Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dominic's challenge

Getting in early for Dominic's challenge - we had to listen to a piece of "music" and write whatever occured... here's what happened... Click here for more on the Challenge - It's not too late for you to join in! (and you can hardly do worse than me! :-) )

Messages, Pictures & Poems

A gaping gap, a sleeking sap flows down

A stainless steel tree

The waves surprise, faint shudders, sighs, frowns,

Tie in the listener – He

is frozen while a dozen slow things

Crawl over his aching bones

The noise goes on, the boys all gone

Messages, pictures and poems

Arrive daily on reflective screens

Tears glisten on shiny old cheek

The leathery skin keeps them out

Eyes bathed in punishing doubt

He keens

Memory laughs – glimpses a half – when only birds

Twittered, singing dawn joy perpetual.

And virus attacks meant hours in bed sacks

Not blank screens deader than usual. No.

And only love mattered, and real walls

were spattered with

messages, pictures and poems

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mia Gallagher on the Radio

I'm thrilled this weekend to be welcoming Mia Gallagher onto the Sunday Scrapbook stage - with her show - based on the theme of "Rebirth"
Mia Gallagher is a writer of literary fiction and theatre-maker based in Dublin. Her debut novel ‘HellFire’ (described as ‘a grand achievement’ by the Guardian) received international critical acclaim and the Literature Award in Irish Tatler’s Women of the Year 2007. Her short stories have been published in Ireland, the UK and the US and have won the START short fiction award as well as being nominated for a Hennessy Award. As a theatre-maker, Mia has devised/performed widely in Ireland and Europe. She has facilitated workshops in performance, storytelling, creative writing and communication skills, with groups ranging from people in prison to professional writers. Currently Writer-in-Residence with the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) and Dun Laoire Rathdown Arts Office, Mia has received Arts Council funding for both literature and theatre and is a member of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild and Irish Theatre Artists.

We'll be on at 4pm as always on Liffey Sound, hope you can join us then!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To Ham or not to Ham

So - I'm Irish, I like Writing, and (without meaning to be an ego about it) I'm pretty much Central in my own life (wherever I go, there I am) - ipso facto - I'll be perfectly fine reading at the Irish Writers' Centre.... Right? Right??? I casually dropped it into the newsy bit there last Monday, but it's kind of a big deal to me. I've read alot of poems out to people, but this will only be my second time reading a story out loud, in public. It's a first person narrative too... What do I do? Act it out? Ham it up? There's a serious danger of mortification here folks, and it's a huge honour to be reading there, I don't want to blow it - advice in the comment box thanks....
Really looking forward to part-deux of the night - the brown bread mix-tape at the Stag's head - run by Kalle Ryan. He's running the night monthly, each month with a different theme, and tomorrow night's theme of Family is largely (ok totally) responsible for the birth of yesterday's poem. Anyways should be a good one, if I haven't fainted away with nerves before it all kicks off.
Both things are free in, so y'never know - might even see you there.... you're all invited.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I can't be waiting till friday - a monday poem

TFE has kindly thrown an open invitation to the castle, once you have a poem with mention of a car... and guess what? I have! and it's not even the one about the car breaking down... and I know I'm supposed to wait till Friday, but I never had patience for that kinda thing, and Monday is the new Friday, and I'm feeling ridiculously queasy, so will post this now with the last ounce of strength in me...
here it is
hope you like

Have removed this - since it's being published !!! but if you want a copy, just mail me,

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The booky meme

With thanks to Barbara's Bleuggh where I first saw these questions....

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?


2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you'll read next?

Last read was John McGahern's The Leavetaking, Current read is the Davy Byrne Short Stories, lining up next is Kafka's The Castle.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?

