Sunday, February 27, 2011

Poetry Bus Poem - Ballroom

The Poetry Bus is being driven by TFE this week, the challenge was to write a 14 line poem based on some very interesting photographic prompts and an audio prompt from Van Morrison.  I chose the photo above. 

Excitement in her eyes,
fake pink rose on ample chest,
you look divine,’ she’d whispered when we met,
low lights, drink filled tables,
a dance floor throbs with love and lust combined,
desire veiled by  smoke, old spice and cheap cologne,
girls swoon parading in their satin dress,
pleasing my eye,
men sense the thrill of lovely flesh,
seated, she taps her feet,
touches my knee,
a hint of what’s to come,
part of the  game,
I love to play.

See Other Bus Riders HERE

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Club - 'The Girls' by Lori Lansens

The Book Club choice for March 2011 is 'The Girls' by Lori Lansens, which has received some wonderful reviews, so I am really looking forward to reading it. See below brief description, plus a link to an introduction by the Author, Lori Lansens.

Book Summary
Meet Rose and Ruby: sisters, best friends, confidantes, and conjoined twins. Since their birth, Rose and Ruby Darlen have been known simply as "the girls." They make friends, fall in love, have jobs, love their parents, and follow their dreams. But the Darlens are special. Now nearing their 30th birthday, they are history's oldest craniopagus twins, joined at the head by a spot the size of a bread plate.

When Rose, the bookish sister, sets out to write her autobiography, it inevitably becomes the story of her short but extraordinary life with Ruby, the beautiful one. From their awkward first steps--Ruby's arm curled around Rose's neck, her foreshortened legs wrapped around Rose's hips-- to the friendships they gradually build for themselves in the small town of Leaford, this is the chronicle of an incomparable life journey.

Introduction by Lori Lansens HERE

Reviews of last month's book club choice 'The Pornograher' by John Mc Gahern will be available shortly. In the meantime if you want to pick up a copy of 'The Girls' and read along with us that would be brilliant.

Thought for the Weekend - Reading

I'm all charged up about the joy of reading after attending the monthly book club last night, so my 'Thought for the Weekend', is all about books and more books and even more books.  They are all out there, you just have to find them.

'These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.'

-   Gilbert Highet -

And just for fun click HERE

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Novel - Writing the Pitch Letter

I had great plans for the week gone out.  I was in that 'focus, focus, focus' mood, the one that floats into my arena every so often and reminds me that the only way to get things done is to do them!!

But unfortunately, and I can't really work out the 'why' as yet (still submerged in my own confusion), things went badly wrong.  It was a bit like when you KNOW you are going to start a diet, you can nearly see those tiny jeans escaping from the wardrobe, and then you get on the scales 7 days later and you have gained 3 lbs. 

Well that was me, in the metaphorical sense, I will keep my real diet wars for another day.

What I did manage to end up with this week though was the infamous 'Pitch Letter'.  One thing I've learned regarding this novel writing thing, is that the challenges of the writing is one thing, but the synopsis, the pitch letter, the working out the who and the why you should send your manuscript off to, is like doing homework in a subject that you are not particularly fond of at school.  And for me, the 'Pitch Letter', turned out to be my worth nightmare.

For some reason even though I said I was going to write it, a big part of me was fighting against doing it.  I planted seeds for wild flowers in the garden, I made a list of jobs that needed doing, I watched endless hours of television about the election that has to be OVER soon, I even worked at night on things that are part of the day job, along with playing solitaire into the early hours, all in the hope of avoiding this dreaded thing (that I, not anyone else had decided to do).

I wondered was it being Irish, because we are not good at talking ourselves up and hate other people that do it about themselvea.  Or was it that secretly I thought my novel wasn't very novel at all?  The prospect of working out 'why' anyone would publish or read my book brought up all the inferiority complexes that any decent, self critical, forever doubting individual like yours truly could muster, but eventually, because, as I have had to admit in the past, I am a bit of a 'goody two shoes' when it comes to doing homework I did it, for if I said I was going to do it, then hate it or not I was bloody well going to.

