Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pandora's Box Part 2

In which I feel rubbish. I'm not sick, technically. I just... I don't know. The best way to describe it is to say I feel unexplainably sorry for myself. I mean, I have nothing in my life at the moment to make me feel this way. I'm writing again, I'm seeing friends again, I'm having a good time with my life, mostly. And yet... I feel like rubbish.

The hollow empty feeling of Pandora's Box when the badness has gone out. It's not gotten to the stage of relying only on hope. Hope, that fickle bitch that's been so evasive in recent weeks, when I really did feel like I couldn't keep going on. It wasn't hope that kept me going, it was my friends. So... so what the hell is going on? I had a great day yesterday hanging out with Miley Cyrus. I continued to text her today. There was absolutely nothing with yesterday, except we never got a picture together, only of each other.

It's possible I'm feeling thsi way because of physical things; I didn't get an awful lot of sleep these past few nights, and I'm awfully hungry. I'm not tired. That's not it. Well, I am tired... but not in the way that I want to go to bed. More like I just want to... hmm, odd. Tired in the way that I want to go to the park and go for a walk. And hungry in the way that I want my dinner to be ready now, not in twenty minutes.

I'm supposed to be going out tonight. I'm supposed to go out and have a good time, or at least pretend to, so my cousin can celebrate turning 20. I'm really not up for it. That sounds terrible, but the way I'm feeling right now... I just don't think I can even fake having a good time. I can see it now - my two other cousins getting drunk, because they have every right to drink - and me being stuck there practically alone.

This is why I hate family gatherings. They're great when I can literally just sit there and talk to someone who isn't getting drunk, but other than that I don't actually enjoy the nights. I don't drink and I don't mix with people too well on a night out unless I already know them. I don't know my cousin's friends. Okay, I know one of them. And he might not even be there. This leaves me not really knowing anyone.


And now I'm talking myself out of going. I'm a bad person. I can feel bad about that. I can feel bad about it, and I'll probably still want to text ahead and say I won't be going because I'm not up for it (which is true) or I'm too tired (a bit true) or I really can't afford it (true, also, if I want to still have money in my account - I don't make an awful lot of money).

I'm a bad cousin...

Why can't someone make my decisions for me? Agh!

*insert confused and angry face here*

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pandora's Box

Ancient Greek myth tells of the first human being to walk the Earth, the legend of Pandora. Her name has gone down in the books as being associated with the wonderfully dreadful Pandora's Box. The myth behind the box is the real story, of course. The story tells that all of mankind's greatest emotions, feelings, capabilities were all locked up in the box. When the box is opened, they all come rushing out.

The result is a sort of apocalypse, from what I know of the box. It's like the scene in The Doors (the movie); Morrison is asked, "Do you believe in drugs?" to which he replies, "I believe in excess." The box contains excess. Everything is destructive in excess. The world can't handle it. Anger, fear, grief, hatred, wrath, sorrow - they all get out. They rip the world of humans apart.

All that's left in the box is hope. Hope, hidden away down in the corner, always there. It's the very last thing we have.

Why am I talking about this? I suppose, at the risk of sounding mightier-than-thou, I'm comparing myself to Pandora's Box, with less potential to end the world. A few weeks ago I made a deal - whenever my friend and I had problems, we'd talk. The risk in this is that I may have taken advantage of the chance to talk. I opened up too much, and everything came out, all at once, all in excess. There's still some left. I can feel it there. I know I have so much more to say, but I'm afraid of letting that box open again, in case it doesn't close so well the next time.

But I have to. I have to tell him particular things. I have to let him know about some things that were going through my head these past few weeks, things that have been nagging at me. Little bits of crazy, I suppose. I can't just send him all the info in an email, or whatever. Even Facebook chat seems a bit too impersonal. I'd be afraid of talking on the phone, in case I'm overheard. And I haven't seen him since the 12th. I haven't spoken to him properly since Saturday. That doesn't seem too long, I know, except that it didn't end on the highest of notes.

The box is open. The box is open, and there's still too much left in it to get to the hope. Not that I only want the hope. The hope is the very last step. If I get to the stage where I'm clinging on to hope, then something's gone wrong. At that stage, I can't still be at home. I can't be out of college still. I have to be able to see people, to fill the box with something else, with happiness, with good memories. Too much is getting out, and I'm remembering it all too quickly. It's all coming back too quickly. This isn't just memories. These are pent up feelings from years gone by.

There's been too much in my past to get over this quickly. I just need to get something off my chest. I can't do it here. I can't tell anyone. Well, not anyone. I can't tell everyone. And I don't want to tell everyone else. It's not that I don't trust people, I just know them too well. I don't want people to look at me and only see the things that I tell them. I know they would, even if they don't want to. So I need to tell someone, someone very specific, and for very specific reasons.

It's not all bad, I should add. Sure, all these bad things are coming back, but I do get my moments of relief. I just don't get a chance for them whenever I need them. Too much time, not enough plans. Sure, 24500 words of fiction since Thursday, but what use is that to me if I don't have my friends around to talk to about something that's not the very insane ideas going through my head?

Just give it time, I suppose. I can sort this out. You'll know when I do. I'll announce it, probably. Or I'll just stop moaning.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hypothetiverse Fiction

Over the space of the last days, I've gone on a bit of an adventure with my writing. I started a novella on Thursday at about three in the afternoon. I knew it was a novella as I started to write it. It felt like a novella. I wrote a bit over four thousand words that day. I picked it up again early on Friday morning, the same novella, the same feel to it, and got nine thousand words done. Yesterday, I got another four thousand or so words done, before and after work and Doctor Who (side note: that episode was AMAZING!). I might have gotten more done, but there was a particular situation that required my full and immediate attention. I don't regret it.

I finished the book this morning, with another two thousand words added on. The total, by my word processor's count, is 20436 words. And I thought, Wow, I wrote a book in less than 72 hours. Okay, it was a short book, but it's a book nonetheless.

The cover has since been designed, and the files uploaded to I have a coupon to get a free proof copy of my NaNoWriMo novel, but I'm using it for this instead. There will be one copy of this book, and that is it. I have one person in my target market, and he's been told this. Before I do anything with this book from here on, I have to know he's okay with it.

Why only one person? It's Hypothetiverse Fiction. This is the term I'm using to describe the story; it's narration that follows an idea of looking in the hypothetical future of an event that itself may be hypothetical. The book is something of a bildungsroman, but not always entirely personal. Much of the other person's life is discussed, and details are assumed where the truth isn't known. Names are changed, some facts are hidden, but ultimately the story comes down to a few things from real life that haven't changed.

For a start, one of the characters shares the same traits of crazy as I do, while another shares some of the general traits of the other person. How I feel about him and how it is sometimes, wrongly assumed he feels about me are discussed in the book. The consequences of an unexplained event make up the plot of the book; neither of the characters are safe from suffering as a result of it, but neither are pushed over the limit. Okay, one might appear to be...

To make things interesting, I've toyed with time a bit. There are three dates in the book, but the narration doesn't follow them linearly. It starts on the last day, moves to the first, visits the middel day, but doesn't only visit them once. Only the third of the mentioned days is there once, but from the perspectives of two characters. I jump from character to character, place to place, examining emotions and thoughts and this big, secret history from the first day to the last, a whole life before it, and the pains that result from the big event on the last day. At the risk of sounding like a pompous, self-obsessed, egotistical maniac, this book is very interesting. A little bit maddening, but very interesting.