Can't think of any example - I don't tend to hate books really... in films I was frustrated by AVATAR - could have been amazing... but then it had a few fatal flaws that ruined it.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

Kafka's The Castle

5. Which book are you saving for "retirement?"

Something with Large Print - or read out on a tape - but haven't quite decided what it will be.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

Always wait

7. Acknowledgments: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

I rarely look at them, unless they're very short, or cleverly put somewhere that fools me into thinking it's part of the book.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

None of em - good characters tend to have tough traumatic lives - no thanks !

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

House of Leaves - reminds me strongly of living in a messy room (of my own making) in Arklow.

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

Won a copy of The Snow Princess - my first ever writing success for a short story competition as a kid.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

I bought "the intimate history of humanity" for a lot of people I cared about, just thought it was a beautiful book, so wanted to share it.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

Brought the brilliant "Shantaram" with me to Brazil and Argentina. It's a book set in Mumbai - and I met a Mumbai guy, who knew of some of the main characters, in Brazil. It's the furthest travelled anyway. Don't bring alot of books out and about with me that much - probably went most places with books of childhood - babysitters series - wouldn't have left the house without a book when I was younger.

13. Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?

Some of Shakespeare's Sonnets - hated because we were forced to learn them off even though they weren't actually on the syllabus. Grateful now to that English teacher - she knew what she was at.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

Bits of grass - nothing very strange.

15. Used or brand new?

New books make me giddy - especially if they have special paper - like a copy of Armageddon in Retrospect recieved as a present. Second hand are lovely too tho - and a nicer price...

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

Liked him in my teens. Haven't checked him out lately. Probably a bit of a genius of some sort - most rich people are?!? As Titus recently pointed out - he did write The Stand, before The Road was written, so he was definitely pretty good.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

The Neverending Story - though I saw the film long before I ever read the book.

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?

The Butcher Boy? Just remember it being a gut wrenching read, there was so much going on inside the head of the main character - it was impossible to get it all across outwardly in a film.

19. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

The Road -- the bit where they found the apples - I wanted an apple.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

My reader friend is Sarah - famous from her appearance on the Sunday Scrapbook - she knows what she's talking about when it comes to books.

I don't know how or why I have those white boxes by the way - another bloggy mystery...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Non Confined Expression on the Radio

This week's guests on the Sunday Scrapbook are Damien Kinnerk and Paul Hendrick of Non Confined Expression fame.
Damien started the Non Confined Expression writing group to get people expressing themselves through the art of poetry. This led to an Open Mic Poetry Night in Raheny. The name of this was the Non-Confined Expression night.It was Paul's first Open Mic and he performed brilliantly along with other poets from the locality.
The second night was called 'Nurtured Expression!' The point of this night was to nurture the talents of the poets.
The last night was called 'Unchained Spirits.' and featured a host of local and not so local poets. They have both been published in the Migrating Minds anthology with the Bayside writers group. Damien has recited his poetry for Project 50 in aid of the Save Darfur Project. Paul recited his poems on the radio with the Bayside writers group.
They're passionate guys who write seriously touching poems about anything and everything and will be well worth a listen.

4pm Sunday Liffey Sound: bígí ag éisteacht...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Various Variations

Music is fierce inspiring... You only have to look at Colm Mac Con Iomaire's performance at Nighthawks to see that - click here

Anyway - I've been reading about pianos and music lately, and this guy who was stopped dead in his tracks when he heard a thing called Beethovens' Diabelli Variations being played. What it was, was this guy Diabelli sent a waltz around to a ton of composers in 1821, and got them all to rewrite it and release their own version, apparently Beethovens' was great, him being handy with an aul tune, and he did a big long version parodying alot of other writers at the time, sounds like an old style Bill Bailey. So I was wondering whether we could do the same with a poem, ie get a load of writers to rewrite their own version/ variation on a good poem - and if so what kind of poem could be used as the basis, and who would you want to take part?! I thought it would be possibly rather interesting...

