Christmas Presents for the Writer in Your Life

Writers technically have everything that they need, so they can be extremely hard to shop for when it comes to Christmas presents. So I’ve compiled a list of items that would make any writer happy come Christmas morning.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • Clothing– precisely comfortable clothing, jumpers, tracksuit bottoms, slippers or fingerless gloves are all perfect presents.
  • Books – ask for their Book Depository wish-list[it’s the cheapest and quickest]. They send you over their wish-list and you can do it all in a matter of minutes, no trudging through the freezing cold looking for the illusive gift and you just couldn’t get anything more exciting than a brand new book to curl up with on Stephen’s Day
  • Craft Books: These books your writer will love and reuse time-and-time again and will make their New Year of writing so much easier and fun!
    642 Things to Write About
    The Writer’s Toolbox

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

  • Time Off – this can be in printed tokens or a gift receipt for a weekend away. Time to be by ourselves and not having to do day-to-day chores is exactly what we dream off. Either a weekend in a hotel, retreat, or a weekend with a free house is amazing!

    Planners Planners on the other hand are a good bet. They get the writer’s New Year on a good footing, but make sure that they don’t have one already.

  • My First Cold Script Reading

    I don’t get anxious. I’ve finally reached that inner-peace where I just don’t worry, because worrying doesn’t help anyone and it makes you suffer WAY more than is needed. Interviews I can do, talking in front of people I can do without even thinking about it.

    So I found something that scares me slightly and went for it…

    I went in for my first cold script reading. And for the first time in a long time, I got really anxious beforehand. I hate being anxious, because I know it’s only me who’s suffering and nobody else bloody cares what’s going inside your head.

    If it wasn’t for a friend being there with me most likely, I would’ve gone home. But because she’s stubborn, she made me go in and do the cold reading.

    It was in a Costa cafe, downstairs in a brick-walled dark dungeon-like seating are. It was so dark I could barely make out the lines.

    I got paired up with a girl who did the whole acting-school and degree and here I waltz into the place barely having any classes. The closes I came to acting is an extra in a movie video and school drama lessons. So, we run through our lines beforehand and then we go down.

    Now, the anxiety has slightly subsided. The people who run are super nice, this other girl is super nice and not saying anything about my bad line-reading and we go down into this dungeon.

    All I see is a little red blinking light of a camera.

    “Stand over there and go ahead.”

    That was all that is said and we read the lines.

    I did a script reading, in front of a camera!!

    It’s something ticked off my to-do list. Cold Script Reading is now not going to be so daunting to me. It also made me realise how much I LOVE the whole anxious nervousness of auditions. It’s a high without the bloody drugs! I just want to keep doing them now!

    The lesson this has thought me? Get the bloody hell out of your comfort-zone!! Even if you need someone [a friend] to keep you outside, then get them! Because the come-down of the anxiety and panic afterwards is so worth it. You feel like you can take on the world!

    Supernatural – I Just Don’t Know Why I’m Still Bothered.

    I always stick with a show till the very end. I’ve never been in this position before.

    The writers are are disjointed from one another. They don’t understand the show the same way as Kripke, Robbie Thompson or Adam Glass. They just kill of characters for shock value and then they’re left with nobody to build the story around and it’s given us this shitty twelfth season.

    [please note, the following was written before the finale]

    On all other seasons we had a good over-arching storyline that brought us through the season, this season we don’t really have one.

    The only two things keeping it together:

    The boy’s coming to terms with their mammy being back.I really really thought Mary was going to be different, like the charming younger version of her as she’s only supposed to be a few years older than that. Her characteristics just don’t cut it for me. I don’t want her to be all loving to the boy’s because she doesn’t know them, but she doesn’t feel like the Mary that we saw in the past.

