Tuesday, 29 November 2011

One Amazing Year

I may cry by the end of this post. Just a warning. I'm about to indulge myself in an awful lot of nostalgia and reminiscing. For today 29th November is exactly one year since I joined the blog. And what a fantastic year it has been. I have made over 100 new friends (currently 106, including me although I'm undoubtedly missing someone, or more than one, sorry! I still love you!) some of whom I know I will keep for life.
Here is a list of all these wonderful people. You all deserve to be mentioned by name.

Firstly we have the great Derek Landy without whom none of us would ever have known each other. Your decision to make a blog has impacted my life in so many ways, all for the better. Thank you oh Golden God. We are all so proud of you.

1.      Kallista Pendragon
2.      Dragona Pine
3.      Nicolette Croga
4.      Lunar Tears
5.      Skylara Wolfbane
6.      Knight Fantasy
7.      Darkane Claw
8.      Sarthacus Bolt
9.  Mary Hiashi
10.  Skulgirl 13
11.  Skyril
12.  Thrice Dozer
13.  Florence Black
14.  Leo Sparks
15.  Hellboy
16.  Lizzy
17.  Pyro Dawn Tyromant
18.  Rosella Embers
19.  Mar-chu
20.  Alex (Necros)
21.  Tristessa Murano
22.  Nyx Dawn
23.  Alexia Rue
24.  Quinnera Elviana
25.  Lenka Sweet
26.  Aquila Felis
27.  Thalia Circe
28.  Bryony Rose
29.  Thor
30.  Ann Marie
31.  Isabella Midnight
32.      Niall
33.      Jaffa Morbid
34.      Venice Rain
35.      Luna Tonks Foaly
36.      Everisse Eterna
37.      Lily Thornton
38.      Pandora Wakeshima
39.      Ayesha
40.      Rachel
41.  Mir
42.  Leona Raine
43.  Orius Rove
44.  Jasmine Lovelace
45.  Iris Blackflower
46.  Crescent Lovelorn
47.  Indigo Darke Light
48.  Lilith Nightshade
49.  Gepard Valk
50.  NJ Maverick
51.  Taia
52.  Rubescent Sunshine
53.  Nicole
54.  Legolas
55.  Chanoro Flashfreeze
56.  Blood Butterflies
57.  Ghost
58.  Sadhbh
59.  That Latkinson Guy
60.  DogslikesBones
61.  nights.raven
62.  Snoogy
63.  Genesis Aggelos
64.  Tori
65.  Halo Pickle
66.  Wonka
67.  Jaguar
68.  Brambo
69.  Amelie Cain
70.  Scarlet Creed
71.  Morgana Wolf
72.  Evangeline Crow
73.  Insanity Nova Moonshine
74.  Donkey Shooter
75.  Luna Devine
76.  Cypher Infamous
77.  Krane Farlin
78.  Vivianna Spark
79.  Pink Rose
80.  Zombie
81.  Kribu
82.  Desswarph Cess
83.  Vanaerah Dire
84.  Rue Nightlock
85.  Natalie Jay
86.  Red Waterfall
87. Mary Ellen Elizabeth
88. Falcon Rider
89. Dee
90. Tanith Odile
91. Lacuna Chee
92. Jill Valentina
93. Clauinn Fhada
94. Brilliant Night
95. Minnie Miracle
96. Alexandre Requiem
97. Artemis Shakora
98. Lynith
99. Laura (of the inspiration of Valkyrie fame)
100. Shalom Chung
101. Charris Chung
102. Yuu New
103. Lydia
104. Florence Precipitation
105. Me, Octaboona Ambrosius

So thank you all of you for being my friend.
In this year I have written 59 posts, 47 poems for 33 people, 3 stories, and 7 random bits and pieces. In addition to an 8 part fanfic on my other blog, and stuff on 10 other joint blogs. So thank you for inspiring me again to achieve so much. (And there is so much more to achieve).

