This wasn't really supposed to be done until 7pm, but I couldn't wait, no patience in me when it comes to these things...
Monday, August 31, 2009
This wasn't really supposed to be done until 7pm, but I couldn't wait, no patience in me when it comes to these things...
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Over the weekend, one unexpected priviledge of mine was to join in with a KATS theatre group (these were the guys who took on the pillowman earlier on in the year - link here - see 9th Mar bit) workshop in Galway, run by one Max Hafler of UCG, director, writer, and great teacher as it turns out.
Twas a bit of a joy. The group were very friendly and welcoming, but also extremely focussed and serious about their work. I had 3 and a half of the most inspiring hours that I've experienced for a while. One standout exercise was based on the approach of Michael Chekhov (Anton's nephew). It involved envisioning a swimming pool of colour first of all, then seeing the colour rise up from the ground in front of you, with a very clearly defined border. Max asked us to put our arms first, then our feet, and eventually our heads into the space. (It was so well done that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to breathe inside) Then we took a walk in the space...
After that the space was changed. We had to infuse it in our imagination with one particular emotion. We had to feel it, first with our fingers, then underfoot, then on the skin of our faces and finally through our whole selves - what it felt like. A pretty powerful approach I found. And weirdly because the space was so well defined, you could jump back out at any time as well, as well as jumping back in too.
Definitely one that could be used in writing too. Brilliant.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Feeling like a lonely outsider?
Tomorrow it is Domestic Oubliette's turn to take to the airwaves. She's a great poet, as you'll know from her blog, and also a really accomplished short story writer. She is going to treat us to a couple of her Award winning short stories and a very nice, eclectic and quite sad selection of music from a compilation of her own making called "Now that's what I call Lonely Outsiderness 22 and a half"
Oub has a gorgeous reading voice, and is a great conversationalist.
Well worth a listen I'd have to say. It's on at 11 am Irish time on the Liffey Sound website. Enjoy!
Here is the podcast - mournful music, and brilliant stories...
Friday, August 28, 2009
Does it matter where a poem comes from? I've a poem I wrote a few weeks back, and it's origins are not from some moment of clarity, or visceral gut wrenching emotion, but I quite like it all the same.
Have a looky here at it - before I explain any further:
Blistering City - I've removed this for now, if you want a looky leave me a comment and I'll send it on to you :-)
And now... where it came from - an idle game I played one morning with the teen vampire book twilight, and a copy of the economist magazine - took about 10 nouns from the former and 10 adjectives from the latter - both completely taken at random.
Didn't stick religiously to them either, moved em around/ changed things as I saw fit. I think it still has meaning in it, and I think it leads to interesting images, but feel like I've cheated or been a bit lazy about getting there. The big criticism I had of Christian Bok was the lack of real feeling in his poems, so am I guilty of the very same here? or worse - pretence of meaning where maybe there really isn't... Would it be better to explain the origin of the poem in advance at readings? or not? (The glorious glór crowd seemed to like it anyway - without the explanation)
Anyways, that's today's puzzle - answers on a postcard....
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I was just thinking to myself the other day, of all the great writers who have kindly agreed to take part in my radio thingymajig, and how amazed everyone is going to be at the wealth of local talent around the place.
But tonight I attended the launch of Clondalkin Teen Writer's heritage project, and realised, actually, we ain't seen nothing yet. When I was a kid, I used to think adults were awful strange and silly for doting on us, and being so encouraging and enthusiastic about the efforts of younger people. But now I think I kind of realise, partly, why. (yes there's two whole sentences there that start with the word "But", I'm sure my English teacher would like to have me shot!)
Five of the teens involved in the project got up there and proudly read their stuff, and they're only half, or less than half my age, and I really wonder what they're going to be like in a few years, because already they have a poise and confidence in their work that is really striking, and inspiring.
Twas a great evening, as predicted, and they have done some great things on the theme of the past, present and future of their fondly loved home place. If you are in the area, you really have to drop in and check it out - on display for the next month, they've presented everything from Haikus to Short Stories in beautiful artistic style. The local librarian Deirdre Priestley is to be seriously commended for the ingenius idea.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
poem at the Glór sessions. It was well recieved, I don't want to ruin the surprise so I won't elaborate any further in case you ever see me doing it again.... It didn't involve strobe lighting, or blowing bubbles - but these are possibilities for the future... the crowd loves a gimmick, and Victorian style rhymes...
The excellent Male Poet Colm Keegan was reading as well, wowing everyone as always with his touching and deep poetry. As Stephen James said, he's a great poet, and is one of those who'll be remembered. And I can say I played on the same stage...