One of the first things I had to do was get over was believeing in the novel, now that might not seem difficult to most people who have written 105,000 plus words, but to me it was monumental.  So in order to limit my pain, and on the principle that often less is more in a busy publisher's life, I decided to stick to a max of 300 words for the pitch letter and also because I read somewhere that one should 'make it brief, make it accurate and make it interesting', I figured I had the beginning of a plan.

So brief I could do, accuracy was also within my grasp, but making it sound interesting was kinda caught between blowing your own trumpet whilst at the same time thinking this might be a load of rubbish.  For what it's worth, I ended up with the following shape on it:

Paragraph 1
Stating the genre, with a four word depiction of what the novel was about, a bit like the famous pitch for the movie Alien  'Jaws in Space'.  I didn't use that one because remember you have to be accurate!

Paragraph 2
Expanding on the 'why' of the novel and more importantly saying 'who' would want to read it.

Paragraph 3
What makes it interesting.

Paragraph 4
Pitching how the novel would appeal to others outside the constraints of the genre.

Paragraph 5
A bit about me, sort of to hide that I might be a complete failure, you know the stuff I am talking about .........  At the age of 5 I won a race!

Paragraph 6
Rounding up after pitching my novel and little old me, by being polite with a touch of humility but not completely self-deprecating etc etc.

All in less than 300 words!

Not sure if this will be my 'Pitch Letter', in fact I am pretty sure it will be subject to a lot more editing, but even though I didn't achieve my other plans for this week, I suppose at least I've made a start!

For other nonsense click HERE

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Magpie Tales - Limbo

Photo courtesy of Tess @ Magpie Tales

Margaret didn’t know exactly where her sister was buried, most other Limbo babies were the same, lost somewhere without a gravestone.
Her sister Lily died two years before Margaret was born, a part of the past that drifted in night whispers through her childhood, muffled adult voices talking aloud and at times, the faintest change of air as she warmed herself beneath the blankets, never feeling completely alone, thinking perhaps she had a guardian angel.
In life she never understood her mother’s anger, it was only after her mother's death that Margaret learned the full truth.  At school she'd been asked to pray for Limbo babies, the ones with original sin who could never enter heaven. Older, she’d heard stories of how some arrived at graveyards in shoe boxes, given to men whose job it was to find a place beyond the consecrated ground.  And then others, the ones that arrived in the dark of night; a father burying his son or daughter as close to the holy earth as he could manage it, tight against a fence or graveyard wall, a limbo land beyond the boundaries.
In the end it was her Dad that told her, him still grief stricken after her Mother's loss, his old stories coming out in waves.  The spot her parents chose for Lily was a special place, picked for its beauty, in the hope that being somewhere beautiful, they would bring the baby close to God.  Her Mother was too sick to leave her bed, but together they agreed on Cooley Woods.
Growing up Margaret only ever seen the woods from a distance, and even when she learned the truth, she thought it pointless then to go.  She told herself, her sister Lily could be anywhere.  It took a while for her to understand, that knowing the exact spot wasn’t ever necessary, that the very act of going there, was all that really mattered.
Today, wrapped in her heavy coat with autumn leaves underfoot, she breathes in the crispness of late September.  In the distance there are cut down trees, fallen soldiers into the landscape.  What intrigues her most are the scattered openings in the forest, flattened pieces of earth with walls of trees, like secret rooms compiled by nature.
The rustling of branches become louder, but it does not unsettle her, the opposite in fact; it’s like the forest has its own language and for the first time in a long time she is at peace.
Amongst such beauty, she feels the sense of eternity that her parents must have hoped for and standing there in Cooley Woods it’s as if the final missing piece of jigsaw from her life, has somehow fallen into place. 
As she knelt down, touching the hardened soil, she feels warmth from the forest floor, in their own way, just like in childhood, when she thought perhaps she felt her guardian angel,  the sisters meet once more.