During this year I have discovered so many other amazing things. Thanks to Darkane Claw for introducing me to Nerdfighteria and to Lenka Sweet for introducing me to AVPM and the other Starkid musicals. These things have made my life just that more awesome. Also Derek has mentioned me by name ten times! SO EXCITING!

So many events to mention. The night that I joined and the week that followed. Meeting so many people. Writing poetry again. Starting my first ever fanfiction. The memorable night that I first stayed up until 5 a.m. chatting on Hellboy's blog. Incidently the first time that I met Lenka. Then we had my 16th birthday. Kallista and Dragona's wedding. And this is just the first month. Other major stuff that happened this year was me taking my GCSE's (involving my absence from the blog), my two week holiday to Ireland (also involving be absent from the blog) and the giant split that occured around about February/March over the New Zealand  earthquake. (Also involving my absence from the blog).

If I had to pick two people who have had the most influence on my life it would have to be Kallista Pendragon and Quinnera Elviana. My fiancee and my best friend. Kallista, you are such a wonderful human being, it is just beyond description by mere words. You are so kind, and funny and delightful and talented. I can't wait for our wedding this Christmas. I love you. And I always will. I count myself so lucky that you chose me to love.

And we also have Quinn. You are the best friend I have. You are my delightfully insane, hilarious, witty, talented, nerdy friend. We share so much in common. Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Starkids, Annoying Orange, Sporcle, Charlieissocoollike, Glee. You name it, if one of us likes it then so does the other. (Or if we haven't heard of it, we look it up, love it, and have one more amazing thing we enjoy.) You are brilliantly talented. The 2G1S fanfic, written by you and Bryony is possibly the best fanfic I've read ever.

Also congratulations to Niall and Ven and to Lego and Gen on their engagements. I'm looking forward to their weddings too!

There's probably a whole lot more that I could say or should say. But nothing comes to mind. I'm left with silence.

So here's to another wonderful year with my friends.
It's been the best.

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Birthday Dilemma




And so to celebrate I wrote you this story. I hope you enjoy it. Have a fantastic day my love.

A Birthday Dilemma
The Purple Poet set down his quill and stared lovingly at the pages of parchment, where the ink had danced its way across them in a flourish of carefully crafted words. He breathed in deeply, inhaling the scent of his craft. And then he looked up into the eyes of his love, a beautiful girl with cornflower blue eyes and hair as black as a raven’s wing. He smiled at her and handed her the poem, grinning wider as her eyes widened in joy. Octaboona leaned in to kiss her graceful cheeks and her perfect lips. Kallista closed her eyes and-

Joseph opened his eyes and stared blankly at the ceiling. He rolled over in bed, getting tangled in the duvet. He groaned and pulled the cover over his head, trying to regain the wonderful feeling of the distant dream. “If only it was real” he mumbled before sitting bolt upright in bed, banging his head on the low ceiling as he did so. “Ow!” he cried. And then he screamed with joy. It was a sunny, cold day in the middle of November, a few months into his gap year. He’d spent all the previous summer working as a waiter to earn enough money. And then he’d had the good fortune to win first prize in a prestigious poetry competition. The summer had been spent with his family touring Europe, the last holiday that they would have together. And so this year was the year he embarked on his Blogger Tour of the World. The year would be spent travelling the world and visiting his many blogger friends. It was going to be a wonderful year. A year to look back on when old and grey and sitting besides the fire. He was going to see the beauty of nature, the ingenuity of humanity and best of all experience it with true friends. And the first stop he was making was a little town in the north of Michigan.

