Friday, October 31, 2008

And my Blovel for November will be...

The story of Pahana, a young woman trapped within the heart of a dark labyrinth, unable to escape, tortured and preyed upon by monsters that come out of the night. That is until she is visited by an angel named - Angel - and a tiger called Ansus Khan who help guide her through the perils of the maze and discover the identity of the demon who trapped her in the first place.

National Novel BLOGGING month

First off - HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone! If you are going to a party or dancing around a bonfire, I hope you have a great time. If you're not doing anything special, at least pop a horror DVD into the player and spook yourself!
Now, tomorrow is the 1st of November, which means the start of NaNoWriMo. I was in a quandary about what to do with it, and I have finally made up my mind. I am going to BLOG my novel! What I will do is each day post a section of the novel. Comment on it and say what you want included in the next day's installment - no matter how crazy - and I will incorporate it into the plot. That way it won't just be my November novel but OUR November novel!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears - oh my!

My education has been very remiss. Apparently tigers and lions riding horses is de rigueur. In fact, any large predatory animal riding horses seems to be a regular form of entertainment in other parts of the world, most notably China, where it is a main attraction of many zoos/circuses. Bears are also made to ride motorcycles, monkeys ride dogs and on it goes, any animal combination you can think of. Hoofpot first alerted me to this fact after seeing a picture in a magazine of a lion riding a horse. I was intrigued by this. Regrettably my first reaction was 'Cool!'. I can understand how you can get a predator not to kill a prey animal (having had cats and a dwarf rabbit who coexisted happily together, to the fact they used to groom each other) but I find it harder to imagine how you can train a horse not to be afraid of a lion when your average equid is afraid of a paper bag in a bush. Then again, if you can get a horse to accept a human on its back, why not a lion or a tiger or a bear? (especially when the bear is chained to the horse's back by his nose)Saying that, I don't know what methods these places use to force their animals into such arrangements. I would love to think it was through kindness and positive reinforcement training, but I very much doubt it. However, I still thought it was pretty cool and was looking forward to blogging about it when I found another video on youtube. It was a man being attacked (for real) by a lion in a circus. I found the video shocking because I have seen the same look in domesticated animals as the lion had when they get a bone or favoured treat and they are not going to give it up for anything, and it was horrible to see that look when the bone was replaced by a man. It is also horrifying to see how frail we really are, and it was disturbing to see the lion killed. The lion was eventually shot and the man, badly mauled and even more badly shocked, received medical attention. What exactly happened or if the man lived, I don't know. The video was not in English. Now, what really upset me about this clip were the comments posted by other youtubers. Many thought it was fake, because of the way the lion died (they had obviously never seen an animal die before). Others thought a dog who was in the clip was a lion cub and thought it was sad that it should see its father die in front of it (well, when you can't tell a lion cub from a dog, it isn't surprising that you have such sentiments) but what really got to me was that over 90% of the comments were in sympathy for the lion and thought the man should have been shot and allowed to be eaten. What did he expect, messing with nature? Now, I don't approve of animals being treated cruelly and you have to respect all animals, especially ones like lions who can kill you so easily and it was unpleasant to see the lion killed but my sympathy was with THE MAN! I don't know how anyone can watch someone suffering so much, no matter what circumstances led into the attack, and think he deserved it and should be left to be eaten. And then what? Allow the lion free to kill and eat any other people it met? The sad fact is, that lion could not be returned to the wild (even if they had wanted to) and could never be trusted around people again. What option was left but death? It saddens me that we have come to a stage where the death of a lion who was chomping down on a human being is seen as more tragic than the (possibly fatal) attack of a member of our own species. If I ever meet the people who commented on this video, and they happen to be attacked by a lion, I know how they will like to be treated - just leave the lion to his meal and walk away while they are chewed up.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Possible Job #4: Photography Studio

A new branch of photography studios are looking for workers in Dundalk. The plus side is that the work is part time, it is in a creative field, training is provided and it is local. The downside is that the pay is very very small. I am sure there is the possibility to improve your income as the studio takes off, but as the purpose of this exercise is to fund my writing rather than find another career, I don't think it is viable.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Possible Job #3: Charity Fundraiser

