Fenerbahce Football, Novel Ideas, and the Luck of the Irish

Hey All,

So I want to share some of what has happened in the last couple of days.  For starters, On Thursday, a bunch of us went to Taksim to go the James Joyce Irish Pub (we were late in going because some people kept needing time to “get ready”).  Our original plan was to be there by 10, but instead, we didn’t end up leaving Kadikoy until 10, so needless to say we were late in getting there.  However, we did not end up paying the 30-50 lira that we were originally told was the entrance price, as we’d dropped our reservation in favour of just showing up.  There was a live band, and they were OK, though they decided to intermittently play Celtic tunes with contemporary rock, like U2 (I know, I don’t get the mix either).  The beers were ridiculously overpriced and not that good (and the green dye they put in made it all the worse).  There was also no Irish food there, despite what the website said, nor was there Guinness (not that I’m likely to trust a Guinness in Turkey anyway).  In any case, I did have one interesting turn of good luck: I ran into a couple of friends of mine from AUC; Ryan and Sam!  It turns out that they, along with Sairah, are all studying at another university on the European side of the city.  We exchanged new contact info, and are planning on meeting up sometime, perhaps this weekend.  Fast-forward to today.  I woke up with my throat feeling really sore and swollen (I’d had a cold, but I’d thought that it was basically gone.  Apparently I thought wrong).  I hadn’t had much of a sore throat, so it seems that my throat was really making up for it.  I broke down and bought cough drops at 8.50 lira to help combat my throat.  I hope that it settles down soon.  So much for the luck of the Irish.

On the bright side (for every Turk on this side of the Bosphorus), Fenerbahce won their soccer (excuse me, football– rolls eyes) match this evening.  This is apparently a big deal (apparently it’s some kind of Turkish cup or something? I don’t know).  All that matters is that as soon as the game ended, EVERYONE rushed into the streets, lighting flares and setting paper on fire, chanting in Turkish (I’m assuming along the lines of “Fenerbahce is awesome! Galatasaray sucks!”)  Anarchy is seriously ruling in the streets right now.  I’m kind of glad that I’m in my dorm, because I was a little scared for my life (for I’m certain that most of the drivers are now drunk).

Finally, I had been bored this afternoon, with class canceled (thankfully) and myself not feeling well, but also unable to nap.  Therefore, I went online and ended up perusing the James Rollins website (www.jamesrollins.com).  I learned some interesting information from the pages I hadn’t visited before; including that “Rollins” is actually a pen name, and that he has a couple of books in a fantasy series also published, but under the name of James Clemens (an homage to Mark Twain).  From reading up on this information, I got a fire lit under my belly, and have made some (up until now) difficult decisions.  I am going to  go back to my novel (which I was planning on doing), but instead of just continuing, I’m going to strip back what I’ve already written.  I’ve decided that it’s time the Chronicles of Aar get a facelift; and I finally have my scalpel sharpened (OK, enough of this plastic surgery metaphor).  I am not going to delve into specifics, as I want you all who will see the edited manuscript to be surprised, but I will say that certain segments of the story are going to be deleted, and that a key part of Aar’s characterization, which up until now has been a driving force for the novel, is going to be vastly changed.  By doing this, the story will make more sense, and open up new doors for possibilities with character interaction .  Further, I am laying out a list of things that I want to get done, which include a certain degree of research before writing more, instead of just researching as the information becomes needed while writing.  This way, the book can become more clear-cut.  Yet, I’m still going to need a direction to go with my research, which is why tomorrow morning I am going to sit down and develop a skeletal outline of the story (beginning, random important plot points, climax, and denouement).  Before now, I have only written on the fly, at my computer with this outline a jumble of thoughts in my head (the way I’ve always written), but I’ve realized, partially on my own (though I’d been in a degree of denial until now) and partially thanks to the interviews with James Rollins that I listened to today, that this method of writing will only take the novel so far (i.e. where I am now).  I need more structure to be able to do this novel correctly and to the best of my ability.  It is so odd that someone who is always so organized and pretty much constantly thinks ahead of EVERYTHING has not done this until now, but there you go.  I hope to have the outline done tomorrow (I’m going to sleep on it tonight, much like I did when I first came up with the idea, Jeez, what was that? 8 years ago? damn.  It’s been through so many changes since then).  From there, I will start trying to locate the information I need for my research, though finding copies in English is going to prove difficult.  I may just have to edit and fill in what I can, then wait until I return to the States to start that process.  Wish me luck!

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