Monday, December 31, 2012

Last gasp!

Come out come out wherever you are - Ireland the land of saints and scholars - get ye to an offy.... or some sort of shop that's still open between now and midnight, hell I'll take poems in nightclubs... time is running out, it's time to panic, it's time to get a poem and put it in a shop, for your country, for dignity, for pride!!!

Scotland have only gone and got another 5 on the board...  placed by Carolyn Yates, all over Dumphries and Galloway in multiple colorful places.  See here for the full size shots and more on how to find em..

This just in though - it seems the one placed by Rachel Fox, who lives in Scotland, and the score for said poem which was originally awarded to Scotland - should have actually gone to England, so I'm going to have to amend the score.  I know it's not ideal, and I do apologise deeply for the mistake, but these errors, when they occur, must be rectified, so the score now stands at

Scotland 19
Ireland 15
USA 7.5
England 1
RoW 0

Neck N Neck

Scotland have another poem in a shop in the unbelieveably exciting last day of this year's International put your poem in a shop month...

Click here to find out who has placed this gamechanging beaut

Leaving scores at

Scotland 15
Ireland 15
USA 7.5
RoW 0

Arghghghghh - the excitement!


Poems in Shops Month is hotting up.

There's 3 more to view over at Titus' blog  here

hilarious offerings from Linda Powell

And Margaret Franks -


Go to Titus' blog for the full story...

Bug has made another strike for the USA - with a heartfelt little moment - click over here to see where this one ended up

So now - scores on the doors rest at

Scotland 14
USA 7.5
Ireland 15
RoW 0

It's a tight race, and only 14 or so hours of IPYPIASM to go.... 

Can Scotland catch up?  Can Ireland keep ahead?  Will the rest of the world finally join in?

only time will tell - happy new year you all!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

4 more to boost the score!!

I got to a shop there the other and managed four more Poems for shops

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This one is a nod to the newly renegotiated european fish quotas...

Quotas have changed
                 Customers confident
Heads in the air
                  Wallets out
Full to the gills
                  Whiskers washed
Ready to splash 
                   In one last pan

Then there was one about nostalgia and the passing of time

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They won't be back
The days of silver, gold and black
They're further back the line
each breath,
one more of the life called mine

Wanted to find a bar of gold and black chocolate to leave that one beside, but since I couldn't locate the stuff (since it doesn't exist) - I positioned this beside the equally rare and impressive creature that is a bag of ghost jellies on the day after stephen's...

And then another nostalgic one, - (NOTE the hussy referred to is from a coffee ad in the coffee shop in question)

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It goes:

Tables were joined and chairs crowded
the hussy looked on, as we applauded
forged with cream and the sweet taste of icing
our endless coffees, minds buzzing
with stories, rhymes, ideaqs, joy of 
something stronger than time,
longer than life

And finally - one more IPYPIASM tailored, for the chicken aisle

Tired Shopper, breathe in and out
Never let there be a doubt
You're no machine, cannot continue
without a sale to soothe your sinew

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Which brings the grand score total to 

Ireland 15
Scotland 11
USA 6.5
RoW 0

But it's not a competition (however if it was you'd only have 2 days to catch us... or less, depending on the timezone.

Happy new year all of you

Friday, December 28, 2012

IP IP Hooray!!

Domestic Oubliette has brought glory to Eire, lifting the spirits of a nation for the first time since the wonderful Katie Taylor earlier in the year, could this be a sign that we are turning things around?  That we could finally be winners?  or at least draw levellers?

She has put a marvellous poem in a shop with only a little gun holding to the head on my part.

Here's the proof! - and call over to her blog here to read the poem itself and read all about it.

In other news - there is a classic PIAS making a come back on hope's blog in the shape of a 55 word story - immortalised once more, we'll take it, and give the USA another half point in recognition....

Click over here, to see how she's seamlessly woven it in.
So the running tally - in the closest ever IPYPIASM score keeping since score keeping began - with only 3 more IPYPIASMing days to go...

Ireland  11
Scotland 11
USA 6.5

oooh exciting.  Get out there ye all!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The evidence

I told ye I'd put a poem or two in a shop today... and I wasn't fibbing.