A charity in Dublin is looking for outgoing enthusiastic people to fund raise for them in the city and around the country. They are offering a very nice weekly remuneration, which makes me think it is short term work (perhaps just til Christmas) or else a scam. I am not particularly interested in the work, but the money is very tempting. What makes me think I am qualified for such a job? Well, I am outgoing (ish) and enthusiastic (at times) and I have experience of organising things - like the Belly Dance workshop in May.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Possible Job # 2: Work in Bookshop

I have always found the thought of working in a shop very attractive. When I was a child I would set up shop and try to sell things to my siblings. Then again, I also wrote magazines and newspapers and tried to sell them too (which reminds me of the time I sold a year's subscription for a monthly magazine that was only published twice!), but that is beside the point. Maybe I am a shop girl at heart, and working in a bookshop/DVD rental store or cinema would certainly bring me closer to the things I love. If I worked in a bookshop I might even be able to persuade them to sell my books or host a themed book night once a month (don't ask me what that would entail, it has only just occurred to me, but it sounds like a good idea). However, there are downsides. Having never worked in retail, I would enter at the lowest end of the wage scale and the hours would be long and demanding, as working with the public all day is draining. This would leave less time for writing with less pay off on the money end. I also imagine that the reality of working in a bookshop would be very different from my fantasy (which entails rummaging through boxes of old and dusty books to find magical treasures and spending coffee breaks discussing the deeper meaning of the spider in Richard Matheson's The Shrinking Man). And I have yet to find a book shop that is hiring (although I haven't looked very hard).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Possible job #1: temp agency

What I like about going to a temp agency is that I should be able to work a few weeks on and then take a few weeks off to concentrating on my writing. Also I have experience of office work (four years + in a legal office) so that should help me find positions. I know Daisy Stiener took this route in Spaced with limited success but I am hopeful that it will be more successful with me and I will be able to use it to make money while fitting it around acting and writing. Now all I have to do is find some agencies, write up my cv and send it into them and wait and see what happens.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Become a Follower

Calling all you bloggers out there! Have a blog and read the Inkpot Files? Want to get updates on posts without having to remember the URL everywhere you go? No problem. Click on the handy little button on the sidebar to your right and become a follower of this blog. The Inkpot Files will be added to your reading list on the dashboard and will be updated with all the new posts everytime you log on. You can choose to follow publically, which will add your profile pic and a link to your blog in the side bar. Not only will this let people know you support my blog, but it will bring interest to your own blog. If you want to follow anonymously, you can do that too. Haven't got a blog yet? Don't worry! It is easy to sign up to blogger and create your own blog. The good thing is, if you aren't on my reading list already, there is a strong possibility I will add your blog after you start following mine!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The End of the Inkpot Files???

Despite my recent successes at publication I am not yet making a living out of writing. I know this will come as a surprise to you, but it is the sad truth. Perhaps if I could live on a handful of grain a day and never leave my den I would be ok, but unfortunately I can't. My family have been very supportive and I thank them for helping me out in so many ways. However, it has come to the stage where I can no longer make ends meet and it kills me to ask for handouts all the time. I know I am a sponge, but I don't like to be reminded of it daily. So I have come to the realisation that I must now go looking for a nine to five job. It makes me feel such a failure. I wanted to give this a chance for five years and I'm only a little over two. I've done part time work before to help keep me going, but doing bits here and there isn't going to cut it any more. I feel such a failure. I feel I am turning my back on everything I have spent the last two years working on. I feel I am taking huge steps backwards in my life and I hate it. If this was a sound file rather than text I would be screaming at this stage. It isn't the fact that I have to look for a job that ties knots of frustration and dread in my stomach. It's more the fact that earlier this year I thought I would be well on the road by now. Not rolling in money, but broadening my horizons and doing what I loved. Instead it is like I have entered a time warp and gone back eight years, except with more financial commitments. I can't believe I have done this to myself. Scrolling through lists of jobs on the Internet - most of them denied to me because of my lack of experience and qualifications - is like digging the grave for my last shred of hope. Of course I can write and work nine to five at the same time. Everyone must make money to make ends meet. I just can't get over the enormous pit of despair I've dug for myself at the thought of writing not being my 'job' anymore.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