Another good one, always inspiring, will be back for more of that.
Anyone around Clondalkland tomorrow evening around 7 pm should wander in to the library there, where ... upstairs... a few of the genius local teen writers will be reading work they have created around the theme of the history and heritage of Clondalkin... Should be a good evening.
Monday, August 24, 2009
It slipped in here under the radar, a post lent to me with the blessing of the author, who wrote it over a year ago. Comb back through the archive and see if you can spot it.
All I'll say is it happened sometime in August. It didn't even raise an eyebrow.
I am telling you now, (for those of you who might worry about such things) I will not play such a trick again, it was a once off experiment, and I was being a bit lazy that day, ie didn't want to write my own post.
At the risk of boring you with far too much talk of Radio shows ....
- the phone was the first one to turn, losing all my numbers, including Drama queen's and leaving me trying to guess who was who by their texts. Eventually I called her and she was on her way, and I wasn't panicking at all at all.
She arrived with her genius sound engineer who informed me that what I was planning was technologically unsound and I couldn't actually play music straight off of youtube (the wavs would interfere with something and all online listeners would be deafened or cut off). She tried to soothe my hyperventilations while he went to download the music and put it in another file, plan B. Herself and myself then picked some emergency songs from the failsafe book that has the list of all the music that is playable straight off the desk - which I'd been using in training all week, plan C. The damn clock wouldn't stop moving.
The sound engineer called us, "You can go in now, you're on" me hopping up with such a start that my lucofizzy went everywhere, "Not right this second..." the news was still playing, then my theme song, I derived a strange comfort from resting my forehead on the soft fuzz of the mike. (an object, not a person).
Then we took a deep breath and dived in. Me shaky at the start, Drama Queen making minutes at a time of entertaining radio from the few cues and questions I had for her. Then she began to read...
She has a great reading voice, fairytale-esque, that makes you feel all wrapped up and warm, and I found it hard to feel uncomfortable even when plan B, and C both failed on a couple of occasions, (we eventually had to use plan D for the last song - a cd hurriedly provided for us by the presenter of the next show) the music eventually flowed and it was ok, apart from the odd few seconds of dead air now and again (I like to think of them now as opportunities for reflection). The questions bit was probably the most fun for me, and it was a big thrill having texts to read out - even if the most gushing one was from my ma.
I'm on a bit of a learning cliff, so hopefully my mistakes won't be enough to turn entire generations of listeners away from the radio.
Absolutely wrecked for the rest of the day, with only the restorative effects of a full hour of fair city eventually reviving me.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Ok not really.
This morning's guest is Drama Queen, who has oodles of radio experience, is an inspiration, great to talk to, and a brilliant writer, so we're in good hands.
I, meanwhile, am trying my very best to get nervous about Monday night's Glór session to diminish the nerviosity that I'm currently feeling about the show.
The long awaited podcast of my first mortifying leap into live radio is here now.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Since I know my current affairs like the back of my head, I've decided it's time I did a very little bit of delving into politics and world affairs, just cos I don't want you, my readers, to think you're getting no educational benefit from reading this blog. (I have to admit it's been a bit me me me lately!!). So I thought I'd skim through a copy of the economist, and bring you news from "the world" as in - something from outside of my own tiny little life - and here's just 3 of the many news things that you might never have otherwise heard about, be warned, I know nothing of the foreground, background or middleground of these things, just passing them on:
- Last week the government of Iraq banned smoking in all public buildings, "Have the politicians nothing better to do?" asked a man.
- There was a bad Typhoon in Taiwan - starting on Aug 6th. Over 100 people dead, maybe 500 more buried in a village called Hsiao Lin.
- On 1oth of August, in the middle of the day, that'd be the middle of the day on Monday before last, a woman who used to run a Charity called "Save the Generation" in Chechnya was kidnapped with her husband, and they were found dead a few hours later.
News is depressing isn't it? Well not the smoking ban bit but most of the rest of what's there.
My initial idea for this blog post was that I thought it'd be fun to compare this to the Economist of 2 and a bit years ago, (that's it above, on the left - the top of the world one) but it's probably not going to be fun at all, just more of the same. So I'll just inform you that the price has gone up by 60 cent, and the magazine is now 24 pages lighter. Back then oil had hit a new high of 75 dollars a barrel, and everything was growing and optimistic. Weird eh?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
After listening to my RADIO SHOW next weekend you should head on into the
Free Imagination GYM Family Workshops
Children (6-10yrs) and adults
Places on each workshop strictly limited to 10 children and accompanying adults and adults must stay for the workshop.
