Monday, 24 October 2011

Set the Controls

It's been far too long since I blogged, but on the upside that means this will be a long post full of inane ramblings, links to things I like and remorseless self-promotion. In short, all the things I usually blog about. Consistency, that's the key.

The main thing occupying my mind at the minute is finding a new home, as my lease is now up on the Palace of Cold and Disrepair. I'm really going to miss this place; it had character. Beige character, the kind of character that could do with a good scrub and maybe a throw or two, but character nonetheless. 

(I learned how to play Garyball here. I had eight epiphanies, two of which stuck. Girls and boys were kissed here by girls and boys. I had at least one tectonic, no-holds-barred shouting match. One does not scrub these things away.)

So now I'm house-hunting, debating whether it's better to find a little garret or bedsit and make it into a sort of Davespace, or find a single room somewhere and throw myself into being friends with random people. I've lived on my own before, I don't find it a problem, but have yet to find somewhere that suits me perfectly. And that I can afford. I love being poor, it makes me inventive. Part of me is inordinately annoyed I can't just open some kind of pocket dimension and keep all my stuff there. I'm twenty-three, I thought I'd be able to do that kind of thing by now.

Le sigh.

I am a very busy person over the next while, and will put up a properly irritating blog soon explaining where and when I will be spouting my nonsense. Tomorrow I get to dress in costume and tell horrible stories to a hundred and fifty kids in Trinity College, which I am really looking forward to be honest. Kids make a fantastic audience; they 'ooh' and 'aaah' at all the right places, and I intend to leave them gravely worried in my wake. 

I've also started reviewing films for Film Jam, so expect minorly caustic opinions coming from there. Click the link above for my opinion on Contagion, a film so enjoyable I spent forty hours in bed after it. Sniffle.

Okay, I must run. There's a viewing later and I need to go fill all the rooms with bees.

(not that I'm bitter about moving)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Night Reconnaissance

Holy Jesus: a poem, a tidied house, and now a blog post. If this keeps going, people might mistake me for an actual person.

I'm looking around my sitting room (for those of you who haven't been, it's big, very 70's looking and one of those rooms that looks dirty even when its clean, due to weird butter lighting and a permeated sense of decay) and I'm feeling all nostalgic, because my lease is up in a month or so and I'll have to move and find somewhere else. 

It's not that I'm much of a nester, because I'm not. I pride myself (rather strangely, and probably because I'm not terribly fond of where I'm from and how long I was stuck there, and like the idea of being able to run away) on being a traveller, a person untied to material possessions and indeed, any kind of place at all. At the same time, as someone who has lived on friends' couches and slept in internet caf├ęs and benches, it's nice to have a place that's yours, a place that's unconditionally always there for you to drop your stuff in, have a shower, or just sit and stare at your ceiling. And now I have to find somewhere new. I do like the idea of actually investing some time and care into making the place my own (it usually takes me a month even to unpack) but I've had fun here, and it's weird to think of somewhere new.

I'm also wrestling with the notion of writing some poetry. I'm a prose man usually, and I usually stick to my fantasy, my sci-fi, my horror... but I quite like the idea of doing what my fellow writer and fellow adventurer Sarah Griff does, and doing real writing with real stuff and real people, and not obscuring things as much as I usually do. I've done one poem, 'Smoke,' and the experiment shall continue.

(and fuck me I am trying to organise the horrible graveyard of half-started stories that infest the crevices of my laptop, from where I've saved, moved, duplicated, saved bits, left in places, renamed, and blardyblardywankness, and IT'S KILLING ME. Why have I twenty all-different-all-unconnected stories saved under assfasdf? That's not a word. I hate words.)

My aim, somewhere a thousand years ago back when I could stand the sight of my own stuff, was to sort out what I could send away to publishers and what I couldn't, and see was there anything salvagable and fun from my scrapyard. In case you're wondering, I'm no closer to knowing that. I just want to cry at them until they go away. I've just finished my first 'long' short story in a couple of months, Senescence and it's going to be sent away soon. My next one (working title Heroes and Dragons, which will change, if you've read this before you will know that I hate naming things, hate it with a passion.)
I keep making to-do lists. It's a masochistic passion of mine, and the pain of looking at them ranks somewhere above cigarette burn and somewhere below coping saw. So far, I have Mother Meat, my unpleasant (and slightly Tugwellian) novella about a quarter finished, and plots and plans for half a thousand more kicking about my cranium. 