School Reunion

On Chuck this week Chuck went to Sarah's ten year school reunion. I don't know if my school is having a reunion (I certainly won't be going to it if they are) but it will be ten years from when I (first) left school and seeing how much Sarah had changed from the time she was a senior in high school made me look at my own life. Have I changed much in ten years? Well, apart from being more hopeless and bitter, not that much. Still over weight, still penniless, still living at home. The incidentals have changed but not the major stuff. I know it is shallow, but what is the point of going to a school reunion if not to rub your classmates faces in how successful you have become? Maybe if I had been able to attend school regularly or had made friends there things would be different. Paintpot went to her 30 year school reunion recently (gosh that sounds scary) and thoroughly enjoyed it, but then again I think she and I are from different molds, different species and possibly different planets. According to my mother, all her year (Paintpot's) were exceptionally brilliant and did very well for themselves. Good for them. From what I know of my year, they didn't quite make the doctors and lawyers stage. Single mothers and school teachers are more like it. However, given my circumstances even that is a phenomenal success compared to me. Self pity much?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

National Novel Writing Month

November is fast approaching and it is that time of year again to consider National Novel Writing Month - the international event where people attempt the mad dash of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Last year I tried to write a book based on my journey as I travelled around New Zealand and failed. This year I have no plot and no inclination to sign up. I have loads of ideas for novels I want to write, but I want to give them time to write them properly, not in a whirlwind of purple prose that exists only to boost my word count. What I love about NaNoWriMo is the way it has helped loosen up my writing in previous years and taught me to have fun with writing again. Perhaps that is why I should participate again this year. However, I feel I should be writing for profit rather than purely for fun and I don't know if I should give the time to NaNo. Maybe that would make more sense if I was actually writing anything at the moment.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bad news

First of all I want to apologize for my tardiness in blogging this week. I had my posts all planned out in my head but I didn't actually type them out because 1. I was so depressed at not getting my iPhone 2. I was so excited when I actually got my iphone 3. I was so tired after spending all night playing with my iPhone. I know having the posts planned in my head is no good to you until they invent direct brain to blog transfer, so I am sorry. Mea culpa.

Secondly I must explain about my obscure post of the other day. It was about getting my iPhone and was written on the phone but, because at the time I had not installed this application, I could not write my post beyond this heading.

This leads me to the heading of this post. I am not writing this from my phone because I am travelling or because of fun but out of necessity (not that it isn't fun!). It is because I have killed my laptop once again. I don't think it could take all the work and programmes of the last few days and then my hamfisted approach to dealing with it didn't help either. I think the problem is, like everything in my life, not the things that happen but how I deal with them ( that made more sense in my head). Anyway old lappie is dead and this time, out of respect for the departed, I'm going to leave him that way. I haven't done any writing in ages anyway and the only things I've lost are all the things I was planning for Christmas presents and the hours of (now) wasted time reloading my music library to iTunes. So, until I can afford to buy a new laptop (some time in the next century unless I turn to companionship in the firefly sense of the word and, to be honest, I don't think I'd make very much at that) I'm going to stick to the desktop and more medieval forms of writing (pen and paper), use my phone for email and scrounge off Hoofpot to charge my various USB dependent devices (thank God I-p came with a socket chargeing adaptor device. At least that's what I think it is).

So bear with me. I will try to keep you updated as I continue to drive my life (and electrical equipment) into the ground but I might be slow to reply to your comments.

Now, where's a pint of ben and jerry's cookie dough ice cream when u need it? Another night crying myself to sleep me thinks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Days like these