Another thing that occured to me is why can't music take something from poetry - and the thing I've wondered about is whether a musician could take the idea of an extra short form with maximum impact, and make a success of it - somewhat like a very short poem, could any artist release an album of 20 second songs, would it be worth doing? Mr VC pointed out to me in the midst of my wonderings that the pop song is already the shortened equivalent of classical tunes/ operas, but I wonder if there could be a further compression - maybe it's already done - and I just don't know about it - let me know if there is something like that out there...

Are there any other ways of working creatively that should or could be applied into new disciplines? What are they?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Goldfish poem

Home and Dry

The gold fish live behind a curtain, beside the window,
Their actions at night aren’t certain, cloaked in shadow
I feed them in the dark,
am glad that they don’t bark
I’d surely have neighbours complaining if they did, it’s not snowing
But it’s raining down the chimney, carpet skids, if it keeps going
The living room will fill
Grey water scum will spill
And the fish will get their thrills
They’ll be free... to swim to the kitchen, join a communal cup of tea, with skill
They’ll dodge animals on the prowl, sneak back to the aquarium, with howls of nostalgia
All the things they could do,
Before that inevitable final trip to the loo

Just thought a little light relief was in order - it is Wednesday after all...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Taboo Tuesday

So today is a day for seeing whether Taboos are made to be broken... or are they better off left unbroached?
Two commenters yesterday commented that smoking is a bit of a taboo and I have this contribution from an anonymous contributor... "I am an ex smoker. People have no problem talking about smoking, and the difficulty of giving up, but what seems to be taboo - is perhaps the reasons why otherwise sane people do it. I can't speak for anyone else, it is all too easy to be a smug ex-smoker, and let's face it - an ex-smoker can always lapse again, but for me the reason for smoking is the Taboo. Frankly the reason it is a Taboo is because I lapse back into it when I most dislike myself, and this causes me to dislike myself further, a vicious addicts cycle ensues - the chemical illusion of pleasure etc."

Another anonymous Taboo pointer outer said "I knew a guy who went home from college every weekend, and used to come back occasionally with bruises from his father. We never spoke about it. I also know several people who have been abused as children, no one ever talks about abuse openly, because it's painful, because those who have no experience of it don't want to hear."

To those I can add that people don't talk very comfortably about death, bodily functions (both those of their own and others), things that are happening in very far away places to people they can't identify with, the truth of their emotions (sometimes because you don't know yourself what is the true position of your own emotions).

So why are these things taboo? Shame? Embarrassment? or do we simply find it difficult or pointless to talk about problems that we don't know how to fix? Are there loads of taboos that have been forgotten, that went away eventually because people didn't talk about them? Are there things you just shouldn't ever talk about...???

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Moan Cancelled

Not least because - having a roof over my head, food readily available, a loving Mr VC, and great friends and family all abouts - I have very little reason to moan. There's lots of little tidbits of news tho - so I'll call this Monday Miscellaneous instead.

1. There is to be a wedding in Denmark - just announced for July, two very nice people getting marriaged - possibly with heavenly flollerboller wedding cake, and speeches/ comedy etc galore to look forward to.

2. I will be reading at the Irish Writers' Centre. And I don't mean reading a flyer off the wall, I mean actually reading... a story... out loud... with other people there... I'm pretty thrilled about it. See here for the official word on it....

3. The Pink Room is proving difficult to cover, the paint seems to be an evil washable kind of texture, which makes it almost impossible to even get the paint to stick to. The only consolation is that the pink curtains that came the room, are proving to take the paint no problem.

4. On the same night as the IWC reading - I'll also be popping over to the Stag's head to read at the Brown Bread Mixtape - click here for a proper run down of what that night will entail, again a mixed night of cultural hijinx, on the theme of Family.

