctor Who and the Word Nerd Army!




It's not much; it never is.

Anyway... if you're interested in sending your script to me to read and to share (I'll leave links to the scripts on my blog and YouTube channel (the latter when I get enough of them) so that everyone can have a read of them! Just send them literary_mania(at)yahoo(dot)ie with the subject of Doctor Who Script in .doc, .docx or .rtf format, with your name and the title of the script as the entire first page (as it would be presented to an actor, for example). Sending the script is giving me permission to share it (as fan-fiction, you can't sell it anyway).

If in the event that Literary Den t-shirts become available and I get enough scripts, I'll judge which one is most interesting.

If you can't write a script, write a story instead. Once it's Doctor Who in style, I don't mind. I'm judging the story, the dialogue, the suspense, the humour and how in touch with the show it is. And don't forget, not even the Doctor knows everything - he didn't recognise the things that attacked on Christmas, and he had to ask where the Clomian was from (Clom, obviously).

Good luck!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review Service

As you all know, I review books. Whenever I finish a book, I review it. It's not always full of praise (for instance, the most recent Andy Briggs books) but it's an opinion on the book based on my tastes.

I would like to make it clear, this service is open to anyone. In the future, I will be receiving books from Simon & Schuster Kids to review. If anyone else would like to avail of the service, it's simple: ask and you shall receive. Publishers looking for a reviewer, I'm your man! While Crime and Romance aren't my preferences, I will do my best with whatever offers are made to me.

All children's books from this will be donated or used as prizes for schools within the Den's magazine. Successful schools will receive a box of books, based on the amount of books I receive. Obviously, the more diverse the selection (publisher and genre accounted for), the better the prize. This is part of an active movement to promote reading and writing.

The adult books will be distributed fairly, maybe even to the parents of the pupils of successful schools, or as prizes for the magazine again. One thing that won't happen: I won't make a monetary profit from the books. In fact, taking postage into account, I'll be making a loss on this. I don't mind, it's my idea and my money.

If you're interested, be you a publisher or an author, please contact me at literary_mania(at)yahoo(dot)ie with the subject of Review Service. Thank you for your time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Review - Crazy Hair

Crazy HairWell, it's a first here at Mightier Than the Sword - a review of picture book, Crazy Hair! You see, it's not just any old picture book. It's a picture book written by Neil Gaiman. I know, he's legendary.

We first got the book in our shop a couple of weeks ago and thought, "That's too scary for children." Really, we did. It was Neil Gaiman. It was designed to be weird. It was designed to scare children. It's all it could possibly do, right?

Wrong. It's actually... FANTASTIC! I read it, in my boredom/curiosity on Saturday. (Took all of less than five minutes) The illustrations were amazing - done by Dave McKean (thank you Google) - and the rhyming story was actually really fun to read!

When I was a kid, we never read picture books. To be honest, we couldn't afford to get hooked on new books all the time, and my mum always had too much to do to bring us to the library. So we never read at the age when picture books were suitable. We had Mr Men books, about three of them, and that was it. It wasn't until I was older than I started reading for fun, and by that age I'd gotten past the age of reading picture books. I really wish we'd been able to read them (or even look at the pictures!) If they'd been anything like Crazy Hair, I'd have had a happier childhood (happier than it already was, I might add)

So, if you have a small child, or maybe you like picture books, or Neil Gaiman, or fanciful artwork, or you want to recapture your youth, or get the one you never had, I recommend this book. Crazy Hair is a must read (and admire!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Review - Vacation

VacationWell, it's been a while since I reviewed anything here, so I thought I'd bring it all back with a review of a book by a Twitter friend of mine. His name is Jeremy C Shipp, and in the last few years, he's become one of the biggest names in the Bizarro genre. His d├ębut novel, Vacation, is marked as Literary/Science Fiction, and tells a remarkable story of a world gone wrong, with nobody knowing it. That's a bit vague, but I don't want to ruin the plot.

First and foremost, I loved this book. I'm not just saying that either; it got me thinking, more so than any other book I've ever read. It's one of the most intriguing books I've ever laid my eyes upon! And not just about the general way the world is falling apart; smaller things too, or larger, depending on how you look at it. I had to read the book in small doses to prevent an overload of thoughts flooding into my head. Safety first!

Secondly, it really is well written, and it's no wonder it was published! Jeremy has a fantastic style, and he keeps his character alive with a voice that remains true. There are lines that you read later in the book and think "He said something similar to this earlier, only he was more depressed before..." It's a good thing, I might add, that he seems to repeat. It's character development. Plus, the book is written as if it were to the protagonist's parents, as a letter, so it's nice to see a human side to him.

Thirdly... well there is no thirdly. Not really. The book doesn't need a thirdly. It did, however, get a mention in my vlog! I read out the inscription in it that Jeremy added before sending it to me. In the future, there will also be my pathetic attempt to be philosophical, so make sure you stay tuned for that, as it's all related back to Vacation.



And remember, though it may be a Vacation, it's no walk in the park.