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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Write A Romance Novel

Now I know there are many budding romantics out there, some of whom can write, and write well, so if you fancy yourself as someone who can bring true love to the page, well the competition below organised via Circalit might be exactly right for you!






WRITE A ROMANCE NOVEL

Competition closes in: 1 week 4 days

Competition information:
Romeo had Juliet, Bella had Edward, Harry Potter had... well, Ron. Love stories are not only timeless; they are universal. Roughly 50% of all novels sold fall under the Romance category and famous love stories from throughout history have found their way into all our hearts. Finding a story today that is not influenced by romance is a difficult task.

Circalit wants to be swept off its feet - and it turns out we’re not alone. Anna Jean-Hughes, editor at a major international publishing house, is equally keen to read stories that capture the hearts of readers. With this simple desire in mind, we are therefore launching The Circalit Romantic Fiction competition to find romantic reads from Circalit’s best up-and-coming writers.

We are looking for a complete novel that captures the idea of love or romance in an original and insightful way. Whether you’re writing afresh or tweaking something finished, Anna’s curious to see. The novels that receive the best reviews will form a shortlist from which Anna will choose the final winner. The winner will receive a feedback report from Anna worth £120. So pick up that pen/keyboard/harp and get our heart-strings twanging...

Entry Fee: FREE

Host: Anna Jean-Hughes

How the winner will be selected?

The top-rated entries will automatically be shortlisted as voted by the community. Our judges will choose a winner from the shortlist.

Prize: You will win a feedback report on your novel from Random House editor Anna Jean-Hughes.

Rules: Your submission must be your own original work.

You only need to upload the first three chapters of your novel.

All entries will be judged on the strength of the first 3 chapters.

A detailed synopsis must be included with each upload.

Link to enter HERE

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Reading Not to be Missed! 19th December 2011



Now I know you are all really busy, being the 'busy time of year', but it is always good to have a little rest and relaxation, along with wonderful readings from some creative folk. 

Which is why you shouldn't miss tomorrow night's readings on Monday the 19th December 2011 at Tallaght Library (7pm).

Kate Dempsey will be reading from her recently published “Dinky” book of poems along with Ann Marie Mullins, Ray Mullen and Trish Best.

You can find Kate here at  Emerging Writer, a brilliant site for keeping you in touch with everything going on in the writing scene.

The Echo Newspaper have been a great support to all the writers who have featured as part of this reading series which has been facilitated by Hennessy Literary Award Winner, Eileen Casey.  You can find out all about the writers, and read some of their work, including myself, here.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Courage

This week's thought for the weekend from Anne Tucker is short and simple, but very true.




'All art requires courage.'

- Anne Tucker -

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Picture for Writer Profile

My wonderful daughter kindly took photos of yours truly last night, so let me know which you prefer, black and white, or colour?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Free Will?

Here's something for you to get your teeth into this weekend, nice quote from Scott Adams, plus enjoy this brilliant cartoon sketch from David Hume.





"Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure."

 - Scott Adams -

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Publication in Revival Literary Journal




Revival is a quarterly Literary Journal which has been home to many wonderful artists over the years.  Last week, I was delighted to hear that my flash fiction piece Role Play forms part of the Oct/Nov/December issue.  The piece was originally created for a guest blog post with Derek at Rant with the Occasional Music, and Friday Flash. 

It is one of five prose pieces in this edition of Revival, along with some wonderful poetry and reviews. 

Please find details regarding submissions for the next publication below:


Revival Literary Journal is calling for submissions from local, national and international poets and writers for the next issue (No.22) which will be published in Limerick, March 2012.

Submissions, poetry and short fiction or extracts (500 words) are now being sought for the next issue, alongside Review and Criticism pieces. They are also interested in receiving black and white images/line drawings for inclusion.

Deadline:
Friday 20th January 2012 Hard Copy Submissions should also include a CD disc of the submission.

Send to: The Editor, Revival, Moravia, Glenmore Ave., Roxboro Rd., Limerick.

Email: revival1@eircom.net

Submission guidelines
HERE : www.revivalpress.com

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's in a name?



