A Not-So-Happy Ending

It’s been a strange time of late. I’ve been trying to finish my novel (not just a novella) in the midst of a total creative drought which shows now signs of ending, and then, somehow, my fiance and I ended up separating 😦

I won’t go into go into details here, or go all “woe is me”, but it’s been confusing and disorienting for all involved and has forced further changes in our lifestyle. With things so uncertain, he has had to move on to where the job prospects and other good things are (not here) and as for me. I’ll let you know what else happens soon…

In the meantime, here’s a photo of a nearby “poetry garden” I took about a month ago, complete with unwitting pigeon:

I will start getting up early again, if only to see nice things such as this here

I will start getting up early again, if only to see nice things such as this here

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nature Of Adventure

Posted on February 17, 2014

The topic of this post is going to be – you guessed wisely – “adventure”!

My fiance and I are usually on the look-out for an “experience”. In early December 2013, we decided, on one of the biggest of whims as whims go, to go to Tenerife. Flights were cheap, we needed a bit of winter sunshine, and it beat sitting around waiting for the chaos of Christmas to fall upon us once again. Simple. In theory. But adventure is precisely something with which, in reality, we both considerably struggle…

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I rock (hehehe see what I did there?)

 

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Trekkie…

We went on a trek on the first day, which was fun, however we found ourselves at a bit of a loss on the second day. We weren’t quite sure what to do with the rest of our time there. Then, our precarious planning was scattered to the wind – literally – when on the third day, we were hit by the worst weather that Tenerife had seen in a long time. We were then stranded in what had turned out to be a bit of a ghost town for another couple of days, over which time we developed severe cabin fever and outstayed our welcome in the hotel spa, where the same three songs being played on repeat would haunt our memory for some time to come. Seriously, if I never hear the song “Sail Away”, instrumental pan flute style, again I’ll not exactly complain…

Me in what looks every inch a ghost town

Me in what looks every inch a ghost town

We only had a couple of days left when we were able to move to our next location, in a more populated area by the coast with a far more pleasant climate. On one of those days, my SO set himself the challenge of attempting to climb Teide by bike.

'Mon then!

‘Mon then!

He still has unfinished business there, which may prompt another visit in the future, but as far as I’m concerned, unless one or both of us is able to drive, or there is a very good cycling / public transport network in a place, we are going to continue having difficulties going anywhere else, and with the general reality of Adventure.

We do try – and we do succeed, on occasion. Snatches of the trip here and there are filled with good memories of having at least tried something; going for wanders in the area, venturing into an obscure taverna with no menu where we were served an original meal by a really nice guy. Indeed, when we’ve gone to other places on a whim, we’ve had a far better time than I would have expected at such short notice.

It seems to be all about striking a balance between spontaneity and planning. This is our collective weakness, but hopefully we’ll get the balance one day!

Warm-up To My First Post In A Long Time. And A Promo.

Posted on January 23, 2014

Hey all, a belated Happy New Year and I am still alive and kicking (mostly kicking).

I’m in the process of coming up with the best way to articulate what’s been happening over the few months since I last posted here, but until then I’ll just post an update as to my writing.

Got a new (miniature) poetry offering on Kindle. Linky:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Surface-G-Devine-ebook/dp/B00HZUXRRG/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411085508&sr=1-3&keywords=g+devine

*I’ve since moved my writing from Kindle onto this website for the foreseeable future so the link won’t be working (12/03/15)

 

Back soon!

I Will Take Up Running One Day

Posted on October 4, 2013

Recently I’ve been trying – trying – to get into running. Properly, not just jogging a little bit here and there, which I usually end up doing…

It strikes me as one of the physical activities that comes most naturally from a human perspective, and I’ve read enough blogs about people taking up running, and positively gushing about how addictive it is and how it’s changed their life, etc.

I’d genuinely like to get in on that, if possible. I want to find a form of exercise that I enjoy and that is relatively affordable and provides an outlet for stresses of the more mental variety, which I could really use. Plus, I actually do voluntary stuff for a fitness website, so I’m coming into ever-increasing virtual contact with people who have found that spark, either recently or a long time ago, and appear to have found their calling.

I even joined a running group in the hope that I would catch on too. I imagined myself as a writer who runs, or a runner who writes, something akin to Haruki Murakami, or Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal website, or an ordinary vegan fitness junkie, like the people on the aforementioned fitness website. I could be one of those!

But it’s just not happening.

