National Young Writers’ Month – Epilogue

Thanks to having three exams between the 27 – 30 of June, it made me sit down after my last entry and decided that I would have to give writing a bit of space at least until the exams were over. Now that they’re all done, you would think I would breathe this massive sigh of relief and feel proud of myself for completing them. But no, instead I kind of feel like I just have to shift my focus to something else until uni starts up again in a few weeks time.

You could say I’ve adapted to having a busy lifestyle. I remember simpler, slower times where I could rest my head on its side on the table and blow raspberries just to see what it felt like. But now it’s like, if there’s spare time I fill it with something to do. Not necessarily even fun things, either.

My exams all went relatively well. I answered all questions, maybe not to the extent that some of them needed, but I’m confident I’ll pass all without too much of a hassle.

Here’s the last update that I started before deciding to fill my head with theory upon theory about various aspects of Human Resource Management…

Day 23

I spent a grand total of six hours studying today. You would think that spending such a large amount of time doing something would amount to something great, but I always sit down and start studying and think, “I already know this. And everything. Ever.”

But La Trobe’s excuse for a library now means you can go to level three where it’s supposed to be silent, level two where it’s kind of silent but not much different to the level below, and the ground floor which is basically a cafe with some swanky rooms and lounges where people don’t really have conversations as they do attention-seeking exchanges about how ‘fully sick’ they are.

Yes, I’m being a bit of a curmudgeon right now, but I’ll be a curmudgeon whenever I damn well please.

And that’s as far as I got. It’s true, though, some days I was spending up to six hours reading, revising, thinking about and discussing various theories. The plus side of this? I’ve just scraped the surface of sorting out my ideal study technique which I’ll be able to refine for second semester. I did put together a study group, but it was rare that we actually got together. There was about five different sessions, but it was never with more than one person. The downside to this? Well, life was really quite boring for the better part of the last week.

I did, however, almost buy a unit. When I say almost, I signed contracts and everything like that, but after building and pest inspections I’m not convinced that it’s the right fit for me. ‘Tis a shame, but I’m not really that disappointed. Some actions by the vendor and the real estate agents have also influenced my decision not to go ahead with the sale. The amount of to’ing and fro’ing since Thursday of last week would read like an episode of ’24’, but mashed up with ‘Alias’ with flashbacks galore and a lot of chaotic running around in seemingly empty, dimly-lit hallways.

I also wrote somewhat of a political rant about how Australia is an inherently racist country and posted it on a friend’s Facebook page. Placing it here would be out of context, but I drummed up 700 words in less than 10 minutes. Mighty fine effort if I do say so myself.

Would I describe my attempt at achieving my NYWM goal a complete and utter failure? No. I did what I could when I could and to the best of my ability. Admittedly, some pieces worked a lot better than others, but throwing myself at whatever ideas popped into my head was half the fun. So thank you to those of you that read and enjoyed and provided me with feedback. Whenever I had posted something, I had considered doing a post-story analysis of sorts, explaining why I chose to do ‘X’ and what context I was approaching ‘Y’ in, etc. But then the more I thought about it, I just thought it would read as completely fucking self-absorbed and bore the happy pants off everyone who was kind enough to spend the time reading whatever it was I had produced.

And now, my closing piece for NYWM…

Under My Thumb

It felt so odd sitting in this room. I felt like I belonged, but I really wasn’t sure why. All these familiar faces, yet it felt like I’d never really seen them at all until now. Free refreshments and snacks, though, so that’s a plus.

“Thank you for coming once again, everyone. We have a few new members in our midst. Please, introduce yourselves. Tell us your story.”

A small, unassuming man in business attire stands up.

“Hi, everyone. My name is Monday Man…”

Everyone chimes in in that creepy support group tone that says, “We care, but only as much as we have to”.

“So I’m a superhero, but my powers only manifest on Mondays. I’m never actually quite sure what power I’m going to get, either. Kind of like a lucky dip where everything should be awesome. I found out soon enough that having superpowers isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. I never know what the trigger is, either, so that’s fun. Like the time I woke up and realised I could shoot fire from my hands by stretching out my fingers. I lost half my apartment that day because I had to run around trying to put everything out with clenched fists. So, basically I’m here to talk about myself and my feelings, which I imagine that’s what you’re all here to do as well?”