Well actually quite a lot, or so it seems. 

I attended a workshop a couple of months back as part of the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition, and the whole area of domain names came up.  The advice given was that even if you are not a Famous Writer YET - you should purchase your domain name before someone else does.

Well it made sense and I thought about it, but sadly my name was already gone for the .com URL, and with .com being by far the most popular one, I was pleased at least that it was owned by a lovely photographer, which is way better than an axe murdering weirdo - so no panic.

Anyhow, I decided today (via Blogger) to see if I could get the domain name www.louise-phillips.com and yes I could, so I did.  Now I did all this via @120Socks not realising that over the next few days my blog address will go from http://120socks.blogspot.com to http://louise-phillips.blogspot.com or www.louise-phillips.com 

It looks like most of the information will remain in tact, and there should be no problem as you can still access via either addresses, and  more importantly, visitors will be automatically redirected from the old URL address to the new URL address in about 3 days time - fingers and toes crossed.

However, it would be great if you could amend your blog links to the new one (www.louise-phillips.com/) over the next while. 

Also my entire bloglist seems to have gone off into the galaxies somewhere, so anyone who was on my blog roll and would like to be on my blog role again, please, please send me a comment/tweet or email with your URL address on it, and I will update this manually myself.

Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Succeed - Thought for the Week

Now some of you loyal followers may have noticed that I haven't posted a 'Thought for the Weekend' for the last couple of weeks.  Believe me, it wasn't because I wasn't thinking, it was more that life just got really complicated and time disappeared a little the way water disappears down a drain, fast and furious.

So, as I have been slacking in this department, I've decided to post a 'Thought for the Week' instead.  Probably like some of you, I was watching Xfactor over the weekend, (yes I know I just said I had no time for anything, but somethings you just do even when no time exists) and I heard Gary Barlow's words on the best advice he ever heard, and this is what he said.  He said, success is 90% hard work and determination, and 10% talent. 

Now I remember hearing something like this before, which of course gave me huge encouragement, after all we can all work darn hard if we choose to.  So I got to thinking about the advice many successful writers give about writing, which is that in order to write, you must first sit your bum on a chair and begin.  The sitting down bit being the key.  Thus bringing us nicely to the 'Thought for the Week', courtesy of Mr Woody Allen:-




'Eighty per cent of success, is showing up.'

- Woody Allen -

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Radio Broadcast Not To Be Missed!



Three Rivers - One Summer

I met Ger Philpott via the Irish Writers Centre.  He is a remarkable man, and I have always found his company to be interesting, insightful, engaging and witty - plus he is a darn good cook!

His documentary of 'Three Rivers One Summer' can be listened to via the Podcast link at the end of this post!  If it well worth the listen, so don't miss it.

I will put a brief bio of Ger below, along with an introduction and link to the broadcast.




Ger Philpott is an award winning screenwriter and filmmaker. He writes for the print media, radio, screen and TV. His work includes the prizewinning short films, Change and An Turas. He is the author of the best-selling book on AIDS, Deep End. He works as a writer, director, radio producer and freelance journalist.

A keen gardener and accomplished cook he lives in Dublin. He is a current Irish Masters swimming record holder and breeds and exhibits Champion Weimaraner dogs.

Introduction to Three Rivers - One Summer

Both Ger Philpott's parents died in the past year, within three months of each other. This documentary celebrates their lives. The Philpott's are a swimming family - both Ger and his Dad swam competitively at Masters level internationally - in fact they made a bit of swimming history in the mid eighties when they both won gold medals at the same international competition in Rome.

Shortly before his dad died, he asked Ger to swim the Lee this summer. He climbed back into the pool two days after his Dad was buried to train for the event - a former competitive swimmer, if he was to do it he'd have to do it right! Two of his brothers also did the Lee swim in his honour. For Ger, working his way back to fitness was an antidote to grief.

The swim quickly grew into three rivers - the Hudson in NYC last May, the Lee in Cork in July and the Liffey in Dublin last September. The journey of the rivers was a joyous, bittersweet affair.