5. I'm taking requests for taboo tuesday.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sensational Sunday

The pink room.... haven of pinkness, no doubt some little girl's dream come true. Illuminous pink since we moved in - sensationally, it is about to change. First lick of paint the house has seen - it could have been predicted that the barbie room would be first to fall prey to our reluctant DIYing. But not without a fight. The pink room will go down with a struggle... of tester stick art:

heroic battles of pink coming through the "Carribean soft" (I wish I had a job naming colours - I'd be so good at it... Intrigue, Oxygen, I could have come up with those colour names).
Of course we'll be keeping a little bit of pink alive - the bit behind the desk will hide a little heart, a reminder of the colour past, and maybe we'll keep doing that, with every new colour remembering a little of the old. I think I'd like it - if all rooms had to keep a little corner of their history - like the way we do, in our own memories, in scars, worry lines, knowingness. I know it would get very messy eventually... but a little bit of mess mightn't be so bad, if it meant we learned from the past, remembered what it looked like.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday Silliness

So today we went looking at dogs... We don't plan to be at home all day in the near future, so wouldn't be able to mind one, but we can dream, myself and Mr VC, pair of dreamers we are.
We went to two places. One was nearby - a new place just started up. It's been advertised on TV. They had queues, and seats like an NCT office, and forms to fill out - and a dog of the week in a glass enclosure out the front. Out back there were another 20 clean glass enclosures with dogs - all with little stories posted up, and colour photographs of them - stickers on the ones that have found their "forever home". You almost expected to find a bar-code on them - shaved into their hind legs perhaps.
The second place we went to was far away, up a windy (half eroded by snow) boithrín in the Wicklow mountains. There were over 250 animals there. Cats and dogs. Pups and kittens. They were loud, friendly, excited and loving the country air. I'm not sure how the staff manage to walk them all - but there was a good confusion of people around with leads, and all being nice to the animals in their care. The very kind man running the place was gentle with us, and our delusions of having a dog - he said we were more suited to having a cat - the position we were in and all. But we're not cat people... not at the moment. So we drove back home the long lonely road alone... (but together... but without a dog... or a cat... you know what I mean)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fright and Brian Conaghan on the Radio

Ok - so nothing to be scared of regarding the brilliant Brian Conaghan - apart from me looking decidedly silly - since I know very little about politics (one of his chosen themes) - but ye'll be used to me looking silly by now - and that's not something I'm scared of - god help me if I was because it is a regular enough occurance in my life.

Brian has written 3 novels and a book of short stories. He's currently working on his quirky short story book, "Starstruck". In 2007 he completed a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow where he was tutored by Booker Winner James Kelman and internationally acclaimed writer Margaret Atwood. Brian was co-founder of successful Glasgow Theatre Company, Vanishing Point, and has had his plays performed throughout the UK. He has been performing poetry for almost 20 years. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines and literary journals. He is also a core member of Dublin's Shoestring Collective, who promote and present developing talent in the James Joyce Centre, Dubland. His chosen theme this week is "Racism and Politics"
I'm scared of very little - thanks to my stupidence... the only things that really terrify me are genuine scary things - walking around longford in the dark, falling off something high, having heavy things fall on me, these things can usually also be avoided - which is nice....
Scary things that you can't avoid are scarier... For me - the scariest things are lost opportunities - things you'll regret that you didn't do, people you misread/ didn't give a chance to, times you didn't give yourself a chance in something/ judged yourself too harshly and therefore didn't do something that would have been worth doing - more suggestions for the scariest things to the usual address or in the comments puhlease...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday Thrill

Days of the week - Monday moan, Tuesday taboo, Wednesday Whinge, Thursday Thrill, Friday Fright, Saturday Silliness, Sunday Sensationalism....

Shall we try it? Just the once? Just till wednesday whinge comes round again - you can send your suggestions to niamh.bagnell (at)

I mean to be honest the thursday thrill is the fact of launching this exciting idea... Isn't that enough of a thrill for you?

If not - go and Eat a cup of tea - yes you read right, try it... I dare ya... thrilling.

(Remember being a teen when you had lots of sarcastic words for things that were really boring? Thrilling used to be one of my favourites)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Say What You Like Wednesday

I asked you what you can't talk about on your own blog - here are the top three...