The above story is fictional.  However while I was growing up, part of the teaching of the Catholic Church was that any baby who wasn't baptised, including stillborn babies, still had original sin on their souls, and therefore could not go to heaven, instead they went to a place called Limbo.  The latter is no longer Catholic teaching, but one of the aspects of this belief was that the babies could not be buried in consecrated ground.  BBC did a documentary about this and it stayed in my head for a very long time afterwards.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Poetry Bus - And we're off.........

Yes the L-plates are on the Poetry Bus and all passengers are welcome!

First brave passenger to climb on board this week is Jeanne, who delights us with a memory we can all relate to. 
 Plenty of pain, poetry and empty pockets.

2nd passenger who never comes second in her wonderful poetry is Kat, and I dare anyone not to be moved by this.  You can also view the poem HERE  where you get a chance to check out Kat's other brilliant blog http://acadianeire.wordpress.com/ 

The engine is acting up this morning so 120 socks is currently using a 2000 year old laptop to keep the bus going, apologies for any temporary technical difficulties!  Next up on the bus is Dave, with a wonderful poem that introduces us to someone special.

I am still trying to fix the engine but taking passengers all the same, next to take a seat on this rather dodgy bus ride is Lydia who is in powerful flight.  Yes this dodgy bus can drive and fly!

Yikes watch out, I'm driving and trying to be a passenger at the same time, just as well I can multi task!  120Socks

The Bug does 'MEAN', but is far too wonderful to ever really be anything but the opposite.  However if you want to read a fantastic poem about someone who can do mean, check it out here at Bug's Eye View.

Looks like I'm not the only one Caught in Amber this week as  Jinksy has created a very interesting and thought provoking Tanka!

Sometimes even I am left speechless.  If you want to know 'a woman who....' you better speed over and visit Mrs Proper at Various. (Warning your life might never be the same afterwards!) 

For a fabulous image and an equally fabulous take on one of this week's prompts visit Helen's Amber Eyes on the Bus.

'Have genes will travel' knew a man and a woman and ultimately parts of herself on the journey.  Read this splendid poem here at Nanu

It is just as well we are a moving bus because many of the poems this week are particularly moving, including this one by Peter at The Stammering Poet who shows us that sadness can move us to madness.

The Bus is certainly taking many different directions this week, and the fab TFE takes us on one that many of us question along the way.

The story of Germany’s appropriation of Catherine the Great’s Amber Room during Operation Barbarossa is explored in Dr FTSE's perceptive take on the prompt 'Amber', plus links to historical details regarding 'The Amber Room'.

Ah all the clever bus passengers are climbing on board now as 'Medium' another take on the Amber theme by Titus takes us back 1600 years!  Plus you get 2 for the price of 1, as 'Frozen' a poem based on last week's great prompts by The Bug is also available for your perusal! 

Another great poem from Dave at Pics & Poems - well worth visiting.

Using the prompt 'I knew a woman who....' Izzy reminds us of the wonderful people we meet along the way, it did my heart good anyway, so have a read.

Yay, we have another passenger on the bus and someone who many of you most probably missed for the last little while.  If you want to read a poem that cooks up a storm and a killer opening line to boot then visit Padhraig and you won't be disappointed.

A poem that paves the way for Lady Chatterley 'Forever Amber Forever' by Lucy is one not to be missed! 

Did you ever find yourself in Waffle House at the corner of Daddle and Late? Well it's a pretty good place to be and I am fond of it myself.  It is also where you will find Muse Swings with a great bunch of 'Forget- me-Nots'

The bus is not yet full, CAD is now on board, with thoughts on insect instincts and a whole lot more besides.

A note to all late or would-be late passengers, remember the old saying, 'the best is yet to come!', and just to add some inspiration from the wonderful poet John Keats to our little poetry bus, we have 'On the birthday of John Keats' with Karen.  

I sense a race to see who actually will be last!  But the all powerful, competitive, and this week entombing her burnished love
 Domestic Oubliette is fighting it out with the drunk at the back!

