This weekend has been ridiculously productive. Some might say, I fended off a potential death, by battling a cold. Fun times in Ridgemont High! Usually when such a mundane event occurs, i.e you get the signs of a cold – blocked up, sneezing, lethargic and all that – you just plough on. Unless of course, you’re back in the days of going to school, when illnesses might somehow knock you out for longer than expected. No time for such blips now though. A few months ago, the best solution would have been one night of boozing, burn out the germs, and you’d be flying. Nicely hungover, but at least the cold would’ve been killed. Continue Reading »
Today was a fun day of meetings up in Dubla. And by fun, I mean productive. On a quick side-ish note, not mainly today, but I’ve realized something which happens now and again to me during meetings. That is, I am not always fully, 100% aware of what point exactly a person might be making to me. Perhaps, the person making it actually doesn’t know themselves, but who knows. Anyways, the person might be telling me something, maybe gets bored half way through and then rambles off. I am looking at them enthusiastically, waiting for the big bang point, so I can respond. The point that doesn’t really come. A bit like a few of my new jokes for stand-up, the ones needing proper punch lines. In the end, I am just left looking enthusiastically/intensely at the person, who is in turn looking back at me, waiting to hear what I have to make about their point. The one I didn’t really get. So we end up just sitting there, for a brief awkward moment, looking at each other, not knowing who it is that is meant to be actually speaking next. Which is always fun!
If you have never heard of Tim Ferris, or the Four Hour Work Week, I highly recommend checking him and his website out. Then again, if you were to recommend the same thing to me, I probably would not do it at first. Seeing as a buddy did tell me the exact same thing at least a year again, and I just briefly glanced at the website, flicked through it, shrugged my shoulders, then moved on. Same way I kind of am with music. If a song is played for me, or recommended to me, I will half listen to it, pretend to give two thumbs up to whoever played it for me, and then quickly forget about it. I prefer to discover these things on my own, for some stubborn reason. However, every now and again, it is good to be pointed in the right direction, as the same buddy did again today. I got two links earlier, showing how Tim Ferris had turned his blog into a book, which hit number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. I can’t believe he copied my plan!
Anyways, from these links, and through the long tail of the web, I managed to get a wealth of information on helping me in my book process. Whereas contract advice and details are not so abundant on the internet, to me at least, writing advice is in plentiful, and good quality as well. However, after spending the majority of my morning and afternoon reading different articles, and building up gems of advice here and there, I was kind of annoyed with myself that maybe I should have spent that time actually writing. Was reading this stuff not just a way of fooling myself and procrastinating the day away? Thankfully, I realized this was not the case. I’ve said this before, like study in college, I get my best (? most) writing done at night. It takes me far, far, far longer to write a blog during the day, than at night, for example.
I read earlier that Tim Ferris was told by a few big name authors whom he interviewed, that he should sit in front of his computer from 8am to 6pm and just see what came out writing wise. He tried, and found it awful. When I saw that he too got his best work done from 1am to 4am, it gave me my little epiphany. It is not about quantity, or how many hours, its all about the quality and productivity I put in during the selected times. It was good to get this perspective back again. For some reason, I have still been trying to force myself into having some sort of a 9-5 schedule. Seeing as most people I know in Ireland work 9 to 5, I think I felt I should set similar hours for myself. Well, maybe 10.30 until whenever I had dinner. Kind of, in the sense that I felt like I should be working, writing, or making some sort of inroads during these times. Yet not really pumped to write. And then I would just feel like a bum, or guilty for some reason, for sleeping in past 10 or 11, then not being 100% productive during the day.
Time to shuffle my schedule to make the most of my days and nights. What I have been trying to do is spread my work throughout the entire day. Then stay up late at night, writing an old blogaruu, attempt a script or the likes, but feeling too wrecked lately. I realized today that I just have to be wiser when I pick my times to be productive, and then boom on with the writing during those times. Instead of doing drips and drabs all day long. At the end of the day, it is all about quality. Start off well, and continue on from there. If a bus was to fall out of the sky and hit me on the head, I need to make sure that the material I have written is the best it can be up to that point. At least the outline is being laid for the writing process, fail to prepare and all that!