Numbered for your convenience - in case you want to comment on them

1. I hate: People in general (and more specifically later), blogging, facebook, people knocking at the door, telephones, small odd shaped dogs with little legs and etch-a-sketch faces, low energy light bulbs.I hate being awake,being drunk (love getting drunk) people who drink non alcoholic beer- have a red lemonade FFS. I hate two people talking to me at the same time,wait your turn or form a queue,I hate people with no spatial awareness particularly in supermarkets where they nudge you with their trolley, or worse, their elbows when loading up the conveyor belt. I hate people with Posh accents,(the worst affectation known to man). I hate Carling Black Label, Will Carling, Tommy Tiernan and Hector O'Hectoring, Tom Jones singing, Tom Jones not singing, Ford Mondeos, poetry, poets, track suits worn by people with no intention of performing any sporting activities whatsoever. I hate Ikea, Tesco's, the greetings card industry,Rap,skateboarding, Kilkenny hurling team, politicians, newspapers and journalists, news readers, I hate hatred, but above all I hate me.

2. May I first of all congratulate you on this superb idea - it will surely cause a great reduction in stress for anyone who uses it. My gripe/ thing I can't talk about on my blog is about the man from planning, and the way he eats his lunch. We are usually three or four people in the canteen at lunch time. He always has a packet of crisps, sometimes others of us have a packet of crisps - but it's different with him. He eats them in a unique way. He'll hold each one in his hand - out to the side while reading the paper, takes a nibble and holds it out again, maybe even puts it down for a while - this is a single crisp I'm talking about. It's pure torture. Once I got so annoyed I ripped the page in the book I was reading, it broke the silence while his crisp hovered mid air. He didn't even notice.

3. I can't talk about alot of things on my blog - the private things between myself and my wife. The worries I have about our future together, finances, health, kids... the world in general. Blogs are an escapist kind of place. And they're up there for everyone to read. There's only a certain type of information that might be interesting to the public... My everyday whinges and worries are not of that type - everyone already knows all about them - they live them too.

See Swiss's great post on the subject of this post by the way...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One a day

So - this weather I'm trying to write one poem a day, (one of my secret new years resolutions) and I'm not allowing myself to blog until that poem is written.... Results have been varied. This is partly why I'm having a "say what you like day" on a wednesday - or a wednesday whinge, if you will - saves me coming up with anything...

Do keep them coming in by the way, see yesterdays post - the anonymous things you can't talk about on your blog - the top 3 responses will be posted tomorrow - think of it as a less artistic, more localised, less secretive postsecret.... (anyone who says it's a way for me to write what I like and claim it's anonymous is completely wrong)

Anyway - since some of ye are curious like that, here's one of the poem a day poems....

I Like Short Poems

When peeking into a stranger’s soul

Sometimes just the tiniest piece

Is plenty

It’s just fine

Monday, January 11, 2010

Things you can't talk about on your blog

As your blog becomes more and more famous - and people you know read it, and people you don't know admire it, there comes to be more and more things you cannot talk about on it.... I imagine it would be very difficult to talk about anyone in my life that really annoyed me, for whatever reason, on my own blog... yet it would probably make for entertaining reading if a blogger could be completely honest.
Luckily - no one ever annoys me, and my life is wonderful and perfect, my day job is an absolute joy, and everyone I encounter - on a day to day, or a less regular basis - seems to be amazingly brilliant.
If you are not in the same fortunate position - and would like a place to vent your frustration - while entertaining my little crowd of thousands of readers - and still maintaining your anonymity - I am offering you a chance to vent right here. Yes - this Wednesday - I will take your rantings, and put em up here, so that you can get them aired, but not get shot yourself.
Email me your "Thing you can't talk about on your blog" at niamh.bagnell(at) - I will put em up this Wednesday.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday Fun

