Archive for January, 2013


The President’s Award

Dear Saul,

I am Irish. You probably already knew that, but given that others don’t have the advantage of living in my head, I figured it would make sense to explain everything before talking about it.

As stated, I am Irish. At any age before 26 an Irish citizen is entitled to run for an award known as ‘Gaisce’ (meaning ‘a journey’ in Irish). This is also known as ‘The President’s Award’, and, at its highest level (gold) is very prestigious.

And I’m going to go for it, at least on bronze first. Perhaps after that, I may go for silver or gold, and despite the fact that only 70 received the gold award last year, expectations are cheerily high.

So, what does it entail? Well, each level is split up the same (What makes the levels different is the amount of time spent, as well as the scale). There are 4 categories: personal skill, community skill, physical recreation skill, and the journey. For the bronze, 13 weeks must be spent on the first 3 categories, plus another 13 in one if those 3. Each category requires you to learn or improve in a new skill in those 13 weeks, and to prove that you have learnt those skills. The journey requires you to venture off your laptop and spend 2 days and 1 night hiking or camping or anything that gets you out into the world.

Still awake? What about you Saul? Okay, good.

This, to me, will be fun. Very fun. My lazy proctinating personality needs a boot up the rear to get back into the swing of things. This is perfect.

But that’s not what worries me. What worries me is the future: gold, should I ever get to that point, required you to not only perform a major skill for 52 weeks, but also requires a 4 day 3 night journey. I would be doing all this approximately during the time of a major exam for me and if I do it I ca…

STOP, is what I tell myself. What you, Saul, would suggest to me.

This is ridiculously stupid of me. I’m not a fortune teller, so I’m not even going to try and predict the future. Nothing is certain. I’m certainly not getting bronze won by thing of gold.

This may be my ultimate downfall for the chance at this award. I have my skills chosen, but in my mind, I’ve already won. I’ve gone too far ahead, and that’s going too make me cocky and lazy. And I would likes to win this award. It’s an achievement that I would be proud to accomplish.

So hopefully, Saul, you’ll understand why I seem so nervous. I guess I’ll need to try and take things as they come.

Regards,

-Fiachra

P.S: If you are curious about my chosen skills, I am writing short stories for a personal, being part of a Youth Theatre for the community, and signing up for a martial arts club in personal recreation. I start this week, and with luck, in 13 weeks I’ll have an award.

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Some people don’t enjoy letters to imaginary people. Some people *cough -me- cough* don’t want to work on a Friday because they have stuff to do tomorrow. So, I suppose I should do something…casual…or something like…that.

Well let’s not talk about my being on a debating team for a day, going up against the real school debating team. Made up of older, more intelligent-yet-not-as-handsome 17 year olds.

Who thought that would be a good idea.

Why would anyone consider that a *good* idea.

Needless to say, we had are arses served to us on a silver platter, me being the main frickin’ course. Not quite the Friday I was hoping for, but then again, It got better once I was reminded that this was the first ever photo of me on Facebook, back in 2011:

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Ahhhhh, good times.

That’s me on the far left, the one who looks like Moe Howard risen from the dead, standing in Phoenix park in Ireland with maybe 8,000 other ‘zombies’ for an annual charity walk through Dublin city. Fun when you go with the recently revived Mr. Darcy, a truck driver zombie, and what I’m assuming is the woman he just killed. I don’t know how this always cheers me up, but seriously, look at the happy little head on me:

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Total Euphoria, that’s what that is.

Zombie walks are always a great place to meet people and just have fun. They’re all over the world, so do something for charity and bring your friends to one.

Or, stop by the equally amazing (currently with less zombies, unfortunately) blog Geekround, run by my pal Emma and her friend Jukes. Filled with webcomics, cool projects, and a healthy obsession to Thorin Oakenshield. Find a better blog. I dare ye.

Okay, I think that’s enough casual to keep you busy for a while. See you next week.

-Fiachra

Sulking

Dear Saul,

You may have realised, as a muse, that I haven’t used you as of recently.

Well, that’s because I went and sulked for a week or so. Childish, I know, but still, I feel slightly better.

Can’t really end the post there can I? You probably want to know why I started sulking. Let me tell you, I am, currently, crap at writing. Fiction at least. Maybe my informative writing isn’t so bad, but when you start feeling insecure and start reading ‘On Writing Horror Fiction…’ well, something’s up.

But then, sulking was probably the most counter-productive thing to do at the time. What, did I think by not writing I’d actually get better? Come on, Saul, it’s like the stupid truck left town without me.

I’m pretty sure I won’t be needing you help on this one. It’s like Ray Bradbury says:

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed”.

“If you only write a few things”.

That’s the part there that gets me back up after a tough session. Everything I write has a purpose, even if only practice. Why should I stop because things are bleak? That’s what writing is. Not stopping. Perseverance. Because if I stop today, I can’t get better tomorrow.

Even starting a blog, which may, ultimately be doomed to failure, will be a learning experience. If I can except the fact that I will never run a marathon if I don’t learn to walk first, and persevere, then perhaps, hopefully, I can say to myself at my lowest;

“One more page”.

Regards,

-Fiachra

On an unrelated note, I find this blog to be a bit… serious. Perhaps I should take a day of the week to make a ‘kick back and relax’ sorta post. Something entertaining for ye, rather than my one-sided conversation 24-7 🙂

Humour

Dear Saul,

As much as it may surprise you, I don’t always talk about things as seriously as I do to you. Tumblr and people who know me will probably prove that I’m not exactly the type of person who takes things very seriously. Admittedly, this may be why I write all these letters to you, most likely I need a place of some sort where I can be less giddy.

The truth is, I really enjoy being funny. This isn’t some sort of egotistical speech on how I enjoy being the center of attention, or how I like being that guy in the group. I enjoy being funny mostly for the fact that other people enjoy me being funny. If I’ve made someone smile or chuckle today, I’ve made a small improvement to their day. No matter how insignificant it is, I’ve made them feel good, which is where we get the phrase ‘Laughter is the best medicine’. There is always a point where enough is enough, but for the most part, people like having someone around who can supply some lightheartedness .

I will say though, it’s always nice to get away for a while and be…

…well, for lack of a better term, more boring. 🙂  And writing this blog, and writing stories and all the artwork I do is a great way to get away and make myself feel a little happier. And hey, maybe my stories and art might make other people happy as well. An added bonus I suppose. Maybe there’s no reason to write, maybe it’s foolish of me to babble on in these letters o’ mine.

But I suppose if I’m still listening, I should keep going, purely for self-satisfaction.

Regards,

Fiachra

Holidays

Dear Saul,

Holidays are pretty much over at this point, all that’s left is few days of relaxation before we get back in the daily rat race again.

But I’m always gladdened to see people take a breather when they get a holiday. No matter what lifestyle you live, no matter what job you have, people always change when given this small freedom. But it’s also interesting to see how people relax when given this freedom.

You see, I’ve always found the change difficult to understand. Sure, it’s great to see someone let their hair down on holiday, but how can someone, given time off, turn into such a drastically different person? It’s fascinating to see people, who work the same routine for years, become these new men and women overnight.

What’s even more strange to me, is that, at the end of it all, most of them will go back to their old routine, no questions asked, as if it never happened. Surely, once you let your hair down, you have to find it difficult to tie it back up in the exact same way.

On holidays you try new things. Didn’t like it? Fair enough. But if you did, what’s stopping you from making it a new part of your lifestyle?

Anyway, that’s enough outta me for now. Enjoy the rest of your holiday, Saul.

-Fiachra

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