I wanted to post today about my new iphone. I wanted to go into ecstasies about how cool it was, how much I could do with it and how I didn't know how I lived my life without it. I wanted to write my post with it, but alas, Madame Fortuna had other ideas.
The mission started at 12.30pm when I went into the phone shop. I was changing from prepay to a contract so I had to endure a barrage of questions about my living arrangements and produce written documentation stating I lived where I said I did. Unfortunately my proof of address had to be dated within the last 3 months, and my letter missed it by 3 days, so I had to go home and get a new letter. That took the best part of half an hour and when I returned to the store the assistant who had helped me had gone on lunch. I then had to queue for forty minutes before the new assistant got around to me. She accepted my new letter but had bad news - they had no black 16g iphones left in stock.
Actually, that is not strictly true. They had ONE black 16g iphone left in stock but she was holding it for someone. I asked if she could hold one for me when new stock came in but she said it wasn't their policy to keep phones on hold. Upon my request she phoned the other phone shop in the town and they did have the right iphone but they wouldn't send it over to her. I decided to go to the other shop because what is the point of spending so much money on a phone when it isn't the one you want? This caused more hassle, of course, as she had to get all my information and documentation together for me to take to the other shop. Compounded with this was the fact that the assistant in the other shop had gone on lunch and wouldn't be back until 3.30pm.
It was now after 2pm. Armed with my information I got lunch and wondered how to spend my time while I waited for the assistant to return from lunch. I browsed the shops for a while, but without money shopping isn't much fun. I drove around to pass time and then headed to the second phone shop. There was a poster pasted to the phone shop window.
'Closed for lunch. Back at 4pm'.
As it was only 3.30pm, I got a coffee to pass the time and on the dot of 4pm I went to the phone shop. The assistant, just returned from lunch and the headphones hardly out of his ears, looked a bit surprised to see me. My expression was perhaps not the friendliest as I was not in a particularly good mood at that point. Nothing against the assistant, just not in a good mood. He was pleasant, but did not exude confidence as he had to phone someone to get help on every step of setting up my account and ringing up my purchases. However, the final blow of the day came when it was time to pay. I had a gift card to pay for my phone but - surprise, surprise - the gift card reader wasn't working in the shop! To be fair, the assistant did try hard to fix it and was very apologetic, but at 4.30pm, after four hours of trying to buy a phone, I had no option but to go home without one. Very disappointing.
The gift card reader should be fixed by tomorrow and I'll pick up my phone then, which has been set aside for me, but still...
Don't know if I will have the same thrill when it comes to blogging about my phone tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quote of the week

"It is the largest gold statue made by man since ancient Egyptian times, weighing 50kg, around the same as its subject."

Telegraph reporter Aislinn Simpson in reference to the rather obscenely posed gold statue of Kate Moss by sculptor Marc Quinn.

I wasn't aware that animals were busy sculpting in gold, or does she mean aliens?

Edit: Here is a link to a picture of the statue for anyone who is interested.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Did you know?

#1 That when struck, the moon rings like a bell?
I have yet to find any 'official' information on this, but apparently NASA detonated controlled explosions on the moon and discovered that it 'rang like a bell' for up to an hour after the explosion. How sound was recorded either through the vacuum of space or the thin atmosphere of the moon, I don't know. A more likely explanation might be that they recorded reverberations that were similar to a ringing bell.
What does this mean? I'm not sure exactly, but according to my investigations it could mean a number of things.
a) The moon is home to a base of Zetan aliens and the explosions sent the hollow interiors of their subterranean homes ringing. Ever wonder why we aren't all living on the moon by this stage? Apparently the Zetan's told Aldrin and Armstrong, in no uncertain terms, to hit the road and never come back no more. Why is there a Zetan alien base on the moon? Beats me, but I gather there are similar bases on Mars and its moons. NASA have been hiding the photographic evidence for years.
b) The moon is a space ship and only relatively recently brought into orbit around the earth. Who built and piloted the space ship is a mystery, but everyone seems to agree that it was positioned in orbit to help promote life on earth - to make it a farming planet, as one person put it. What or who they are farming is beyond me. However, as many people seem to suggest that the moon didn't reach orbit until after life was quite well established on the earth, I don't know if it really worked as an alien experiment.
c) According to one source, if you slow down the recordings of the ringing moon (again, don't know how sound was recorded) a voice speaking (ancient) Aramaic can be heard. What is the voice saying? We don't know. Once again those evil people at NASA are suppressing the information so we can't learn the truth.
#2 That among the gold and treasures of Tutankhamen's tomb there were also mummified pterosaurs?
This came as a surprise to me. Not that pterosaurs exist in a (relatively) modern age but that a) they were in Egypt and b) they were in King Tut's tomb. The story goes, or so my source tells me, that the mummified pterosaurs disappeared soon after discovery and that all eye witnesses died. Could that be a result of the curse or a more sinister reason? Unfortunately, because of the quick removal of the pterosaurs and the people who saw them (perhaps by Zetan's on their moon base???) there is no description of the type of pterosaur with Tut nor how large or well preserved they were. Shame. If they aren't on the moon, perhaps they are in a big wooden box sealed in a vault of the Smithsonian?
For those of you who don't know what a Pterosaur is, they are (were) flying creatures with leathery bat like wings and perhaps furry bodies. Some have long thin tails with a diamond shaped appendage at the end. Others have boney head crests. They have long beaks with teeth and some grew to enormous size. They are believed extinct by many, but there is much eye witness reports of different types from all around the world suggesting that they are still with us, with the most notable coming from Papa New Guinea.
#3 That Velociraptors live in Turkey?
As recently as the seventies, an expedition searching for the remains of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat were attacked by ferocious Velociraptors. Among the casualties reported were three arms, two feet and a chunk of thigh. I'm not sure if this was the typical body construction of the people on the expedition, or if there were several people injured, but I am a bit disappointed that the velociraptors only took body parts and not full bodies. This list sounds more like the shopping list on Alive! rather than Jurassic Park. Anyway, I digress. I was desperate to find out more about this encounter with Velociraptors - were they guardians of the Ark? How did they withstand the extreme conditions of Mount Ararat? Why haven't they moved into more populated areas of Turkey? - however, my investigations revealed no further reports. I can only conclude that NASA have also suppressed this information.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Where does he keep his armies?