On a wholly more pleasant note, I will be performing tomorrow at the Milk & Cookies Storytelling Night in the Exchange in Templebar, (starts at 6.30, finishes at 10, free tea, where else would you be going) trying out a rendition of an old Norse legend, and may also be helping my compadre Graham in the telling of one of his macabre tales. That should be fun, or at the very least, less stress than cleaning up my laptop and its messy half-library of unadulterered nonsense.

Right. No more procrastination. Once more, dear friends, into the breach.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Northern Lights

Can't say no to things. Never been able to. It's why I have to apologise so often for my conduct, why I ended up spending nine months in a country where the temperature ranged between 'this would never happen in Ireland' and 'blowtorch,' and why I occasionally speaking to large groups of people about things that didn't really happen.

It does lead to adventure though. That is a definite plus.

Unfortunately this week has become one of those horrible patches of busy where I've actively had to spend time working out how I'm going to be in two places at once. We're getting close to the big Sweet Smoke & Cruelty storytelling gig (upstairs in the Twisted Pepper, Sept. 7th at 8, free in, come one come all) which is going to be pretty damn awesome. The stories are hilarious, twisted, sad and weird (usually all at once) and this is our first standalone gig, so all the stops are being pulled out. As a side point, if you are an event-organising person, put the Loft Bookshop in your Rolodex, as they're an incredibly helpful bunch of people, and the venue itself is cosy, well-equipped and very central. Tell them Dave sent you. 

(you will get nothing)

Before that happens however, I will have the joy of MCing a night of Burlesque Bingo in the Turk's Head, Templebar on Thursday. It's going to be... interesting. I've never actually MCed a bingo night before, it seems like one of those things where I should be wearing a spotted dickie bow and a truly dreadful suit. The acts are going to be excellent, there will be plenty of gorgeous people there, and I definitely think you should go, if only to see me try not to giggle when I say 'legs eleven.' Yes, I am learning the bingo lingo, I take my MC duties very seriously, thank you. (click the link above for full details)

After that (and I'm in tears at this point) there is a storytelling fundraiser for Love Songs for Losers in the Fringe. It's on Monday, is on upstairs in the Twisted Pepper at 8. There are some fantastic performers involved, and it's for what's going to be an excellent show, so I suggest you attend. More demand than suggest. I don't want to say threaten but... I am literally threatening you.

So that's the things that involve other people. Lovely people, one and all. I'm also attempting to write my very first novella, Mother Meat, for the Galaxy Sci-Fi project. Thing is, it's due very soon, and so in order to get it done I need to be getting roughly two thousand words done a day between now and the first of September. I've gotten my two in today, but I will be slightly surprised if I actually manage to get it in before the deadline. Oh well, here's to horrific optimism at my own abilities.

So... yeah. That's what I'm chewing on this week. Hopefully finding time to get fairly drunk with comrades at some point as well. Maybe fit in a Nicholas Cage marathon. 

Priorities, you know?

 Enough self-publication, however. I am very late to the bandwagon here, and I do apologise, but I have recently started watching Twin Peaks. It's just.... weird. You know when you hear someone humming a song you love, and it's only after a few moments you realise they are just the tiniest bit out-of-key? It's like that. The dialogue, the characters' reactions, everything is just half a beat off. And it's utterly brilliant. I'm a couple of episodes into the second season, and I'm trying not to skive off and watch more of it, but it isn't easy. I thoroughly recommend you acquire it by completely legal means and have a watch.

Right, okay. No more procrastination. I have a horrible story to write.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Gin-Soaked Boy

My body is rebelling.

