Monthly Archives: September 2012

Being Quoted Already


Now all I need is for people to know who I am. ‘As the Black Crow Flies’ better get out of my head, onto paper and into bookshops quickly!

Advertisements

Monkey see, monkey do.

Imagine I walk into a betting shop. I place €5,ooo on a horse to win. The horse loses. However, I approach the counter and ask for my money back. The owner of the betting shop, who is standing behind the teller who took my bet says ‘sure, you can have your money back. However I won’t be giving it to you. I’ll give you the cash now, but I’ll then take that amount, plus interest, back of the teller whether they can afford to or not.’

This is a fair analogy of the Irish Government, unsecured bond holders, banks and the common man who had nothing to do with anything that went wrong with the financial meltdown.

We the Irish people, (the teller) are caught in the middle of this maelstrom of risky behaviour that was undertaken by our banks (the bookie). Foreign investors (the gambler) took risks by betting, buying, selling, whatever they do with their own money. Then when it all went tits up, the government (also the bookie in this analogy) took over the banks and gave back all the money that were losing bets to people who weren’t even under any sort of a protection scheme that they, the government, had set up.

The people paying back these bad bets? Yes, the Irish citizen (the teller).

I used this analogy to show the absolute absurdity of the it all. If the world in general were to conduct their business in such a fashion, there would be anarchy overnight. Workers rising up across the world against their employers for using their wages, as payment for bad bets made by its customers.

So, how can this happen in the upper realms of government and world leadership? Simple. Because these guys (they are mainly men of course) make up the rules as they go along. The preach to us, the common person, to be frugal, to save, to trust them, to do as they do and help make society a better place. Well if it is monkey see monkey do, then we as a society would be forgiven for making up the rules ourselves and completely dismissing the rights and priviliges of others, for all governments strive to create a society worth cherishing by their own actions, decisions and bills. All they have done in the last few years, is show us how incapable of running this world of ours they are.

Choosing the Life we Live

How many of you out there feel yourselves compelled, or even forced into, living a life that you don’t really want?

It’s something, from as far as I can tell, that most people seem to do. Not so long ago, over a beverage or four, a friend of mine said to me: ‘I couldn’t live my life the way you live yours, Jay. I wish I could but I can’t. It’s just not in me. You do things your own way and it always seems to work out for you. I wish I could do that.’

This from a guy, who is financially successful, has a beautiful wife, a lovely home and a wonderful work ethic. To say I felt a mixture of emotions would be an understatement. I felt a real and tangible sense of pride that he knew me well enough to know that I march to beat of my own drum. Yet, confusion also. I am not well off. I am a struggling writer. I am single, with no home of my own. From the outside looking in, I often found myself envious of him. Yet, as it turns out, he envies my way of living life compared to his own, if not the material rewards.

Sometimes, choosing to follow your own rules is tough. Hell, it’s more than tough. There are moments of despair, depression and angst. A longing to be just like everyone else. Part of the herd. Yet when he said what he said to me, I could only conclude one thing: if I did follow the worn path that most people follow, I would live the rest of my life wondering ‘what if?’ Something I can never find in myself to do.

I am not saying I am better or worse than anyone else, nor am I judging peoples choices on the type of life they ‘choose’ to live. I am merely stating, that living the life you truly want is the only way I can truly live. For if we are not creating the future we truly want, are we living at all?

My new novel’s title

I’ve been wondering whether I should be telling anyone this or not, but I thought, what the hell. My novel has been coming along slowly these past few months. Sporadic periods of writing followed by weeks of ignoring it and now, well, lately it has been coming easier and it has been a daily present in my life.

As someone who writes a lot of short stories, I have found that when I get an idea for a short story, the title seems to come right along with it. Just like the night follows the day, the title follows the idea. With this novel, it has been quite different. I have tens of thousands of words written and yet it failed to materialize. Anxious, disappointed, worried: YES! I was all those things. Until the other day when I posted a piece on here about the ‘words not coming.’ Well, only moments later, the title fell into my lap. Rather it floated into my psyche.

