31 October 2009


That is of course, National Novel Writing Month(link for the one I'm entering, one for adults is different, but a link should be near).
I had never ever heard of this, but am glad I found it from Ashley Ladd's blog, Happily Ever After. Well not found it, but heard of it.
I entered it, and set my goal at 15,000 in thirty days. I know that sounds like a lot, well it does to me, but it's not. The common goal, and the one for adults, is 50,000 words. While I'm sure some people could do that with their eyes half-open; myself, having no experience of this sort of thing, decided to start small, but aspirational at the same time.
So yes, I will keep you posted on my progress. I am really excited!
I wish I had had more time to prepare, as uh, today is the 31 of October, and the contest starts 1 November. That's just...1 hour 37 minutes and 40 seconds away, the website has just informed me.
Well, I hope I get a lot of good things out of this; including much of a novel, better writing habits, new ideas, and hopefully a little certificate that says "You Did It!"
I can't wait!
Roll on tomorrow!

BTW, Happy Halloween, Last Day of October, and Day Before the First Day of November

30 October 2009


I was researching how to make paper at home, as I have always loved the look and feel of it, and love crafty things.
I am excited to try it, but I am missing a few ingredients...notably the frame. And a blender, which put together could be said to be two of the most important things needed for paper-making, besides the recycled paper or plant fibres of course.
I found quite a few good sites simply by searching "how to make your own paper" in a Google search.
The best sites I found are here:
  • Most of them said pretty much the same thing, such as these two, which give step-by-step instructions. This one was good as it listed the types of paper you could use, while this one used more readily available ingredients.
  • I liked this one, from wikihow, as it included a video, although I didn't watch it. It also had helpful pictures.
  • Those pictures were likely stolen from here, which was extremely fascinating on the history of paper. I would recommend reading it before you get started, just to have an overview of paper.
  • However, this set of images from Flickr had proved to be the most informative and easy to follow set of instructions. It had a picture for every step, along with helpful notes. A very good job, B_Zedan.
I really want to make some of this paper, then bind it in a book.

28 October 2009


I am now on Twitter! I have seven tweets. I told DD.

Me - "I now have seven tweets!"
DD -"Tweets?"
ME -"That's right...I am now on Twitter." *sighs melodramatically*
DD - "..."
Me - "I'm into shameless self-promotion."
DD - "That's good for a writer to have."
Me - "Yes, but NO One, and I mean no one reads my blog, or my twitter, or even knows me!"
DD - "I guess it's more like shameful self-promotion, then."

Yes, I guess it is.
Oh well.

In Remembrance of - That Thing I Forgot

Someone said that if something is important enough, you'll remember it. So don't bother to write it down.
I sort if agree.
See, the problem is, fine, if it's important I'll remember it, and if it's not I'll forget it. Fine and dandy.
But see, the problem is, sometimes I don't remember it, BUT I remember that I forgot something. Then I am mad that I didn't write it down.
A paradox of sorts, and very annoying.

25 October 2009

Earring Tree

I made this a while ago, but thought I would share it.
It is an earring tree. Basically it is a stick stuck into a glass yoghurt container.
We found the stick as we traipsed the bog on a hike. DD pronounced it Sticky, and proceeded to carry it reverently for the remainder of the hike, even going back for it when it was left behind.

I loved the shape of it and thought it should be used for something. It was perfect for storing my earrings.

23 October 2009

Kilarney-Day Two

Man, were the beds comfortable!

We went to bed quite late. The beds were amazingly comfortable. There were actually loads of rooms. Well, the kitchen and dining, sitting w/ fire, two bathrooms, and four bedrooms. One bedroom down stairs, another downstairs, en suite, but with an outer door as well (to the bathroom). Also there was another bedroom upstairs, with a real wardrobe - by real, I mean built in to the room, something awfully rare in Ireland. Also, the bedroom I slept in, which was in a loft, overlooking the sitting room. Really cool!
After we got up, we ate breakfast - microwave-porridge with bits of ginger cookies and some tea (in the porridge). Then we had our sandwiches made, very interestingly, I must add. They had jam, crunchy and creamy peanut butter, Nutella, banana, and then muesli sprinkled on top. Delicious! (Yes, no lie)
We were going to the park again, the national park, that is. The deer were suspiciously absent, but some passer-by said they had jumped the fence to go to another pasture!?
We planned to go to Ross Castle. There was a path to it, as well as other paths around it we planned to take. It wasn't that long of a walk.
There were many interesting opportunities to photograph things. I have a photo of ducks, crows, trees, mushrooms, berries, and a really cool pond that was part of an old copper mine. It was green! (Because of the copper, of course)
We ate lunch as it began to rain on the shore of a lake looking at the mountains as the fog rolled in. Really gorgeous...
We had to go back shortly though. There were some crows perched on a signpost, and I got some really good shots of them, as well as of some nearby swans and some moored boats. I also snapped a few pictures of the horse-drawn carts.
We went inside the cathedral lastly, as we went back to the car. It was lovely inside! It was huge, all made of stone, and had television screens so everyone could see the priest! It reminded me a bit of an American mega-church.
I took some prayer cards, printed with some of the scenes from the stained glass inside.
Hopefully we will be returning to Killarney, as it was just beautiful. So many things to do. The national park, for instance, would be perfect for a cycle.