So last night, went along to Nighthawks, and read. I was very nervous - I think it's because I knew I was going to be doing it for so long in advance, and because I've seen so many high quality acts performing there in the past. I had no horrible head freezing incidents in any of the 7 poems I did from memory though, the special effects poem worked ok, the one I read from a page seemed to go alright, overall it was fine (despite a huge wobble in my voice - which might have been explained by emotion - if it hadn't have been present also while saying the Ryanair/ Electric Chair poem).
Anyway - there were changes to the program because of the SNOW - but the last minute acts drafted in were hugely brilliant, high quality people, and those others who made it out of the original line up were brilliant as well. Colm Mac Con Iomaire had us all spellbound at the end of the night, with his spine tingling tunes on the violin. I don't know how to explain how flattered and touched I was when he said he was performing a piece from Micheal Hartnett's "A Farewell to English" in tribute to "Niamh and her poetry" - so I'll just say he did - and let ye imagine the happy dance that ensued inside me for the next few hours.
The night was rounded off with a giant snowfight with 5 or 6 cm of powdery loveliness, and the creation of 2 perfect snow angels under an orange light - captured by my high quality camera in the above picture.
Hope those of you who managed to tune in enjoyed today's show with Stephen K, for any Silly Billys who missed it, I will endeavour to get it onto the Radio Archive blog tomorrow evening.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Stephen Kennedy on the Radio

This Sunday evening will see Stephen Kennedy take to the airwaves, with his full to brimming show on the theme of Male:Female relationships - complete with mystery guest phone ins, and real acting and everything.

Stephen studied English, Philosophy, Drama and Library studies, before working as a clog maker in Holland, and then finding his way into IT on his return to Ireland. He's written and directed several plays, at college, at Dublin Fringe Festival, as well as in Temple Bar's New Theatre - where he has a few more plays coming up soon. He's also a film maker - with a short film currently in production, and if that wasn't enough runs monthly arts clubs in the city centre and has done for the last few years - (one of which - Nighthawks, I'll be appearing at tomorrow night, live and in person, and oh my god the nerves). He's also a poet - and has had some poems published in the Stinging fly and was short listed for last years Hennessey Award with his poem "Do You Know What Really Annoys The Arse Off Me?’

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A sad little tale

Well here's a sad little tale, about sheeps in snow, sadly sheeps have sad little tails already, they hardly need more sadness to their little lives but here it is, a story about what happened to some poor sheeps in 1982, last time it snowed. Ysee sheeps are all woolly and white and cuddly, so when it's cold and snowy, they all go cuddling up together, but ysee they're so white and fluffy, and to be honest - not all that high on the iq front - that they end up snuggling together in white snowy fields, and don't even notice that much when snow starts to gather round their legs and up to their shoulders, they can't tell the snow from each other, so that farmers can end up finding what's known as a snow pig (or snow drift) in a field that used to have a herd of sheep, and it full of silly little popsicle puff balls of dead sheeps, all smothered in the snow. It's very sad really, isn't it? But I did warn ye...

One of my 5 things today - am grateful that I'll not a silly little sheep.

Oh and here's the much anticipated close up of the slippy pole, taken on foot while walking the last mile and a half to work this morning, having disowned and abandoned my disobedient and cantankerous car, whose clutch decided to stick on my way in and then later worked perfectly when driven by a man with a van... and he patted me on the head, and said "There there, little girl, off you go, aren't you cute..." - well actually he didn't, he was very tactful about it "We get this alot" he said. I'm grateful for that too.