“Yes, Monday Man. We support each other as best we can.”

“OK. Well, that’s about enough from me.”

Everyone applauds. What, he got up and bared his soul to you and you reward him like a puppy by giving him a treat? I’m not even sure what the hell I’m doing here, but damn if it isn’t entertaining.

“Thank you for sharing. Who’s next?”

A cyborg stands up wearing a duster and cowboy hat.

“Gunslinger V2.0. Self-analysis hard to compute. Must find way of communicating efficiently. Story of me. Bountyhunter. Sent on missions by Creator. Do not ask questions. Follow orders. Kill bad people. Collect reward for Creator. One day kill child. Did not agree on threat level of child. Followed orders. Felt feelings. Do not know what feelings are. Creator angry. Creator try to kill me. I cannot harm Creator. I escape. Creator sends lesser Gunslingers to kill me. I kill them. Creator more angry. No purpose. Survival. Not sure why desire for survival important. Must find out why. Searching. Story continues but not sure where it’s going. Other creator at fault.”

Snore. Ooh, attractive woman stands up.

“I’m smarter than everyone in this room. It’s true. Don’t even try to think that you are smarter than me, because I’ve already figured out exactly how you think you’re smarter than me. I’m an executive working for one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. But I’m also doing everything I can to bring it to a premature end from the inside because I am ethically opposed to everything my company stands for. Now, because man still believes he rules the world, I’ve been biding my time and working my way slowly up the corporate ladder. However, I got sick of waiting, so I’ve been hiring various goons to ‘get rid of’ my associates while ensuring none of their deaths could be traced back to me. However, the one time I actually need to get my hands dirty and somebody finds out about it. They’re threatening to go public, but I have no way of tracing this individual down. It’s an endless game of countermeasures and espionage. I don’t want them dead. I want them to understand my cause. My method. My goals. And more importantly, I want them to be on my side. How do I find them? It’s slowly driving me insane that someone dumber than me has this sort of hold over me.”

What the? What kind of messed up support group is this? Problem solving for sociopaths? Cyborgs trying to understand their ‘purpose’? A superhero pissing and moaning about his ‘affliction’? Oh, another one taking a stand. An elf. Guh…Rate.

“Hi, everyone. I’m the leader of a political organisation that seeks to bring an end to all holidays that aren’t affiliated with Christmas. Everything else doesn’t count for squat. The world will learn this, one way or another. My brothers in arms and I have been slowly building up an army. We have the distribution chain. We have the know-how to create bombs. You do the math. So next time you go to celebrate anything other than Christmas, just remember that we’ll be watching.”

Is that the last of them? Surely it is, I mean, there’s at least another 10 people here, but it seems like they’ve been here for awhile. The MC of this very odd affair gets up to say his piece.

“OK. Thanks, everyone. Now, I’m not really sure what he’s doing here, but I felt it was necessary to bring it to your collective attention that Paul D’Agostino is with us this evening.”

The room goes so fucking silent that I’m certain a heard a monkey in Africa fart and apologise for doing so. The stares. My god, the stares. I finally find the nerve to speak.

“So, I don’t get this. What does it matter if I’m here?”

“It matters a lot.” Says the female psycho.

Freaking out right about now.

“No, no. You don’t understand. I can’t actually be here.”

“But you are.”

Everyone gets up out of their chairs and starts moving toward me. I kick my chair aside and scramble backwards.

“There must be some kind of misunderstanding. I’m just going to let myself out.”

“Not just yet. You owe everyone here an explanation.”

“What? What on earth for?”

“For not completing our goddamn stories.”

“Uh… Oops?”


In the next entry… Blogostino returns to ‘normal’ or finds a way to initiate phase two. Intrigue! Drama! Excitement! Pancakes!

2 Replies to “National Young Writers’ Month – Epilogue”

  1. Great until you turned in to Charlie Kaufman at the end! Thanks for Being Paul Dagovich of the Spotless Mind.


    1. I was tossing up between going two ways with it. They either sit around in a room bitching about me and I was to write a whole bunch of self-deprecating content… Or what you just read, which I had more fun with!

      There’s a few characters I left out too. But that’s what is awesome about writing, you can always change/add/edit where you see fit in the future 🙂

      What’s with the hate for all things Kaufman?! Hater!

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