Three Rivers tells the story of a journey through grief and Ger and his siblings love of their parents. In a sense it's their love story with them intertwined with their own love story.  It features love letters Ger's dad wrote to his Mum when they were courting - he was living in war time Britain at the time. It also features some of their music from down the years - Mario Lanza, John Mc Cormack, Doris Day, Ry Cooder, Patrick Watson etc etc... They also managed to capture some unique underwater sound and atmosphere during the making of the programme which features actuality form NYC, Cork and Dublin.  Further details HERE

Produced by Ger Philpott and Ronan Kelly.


Ger recording at the Liffey Swim


Listen to Podcast HERE 'Three Rivers - One Summer'

Monday, November 21, 2011

Something to make you Smile!

This clip definitely falls into the label of 'The A-Z of anything', which by the way was specially designed to embrace items like these.

Hope you enjoy this clip as much as I did.  Before you click on it, here's a picture clue:-



Go on - View the clip HERE   It will make you smile!



Monday, November 14, 2011

Francis Mac Manus Short Story Competition 2011/2012

Details of this year's Francis Mac Manus Short Story Competition are now available.  This is an annual competition seeking short stories for radio.  Winning entries will be broadcast on RTE Radio.



General Guidelines
The competition is open to anyone born or resident in Ireland.
Only one entry per person is allowed.
Entries must be original work of the author and not previously published or broadcast.
Stories must be between 1,800 - 2,000 words.
Entries should be double spaced and type written on one side of A4 paper.
The Authors name should only appear on the official entry form.
Entries will be accepted until the 20th January 2012.
There is no Entry Fee for Submission.
Entries should be posted or delivered to:
                                                                RTE Radio 1 Short Story Competition
                                                                RTE Radio Centre
                                                                Dublin 4

Link to full Rules & Regulations, along with Application Form can be found HERE
                                                               

Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Club - The Method by Tom Vowler

After the great success of last month's book club choice Before I Go To Sleep, this time we are going to go on a slightly different adventure.  From crime thriller to short story collection - an interesting diversion you might think, but from the sound of it, this is no ordinary short story collection.  So I'm anticipating many diverse, exciting, insightful, love, hate and opinionated charged responses. 

Having read some of the many great reviews about this collection, I can't wait to read it.  Available to order on line HERE. 6.70 Sterling with free delivery Worldwide.



Brief Description:
The characters in this award-winning debut collection are very good at losing things: children, lovers, hope, the plot. They discover the past is not a place easily escaped from, as it pursues them with startling, sometimes horrifying, consequences.
A writer takes his research a little too far; a couple, stricken with guilt and grief, prepare a last meal; a group of swingers is rocked by the arrival of a new couple; a man takes a train journey to learn how to kill again; a deformed brother and sister exact revenge half a mile underground; a modern-day messiah astonishes a criminal gang, and a father is forever tormented by the few minutes his back was turned.
It’s impossible not to connect with these lives and the things that happen to them remaining with you long after reading. Provocative and bold, these stories will get under your skin.





Extract from review  by Melissa Lee-Houghton of The Short Review
Vowler builds layers of insight and understanding; his narratives can be steadily harrowing and difficult to read but always with an unfaltering purposeful edge. We know these stories must be seen through.  His prose leaves nothing to chance, he covers every detail with a keen eye and a wealth of vision. Vowler’s first person narratives are very quick, assured and adept. He is not afraid to be new, to be dangerous with it and flaunt his talent for imagining the necessary elements to compose coherent, robust and most importantly, satisfying short stories.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Catching the Light!

Okay I admit it, I've been a little lazy, (rephrase) more than a little lazy with the Walking/Photo Journal of late.  However, this morning despite the sun illustrating the dust on my windows, I figured that a good walk out in the fresh air was exactly what I needed.  At the very least I could ignore the dusty windows.

Also, seeing as how this week's reflective thought (see side panel) is all about reflecting the light - here are some pics I took while out feeling the breeze and sun on my face.  Hope you enjoy!




Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - The Writing Stranger

For this week's thought for the weekend, I give you the following quote - Love the idea of the theoretical stranger!





"What a writer can do, what a fiction writer or a poet or an essay writer can do, is re-engage people with their own humanity. Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger."