It has been a long week of random partying, and every cell of me is screaming that I've had enough and think the debauchery train should be derailed, if you please. This is possibly because of post-festival fatigue that I haven't recovered from, or because I've been running around planning minor projects, or my body planning its eventual revolution (where I'm dragged against my will to some kind of draconian detox clinic where the gruel is plentiful and wiry Chinese men beat me with sticks) but I do not feel quite kosher.

Still going out tonight though. I can rest when I'm dead. Which is looking more and more likely to be quite soon.

On the upside, I have spent the day delving into the mind of one Graham Tugwell. He writes vicious little stories about broken hearts and lack of God, and then we go and perform them at various venues. There are plenty of links on his site to stories he's written, all appearing in various places, and you should definitely investigate. Or if you happen to be in Dublin, we will be telling a horror story entitled 'Soundless Walk The Fallow Men' at the Milk and Cookies storytelling initiative on Tuesday in the Exchange in Templebar. It will be several types of worrying. You will probably never drink milk again afterwards.

I'll also be performing a story by my lonesome, although I'm not entirely sure which one to do. There's a weird little Neil Gaiman story about a troll that I may tell (giving credit where credit's due, obv) or I may get a chance to sit down and write something original before then, which would obviously be preferable. Come anyway, if you're Dublin-based. Free cookies! 

I'm still processing the events of the festival. It was quite the amazing, and I've got my ticket for Electric Picnic, which is presumably going to be precisely 400 times the fun. I'm seriously considering going on a massive clean-living streak before then, because otherwise my body will collapse in on itself. Maybe an extended sojourn in Cavan, where I get the story I'm planning down on paper, and start looking at a one-act play that a comrade in arms wishes me to pen. 


Currently obsessed with this song. I can't help it. Put me down.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Resume Interference

There has been a slight hiatus, mainly because I've been off working and getting drunk and meeting fun people and doing fun things, but that is ALL ENDED NOW, and I am a real person again.

How have you been?

I spent my two weeks teaching gifted children and my good God they are brilliant. Maybe it's just because they choose the subjects and they want to be there, but I get pertinent questions and bright eyes, and a lack of 'why the fuck are we here.' And teaching feeds into my innate love of theatricality, so I had great fun making random arm gestures, and alternating my snarls with calm admonishments and all the other fun things that teaching entails. I also got 'thank yous' and trust me there is nothing cuter than an 8 year old walking up to shake your hand because he enjoyed you explaining the literal translations of Harry Potter curses. 

Teaching is just one of those weird things. I always get wonderfully mixed reactions when I tell people that I teach. Most people go... 

'Oh. But it's difficult, right?'

Some people go...

'Oh... prick.'

And have a story about a teacher who was particularly cruel, immediately followed by a funny story about a teacher who was imaginatively cruel and was therefore a legend. Curse of being a teacher; you must be interesting all the time. Even if you're a terrible person, even if you run your class like a death march with the Leaving Cert at the end, give it a bit of panache and people adore you. Screw it though, I like it like that. I've never met an imaginatively strict teacher who didn't put the same level of thought into what they were actually trying to teach. 

But anyway, I ramble. (and interestingly, I love the people who are so surprised I'm a teacher because I'm a ginger. 'Surely the jokes are too much,' they say. Yes, but I've been getting them for twenty-three years and had that long to form more-than-adequate responses. Nothing spins a class faster than a teacher being funny back, it's fun to watch. Yes, we're real people too. )

I experienced my first festival this weekend. It was... amazing. I've drank lots before, and that's always fun, and I've performed in places before, and that's even better, but I may be addicted to the sense of camaraderie, however fleeting, that festivals promote.

(Naysayers may point out that it was a very small festival, only two hundred people, and it couldn't be that intense. They may be right. I've bought my Electric Picnic ticket though, let's see how thousands of peeps treat me)

I like this open walking-around-saying-hello malarkey. I like sitting outside tents in the dark drunkenly trying to roll cigarettes. I definitely like waltzing in fields. I think I may indulge in more of it.
This is a late-night-I-am-tired blog. At some point over the next few days I will rant about more things. Look forward to it.


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Measured Response

Well that's that then.