I don’t know why it’s turning out this way, but every time I step out the door ready for a run, (if I even get that far in the first place), a wave of what I can only describe as cringe engulfs me. The cringe results in thoughts popping into my mind which discourage me from running right from the get-go; I’ll not even be able to run that far without having to *shame* slow down to walking, right in front of everyone; I look like an utter moron (even though lots of other people are doing it I am the only one whom the spotlight of moron shines down upon, goes my thinking); I have no business being out here; TURN BACK AND GO HOME…

In the safe realms of my imagine I am running, sprinting, skipping, free. But in reality I am a shrivelling ball of cringe who cannot think its way out of this state and just get the hell on with running.

Everyone else is doing it so why can’t I?

The only solution I can think of to get out of this cycle is to locate a “way in”. I will keep a close eye on the “world of running”, and one day I will spot a space in a group, which I will sneak into as stealthily as I can, and at least I’ll simply be blending in.

Then I can focus on the more serious business of running for fun.

Boatin’ Time

Posted on October 4, 2013

Greetings once again, I shall dedicate this post to recounting the fairly recent boating trip I referred to in the previous posting. It took place in late summer, and it is already well into autumn, so apologies for this being so late but here we go-

Powering through Loch Ness - peacefully of course

Powering through Loch Ness – peacefully of course

It was… an interesting experience. I left most of the actual sailing up to my fiance, but I did most of the tying and untying of the boat’s ropes, and we both had to endure constantly having to pass through canal locks, but when we were actually able to sail freely, it was jolly good fun, and the simple pleasure of having lunch in the middle of a loch on a reasonably nice day (as long as it isn’t too choppy) is one that isn’t all too commonplace…

Last but not least, it has to be said that – no we did not see “Nessie”. He was probably sleeping or generally avoiding people when we passed by. Also, according to local legend “Nessie” has a fellow prehistoric buddy, “Lizzie”. No sign of Lizzie either when we passed through where s/he is meant to live. We saw lots of ducks though, and they got quite a feast of cereal and bread on the house, as it were.

We could both potentially get more into boating, providing we had more freedom to take the boat wherever the hell we felt like. As folks who like not to be tied down to one place for too long, this could fit nicely into our lifestyle. However it may be just another pipe dream for now, as there are quite a few things on the proverbial to-do list, so for now it’ll get put into the “we’ll see” pile.

And yes I still managed to struggle to write – even in the midst of that damned nice scenery. More on that next time…

The boat that was briefly our home

The boat that was briefly our home

 

Ben Nevis REALLY doesn't look that difficult to climb from here...

Ben Nevis REALLY doesn’t look that difficult to climb from here…

I’m Still On Kindle & Other Goings-On…

Posted on July 27, 2013

I am armed with a couple of updates as to what has been going on.

My big sister is now a married lady; the wedding ceremony was lovely and it brings my fiance and I one step closer to being asked the old question, “When’s the big day?”…

However, instead of jumping in straight after the happy couple, we have decided to go on a boating holiday. This will comprise of sailing along the Caledonian Canal, taking in all the pretty sights along the way, and jumping off here and there to do some hiking and biking. And learning how to sail a boat, of course. It looks like fun, but I’m wondering if it will prove to be too difficult for one as hopelessly impractical as me. We’ve got a couple of spare spaces in the boat going (the price was quoted for 4-5 people but for now it’s just us) so if you fancy it drop me a line…

Also, I intend to add a new page to my website: gaming. This is one thing I never had a chance to get into properly in my hazy youth, having been exposed to little to no games growing up; but as I have a very keen gaming fan for a beloved one – with whom I wish to share a bit more – I will self-impose a tentative introduction, and freshen up my reviewing skills along the way.

Again, please be gentle :$

I’m On Kindle

Posted on June 21, 2013

The good news is that – recently I took the plunge and did a final editing to my most recent stories and uploaded them onto Amazon Kindle for the whole world to see.

The bad news is that – recently I took the plunge and did a final editing to my most recent stories and uploaded them onto Amazon Kindle for the whole world to see.

If you’ll permit me just a tiny little bit of shameless self-promotion…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Lost-Found-Collection-Devine-ebook/dp/B00E89DTFC/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1390484468&sr=1-2&keywords=g+devine

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tearmann-G-Devine-ebook/dp/B00HOLVD7C/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411085508&sr=1-5&keywords=g+devine

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stand–G-Devine-ebook/dp/B00E6XPBVU/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411085508&sr=1-4&keywords=g+devine

*I’ve since converted the above books into one and published one more (30/07/13)

**I’ve since turned the two books into three, did a bit more editing, but they’re more or less the same (23/01/14)

*** I’ve since moved my writing from Kindle onto this website so the links above won’t be working (12/03/15)

Yes, of course I am still terrified of bad reviews and not everyone liking me, but in forcing myself to acknowledge that mixed opinion is simply a fact of life, at least now I can say that my writing is finally “out there”.

