The Creative Process

Now and again I get emails from new bloggers asking how I come up with so many things to post about and how I discipline myself to write regularly.
Almost as if I have some sacred writers’ secret that allows me to put lots of words on a page/screen effortlessly.
The truth is I’m a bit of a mess when it comes to posting.
I’m far too easily distracted and if I’m planning to post, I need to factor in an extra three hours beforehand during which I tire myself out and waste my life with random distractions until BOOM suddenly I’m in The Zone and I can post.
I’m just really lucky that I’m a very quick writer, so that when I actually hit on an idea and find the concentration to document it, I can get it down before something shiny takes me away again.
I’d be screwed if I was one of those meticulous people who need to get it ‘perfect’ and spend DAYS editing and re-editing.

On Sunday, I made myself sit down and put together some posts for the week.
I opened the blog, a song came on iTunes and I thought “Oooo I wonder if I can play that on the ukulele” and I was gone.
17  songs later, I was recording myself plaingy a part that I couldn’t figure out the chords for (usually I record, listen back and go Duh, I need to go higher/lower/whatever here – I become a little deaf after a while with the uke) and when I clicked the Stop button, I must’ve double-clicked, because it started recording again.
Without me knowing.
Thankfully there was no nose-picking on my part.
And so here’s two-hours-and-15-minutes of my creative process smushed into a 4-minute video.
Youtube-watching, Facebook-chatting, clothes-washing – pretty much everything but actual writing.
Until the veeeeeery end….when I realise the webcam is recording….


The Ukulele

Last week on a rather dull trip to Argos to get clothes hangers, I purchased a ukulele on a whim.
That’s right – a whim.
As most of you who have befriended me on Facebook know, I’ve been a little in love with this video recently and I found myself really wanting to learn to play that song.
But – alas – I’m notoriously retarded when it comes to playing musical instruments.
I bought a guitar a few years ago, meaning to teach myself to play.
I spent 10mins trying to tune it and then gave up and never went back.
I have no patience and very poor hand-eye coordination.
So now it decorates my sitting-room.

But something has changed since then.
I made it past tuning the ukulele.
Testing my luck, I spent 15mins trying to learn a few chords, which went ok, but a hectic schedule meant I didn’t touch it again until late on Monday night….and something clicked.
Tuesday night I actually managed to play a song (not very efficiently or well, but shush!).
And on Wednesday night, I recorded it for your viewing pleasure!
Sure, I’m getting the hang of it, but I’m still pretty terrible, so you’ll get a laugh out of it.
Bum notes, forgetting chords/words, crazy faces when I make mistakes (which is a lot) and listening back, I think the uke may have actually been out of tune.
Oh and as many of you remember from a previous video, I’m not exactly vocally blessed (nasally five-year-old syndrome *sigh*), but I have to ‘sing’ it to keep time.

Also there’s a little message for all you lovely readers in there.

The things I do for you guys….
Let the humiliation begin!

(apologies for any volume issues….twas the best I could do!)

Let me tell you about the time I….was in ANOTHER super cool band

Well I feel you guys deserve some serious thanks for all the support you’re showing me, and while I do intend to *fingers crossed* have a give-away of some sort soon, I think you need a more immediate Thank You in the meantime.

This is a good one (in fact I’m blushing while typing up this post) , so you should all feel terribly obligated to continue to comment and go Wooo Team Hermia.

Earlier on in the week, I amused you greatly with tales of my 13 *cough* 8-year-old-singing-rap-group, well….

I may have had more recent experiences with band formationing.

When I was 19 *cough cough* eh, 14 and in second year of college (I was REALLY smart), I was a very active member of DCU Drama.

And every year, DCU Drama held an event called Stars in their Eyes, based on the TV show.

For anyone who doesn’t know what this show is (and has been living in a cage for the last 20 years) this was a show where people dressed up like the singer they supposedly looked and sounded like and competed for some prize or another.

Oh yes….you guys see where this is going.

Well, myself and some of my lovely,  super awesome drama girls had decided to do as many of the shows DCU Drama put on that year as we could …and Stars was one of them.

Who were we?

Well you’re just going to have to watch the video…

(or, you know, read the post’s Tags if you want to ruin the suspense!!)