The workshops will be run in 4 languages:
*English * Irish *Finnish *German
Date: Sunday 23rd August
ImaginationGYM® 01-6753522 and firstname.lastname@example.org
In other news - I was not that drunk on Saturday night last, the bouncer really did look good in that moustache.
Also - folding up 200 funday leaflets does not just take 5 minutes, as I would have previously imagined.
Also - cats lovers check out the following
Engineers guide to cats <-- link there
Also - another kind of Gym - for those of you allergic to exercise of brain or body.... link here
Also - I have been spending too much time on youtube lately...
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
It's to be called "The Sunday Scrapbook" but my unofficial name for it will be "Dreams, Scenes and Themes" - I like having unofficial names for things.
Anyway - the plan is that I will have a GUEST writer:
Guest will pick a theme.
Guest is introduced to the listener(s?) and a bit of discussion around their writing journey so far, (esp if they haven't been on before - but because it's theme based I envision some repeat visits), and why they picked the theme that they did.
Guest reads some of their stuff along the theme and possibly some stuff belonging to other poets/ writers that they like along the theme also.
Guest picks music/ comedy clips (or whatever else) off youtube to go with the theme.
There will be a writing news slot - with some mention of upcoming deadlines/ competitions/ readings coming up.
Then we move on to solve the problems of the world with the guest, by asking them PROBING QUESTIONS.... as I said before - open to all help with coming up with these.
Finally - possibly during the last piece of music we may try a random writing exercise, maybe getting people at home to join in if they wish (idea just occuring to me, I could set up a blog, and listeners could put their responses in the comment box and we could read em out! hmmm - will only do that for the live ones then maybe - or else we could do it anyway and everyone can read the results after - feedback on that idea please? sounds good in my head, but might be rubbish)
So that's the plan as we stand, possibly will get two writers in betimes, if they have a similar theme, which reminds me - anyone already signed up to come in as a guest, can you get the theme to me, or I will randomly assign it to you and you will have to work around it. "Cats at Christmas", "Sliced cheese v's blocks", "Staplers - Friend or Foe?", and "Icecream" are just some of the ones that you might end up with, if you're not careful.
Haruki M - If you're reading this - yes I'd love to have you on the show but can't fit you in until November...
Off to the west now for a Wedding and day off work tomorrow - yippee!!! See ye back when I can...
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In my experience, at times the reference desk becomes a barrier between user and librarian. Something happened to confirm that impression this week. I was waiting to ask a question at the information desk and the librarian was talking to a colleague in a very social way a little distance behind the desk. I waited and waited. I became slightly annoyed as it was clear I was waiting and that this conversation was anecdotal and social rather than important business. I felt ignored and a bit silly waiting for a librarian who refused to see me. Eventually the conversation broke up and the librarian slowly returned to the desk area, moving around in a desultory way in the behind the desk area, refusing to make eye contact, rearranging books and papers. After a significant time the librarian sat down and barely looking at me asked me in a disinterested tone what I wanted. What struck me in all of this was how she refused to look at me properly at any stage. There was absolutely no eye contact or acknowledgement of my presence. Her tone of voice was flat and disinterested. Her manner was very much that she would rather be anywhere else. Everything was grim – the desk was cluttered. The whole situation drab. I would have preferred to be somewere else too. I asked my question - which was simple enough and easily answered as it related to the time and location of a library event but I felt I had endured alot to get such a paltry piece of information. It did not seem worth my time in the end. I felt that the desk and the space behind it had been used against me, that it had been abused in a way by a librarian with very little interest in the needs of library users. And I feel the desk model can suffer in this regard, can act as a very effective wall. Again I felt I had walked into a sort of throwback to the bad old days of reference desk service. It demonstrates to me how much libraries are in transition – forward-looking in some respects but still with one foot in the past in certain respects – particularly in relation to service in the physical library space.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
There was also a lovely woman starting a cookery show, and a guy who's presenting a newspaper show who actually I know from the Salsa classes back in April... We couldn't place each other at the time, but Peter - if you're reading this, yes... that was me in the dodgy tracksuit.
I totally messed up of course, there was a mention of a woman who had a cat who had crawled into a coal bunker and she couldn't wash him enough to turn him white. Did I say something poignant about how the cat should be allowed to be whatever colour it wanted as long as it was happy? Nope... I suggested bleach, with such a straight face that the studio dwellers thought I meant it, until I tried to convince them I was only joking. I did manage to shut up and not say anything else terribly foolish... I hope... I mean I could be blocking something out. There was no angry mob outside as I was leaving at least, so it can't have been that bad... I hope.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
In the meantime please enjoy the photo of the sky above dubland - a result of our sky hunting session last saturday evening which came about when Mr VC claimed that dubland has only a tiny percentage of the amount of sky to be had in the West.