Joseph smiled and started jumping up and down. He was unbelievably excited. After a long plane journey he was finally here. He looked at the thousands of cherry trees that grew along the shore of the peninsula, each overloaded with pinky-white blossom, petals of beauty and fragrance. And as the wind blew in from the southern shores of Lake Michigan, the cherry blossom swirled and danced in a miniature shower, coating Joseph’s hair and shoulders with them.  He grinned and knocked on the door of a nearby house. A teenage girl came to the door, smiling in an absent minded kind of way. She blew a strand of hair out of her face, adjusted her glasses and looked up from her bare feet.
Joseph cleared his throat and in a voice trembling with happiness managed to speak a few words.
 “Kallista it’s me Octaboona!”
She stared at him blankly for a while and then said
“I think you’ve got the wrong house, there’s no one called Kallista here.”
“So that’s how you’re playing it is it?”
“Excuse me?”
“Michelle, look I know it’s you!”
“I don’t know you! And how do you know my name?”
Her voice lost its casual, lost tourist friendliness and started to rise in pitch and shrillness.
“But it’s me! Joseph! The Purple Poet! Octaboona Ambrosius?” He frowned. “We’ve known each other on Derek Landy’s blog for over three years! My favourite colour is purple and I write poetry remember?
He cleared his throat and started to recite:

“A goddess amongst human kind
With skin as pale as snow
Whose eyes of ice stared harshly down
At all that lay below”

Michelle showed no sign of recognition.
Joseph started on another poem.

“As we danced in the moonlight
We suddenly knew
Our love for each other
Was real and true”

Michelle began to back away.
“How can you not remember? Kallista’s Feast? Gossamer Threads?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t know who you are! And you’re creeping me out here. I mean calling me an evil goddess and saying that you love me. We’ve never even met let alone danced in the moonlight!”
“But I came especially for you. You’re 18 today! We were going to celebrate!”
“How do you know my birthday? Are you a stalker? Stop stalking me! Leave me alone!”
“But... we’ve been married on the blog for two years! I love you!”
“You’re a freak! A weird romantic crazy freak!”
Tears were pouring down Joseph’s face.
“And what’s with the ridiculously obvious fake names? Kallista? Octoobana? Those are some really stupid names!”
“Why are you doing this? Don’t you remember me? What about Skulduggery Pleasant? And Derek Landy?”
“Is that some Scottish name?”
“No it’s an Irish author. He’s your favourite.  He writes about a skeleton detective.”
“Sounds boring”
“What’s happened to you?”
“Well some crazy freak believes he’s married to me. And he knows all about me. Are you a paedophile? That’s just low. Disgusting. I mean I have a son!”
“Benjamin, I know. You made me his godfather remember?”
Michelle’s face turned stony. “You stay away from me! Don’t you dare come near my child!”
She suddenly screamed for her dad. But no one came.
Her voice turned sad. “No one loves me. No one has ever been there for me. Not my parents not anyone. They just don’t care.”
“I care! I love you! Something’s wrong. I’m going to help. Somehow I’ll do it.”
 Michelle’s face was vacant as she slammed shut the door.
“Your poetry sucks!”
That stung. Badly.

Many miles away two people sat hunched over a screen watching the confrontation, ignoring the frenzied bustling of scientists behind them”
“MAF 42 successfully implemented.”
“Octaboona’s identity confirmed.”
“Subject is definitely him”
“All three names known?”
“Favourite colour?”
“Knowledge of blog events during the last three years?”
“Recited accurately from one of his poems?”
“Check. Two in fact”
“DNA analysis?”
“Confirmed. This person is definitely Octaboona Ambrosius”
“Yet he should already have been subjugated along with his brother”
“It appears that he is rouge”
“Secondary subject?”
“No recognition of Ambrosius at all”
The two figures continued to talk amidst flashing screens, blogger profiles, and the clamour of many white coated figures. And in a large glass tank behind them, a red warning light flashed. The ninja leprechaun army still had one active member. The hunt was on.