Karl Merk, a German farmer, has become the first person to receive a double arm transplant! He lost his arms below the shoulder six years ago in a farming accident but, thanks to long and extensive surgery earlier this year, he now has two brand new arms. So far his body hasn't rejected them and he is able to move his fingers, open doors and turn on lights. Doctors are hopeful that, all going well, he will have full movement in his new arms within two years.
Wow. I mean WOW wow. I thought a face transplant was amazing. They will have a head museum next.
Read the story here.
Best of luck to Mr Merk, it really is an amazing thing and I hope that his arms heal really well and he is able to do all the things he hasn't been able to in the last six years. However, am I the only one thinking it - evil arms anyone? If I were him, I think I would be a little bit worried.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Photo Manipulation

I watched this programme last night about how much photo manipulation goes on in the magazine and advertising industry. Not a photo is published without the already perfect models having their blemishes removed, their skin tones evened out and, many times, their body shape made thinner and taller. Watching this inspired me to do some of my own photo manips, the result of which can be seen above. I don't have the skill or the programmes of the professionals, but I am happy enough with the result. If only I actually looked like that.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

How to lose friends and alienate people

I don't need to see a film to learn how to do this, I'm doing a pretty good job on my own! If there is anyone looking at this blog after all these months of inactivity, I'm sorry. I would love to say I was too busy finalising the details of my book deal, or travelling the world, or even writing, but no.
I'm afraid not.
To be honest, I had a melt down over the summer and decided to live in a very dark place with that part of me that likes to tell me I'll amount to nothing and I'm better off dead. I like to call her Miranda. She likes to eat pizza and lives at the bottom of a deep, dark well. She is always there, in the back of the forest of my mind, and occasionally she pops out of her hole to kick me in the shins. She usually waits until I'm tired or stressed to visit. She has good timing that way. You probably have someone like her living in your head too. However, this is the first time I've gone to stay in her hole with her. It is very dark down there, so you don't have to look at yourself and see that things can be different. And she encourages you not to speak to people, to cut yourself off from the world. Perhaps the worst thing she can do is to tell you that things will never change and you should give up hope.
The good news is, I've thanked Miranda for her hospitality and climbed out of that hole. The bad news is, it is really hard to pick up the pieces and make amends after you have neglected things for so long. You just can't walk back into life after refusing to take its calls and expect things to be the same as they were when you left off. It's tough.
Today I'm feeling rotten from the tail end of a cold, can't fit into my clothes and haven't got any money. I'm feeling like a sim who is being played by an evil child who wants to keep them up all night drinking coffee and then laugh when they wet themselves and all their friends shun them. Perhaps I will be kinder to my sims the next time I'll play. :)
Anyway, that's enough about me. How are you? Is there anyone left out there to reply?