22 October 2009

Kilarney- Day One

I realised in yesterday's post that I never actually mentioned Killarney.

It was fun. First, well, we arrived, then we sat around talking a bit. When the light was almost surrendering its glory - well it wasn't quite yet actually - we set off. We thought we would go to the Gap, a valley in the mountains. Its proper name is the Gap of Dunloe. We couldn't climb it or anything, as it was late. However, we walked to a suitable location to photograph it and did so. It was really beautiful, in much a different way than the rugged, hash beauty of the Burren and Connemara. It had more of a soft beauty, shown off by the calm air and tree-covered slopes.
We then went to the National Park, after a small stop at Kate Hearney's cottage to use the toilet.

We went to to see the deer, although the church we parked near was St Mary's Cathedral. It had beautiful architecture from the outside, and looked nice later, at dusk, as it was lit.

The deer were amazing. They were fenced off in their own area, and so were mildly timid, but not excessively. I took many photos, and a few videos. They were deer-calling (sort of like cat-calling, but with deer) and the sound echoed through the park and the mountains nearby. There was a male chasing a female around, and a number of males fighting (head-butting). The males also had big racks, and were moulting I could see from the somewhat blurry pictures.

Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries or I could have taken more picture.

That was about all we did the first day. (Forgive me if I shortened it a bit because I am tired of sitting and typing)

19 October 2009


We went to Kilarney this weekend. It was really great. We only had the end of Saturday and start of Sunday, as Saturday we had to stop in Limerick to pick up the Cuisle Award.
It was very stressful in Limerick. Apparently the one thing (one of the things) the family has trouble with is directions.

Try having ONE person look up the directions on Google maps, then give those to ANOTHER person, who has to shout them out as fast as possible to avoid missing turns, and then doesn't clarify that the last turn was the WRONG turn, so now the directions don't work. Then try the fact that we hadn't eaten anything for hours, and only two of us had EVER been in the city before (twice). And the fact that the woman on the phone, telling DD and MM where it was located said to DD St. Dominic's Church, and to MM St. John's Church, when it was actually at St Mary's church.

Well, it was to start at eleven, and we arrived in Limerick at ten...and got to the place at five to eleven. The worst was the one way streets and SOME of us not knowing their directions well enough (wasn't me!*cough*).

Anyway, it was really cool. It was a refurbished chapel, and looked really amazing inside. It was the perfect size for an open-plan house.

I did get a slight surprise, because I had to read out my poem. Astonishingly, I had been afraid of that, then asked DD, "Do you think they will ask me to read it?" He said "Oh, no, I talked to her on the phone, it didn't sound anything like that." Well it was, and I had never read it out before. AT ALL.
MM and DD said I read it nicely. More importantly, so did one of the judges. (Parental loyalty and all that)

And turns out that highly commended is actually really good, as there were submissions from across the country (Cork to Antrim!).
It made me wish that I had tried harder though. Maybe I could've made first in my age category.
And I felt bad that me, who had written a poem for English, didn't like it, then saw the award THE NIGHT BEFORE and sent it off, made fourth (first, second, third, then highly commended, so fourth is pretty much correct). What about all the people who spent days on their poem, only to not even place?

Well, next year I WILL get first. I will try. Trying is always the key, I think. (Not 'doing your best', making an effort, and believing.)

And don't anyone get discouraged by MY success. After all, even if you can't compete with my glory, aspiring to second place is just as good. (Kidding obviously)(hopefully you found it obvious)

13 October 2009

Can One be Too imaginative?

Yes, I do think there is such thing as being too imaginative.

In fact, sometimes it is a curse, in my opinion. Say, when you get a cut, and you imagine the blood flowing from your heart faster and faster to gush out of the cut. Or you are taking your pulse and you can imagine it too well... It made me wonder what people used to think in the medieval ages when they believed the blood sat still in the body, and did not circulate. What did they think their pulse was, then?

Anyway, why I said all that is because sometimes a good imagination can cloud your judgement. Say you really really love a story. Everyone else hates it. Why do you love it? Because with your imagination, you can see what it could be, what it would look like with grammatical correction. Or is it because no matter how bad the writing, you can still picture the scenes and characters because of your imagination, while others simply cannot?