So, four days of hypothetiverse. You'd think I'd be tired. Okay, I am, but not because of this. It fascinates me, enthralls me, entertains me, teaches me; I can't get enough of it, and I'm going to write more. I have two ideas for similar books, books that I don't know what they'll be like. One examines the very strange idea of love, while another is an exploration into religion, death and second and subsequent chances. Then there are a couple of other ideas I have, one which tries to put words to a night out I have only heard about, but that i wasn't present for, while another goes on a completely different route: it's a YA Fantasy. Say what?

So, summer is here for another ten weeks or so, for me. I wonder how many first drafts can get written between now and then while I continue to live my life as I had been doing (though with significantly less time spent on Facebook...)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Top 3 of Star Trek

When I was a young lad of nine, I was into Star Trek. I know, I didn't really stand a chance after that. Ten years later, I don't have much time to go looking for when it's on, and I can't remember most of the characters' names. However, in recent weeks, I have come up with my list of the Top 3 of Star Trek - the three greatest male actors I remember from Star Trek (or that I know were affiliated with it).

So, Number 3 is the wonderful power-nerd Wil Wheaton. I have very little memory of him on the show, hence why he's not any higher than that. But I do know that he writes, he acts, and he's generally awesome. Plus, this video pretty much finalises everything.

In Number 2 is the wonderful thespian Patrick Stewart. You can't not like Stewart. He's a funny man. He's a legend. And he was in this scene, acting as himself, on Extras.

If you don't laugh at that, there's something wrong with you. I recommend going to a doctor or getting into a fight at a bar.

Now, the man you've all been waiting for: Number 1 is... WILLIAM SHATNER!! Explanation? Well, he's the coolest person in the universe, really. It's that simple. Two videos this time, because that's how cool he is. Enjoy the musical awesome that is William Shatner performing. You will be blown away.


Disagree with me? If you do, you're probably wrong.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Write THEN Tell

We've all heard of "show don't tell" in writing, but I've discovered something else that's a problem - telling someone about a story before it's written. And I don't mean because someone will steal the idea (which is also a possibility). No, I refer to the fact that if you try to tell someone about a story you're writing, you may find you can't exactly explain things in the easiest way possible.

This is an especially big problem for me. Of the last few ideas for books I've had, only one of them doesn't require much explaining. "Fictional story based on the events described in a Facebook status about the night of Rob N Eoin's gig." Everyone in the college gets that. They'll ask "Whose status?" but that's about it. But an idea for YA Fantasy novel, and two books whereby the events are inspired by some morning crazy, one with some strange time travel and another with some sort of religious reference even I don't get... they're a little more difficult to explain. I won't bother here, as, you know, you might steal the ideas, but the stuff is a little mad, and when I mentioned it to someone, he replied "do I star?" I told him he does, a bit, which isn't a lie, but it's not the whole truth, and then tried to explain what the book was about without actually revealing the plot.

Bad idea!

I proceeded to confuse myself. The only upside is that I found the explanation I need to make more reader-friendly. (Side note the first: in the midst of writing this, I explained it to Amy from the Literary Den - I found my explanation already!) My advice: pick a friend to talk about something you don't understand yourself. Trust me, if you write a complicated enough story (human minds and the laws of the universe are very complicated), then you'll need to have this talk, because you won't understand everything. By the end of the first draft, you might. Or during edits. But I think the sooner you figure it out, the better. Before it's written...

So, two things to take from this... I'm realising these are I go along. Two things... Write THEN Tell and Discuss THEN Write. In reverse order, that's Discuss (to work out the details), Write (to actually do the work) then Tell (because apparently word of mouth is the best way to sell something).

If this blog post has been too difficult to follow, try reading my fiction before it's finished. It doesn't make sense until at least half-way, and even then you won't know what's going. But you'll want to know. Trust me on that one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Can I Be Happy?

I set the target – write a piece on happiness. On discovery. On freedom. And I thought, “I’m going through a good period. I can do this. Easy.” Not so. I have an unfortunate way of slipping into moments of darkness, spiralling down into a pit of insecurities. It drives me mad, and most of the time I’m not happy. Not alone, anyway. I’m rarely happy when I’m alone anymore, not if I think I’ve done something to deserve being alone.

I’ve been called a “little self conscious bastard” by someone. It’s not entirely false, either. I’m self conscious, a lot of the time. Other times I don’t care. People can hate me if they want, once they understand that whatever they hate me for is in their own head. I don’t do things to intentionally get on people’s nerves to that extend. I intentionally aim not to offend people.

So I thought – happiness. I can write about that. This is it, I suppose. This is me writing about happiness. I lack it. It’s not in enough quantity. My insecurities get in the way of that. They drive me absolutely mad. Can’t be happy like that. I know that, you know that, and one of my very best friends knows that. He’s the “someone” from before.

I deserved what he said, of course. I was being a strange little cretin, and I deserved it. And once everything had been sorted out, for the umpteenth time, musical education. “Seriously? Just like that? Musical education?” Yes. Music has a profound effect on me, and this friend, he has a wonderful way of knowing exactly what song to have me listen to. It started with Bob Marley, Don’t Worry Be Happy. He was taking the piss, a bit. But he knew what he was doing.

It moved on from there. He showed me music I’d never heard before, or showed me songs I’d heard before but never knew who performed it. Donovan, Sunshine Superman. Ben Folds, There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You. Ennio Morricone, The Mission Main Theme. Those are just a selection of the songs. Admittedly, there weren’t very many songs during this time, but there will likely be more in the future.

So why did I just tell you the songs I was told to listen to? Music, I’ve told you, has a profound effect on me. It lifts me up inside. I get lost in songs. The lyrics, the story of the song, the beat, the rhythm, the sounds of the instruments. Each and every one of these songs pulls me into them, into the happiness they’re capable of creating.

And in all this? Discovery. I hadn’t heard of a few of the people I was asked to listen to, and most of the songs. Music, I’ve decided, is happiness and discovery. And freedom? I suppose. I mean, I never feel more free than when the world slips away around me. Only darkness. Not the bad, soul eating type of darkness, but the type that’s there because nothing else needs to be. The world just leaves, goes away. The traffic and the mayhem around me as I walk down the road? Gone. Not important. If I was brave enough, I’d completely forget about them and just spin around in circles as I listen to The Doors. They make me want to do it, as my head gets filled with a strange euphoria, as I feel let loose, allowed to wander about inside my own head.

Musical education: my path towards freedom, towards happiness. I know it sounds absolutely bonkers, unless you really, really understand music, but that’s how it’s happened for me. Just last night, literally. And, I suppose, into the early hours of the morning. Earphones in, volume on just loud enough to hear, or I’d be deafened, Facebook chat open.

So I still ask myself, Can I be happy? I mean, all the time, can I be happy? I don’t know for sure. But I have these songs, now. I have the things that made a difference, and I’m listening to them all again and again in whatever order suits me. I’m letting myself fall back into that same mood as I was in last night, after all the worry that I was making a huge mistake, after all the doubt I placed in my head about whether or not a friendship was what I thought it was. I won’t lie – I do worry. A lot. I try not to, but I can’t help it. I worry, and it kills me on the inside.

And then... then the music plays. All sorts of music does the job, but new songs, new to my ears, at least, they do it better than anything else. While I don’t consider Glee to be an education in good music, the very fact that’s it’s new is all I need. Something new, something fresh, something lively, most of the time. It does the job, just like Ben Folds, just like Donovan, just like James Tiberius Kirk – William Shatner – doing his version of Common People.

