26 July 2009

Pronoun-Free Sunday

Hard to believe it's Sunday already!
Speaking of it's, DD and I were discussing the use of pronouns today. Try talking for even two minutes without pronouns.
The concept of speaking without pronouns is really hard, Aoife thinks.
Translation: It's really hard, I think.

Did you know Irish has about thirteen irregular verbs? Difficult, right?
English has one hundred eighty!

Even the smallest thing can turn into something amazing, if you only take the time to look at it. Say, how many people have wondered what does 'the' actually mean, and have looked in the dictionary to find that the definition is over a page long?
Pick something you take for granted, something that has always been there, and always will be there, take a closer look, and be amazed!

Ways to access creativity

Accessing that creative part of yourself often takes some quiet time. At least for me it does. And so, I journeyed to the Coral Beach here in Galway to start it rolling. The smash of the waves against the rocks, roiling sea foam and the air whipping against your face is enough to awaken anything. Even the dead. I need those trips into self, the quiet time to slough off the daily grind and get me into my zone. Now, I can enjoy the slap of the rain against the windows here and think of the Bog Man character lurking in my mind. He's taking shape as my stories often do. A little composting time and then it'll be time to spew. Time to get his story on the page. So I leave to go staring at the beating rain and welcome the Bog Man's visit. Be back.

21 July 2009


Wow, my titles are pathetic. The last two have been respectively 'Monday' and 'Tuesday.'
I have had an interesting relationship with water. When I was younger (in Maine) we had a well and the tap water was good. I would drink it often, and enjoy it too.
The well, which was hand dug and only twenty feet deep, had metal pipes. One rusted through and leaked, so water pressure was ix-nay, but taste was alright.
Eventually a new well was dug. By machinery this time, and very deep. However, the taste of the water was yuck.
So we started buying seltzer from the shop. Just fizzy water. H2O plus CO2, no flavourings.
And we drunk that for, oh, years. Then we moved here, to Ireland.
Tap water still gross, but we buy unflavoured fizzy water. I however, soon grew tired of that. I now drink only Galway Springs Bottled Water, as far as water goes. The thing with seltzer is that it goes flat, and then has a fuzzy taste. Water doesn't. Also, water isn't so bad warm, but seltzer is.
So, that's my history with water.

MM has posted-count it- ONCE! She obviously needs to look in a dictionary under 'daily.' I actually heard her typing up a storm, and thought she might be posting, but no.
Post again MM! Once is not enough.

20 July 2009

Beginner Blog

Phew, I've been fighting this and now there's no going back. The Wee One won't let me. WO feels her name sucks. Guess I'll rethink some more. But nah, like WO. Maybe it's Wee One now Woman. WOW! Now I'll bet she'd like that one. Yeah, so here I am trying to think of what I'd like to write about. Is anything bothering me... la di dah. I'm thinking this is pathetic but WOW feels some of hers might have been too. For some reason blogging seems like much more personal. Like it's my own personal diary and I'm not sure I want to share some of that. Funny thing is though, I won't have any problem were it to come to personal essays etc. Now WOW has begun to edit me. Tit for Tat and excuse the cliche! We've both been there, done that. Maybe this is enough for a first blog and I'll increase as the days go on. So, see ya. MM


Today is Monday (duh!).
My index finger is in extreme pain because I was attempting to sew bottle tabs onto my rucksack and had no thimble. The needle went under the nail on both my index finger and thumb, so I peck (specialised form of typing; involves two fingers on opposite hands/one finger exclusively used to 'peck' at the keys) with my middle finger.
MM has (finally) kept her promise and I am about to show her how to post to the blog.

16 July 2009


Tuesday was particularly stormy and I thought up the start of a good poem whilst riding my bike.
Being the genius I was, I had no pen and paper. That was stupid.
So I thought up the brilliant idea of using the recorder on my mobile and recording my voice saying the poem. So I spoke into my mobile as I cycled. All was fine (if a little on the precarious side).
Then I cycled down a road to the shore. By this time the storm had moved overhead, virtually stranding me.
What are the three things you should avoid in a storm? Tall things (a monument of a cross), metal (my bicycle), and water (the sea). I was near all three!
After a while, I realised how stupid I had been again. I could have just entered the poem into a text!


