Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This time last year

When I compare this summer to last summer, one thing is definitely clear: I am less crazy. Or more crazy and it just doesn't get to me as much. Definitely less bored, though.

This time last year, I was at my wit's end. It had nothing to do with my results going up online (or somebody telling me every minute that they were up, when they weren't!). It had nothing to do with anything, really, which was precisely the problem. I had nothing to do. At all.

This year... well, I've been writing Dignity, for a start, after several failed attempts to get anywhere in this story. The first attempt was terrible. Got barely anything done. The second attempt at it, I made my plan for the story (the plan in my head) slightly longer. The third time, even longer and I completely changed the perspective of where the reader was seeing all of the action from. This time around, I've gone back even further and I'm incorporating a lot more material from the alleged "real life" that has been led and doing something quite strange with it... I'm giving it a plot. Life doesn't have a plot. The things we do each day aren't a plot. If you wrote a novel detailing even three months of a character's life and having every day being interesting and worth reading, it'd be the most unrealistic three months ever. Or the most adventurous.

(Little secret, though: even grand road trips across America can be boring to do, because from the stories I've heard of them, most of the time there's nothing to do. That's why America has so many tourist attractions along the highway.)

Okay, so with Dignity well under way, it's even not enough to keep me interested all the time. Thankfully, I've been given a day extra work each week. Rather than just work the weekends, I work a mid-week day, too! It's very handy for making the weeks seem less boring. When you have breaks in the week of two days each, it feels like school used to before I started working, only with twice the weekends - school, weekend, school, weekend - only in this case instead of school it's working in a bookshop, and instead of a weekend it's Mondays and Tuesdays, and Thursdays and Fridays. The extra work is also great for having that little bit more money.

To fill the days I'm off, I've done a number of things. One of these was a road trip across the country, looping down south briefly before taking the N7 back to Maynooth, and a train home. This day was occupied with chats with the driver, the radio, rain in every county we drove through, rail-way superstitions, music from 1994 and the accompanying dance moves, a new love of The Saw Doctors, Supermacs in Galway (because we're fairly sure it's illegal to not have a Supermacs when you go to Galway) and a double-rainbow on the drive home. Other less adventurous things that have filled the days between shifts at work have been: trips to the cinema, a trip to Balbriggan to see a friend off to Switzerland for the summer, trips to the comic book shops and bookstores in Dublin and a gig, at which I saw The Shoos play, got their autographs and a photograph with them.

Between these miscellaneous adventures in Dublin and around the country and writing Dignity and working in the bookshop, I've been reading a bit. I've read children's books, books about writing, adult fiction (not erotica... I just mean the books that aren't children's books but are fiction) and comics (hence the trips to the comic book shops!) Of the comics I've been reading... well, they've all been X-Men. Because I'm that cool.

Last year... last year had some adventures of its own, the best being a 21st party, but it also had lots of boredom and a bit (understatement) of moaning down the phone at the same person who drove me around the country (and repeatedly called it a boring day). It was a truly unremarkable summer last year. I making up for it this year by writing the book I've been trying to write for over a year (and writing an ending to Meet Sam that I'm actually happy with!) and arranging different odds and sorts to occupy my time between working on the book and working with books (and people... there are people in the shop, too.)

Maybe, just maybe, this won't be as much a bad summer as last year. Maybe.

PS my favourite line I've written so far today:

The context: the main character is essentially referencing himself in the narration in third person, though he's not the narrator... that description makes it sounds weird... okay, it actually is weird, but the description is worse... I'll just give you the line.

"He was too good to be arrogant."

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