Can I be happy? That’s the whole point of this, isn’t it? To see if I can be happy? I write, and I can be happy. I listen to music, and let it take me away on a strange new journey, and I can be happy. I go to a movie, and even when I’m feeling upset, like when I lost my job back in February, whenever I worried whether or not Jonny Havron, rest his soul, was safe or not, and for a while, at least, I can be happy. Senseless violence, I think it was. That was all it took. Feel good movies from explosions and banter. But, that’s different. The writing, that’s in solitude. The music, that’s a shared experience sometimes. Especially when it’s music someone’s shared with me, or something I can share with someone else, like Sorcha and my entire back collection of DFTBA’s finest. The movie, that’s with friends. I never go alone, and I mainly go with the same group of three or four people, and every time it’s over, every single time we get out of the movie, we walk to the end of the road while I wait for my dad or brother to come to pick me up, and we just talk and laugh, and make fun of the movie we just saw.

So can I be happy? I think so. I mean, if the past couple of months are anything to go by, I can be an annoying, self conscious, somewhat depressed little git, but I can be happy, too. I can most definitely be happy, when I have my friends there, the words, the music and the movies, the light-hearted entertainment and the escape from the world. And if I can be happy, with all my worries, and fears and doubts, there’s nothing stopping you from being happy, too


Written as part of Summer of Writing 2010, Challenge 1 - I Can Be Happy. Deadline: June 26th 2010, 18:30 BST.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bedroom Blues

My room depresses me. I came to that realisation a while ago - I'm not happy being here for too long, and with a month long vuvuzela concert going on downstairs from the television, I haven't got much choice. Friends live too far away or are working. Those that live close aren't always bothered. I don't have too many friends that are close, geographically.

I could lie and tell you that I don't know why my room depresses me. I do know. It's not because it's too small (being the box room, and therefore bigger only than the downstairs toilet, possibly the bathroom upstairs, and the hot press). I think it's because it lacks atmosphere, feeling... I fill the wall of the wardrobe beside my desk with post-its - favourite photo files, a video idea, info on a competition or two, my evil Rastafarian drawing - and a couple of things like my 10 Steps to Writing a Poem! and a printed picture of The Phil Collins Dedicated Superness Award-Winning Ecclesiastic Team That is not Endorsed by Phil Collins. That's it. Aside from what's on the shelves, that's all there is. And my shelves aren't heavy enough for much to go on them.

The only colour in the room comes from the things on the shelves, the spines of the books on the book shelf stuffed away in the corner, the three posters on the back of my door, and my Family Guy calendar. That's it. That's all the colour. The walls are "creme brulee" in colour, the wardrobe, bookshelf and desk white, the bedsheets entirely neutral. My room lacks colour.

I could look out the window, yes. It's right there, on top of me. But what good would that do? Most of the day that'd mean looking like a strange person, staring at the neighbourhood kids (they have laws against that, don't that?) or passers-by, or at the houses across the road. I live in a suburban area - there are no green fields, lakes or other such inspirational, or at least tranquil, views.

I need to fix this. I'm not an idiot - I spend a lot of my time in my bedroom, because I have to arrange to go out with people. The whole summer will be like this, and the rest of the time I spend living here. I'll be depressed every time I go up the stairs, unless I'm too tired to care, or too excited about something to write, or someone to talk to. But put me in here alone, with nothing to do, and my mood goes way down. Many mornings I wake up in a downer, now, because of the room, the loneliness of the summer, how much I miss my friends, how little there is to do, and occasionally a bad dream.

All in my bedroom. I have to get out of here. I know I do. Not to move into another room. No, I need to get out of the house altogether. Not forever. Not even for a period as long as a year. I just need a morning where I don't wake up here. I need to get away on a holiday I can't afford. And I need someone else to come with me, or it's not much of a holiday.

But then, most of the people I'd want to come with me are broke. The rest are working too much and too often. There is literally no way out. No nights out, either. Nothing, but nothing, but the bedroom baige.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


So I went for a walk today. Left at two-ish, got home about four and a half hours later. One would think that I would have learned my lesson about long walks, but no. And this was a long walk. Longer than any I've gone on of late. See, I decided, in my boredom and in the prevention of madness, to text Karl to see if he was busy. He was not, so we went to the park.

Now, I don't normally exercise. That's a bit of an understatement. If I have nothing to do, most of the time I'm sitting down at my laptop like a loner without any friends. So, walking for so long... well, it's left me a little bit tired (Sleep Paul is Sleepy). Anyway, at least it was a lonely four and a half hours. Only the walk to and from the park was lonely. And even then, I wasn't down in the dumps about it.

Karl and I had a long discussion, ranging from college life and how we were both settling in to it, old friends from secondary school, new friends we'd made (okay, so I did a lot of talking about that one), the ways in which people have to know what's going on (subsequently, this related to something Liam was telling me last night - people where he's from are always asking him "What are you doing with yourself?" They just have to know!), work and money, very cool types of friendships and future plans. It was a great conversation, and my only regret is that I didn't have a bottle of water with me.

Back in the day, Karl was the person I trusted with a lot of stuff. I told him what had gone on in my past, because frankly someone had to be told, and he helped me get through it all. And Karl was the first person to read Meet Sam, which we also talked about in some detail. And sure, didn't I have a copy of it with me? Meant I could check up on things he referred to - he was right about them, too. It was one of his favourite parts in the book, so naturally he'd remember.

I also told Karl about something I announced to my Twitter followers earlier today: The Rules of Adventureland. So, here we are, then:

1. Adventureland is anywhere and anywhen that fun can be had – don’t ignore it!

2. Don’t do anything you might regret – if you think you might regret it, you’re worrying too much
3. Don’t worry about anything but how you’ll get home – the when is a different matter altogether

4. If you don’t find yourself having a good time, you’re not doing it right
5. Adventureland is a place for friends – if you’re alone, grab a friend and fix the problem
6. Keep plenty of memories – the stories will make up for the World Suck that lurks around every Corner of Boredom
7. Never attempt to ruin Adventureland for another person – your duty is to create the most happiness for everyone involved
8. Don’t be afraid to try something at least once – personal choice is one thing, but fear is no excuse
9. Adventureland never ends – it only takes a short break

10. Agreed secrets of Adventureland remain secrets of Adventureland

Friday, June 18, 2010


It's not often I talk about money; it's certainly a very private matter. I wouldn't ask someone how much they earned, for instance. Today, though, I spent the guts of two hours planning my finances between now and May. Now, I know straight away that this won't stand. Once I go back to college, I'll probably be out a lot more than I ought to be if I want to hang on to anything, and I'll probably spend at least a few euro a day on tea and chocolate...

What's important, though, is the planning itself. I've taken into account the birthdays of 28 family and friends, even though one of them earlier asked me not to get him a present. (I know - who doesn't like presents?) Anyway, 28 birthdays in the year. That's what I face. On minimum wage with only one day a week, it's a wonder I ever have money. Okay, admittedly last year I didn't have 28 birthdays... it was more like ten.