Another good point which I was reminded about elsewhere today, was the whole thing about to help you keep a positive outlook in your own life, it is better to surround yourself with positive folk. Cull the negative downers, they will just try to take you down with them, kind of thing. Sounds la de da, but I think it is too true. While I’m on that subject, isn’t it great fun too when someone tells you all the time that they are bored?! I’m bored. Entertain me. I’m bored. I’m boring. Good work. With that in mind, it is time to surround myself with productive people only. The culling axe will have to be taken out once again! Which leaves me in a bit of a conundrum. I presume the majority of people who read the blog, do so at work. Meaning, they are dodging, and not being so productive. Re de de. Although, seeing as it is such an educational blog, technically you are expanding your mind, which is always worthwhile. You’re back in!
Song on, chilled swaying kind of one…
Feel It All Around – Washed Out
Another Radiohead remix…
Song And Cry – Radiohead and Jay-Z (Jaydiohead)
To end on a complete and utter bizarre note, who wants to see this weird video that I saw through Twitter earlier? Ha, highly productive and educational!
Bob all happened today to be true. Bits and pieces at best. After getting home last night for about 3 bells, I was way too tired to write a blogaruu. Bad call being honest. For whatever reason, I find writing of any sort flows far better at night rather than through the daylight hours. So, once I woke up today, I cracked into the blogaruu about that pie-ball nut from last night, and the morning disappeared. And by morning, I mean from about 12 to quarter to one. Which meant it was obviously time for lunch. I honestly think that the most productive thing that I accomplished today, was writing out my to-do list for the week. Not doing anything on the list. Just writing it out. Sloooow day. Still though, after the impromptu gig last night, I wasn’t as guilty as I might otherwise have been.
Actually, I did manage to accomplish one thing of note today. I emailed my publisher a few name suggestions I thought of as the working title for my book. I came up with about 5 I think, one controversial last minute one (controversial at a stretch really) but I think I already know which one I’ll go with anyways. However, if any avid reader has any suggestions which they think would suit the book to a tee, i.e incorporating L.A and Irish factors, feel free to let me know. If it is used, you will get a funbelievable prize in return!
I meant to blog about this yesterday, but seeing as that blogaruu was so long, the paragraphs had to be culled. Instead, I’ll do it now, as it may come in handy to anyone who ever might be in a similar position. That is, last Friday I was trying to suss out, what it is exactly I should be aware about as far as a book contract goes. And, seeing as it was a contract, binding and all, the real details needed, not just an outline. What is the norm for me to expect from the publisher, and what is the norm that they should ask of me. Those kinds of things. For once, Google did not help me out as much as it has before. Usually, whenever I hit a wall with an unknown area, Google would pop up with an answer of some form. Whether it is acting info, L.A tips, writing self-help, any of those, Google has delivered the goods. (On a quick side note, how well is the acting side progressing at the moment? Only magnificent! On ice until L.A.)
This time around, however, good old reliable Google gave me far too broad answers, which were really not that helpful. A constant barrage of noise was being showered at me, with nothing at all specific. For example, when you read that some writers get no money for their first book up front, whereas other unknown writers have been paid $2.5 million for their first book, it made me wonder where my $1.5 million advance really stood. Should I not try to be pushing the boat out there, and get $3 million?! After trying many, many, many different websites, none really gave me any clear help. In fact, it just made things worse. Especially seeing as a lot of the websites I found, mentioned literary agents so much. Which led me to think, should I get an agent? But why would I get an agent, when I already got a book deal? Is that not like paying someone for help, when you have helped yourself already? What does an agent really do, book wise?