There are lots of seats on the bus, but it is leaving shortly! View the prompts here.

Leave a comment and I'll link up with you.

The Black Swan - Where do I begin?

We went to see 'The Black Swan' last night armed with little more than the knowledge that Natalie Portman had been nominated for 10 zillion awards, a fondness for the music from Swan Lake, a glimpse of some images from the movie, and a heavy question from my hairdresser (who is usually pretty close to the pulse of public opinion), 'Have you not seen The Black Swan?' Needless to say I had to go.

We left it late to book, well 30 minutes before the start of the movie to be exact, so we ended up 4 rows back from the front, something that anyone who has seen the movie would not recommend.  As time was tight we didn't join the usual queue for popcorn and coke but I managed to put 3€ in a vending machine on the way in to get a drink, just in case I got thirsty.  The machine swallowed my money but gave me nothing in return.  I should have taken it as a sign!

Now believe me, I am one of the first to jump up and criticise some of the beige products that purport to be movies these days, 'backed by money just to make money' and which sanitise our viewing material to a point where we are emotionally and a whole lot more deprived, but the leap to this form of wild melodramatic, over the top crap, with lots of blood, pink bunnies and a premise that in many places is not 'wild' in the good sense of the word, but rather in the utter stupidity of it, just left me frustrated.

Look I can take blood and gore, and I can leap to heights within one's imagination that would not rest easy with the average bear, but this was ridiculous in the extreme and was more like a ego trip by all evolved to such an extent that if an advertisement for blood flavoured dental floss had been part of the film I would not have been surprised.

But my main gripe with this movie was the weakness of the storyline itself.  We have an irritating ballet dancer who is at the point of crossing the line to brilliance into the most coveted role of all, who's only preparation for this enormous emotional leap, other than a controlling share in the factory that produces ballet accessories and a body that has been distorted to wear them, is a jewellery box with a plastic ballerina, a bedroom that any fluffy pink witless female would be proud of, and a mother who apparently gave up her career for a daughter (even though she hadn't 'made it' herself at the grand old age of 28) by managing to get pregnant, which might explain why virginity or the hint of it seems to be something that features strongly here and just for the gas, because many things in this movie seem to be there just for the gas, we have a lesbian scene, masturbation, sex in public toilets, blah, blah, blah and just when you think you have enough more bloody blah blah.

So we end up with a nothing female filled with fluffy pink virginity, an overly ambitious mother who has the worst taste in cakes (you need to have seen the movie to get this one) and a supposedly driving desire to achieve the darker Black Swan side of the main role, all of which creates the premise for Portman's decision to steal small articles belonging to the previous Swan Queen played by Winona Ryder (more of that later), one of them being her passionate red lipstick!  Now big things and little things bother me, but I ask you, if one was going to steal a lipstick to get into the dark passionate side of a character, would you steal a new one or one that she had already worn?  Obviously you can have blood, body mutilation, and the odd bit of vomiting thrown in but you can't have Natalie Portman wearing a lipstick that didn't look like it just came out of a box.

The decision to cast Ms Fluffy Pink in this fantastic role of The Swan Queen by the artistic director of the ballet company played by Vincent Cassel (who incidentally is good in this despite the handicap of the film), is based on the ballet dancer's obvious ability to play the 'Pure White Swan', but her 'potential' for playing the Black Swan is purely based on the fact that she managed to bite him (Vincent Cassel) on the lips in questionable defense!  I'll say no more on this one other than the comment that in my opinion, not in a royal fit would any decent egotistical art director, who has more controlled ambition in his little finger than most, would even in a flight of sexual fancy, cast someone in the role based on nothing more than a bite!

Anyhow, the good and the bad things about movies that mix reality and fantasy is that there is always this ongoing battle as to which each component of a story belongs to, thereby keeping you guessing and seeking to merge the two in a cohesive or at least stimulating way.  This tale of two duelling ballerinas, Natalie Portman fearing that her great chance will be stolen by Mila Kunis who has just arrived from LA (and who incidentally doesn't even need to warm up before dancing), and who has Black Swan qualities oozing out of her, is at times akin to reading a novel in which you never fully engage with any of the characters. 