I avoided some assumptions, though. I only allowed myself to assume I'd still have a job, that I would be going to the Halloween and Christmas parties in college, and the night out at the end of the year. That's it, aside from the birthdays. I didn't take into account the fact that I'll be submitting stuff for publication, because that's unfairly assuming I'm good enough. Not just good enough - liked enough. I also didn't add in anything I might get at Christmas or my birthday. If I'm blessed with money at those times, okay, I'll add it in, then. But for now, I'm assuming there's nothing.

I haven't taken everything into account. I mean, that's impossible. I don't know how much I'll spend on new clothes for myself, on college books, on nights out, on trips to far off places. It's impossible to know all that. There might be a concert I want to go to, or a book I want to read.

But I'm planning. I'm planning everything, so that I can be prepared. At least then if the unfortunate happens (again) and I lose my job, I'll be able to just remove all sources of income from this plan to determine how much I'll have to last me until such time that it becomes a real problem. I was lucky, I suppose, to get my job back. Very lucky. Sure, I hadn't planned for it, so I spent all my money. Literally all of it. And I'm only catching up on things now, because I've had a few expenses to make up for. I won't actually have any money in my account until Monday or Tuesday, when my cheque goes through. Hopefully Monday. I'll check before the day's over.

Speaking of Monday and things I may have to plan for - my results are coming out. D-Day is upon us at least. I have two days, working one of them, to make sure I don't go absolutely crazy. Two whole days. I don't know if I'll last that long. Okay, so eight hours in work will help distract me. But then what? I've Doctor Who that night. Then I'm stuck for ideas. All day Sunday I'll be at home, wondering and worrying about whether or not I passed everything. I mean, if I have to, if the worst happens, repeat in August. As much as I'd like to be able to see people again, that's not the way I'd like to go about doing it.

So... I suppose I need to plan something else. I'll check with Miley Cyrus and see when she's moving back to Dublin. I'll see what I can do about having a pre-college party. But that's based on the assumption that my mum would be okay with it. I can afford food and whatnot for that night, anyway. My spreadsheet is telling me so.

Yes, I'm using a spreadsheet. Nerd Alert. It's actually pretty cool - I can change my hours to fit exactly what I'm rostered down for, so I'll always know how much I'm earning (like earlier - I changed my hours following a phone call from my boss), and I can add in stuff to whatever week I need to to see how much extra I'm spending. Or, if I don't spend all the money I planned to on something, I can fix the amount spent and see how much I have extra. It's dead handy. And it means that if a trip comes up in college, and I have to pay a deposit and then the rest later, I can make sure that I can pay the rest.

I just need to not spend all my money. I'm fairly sure I can do that. I have plans for stuff, yes. But not all at once. I've already split up a few things - a photo book I want to get printed, some books I want to buy, some CDs I want to order - so I'm not spending all my money in a single day (very possible to do with the Internet).

Now I just need to figure out what to get for upcoming birthdays. It's typical, isn't it - the present I knew I was getting is the one that I've been told I'm not allowed get a present for!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My iPod Hacked Facebook

This summer just keeps getting weirder and weirder... Liam deleted his Facebook to try get work done. It was gone, then came back again and again. He finally brought it back himself. Sorted. He was using it again. Then it was gone. Deleted. Gone. No record of Liam. But...

My iPod was not so sure. Using my Facebook App, I managed to accidentally hack into the system and access Liam's page. Okay, not so weird. Facebook forgot it was gone... except... well, it wasn't his profile as it should have been. Okay, same friends, same photos... but different wall posts. Now, I know it wasn't a different profile. I know the wall was as it should have been. But here's the catch - the wall is as it should have been on October 28 2009. Yes, that's right folks, my iPod has defied time and has shown me all the comments (no status updates or anything like that) on Liam's page.

I would prove it to you with screencaps from my iPod, but that's all private stuff. Until such time that Liam brings back his own Facebook, no one can access those comments (including birthday wishes from last year, too, before anyone in college knew him). If he does bring back his Facebook, people still have to scroll through nine months of stuff on his page. And that's a lot of stuff on his page.

It's the same on every page: Bob was tagged in his photo. "Hi Bob, how are you? How's tricks?" Bob has leveled up in Farmville.

I don't know how it's happened. What's weirdest, though, is my iPod can post on his page! I did it, and he responded. As I write this, Christine and I are going to test to see if it can happen again. This time, she'll pick the thing to say so I can prove to her that the comment's not just posted back in time. Just to show what's happened:

Update: click the image to see it better; I can't make it any larger or you won't see all of it.

Naturally I had to hide his surname and face in these pictures, or that'd just be rude. I've spoken to people on Twitter about his; they are most curious about it, too. We can't figure out why I have access to the past, or why I can post things on his page when it shouldn't even be there. But sure, it's there now. It's not really there, but it's there...

Anyone else ever have such a confusing time with Facebook?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strange Dreams

I'm sure lots of people have weird dreams. I know I do. I prefer not to talk about them, mostly. They're filled with dark things, dark, dark things that shouldn't be spoken of. Mostly I'm fine after them. If not, a few hours later and I will be. This morning, very strange dream. Strange, yet... I don't know, it didn't upset me, per sae, because I was kind of in control of it. It hit me in a state of semi-consciousness.

I'll spare myself the task of retelling the details. They're not exactly pretty. Plus, it's the aftermath of the dream I'm really interested in. See, it featured someone in my life, and as I attempted to overcome this dream through fiction, using real life to do it, I came to a realisation about someone that may or may not be true. I am yet to confirm this. When I do... if I do... well, it's none of your business.

However, I did get an idea for a book in all of this. This is the whole point of this otherwise short blog; I'm not abandoning you, nor am I abandoning anything else. This just came to mind. It must be done. And I have my soundtrack music to it - LA Woman, by The Doors. Fantastic album, from what I've heard so far. As soon as iTunes has finished with it, I'll begin writing.

Ah, speak of the devil. Off I go, ladies and gentlemen. Jim Morrison and I have strange worlds to traverse.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


There's not much I can actually tell you about last night that wouldn't cause problems for some people. I can summarise it very briefly and without detail, though. So, good night for me, anyway. Liam proved to be something of a legend and I had a good time going crazy on the dance floor. There were some slight hiccups along the way, but I had a great time, and I got Liam the drink I owed him. Admittedly, I was very sneaky about it; he ordered his pint and said he was going to the toilet. I ordered my 7UP (yeah, I'm that cool) and said to the girl behind the bar, "And take for his pint too." Sorted. He gave me the dirtiest look, but I think he liked the pint anyway. Sure, I told him I owed him a drink. It'd be rude not to get it for him.

I really wish I could go into detail on the legend mention, but too many people might read this. Let's just say a few people got what was coming to them as regards an attack on their pride, self-esteem and attitude, without him even having to be a prick about anything. He was his usual self - polite and calm, though with a couple of drinks in him. Not that that matters - the people he was talking to, people I knew and that he only knew about because of last night, were also drunk. And he approved of one of them. Success!

Did I mention madness on the dancefloor? I think I did. There were also the kisses for the girls. Emma and I teamed up on them, one of us on each cheek. It was hilarious! That was also on the dancefloor... this is coherent dammit! (I got, at most, four hours sleep in the last thirty six hours... woo hoo?)

