I don’t really have much to say. I’ve had a strange couple of weeks. I helped a friend study for his English exams, which means I had to read James Joyce. I went to Westmeath, from which the same friend said I might not come back (thankfully, I did.) I went on a road trip with the same friend the Friday after that. I did some reading. I did a bit of writing. I’ve been thinking, a lot.

The thinking is dangerous. Sometimes when I think too much, my mind wanders to dark places. So I did what I always do when there’s something on my mind: I did some research. To stop myself looking for Bad Things, I looked up college fees for mature students – the same friend who did the exams and said I might not come back from Westmeath and who I was on a road trip with (with Miley Cyrus, too!) is a mature student. So I looked up that. It was better than doing nothing, or worse – doing something stupid.

I started writing a super hero novel. It’s sort of a parody, but with some twists. The characters are very serious. They have wonderful weird names that I won’t be revealing here, but they’re not typical heroes or villains. For a start, the protagonist’s hair is on fire.

I read James Joyce, and some Terry Pratchett, a book on writing and a poetry book. It was, on the whole, very enjoyable.

Then, on Wednesday 25th August, Esther Earl – a nerdfighter – passed on. She was sixteen years old. She had cancer. I didn’t know her. I didn’t watch her videos or follow her on Twitter. I’d seen her once in a John Green video. He’d mentioned her another time. Then she was gone, and I was shocked and upset and it made me feel incredibly stupid for thinking my life was bad.

I worked. The bookshop is mundane. Sometimes it’s easy to let your mind wander. It’s not pleasant if it goes to dark places. There’s nowhere to hide and get over a brief moment of despair.

I went to the cinema. I saw The Expendables. As regards plot and characters and dialogue, it’s rubbish. I went for the explosions (and it was a friend’s birthday.) The fight scenes were also very impressive. We laughed at the broken bones and the ridiculous styles of violence. Laughing is easy when you’re in the dark. It sort of just happens. For the time you’re in the cinema, you can laugh, even if you’re upset. It’s an escape from the other types of darkness in your life.

I had a fight with the road trip friend, the studying friend, the mature student friend. We got through it, largely by him saying things about himself that I disagreed with. He might have known that I would. Or he was just being entirely honest. It doesn’t matter, we’re over it, now. Though it does also raise the issue of sorting him out. Miley says he needs a PA. I think I’m the closest thing to one he’ll get. But I’m not his PA, I’m his friend. He helps me through dark times, so I’m going to see about fixing all the stupid little things in his life that I can’t discuss and that he won’t.

I’ve got some time next week to do some reading… specifically I have to read the rest of the entries for Summer of Writing 2010. It’s been a fun summer, in that regard. In a couple of weeks, I’ll announce the winner here. Two weeks after that, there will be an interview with him/her.

Right, that’s it. I’m done. I’m tired and I have a few more reviews to write for my own blog.

Best wishes,
Paul.

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