But before I finish ranting and give a couple of closing positives to this movie, I have to mention Winona Ryder who took on the role of the ex-Swan Queen fired onto the scrap heap (who decides to jump in front of a passing car just for fun), who gave a character performance that had the possibility of elevating her to new heights with as much acting skill as a skinny black-haired male with a couple of reindeer, going 'Ho Ho Ho.'

Finally I come to the positives, which believe it or not there are a couple.  Despite having to push my head into the back of the seat as we were so close to the screen, some of the shots were pretty amazing and in many many a triumph in cinema work, not to mention images of absolute beauty both in the light and the darker side. And to give Natalie Portman playing the role of Nina her due, when she finally became the Black Swan she gave a stellar performance, even if the ending of the film literally fell into the same ridiculous, ego-scratching, painful nonsense as most of the rest of it.

All this sounds like I think I've turned into a film critic, a state of mind not to be maintained with any degree of permanency, so in order to redeem my human qualities somewhat, I will end with a final comment, that the movie certainly wasn't 'beige', and at the very least has gotten people talking!

And just to be balanced, you can read another review of the movie here, where David Mohan gives a slightly different take on it!

Poetry Bus - Calling all bus riders!

You will need to hold on tight to your seats this week whilst riding the Poetry Bus as
120 Socks is in the driving seat!  It's my first time behind the wheel so life and limb and the risk of poetry madness is in the air.

For any new and willing riders of the Poetry Bus, just to say the idea came from the wonderful TFE who came up with this brilliant means of inspiring writers, testing their imagination to create a poem each week by use of a prompt given by alternating bus drivers. 

You can become a rider on the bus this week by leaving a comment below once your poem is posted on, before, or even slightly after Monday 21st February and through the wonders of technology, I will link up with you.

The prompts for this week are as follows:

1.  This was one of the first creative prompts I ever received and it proved to be a good one - 

 I knew a woman who........ or indeed I knew a man who........
(real/fictitious or somewhere in between) 


2. The last time I was there...........

(again real,imagined, emotionally felt or pretty well any way you'd like to go with it)


3. The photograph below or the colour Amber.

Happy Writing

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Dr Ralph Gerard

'Reason can answer questions, but imagination has to ask them.'
- Dr Ralph Gerard - 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Magpie Tales - Beautiful Things

This week's magpie prompt:

Before I met him, I knew nothing of that life, a life in which things and people existed not necessarily for their function, but their beauty.  Our first evening together, I’d picked up that tiny crystal salt dispenser, like a magpie attracted to something small and shiny, wondering why there was no salt in it.  He’d laughed at me as his right hand slid down the side of my face, telling me that something beautiful is not required to perform.  That was his first lie.
The night of his death, I remember arriving at the party.  The beam of his car lights shone across the pebbled drive.  I wore a simple black dress with steely pearls, my hair worn up off my neck, a blonde fringe hanging sideways across my face.  I wore earrings that dangled and glistened like fairy lights, another magpie treat. To the outside world I gave the impression of sophisticated togetherness, whilst inside I was a jigsaw of broken pieces.
I can still see the look of eagerness in his eyes; that party was going to get him up close and personal with those that mattered.  He turned and eyed me for the first time that evening, his smile said he approved.  The trophy female; all part of the persona, but then both of us were playing that particular game.
When he opened the car door, I thought about not moving, that somehow I could control what fate had in store.  The lights and sounds of the party spilled onto the drive as if calling for a dance.  I heard my feet crunch on the pebbles and my body moved, almost as if it belonged to someone else.

For full details of prompt and other writings click HERE

Walking/Photo Journal - Doggy Trail

This is the story of the missing dog, our one to be exact, going by the name of Benson.  The first thing you need to know about Benson is that he is a golden retriever who thinks he is actually a sheep.  I know this because from an early age he's looked over into the other fields at them (not being many fields around here with golden retrievers) and figured in the absence of mirrors that living in a world of sheep, he must be one of them.