*checks list of things of interest in the night* Ah... not an awful lot more I can say. Liam's girlfriend called though. He had me talk to her again, just for the craic. The conversation was fun. She was still in Achill, and she was quite drunk again. She's a funny drunk. The good kind of funny, not the I-want-to-keep-my-distance-because-that-person-is-acting-strange funny. We had a good laugh over the phone (and my half was entertaining to Liam, too) about Achill locals following her home. In the spirit of the night, I suggested she point them towards sheep. She tried it, it didn't work. The obvious conclusion, I decided, was that they don't like to have sex with their cousins. She said they might have been their sisters. Incest is not their game. We settled at that. Though the Achill men were not impressed by her suggestion that they were sheep shaggers. Good thing they didn't hear what I said, then. I was sober, but hyper. What I said is entirely forgiveable. I'm telling you that now, in case you're from Achill and reading this. It was a joke. A joke at culchies. If she was anywhere else with sheep the same jokes would have been made. I also had Liam laughing when I referred to her as Miss Emma. Good times...

Hmm... there are a few short things written in my list. Knacker farts and white bread sandwiches are two of them. The latter disagrees with Liam, I think, resulting in the former. Pleasant.

Also, a fun piece to keep you amused:

Stranger at Party: Do you have any cigarettes?
Liam: I have plenty of cigarettes!

Liam didn't even take them out of his pocket.

Aside from that, there's stuff I can't mention. It's not even that interesting, to be honest, unless you're in the particular circle of people that know what's going on. So I won't go into detail on it. I'll just summarise with: some bad things happened. *ambiguous*

At the end of the night it was morning. Five in the morning, or so. I got into my bed at half five, having gotten a taxi home. Had to give the driver directions the entire way. Good thing I was wide awake! I couldn't sleep, though. Didn't help that I felt like I had to keep to my word - I told Liam I'd give him a wake-up call at twenty past nine. If I fell asleep, which wasn't likely anyway, because it was so bright, I wouldn't have woken up to call him to wake him up for work. Still, I was on to him earlier today (once I'd listened to Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel) and he's gotten into work (I recognise the number he called from, oddly enough... it's not the first time he's called from it.) He has a hangover, yes, but he's there. Very curious explosion of the phone line, or something, though. Maybe he just hung-up very quickly. I don't know. I'll ask him if I get a chance. Well, I will get a chance. When I get a chance is another matter. (turns out I could bother him in Yahoo chat if I wanted to right now... but I won't. He's working. Plus, he has an email entitled "I'm an alcoholic" to read, inverted commas included.

Doctor Who and Domino's Pizza later. There's two reasons to stay awake. Oh, and I wrote three poems today. Three! And they're not depressing! One of them is actually based on the legend incident above. Sure, it'd be rude not to...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Today's News

Okay, strange day so far... I woke up unnaturally early, not upset, but not happy, just very, very tired. Last night was a bit like hell, but I got through it. A not-too-brief phone call set me straight. As a result of falling into a state of half-sleep, though, I 'woke' after ten. Just in time for a fry, I might add. I came down as it was about to be dished up, hungry (very hungry) and gasping for a cuppa.

If the waking up early wasn't odd enough... I walked nearly ten kilometres today. Without staying anywhere too long. It wasn't like going to college, where I spend a couple of hours sitting down. I was on my feet the whole time, listening to The Doors and Glee, in that order, once the former had run out of songs on my iPod. This is a rare occurence for me; not only was I out of the house, I was actually walking somewhere. I had to get birthday presents, and lodge a cheque. Party tonight. I may be dead tomorrow. But in the good way.

Now, onto the news! First and foremost - very sad story about Mandela's great-grandaughter. May she rest in peace. What's worse is that it coincides with the start of the World Cup in South Africa; I didn't see the opening ceremony (or the match that's being played as I write) - can someone tell me whether or not there was a minute's silence for her at some stage?

Moving on, Galway City have discovered the age-old invention of fire. The city hall was in a blaze this morning, before the workers arrived. Thankfully, no one was injured. However, the people of Galway have now been educated in the very tentative ways of release of energy. They are currently blaming the fire on water.

There is evidence to suggest that the bankers and every successful business-person was, and probably is still, a liar as a child. This discovery explains how the world is so troubled; the once successful Greeks lied for so long that everyone believed them. Now they owe a lot of money. Well done Greece on your continued success in drama. We only hope next time you won't use the world as your stage. However, if you wish to follow the example of Greece, just don't mess everything up. Play it cool - lie and cheat your way to the top, but don't get caught without any money.

Lisa Sills, celebrated blogger for the Literary Den, today revealed how the media have distorted our images of the people we call celebrities. Miley Cyrus is now considered something of a whore and a poor role model for six year old children - I would imagine that the eleven year age gap has something to do with that, too. Earlier, too, Britney Spears's mental issues were newsworthy enough to exploit. Sure, it'd be rude not to. And throughout Lisa's life, as one of Ireland's quadruplets, she's been in the news, only because she was born. With the release of pictures from her eighteenth birthday, one can only assume that the Irish media is hiding a few morons amongst its midst who insist on invading the privacy of someone who didn't ask for fame, and never even actively persued it. Well done Ireland; I forgot there was nothing more important happening in the world that we should focus on, rather than pestering a family for all of their lives.

In the world of Twitter, the World Cup is now trending, and eating up the servers. As a result, uninterested parties like myself are suffering decreased usage of the site. Thank you, Internet, for becoming less of a safe haven from football, and more of a nuisance. I really like to be treated like a second-hand citizen because I don't like football.

On a more personal note, I am a "shit stirrer". That is to say, I am intentionally winding someone up. Someone who'll remain nameless, simply because I don't want to start a witch hunt, has a habit of posting pictures of celebrities who he believes look like him. In response to questions as to why there are so many men and so few women, I explained "These are the ones on his list. The only celebs he's allowed to ever cheat on his partner with at any stage in his life." This story is still in development. Anyone who sees the funny side of my comment, noting that the person in question likes women, let me know.

This has been Paul Carroll, telling you the news that isn't all that important to everyone.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Robin Hood, Eddie Rockets and Great Big Hugs

This day was, in short, the best day of the summer so far. Okay, the morning was pretty sucky. I had chores to do. Yuck. But after them, Conor and I headed in to town to meet up with Eileen, Laura, Kevin, Monica and Elizabeth. And sure, don't you know I ran up to Eileen and hugged her before she'd even seen me! I was so happy to see her - proof enough that I miss everyone, if I can't even wait three seconds for her to realise it's me. Laura then got a big hug, then Eileen again, and Elizabeth when she came along, and Monica, and even Kevin when he finally got there.

In all the excitement, we headed from the spire to the cinema, stopping off on the way to get food... 2 Euro shop, anyone? Eileen and I stocked up on sweets (Dolly Mixtures for me!), drinks (Sprite) and chocolate (an as-yet uneaten Milkybar...because I'm three years old), and on to Marks and Spencer to get a bag on five cookies for three euro... we only ate one each. They've been brought home by her. I got a text, instead: "Also, i owe you a cookie and a half". Spontaneous cookies! Yuss!

We went to see Robin Hood when we'd stocked up on food. Seven of us in a line with store-bought food and student tickets, munching away and getting filled with sugar. The movie was alright, too. The ads are deceptive in what they show you; they suggest that he's on the run for the whole thing, rather than actually fighting alongside the king against the French (if you didn't know the plotline, then really I have no idea what you're doing here...) I won't go into the accents... really I wouldn't have noticed them if my boss hadn't shown me the complaints some fans were making on IMDB when the movie first came out. I just ignored them and tried to appreciate the movie for what it was - a remake, filled with all the violence a movie of its type could have, and a bit of humour too. Gotta love Friar Tuck and his beehives...

