The Walking Unread

I’m not usually looking for something to read – my bedside table groans under the weight of many  books, and I’ve often my nose in several tomes at once (I’ve the right shaped nose for such feats). And I admit to being swayed by the hype from social media when there’s something new everyone’s talking about (hello Booker longlist), so the to-be-read pile is ever-growing. But one day last week I plucked from the heap of unreads an anthology I have a story in. Not a recent one, but one from last year which I hadn’t bothered to finish before. … Continue reading The Walking Unread

Read All About It

My kitchen floor’s a mess again. What with books to read, poems to write, creative writing groups to facilitate and sick cats to pet, I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s no time to mop the floor. Or clean the windows (you have to do that more than once a year? Really?). That’s the trouble with household chores like cleaning. You get it  all done, and then in an instant,  it needs doing again. And time can be so much better spent reading. I mean, good books don’t read themselves, do they? It was probably a bit of a coincidence, but … Continue reading Read All About It

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

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…

Working Titles and The Sound of Time Passing

Why has no-one ever before told me about the joys of audio books? Faced with the prospect of a boring, solo four-and-a-half-hour car journey last week, I asked around about the best way to pass the time.  Obscure local radio stations and over-used MP3 playlists notwithstanding, the consensus seemed to suggest listening to stories. So I ventured into a dusty corner of my local library and discovered a small but significant collection of audio books. I chose ‘The Hills of Kilimanjaro’, a collection of Ernest Hemingway short stories. (Him again. I’m re-living my teenage years somehow).  Good enough, as they … Continue reading Working Titles and The Sound of Time Passing

Howya and other Gems

Listening to author Dermot Bolger talking-the-talk at a hundred miles an hour and in Dublin-speak – what’s there not to like about that for an otherwise dull and rainy Saturday? I attended Dermot Bolger’s ‘Finding a Voice’ writing workshop at the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar yesterday (July 23rd 2016).  Eleven of us (all female) spent the morning listening to tips and anecdotes from an entertaining man who certainly knows his stuff. He started with stories of his first mentor Sheila Fitzgerald from back in the 1970s,  and continued with plenty of snippets about stars of the current Irish … Continue reading Howya and other Gems

The reason my house is a mess

I have good intentions when it comes to housework – I don’t like living in a tip. But really,when there’s a choice, what to do?  Read a book or mop the kitchen floor? It really is a no-brainer for me. Only the thought of visitors copping a sight of my unwashed floors/windows/dishes (delete as appropriate) will spur me into action, and then only if its people who have never been to my house before. Joan Rivers had it right when she said: “I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to … Continue reading The reason my house is a mess

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

Elephants, Retired Policemen and that Ladies’ Detective Agency

I like quick reads for entertainment (as well as slow reads for intellectual challenge) and came across ‘The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra’ by Vaseem Khan recently. The tag lines on the cover describe the novel as ‘utterly charming’ and ‘endearing and gripping’, which wouldn’t necessarily pull me in. But what intrigued me was the premise of a retired Indian police inspector with an elephant as his sidekick. A scrupulously honest ex-policeman with the gift of a baby elephant to care for and a nasty crime to solve, no less. This is the first in a series of tales involving … Continue reading Elephants, Retired Policemen and that Ladies’ Detective Agency