As for the actual books, the stories themselves, they are a crystallization of ideas which I’ve had bouncing around in my noggin for quite some time, and mostly a simple experimentation of my own writing style; as in, what suits me, and how I “fit in” with everyone else.

Most of all, I wanted to put something out there that is my own creation – but hopefully not quite in the Frankenstein sense, where it goes on a major rampage (unless I wrote something very formidable…). I just wanted to tell a story, or two, or more and see how they do on their own.

A toast – to the not-total-failure of my first attempt at self-publication. Oh and enjoy. If you can!

So I Finally Got Away…

Posted on June 10, 2013

… To Dublin. Alone – and just a little lonely – but it was still worth doing.

I’d already been once before, but this time I fancied returning to see/do the things I missed out on the first time. Also it was my first time travelling solo, and I was like “well this would be a good opportunity to see how you get on”.

It took a while between landing and checking in, so I used this gap in time to visit The Book of Kells at Trinity College (a major tourist trap this time of year but still worth seeing). I took some photographic evidence:

The Old Library Staircase

The Old Library Staircase

The Old Library

The Old Library

 

Books which helped contribute to the university's collective knowledge

Books which helped contribute to the collective knowledge of the university

The Old Library (a notable literary inspiration) complete with all its various treasures from throughout its history (yes I know the photos don’t do it justice but I couldn’t resist a little snapping):

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

Dublin is a city with a certain atmosphere which is hard to pin down. It feels almost like Britain (being in relatively close proximity, and with the people speaking English and everything) but it has rather more of a European vibe. The summer heatwave certainly contributed to that feeling, as I ran about like crazy, here and there, trying to decide how put little ole me to the best use in this place.

Kilkenny

Kilkenny

A ruin in Dalkey

A ruin in Dalkey

So I turned it into a mini-adventure; I went to places of interest on a whim, I ate a ton of salady veggie food from the outlets which have popped out around the city, I took pictures, I did a ridiculous amount of walking. I visited Kilkenny and the coastal town of Dalkey, both very pleasant places to spend a morning or an afternoon, and to just get away from everything for a while should the city become too intense. Which it did for me, quite often, as much as I enjoyed the whole experience…

I made the most of my time there and came home. I don’t regret doing it, certainly.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ll at least try to plan something like this again soon…

Re-Reflection

Posted on May 12, 2013

Exactly a year ago, in my post “A Bit Of Reflection”, I pondered a key turning point in my life, and where I would subsequently be a year on. This, today, is a year on – how time whizzes by :/

Some things are more or less what I expected them to be:

My parents went ahead and took over the inn that they’d had their eye on, and after LOTS of trials and obstacles things are starting to pull themselves together, and it’s turning out to be a most successful venture (plus somewhere to escape every so often).

My fiance and I are still engaged – we’ve still had our respective hardships in our lives which have overlapped into each other’s life, which has sometimes made for a wobbly crossing, but we’ve managed to find a way to keep going, and at the time of writing, are still going strong

Some things just… are:

I graduated from uni in June, shortly after the original posting. My GPA was quite a bit lower than I was hoping (and expecting), mostly due to the difficult birth of my dissertation, plus dropping a couple of classes as a result a sudden bout of apathy – perhaps unwisely. But I still managed to graduate with an M.A., and have taken pride of place among the millions of other graduates who are floundering around, over-qualified for many jobs but under-qualified for that perfect one…

Some things are not quite what I expected them to be:

I’ll admit that I had assumed that I’d be well on the way to a successful career in writing. That is partly true – I gained an internship, and further experience down the line, in content writing, a little of which was paid but most of which was voluntary. But in terms of creative writing (nanowrimo for example), that has been considerably more of a struggle than I thought it would be.

Lack of confidence in my writing, plus few impartial and willing people available to proofread and give constructive feedback, have resulted in my writing remaining pretty much for my eyes only. I dare not even self-publish before taking this step, for fear that something I love, and have taken time to create and nurture, will be torn apart callously by some unknown figure, whether or not justifiably.

I have the continually nagging feeling that… despite all the above, I still should have done something by this point in time. It’s weird how long one can continue to postpone. A year ago, if I thought I’d still be at this stage, I’d have administered a swift kick to the arse (if it were physically possible)  and been like “COME ON ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! :{”

I guess this would now be a good time, without leaving it any longer anymore, to actually put something out there. Like, for proper digestion and contemplation. And hopefully a receptive audience. If there’s one actually out there.

Oh well, time to keep on plugging away. Once again.