- Barbara Kingsolver-

Friday, November 4, 2011

Art Exhibition on behalf of Anti Racism

An art exhibition on behalf of the Anti Racism Network will open this saturday.  It is a great opportunity not just to support a good cause, but also to buy really affordable art and have a good night out. 

There will be live music -Luka Bloom opening the show with a beautiful song and there will be plenty of musical performances throughout the evening.

The show will be open in the Back Loft (just off Thomas Street, take a right at Borza when coming from town end) from 1pm but the official opening starts at 5pm.

If you are in town - check it out!

Back Loft Gallery


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shortlisted Bridport 2011

Delighted to hear my story The Present has been shortlisted for Bridport UK 2011.  Thrilled with the news!

This is me right now:-


Details of the 2012 Competition HERE


A Girl's Guide To Office Men - How Times Have Changed Or Have They?

Okay, I know you all love the vintage ads, and I was planning on doing one over the next couple of days, but when this was sent to me via @RachelLuRay on Twitter - well, I just couldn't resist.  The article is from ' Miss Magazine' circa 1966, about Irish Men in the Office.  Can't wait to hear what you all think!  You may need to zoom in to read it, but remember, education is a wonderful thing.




Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Novel Writing Month - November Calling

Okay this is a pretty cool way of getting your words to flow onto the page.  I could give you a long introduction about how this happens, but the article below pretty well covers it.  Suffice to say, when you take those doubting gremlins away, not allow them time to sneak up on you, and keep yourself busy writing, the words, your story, happens. 

Why not check it out - its far better than watching too much television!



National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.
In 2010, we had over 200,000 participants. More than 30,000 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo super stardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
So, to recap:
What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.
Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.
Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To give yourself permission to write without obsessing over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To stop being one of those people who say, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel,” and become one of those people who can say, “Oh, a novel? It’s such a funny story–I’ve written three.”
When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins 12:00:01 November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at 11:59:59. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

SIGN UP LINK HERE

Monday, October 31, 2011

Want to get your Novel Published? - Novel Fair @ The Irish Writers Centre


This is a great opportunity being presented by the Irish Writers Centre:-

(Note Closing date is the 11th November 2011)




The Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Competition
 
The inaugural Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair for first-time novelists will take place on March 10th 2012.  The Novel Fair aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.
A judging panel of experienced industry professionals will be asked to select a shortlist of successful entries, presented to them anonymously. There is no limitation on style, genre, or target market, the only requirement being that the writer has not published a novel before.
Publishers and agents will be invited to come along on the day to the Irish Writers’ Centre and meet these writers in person. Each writer in attendance will have a stand at the Fair with copies of the synopsis of their novel, the finished novel itself and biographical material.
Representatives from Penguin Ireland, Transworld, O’ Brien Press, Lilliput Press, Hachette Books, Liberties Press, Little Island, Arlen House and New Island will be present on the day. Literary agents such as Marianne Gunn O’ Connor, Yvonne Kinsella, Emma Walsh, Ger Nichol, Paul Feldstein and Jonathan Williams will also be present.
This is an incredible opportunity for first-time novelists.
For terms and conditions please click here>>>
To download an entry form please click here>>>
Deadline for submissions: November 11th 2011

For any further information, and to pay via Paypal, you can check out link for the Irish Writers Centre HERE

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Any Dream Will Do!

Normally, I use famous quotes for these blog posts - words of wisdom from writers, philosophers, artists, and those wise folk called anonymous, but today is slightly different.  Today, I'm going to go with 'Any Dream Will Do', which some of you might connect to the musical 'Joseph' or 'Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat', which I knew it by.  It just so happens though, that it is also the title of a new book, one which is in the shops NOW, written by one of the many great people I have come to know in Twitter Land -Maria Duffy.

So I got to thinking how important these four words actually are.  We all need dreams, we all need something to strive for, and these dreams are as individual as we are.  My hubby has been more into the dream idea over the years than me.  And for the most part, most of his dreams have come true.  I tended to things that dreams were things you did in your sleep, and probably should be left there.  But over the last while, I've been thinking that perhaps I'm wrong.  You have to dream, to have to believe that wishes will come true, because even if they don't, it's a whole lot better dreaming about them than not!