Joseph sat down and cried. It had all gone terribly wrong. Kallista was supposed to be overjoyed, they’d hug and talk and go out for dinner. Kallista would have ordered the most ridiculous things in a very posh tone. “I’d like to order one broccoli and gorgonzola muffin and a glass of your best diet water please.” He could almost see the expression on the waiter’s face. She was going to accompany him on his travels to meet his blog friends; they would have one shining year together. He fully expected to have at least one chase with police cars. Yet she had brutally turned him down.  She didn’t even remember him. And she had insulted his poetry. Joseph would have to travel alone.
He smiled a small sad smile as a line of poetry passed through his head.
“Better by far you should forget and smile.
Than that you should remember and be sad”
 “Christina Rossetti” Joseph identified the poet immediately.
“If only it were so. Trust fate to twist it around.”
“What’s the point anymore?” he thought.
“Maybe if I can tell them what’s wrong they’ll be able to help me?” he pondered.
Yet as the weeks went by it became obvious that this problem was far worse than it seemed. None of the bloggers recognized him. In fact they all displayed savage hatred towards him. Skyril had thrown the chocolate chip cookies he made at him. Ann Marie threatened to run him over with her tractor and screamed at him to stay away from her children. Mar, Mir and Thalia chased him away with a frying pan. And Lizzy shot him in the shoulder with the Pink. His tour of Britain and Australia bore similar results. Quinnera and Bryony pelted him with mangoes whilst yelling “butt trumpet!” at him. Hellboy told him he didn’t care that they shared a name and to leave him alone. He decided not to visit Dragona as he wasn’t sure if he’d survive that encounter. And when he returned home he found Pyro and Chan sitting on his bed and glaring at him with hatred. “You’re no brother of mine!” still rang in his ears. Wherever he went, the bloggers had been transformed, all knowledge of Skulduggery Pleasant erased with a feral hatred replacing it. It suddenly dawned on Joseph.
“Someone has managed to eradicate the ninja leprechaun army. They’ve left our Golden God almost defenceless. Something terrible is going on. Someone is going after Derek Landy...”

It was a beautiful evening in Dublin. The cool wind blew and the river Liffey gleamed wetly in the blackness. The streets glowed warmly and Derek Landy was out for a stroll. He chuckled as he walked over the Ha’penny Bridge, the words “Troll below?” etched into the stonework.  He turned towards St. Stephens Green and started whistling “The Girl from Ipanema” Suddenly three masked strangers loomed up out of the shadows and wrapped a handkerchief soaked with chloroform around Derek’s face. He attempted to fend them off using Krav Maga, but he was already feeling drowsy. Suddenly the blackness rushed upon him and he dropped to the ground unconscious. The last thought to enter his mind was “Some ninja leprechaun army they are.”  

Michelle sighed and slumped against a wall as she listened to her dad lecturing her on time wasting. “What were you doing answering the door and chatting all day? Don’t you realise you have the lawn to rake of leaves and you still haven’t made the beds! And who’s going to make dinner? You really don’t think do you? Instead you just spend time talking to strangers!”
Michelle longed to interrupt, to tell him that she had been harassed by some freaky boy and wouldn’t a little comfort be nice? Maybe even a hug? But no, she thought bitterly, all they do is complain.
“And the shame you could bring on the family! How many boys must you see before you realise they don’t love you.” He tailed off obviously too embarrassed to mention something.
“Now dinner! Go! Now!”

