Archive for February, 2013


Schedule

Dear Saul,

I am, as many are well aware, rubbish with time and schedules. Ask me to get something done, I will have it done when you need it, but I have so many issues that make this a tiring problem.

1- I have said before that I am a massive procrastinator. If something doesn’t have to be done now, it won’t be done. I’m not lazy, just… ummmm…
…opportunistic. In that I take the opportunities to not work…

2- I can’t keep timetables. At all. Whether it be for studying or homework, I can’t plan to save my life. I can be very spur of the moments with plans, and they oft change. Did you know that this blog went through 5 different incarnations before I settled on you as the theme?

3- I’m subject to second guess myself. Things can be crumpled up and thrown in the bin by me without batting an eyelid, but I’ll eventually worry that got rid of something good, or that my next idea isn’t suitable either.

And these problems are devious little critters that work in tandem to ruin the creative process for me in every way possible. When I do finish something, I am exhausted.

So, Saul, things need to change. If they don’t, I’ll end up a wreck by the time I get to important exams. I’ll keep working on ways to solve this. Perhaps If anyone has any ideas, they’ll let me know!

Tired Regards,
-Fiachra

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Old School

Dear Saul,

I know you’re not particularly the “geeky” type, but I figured thus would make a good talking point. At least it’ll give me something to do while I shrug off the last of the cold.

Let’s talk about Playstation.

If you’ve fallen asleep at this, perhaps you should ignore this and read some of my other stuff, because, as a teenager it is my duty to talk about things relative to my age. Video games being one, boys being the other. And makeup.

But if you are interested, there’s a strong chance you might’ve learned on Wednesday that Sony have announced their news west console, the Playstation 4 (insert chorus of “ooohs” and “aaahs” if applicable)

However, am I excited for this? Am I quivering with joy?

Honestly, not particularly. This is a surprise, considering I grew up in the age of ps2. That was a part of my childhood, and fond memories are abound, memories of split screen games with my brother, Star Wars Battlefront, Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank. It was a fun pastime, and helped shape me into the person I am now, for better or for worse.

But this machine, the ps4? It doesn’t serve the same purpose to me. Its high tech, it has all these shiny new features its predecessors could only dream of. But that’s the problem. It’s obstructing the player from the enjoying the simplest thing: the game, the fun with friends on the couch. You can’t do that when they constantly bombard you with social media notifications, ways to connect with others.

In trying to make gaming more social, they have alienated a large portion of their market, those that weren’t already gone.

So, for now, I’ll keep firing up the Playstation 2 until I feel suitably pleased with what they’re doing.

Okay, I’m done. Wing a bore, Sauk. See you next week.
Regards,
-Fiachra

Illness

https://i2.wp.com/www.lostandtired.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/wpid-out-sick1.jpeg

Dear Saul,

Luck, It would appear, is not on my side. I am sick. How sick? Enough to procrastinate writing letters to you. I’m sorry, but My nose is running faster than Usain Bolt on speed.

Still though, people in worse condition than I simply shrug it off and get back to work. I applaud them for it; the ability to feel like crap and delivering an important  ——  at the same time. But I always wondered, when does it sop becoming your problem and start as someone else’s?

Now, I know that most people would rather get on with their lives than to sit at home moping about, but what happpens when you’re so sick you’re way to contagious, and too ill to focus? At that point, it’s time to call it a day. At that point, you’re doing more harm than.

But still people persist? You’d think it was the apocalypse the way people drag themselves to there desks, just to get “one… more… letter!” done.

These are people you can trust to be there when you need them. It’s just sometimes you need them less… not dying.

How sick do you have to be to call it quits?

Regards,

-Fiachra

Casual Fridays, the blog posts I only rarely actually post on a Friday. Or any day. Ergo, I don’t really post… at all, to be honest.

Well, insomnia’s really crap, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it seems that no amount of loud alarms can wake me up before 12, which is sort of unfair, given that I want to work during the mornings. But until I can solve this sudden crisis of sleep, I am forever cursed to never wake with any hint of cheer in me.