Is it a blessing or a curse to have a good imagination? In most cases, I think a blessing.

On another note, that poem I didn't have time to enter? Well I lied. I entered last minute.

And... got a phone call today saying I had gotten a 'commendable job' award. Awesome considering I wrote the poem for an English class, and sent it off lickety-split.
Maybe if I had tried I could have won...bittersweet.

That poem: this one.

12 October 2009

Books and Macchia

I read a lot. I suppose that is an understatement. Why? Well when we moved to Ireland, we had to clean out boxes of books. Most of my books were never thrown out, traded in, recycled, or anything of the sort.
Well we found hundreds of books. Hundreds.

Between the time I learned to read and the time I was twelve, I had read a few thousand books.

And where did they all go, you ask? To a very good cause. Namely a boy in the local high-school. They were collecting books and every book you brought in gave you extra credit.
He was failing.
He probably ended up with an A.

Today's word of the day is macchia.

  1. A shrub-land biota in Mediterranean countries, typically consisting of densely-growing evergreen shrubs.
I had never heard of it.

09 October 2009


I considered blogging about not blogging the last two days, but blogging about not blogging hardly counts as blogging, right?

I happen to like most teachers I have had. That is because they like me, and give me good marks, and would let me get away with murder *cough*. I don't like teachers that don't like me however. Last week, my art teacher said that the subject matter I choose to draw (a light switch) was too plain; in others words, the composition sucked (she says draw what's in front of you, puts me facing a wall, and then blames me).
But this week, every time I finish a drawing, she says 'wow,' 'that's really good,' 'excellent job,' 'brilliant,' or something to that effect. So I like her.
My history teacher on the other hand...

Today's word is

1. A tiny, mischievous, imaginary being; a fairy.

I know everyone knows that word. I love the way it is spelled faerie instead of fairy.

It's so - medieval.

06 October 2009

T is for Tuesday and T is For....

T is for torpid, which I looked up especially as I had nothing else, because I was lazy.

sluggish or dull

I admit I was torpid regarding today's post, but at least it got posted.

And yes, I do realise I have contradicted my "long meaningful posts over short" declaration.

However, what good is long when short and sweet do the job?

05 October 2009

M for Monday, M for Materteral

Today's word of the day is materteral.

materteral- of or resembling an aunt, pertaining to or in the manner of an aunt.

Some background on materteral (from here).

Both "materteral" and "materterine" are derived from Latin matertera, "maternal aunt" (compare the derivation of "avuncular" from Latin avunculus "maternal uncle").
Paternal aunts are not etymologically neglected; however, in Latin, your father's sister was called "amita" which, after changing [m] to [n] and losing a couple of vowels along the way, has ended up as English "aunt."

A visit to the family house in Wicklow never fails to include many materteral cheek-pinching.

04 October 2009

S for Sunday, S for Sesquipedalian

I think a word of the day would be cool, and could give me incentive to blog more often (anything that works...). I find it funny that "blog" is apparently not a word. While it isn't realllly a word, I think for a program for posting on a BLOG, blog should be a word!

Anyway, Sunday's word is sesquipedalian.

(sess'-kwi-ped-ay'-lee-un) adj. 1: having many syllables 2: given to or characterized by the use of long words.
It's ironic that a really long word word would be given to describe a really long word with many syllables, or the use of those words.

The word sesquipedalian is very sesquipedalian said my sesquipedalian friend.

03 October 2009

Background on DD- This Says it All

DD has had many lapses in sanity.
Today, as we sat down to eat pancakes, he reached for the teapot, and was ready to pour it onto his pancakes. Then he realised it wasn't actually syrup.
He then informed me that not only had he attempted to put bleach instead of soap in the wash again, he had also attempted to put in milk!
Reminds me of the time he opened a tin of cat food and put it on the cutting board, only to remember that he wanted to chop an ONION.

02 October 2009

The Most Human of Actions

No, not betrayal, though I am sure that ranks highly.

The most human of actions, to me, is the yawn. Such a simple action, so common, and contagious. When I see someone yawn, it is like I become them for a moment, and know exactly, precisely, how they are feeling. It is like that yawn has forged a connection between me and them, and it is very deep.
When I see the meanest of teachers, of men, of anyone, yawn, they become different. So hard to describe, but it is like they are innocent, small, childlike.
Even when someone of authority, say, the Pope, yawns, it is so human, that it astounds me.
I tend to place figures of authority on pillars, not pedestals, just pillars, because they are higher than everyone, not just me, not anyone in particular, society as a whole.
But when they yawn in the presence of others, one is hit with the shocking realisation that they are human too.
We are all the same race.

Sometimes that can be forgotten, overlooked. Remember it.