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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

How To Be Happy

“Im happy” is a gripping tale of our times. The author tackles highly sensitive issues such as bullying head-on while weaving three separate lives into one convincing thread. If you buy one book this year make it Im happy” (Dan Binchy, author.)

Renowned author and cousin of Maeve Binchy was referring to Diarmuid Hudner’s first novel Im Happy

It comes at a time in which such a book was never more needed. Society has at last woken up to the fact that bullying, in any shape or form, can have a devastating- often fatal- effect on both the victim and the perpetrator.

It is the story of three young people who are the victims of bullying and how they came together to change their lives through a website called Emmet from Ireland, a self confessed masternerd, isolated by his own idiosyncrasies, finds a friend in alcohol until it too becomes a friend no longer. Ralph from the USA, born grossly overweight suffers from a crushing lack of self esteem and sees the only release from his torment is to attempt suicide. Ming from China, who looks different to other girls uses this the only way she can, becoming a bully herself until she resorts to self-harming to punish herself from her wrongdoings.

The following is a excerpt from Emmet’s “story.”

“Life is better because I am happy. It is because I am happy that I have a life. What makes me happy might make you happy, it might not but that is also life. My name is Emmet. I have been spat upon, sneered at, laughed at, beaten and ridiculed. I have lived in hell for most of my life but I do no longer. My crime: I am a nerd. I have no hatred for those who have bullied me because deep down I know they are not happy doing it. To hurt another is to hurt yourself. I am a nerd but that is not all I am. The best of me is under my skin. I am no longer a slave to other people’s thoughts because no one but me controls what I think.

No one knows you but you. You may be rich, you may not. You may be healthy, you may not. You may be married, you may not. You may never find a partner, you may never be looking. You may have children, you may never have. You may have everything everyone thinks they should have. You may have everything but what you want. A great number of things may or may never happen to you. Life decides those things. Only you decide whether you are happy with what life gives you. I am not religious but I am spiritual. I can be whatever I want to be at any given moment because no moment can be repeated. Happiness is available in abundance; it can never be bought, can never be sold because your happiness is unique to you and you already own it within you. I am happy now because I have chosen to be happy and only I have the power to make that choice. This site is for those who have chosen to be happy now too.”

This work is a novel but were the words of Virginia Woolf ever more apt?
“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so slightly perhaps but still attached to life at all four corners.”

This is not just a story about bullying; it is the story of everyone’s quest to be happy and the realisation that you and only you are in control of your own happiness. It weaves the emotions and feelings of insecurity that all of us experience with the freedom that can be achieved from making the decision to take control of one’s own life. Though quite a harrowing tale, this is a story of immense hope, dexterous wit and passionate perseverance with acorns of wisdom that will linger in your mind long after you thought you had gathered them all.

Quotes from start of each Chapter
  • 1. Always take the chance to laugh at your own expense before everyone else does
  • 2. HARD is only Happiness At a Remote Date
  • 3. You can’t be all things to everyone so be something to someone
  • 4. When you make the decision to change you already have
  • 5. No moment can be repeated so I can never make the same mistake twice
  • 6. Humans don’t have eyes on the back of their heads for a reason: you can’t go forward if you are continually looking back
  • 7. Accept the Good for what it is whenever it happens because you will be forced to accept the bad anyway
  • 8. You are not what you eat, You are not what you wear, You are not what you do. You are You.
  • 9. Be honest with yourself: If you want the harsh truth, ask your enemies not your friends.
  • 10. Intelligence has no bearing on your level of happiness because happiness doesn’t have an IQ.
  • 11. What a difference a day can make when you’re not counting the hours.
  • 12. The only questions worth answering are those you ask of yourself.
  • 13. You don’t have to be SOMEBODY to BE somebody.
  • 14. HURT is only Happiness Undoubtedly Returns Tomorrow.
  • 15. If you can’t trust yourself, trust your instincts.
  • 16. You have the same number of hours, minutes and seconds in your day as everyone else: therefore you stand the same chance of achieving happiness.
  • 17. Coincidences are too random for random things to occur.

About the author: Diarmuid Hudner is a native of Limerick, Ireland. A former Headhunter in the City of London, he was a regular contributor to financial magazines such as the Financial Times, Investment Week and Money Marketing. Upon returning to Ireland, he became the founder and chairman of the Doneraile Literary & Arts Festival, the only free literary festival in Ireland. This is his first novel.

Hudner, chairman of Doneraile
Literary & Arts Festival,
with current President of Ireland,
Michael D. Higgins.

It became apparent to the author whilst writing this book that there was a genuine need to make this fictional website a reality. Thus the website was born.

He told me, “The world today has never in its history been so full yet it is very easy as an individual to feel empty. We are all seeking happiness and by helping each other, we are not alone. This website is a work in progress and will develop organically over time with the help of the readers.”

The book is available from the website as an eBook or hard copy.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


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