I could understand the confusion, they were of similar size, colour, soft coat, four legs etc etc but as you can imagine farmers, particularly those with sheep were not too keen on Benson's notion, hence the requirement for us to put up a fence around our little site so that when Benson wished to play with his relatives, his collar let out a bleep which duly warned him that continuing in that direction may not be ideal!

But today, as has happened in the past, somehow, probably due to son of 120 socks who likes to mess around, the fence got cut or damaged somewhere along its path and therefore it left Benson with the freedom to explore, which in turn meant that 120 socks had to explore as well!

So off I went down the hill calling said dog by name and clapping, because I was told by Mr Socks that he likes the clapping, the dog that is, not Mr Socks and even though I couldn't see him, the dog that is, not Mr Socks, I knew he was around, cause I kept hearing the sounds that said 'I am here, but you can't see me!'

The photo above is from down the end of our site, to the right although you can't see it in the picture is a steep drop down through a forest and a river and you've guessed it a place where Benson's relatives like to hang out.  The river I might add aids the distance that sound travels, which meant that half the mountain, including the missing dog must have heard 120 socks calling and clapping for a very long time.

Finally the missing lunatic came back, bouncing across the field with the kind of run that says thanks for coming out to play.  Said lunatic, the dog that is not me, was no longer golden but black with mud all the way up to his ears.  When I gave him my look, the one that meant I did not approve, he turned his head to the right and gave me back an equally effective look which said, it wasn't me, it was the other guy, the one with the woolly coat, I am completely innocent!

So I scolded him in that 'angry but not really meaning it' voice because I am a complete pushover in these situations and brought him home, where he collapsed for a very long sleep, as being missing, even for a dog can be exhausting! Let's hope he wasn't counting sheep.

Guilty as charged, just for Kat!

(And just to add for all sheep lovers everywhere, Benson doesn't do aggression, he is more the cuddly mucky variety of species, and anger means his tail wags slower, but always with a degree of happiness)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Back out walking

Sunshine through the trees

Now that Spring is here, every morning and every evening in Ireland we will get an extra 2 minutes of daylight, in other words 4 minutes per day or 28 minutes per week! Seems hard to believe but it sounds good to me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Poetry Bus Poem - Embrace

This week's poetry bus prompt came from the previously 7ft 10 inch Bug who is driving the bus on the eve of Valentine's Day and she gave us 3 different snowy picture prompts, I chose number 2 of two battered old couches abandoned in the snow.
For images and other bus riders visit  here

When the excitement of newness fades,
and years of being take their toll,
when things that matched,
seem less sure,
perhaps you should discard,
replace, or maybe just renew,
by looking close again,
to see what wasn’t obvious before.
Old patterns fade and fabrics wear,
but shape and form,
a solid base,
can ease together,
and once again embrace.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Club - The Pornographer by John Mc Gahern

Okay, it's nearly time to get the reviews of this month's book club selection.  Those discerning individuals who make up the book club will meet again next Thursday and will no doubt be their usual, no holding back opinionated selves, with yours truly 120 socks being one of them!

If any of you have read this book or indeed get a chance to read it over the next week, your comments will be very much appreciated, and will certainly add to what most likely will be another lively debate.

For critical reviews of previous books for November, December & January see links below!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - It's all about the LOVE!

For the weekend that's in it!

'Seduce my mind and you can have my body, find my soul and I'm yours forever.'
                                  -  Anonymous -

                                    (Or else give me a love heart sweet)

  By the way according to Virginia Woolf 'For most of history anonymous was a woman!' 

Walking/Photo Journal - Blue Skies

Blues skies over Dublin!