Derek groaned and opened his eyes. He blinked blearily and tried to clear his head. “Where am I?” he muttered.
“The primary subject is in a conscious state” reported a white clad scientist.
Derek looked around, wondering who had kidnapped him. The only people he could see were a group of white coated scientists and a six year old boy who sat looking imperiously down from the lofty heights of a blue armchair covered with pictures of spider man.
The six year old boy cleared his throat and announced dramatically “We meet at last!”
Derek looked at him questioningly. “Err... and who are you?”
 “I am your mortal enemy! The bringer of your doom!”
“Uh huh!”
“That’s so lame. No one has mortal enemies anymore!”
The little boy consulted a brightly coloured book labelled “How to be a Scary Super-villain”
“Enough of your grovelling!”
“I wasn’t grovelling; I was questioning your villain sense”
He pointed a chubby finger at Derek and motioned for quiet.
“As I was saying I am the bringer of your doom! I have successfully kidnapped you, deactivated your pathetic insert name of army here, and left you entirely at my mercy!”
“My ninja leprechaun army?”
“No your insert name of army here!”
“But my army is named the ninja leprechaun army.”
The boy’s top lip wobbled.
“If you don’t mind me asking who’s the real mastermind here? I mean it must take an enemy of great cunning to defeat my ninja leprechaun army. You’re just a six year old boy...”
“Six and three quarters actually!”
“Hardly very threatening though.”
The boy scowled.
“I am the mastermind around here!”
“Well.... ok. I guess we can pretend for now.”
“I am!”
“Yes dear. Now my next question...”
“I’m the one asking the questions around here!”
“As I was saying, how did you manage to deactivate my ninja leprechaun army?”
“Using my Mind Altering Fungus Prototype 42”
“A mushroom?”
“It’s a mushroom!”
“Fungus sounds better!”
There was a short silence.
“Mushroom” Derek whispered.
The boy’s face was growing red.
“Ok. So somehow you used a magic mushroom to take over the minds of my minions... and then chloroformed me and took me to your... what do you call this place?
The boy consulted his book.
“My top secret underground lair”
“But it has windows letting in sunlight. We’re obviously above ground.”
“Underground lair!”
“I’m sorry, but that name’s just ridiculous.”
“You can talk”
“Excuse me?”
“Well you have a ridiculous.... umm.... name!”
“Derek Landy?”
“Yes. Totally ridiculous.”
“Very rude of you, not introducing yourself...”
“The name is Spookygeddon Scary-boy III”
“Did you come up with that all by yourself?
Spookygeddon nodded.
“I guessed as much.”
  “Stop talking would you? I’m about to announce why I kidnapped you!”
“I’m listening.”
Derek placed a finger on his lips and nodded mock-seriously, a chuckle threatening to break out.
“I have kidnapped you, Master Landy, because I am your number one fan!”
Derek looked confused.
“You have no means of escape. This top secret underground lair is 100% escape proof! No one can enter of exit without my knowledge or permission!”
It was at that moment that a tall figure wrapped in a gleaming purple cloak burst through the door proclaiming “It is I, Octaboona! I have come to rescue you!”

Several hours previously Joseph had just visited Darkane Claw. The visit was short and culminated in a chase through the streets of Dublin. For a girl with local knowledge of the city who trained daily for athletics competitions it was hardly surprising that it took a short time to catch up with him and push him into the river Liffey. And so it was that floating miserably downstream Joseph washed up beneath the Ha’penny Bridge and overheard the commotion above. He emerged dripping from the river just in time for him to see Derek being bundled into the back of a van. A peculiarly familiar van at that. Suddenly he made up his mind. There was one person who hadn’t abandoned him. One person who needed his help. And so Joseph stood and yelled into the night. “My name is Octaboona Ambrosius! I shall not let my friends go! I live to serve my Golden God! IT’S NOT OVER YET!” And thus reinvigorated Octaboona chased after the van.

