Niall’s virtual diary archives – Sunday 18th January 2009

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Sunday 18th January 2009: 7.39pm, and it's my annual birthday entry - yes, I have become thirty-one years old now. Thirty-one is a silly age in my mind: it's not thirty, and it's not thirty two. Thirty-one is somehow in between everything else - even thirty-one's Wikipedia page is significantly shorter than thirty's or thirty-two's!

It's been a long year, and much to my surprise I can once again say for the third year in a row that I did not feel any depression at the lack of things accomplished in the past year. Unlike in last year's entry where the successes were fairly metaphysical, this year my accomplishments are definitely more material:

  1. Graduated from St. Andrews
    Much as a degree is irrelevant, graduation did definitively mark the end of the St. Andrews movement: what we all began some four years beforehand passed a point of inflexion, and for the next few years we will all reap the consequences of what we sowed plus of course begin new movements which sweep us away from the St. Andrews experience. In three years or so, few if none of us will still be in contact, and even if we were we will no longer have much resonance with one another's lives and therefore the connection will have passed. Those of us who are lucky will find new connections to propel them on into the future, however most of us will be consigned to quite a few years of loneliness and self-suffocation, surrounded by people we know but with whom we do not resonate.

    Depressing? Maybe. However, had I not reacted to that they way I did, St. Andrews would not have been what it was for so many of us. And I certainly wouldn't be dating Megan right now!
  2. Wrote a book
    A lot of people dream of writing a book someday, many start a book but few finish one. Of those, most won't find a publisher and even of those who do, very few will have any success.

    Now, I know from the accruing feedback from the first draft that the entire damn thing is going to have to be rewritten from scratch this summer break - which is pretty painful, but at least I can publish the existing thing online for those masochistic enough to read it with perhaps advertising support as the revenue stream. I knew that it would be unlikely I would hit the button on the first attempt, and the feedback does suggest that I have attempted too much for one book to have any realistic expectation that anyone will invest the requisite effort to read it. I mean, if even my close friends won't invest the time to understand it, then I certainly can't expect the average time pressed member of the public to do so.

    However, at least I now have a starting point from which to base a set of much more honed & focused books. Perhaps a set of rapid fire quick release eighty page books like a machine gun? Certainly improves the revenue stream and keeps an author in the limelight. I need a publisher first of course - that's the next step.
  3. Moved with Megan to Ireland
    Prosaic as it may seem, "I got me a girl to come be with me" and she's a super girl at that. And despite the long hours and the pointless hoop jumping willy waving courses we are both on, life is comfortable enough even if we still don't have a clue what we're going to do next. We certainly could do with some more money given the fairly ridiculous number of hours we work doing other people's shite. Both myself and Megan are getting sick & tired of being cash poor & time poor, but I suppose we have just ten weeks until lectures end and hence, some freedom to choose our days!

Regarding the book, we have an improved book cover whose blurb shall be theoretically tantalising the publishers:

Book Cover Front Book Cover Back European Book Cover Back USA

As you can see from the watermarks, the first back cover is for European markets and the second is for the US - and my thanks to the ClearScale utility from Harvard for generating such lovely & clear thumbnails which use LCD RGB interpolation. So far so good - we'll see how things go!

All in all, not a bad thirty-first year of life: stuff has wrapped up fairly nicely for some of us. Much as with last year, my thoughts are with those for whom it did not wrap up nicely and is rather like a weeping canker. And my especial thoughts for those who think that they are very happy, but are utterly deluded and have a horrible year of returning to ground to come in 2009.

Happy 2009 to you, and may you and yours be happy!

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