First Draft, Again


I've been off the blogging grid for a bit lately. Mainly because when I get stuck into writing a new story I find that I don't have the mental juices to blog as well. But now that I've finished the first draft of my third book I figured it was time for a little post.

I always find the first draft to be an interesting thing to exist. Technically this is the book completed. The plot is done, the characters have said their lines and everything is finished. Then you start on draft two. Three, four, five, etc. All the follow up drafts of the book.

The drafts after the first one are usually used to fine tune things. Tweak the plot, patch up some loose threads, fix spelling mistakes (as best I can, one or two always slip through). For the previous two books the differences between the first and final drafts were pretty huge.

Which makes the first draft so interesting. It is the book, but almost just the genesis of it. The idea of what the finished product will be. As I was working through the draft I had my notebook (a very snazzy gift from the lady friend) beside me. Notes were made about plot bits I wanted to change, new elements to add in, maybe even characters doing something completely different. By the time I had finished the draft there were roughly four pages of notes in my pad.

Four pages of notes that are going to be worked into draft two. Four pages that could get more notes created as the story is revisited through the rest of the drafts.

At least comic con isn't until August. I mean I can write all those new drafts before then. Right?


Return To The Con


Roughly this time last year, in fact more or less this exact week, I foolishly signed up to Dublin Comic Con to sell my books.

I say foolishly because at the time I was pretty sure not one book would be sold. Also the stall I was looking at buying listed the various types of people it was intended for. So I sent the organiser off a little email and posted a Tweet that led to no end of hilarious mix ups.

The Tweet went along the lines of "Signing up to something stupid, more to follow shortly..."

As it went out into the wide world myself and the ladyfriend knew what it was all about. However several of our friends privately contacted us and asked had I just made the worst pregnancy announcement of all time. Looking back over the words it was easy to see how somebody could have gone straight to the baby-conclusion.

One person even worked out that nine months later would be August and we'd be having a summer baby.

So a quick log onto every site my Twitter account is linked to and it was deleted toot sweet.

Well I learned my lesson this time. So, this post is not about another baby on the way. I've just signed up for Dublin Comic Con 2016, Nugget will still be an only child at that stage.

Everyone clear? Good.

This is good, because now I have a firm date to work towards for having the third novel finished and ready. Plus all the lessons learned after the last con. More stock. Some other bits for sale. Pop up banner.

Only two hundred and fifty odd days to go.

Good thing I actually bought the stall first thing yesterday as well, because they had sold out before four in the afternoon. I had even stalled ont he purchase and checked with the ladyfriend that I wasn't just being stupid by signing up again. The expletives that were used to describe how dumb I was being cannot be typed here.

Anyway I can't be writing anymore here, I need to be finishing that book. Fifteen chapters done of draft one, it isn't going to write itself.


Christmas Karma


Now that we have Nugget in our lives myself and the lady friend are getting into a few new Christmas related traditions. One of those is bringing the little bundle of joy out and about on cold winter nights so we can have pictures taken. The better to build memories my dear.

Anyway, as most people who glance at the telly around this time of year will know there is an advert for Coca Cola where an articulated trucks branded with Christmas cheer drives around. The kids smile, the adults all look wistfully at the truck as it passes the by, there is a Christmas miracle at the end. All very moving and what not.

Well tonight the truck, or one of them, was parked in the Tesco carpark in Maynooth. A short hop in the car and off we went with Nugget to get our picture taken and kick off the festive season for us.

As is always going to be the case with these sort of things there was a queue. A fairly long queue. One of those windy ones that is four lanes deep before you get near the main attraction. But we had nothing else to do, Nugget was wrapped up so snugly she was sweating, so the end of the queue we joined. It was cold but the line moved at a fairly steady clip. There was a Santa running around entertaining the youngsters. People handed out cans of coke and a bunch of Santa's little helpers kept the crowd entertained with singing and other little photo opportunities.

When we reached the half way mark it started to rain and a good estimate was that there was about forty minutes of queuing left. The lady friend and I decided to leave it and try again next year. We made our way back through the crowd to a corner point of the line, where one of the helpers opened the barrier and out we stepped. As we were about to walk off he kindly pointed out that if one of us wanted to stay in line, while the other brought Nugget back to the car, then they could text and bring back the baby for that Christmas family photo.

Considering how cold it had gotten I did the manly thing and volunteered to bring Nugget back to the car, so the lady friend was conscripted into returning to our spot in the queue.

I had only just arrived back at the car, climbed in, when the lady friend shows up and takes Nugget out of the car seat. It turns out that manners go out the window with some people at this time of year. A family of ignorant asshats refused to allow the lady friend to return to our spot, quoting that she had 'Left so she could just join the back of the line' as the valid reason. Since, as you all know, the extra ten seconds they had just gained was going to be put to good use being ignorant asshats to somebody else in the near future. This rightly upset the lady friend as she really wanted to get the photo taken, but she decided instead to just leave and went back to the corner exit.

The polite gent opened the barrier and asked if she had decided to just not bother at all. She told him the story and his reaction has to be the very definition of 'instant karma'.

"Well I can't have people not being Christmassy around Christmas time," he said. "Go get your husband and baby and I will bring you to the top of the line now."

So back to the line we went, escorted by this local spirit of Christmas to the top of the queue. Picture taken, wife happy, Nugget farting, and all was right in the world again it seemed.

Such a random act of kindness as the direct result of a random act of ignorance. You just don't see it as much in the world as you should, but thankfully there are still some nice people out there and this lad was definitely one of them.