‘As the Black Crow Flies.’

Firstly I will ask you NOT TO STEAL IT!!! Secondly, I’m not looking for an opinion on it like a worried mother wondering if she is raising her firstborn correctly. No, I am just happy to share it. It’s quite odd because although the story was coming along slowly, it was still coming along. Now, however, since it has a title (its real title) the novel feels more real somehow. Now I can picture it on bookshelves or on amazon. I am already working on the book cover in my mind. Not only has the title brought me a sense of relief it also has brought a new sense of optimism that, yes, the book is on its way. Not since the idea for the novel first birthed itself have I been this excited and more importantly, motivated.

Finding the words

With a newly built library in the vicinity, I was flowing over with anticipation of having a quiet spot to write, think and generally be an all round literary genius. Maybe scratch the last part of that sentence. Still, having found myself a corner, with a large window where I can view the world passing by me, I still can’t seem to get the words to flow. Conditions are perfect: Almost complete silence; comfort, humans around me who are also keen to partake in the wonder that is a library, yet I still find myself floundering.

It is not as if I have writers block. Far from it. The ideas are there, they are fresh and unique as they should be, but I am still finding it difficult to string the words together. Far be it from me to ever think that writing a story should be anything other than ‘simple’, yet somehow its difficulty is in sharp contrast to other times I have found myself slouched over my beloved Mac.

This is not a bitchy post. Let’s view more as a statement of fact. It is annoying to say the least, but I am not dry of inspiration. I’m just crossing my fingers, gritting my teeth and getting the words down as best I can. Perhaps this is the beauty of editing. A chance to come back and destroy the lazy words without destroying the idea.

Questions of God

So, this is more of a question I need to ask of you, than something I want to get off my chest. I’m beginning work on a little side project that I need some help with. Firstly, I’m hoping that anyone who sees this will please re-blog it, add the link to your twitter page, your facebook page, your tumblr, wherever. What I’m looking for are questions. (Please leave all questions in the comment section of this post) To put it simply, if you had one question to ask God, what would it be. Now think carefully before you ask. Just imagine that you had just one question. Just imagine that God showed ‘himself’ to you and gave you the power to have one question answered that would set aside all rumours and stories about said question from now on. Think outside the box on this one as well. I’m sure there are ten or fifteen questions that will always come up. Questions like, ‘Why are we here?’ ‘What is the meaning of life?’ Although they are valid questions, they will be asked, so try to think outside the box a bit. Now, it is not important what your religion is, whether you believe in God or not. So, atheists and people of all different persuasions, please feel free to ask your question. This is by no means a ‘Christian’ question. Rather a humanity question. So, please ask your question, please reblog this if you can, add the link to twitter, facebook, wherever. With much thanks. I look forward to seeing what questions come up.

Ideas

When you’re walking along and out of nowhere, an image flashes through your mind like a bolt of lightning. It’s a wonderful moment. Almost an epiphany. You see a character, perhaps a freeze frame of an image where you can’t make it out exactly, but you have an idea of what’s going. Those moments are rare and precious to any writer. It’s a Eureka moment when you wonder to yourself ‘how have I not thought of this before, it’s so blessedly perfect.’ That’s because it is. And when these ideas come, or inspiration or whatever word you feel comfortable using, you have to act immediately if possible.

 

These ideas are often said to be just like a dream upon waking. Not a bad analogy, but this one suits me better. Ideas are like nuggets of gold. You can be walking the river when BAM! the bright sparkle of the gold nugget catches your eye through the clear water. If you don’t act straight away, the water might wash the nugget away; perhaps it might rain and the river will become dark or muddy with the heaving water. You’ll know where the nugget is, but try as you might, you won’t be able to find it. Oh, you’ll remember the moment you spied it. It’s luminosity, it’s sharpness of colour, even it’s shape. But the thing that makes the nugget real, will be forever from your grasp.

Writers, when the idea comes. ACT! Or you may lose her forever.