Monday, 28 March 2011


Welcome to new readers, and indeed welcome back to those that are revisiting. I've been doing a little study of blogs recently for some uni work and the subject has started to fascinate me more than ever. It becomes apparent that I'm not the only one who struggles at some point or other with the direction that their weblog takes them. I've tried so hard to keep mine focused on something entertaining, above all, and well written. Sometimes it does 'degenerate' into something so self-centred it can't be interesting to outsiders, but that's what you have to work with.

Basically, there's so much info on the net and so many blogs therein, so how do you get people's attention? Well, there's money for advertising, but what I mean is that my 'best', 'most interesting/entertaining' and 'well written' post may not be the one at the front of the rest I have written. Thus, someone isn't going to 'follow' my blog, because they think the rest of the posts will be like this one, boring and a waste of time. I always think you should keep blogs short, but recently I've been talking at length about my 'blogetics'. Not very entertaining, maybe not even interesting, but I feel the need to discuss what I've learned. I also think it's important to include visual stimulus to break up the text (obviously there's not really a fitting one for the subject today, hence its weirdness), but I digress.

I kind of had a point and kind of didn't writing this post. When I had a point, I forgot it, and when I didn't I couldn't quite remember if I had one. Since I'm floundering terribly, I'll leave you with this: blogs are awesome. I really hope you're liking this one, but if not, even I know that there are so many which are so brilliant, there's no excuse for you, dear reader, not to find one to your liking.

Happy hunting!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Monologous: Sports Students

Now, I'm not saying I don't like sports. I love a lot of them, football, badminton and swimming being my favourite. I play them. I watch them. I love them. How is it, then, that students involved in sports degrees are so god-damn annoying? There are so many of them around Edge Hill it's untrue. The uni is supposed to be pretty successful in teaching sports subjects and it bloody shows 'cause they flock here in their thousands.

I've got nothing against each one personally, really. I even know and like a couple of them. However, just because you like chocolate, it doesn't mean to say you'd like all of your things smeared with the stuff does it? Your TV would probably stop working. Your toothbrush wouldn't actually clean your teeth anymore. Your shoes would be all sloppy and sticky. The toilet would be really... brown and... sticky? Hmm, forget the last one then. The fact is, though, we're practically being smeared with sports students here.

Try and get a game of pool in the SU Bar and you can't. They're all there in striped trackie bottoms, hoodies with random cities and numbers stuck on (Osaka 84 being a personal favourite), stupid condom-shaped beanie hats and tufty douchebag beards (well, maybe I'm in no position to talk about the beard...). Try to go to the shop and you've got to weave in and out of them like an 80s pop icon on his way to get his 'Club Tropicana' holiday snaps developed after a toke or two on fine weed. I can understand this bit: if they see you trying to get somewhere and mover out the way for you, they'd be compromising their blessed masculinity. Aw, we wouldn't want to do that, would we? 'I'm big, I'm hard, you are beneath me! Rawr! Walk around me weakling!' It's obviously quite unreasonable of me to expect such a favour...

It even affects trying to write creatively. No, I don't mean that now all my fiction centres around marauding serial killers targeting sports students in a way eerily similar to those ones on TV. What I mean is that they're taking up precious 'state of the art' rooms with computers, projectors and board markers, while we writers get stuck with a broom cupboard on the roof somewhere... There's no-one using the running track right now, why not bugger off there? It appears Edge Hill isn't as highly rated in creative writing as sports degrees, for some reason, but it's obvious by past and current talent that we shouldn't be treated like dirt. We are a credit to the establishment, I'll have you know!

Ooh my wrist aches after this rant, I wonder if there are any physios about...

What Lovely Weather We're Having!

Be honest, who isn't reading this because the title is boring?
It's true though. Sunny rubbish up above...
Given me more inspiration to write more poetry.

If I get far with my work, I'd like to enter some of it into a competition.
Let's see how that goes!

How are you guys? Good, I hope.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

More Randomness!

I discovered a new blog today by a shared love of Scorsese's Taxi Driver. His name is Gary McMahon and surely he is a wise bloke. I just read his post 'Shattering the Myth' which details the writer's struggle against the perception that, say, a novel is churned out in first draft before breakfast. Actually, there's a lot of hard work involved: partly craft, partly effort and mostly fitting it in around the shit that life throws at you.

But anyways, while trying to write a draft of some image-based fiction for class later in the day, I came to a pleasing revelation. Sometime we forget it but; THE HUMAN MIND HAS THE GREATEST CAPACITY EVER. I ain't talking about storing sewage or some shit, I'm talking about imagination! I was writing this draft, which is weirdly centring around past lives etc, and thought 'this is gonna take a lot of work before the finished article.' Then I thought, 'shit, the stuff I've come out with is nothing like my usual stuff. Where did it come from? Even if other people hate it, I'm amazed I came out with it!'

Much work ahead, but please check out my new followee Gary McMahon (hopefully this link will work)


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

WRI BLOG: 1,000 Word Self-Assessment

I've been looking forward to my century blog for quite some time now. The reaching of 100 posts is a nice little milestone demonstrating commitment, achievement and, perhaps, an opportunity to celebrate (with bubbly? Nah, probably just a cup of tea...). In some ways, this number has spurred me on to write when inspiration has been having a nap. I wondered, however, whether this was impacting on the quality of my blog. 'What quality?' you ask incredulously. Well, I never said it was a good blog, just that maybe my haste to post has lessened my ability even further than usual. 'Plastic Coffee', as an example was very short. Just a sentence. Three words. This got me thinking about my blog as a whole.