When we'd had our share of violence and sugar, we went to Eddie Rockets, where we got liquid sugar and some chicken presented in various ways (excpet for Kevin who got a hamburger and Laura who got onion rings). After our fill, we went to town. We didn't stay too long after that; we went to Penneys where Eileen got a scarf from the boys section, HMV, where I got The Doors for €5.99, and then it was on to Eason. Along the way, Laura and Elizabeth went home. Boo urns! But we still had a cracking time. Eileen got a book for her dad, Conor got a couple of DVDs from Tower Records, and I added to my collection of badges. Revamping the pencil case before the start of college in September. I know, long way away, but new ones come and go. It's going to be so cool when it's done! I have such good fun when someone sees my pencil case and has to pick it up to look at all the badges on it. The new design will be fantastic!

When we'd had our fill of fun and people had to go home, we went our seperate ways. That leaves me... here. Yeah, that about does it. The only thing that can make this day any better would be if people like Eithne and Liam got in touch before the day was out. And, you know, if James and Jessica hadn't been working... Still, onwards and upwards and all that! Party tomorrow night! If I have anything to say before then, you'll see me before I go. If not, you may get a nice little story-time about the party. I hope it's as good as I'm making it out to be in my head... Ah sure, feck it. A party is a party, and this particular one is a chance to see some people again! Can't wait to see Emma and Deezie tomorrow (and Christine and Ashling, and hopefully Liam!) Fun fun fun! Gotta get me some hyperactivity!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I woke up this morning convinced I was crazy. Actually, this was more of an after-thought after yesterday's crazy. This morning I was more working along the line to prove I was crazy. I went through the last six months worth of blog posts, looking at them briefly; a few book reviews, a few impersonal posts, but mostly dark and dreary stuff, the sort of stuff Liam said I'm not to send to him because he'd misinterpret, but that I'd been writing for months before that. And then I found some happier ones. I found some blog posts that were just happy, no darkness attached to them.

I went back further. I found that I'd had an idea for a novel that I never followed through on. And I found a link to a blog I'd been keeping at the start of college that I later gave up on. But the blog was important. It was positive, it was happy, it was full of life. It made the darkness so much less. This is just a slump. It's just a bad phase. I'll go on to a party on Friday and it won't make a different. I'll go on a road trip in July, and the depression won't mean a thing. I'll see my friends tomorrow, and everything will get better. We'll all go to the zoo soon. And we'll maybe go away for a weekend later on in the summer. And none of the darkness will matter, because I'll have been with them.

The old blog has opened up my eyes. I'd kept a little diary of sorts of when I met people. I didn't write down all their names in it, but I wrote about having lunch with Elizabeth and Eithne on the third day, and about how Jessica and I had become seperated, and how later we ended up colouring in little GAA cartoons with someone I described as 'a 26 year old “mature student”' - Liam! There was mention, then, of my Debs and how it was rubbish, how it got me really upset, and how the next day it was the company of Liam and Meadhbh that kept me going strong, that made me be able to get through it all, even if they didn't know how bad it had been, even if they didn't know the heartache I was going through.

And I wrote about being rubbish at table tennis on the third day of the second week. I remember that day. I tried to serve and missed the ball. Twice. It literally bounced over the paddle both times until I finally hit it. And failed.

I included little references to pop culture; I referred to our education lecture as being like Ferris Bueller's Day Off - "Anyone? Anyone?" - and one of our lecturers being like Marvin from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, because he always seemed a bit down (even if, now that I know him, he's not).

And I wrote about my excitement before the auditions for Drama, and the first Drama meeting, and not being sure what to audition with, only knowing that Laura and Ronan would be there too, and that Kevin had at least expressed an interest in it.

It was... it was amazing. Looking back on it all, it was amazing. I wish I'd kept that blog going so I'd have so much more to look back on; everything has a way of becoming a blur in the memory, but I recall a few things, like Kevin and James's battles in table tennis, and my sheer determination to win matches in fooze ball, and how rubbish I was at pool. I remember being determined to high-five Liam every day, because we didn't really know each other well enough to have a conversation, but we were still friends, if that makes sense. I remember the first night on stage, and the DIT drama competition and how we discovered that it was possible that something we call a Kieltyism is contagious to those around him.

And I remember none of it being bad. Not one bit of it. Up until the exams, I was happy every day in college. Yeah, I freaked out a bit during the exams. I had to go outside at one stage and sit there, alone, ready to break down crying. But then Laura and Eileen came out and just sat there with me, in complete silence. We just sat there, and I calmed down. I stopped being so upset.

Those were the best months of my life. I can't remember having a period of happiness that lasted that long, and I'm determined to make sure it doesn't end. Okay, so I stumbled a bit. I freaked out over this loneliness, but I'm not alone, not really. I still have my friends there, even if they're not right beside me. And we still have all those happy memories, and all those times to cherish. Sure, we won't have the excitement of our very first days in college, ever, to repeat, but we'll have everything else. We still have the rest of our lives, and even if I get upset, even if I get into the dark slump again, and I don't doubt that it'll happen - it'll probably happen for a while tomorrow morning, or tomorrow night - but I'll always have them there. I can always get out of that slump, once I have my friends there.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Twitter's New Meme

Internet memes are funny little buggers; they can vary from how long they last, to what they can do. For example, Kristina Horner's forehead was a meme for a while. It was a pointless, insulting meme (note: a meme - pronounced meem... I know - is something that lots of people use/discuss on the Internet) and it amounted to nothing. The Brotherhood 2.0 project that exists around the lives of John and Hank Green began other memes, like 'world suck', 'the puff', 'the Katherine' and the famous 'Don't Forget to be Awesome'. And on Twitter...

Duncan's Dream. This is, in short, perhaps the worst of all, because it encourages spam. Entrepreneur and Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne began this (someone else named it) on his Twitter account, and since then, lots of his followers have responded positively to it. It involves following all of Duncan's followers, with them following you back, so that you also end up with over 90,000 followers.

The problem? Not everyone wants in on this. I don't, for one. I don't care that people want more followers if the only reason they follow me is to achieve that goal. Duncan's Dream is a joke! What he may want may not be what everyone else wants. If I wanted more followers, I'd follow Bannatyne myself and join in on this little treasure hunt of obscurity and attention-seeking. Actually, scratch that - I do want more followers, but not because of Bannatyne. I want to be followed for the express purpose that people want to follow me, not because people me to follow them. If someone likes what I have to say, or simply that I'm a writer, or they know me or someone recommends that they follow me, then fine, I'm happy with that. That's how I'd like for people to decide to follow me.

Want to know something funny? Bannatyne wants his followers to follow each other, but he doesn't do the same thing. He follows less than 120 people. So... hypocrite much? He can contribute to their followings if he follows them, too. But will he? Probably not. Go on Bannatyne - if you really care that people follow your dream, follow all of your followers. All of them. Even the ones that keep following you every day. All the new ones, all the old ones. That's fair, right?

Twitter is so full of spam... now thousands of people are involved in it. Naturally, I express my distaste for Duncan's Dream, because it's getting me followers I don't want. Will I delete them? No. I want them to perhaps see that I disapprove of why they're following me.