All sounds a bit pointless and over the top now I think back about it, but at the time, it made sense to think these through. When I found an Irish website that looked potentially helpful, I contacted them to get some information. They kindly sent me an email back, saying to download their application form to become a member, send a cheque for €50, it would be discussed in a few weeks at the next committee meeting, and then after I got accepted, they could give me the information I needed. The information being more or less a yes or no answer. Sounded like a great plan, thanks for that. Just let me find my cheque book and we’ll be good to get this quick procedure underway. Good duck to that.
It came as a bit of a surprise to me where I got my helpful information from. Well considering similar attempts acting wise in the past. This time around people were far more helpful and forthcoming with information. Those folk being different writing contacts I could think of here in Ireland. Took me a while, but I scrambled a few different leads together. Other people who I came across that had been in a similar situation, friend of a friend, colleagues of writers in Irish newspapers. Mucho gracias to them again, if any might be reading. Managed to get nuggets of information from about 4 different sources. Hooking with me up the details I needed to know, facts and figures, potential pitfalls, put things into perspective. And, being honest, it all made me realize what my gut was telling me all along. That it was all good. Sometimes you just have to Google off, and gut on! No harm in double checking though.
Reckon A Superstar (Remix) – Radiohead feat. Lupe Fiasco
Not too sure exactly how, particularly after Friday night, but the weekend somehow got more nuts and hectic by the night. It was mental! Which was highly surprising seeing as I presumed that Friday night would easily be the pinnacle. How can you beat a night of hoovering the house?! It was tough to see how that would be topped. Saturday and Sunday somehow pulled a few gems out of the bag though. On a side note, anyone not in Ireland probably won’t have a clue what hoovering is. Not actually a drug related term as someone in America mistakenly thought before, her eyes lighting up when I said I must buy a hoover. It is another term for vacuuming. However, unlike the drugs she thought I was on about, hoovering is cool no matter what term you apply to it!
Saturday was a highly productive day. I got some savage new songs and mixes under my belt. Pretty exciting. After the excitement of that, and the night before, I decided my best bet for a quiet, uneventful, innocuous night, free of all the annoying, good music I had to listen to that day, would be to go out in Cork. Hardy har. Main incident of note from the night out, was trying to figure out which girl it was that left such a lasting impression on me. I have it narrowed it down to two. Two apes, of equal measure. Too many reasons to go into for them to be painted with the ape brush. The big impression one of them left on me was a hand print from her fake tan on my top. Funking lovely. Worryingly large sized hand as well. Similar size to a bear’s claw, to give you some sort of an idea.
Which leads me on to Sunday. And, all sarcastic tones aside, it was actually a good night. Got a call late on to D.J, happy days. Particularly seeing as I had a basket of new music to try out. Without doubt it has been my most enjoyable gig in Ireland. There was no selling of the soul, play what I wanted, wuu to the huu. Sounds obvious as funk, but once you get girls dancing, the rest will follow. Easy enough really. Its not like a group of guys will lead the way and start gyrating together on the dance floor. That is never going to happen. Unless you happen to have DJ’ed in a gay gym. Apologies to the guys who requested good songs last night that I ended up dodging. I’m sure they are reading. Again, might sound obvious, but sometimes savage songs, are not really savage for a club, if you get what I mean!
Speaking of requests, that fun area is one which is there for life I think. I think it’s the minority have me scarred. The majority were grand last night, as long as you just say yes to every request, people are happy. Playing them barely matters. It was just those 3 or 4 special people that would make you wonder at times. Two girls at the end telling me they loved the music, now could I play either Galway Girl, or any Tiesto, as the last song. I like neither. More importantly, I don’t have either of them. So, I split the difference, and played them Rick Astley. Which lead to a 3rd buddy coming up to tell me I was a prick, and had ruined their friend’s birthday. By not playing Galway Girl. Or a Tiesto song. The success of the friend’s birthday must have been on a fine line if that was the difference between a good and bad night.