There are quite a few things I'm proud of in my humble little blog. 'Plastic Coffee', as an example again. The shortness of it is its charm in some way. I made it a sentence (or two if you include the title, which I like to use as an extra line sometimes) not to make it a quick blog, actually. To some people it'll have more significance than others; if you've ever had coffee out of a machine more than once you'll understand. Why did you get it again after it was so awful last time? Because you need caffeine. Why do you need that? Because you're tired after uni, or something. In this way, I was trying to create a very short story, one where the blanks are filled in, or left unanswered by the reader.

There are other 'experiments' I've enjoyed along the way too, such as a blog that was so short, it was just a title ('Common Sense and I are Not the Best of Friends'). That said it all. It was nothing I'd done, exactly, it was just a realization. Quite a flippant one.

I've cherished flippancy in some posts, it has mostly just been about fun at the end of the day. In the early days, I struggled to get away from the diary-like blog which, whether interesting or not (probably not, in my case), certainly wasn't all that creative. 'Column posts' (i.e. posts about views and opinions such as one'd find in a Jeremy Clarkson/ Charlie Brooker newspaper column) were a step up, as they allowed for more creative techniques in some ways: (ludic) narrative voice, pace, strange imagery etc. These column posts, and the 'step up' from that creatively, i.e. the fiction/poetry that I've posted, have been more like what I wanted my blog to be about from the off. Really, I just wanted to write the truth creatively and also write the creative truth. 'SCIENTISTS FIND HAIR DYE SHORTENS LIFE EXPECTANCY' is a prime example of writing the creative truth as I presented fiction in the account of a newspaper article to give it an authoritative 'truthful' voice. I kinda didn't want to admit that was an 'untruth' as I have already had people believing it to be otherwise, but I suppose a disclaimer never hurts.

So, like in life, we can never be sure of anything. I'm convinced that I'm getting happier with my blog, I believe that you should check out my followers and followees (as their blogs are, on the whole, much better) and I think that as long as some people are reading and getting something from this blog (like me girlyfriend! I was so proud when she told me she'd read it!) I'll never stop. Mwahahaha!

Peace out.

Urrrgh I'm So Ill...

Everything is a massive pain in my fat arse and I'm crabbier than a sandy beach thanks to feeling ill. My nose won't stop streaming, my head be clanging like a competition between bell ringers for the loudest noise and I keep coughing, because everyone loves to bring up funky coloured phlegm right?

I'm so bloody knackered now though. I can't even throw my snotty tissues straight anymore. In fact, I just threw one on target that managed to knock another one out of the bin as it bounced away. That sums up how I'm feeling nicely. WHINGE WHINGE! I know plenty of people have it much worse than I, but I'm physically drained of the ability to care about anything now...

I don't even care about this post. It's bloody boring...

Monday, 7 March 2011

Who Knows?

What is truth? Is it really beauty, John? Is there really such thing as truth? How about reality? Is there really a reality and if so, is reality really real? What does the future hold? Who am I? What is this and what does it mean? Where are we now, where have we ever been? Who the devil invented cats?

Is there such a thing as normality? What's its average, its range, its meaning, its outliers and its value? What are feelings? Are they all chemical? Is there magic and pixie dust, or just flesh and diffusion? What are the blues? When does happiness happen? Is anything bad, or is it just thinking that makes it so? Can things, therefore, get better, or is it all just stagnant? Do we have natures to corrupt and does memory hold any water?

What do we know? What can we know? Is it worth knowing, will it help us, will everything be ok?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Dutch Day Afternoon

Liverpool: 3, Manchester United: 1.

What. An. AWESOME. Match. I knew all along that our last game against West Ham (which saw today's score reversed in their favour) was just the calm before the storm, and that we'd win today. United were without a couple of their regulars, yeah, but they really didn't have anything to offer. Even with the ref helping them out with little decisions and penalizations (that's a word now!), they just couldn't muster anything troublesome.

That's not to dis United, though, it's just a comment. Of course they had decent opportunities, the most scary one being Berbatov's post-hitter, but they were simply out-classed. And what class! Dirk Kuyt with his first LFC hat-trick - well deserved due to his underrated abilities - Gerrard nearly netting a couple himself, Suarez 'lending a hand' in all three goals and nearly scoring besides, Andy Carroll's not unpromising debut, a compact defensive display, passes sticking a lot better... So much praise, so much to congratulate them on! A joy to watch, thanks Liverpool :-)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Shovelling Shit

Against the tide
Sometimes you can worry
About your pride but you can't hide.

Don't worry folks! Life is good. The mere gift of life itself sets us apart from so many unfortunate folk who are, unfortunately, dead. It's a gift from the Lord, it's a gift from your biological parents, it's a gift from the cosmos. It is a gift.

Don't waste it, taste it! Gulp that life down as if you'd thirsted for it forever. Let it slake the parched throat, swell the cell that dwell in your cheek. Let it animate the brittle tongue - the organ of expression! - and even soften the chapped lips. Never be dry again. There are always choices. Rightly or wrongly, choose to live!