    The Lucifer baby drama that hasn’t been really that exciting. It’s just waiting for the baby to pop, and I have a very bad feeling that nothing is going to come from it- that they’re going to be transported to this other purgatory-esgue setting for the finale and the start of next season. I’m not all that excited about either. Remember last time they said this it only lasted a fraction of two episodes?

    Then there’s the British Men of Letters – they just seem to be all over the place, whether they’re coming or going I just don’t know. There’s no dept to their organisation or to them that it makes it all seem so pathetic.

    I don’t know how they’re going to save this, not after the disaster of killing Eileen and the diabolical bad writing of There’s Something about Mary. They’ve done the whole Big Bad too many times and Lucifer is just annoying that I’d bring Dick back than sit through another scene with Lucifer- who was WAY better in earlier seasons.

    The finale does have I’m looking forward to in the finale are:

  • Finding out who that guy is with his face covered
    For the Dean and Mary fight.
  • These two things are the only reason I’ll watch the finale.

    The overall excitement of the show is gone.

    It just seems to be chugging along now, not really going anywhere.

    Nanowrimo 2016 – Still Have Mixed Feelings.

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    Nanowrimo is mid-way over and I’m finally writing a post about it while it’s on. For anyone who doesn’t know, Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. Basically you try to write 50,000 words in the month of November month.

    I still have love-hate relationship with it. That hasn’t changed.

    I always start off great at the start of the month- well not great- but I get consistent with writing again. The most I’ve written during a Nanowrimo before now was over 13,000 words. Not bad, but not exactly the 50k that they’re looking for.

    There’s a few reasons for this:

    One – Life just screws me over and I just lose steam or time.
    Two – I run into a massive wall of writer’s block that I can’t bulldoze my way through
    Three – and the one that happens most of the time – I realise how absolutely ridiculous Nanowrimo is.

    I’m at about 26,000 words at the moment, the best I’ve done in Nanowrimo ever, but the same thoughts have started to swirl around.

    Nanowrimo isn’t for writers. You should not need Nanowrimo to write. This is one of the major issues I have with the whole concept of it. One day at the start of the month I came across a topic on the forum- probably the reason why I kind of went ‘screw it’ with this Nanowrimo- the majority of people who do Nanowrimo- and please, I’m not talking about everybody, a large amount of them don’t write any other time…

    This does not make a lick of sense to me either. Why spend all this time writing something that you have no intention of going back to or doing anything with? Some people just do it for the sake of doing it. I get that you have a story at the end of the 30 days and that you can feel proud. I just don’t understand why someone would give themselves the extra stress of writing a novel when they don’t actually like writing?? That’s like me picking up a paint brush and painting for 30 days straight just to say I have splodges of colour on a canvas…it doesn’t make sense.

    See, I use Nanowrimo not to ‘win’…winning is not the goal for me with Nanowrimo. I use to get back into writing every-single-day. Then I get to a certain point where I know what I’m putting down is pure shit. That’s when I stop aiming for the 50k and just keep going at my own pace. I don’t care anymore about the end count. As long as I keep up with writing every-single-day, whether it’s 500 or 5,000 words, I’m happy. I’m not forcing it out of me just for the sake of it. I know that I most likely will go back and edit and delete everything I write, but again, I want to at least make a bit of sense than complete nonsense.

    There’s just a fine line between writing and throwing shit at the wall hoping it’ll stick. That’s the line I just don’t cross, no matter how much I would love to write 50,000 words in one month, my writing still needs to make me feel something.

    Autumn – Favourite Time of The Year

     

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    Why do I love October so much?

