My Day in Writing


(Emails, newspaper articles, academic photocopies, foreign and “non-widely spoken” languages, workbooks, homework, laptops, iPhones, literary journals, post-its, expired ephemera, postal parcels, scripted address labels, television subtitles, blog.)

I was late for my first class because I was sitting in the Irish-language cafe shooting off emails to sources for my first article in the student newspaper.

I arrived at Irish for Beginners and my professor gave me some materials he’d photocopied for me after I requested he expand on the “Irish terms for writing technology” topic. Of the three documents, one was in Irish, one in English, and one in French.

I realized I had forgotten my practice book and, alas, my homework. I took notes in my notebook, which is almost full (three out of five subjects have no more room for notes). Last week’s homework was returned to us and I got full marks!

My laptop battery was dead so I read the reply emails on my iPhone. One source crapped out on me, but the other proved extremely useful.

Camped out in the library to use WiFi. Got a rare email from my father, which is always good for a giggle.

Fiddled around with PayPal, essentially opening a third account because I couldn’t add my Irish shipping address to an account opened in the States, so I could subscribe to The Stinging Fly. This is the first time I’ve ever subscribed to a literary journal, but since I’ll be here for a year and I just met the editor on Friday, I thought it would be a wise use of my money (only 20 euro!).

Downloaded free (and legal!) PDF version of Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity to my desktop.

Searched catalogue for book I should read before next week. It’s locked away somewhere confusing, so I’ll try again tomorrow.

Rifled through all the schwag I picked up at the event I was covering to compare what I expected to see with what I actually did see. Revised the newspaper article.

Went to the postgrad room and printed the article for a final edit. Also printed materials for class.

Received email from Contemporary Publishing professor detailing materials needed for tomorrow’s class: post-its, markers, old copies of ROPES and any other literary magazines we like.

Borrowed a few literary magazines from the postgrad room (Granta, The Stinging Fly, and An Sionnach). Also “borrowed” some expired ephemera off a bulletin board, which is now decorating my apartment.

Went back to the library to find old copies of ROPES, which cannot be removed from the library. Kicked myself for not bringing the 2010 edition I have at home and for not buying the 2009 edition I saw in Charlie Byrne’s last week. Sat on the floor in the stacks and flipped through every single old copy the library had (all 20). Wrote down the prices, printers, and the names of famous contributors.

Got a lift from a friend to the faraway post office to pick up a package. Admired the fancy script my friend back home used to write my name and address.

Break for meal (salad with herring), exercise (walk around the horse-racing track!), and TV (old episodes of Malcolm in the Middle and Cold Case).

Came home and submitted the article for the newspaper.

Kept the TV tuned to TG4 (it’s not my fault they air Gossip Girl in English) and got my evening’s dose of Gaeilge while writing the world’s most pointless blog entry.