Here's a pic of Maria's book, which I plan to pick up very soon myself - and Maria, I warn you in advance, your signature will be required.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Savage Chicken Poetry

It's time for some words of brilliance from the fabulous Savage Chickens - you just gotta luv them!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The CWA Debut Dagger Competition

 

 

How to Enter the Debut Dagger

The 2012 Debut Dagger competition opened on the 22 October 2011 and will close on 21 January 2012. The prize money is £700, plus two tickets to the CWA Awards and the entry fee for both postal and online entries is £25. To be notified of the opening and closing dates, and stay abreast of any developments or news, including the shortlist and the 2012 winner, please sign up for the free newsletter, using the
form at the foot of this page.

Before you enter, you must read the rules.

Postal Entry

To enter by post, please send:
  • The first 3000 words (or fewer) of your novel
  • A 500-1000 word synopsis of the rest of the novel
...both typed and double-spaced
  • A completed entry form
  • A cheque, postal order, or international money coupon for £25
  • A self-addressed, stamped postcard if you wish us to acknowledge receipt
Please send your entry to the following PO Box.
Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger
PO Box 273
Boreham Wood
Hertfordshire
WD6 2XA
UK

Online Entry

You can now enter the competition online. To do so, please have ready the following:
  • The first 3000 words (or fewer) of your novel
  • A 500-1000 word synopsis of the rest of the novel
...both in the same computer file and with the line spacing set to double. We can accept entries in Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx) ; OpenDocument Text (.odt); Rich Text File (*.rtf); or Portable Document Format (.pdf - sometimes known as Adobe Acrobat).
  • Your credit or debit card to pay the entry fee of £25. If you do not live in the UK, your credit card company will handle the currency conversion.
  • Alternatively, if you have a PayPal account, you can pay us using that.
  • PayPal tell us the cardholder's name and address. We do not see any other card details, and you don't need to sign up for a PayPal account to use your card.
  • You are now ready to complete the online entry form.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your entry by email.
  • Please note the closing time and date of 23:59 on 21 January 2012 is UK time. If you are in a different time zone please make the appropriate adjustment, for example on the west coast of the USA (PST) the relevant time is 15:59 on 21 January.
  • If you already have a PayPal account please make sure that any associated credit card has not expired, particularly if you have not used the account for sometime.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Frank O'Connor


I thought we could go all writerly for this week's Thought for the Weekend - and who better than Frank O'Connor to set us on the right path!



'There are three necessary elements in a story—exposition, development, and drama. Exposition we may illustrate as “John Fortescue was a solicitor in the little town of X”; development as “One day Mrs. Fortescue told him she was about to leave him for another man”; and drama as “You will do nothing of the kind,” he said.'

- FRANK O’CONNOR -

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Echo Echo

The Queen of Socks put her hair up last week and got her picture and story in the ECHO.
Just click on the link HERE and scroll through to find me - I'm the one at the Poet's Corner, no not Pet's Corner, Poet's Corner!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Club Review -Before I Go To Sleep


At long last the reviews are in.  As per usual, there were the usual disagreements, arguments, praise, criticism, all forming an interesting and entertaining cocktail of Book Club opinions.  Having said all that, 'Before I Go To Sleep' has probably been the most successful book reviewed so far.  But enough of all that - here is what everyone had to say.


As a bit of a thriller addict I feel in a good position to pass judgement on this novel. My verdict? Excellent! The idea was original, the execution confident - the experience for the reader is an overall very enjoyable one. I read most of the book in one sitting, I couldn't put it down. So, any negative comments? Well, while not giving too much away, some aspects of the plot were a little too tidy and I didn't feel we were given enough red herrings to keep us guessing. But, when it came down to it, these points didn't really detract from the enjoyment of the novel. 9/10.


'Before I go to Sleep' was a very enjoyable read, though some of the plotting was forced at times, perhaps its greatest achievement as a book about memory loss was to give such entertainment and yet be completely forgettable.  I could read it again next year.  But hopefully won't!


