A Song For St. Pat’s: “Amateur Night”

15 03 2013


I was walking to my pub just to have a quiet day
Sipping on my Tullymore Dew and ease my cares away
But I found the pub packed by a mob celebrating Saint Pat’s
They all wore the same green t-shirts and dumb green plastic hats.

They were all shouting Slainte and Erin Go Bragh
The girls all wore those beads you’d get at Mardi Gras
They were drinking bottles of light beer dyed green as a leprechaun’s leak
What pissed me off was that St. Pat’s was not for another week.

All these One-Day Irish can’t even get drinking right
That’s why I say St. Patrick’s Day is Amateur Night

The place was packed with people making a terrible din
I hit the jukebox for The Chieftains and Van Morrison
But the DJ drowned out my songs with

“They were Shipping up to Boston!
Shipping Up To Boston!
Why don’t they all ship up to Boston!”

And get your ship off my favorite chair, if you please.

All these One-Day Irish can’t even get drinking right
That’s why I say St. Patrick’s Day is Amateur Night

I’ll make this very simple: just take this one advice
When you’re in an Irish pub just try to be nice
You don’t need a Galway dad or a Dublin mom
Have a care for everyone there before you order a Car Bomb

Spoken: “Really? Really?!”

All these One-Day Irish can’t even get drinking right
That’s why I say St. Patrick’s Day is Amateur Night

The purpose of this song is not to express my hate
There’s more to the Irish than what’s in a glass or plate
If you’re in a dancing group, you’re a good lad or lass
If you’ve even tried to read “Ulysses”, you get a pass

“Because there’s more to the culture than Oscar Wilde and James Joyce, and oh yeah Bono.
If you like Stephen King, you may like Patrick McGrath
If you like comedy on PBS, try PJ Gallagher.
If you like P.G. Wodehouse, try Flan O’Brien.”

And there’s nothing better for saying ah feck it,
Than having a read of Samuel Beckett.

All these One-Day Irish can’t even get drinking right
That’s why I say St. Patrick’s Day is Amateur Night!

Another Writing Book I Recommend…

6 03 2013

…is another e-book. This one is about how to increase wordcount. It’s currently available on Amazon FOR FREE.
“2K to 10K: Writing faster, Writing Better” by Rachel Aaron, the prolific author of the Eli Monpress series. This is a refreshing manual in that her writing style is direct, conversational, and has minimal amounts of self-promotion. Her goal is to not only increase her daily word count, but to keep the actual act of writing fun. She shares her discoveries and processes by discussing her own work, but never comes across as arrogant or trying to sell more books. Ms. Aaron comes across as an interested, experienced friend who you meet at conventions over coffee. And her methods work well. I’m still getting the hang of the process, but I have had days where I’ve doubled my word count.

A Friend Is About To Start A Novel. Here’s Stuff I Wish I Had Known…

4 03 2013

…back when I had started writing.
First, buy this e-book:
“Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers [Kindle Edition]” by
James W. Hall. The author teaches college-level creative writing classes.
He and his students analyzed best-sellers from the last century to find common elements. They found a dozen plot points and character traits in common within books as different as “Gone With The Wind” and “The Hunt For Red October.”
I was impressed by this, but what really struck me was that of all the stories I had written, the ones that sold contained the majority of these elements.
So I’ve made a checklist for myself and use it while drafting.
I will not include these notes, because really you ought to buy the book. It’s $11 but I wish I had this years ago.

Google Glass and Indictable Convenience

1 03 2013

“Just think: if a million Google Glasses go out into the world and start storing audio and video of the world around them, the scope of Google search suddenly gets much, much bigger, and that search index will include you. Let me paint a picture. Ten years from now, someone, some company, or some organization, takes an interest in you, wants to know if you’ve ever said anything they consider offensive, or threatening, or just includes a mention of a certain word or phrase they find interesting. A single search query within Google’s cloud – whether initiated by a publicly available search, or a federal subpoena, or anything in between – will instantly bring up documentation of every word you’ve ever spoken within earshot of a Google Glass device.

This is the discussion we should have about Google Glass. The tech community, by all rights, should be leading this discussion. Yet most techies today are still chattering about whether they’ll look cool wearing the device.”


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