There was one in girl in particular, who was very bizarre. A gem really. I think she was the first into the club with her buddies. Initially, I thought she was Polish. I couldn’t understand what she was saying to me, plus a few guys that she was there with were Polish. She didn’t have the same accent though. So, obviously, I thought that she must have been twisted drunk. Apparently, there’s a song out at the moment called One? Or Number One? I thought she was asking for that one, that song, you know that one? No, what song? One, that one? That lost me completely. When I copped on it was me being dumb, I decided to give in to one of her other many, many requests.
When I asked her what other song she wanted, she kept on asking me for the same song over and over. Coming up, asking me was I playing it next. About 5 times. When I played it, she had a little dance for herself, then came back up and asked for it again. Apparently her buddy was in the bathroom, and didn’t get to hear it. When I tried to fob her off by saying I couldn’t understand her fully (which I couldn’t), she started to write me notes, asking for that song to be played one more time, please, I will love you for it, please! The club was still quiet, so I played a snippet again for her and her buddy to dance along to. But she didn’t dance with her buddy. She just stood at the DJ booth and stared at me while the song looped over. I gave her a few thumbs up, but they didn’t scare her off. Standing there, staring at me, Boris style. Around this time, it slowly dawned on me that she must be mentally challenged.
When I turned back to my laptop, she slipped into the DJ booth, right behind me. Standing there, with a blank expression. Asking me if she could just flick through my songs on the laptop, to see what I could play for her next. This is when a barrage of bad breath almost made me puke. I don’t know why more people don’t carry mints, chewing gum, or tic-tacs with them. Or why their friends don’t tell them how bad their breath might be. If it was me, I’d prefer to know. Anyways, I tried to explain to her that I needed my laptop, she couldn’t flick through it, sorry. Could she just stay here in the booth, she asked? No, sorry. She got disgruntled, pushed me to try and get to my laptop, and then asked why I would not just play that song one more time! I kicked her out of the booth, she stood there with the same weird blank expression, but finally went off in a huff. A bouncer came over but I told him it was cool, not too sure but I think she’s mentally challenged, it was fine.
Night was over, equipment packed up, lights were on, good to go. I was making my way out of the club, when she came up to me one final time. “Will you play me one more song, Halo by Beyonce.” This was as people were leaving, with the bouncers herding people out the door. She asked again, for a different Beyonce song, giving me grief on top. Trying to be nice, I gave her my pack of tic-tacs instead of playing her the song. When she threw them away, and asked if I was going to play the song, I told her I would so. Just have to go outside to my car, and get my Beyonce CD from it. Best part was, she believed me. Told me she’d wait there for me. I just looked at her, in complete wonder, slowly realizing something. Now that the music was off, I could finally hear her properly. Turns out, she was not, in fact, mentally challenged. She was, simply, it seemed, a pikey. A traveller. Who spoke in whispers. And liked to stare. Probably mentally disturbed, not challenged. Kind of gutted now that I didn’t hold onto her number that she had written earlier on one of those notes. Would’ve made it a great weekend!
That is a long blogaruu. Two quick songs…
Longest Road – Morgan Page
Learnalilgivinanlovin (Passion Pit Remix) – Gotye
I remember back in 4th year of school when I had to do work experience. The first week a few of us managed to get to be in the same clothes shop, working together. This was ideal, obviously, seeing as we all really wanted to be clothes sales men when we grew up. The very first morning, we were waiting outside for the shop to open, it never pays to be early! Just standing around, talking about the latest Scooter song I imagine. I was standing just off the curb, kicking it gently while discussing the brilliance of the German band. Not too sure how exactly, but I managed to hit the curb at such an angle with my right shoe, that it somehow erupted my shoe open. Weirdly, the front top of my shoe flew off, so I was left with 3/4’s of a shoe, and my nice white sock.