FYI: I’m the one in the cropped zip top….I’m too embarrassed to tell you which member I was supposed to be because I fall SO short of resembling her.

FYI2: In the introduction video, I am the one with the curly hair….yes, I have natural afro hair….and the colouring of a vampire.

Let me tell you about the time I….was in a super cool band

So I was browsing through Perez today (as I do) and I came across a snippet of Nicole Richie on Ellen.

And as I am a fan of both Ellen and Nicole, I decided to have a goo.

Especially since the title was “Nicole Rapping”,or something along those lines.

Turns out that Nicole was part of a girl rap group with her two best friends ….when they were 8.

And she could still remember their “rap” song.

Obviously I *awhed* at how embarrassed her cute little head was and then *scoffed* at the fact she was in a rap band….and at the fact that 20 years later she could remember the songs they wrote….

….and then I stopped scoffing.

Because I remember that when I was 13 …eh, also 8, myself and my then-bessie also formed a band.

And it may have also been rap orientated.

And I may have been still able to remember the lyrics when I tried to.


My BFF at the time was called Jemma, so her nickname was Jem and with my name being Hermia, I was obviously Cat.

So the “band” was called Cat-Jem.

Which sounded like Catch ‘Em.

Which we thought was bitchin’

Very embarrassing for Adult Moi.

And at the time it was very cool for girl groups to sing and have some rap parts in their songs.

So we decided to be “hip” and “cool”….no wait, we had this theory that “cool” was so overused that it wasn’t cool to say it anymore, so we said “Groovy” because groovy wasn’t used and therefore we were way cooler than everyone else by not using “Cool” and opting for the word that no one used….

….we were WAY existential back then.

Anyway, yes we decided that we would be “current” and sing AND rap (and I use the term “rap” very loosely) for our first track. *cringes*

And so….here is a snippet from our infamous first single….

Verse 1-Rap

Jem: I’m Jem

Me: I’m Cat

Together: We’re coming at you just like that

Jem: Don’t think we’re nice like sugar and spice

Me: Gonna chill you boys like a block of ice

Jem: Watch out for us, the new girls in town

Me: Gonna party all night gonna boogie all night

Chorus-Sing Together:

Watch out for us, guuuuuuuuys

You’ll ne-ver believe your eyyyyyyes

Gonna rock your world like never befoooooore

Party with us, get down on the floor…

Oh yes, yes dear readers, I AM being perfectly serious.

This isn’t a terrible joke.

It’s just terrible.

In fact that is only the tip of the Titanic-submerging iceberg.

My personal favourite was verse seven or something, which went something like this…

Me: Hey Jem, tell em about us

Jem: Well Cat, they’re gonna make a big fuss.

Me: See them watching as we walk down the street

Jem: Well some of those guys you wouldn’t want to meet…

Now obviously the only reason anyone was “watching” us was because I had giant man-swallowing nest hair and also probably because we were very white girls (she was a ginger) trying to rap.

Also, I should explain that in Dublin terms “meet” is another word for “kiss” so…..

….yup, you’re right, I don’t even NEED to verbalise an insult for that line…

Oh to be young again *world weary sigh*

And sure at least I’m cool NOW…..right????….RIGHT!!!??????

A little letter to …Miley Cyrus

Dear Miley,

Omg girl, I just saw you on the big screen there on Saturday and I just can’t believe a little country girl like you has come so far! You’re like one of them there movie stars!

I’m so happy to see that even though you’re famous, it’s obvious you’re still such a good person: the way you let your dad leach off your career to try and kickstart his own failed one is just so amazing.

And it’s cool how you just ignore what people say about your father-daughter relationship being creepy: they’re obviously just jealous! This is one of my favourite pictures because it shows how close you guys are and is totally not the kind of picture a couple would take together:

So cute and appropriate!

I also want to say that I think it’s so great how mature you are! All the tight clothes and the posing and self-touching in your music videos make you look way older. Guys will totally respect that!

Just move over Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez! How dare they think they could compete with you, with their clean cut lifestyles, their sweet smiles and their genuine teeny-bopper act!What do they think they are: 16!?

Oh and did I mention how unbelievably cool you are to have a 20-year-old boyfriend!?

Congrats Girl,


PS: Also keep doing that contant face touching thing you did all through The Climb video, cos that totally works!

PPS: The film wasn’t actually terrible.