A very delayed response to the question what inspires you... from the Weaver of Grass blog (link here).
Friday, August 7, 2009
I’m carrying a wait
A wait for something
Waiting for excitement,
For pressure, pleasure, disgust, disruption
Palpitation, punctuation : the thing that says when things are over
Or when things have begun.
I weigh it
It’s not too heavy.
Like clothes on your back, you can carry it
Cos it’s always there, like yourself,
your own bladder, your bones, hair,
all get heavier most of the time,
slowly heavier, but you can still carry
The wait gets heavier too, gradually, inexorably,
longer with every second.
So what are you waiting for?
Thursday, August 6, 2009
It's today's date - I love dates and times that are symettrical, reflective, linear or concentrical or that have a pattern of any kind, could stare at a clock for hours waiting for the odd little pleasure to be got from seeing the display when it reads 12.21 or 20.02. I remember where I was on 6th of the 6th of 06, (lost driving a hire car around England). Actually - just realised 999 is coming up - which is bound to be just as exciting, or maybe even more so.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
So the great artwork of TFEs is about to leave us, depart on his round the world trip, as soon as I've saved up enough for the postage.
However - this house will not be empty of art, oh no. We bought our very first painting last friday at the genius Brian Hannigan's exhibition, it's my 30th Birthday present from Mr VC. I rather like it, he's really brilliant.
Anyways - it's one of the 3 above, all of which are from Brian H - guess which one - if you want - I might never tell you, those in the know Shhhh.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
In case you weren't able for a full quarter pounder - the nice people at this stall that shall remain nameless were offering not one, but two different varieties of 1/4 quarter pounders over the weekend.
Presumably they'd be cut in triangles like fancy sangwitches. And at a bargain price as well.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Here's "Man and Superman" hoping the sun would last all weekend
Here he is on the "Road Trip" - eyeing the clouds pensively, his earlier optimism quickly evaporating.
He grabbed a prime spot early on, determined to show himself to the public as advantageously as possible. People were very impressed.
Turned out our tent is an antique - barely used since my brother's leaving cert trip - the eye catching (perhaps literally) health and safety risking pointy sharp ends drew a large and admiring crowd. (The spike was a handy place to keep the empty Champagne bottle.)
We set "Man and Superman" the task of minding our free case of Band Beer - who said poetry doesn't pay? - a job he excelled at.
Our first performance was in the ballroom of the castle, a salubrious location, and our fabulous Audient member was very appreciative, she was joined by another 3 or 4 appreciative folk, along with the people stuck there for work reasons, who were listening intently, an intimate gig.
Here's "Man and Superman" relaxing in the green room - note famous band types being interviewed in the background. He got us into all the best parties.
On the Sunday we decided The Poetry Divas needed a bigger venue than the ballroom, we asked the organisers could we do our bit on the main stage - we actually needed half an hour in the first aid tent to recover when they said yes...
Time went by, second by gut wrenching second, until finally - genius DJ Rob slowed the music, to just the right tempo, got everyone into Poetry form, and then we took to the Stage.
Every inch the rockers, we had a suitably laid back, 2.30 on a Sunday evening, slightly bleary but appreciative crowd, the weather held up, we had microphones, the camp site is so near the main stage that even the dozers could hear us. I had a bit of audience participation with a child helpfully screaming at the first line of Techno Tribes - demonstrating that children do indeed scream, we even had some crusty roadies to the side of the stage shouting up "One more Poem" at the end. It was fairly cool.
Here's a kinda creepy pic of us - taken by the lead singer of Killer Chloe, in the green room of the castle, our faces didn't really come out - it could of been sun, or it might've been the fact that the castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted in Europe, we only found that out last night on wikipedia.
The best new discovery in terms of bands was "Project Jenny, Project Jan" link here, saw them twice over the weekend, energetic amazing band, we all bought their cd. They were class.
It was fairly rockin good fun, had a blast of a weekend with the Divas and our very own "il Divo" extraordinaire. Thanks to "Man and Superman" for accompanying us on our mission - the weekend wouldn't have been the same without him - keep an eye on Total Feckin Eejit's blog to see where he's gonna end up next!! - (An Art in the Community initiative by TFE 2009 Inc.)