For the entire day I felt I needed to explain to the owner and the other employees, what had happened. Over and over to them. I wanted to ensure them that I had a pair of shoes to my name. And wasn’t a pie-ball who would just show up wearing 1 and 3/4 shoes, with my sock flapping about. Although seeing as they were the only pair of shoes I did actually have, as opposed to a few pairs of runners, I had a problem. At the end of the day, I was given a lovely pair of leprechaun style shoes. Shiny black with a nice big fake silver buckle on them. And then told they would be my payment for a week’s work, whereas everyone else was going to get an expensive pair of jeans. I was gutted. And felt like a gimp in those horrific shoes. At least they did make me want to do a jig whenever I wore them.
Back to today, and I wish I had remembered that story earlier. Well the part about explaining what happened. A similar incident occurred. Kind of. I had to go to the shop earlier to buy some food for myself. As I walked into the supermarket, reaching to grab a basket, I did something. Not too sure what it was, but I clipped one foot off another i think, and kind of stumbled. Not fell, just one of the ones where you might clip a bump on the road, and fall forward, laughing it off as you look around to see who else saw your dumbness. Except there was no bump in the supermarket floor, so I think I clipped my right foot off my left foot. And managed to burst my flip-flop apart. Fully apart too, left with two parts, so no matter what I attempted, it wouldn’t stay on my foot.
So, I was left with the easy conundrum of do I keep shopping for food, with one bare foot, or go home, sort it out, and come back? Shop on, obviously. However, this is not really a beach resort area, or a climate where flip-flops are worn too often outdoors, so even wearing flip-flops as it is gets a few glances. Wearing only one, with the other one out of view in the basket, and walking with a bit of a limp/strut, gets a few more weird looks. That part was fine. The part where I met a guy I used to work with years ago, was when it got a bit dumb. Browsing the dairy isle, bumped into him, mighty small talk all the way. He had actually seen an article of mine in the paper a while back, how was all that going, get a break yet, was I still doing the blog? Not too bad, blogaruu on, small talk. Must be tough, would I not get a proper job, no? I didn’t want to seem like a bragging gimp blurting out my good news from yesterday, so stuck with the not too bad, ploughing on, we’ll see what happens.
Around this time, he noticed that I was only wearing one flip-flop. I could see him looking down, and the puzzled yet polite look come across his face, about to ask me why I was only wearing one flip-flop. At the same exact time that he asked me this, I was distracted by an unbelievably good looking girl walking by. She was ridiculously hot. Definitely not Irish. I don’t mean it in that way, calm down. Well, maybe a bit. More so, I mean seeing as she spoke Polish to her beast of a boyfriend. Or, her friendly brother. After Mexico I can never be too sure!
While she distracted me with her non fake tan ways, I answered the question with… The flip-flop broke, I only have one now. And just left it at that. I should really have explained to him that it had just broke, and was hidden underneath the milk, eggs and turkey slices in the basket. But I didn’t, I was too distracted and left it with that simple explanation. Which led to the feeling that he wanted to give me a few bob, seeing as he looked at me in a simple, pitiful kind of way. Oh right, one flip-flop, times must be tough, huh? He didn’t actually say that, but that was the look I got. Which confused me at the time. I couldn’t figure out why suddenly he was talking to me slowly and loudly. He almost ruffled my hair, as he told me to keep on going anyways, if I’m ever stuck give him a shout, he’d try to help me out with a job or something.
At the time I thought all of this was very weird, not sure where it had suddenly came from. Now though, I think I know why. And, seeing as he said he’d check out the blog, hopefully he will too! The vague, unsure answers were not cries for help, just efforts at small talk! Read yesterday’s blog! Today I found out I have another meeting next week for a different project! It’ll all be ok! It was nice to offer though all the same. Wearing one flip-flop, coupled with not having a shave in a few days, is not a good look it seems. Although it is better than what I have had to do now that my flip-flop is broken. Those leprechaun shoes are horrendous with shorts! Oh Jesus.