This has been a bitter writer, on his way to Facebook where strangers can't bother me. My friends on Twitter don't bother me, of course. They're pretty amazing. Conversation with strangers on Twitter is also fun, if it's not an argument. But spam? Never!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


The modern world is weird. There, I've said it. See, we have all these different ways of communicating with people... you'd think we'd pick one and settle, but then, we can't settle. Ever. We're too picky. That takes too long. That's too expensive. I'm not bothered going out. Today, for me, was no exception in the very strange wonders of communication, but one thing I've found is that it's possible to read between the lines even in direct conversation with someone. Implied meanings can be gotten from any form of communication. More on that later...

So, how did I communicate today? Well, the most obvious one that only a hermit is excempt from is face-to-face communication. This, I find, has all the benefits of texting without the misinterpretation of smileys, of phone calls with the advantage of seeing the person's face, but without the benefits of the written word as whole, in that the person can also see your face. Face-to-face communcation also has the implied meaning sort of stuff going on, in how the person presents himself; my boss was quite annoyed that people walked on the just-mopped floor, so he gave them a dirty look. No words were exchanged, but the message was quite clear: I want to hurt you for doing that. Okay, maybe not that exact message, but you get the picture.

As I'm a teenager, I've obviously also texted. Texting has the advantage of not having to reply straight away. It has the disadvantage, though, of feeling a bit ignored if you don't get a reply. I've actually gotten used to this with some people; they don't bother replying unless there's something that they need to reply to, something serious. Well, 'serious' - it can be anything from a problem to trying to organise a night out.

Then there's Facebook. I know, fun times. The chat system works quickest, and it's more private. Today I didn't really use the other function very much. But chat... well, that was quick, and because I had a proper conversation going (that subsequently became a text conversation), I wasn't going to get ignored. Disadvantages of it, though, are that someone, like me (for example), might keep saying things even without getting a reply.

Email, though I didn't use it today, works in much the same way as letters, which I can't claim to have sent very much at all in my life. Email is quicker and free (assuming you're already paying for an Internet connection...), while letters have a more personal feel to them. Plus, it's harder to ignore a letter if it's right there in front of you. Replying, on the other hand, requires some effort, like getting the stamp. The advantages of both are quite clear - you can say everything you need to without someone interupting, and for all the same price (unless it's a very big letter, then it might cost more...). The disadvantage, though, is that it's more or less impossible to get the right tone across. If you're a little upset, it's likely that you'll come across as being very upset. And the words are stuck there - you can't unsend them, and the person will be able to read into them as much as they want, which might be too much. I know this from experience. I vented in an email to a friend, and the result was that he misunderstood them in a That stuff might cause me to worry if you're not careful sort of way. And there was that time I accidentally made someone cry... long story. Basically, she sent an email with a couple of jokes that didn't get across very well, while I replied calmly, but in a way that came across as being harsh (but funny to other people...)

Then there's phone calls. These are like face-to-face conversations, except for a couple of differences: it costs money to call someone (But I have free calls! Yes, but you paid for them first!) and you can't hang-up on someone when they're right in front of you. The equivilant of that is them slapping you and running away. That doesn't happen very often, but people hanging up on you can happen a lot. And, of course, there are no faces to tell when that sound someone makes is a laugh or a cough or whatever.

As to the reading between the lines thing... well, I called Liam to tell him about some of the ways of communication I've been using these past couple of days (the fact that that sentence is intentionally vague just makes me seem like such a big nerd - I swear, it's not exactly how it looks). He was driving. He told me so. I heard the car and the wind as he sped back to Achill ('sped' being a bit of an exageration - I'm fairly sure he was within the speed limits, they're just very high because it's not a road with many people running across them after a football...) Now, this doesn't mean much to most people, until you take into account another conversation with Liam - if he won his hurling match today, he was going to the pub to celebrate, as his team always do. If he lost... well, I think you get the picture. He didn't have to say that he lost, and I didn't have to ask him. In his telling me that he was driving and therefore couldn't talk on the phone (see, fast driver but safe driver), there was the message between the lines.

Other ways of communicating, of course, are books, television, YouTube, radio, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, etc. I read some of a book today. There, communication between myself and Darren Shan. I watched some television... I think. Did I watch anything? I think I looked at the screen when that England V Everyone match was on earlier, but I didn't watch it. Okay, communication of some sort, at least. YouTube... not today, oddly. Radio... heard some music through it. Magazines and newspapers... nope. I very rarely use them. They're useful, yeah, but I don't use them. Pamphlets... I can't remember ever looking at a pamphlet.

So yes, there you have it. I've just examined communcations on my blog (another way of communicating), and I'll link this on my Twitter (yet another one - love it!), and it's probably all a bit boring, except for the slapping in the face mention, and the reading between the lines thing. And, in case you're wondering, the Darren Shan book is The Thin Executioner. And no, I will not be showing you the emails that were sent. They are private and/or embarassing for me and/or other people. Now, time for tea - an instigator of communication. Like alcohol, except that I drink it.

If I've bored you with this, please use the communication device below (known as "Comments") to let me know. Love you!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Early Morning Conversations

It's no great secret anymore that I get phone calls from Liam from time to time... but last night took the biscuit. Firstly, there was no real reason for the first, or second, call. He literally just called to chat. Secondly, I didn't have to say something to invite a phone call at his nearest convenience (which relates to the "Firstly"). Thirdly, there were three phone calls within a couple of hours. Yes, three. Just don't tell my parents. As far as they know, only the third one actually happened.

I was alseep. That much should be made clear; I was perfectly, contentedly, asleep. Then the phone rang. At half one in the morning. A groggy but coherent, "Hello." I can't remember exactly what he said. Maybe he was filling me in on details I already had, like his location - he'd announced it on Facebook earlier. I could hear the noise of the bar in the background. I maintained a conversation, not entirely knowing what was going on when, out of the blue, "We're going on a road trip soon. Three or four weeks time, down to the south west. We'll get Miley on the way." Road trip. Yes, a road trip. I still don't know how that happened. Am I complaining? Not at all! I've been looking for things to do this summer, and a road trip to Munster sounds like a great plan! The conversation ended shortly after that.

I thought, okay, back to bed. But I can't help but think about the last conversation I had with Liam over the phone, relating to something I need to sort out. I start to think about it when, out of the blue, my phone starts to ring again. Thankfully it's on vibrate or my parents would have been woken up. That would have been more than a bit bad...

"Hello?" A little more curious this time. Can't remember how he started this conversation either. Somewhere along the line, "I can't hear you. It sounds like you're talking into a pillow." Naturally I reply, in a still groggy voice, "I am talking into a pillow." About a minute later, not of silence or just bar noise, but of conversation that's a bit hazy in my head. "You're in fucking bed!" Of course I was in bed. It was two in the morning. The conversation ended shortly after that.

I went downstairs to get a glass of milk. I was thirsty, I was hot, and I certainly wasn't getting back to sleep. I wrote him an email, detailing the thought process I'd been having before he called again. Fine, I thought, I can get back to sleep now that that's out of my head. I go upstairs. I get under the covers. Ten to three - I can still get some sleep.

The phone rings again. "Hi Liam." Bar noise. Lots of it. "Paul, I need to talk to the girlfriend." I know, I was equally confused. I tell him I need to get to a different room. I open my door. It doesn't open quietly. It never does. I go to the kitchen again as he hands the phone over to Emma. "Hi, is this Paul?" I tell her it is. She starts talking. Bar noise gets in the way. I tell her I can't hear something she says. "Oh hold on," she says to me, "I need to find somewhere quieter. I can't hear you." Some moving around. An apology as she nearly knocks over a table of pints reaching for her drinks. Another apology to a member of staff in the bar as she tells him she'll only be in a minute in the Staff Only section.