'Before I Go To Sleep' ticks many of the boxes for me.  It was engaging, kept me second guessing all the way through.  Had a great plot with no inconsistencies that I could find.  I liked the premise behind it, although I did think he made a 'not so old women' appear a lot older than her years.  The triumph for me was the final third of the novel as I just could not put it down - managed to stay awake until 4 in the morning in an attempt to finish it.  As a plot driven thriller novel goes, it certainly worked for me.










Before I Go To Sleep is an elegant and compact thriller. It is a genre novel with a sophisticated concept. I found it supremely readable. The style is stripped back to a stark functionality, but there is something refreshing about it's uncluttered surface. The pleasures of the text are in the clever plotting and in how the plotting serves the concept - how the author manages to tell the story of it's amnesiac protagonist is an ingenious feat in itself. Some people in the group have argued that it isn't a classic or very re-readable but I think it is an original and notable example of it's genre.









While difficult for a male writer to narrate from a female perspective, S.J. Watson pulls it off with aplomb in ‘Before I Go to Sleep’. He avoids clich├ęd female traits to deliver a suspenseful and well-written debut novel. While the writing is very tight, all the loose ends are tied up a little too quickly at the end which pulls the reader from that bubble of imagination. Also, Watson uses some weak structure in places – it’s just too convenient that Christine is abandoned by all of her family and friends, only adding to her vulnerability and state of confusion. However, the reader is tantalised by what is real and unreal in this well-layered story and Watson avoids a ‘groundhog day’ feel by steering clear too much repetition. ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ is a good read; it will pass the bus journey to work but it’s not one for the bookcase.








I'm an avid reader, but this is one of the best books I've read in a while. The first third pulls you in, the middle keeps you tensed and waiting and the last is absolutely un-putdownable. Ticks all the boxes. If I bit my nails they'd be bitten to the quick by now . . .










Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, kept thinking I had the measure of it but I was wrong every time, held me in suspense right to the end.  Didn't take me long to read because i truly couldn't put it down.  I note Ridley Scott has acquired the film rights, this says it all !










Before I go to Sleep S J Watson - I read this novel in two sittings.  I loved the notion that a journal could hold your reality even when if you were unable to hold it yourself - the notion that your own written word might be the only
word that you could trust. It's a riveting notion that you might see, in your own hand, the words ‘Don’t trust Ben’ – about the only person you thought you could trust.
The writer’s style - or the writing - didn’t make an impact on me good or bad.  It certainly didn’t intrude on the plot.  I was surprised afterwards to realise that I couldn’t describe it.  I only remembered the characters, and the journal, not the writing.  I think that might
be an achievement!
I loved the plot.  I could pick some holes in it but I would have to
be really-really picky. Like: where are the social services? Why did she have to develop a cringey attraction to Dr Nash, there was plenty going on between them without that.  If you set it in Ireland and make Brendan Gleeson play Ben and Gabriel Byrne play Dr Nash it might work.  But Dr Nash is too young....
The extent of Christine’s vulnerability was shocking – in the end I just wanted no more bad things to happen to her...I won’t read it again but I will recommend it to everyone as riveting read.










This is a good book; the pages turn, the sentences flow and it’s not demanding.  For a thriller I’m told it’s fantastic and with its high concept and nicely placed plot revelations, I can understand that it is.  My husband, who only reads thrillers, loved it.  I want more from a book.  I want to enter a world that dazzles me with its brilliance.  I want to read sentences that leave me breathless.  I want to learn.  Instead I ran through passages wishing the old biddy, Christine (she’s only 47, but feels more like 60), would stop wittering on and on about how dreadful, and how hard, and how awful.  The poor, unfortunate woman has not a drop of humour and her every waking hour is consumed by her tragedy.  I know this is reasonable considering her tragedy is dreadful, and maybe I’ve just had enough of the economy,  the radio,  and the multiple endearment that are uttered throughout the book that sound like cardboard.  I will add that the authors finest page is his last.  I admired him for that.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Steve Jobs


Okay I know I've been a bit quiet lately, but believe me I've had good reason.  In the meantime this quote from the late Steve Jobs does it for me right now!





