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Once again I am sitting staring at a blank page and wondering what the hell to do.

Having finished my second novel I need to get cracking on the cover for it now. This is always a painful process for me. As the Ladyfriend will attest to I am downright dreadful at drawing something I like once and sticking with it. The cover for the first Filthy Henry novel went through ten rough sketches and fourteen finished designs before I settled on one.

One that some people will claim is just me in profile but that was just a happy accident. Although there is a picture floating around that seems to back up this theory.

The problem this time around is that I honestly never thought I would get a second novel completed. Not for any particular reason but I just thought getting one out there was going to be enough work. A second one? Madness. So now I am sitting here staring at the blank page and trying to come up with a design.

There are a few problems now with this situation. Firstly I need to have a design done by the end of June, because I am going to be at this year's Dublin Comic Con. This means I can't just drag my feet like last time. Pencil must meet paper and create a cover in a short time frame.

No pressure.

Secondly, while I loved the final design that Filthy Henry eventually ended up with I now reckon it needs redoing. As a standalone novel the strange half-colour half-silhouette design worked well. But in what I am trying to make an ongoing series? There are only so many shadow designs you can do. So while coming up with my second cover I need to make sure that it fits with the first, or is a design that the first can be updated with so they all line up.

If only I knew a hungry artist that I could pay in noodles to handle all this for me.

On the plus side the Ladyfriend is giving the novel a second set of eyes reading. This works out well for me because the story has been swirling around in my head for so long at this stage that I think my brain was filling in any plot holes I found. All in all the end date for having the book finished and off to the printers is the end of June. I need to just check the print times for the con, but I reckon a month before should be loads of time.

Plus I have to start fine tuning the plot for the third one. The idea has been around for years but now that Filthy Henry has worked out so well it needs a bit of an overhaul.

Who said this writing lark was a relaxing hobby? It's like a second job!


Baby Thumps


Spoiler: this is a post about baby stuff, if you are not interested I don't care :P

Recent weeks have seen some huge changes with regards Nugget and the lady friend. For starters the lady friend has now started to show her bump. This of course was met with much "OH MY GOD I AM HUGE!" being declared. For weeks leading up to the bump the declarations were "OH MY GOD I HAVE NO BUMP!" so you literally can not win on that front it seems.

Internally Nugget has discovered the joys of having limbs and is experimenting with them to the best of their little abilities and accommodation that you couldn't swing a hygienic cat in. The end result of this is that for the past few weeks the lady friend has been able to feel the dyslexic morse code being tapped out from inside.

For a long while the excitement was clearly visible as she would sit on the sofa watching something and grin with each little tap that came her way. I tried to feel them as well but they were so faint that ninety percent of the time I got nothing and the other ten had me double checking with herself that I had felt anything at all.

The best way of describing the effort would be like trying to catch a cloud using a sowing needle. You could argue that the taps were too soft to reach through to the other side, but it is more likely that my giant hands lack the required bits to feel out these subtle fist bumps.

I'm not Daredevil after all.

But over the last week the taps have grown into thumps and thumps that you can easily feel from the outside. There is no mistaking them now. Nugget is stretching and smashing their little arms into as much space as they can. These I can feel without having to double check with the lady friend that something definitely happened to be felt. It's an amazing sensation, one that you can't really get into words.

In fact the powerful thumps (no pun intended) have gotten so strong that this weekend we were able to see little movements along the outside of the bump. Freaky and freaking cool in equal measures. I'm just waiting for the moment we get to see little hand/feet/head impressions in the bumps as Nugget gets bigger :D


Tags: nugget baby



“Won’t somebody think of the children!”

Despite being a comedy cartoon running for nearly thirty years, The Simpsons always seems to have a quote that you can use to poke fun at idiots in an ironic manner.

On May 22nd the people of Ireland will be asked to vote on whether or not gay couples should be allowed to get married. You’d think in a modern world such as the one we live in today this wouldn’t have even been a real question to put to the people. After all the Government can seemingly pass something into law at the drop of a hat when it inflicts pain, Universal Social Charge I am looking at you, but when they can do something to improve people’s lives it needs to go to a general vote.

Now I know that what I have just said is a generalisation really. Gay marriage no doubt requires some change in the constitution of the country for it to be legal, but come on it should be a no-brainer really.

The bit that I am going to have a little rant about here, because I haven’t had a right old rant in a while, is on the tactics and verbiage being used by the “Vote No” Camp.

People are entitled to their own views on things, that’s one of the joys of free thinking. The problem is that while you can have your opinion, you can’t force it down the throats of others.

Recently two of my friends, we shall call them DJ and ZZ-Top, were banned from a Facebook Group for engaging with the members on the Marriage Debate. Now DJ’s posts were actually well constructed, well presented and all round polite and civil. But he got banned.

ZZ-Top did make a Hitler reference, so the jury may go either way on that one ;)

The problem is this group are firm members of the “No Camp”, as they are entitled to be, but they keep utter this same line over and over to justify their view: Children Deserve A Mother And A Father

This irks me. Not because I don’t agree that a child should have two parents. Not because I don’t think gay people should be allowed to marry (spoiler I’m voting in favour of that and trying to figure out a way of doing that more than once). This line ruffles my feathers because it’s insulting to my sister.

Let’s just get one things straight, the lil sister is in no way gay. She is, however, a mother to a wonderful little bundle of madness that I affectionally call Goblin. Goblin’s father ran running for the hills when faced with the responsibility that comes with having a child and my little sister stepped up to the plate with gusto. She has sacrificed and struggled and overcome and if you were to ever meet her and Goblin out on the street you wouldn’t be able to tell from the child’s smiles and chats that she only has a mother at home.

So how can the No-sayers shout out that line over and over, as if it is scientifically proven fact that a kid needs a mother and father in their life, when my sister and Goblin are living proof that that just isn’t the case.

A child deserves a caring family unit. It doesn’t matter if said unit is the biological parents, the grandparents, the neighbour down the road who adopted the child after tragedy struck. For the No Camp to just use this as blanket justification for backing a stupid (in my opinion) argument is annoying to every child out their in a loving home without the nucleus that Bible Bashers seem to think is the be all and end all.

People like this can sometimes be seen as hypocrites I always think. On one hand they will stand on their soap boxes and shout at people in sand cover countries, berating them for blindly following the words of a Holy Book that says go and do this, yet on the other hand they blindly follow the words in their own Holy Book. Pot? It’s Kettle, you’re darkly coloured.

Gay couples shouldn’t have to fight for the right to be able to get married. They should just be allowed to regardless. If you don’t like gay marriage there is a simple solution: don’t marry a gay person. It’s not like suddenly every gay couple is going to run out and get wed. There are bound to be couples happy to live together forever without a big ceremony, they just want to have the option is all.

The hilarious thing is that gay couples will be allowed to adopt children legally in Ireland before the votes begin on May 22nd. So the entire argument from the No Camp on why you should vote No is a moot point because regardless of whether the vote passes or not gay couples will be able to adopt children anyway and provide them with a loving home, which is exactly what children deserve.