Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Other Half's Inside The Shark

Before you ask, it's a track from the Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol OST. Yes, I am that nerdy, no I am not apologising. It's very dramatic, which is exactly what I need right now.

For I am in a terribly good mood, and you're all coming with me.

Performed for the first time as a featured storyteller at the Milk and Cookies Stories night tonight, and everything went smashingly. For those of you around Dublin, you have no excuse not to go in and have a look. It's free, there is free tea (and yes, cookies) and the storytellers are all of a dangerously uncalibrated level of fantastic. The crowd is always enthusiastic and tonight was no exception, I'm pleased that my story of love, bad decisions and Doctor Who enthusiasts seemed to go down a storm. There was even a documentary crew there from Ballyfermot College, so it's possible my ginger dishevelledness will be gracing a screen somewhere important soon.

I'm sitting at my kitchen table, currently very full of Chinese food, in that peculiar no-space between tiredness and hyper-awakeness. See I'm catching a flight in a couple of hours to Croatia, and I can never sleep before flights. I've never lost that silly excitement I get before travelling, as if airports were some magical place only grown-ups are allowed go and I was being let in to have a look. Bags are packed, I'm checked in, and I shall be whisked away by taxi somewhere in the region of five this morning. More than that, I've nailed down all the bits and pieces that I need to do before I leave, so when I come back things should only be a small disaster. A mini-disaster. A disasterlet.

Professionally, my life seems to be ticking along nicely. I received word tonight that there may be quite a big opportunity coming up for my pet project, and I intend to assail it like a rabid Cossack. This has been very much a year of figuring out what my professional personality is, and I've found that I'm not happy unless there's three things going on at once and I can angle my way around all of them. Sometimes I scribble absent lists of these plots, and it makes me laugh that no-one's tapped me on the shoulder yet and said 'sorry mate, you're not allowed to be an arts-hound, back to the realwork mines for you.' Well good fucking luck catching up to me, random over-extended analogy, for I am a blur on the horizon.

My chapbook is nearly finished. I have a name, Silence and Light, (and it was fucking war coming up with it, I went through about twenty names in three languages before deciding simple was best) and the stories are currently being polished up for final submission. I'm also holding a contest on deviantART to get my own original artwork, which means that it will stand out a bit. Oh it shall be so pretty. And sold in Easons, and other Dublin bookshopperies, which is also quite amazing. More details on this as we go.

Other than that... hrrrmm... A close mate of mine once commented that while his professional life was great, his personal life suffered. When I asked him to elaborate, he said

'Well, I don't have one.'

Considering my personal life tends to be a monstrous web of barbed-wire spiders, this may or may not be a bad thing. I am shelving it for the moment in pursuit of being a professional and artistic mess instead. In Zadar, Croatia. With a drink. Two drinks. And a fucking hat.

See you in five days. Be good now.


Saturday, 2 April 2011

One of Those A Minor Days

I am tired.

Had my final class in CTYI today, which involved a presentation for kids and parents. It went well, but I am now very drained and would like nothing more than to curl up under a duvet and do nothing for 18 hours. Unfortunately I start to feel guilty if I do nothing for more than an hour, and so I'm contemplating what could be done with the least amount of effort but still make me feel like I've accomplished something. 

Hence, blog. 

I attended my first poetry slam on Thursday night in Trinity College and I thought it was absolutely brilliant, even if I was corralled into being a judge. (never wear a blazer, people think you're important) I have to respect the undergraduates who got up to compete, and the poetry was great. Also, free wine. I like free wine. Last night was 'Sweet Smoke & Cruelty (Of Rhythmic Flesh),' a reading of the work of Graham Tugwell, one of my writing workshop comrades. His work is... harrowing, but excellently-written and a great deal of fun to hear read aloud, providing you're not easily shocked or haven't just eaten. There's a theatrical quality to his work that almost demands you hear it read out loud (in his distinctive growl) and I thoroughly enjoyed playing a number of characters in his macabre tableau. He's currently submitting to a number of different places, so expect a link so you can get freaked out/entertained/traumatised as well.

I was absurdly pleased when I made the deadline for a contest held on deviantART this week. I am terrible at deadlines, I get distracted and panicky and end up chewing my fingers to the bone while staring at a blank screen for three weeks before deciding that I didn't really want to enter the contest and contests are stupid and shut up shut up shut up. I still spent three weeks chewing my fingers into bloody ribbons, but two days before the contest was due to end I had a sudden epiphany and hammered out over three thousand words in a couple of hours. The story actually isn't bad, and may find a home somewhere else as well. The entries can be read here, and mine is entitled 'Shadow On The Sun.' (Again, naming things, fucking torture)

My next writing project is a story on 'Compulsion' for the Writers and Artists Short Story Competition. I haven't even begun to think about it yet, as I'm going to a featured storyteller at the Milk & Cookies Storytelling Night! I am trĂ©s pleased, and I have my story nailed down so all that remains is obsessive practice at reciting it while looking suitably bohemian and nochalant. The thing that is bugging me (and yes, this speaks at my skewed sense of perspective) is that they want a short bio and a theme song. I've spent more time freaking out about that than I have the idea of performing. I'm awful at writing bios, I always feel like I'm either boasting or leaving out some crucial piece of information, the lack of which makes me some kind of reprehensible moron. My bio for this blog was written by a friend, who can take many more liberties with my history than I'm comfortable. 

As for a theme tune, I'm open to suggestions. Current favourite is the Prodigy's Stand Up, which is nicely swaggery. However as another friend pertinently pointed out, 'Prodigy kind of screams 'I like Ecstasy.' So I am at a loss. It's not until the 12th, so I have time to come up with something. If you happen to be in Dublin, do bop along, it's in the Exchange in Templebar on Tuesday 12th at 6.30 and I will be the redhead rambling about a hideous Valentine's Day experience onstage.

On that note, I am going to cook fajitas (blogging has renewed my energy, I'm quite pleased) to the strange strains of Mikeangelo & The Black Sea Gentlemen. Then possibly town tonight, and jiving.