The shuttle Endeavour launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:03 yesterday evening on its STS-127 mission. Here in Ireland that was 11:03. After taking just about twenty minutes to cross the Atlantic ocean, it was visible overhead. It passed through our skies at about 11:20. I could see that it had two lights, one higher and one lower a little and to the right. It was going at an incredible speed (17,000 kph)! The sky was partially cloudy though and it was obscured after a short period.
But brilliant all the same. And, with Endeavour set to be decommissioned in 2010, a once in a lifetime experience.

MM, seriously, post or I will think up a horrifying punishment.

14 July 2009


 I have serious motivation problems.Seriously. I do. Any quick fixes? Well I have a quote that helps a bit. 'Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done'. -Robert A. Heinlein. Except it sounds better without the theoretically. Just 'every task is impossible until it's done,' works for me.
I'm seem to be going overboard on the links, because I only just figured out how to use them. I felt so stupid! I asked DD to help me, and I went to edit a post, and he said 'what's this button?' And of course, right on the toolbar, an 'add link' button. I could have screamed. But I'm just glad I (DD) figured it out.

13 July 2009


Okay, I have forgotten to write yesterday and Saturday's post was pathetic (and hence deleted).
On Saturday, we had guests so I went to sleep at one o' clock in the morning.
Next day we got up at six. We took a three hour bus ride to Dublin, where we walked to Eason's on O'Connell street to use the toilet (and ended up buying some books).

Then we walked to the National Museum and walked around for three or four hours until it closed. It had lots of interesting things, including a hanging clock that dangled for three floors.
We walked to Arnott's basement (and bought some things), then we walked to Heuston Station and caught a bus back. I was so tired and annoyed by the time I returned home (eleven) - yet still determined to keep up the 'daily' blog - that I wrote as much as I could while leaning over the piles of boxes we had transferred onto the floor so the guests would have room to sleep on the bed. Whew!
Then yesterday, my annoying parents let me sleep in until one o'clock pm! Do you ever feel like your whole day is wasted when you get up late? Like the world has been going on for hours without you? I do. That's why I was so annoyed at waking up late.
After that, I went for a cycle with DD (Dear Dad. Those are not my father's initials, unlike with MM) until ten past five. Then MM got home from the food shop, and I helped unpack the food and put it away.
Then I sat and watched television. Did you know your brain is less active watching television then when you are sleeping? Scientific fact according to DD, who is in the know. Just yesterday I told him he had the "opposite of insomnia" because he fell asleep too much, and the know-it-all says "well actually the term is "narcolepsy". Sheesh, like I need an overload of pointless facts! (Actually I love pointless facts. That's why I love Stumbleupon. If you don't have it, get it).
On the subject of exclamation marks (of which this post is slightly in excess of), they are becoming more acceptable in society. That is to say, in prose. According to Writing Magazine (August 2009), an exclamation mark was acceptable only if put in every one and one half books, but now it is okay if there are more.
The last story I penned had many exclamation marks. That is because the character was an over-the-top shouting-for-no-reason type of guy.
I an fond of writing things down exactly how they are said. I mean exactly. If someone emphasizes a word, I put it in bold. I want to really show exactly how people talk. However, MM says the exclamation is implied by the dialogue itself. Alright, fine. Maaaybe that's so. Still, I feel like a person reading the story should be able to turn it into a play with minimal effort. Which totally discredits the intellect of the reader. *sigh*
Anyway, that's all folks. (for now)
P.S. MM, get on the ball! Post something!

10 July 2009


I recall something in the name of this blog with a "d"... 
Oh yeah! Daily! Since I FORGOT to post yesterday, that means this blog is no longer daily!
But I must protest, MM. You have not posted one single LETTER to this blog. And while my life was totally and utterly boring yesterday, yours probably wasn't!
BTW, I did show MM how to post and how to sign in, and all that. Yesterday she even showed quite a bit of interest in posting. But she didn't. Why?

On Wednesday I came up with an awesome idea for a story. But I can't say what, because ideas aren't copyrighted (sorry, but that's how it is).
I have (not) been keeping up with competitions, though. (Actually, let me check them out now)
I use this website, and look under competitions. These are mostly for the UK and Ireland.
I would like to enter the Foyle Young Poets of the Year, but that's for the UK. What about the Usbourne Young Writers Award? No, that's for the UK too.