And finally, something nice, a reward for reading down this far - a pic from the walk the mad pastel coloured snowy road in morning sun, yum.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Women's Little Christmas

Nothing to do with the Louisa May Alcott book, "Women's Little Christmas" is mainly a Cork tradition. It happens today, and women throughout Cork will go out tonight for dinner, drinks etc, the theory - long ago - being that women did all the work at Christmas time, and deserve a little Christmas of their own (the suggestion being that 25th of December is not a day that women should even think about celebrating, that's Men's Big Christmas). See here for more on that.
In other news, my own little celebration of my little christmas, stranded here far from civilisation up in dubland, where my little pagan feasts are not recognised, has involved a 4 hour drive, covering a journey that normally takes 15 minutes, with lots of hairy moments on the way.
Sadly the slippy pole, now that its hour of usefulness has arrived, now that the road is actually slippy, is currently hibernating - its warning of a slippery surface is covered in slippy icy snowyness, as vividly captured on my "better than a professional camera" mobile phone cam.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The key to happiness

I don't know if it's because it's a new year, but I've been looking at a fair few (2) self improvement talks on youtube lately - actually - one came from looking at the excellent Alchemist's Pillow Blog - (which is only started a little while, and makes this blog feel like an uninsightful, uninteresting loser, but in a good way)
Anyway - one videa suggests a tip for happiness being to list 5 things you're grateful for every day (puts you in a positive frame of mind yadda yadda - cheaper and more effective than prozac yadda yadda). I have been testing this out on your behalf, and it's kind of fun, cos you end up watching out for things to go on your list - one of todays is definitely going to be my page a day desk calender (which I have recieved today in recognition of my general brilliance and commitment in Work), with inspiring phrases like "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door" and useful facts like "Today in 1933 - construction work began on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge" I'll never lose a table quiz again (mainly cos I'll be careful in future not to enter) Also regular featurers on my list are things like chocolate, beer, etc etc
What five things are you grateful for today?
(apart from this brilliant blog obviously)

Monday, January 4, 2010

What's hot and not

Knots are hot. (esp those that form the start of chapters of Annie Pruxxx booxxx)

Hots are, by definition, also hot.

The road in front of my house - covered in compacted snow - as it has been since last year - is not.

(and if you don't know what Hots are, then you're not)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 - the literary highlights

What did 2009 ever do for me? Writing wise - here's what happened

(by the way for anyone who might think this might be a generally informative post, about important literary things you can stop right here, this is just all about me me me)

1. Completed first revised draft of first novel, and wrote first draft of second novel - haven't reread 2nd one since writing, afraid that it's all a heap of junk - it's shorter than the first - only 60 k odd, as opposed to the 95 k in the first, so maybe it's just a novelleen or an overgrown short story - enjoyed having the regular practice anyway, have done nothing about showing them to anyone, they just aren't "there" quite yet.

2. Had great fun helping the boisterous and creative teens of Killinarden youth group writing their short play "Never judge a man by his Tashe" - a classic in it's own time.

3. Helped out at a couple of great writing kids and teens workshops in Clondalkin Library - book writing and heritage inspired art.

4. First attempts at reciting from memory at the Glór sessions, and listening & seeing the amazing talent on show there for too many weeks than could be considered healthy during the summer, leading to meeting some fab writers and performers... and some tired Tuesday mornings.

5. Volunteering at the Dublin Writer's Festival - again a highlight - getting to see some fine international talented writers, meeting a new hero of mine in writing - the really lovely and talented Julia O'Faoláin.

6. Volunteering at the Ottowa Tulip Festival - not that literary, but heck it got us in free to Christian Bok spouting gibberish live and in person, as well as a load of other fun things.

7. Performing with the fantastic Poetry Diva's collective - on main stage at Castlepalooza and on literary stage and in various little tents around and about Electric Picnic.

8. The Sunday Scrapbook - adventures in radio - a fun and terrifying experience, beginning with the brilliant Joan O'Flynn as my first guest.

9. Winning a place for my story in "Kay's Book" - first short story publication.

10. The outstanding success of the second annual "International put your poem in a shop month..." with actual real people besides myself taking part.

11. Also married a man - who can make such artistic and wonderful creations such as the following: "Miss McGovern's Poached Egg" - which has all but dissappeared in the time it took to upload the photo.