First - here's the lookout
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And now three from me

2012-12-24 12.32.00.jpg 2012-12-24 12.31.53.jpg 
By the pens there's

International, it's so fashionable
Grab a pen and act irrational
Fun things left in odd type places
Hope to brighten stranger's faces

 2012-12-24 13.18.42.jpg2012-12-24 13.18.45.jpg
Then beside the bread - first ever IPYPIASM as gaeilge

Is feidir grá a fháil
In aice len arán
Is fiú do aimsir a thógaint
Ag léamh nó ag scríomh dán

Love can be found
beside the bread
It's worth taking time
to read or write a poem
- and it rhymes when it's in Irish - that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
2012-12-24 13.17.22.jpg
and then near the apples - not the first time I've seen them  IPYPIASM'd

Fresh as your smile
On another Christmas day
Your "grandeur" calls, your style
Your dignatory sway
I don't think you've gone away

Which all brings us to the new grand total of 

Scotland 11
Ireland 10
RoW 0

Anyway, hope you all have a very relaxing day tomorrow and the man in red, if he's coming to you, is generous with his offerings.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

News from Titus - IPYPIASM Hostess with the mostess

Hello all out there in IPYPIASM land.  I have some "rather bad news" (as she calls it herself) from Titus - the woman who generously took on the thankless (ok not completely thankless but you get what I mean) task of hosting the festival that is known as IPYPIASM - I'm not quite sure how much to tell you, for security reasons, but she has suffered a bit of an injury while ice skating, which has led to her being taken to hospital and needing a bit of attention.
She still has her wits about her, and has even had the presence of mind to get on the email to let us know about it, so that IPPPIS (International People Putting Poems in Shops) will not be left without a home.
Anyway - all good thoughts are with you Titus, and hoping you make it home in time for Santa!

Before the unfortunate incident - she had even racked up another score for Scotland

Making it

Scotland 11
Ireland 7
RoW Zero

As for me - I have 4 PFS written (poems for shops), and will be venturing out into Xmas Eve madness tomorrow to place em.

You can go over here to see Titus's poem

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Exciting news for IPYPIASMers

I can't believe it's not February!!!

So who has knocked me over the head and woken me up and suddenly told me it's November and not a dog in the house washed?!  (nor child neither)

Well it's nearly November, and getting perilously close to our favourite time of year - the most wonderful time, as I like to call it - otherwise known as International Put Your Poem in a Shop Month - or IPYPIASM!!!
 (say it backwards and it's MSAIPYPI - sinisterly close to mississippi)

Anyway - I can hardly host it this year, as you'll have noticed my average posting per month is coming in at a tidy sum of just the one.... (it's not that I don't love ye, I just literally have been repeatedly knocked over the head and whole chunks of life have disappeared on me, like dry ice in a moving train on a sunny saturday)

So, who can take the reins, who out there would be brilliant enough, super enough, enough of an IPYPIASMER of old to lead us into the new season - someone who has enthusiastically led the charge before in their area, a steady hand, who won't let it all go to their head.  It'd have to be someone in another country too, right?  I mean we're talking IPYPIASM, not NPYPIASM after all.

Yes, you've guessed it - the marvellous Titus the dog has agreed to host the Festival in it's fifth year... what a legend.

Her blog, for anyone crazy enough not to have been there previously is over here

Enjoy you crazy bunnies - I'll be hopefully enthusiastically partaking, in a shop near me, some time soon...

Thank you so much Titus!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

When the internet went down...

... I wrote the following:

He doesn’t stop to ask the time, to think things through.  His next move is all that matters, a speeding tunnel approach to life.  He sees an apple.  Wants the apple.  Sees a dog.  Wants to kiss that dog, even as she is walking away, though her wagging tail might catch him.  His minders interrupt, when they dare, to try and keep him fresh, bringing down his wrath upon them.  Other times he’ll bestow an ocean of caring when they least expect it, a soothing arm about their neck, or intensely offered part chewed biscuit.  Before they can show gratitude – he’s off again, on to the next thing.  Like the weather, unpredictable – he’ll climb, dig, jump, dance, sing, spin, splash and fall.  Throwing stones and grass.  Casually he leaves his belongings, sometimes including leaves, anywhere.  He can’t be robbed – nothing has any value – except the thing he most wants in the moment.  He’ll turn blue and breathless with rage if you try to take that though.  He’ll scream and pout and silently sob, watery eyes glaring till you, cowering, give it back; or somehow turn his focus over to something else, a show, a drink, a bit of action.  He laughs with every laugh he hears even when he least feels like it, can’t help it.  Applauds generously at the end of music, live or pre-recorded, he’s no art snob.  Enjoys bright colours of the supermarket, every bit as good as fine art exhibits.  He’ll also laugh at tears, giggles at a sneeze, tooth brushing gets guffaws and dogs eating bubbles are hilarious.  Life is hilarious.  He is hilarious.  He doesn’t stop.