    • Scarves!! Big wooly scarves.
    • Boots!! Boots can be worn again! It’s not too warm that our feet end up sweating and it’s not too icy that we go flat on our faces. Perfect booty weather
    • The weather is just perfect. It’s crisp and cool. Not too warm and not too cold.  I can’t be the only one who is really looking forward to my Autumn walks.
    • Hot drinks. hmmmm….hot chocolate. need I say more?
    • The Christmas buzz is already in the air. Not too much that we’re getting sick of it already, just a little good feeling amongst everyone.
    • Early nights. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE night time. I love walking around when it’s dark and the tranquil peace that comes with it. Nothing beats dark 7pm and there’s still the whole night ahead.
    • The sense of optimism with Autumn that no other season has.
    • TV SHOWS. YES! Our favourite TV shows are back on!! And getting dragged back into fandoms and obsession that we’ve had withdrawal symptoms all summer from.
    • Motivation. Autumn- well for me, anyway- brings with it this magically thing called motivation. I want to write everything….and I DO…. Like, I actually get shit done in Autumn that I would usually put off if it was any other season. There’s something just so… inspiring about Autumn that get’s my lazy ass moving again.

     

    My Experience with a Husky

    I saw a post by a Husky Rescue that they can’t keep up with the demands for helping abandoned huskies, and it made me want to write a post.

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    This is Bruce, he came to me as a malnourished, tiny puppy that was most-likely too young to be away from his mother. He costs hundreds in vet bills when we first got him. I got him because I’ve always wanted a husky since I was a kid. As everyone else, my first reason behind getting a husky was: they’re pretty. I want a pretty dog. 

    He turned out to be the hardest dog that I’ve ever gotten, but I wouldn’t change him for the world. 

    Walks aren’t just walks. They’re the sweat your armpits off one-to-two hour marches every-single-day, yes – even after you’ve done a hard days work or you want an hour or two extra in bed to sooth you’re weary bones. Like everything else, you got to put in the hours. 

    The hairs. They’re not messing when they talk about husky shedding. My husky is a house dog, yes- who the hell has a husky as a house dog? Me. When we’re in shedding season, there’s a brand new white carpet on the stairs and running throughout the house every-single-morning. Get use to hovering being a morning activity, you’re going to be best friends with your hover. 

    One day, he’ll bring you a little present and it most likely will happen. We have gotten one cat and one bird. You can try your best to think around it, to put out all precautions, but most likely it’s going to happen. Just a warning.

    If you’re doing research before getting the breed, take everything with a pinch of salt. Not all huskies are going to be the perfect breed.

    Huskies are supposed to be friendly dogs- not in my experience. Bruce is weary of strangers and other people that aren’t family, he won’t run up to them tail-wagging about the take off. He’ll creep in to suss them out, giving them a look that scares most people. Then looks at me as if to ask, ‘are they good?’

    IMG_1831.jpgHe also dislikes my dad and my dad is convinced he’s ’not a nice dog’. Doesn’t matter what my dad asks him to do or what he calls him for. Bruce will look at him, then turn to me as if to say ‘what the hell does he think he’s doing?”

    He isn’t the snuggliest and friendliest dogs when it comes to other people. But he’s my snuggle buddy, he’s my furry alarm clock who wants rubs all the time that end up with me having a dead arm.

    I mean just look at him?

    Books over Ebooks

    I hate Ebooks.

    So, I have a book waiting to be picked up in the bookstore today, and only yesterday [after years of wanting said book] I found it sitting in my ibooks.

    Now, Ebooks are great for reviewing, and for books you want to read that don’t come in a hard format. But it stops being a book. It’s a little dot on a screen.

    I end up being so busy with making notes that I can’t enjoy the story. Then, after only an hour of reading, my eyes start hurting because I’ve been staring at a screen.

    Continue Reading

    Peter Pan on Ice

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    The world-renowned Russian Ice Stars bring a new adaptation of this famous fantasy adventure by J.M. Barrie to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

    Wendy, Michael and John are visited in the nursery by Peter Pan himself, who teaches them to fly with the help of Tinker Bell, and takes them on a magical journey to Never Land.

    Packed with all your favorite characters including Tiger Lilly, Mr Smee and the vengeful Captain Hook whose appetite for revenge is perfectly recreated in this spectacular adaptation on ice.

    So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!