'You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.'

- Steve Jobs -

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So light they almost fly!

Puffin Advertisement 1956 - So light they almost fly!
I know many of you are fond of these old vintage ads!  The above colourful one came to mind when I read an article via Twitter from @CarenKennedy (well worth following btw) - see article from Independent.ie newspaper below.


THREE pensioners attending the funeral of a friend in southern California had to be hospitalised after getting high on brownies and being unable to stand up. The three, all in their 70s and 80s, had accidentally consumed brownies that had marijuana added to them. The pensioners became unwell at a Huntington Beach memorial service and had to be taken to hospital after they were unable to stand up unassisted. At the service, a tray of brownies were offered around that has since been determined to have contained marijuana.

Link to main article here http://t.co/zrwxEJT7

Friday, October 7, 2011

Life's No Picnic On The Street


A very special project took place over the summer where some amazing works of art produced by Depaul's service users, and artists like novelist Mia Gallagher, poet Colm Keegan, singer/songwriter Pearse McLoughlin, NCAD's, culminated in an exhibition down at Electric Picnic this year.  The exhibition has now relocated to the Atrium on Stephen's Green which means anyone who didn't make Electric Picnic can now check it out. It certainly looks like an exhibition not to be missed.  See details below:-

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Dr Seuss

My thanks to Brendan Dunne (Twitter@BrendanD100) for this week's Thought for the Weekend on 120 Socks official 1st Birthday.



"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

- Dr Seuss -

I was delighted when Brendan suggested this quote for this weekend, as I vividly the Dr Seuss books when my children were younger.  My eldest daughter was dyslexic, so we had lots of Dr Seuss books and her favourite was the Cat in the Hat - I bet she can still say the whole book by heart.  Below is the part that no doubt still floats into my dreams, I heard and read it so many times!  If you have your own Dr Seuss memories, let me know, if YOU can get the comment box to work (blogger messing things up lately).




"too wet to go out,
 and too cold to play ball,
they just sat in the house,
 and did nothing at all,
and all they could do
 was to sit, sit, sit,
and they did not like it,
not one little bit..."
 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nothing like a bit of Reading

Apart from our short walking holiday at the beginning of September, this month has been a bit of a disaster.  Being unwell has not helped, and in a way I look forward to welcoming a new month a bit like welcoming a new year, as if it might be full of great and wonderful possibilities.  You will all be pleased to know, that I'm on the mend, and my daughter is getting there too.  Plenty of bed rest and pill popping, with some TLC fired in for good measure - although I notice now that I'm up and about, the mere fact that I'm going around on two legs somehow means in the eyes of other members of the family, that things are back to normal!

Anyhow, we're getting there, and deffo by next Monday, which is the reason for this blog post, I will be fully recovered.



The Country Library, Tallaght, are currently presenting a six part series of conversations & readings by local and visiting poets, and prose writers.

The series has been developed and facilitated by Award Winning local Author and Poet, Eileen Casey.

This Monday the 3rd October - Yours truly will be reading as part of this series, along with two terrific writers, Colm Keegan and Brian Kirk (bios below).  I am really looking forward to the readings, as we each have very distinctive styles.  I met both of these guys a few years back when we were part of a workshop given by Dermot Bolger, then writer in residence for SDCC, and apart from having a huge admiration for their work, I also think, they are two great blokes.

I know Tallaght might be a little far for some of you, but I hope you can make it, as it should be a wonderful evening.  Readings begin at 7.p.m. 

I won't bore you with my pic and bio, but here are the two lads.



   Brian Kirk has been shortlisted for various awards including Hennessy Awards in 2008 and 2011.  His stories and poems have appeared in The Sunday Tribune, The Stony Thursday Book, Crannog, Revival, Boyne Berries, Wordlegs and various anthologies. 



Colm Keegan writes poetry, short stories and screenplays.  He also runs Nighthawks, Dublin’s premier arts night, and was part of 'Three Men Talking About Things That They Kinda Know About' in this year's Dublin Fringe Festival .  Shortlisted for three Hennessy Awards for both fiction and poetry.


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