08 July 2009

O2 Troubles

I have an O2 phone. This fact has given many people the cause to laugh and give advice. The first ever laugh was when MM and I walked into the O2 store to buy a phone. 

-Sales assistant: How may I help you?
-MM: I want to buy a phone.
-Sales assistant: Okay, we have Samsung, Nokia... 
-MM: I just want an O2 phone. 
-Sales assistant: *snigger* (in a very explanatory and patient tone) Yes, well all our phones work on O2. (Thinking - this is an O2 store!)
My friends tell me I have chosen the wrong provider. Up until last week I couldn't have cared less, to be honest. It's cheap enough, and all I need my phone for is emergencies.
However, whilst MM was topping up on-line (she hadn't quite got the gist of it, that could be why it all fell apart) she typed in the wrong access code. You only get two tries and then you get locked out of your cards, and so you can't top up.
Which is exactly what happened. So we called the customer service line and got a new access code. As of today we are still locked out of the cards, though.
So I signed into my account (rather than my father's, which is the one we normally top up out of) and accidentally used the wrong access code...and got locked out of my cards as well!
I'm beginning to lean toward Meteor...

06 July 2009

Writing is Like A Battlefield

I am just listening to a song on the radio, 'Battlefield' by Jordin Sparks. Some of the lyrics were '...love is like a battle field...' It got me thinking.
I think writing is like a battlefield (or just a battle), in more ways than one. First of all, for me, writing is an uphill struggle. That is, I have huge problems getting started (but when I do start I'm usually fine).
I just need a trigger. My latest story just came to me when I was looking at a 'Fiction Square' from Writers Forum magazine. I wasn't following the instructions though, I was just skimming it for cool words. The ones I liked were "walking stick," "canal," and "thunder". I came up with a brilliant (I thought it was brilliant) story about an old hobo fishing in a canal during a thunderstorm.
So my problem is... I would like to do more writing, but sometimes I just can't.
I look for great story "stirrers" as MM calls them. Or writing exercises. One thing to do is randomly look at photos on Flickr, and write a story about what is happening in the photo (photos with people in them usually work best, although objects can be interesting too). My sixth grade teacher had us do an exercise like that once. I got a picture of some birch trees bending down toward a stream and I wrote a story about a giant who squashed them.
MM had an exercise at the Force 12 workshop she went to recently. They did the same thing with pictures. Some people got the same picture but their stories were drastically different, so don't be too worried about someone else using the same photo as you. MM got a photo of a young girl holding a baby. She wrote about a fourteen-year old mother.
There are lots of ways to inspire stories; eavesdrop (a personal favourite), turn to a random page in a dictionary and pick the first word, look outside the window for five minutes and then write about what you saw, and there is even one where you pick two numbers - a page number and word number - and use the closest book to you.

Since When is Ambition Not a Dirty Word?

Well, apparently as of this week's Irish Sunday Independent Life magazine. Personally, I never thought ambition was a dirty word in the first place, but there you go.
On the subject of ambition, I thought I would talk about my ambition as it is kind of relevant to my last post.
I said one way of finding out about a competition was by Googling your name. When I Google my name, only the top three results actually concern me. I can't help thinking it would be really cool to have the whole page of results concern me (I think I have it set to show ten results per page so that's at least ten results that concern me).
Of course MM (that stands for Mother Mine but coincidentally MM are my mother's initials anyway) has loads of results concerning her. Maybe because she worked at many newspapers as a reporter and her stories are archived on-line. She also has over thirty years on me. (*gasp*) Does that mean I have to wait thirty years for a whole page of Google results?

Advice About Writing Competitons

I was thinking today about submitting writing to competitions.
I currently have a story in a competition. The only problem is, I'm not organised at all, and I forgot not only when the closing date was, but also when they were supposed to notify the winners. So I am stuck with a story that I can't send out until I find out if I won the competition.
That's where my advice comes in. If you happen to be like me, I say wait six months after you have submitted the story, then it's probably okay to submit it somewhere else. Another option is to search the internet and try to find out when the notification date was. Or, you could Google your name (I read this in a writing magazine recently) and maybe the winners of the competition will be posted somewhere.
If you aren't conceited, and you're thinking, "I probably didn't win, anyway," think again, just to be sure. I know from experience, because I have the same poem published in two different books! That was a big oops. And now, I can only ever cite one of the books as being published in, just in case.