    I’ve never been to see Ice Skating before and it took a huge amount of time for me to get into it. Quiet a shock to the system when there was talking or narrative to any of it, just music and dances.

    I did enjoy it up till the second half. My partner was the one who pointed out that the lead, Peter Pan, looked to be the weakest of the skaters, and the only one who took a tumble at the end. It was opening night, so I’ll let it slide.

    It could have been better put together. Story wise it was hard to follow and some scenes I just didn’t get what the skaters were trying to get across or where the hell we were in the story.

    I loved the acrobatics and for kids to see people swinging around is amazing. Just to warn you;  some stunts performed do leave you feeling inadequate as a human being. These skaters can do all these tricks while on blades and spin around a tiny stage at heart-stopping speeds, that you’re always holding your breath for the impending crash.

    Another thing that really struck me. Some scenes could have been toned down slightly. There was a lot to follow and take in- too many people doing different things that you don’t know where to look. So just be aware you are going to miss out on amazing performances because someone in the back caught your eye and you can’t stop staring at them- wondering what the hell they’re up to. While everyone else is cheering at amazing skating that you completely missed out on.

    The show should have had some narrative to it, just for the kids to follow. I did notice that before we even got to the mid-way point, that a kid in front just wasn’t interested, and I’m sure he wasn’t the only one. Kids want to be told a story, go on an adventure; not watch people skating, and because it was just a bunch of people dancing, he wasn’t buying it. This show is aimed primarily at kids, and I think they should think more about them and how to get the story across to them.

    All the skaters were amazing, and really sold it for the kids who giggled and cheered when a splash of comedy and Captain Hook came on stage, who was the best skater of the night; he was just flawless and he really owned that part, Tinkerbell was adorable, and all the Lost Boys we’re exactly how you wanted them to be.

    For a first time ice skating show, it was an experience. Probably if I had an idea of what I was walking into I would feel differently, but I went in there completely blind.

    Ireland and Graduates

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    If you have done a degree, than Ireland is the worst place to stay if you want to do anything with it.

    I have been out of college for over a year, and I still haven’t nailed down a full-time job with the degrees that I have. I have been to numerous interviews that I don’t bother to count anymore.

    I either don’t hear anything back after the interviews after I’ve done them, or they just don’t bother to get in touch. I only got two replies to tell me I didn’t get the job (two jobs that I really really wanted). The replies I usually get is either ‘I don’t have enough experience’ or ‘I’m too overqualified’. Yea, two extremes and just two excuses to not hire me.

    I’m not working now, and being a creative person being stuck inside all day, everyday gets to me. I have thought myself script-writing out of complete boredom, so I’m writing a movie script. I’m also writings novels and trying to keep my blogging up.

    People expect to hire qualified people, who have paid €40,000 on college, to work for nothing and then to pay to get to the job out of their empty pockets.

    In college we are promised that it’s the best degree to go into and we were guaranteed a job with our fingers in all the different pies. But, except for some freelance work and fallen-through jobs, I have gotten nothing out of it so far. The same can be said about my friend who did the same degrees and is working on little-to-nothing now and not really why we went to college to go.

    We both need to get out of Ireland, there isn’t much here for two journalists, with no spare change and nothing on the horizon. I get €120 a week, €50 of which is to my mam, and the rest is then used for the bus fares to go to these interviews and then random everyday things like bills and food (you know, the things they believe we can do without). I am usually broke by Friday afternoon (i get it on Wednesday).

    People can’t live on nothing. I don’t know how anyone thinks this is okay. Yes, I know its supposed to be for experience, but if we’re doing a job while learning, then we should be paid for the job and for the hours put into said job. To then not be let go once the 6 months is up. We’re just easy to get and easy to get rid off; hassle-free sacking with no strings attached, to get another down-heartened graduate to do it all over again.

    And they still wonder why we’re still fleeing the place like the plague has landed.