Video on! This video and song had me mesmerized earlier, let me know what you think actually, mixed reaction so far…
The music in that video is by an Icelandic guy, Olafur Arnalds. The song is called Ljósið, and if you like it as much as I do, you can get it at foundsongs.erasedtapes.com
Song from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and side project band, whatever it is, pretty good…
Island, IS – Volcano Choir
On a random note, people should really read more books. If not now, then maybe in a few months time perhaps. Blogs make you interesting, while books make you smart. I read that recently in a blog, by the way. Books are cool. Especially, entertaining books about gibberish. Also, on another separate random note, if doctors use Dr. and priests use Fr. in front of their names, in my opinion, authors should really start to use Ar. in front of their names. Just a thought.
Anyways, I had planned on doing a vlog to reveal the news which I got today. However, my laptop’s memory is almost full, so that plan must be put on ice. The tiredness levels are also high after my trip. I had to get up pretty early, and head to Dublin for a meeting. An hour max, more like 45 minutes, in Dublin. Then straight back home to good old Cork. However, the round-trip was well worth it! This is where I break the bad news. Bad news, seeing as it is actually good news, which in the past has proven to not be half as entertaining. Although, off the top of my head, has there ever actually been substantial, definitive good news?! More like little steps of progress. Which have all led me to today. Step 2 in my plan. Which is… I am dragging this out far too much… dun dun dun… I have a book deal!!! Wuu huu!
A few weeks back I met with, whom I can now call my, publishers, about writing a book. I am not too sure if I mentioned that in the blog at the time. Probably seeing as, in one way, meetings do mean something, I suppose, but at the same time they mean little until whatever it is, is definite. Take my meetings with RTE, for example. Anyways, that was a few weeks back. Today the details for the book deal were ironed out and the arrangement was finalized. 10 books, $1.5 million sign on fee, and a movie deal in the pipeline. Good deal, I think. It is amazing how knowledgeable and adept Mahalo and Google can make you appear! Now I can sit back and relax. I have made it. My work here is done. I joke. Especially seeing as I still have to actually finish the book.
I wont lie, hearing plans for your own book, is funking cool. Still a bit off, but talking about the cover, the title, the artwork, mock-ups, tying up the story arcs, the foreword, the marketing, the promotions, the book, your book, my book, is cool. Book fairs, the different regions and countries to launch the book in, prequels, sequels, trilogies, plus, obviously, the groupies that come with a book, and the invites to the Playboy mansion which should start flooding in my door any day now. If you ever want to see a publisher shift nervously in their seat, mention their favourite word… Advance! I presume as well that the royalties will be the equivalent of a number 1 Christmas song, “Fairy Tale of New York” kind of thing. Dan Brown just rang to congratulate me. I could tell he was freaked with the new competition though. I presume as well that this automatically makes J.K Rowling my new best friend? Obviously.
In case you are wondering, the 2 main things people have said to me when I told them the good news, are… 1 – “How much do you get paid?” Very surprising question, especially from Irish people. It is common knowledge that you write a book to get rich, quick. And, number 2 – “Put me in the book. Seriously, just mention my name once, somewhere.” Even a buddy, who I suspect might never had read the blog, has rang me 3 times already with that request. At least to put him in the appendix. A final weird comment I got, was being asked if it was going to be a hardback or softback book? When I told them I had no clue, didn’t even think of it at this stage, they just tutted, and said if it wasn’t a hardback, must not really be that good. So true. Tut.
All jokes aside, the best part of the book deal, is having physical evidence of progress. From now on when people ask “Who are you? What have you done?” I can at least say, I’m the idiot who wrote this international best seller. This will at least spur me on for another good while, baby steps are being made! Plus, it raises the profile. Bouncing ball kind of thing. Already talks were had about other avenues to explore, in preparation for the book release (clear your spring schedule). Overall, it was a good day. I now have two things to occupy my mind for the next few months. What will be the first sentence and the last sentence. Not sure why, ha, but thats what I thought about on the way home. Pressure is on!
Two songs, first one just came on my iTunes and haven’t heard it in a while…
The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
Second is one a buddy has flogged to me a few times, and it is pretty class in fairness…
Beautiful Life – Gui Boratto