Myself, Circa 7:00 AM
Something else that seems to be suffering is my typing, which, apart from being it’s woefully slow self, has become quite lazy. This has led to my grammar and spelling falling, not badly, just enough that I’ve caught myself with cheap mistakes (it’s you’re, not your, moron…). Problem is, I’m not a major grammar fanatic. Unless I’m writing something important, I probably won’t care enough to fix it. I imagine, in my sleep deprived state, I just can’t be arsed. Too busy dealing with the hallucinations.
I might be exaggerating this whole insomnia ordeal.
What I won’t exaggerate is how entertaining Cyanide Studio’s Blood Bowl is.
https://i1.wp.com/nice-cool-pics.com/data/media/14/blood_bowl.jpg
Imagine it as a turn based, chance based game of American football.
Set in the world of Warhammer Fantasy.
So American football with orcs, and lizardmen. And halflings, but no one really cares about them.
If you’re a bit on the geeky side (which, since you’re here, I assume you are) then you’ll love it.
And with that shameless advertising, I’ll see you next week, provided I can keep my eyes open long enough.
-Fiachra

Distracted

Dear Saul,

Break over, back to work. -grumble-

I have too much stuff to do, surprisingly enough. This makes writing particularly hard, considering anything I look at now turns into something else I want to do. Still though, progress is happening, just… slowly.

You may not realise it, but writers, to their credit, are amazingly good at endurance. The amount of focus they have to put in for a 4 or 5 hour stint of looking a page and continuously checking that every word has a place is mind boggling.

For a person like me, who is distracted by the smallest of things, this does not bode w… oh what’s that over there?

So, tips on getting more focused? I have compiled a few, with some help from you, Saul:

1) No coffee shops:
Yes, I’m sorry, but you can’t just go down to the local pub, coffee shop, or bar with a laptop and expect magic to happen. For one thing, there’s waaaay too much noise. How are you supposed to work when there are a million different things going on in front of you? For another, you’re probably gonna want to, as an easily distracted human, buy something, such as a coffee, or a book from the shop down the road. It’s easier to to refuse yourself these things at home than at a shop, due to the fact that in a pub or shop, everyone else will probably have one. Also, coffee, while keeping you awake, ruins your focus, and all you’ll want to do will be to go for a run. Speaking of which:

2) Exercise, you lazy bastard:

Yes, being a writer is not an excuse to stay in all day. You need fresh air. Take an hour or 2 to go outside. Do something, anything, outside. You’ll be amazed at how much more focused you’ll feel just from being out in the air. Just don’t push yourself too much, or you’ll be tempted to take a nap, and never touch the pen and paper.

Finally, 3) Stop using your computer:

Heresy, I know. But think of it this way: How much do your eyes hurt right now? If you say some, you probably need to stop looking at your screen. Not only is it a major distraction to have the option to use the internet, but you will feel wrecked after writing using a computer for long enough. Use paper every once in a while, then transcribe it to your laptop later. Your eyes, and your readers, will thank you for it.

Well, that’s a few. I have other, smaller tips (music doesn’t help a lot, junk food is bad, brush your teeth after meals, blah blah blah) but those 3 are some of the most important. Follow those tips, and maybe you be able to focus a lit- Oh look at that thing over there!

Regards,

-Fiachra

I’ve Been Away

Hey Folks. Sorry I missed about a weeks worth of posts. I’ve been visiting family, so I’ve had pretty much no time.

But fear not! I’ll be back on Thursday with a new post to Saul, then on Friday with another casual  post.

KTHNXBAI

-Fiachra

P.S: I also have a few short stories to write, so if you have any requests for something, lemme know and I might just do it.

And plagirise  the crap outta you.

Seriously, not a shred of credit.

Silence

Dear Saul

Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis holds a record for the world’s quietest room: -0.9 decibels. The longest anyone’s ever stayed in the room is an hour. After a while, your senses become more… ah, ‘sensitive’ to the sound your own body makes, such as your arteries and lungs.

Scary, isn’t it? Despite all the attempts at provoking horror, though books, movies, and t.v, using various sounds, shouts and screeches, the most terrifying thing to a human is the sound of their own body? All the quiet around us, and we focus in on the only sounds left, the ones we are making.