The Stinging Fly - Submissions

For anyone interested in submitting to The Stinging Fly

Submission Guidelines
The Stinging Fly only accepts submissions between January 1st and March 31st each year. Submissions will not be accepted outside of this period.
The Stinging Fly welcomes submissions from Irish and international writers.
All work submitted must be previously unpublished and ideally should not be under consideration elsewhere.
The postal address for submissions is: The Stinging Fly, PO Box 6016, Dublin 8, Ireland. We do not accept e-mail submissions.
Each submission should include an email address for reply. To save time and reduce costs we would prefer to respond to all submissions via email.
If you do need or prefer to have your manuscript returned, please be sure to include return envelopes/postage. If sending work from outside of the Irish Republic, please note that non-Irish stamps are of no use to us here.
All submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter, which should include:
  • Author's Name
  • E-mail address and postal address
  • Name of stories / poems submitted
  • Brief biog if you wish, no CV necessary.
  • Date of Submission
Anyone submitting both fiction and poetry submissions should include a separate cover letter with each.
All submissions should be printed using 1.5 or double line spacing. Minimum font size: 11pt. Every piece of work should have the author's name printed or signed on it.
  • No more than two stories and/or four poems should be submitted at any one time or in any one year.
  • Short stories should not exceed 3000 words. We do publish longer stories, but it is recommended that first-time submissions not exceed 3000 words (by too much).
  • There is no restriction on the length of poems.
  • All submissions are read. The editors' decision may not be correct but it is final.
  • With a limited budget, we are only in a position to offer contributors a discretionary token payment. They will also receive two copies of the issue in which their work is featured and can order further copies at a discounted rate.
  • Copyright remains in all cases with the author. Some work selected may be included in future versions of this web site.
The Stinging Fly
PO Box 6016
Dublin 8
E-mail: (no email submissions) stingingfly@gmail.com
Editor: Declan Meade Poetry Editor: Eabhan Ní Shúileabháin

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Novel - The Return

My novel followers (all 3 of you) will know that a week before Christmas I finished the first draft of the said NOVEL.  The plan was to get back to it in January and start the editing process, but sometimes your heart and your brain need a real break, so neither would let me open all 374 pages again, least not for a while.

I did manage to send it to a friend, with the request to read the first 3 chapters, after all is that not what friends are for, to use and abuse!  Anyhow she read them, in fact she read the whole novel which was a brill surprise, as even I would not expect such dedication from my friends.  The feedback was she really enjoyed it and wanted to know if she could get her book club to read it.  I declined, as right now I am only taking baby steps and staying a baby for a while feels very attractive.

But finally today, I visited the manuscript again.  I am in the middle of editing the first 3 chapters, which I hope to finish by next week, along with reviewing the synopsis and finally perfecting the 'pitch letter'. 

For now, I am just glad that I am back writing it, and that I don't hate it, and even more important, even though I know the story, the beginning, middle and end, I am still happy to read and reread it over and over again, which is just as well as I think it might require knowing it by heart before I am finished.

So I'll be back with more fascinating insights over the next while, so all 3 of you followers out there, stay tuned! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Bad Days & Early Flowering

All days are made up of good and bad bits and for the most part hopefully the good wins the battle.  But sometimes like yesterday, just like the way bits of good news can surprise you in how blinkin' great they make you feel, so too can bits of bad news do the very opposite.  

With women, they say hormones have a lot to do with feeling down, and being female means that I can at least consider this possibility.  Tiredness too is another tester of one's emotions but then again maybe neither of these things really matter.

Perhaps we just need to accept that life is all about feeling great and feeling rotten, and if we didn't have one, we certainly would not have the other.

So enough of the 'Carrie Bradshaw' sitting at my keyboard trying to work out the world, or even worse, work out 'me in the world'.  I am just going to dust myself down and get on with it, cause there's always something good around to help with the bad bits, if we just look for it.

Like a couple of minutes ago, when I was feeling a particular wave of 'feel sorry for me', I looked out the window, and there they were, the first of the spring flowers.  The smallest, and the bravest, because they arrive first, with lots of vulnerability due to their gentility, and the harsh frosty nights just waiting to pounce on them, but they arrive all the same, small and splendid!

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