Not Quite Bananas

Just when my nerve starts to waver and I wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life, my muse knocks on the door and presents me with a cup of Earl Grey. Or he sends a WhatsApp message with an old photo to encourage me out of hiding from under the table (again). It doesn’t stop me wondering what it’s all about (oh boy, do I have a lot of poems about the meaning of life?) but it allows for satisfying recall of some of the thrills and spills of a life (so far) well lived. A life I’m … Continue reading Not Quite Bananas

And the Winner Is…

When I first dipped my toe into the Irish writing market, I admit I didn’t have a clue as to where I should start sending my creative endeavours. What to do with all those words? The shoebox under the bed was stuffed to overflowing. Perhaps a writing group would help? But I soon discovered the people around me were equally clueless, or worse, secretive. I guess they thought sharing information about publishing opportunities was likely to do them out of success. A few years down the line and I have now garnered a good bit of useful information about where … Continue reading And the Winner Is…

The Writer is ‘In’

You can tell when I’m ‘writing’.  The kitchen floor’s immaculate (yes, really), there are freshly baked scones in the tin, I have washed the car (yes, really), weeded the borders, walked the dog, groomed the cats, spent an hour on Twitter, done four loads of washing, and ironed my way to the bottom of the basket (yes, really). In other words, I’ve put off the dreaded deed until I’ve completed one hundred zillion important chores which simply HAVE to be done before I can park my bum on the chair in front of my computer, and get down the actual … Continue reading The Writer is ‘In’

The Plot Thickens

Did I mention I’m writing a novel – a joint effort with my criminologist daughter? It’s a kind of grip-lit character-led thriller. Standing in the supermarket queue, that’s the sort of thing to drop into a conversation beginning with Irish weather/Brexit/refugees/the price of petrol/Leo-at-the-helm (delete as appropriate). Or is it? Since we went public with our plans to write a novel together – we’re ‘Luri Cole’ (a mix of Louise and Rhiannon), we seem to have ground to a halt. The more people we tell, the slower moving the project, or so it seems. Not sure why. Originally, we thought … Continue reading The Plot Thickens

In Praise Of. Punctuation!!!

I’ve never been much taken with ‘experimental’ fiction, not least because all that stream-of-consciousness malarkey often eschews the rules of good grammar and punctuation. It’s not that I don’t want to be challenged by what I’m reading (although sometimes I just want to read something that’s easy on the brain, in soothing, warm bath style), but frankly, reading some so-called experimental writing is just plain hard work. And not worth the effort. Sticking my head above the parapet here, but I’ve never got on with ‘Ulysses’ (or much else by James Joyce come to that). Gasp! Did I really own … Continue reading In Praise Of. Punctuation!!!

Stockings, and the Filling Thereof…

If you know someone who likes cats and short stories (always a good combo in my opinion) this anthology might be a good Christmas stocking filler. A paperback with illustrations and 21 stories (including one of mine, ‘Waifs and Strays’), the proceeds go to two charities – Cats Protection and the Against Malaria Foundation. ‘Cat Tales; An Anthology of Short Stories’ is available at Amazon:  Cat Tales Or there’s ‘The 2016 Exeter Story Prize Collection: 21 New Stories’ which also includes a short, short story of mine, ‘Fitting In’ (which has nothing to do with cats!). These are stories and … Continue reading Stockings, and the Filling Thereof…

Poking the Bad Tooth Side of Writing – Trying to Make Money

What do you call a group of writers squashed into a hot room in County Leitrim’s Ballinamore Library on a Saturday afternoon? It’s a trick question. Everyone knows there’s no collective noun to describe a gathering of writers tripping over each others’ egos as they describe their life and times as scribes. But a few words sprang to mind as I drove home through the beautiful Leitrim countryside (Google Maps was right – Ballinamore is exactly one hour away). Just in case you’re wondering where this is going, let me say from the start that all the words I thought … Continue reading Poking the Bad Tooth Side of Writing – Trying to Make Money

Sex is good but have you ever been shortlisted in a writing competition?

I have been spending a lot of time recently wondering why on earth I write. Of course, it’s rejections that bring on that ‘what’s it all for?’ mood. I seem to have had a good few negatives explode in my in-box recently, like badly placed mines ready to tear off my writing limbs. They are somehow counterbalanced by an unequal number of positives of course, which is what keeps me going. I carry on because, as I’ve said before, ‘Sex is good but have you ever been shortlisted in a writing competition?’ (I need to get a fridge magnet made). … Continue reading Sex is good but have you ever been shortlisted in a writing competition?

Writers on Other Planets

Here’s a nice story: Once upon a time there was this wannabe short story writer who was wandering around Waterstones in Cork when she found herself introduced to the lovely author of the book of short stories she was about to buy… Yes, that was me in Cork. I know, it’s a long (very long) way from County Roscommon, but I have to say, I LOVE Cork and wasn’t going to miss the chance of a visit when I was invited to the launch of the anthology of stories from the From the Well Short Story Competition. So, up with … Continue reading Writers on Other Planets

I am (a fan of) Dublin

I had the thrill of reading at the Irish Writers’ Centre last night (March 15th 2016), as one of the flash fiction winners in the  Five Lamps Arts Festival’s ‘I am Dublin’ competition. Wall to wall books and original art, and very welcoming people all around –  I had a lovely evening. I got to read my piece ‘Liffey. If he. Dares.’ which was 400 flashy words somewhere between poetry and prose, which won me €60 worth of book vouchers. The competition was judged by Dermot Bolger & Doireann Ní Ghríofa, who apparently had a hard time choosing the four winners! … Continue reading I am (a fan of) Dublin