-Insert cheesy ‘Humans are the real monsters’ quote here-

The more modern ‘jump’ scares also get their effectiveness (there are some good jump scares) from this whole fear of silence. We as humans, crave noise. We have a city that never sleeps, filled to the brim with screams, shouts and blares, and not a single person cares.

But if New York went totally silent for a day, we would be driven mad.

Saul, the reason why I’m looking at this today is to kind of gleam a better look at a certain phrase: ‘Less is more’. In this case, it certainly is. And it’s an invaluable skill to have as anyone in the entertainment industry will tell you. The ability to create amazing content, without overdoing it or simply adding too much is surprisingly rare.

I’m looking at you, Michael Bay. If you set Mark Walhberg on fire while strutting towards Megan Fox in an explosion in Transformers 4 I will most likely stuff the script of ‘Armageddon’ down your throat.

If, Saul, we can be the quiet room, the room that does absolutely nothing but show more of a person than they’d like to see to scare them, then there is the potential for some top quality work. All we need do is make sure we don’t overdo it.

(Slightly belated) regards,
-Fiachra

rebecca-blackYes I know it’s not Friday, now shut up and read. It’s good for ye no matter what day of the week.

Hope everyone is having or will have a good weekend. Mine will be spent writing up essays and short stories and editing videos for friends.

My autobiography will sell by the millions.

It’s not all bad. I’m just a bit stiff from martial arts class. And yes, I do take martial arts. I needed something new for The Presidents Award (as I mentioned here) and getting the crap beat out of me by friends seemed a good idea…
…for a writer I seem to struggle with the definition of good. Nevertheless, it was tons of fun, and I don’t regret it at all. Not yet a anyway.

Speaking of The Presidents Award, I received the written form for the award.

In comic sans.

Am I missing something here?

Am I in some parallel universe where the Governments of Earth have no shame?

Wait, that’s still our universe.

Nevertheless, comic sans ? What, was there an error when you tried to select arial? Was impact not doing it for you?

I guess I just have to suck up my pride and get it over with. But if I ever open up word and think papyrus looks nice I have this to blame. It’s all their ‘font’.

Fault, Font, geddit?

Well I thought it was funny. But then again I fill out forms typed in comic sans, so what do I know…

Faults

Dear Saul,
As you yourself sometimes write, you’ll understand how important it is to poke holes in your character. As well as being the most entertaining part of character design, it helps to flesh them out into real people, rather than 2D mindless puppets you control. I make characters, I put flaws in them, break them, pick them up and dust them off, but it’s the faults of their characters that pushes the story in the direction it’s going in.

The same, I think, holds true in our real lives as it does in our own little fictional ones. Our flaws push us in a certain direction, and by knowing what those are can gives us a better understanding of how to reign them in and direct things a little easier.

Take me for example (yes, I realise I am yelling to the world what sucks about me, and is about as personal as my blood type, but I like you all, and you’re not likely to steal my kidneys, so…).

I procrastinate to the extreme, though going over deadlines scares me. This leads to an awful last minute panic, which leads to the work being done, but leaving me exhausted.

I do sleep a lot, but I’m not awake to hear if anyone’s complaining, so it’s all good from that angle.

I put far to much forethought into things. Before I even begin to start, I have a plan of what I want, and when, where and why all sorted out. Good trait for a writer, bad trait for a procrastinator.

And I’m terrible at maths. It’s quite funny, actually, to wind me up and watch me go at the quadratic formula.

Those are some of mine. I don’t try to hide or escape the fact that they exist. If I were to go around acting like they didn’t, I’d end up as one of the 2d puppets. All I do is accept these faults, accept that they are a part of me, something that makes up Fiachra, and keep them with me, loud and proud.

And don’t let your flaws become the big failure elephant in the room. Pretending to hide your failings is like a mystery novel keeping something from the reader. You will feel cheated and stomped in if you don’t embrace who you are and why you’re a brilliant and loveable moron.

I’m joking, of course. You’re not a moron. I’m pretty sure.

So once you accept your flaws, you become a better character, and like a good character, you can appeal more to those who want to be in your life.

Keep on musing!
Regards,
-Fiachra

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