"Hi, are you still there?" I tell her I am. Can she hear me? Yes, she can. "I don't know why he wanted me to talk to you." Neither do I, but I'm not complaining. I've been supressing laughter since I heard the first apology. She brings up Miley. "Oh it's always Miley Cyrus this, and Miley Cyrus that, yadda yadda yadda." Before I can say anything, "She called five times tonight!" Five times? Seriously, Miley? Five?

"Miley has a few problems that Liam helps her out with," I tell Emma. "There's nothing to worry about."

"Yeah, but surely you can understand where I'm coming from. Liam's gone back to college and he's like an eighteen year old again." This is true. Liam can be a bit immature sometimes. But in the good way, not in the I'm going to light this on fire kind of way. He's a child at heart, and it does him some good in getting along with everyone.

Emma has her worries. I tell her about a guy Miley likes. The gossip is better than the argument she and Liam had - it was one of those arguments that arises from alcohol consumption (there was a lot of it - beer, then wine, then Guiness, now Morgan and Coke) and a slight case of paranoia, because Liam's not a bad looking guy. If he was an ugly fuck, she'd have nothing to worry about. But five phone calls to Miley Cyrus later...

We make a promise; we're going to actually meet, Emma and I. There were lots of laughs, lots of chatter (mainly from her - I'm a good listener, and it helped that I could stay as quiet as possible downstairs). My side of the deal, for when she comes out with us in college, is that I try make her feel like she's not an old woman. That shouldn't be hard - I don't drink, so I sometimes come across as being far too serious. Then a song will come on that I like and I rave about like a nutter.

Emma says her goodbyes. For the next thirty seconds, all I hear is bar noise. I hear her voice. I don't hear Liam. I think, maybe she's bringing the phone back to him. But the noise... it's actually at the bar. She's not gone looking for Liam just yet. She's just left the phone in her hand. I hang up, to save Liam some credit. The conversation ended shortly before that.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Race

As of a couple of hours ago, I got half-way through the revising-edits of Meet Sam, correcting errors from draft 1. Now, the second draft isn't done until (a) all the edits have been done and (b) the additions have been made, as per my plans to expand on the relationships between characters and the characters themselves. It isn't until all of that is done that draft 2 is complete.

Setting myself an example from Going Postal, the film of which I have just finished watching, I'm racing. While I'm not travelling 1700 miles in a horse and carriage or fighting off the telegram/text message service, I'm working against something else - come Friday week, I will lose about two and half days of work. I have a delightful double-21st to attend to, and while I don't want to miss it, I also don't want to fall behind on my book. So, the race is thus:

I, Paul Carroll, hereby challenge time itself; I will finish the second draft edits of Meet Sam, at least insofar as all the errors have been corrected. Failure to do so will result in world-suck of the highest order, and I must buy the birthday girls a drink each, even if they're already fairly hammered by that stage. Success, on the other hand, will allow for a jolly good time, during which I may, as a result of my free will, purchase the birthday girls a drink each, if they so choose it. There may also be other spontaneous acts of getting friends intoxicated, though this is not mandatory.

I also have to bring my camera... that's entirely unrelated to the race, but there were very specific instructions from Liam not to bring a camera, and I know damn well why. So, naturally, I'm going to do the exact opposite. Sure, it'd be rude not to take any pictures. The girls may, and this is quite a strong possibility, all things considered, end up so drunk that they don't even remember the morning before the party. It has happened, on occassion, that people even forget they went somewhere. Funnily enough, someone who I saw last Wednesday wasn't in any photographs, and due to being a little bit drunk, she can't remember being in the pub. So... it's kind of necessary to prove to people afterwards that they were in the pub for the party... they won't remember it, most likely...

Back to the book! I have, in my time editing, isolated a few key areas that will allow me to expand on character relationships. There are only two chances to make the mother's position in the family and her relationship to Sam known, and these are pushing the boundaries of fiction a little bit. In contrast, there are five chances to expand on the father's relationships, and three chances, albeit three large chances, to expand on the relationship with the cousin, Nick. Added to this, there are four blanks that can be filled in, and based on my experience with a fifth one today, driving my character insane for a very short while (three minutes), I am fairly confidant that I can get a lot of work done inside the mind of Sam Richards. In short, I have a lot of opportunity to add to my word count, which has thus-far increased by approximately 2,500 words.

Also, based on last night's strange misadventures staying up past midnight (actually, staying up to two in the morning), I think I might be able to get quite a bit of work done on this novel. I have the rest of the night, about two hours tomorrow before I meet up with Sophie and a couple afterwards, and all of Saturday to work on this book, before I go to work on Sunday. I should be able to get at least half-way through the remaining edits before Monday, if I work at every chance I get. If I finish correcting the book by Sunday night, then I have four and a half days to get the rest of the work done. Did I mention I type very fast when I'm in writing mode, and that I can get through thousands of words per day? I've forgotten my record, but I can assure you, if I work that quick between now and Friday night, I will have the second draft completed entirely.

So, without further adieu, let the race begin!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer of Fun

Yeah, that's what I'd been calling it. That was before Anti-Climax Syndrome hit and I realised that all the craic wasn't happening; most people are gone back to the country, and those that can come from the country are still quite a bit away. So, in the week I've been off nothing has happened. At all. Seriously, I could pretty much tell you everything I've done this past week.

Thursday: That was the day to recover from Wednesday. I may not have had anything to drink, but I didn't sleep, so I was fairly tired. Did nothing that day aside from lying down and interacting with people on Facebook.

Friday: I made plans. Actually, that's not even entirely true. I formulated plans, but a lot of them haven't actually been made. I was also in work for three hours.

Saturday: I worked 9-5, got a phone call from Liam on my lunch break, and did nothing much else that night, except for watch Doctor Who and go to the cinema with the lads, to see The Bad Lieutenant.

Sunday: Red Pen of Doom got to work and I finished getting through Meet Sam. The first draft is now becoming the second draft, which in turn will become the third draft when I've corrected that too. But of course, I still have to add in loads of extra material.

Monday: Procrastination, visit to the bank, then I went to the cinema with Ciara. We went to see Prince of Persia. It was fairly awesome. After that... nothing, really. I've checked Twitter - that's no word of a lie.

Tuesday: Editing Montage, day 1. 4 hours of Glee, four hours of fiction done. It was awesome, especially since I added over 1,000 words! After that... I was tired. Too tired to do anything but talk to people on Facebook. And be an idiot... Long story...

Wednesday: Um.. that's today. Okay, so I had a phone call, again from Liam. Had to talk to him about me being an idiot, and there was something regarding one of my secret plans that I haven't told anyone about. I also got through a bit more of Meet Sam, and I made a video for the first time in about 7 weeks. You can view it here. It's not great, but sure, feck it.

So, the next few days..? Well, I'm not working in the shop until Sunday, which gives me three more days off. I'm trying to see if I can organise going out tomorrow, but it doesn't look likely. So I'll probably do more editing, or write some of Dignity, though that may have to take a backseat until I can get through all of Meet Sam, and finish the second draft. Actually, that makes a lot of sense. Things make sense when you write them down. I recommend it.

Friday, lunch with Sophie. And I might buy a camera. We shall see. Saturday... no clue yet. Ah the Summer of Fun, where would I be without you? (short answer: college)