Measure for Measure is finished, and I loved every second of it. Yes, there were problems and exhaustion but I got to work with very cool people and louche around stage like a big louche, while wearing a waistcoat and spouting Shakespeare. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Theatre Company has had its first production, we had full houses five nights out of six, and the cast night was debauch-aplenty. I am pleased.

Also, waistcoats. Fucking waistcoats. I want loads of them, in a variety of styles and colours. More addictive then crack cocaine, those things.

And now I have time to myself! It's a revelation. I am going home to Cavan (where no-one can steal me away with fun things) and working on my submission for the Machine of Death competition, and some other random bits of things that I want to do. I've a plethora of new music (including new Battle Circus album, fuck yeah) to listen to, so hopefully the words will flow freely.

The next big scary thing I have mystifyingly got caught up in is a charity cycle to Electric Picnic. I'm not a particularly fit person, so the next couple of months are going to be consumed with me training. (and hopefully not dying) It's in aid of Temple Street Children's Hospital, and I will be organising events to raise my target of 500e. I'm actually looking forward to the hideous hardship that it will be. Because I'm a fucking eijit.

In between the cycles and the writing, I am going to be a huge nerd and start watching X-Files. I've been told it's... no, that's a lie. I haven't been told the X-Files is anything. It's just... the X-Files. A terribly fucking iconic show. And I will have far too much down time in between banging my head off a keyboard and screaming bloody murder at my weak and failing body, so I may as well investigate terrible 90's TV.

But I am rambling. And I want sleep. I will away.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

School's Out

Right, after this week I'm going on a holiday.

Not an actual holiday obviously, as I am horrifically broke. But a holiday from work, and writing, and trying to make myself a real person and so on and so forth. I am just going to wander around and have fun for a week. I shall ignore my responsibilities and go have coffee with interesting and pretty people, or read, or watch certain films so people will stop giving out to me for not seeing certain films.

Hell, I might go to the zoo. Madness.

I've been so busy the last few weeks that life has been a blur of work and rehearsals and occasional sleep and more work. This is neither cool nor healthy. I am going to find fun things to do around Dublin, and go do them, and possibly drag people along. If anyone wants to lend me a book that they think I should really be reading/have read, please do and I will repay you with tea. 

Myself and a friend once planned over rum to make up bucket lists and see what we came up with, and eventually some day I will, but at the minute I'm more concerned with the list in my head that I want to get done now. 

I want to be better at internet
It is a huge big world that lives inside my shoddy, keys-missing, wobbly-screen laptop, all full of cool bloggers and tweeters and inspirations, and I don't have the fucking time to get through all of it. And I want to. I want to exploit it, and get the webcomic I've been planning for three years out there, and have fun pictures on twitpic, and have friends I don't know but think are brilliant. 

I want to rearrange my writing
I write when I can, but too often I find myself writing just for an idea, and not forcing myself to write every day. And it irritates the shit out of me. I get wrapped up in submission dates, and don't just write, and see where and how things go. 

I want to plot evil with more people
Once this play is over, I want to get out and perform more, and maybe start adapting my own stuff for performance. I like the stories I tell now, but I want to do more than just make people laugh at the awkward shenanigans I have. My Desperate Measures night will be taking a brief hiatus as I want to 

a) make it free
b) make it unique and terrifying
c) promote it until there are friction burns

I'm lucky enough to know some very cool people, and I'm hoping to scheme with them soon, and see what trouble we can cause. Because trouble is awesome.

I would blog more, but I have a tech run to go do, and glaring mistakes in iambic pentameter to avoid. But this is the part of the blog I need you for. I am going on my enforced holiday, and I need the following:

- book suggestions. Whatever you like, I promise I'll give it a shot. If you're one of my Dub buddies, I promise you can trust me with the book in question. I will tuck it in every night, and use the finest silk bookmarks.

- event suggestions. If you have some kind of event after the 19th, or you've heard something is awesome, let me know and I'll show up and look dishevelled but interested.

- music suggestions. Dubstep to death metal, I will try everything. (Yes, I've started to like dubstep. The apocalypse is coming.)

Comment below. I love you all.