“But how did you know I was here? Derek asked?
“Because this is where George was most likely to be.” Octaboona pointed to the little boy.
“You know this guy?”
“I’ve known him for years.”
“Care to elaborate?”
“I was best friends with his brother. We even went out for a few months. Then we broke up and he went over to the dark side.” Octaboona nodded sadly. “They just make better cookies than I do.”
Derek looked up sceptically.
“He was suffering from a broken heart?”
Derek continued to stare.
“Alright alright, I’m not the best judge of character.”
So he’s the mastermind behind this?
Well... not really. He’s actually spending the weekend in Paris.
“Romantic holiday?”
“No, he needs to buy some components for his Death Star.”
“Ahh.” Derek nodded understandingly.
“But he did develop the mind mushrooms.”
“Mind altering fungus!” a small voice shrieked.
And then. “How did you get past the guards?”
“What guards?”
George pointed to a bunch of papers. Octaboona looked through them. “Schematics for lair, growth solution for mushrooms, addresses of ninja leprechaun army.”
He sighed.
“Oh George. You’re supposed to insert the sulphuric acid pit here not there.” He pointed to a rectangle labelled guard room. “The guards will have been dissolved.”
George looked in horror.
“You... you mean they’re dead?”
“I’m afraid so.”
George screamed and then vomited over the side of the armchair.
Derek and Octaboona looked on in a mixture of pity and disgust.
“What I still don’t understand is why George kidnapped me?”
“Or for that matter exactly how.”
Octaboona walked over to one of the scientists and examined his fingernails.
“As I thought. Completely blue. He’s under the control of the mind fungus. They must have been conditioned by his brother. George found these plans and ordered them to build the lair and to travel the world infecting the ninja leprechaun army. It was only a matter of luck that I wasn't infected myself. I guess my tour around the world saved me from being infected. They must have gotten Pyro just after I left."
“So he used a bunch of hypnotised scientists to achieve his plan, I get that. That explains how this whole thing happened. But I still don’t understand why?”
George piped up. “Because I’m your number one fan!”
Derek frowned.
“And you’ve always ignored me! I went to your signing! You only signed one of my books. You didn’t give me a hug. You said you were under time restrictions but how couldn’t you make time for your number one fan?”
“And all those competitions I entered. I didn’t win one! Not one!” he sobbed.
George sniffed loudly and looked back at his book.
“So these are my conditions! I want you to give me a hug! I want you to write me into a Skulduggery book. In fact I want to marry Valkyrie. He thought for a moment. And Tanith!”
Derek sighed.
“And then you’ll let me go?”
Derek reached out a hand.
They shook hands.
“And you have to be my slave for a whole day!” George gabbled quickly before letting go of his hand.
Derek groaned. Octaboona laughed.
“Caught out by a six year old!”
Derek deigned not to respond.  
 Octaboona’s face turned serious.
“What about my friends George?”
“What... what about them?”
“Well you’ve filled them up with hatred for me. You’ve taken away their love of Skulduggery. Hundreds of lives have been twisted by that mushroom. What will you do about that?”
George mumbled.
“What did you say?”
“Shan’t. You took my brother away from me! It was always Joseph this and Joseph that and isn’t he wonderful? He stopped thinking of me. He wouldn’t read me stories at night. He didn’t care about me at all!”
“But he never read you stories before we went out. He’s evil? Remember?”
George sulked.
“And you’re still being mean to him! Just because he dumped you!”
“Well what about those Death Star components?”
“It’s a model, idiot. You can’t make a real Death Star.”
Octaboona sulked.
 “Darth Vader did. And he’s still evil. He developed that mushroom. Made plans for an evil lair”
George thought for a moment.
“Oh yeah... but still. Not letting your friends free.”
Octaboona sighed.
“Look, I’ve had enough of this now. I’m not going to talk to you any longer. Derek and I we’re leaving. Six year olds just don’t make particularly effective villains.”
And then he walked over to a giant red button protruding from the floor and stepped on it.
The tank containing the sickly white fungus suddenly burst into flames.
“Wasn’t that a bit too easy?”
“He’s a six year old villain. Of course he’s going to have an obvious self destruct button somewhere! Like I said, not very hard to defeat.”
 “Well I suppose you have a point”
And so saying, Octaboona and Derek walked out of the compound.

George sat amidst the ruins of his “underground” lair muttering darkly into his sleeve.
“You may have bested me this time Octaboona but I shall have my revenge!” He started on an evil laugh but was interrupted by the arrival of his mother.
“Come on George, you’ve played enough today. It’s bedtime!”
“Oh mummy. Five more minutes?”
“No dear.”

It was a sunny day in a small town in the north of Michigan. Joseph approached the door and knocked. A teenage girl answered it.
“Michelle?” he spoke hesitantly.
The sound of her voice echoed loudly across the lake, startling a flock of birds out of the cherry trees and causing ripples to spread across the deep blue water.
The girl grinned widely and gave him a giant hug and a noogie.
“Call me Kallista my dear boy!”