So maybe the internet is to blame for the laziness, at least in part...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


You know the way sometimes you can be confident no one will hear what you're saying because you're saying it to yourself somewhere very noisy - cursing the length of the queue for the cloakroom in the chattering unwelcome pale blue light of 2am, maybe you're singing the words slightly wrong in a choir of fifty others in navy uniforms, and you just know no one will ever hear, and sometimes you know no one can hear because you're in a woods, and there's no one around, or you're having that nightmare where you're trying to shout but there's no air in your lungs to push out through the voice box.  And sometimes no one hears just because you're only saying it in your head...

Well that's where a lot of my blog posts are getting caught nowadays - in that mousse like mess of neurons behind the balls of jelly that I use to look at stuff.  The opening or closing words of blog posts, poems, soliliquays, jokes, stories, plays, novels, songs - echo in the silence, never to be heard again, not even by myself - since I don't write the stupid things down.

And now my writing muscle has about as much muscle as a mussel, (not counting the strong bit that keeps the shell closed, cos my point is that it's not strong any more - quite the opposite), and only half as salty.

So there y'are, maybe I'll throw a little shell fish catcher line type thing in there sometime to try and dredge out some of the ideas see if they're worth cooking up... but meanwhile


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Red Ribbons on Tour

red ribbons tpb Final Final.jpg

I'm an hour and a half early posting this, but what the hell, I'm too excited to wait.

LIVE UPDATE - Louise's launch has been a fantastic success, the shop was packed to the rafters and many happy readers are tucking into the book as I type.  I saw one lucky fan declaring the queue for the book signing was too long, so she'll be getting Louise to sign it another time...
tks facebook for the update

Yes, Red Ribbons blog tour has arrived with the fabulous, brilliant Louise Phillips calling in to answer five of the best questions - at least five of the best that could be found ricocheting around in my head - relating to her latest novel, now in the shops and having it's official launch tomorrow night.  I think you'll agree when you've read her answers that this is one to watch.... Get out there and buy it, published by Hachette and in all good book shops (sometimes even signed by the author herself) now!!

signing books in store.JPG

Straight to business -

1. Do you remember the moment when you finished writing this book -did you recognise that
moment when it came? How did it feel, what did you do that evening?

I totally remember the moment I finished the manuscript, well the 1st draft of the manuscript. I had
worked intensely on it for twelve weeks, so much so that the fictional world of RED RIBBONS felt
like it had taken permanent residency in my head. It was there before I went to sleep, when I woke
up, as I fervently got other jobs out of the way trying to get back to it, as I walked up mountains
clearing the cobwebs out of my brain, as I walked back down again, excited that more ideas had
come into my head, and all of this in the run up to Christmas. The last word got written the day
before Christmas Eve. I darted around Dundrum Shopping Centre, aware that hardly a present had
been bought. I picked up the turkey and ham, turned an upside down house into a semi-normal one.
I felt hassled knowing how much I still had to do, but I felt elated too. I had done it, I had completed
a manuscript. I looked at the pages all lovely, filled to the brim with words, my words, and I felt more
than elevated emotionally, I felt a huge relief. I had done it, irrespective of anyone ever wanting to
read it, that moment, I became a NOVELIST!

2. What has attracted you to the dark subject matter in this book do you think? Has it changed a lot

during the writing process?

The editing changed many things, but it never changed the soul of the story. If someone was to set
fire to every copy of the manuscript in existence, if every hard drive crashed, I could walk through
those lives again. I could go back, perhaps write it differently, but it would still be the same. RED
RIBBONS, was a story to be told, and I’ve done my best to tell it well. Maybe in a couple of years,
I’ll look back and say, I could have done this and that better, but if so, no matter. It’s there, and I’m
proud of it. I don’t say that lightly. In a way I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to
visit this world, even if it is of my own creation.

As for the dark subject matter in the narrative – I don’t think you choose stories, I think they choose
you. I hope being a parent, loving my children with all my heart, has equipped me well to walk the
path of such tragic loss. I think it was George Elliot who said, ‘human kind can only bear so much
reality.’ I would never have been able to face this story in reality, but in writing it, I hope the end
result is one of light within the dark, of hope when there is so much loss, and recognition, that the
bad man is often shrouded in the veil of the ordinary.

3. What was the biggest challenge either in terms of characters or plot - which part of the book

(without giving away too much) did you sweat over most?

The biggest challenge was getting Kate Pearson right. I knew everything about her – I knew where
and when she went to school, why she came back from the UK, what drove her to study criminology,
her relationship with her husband, her son, her late father, her mother. I knew the things she loved
to do, I knew her fears, her childhood, her ability to push herself far greater than she should, and
I knew her past. This all sounds fantastic, but despite all this, she only really came to life in the 2nd
draft, and in retrospect, I think I understand why.

Ellie was the driving female voice first time around. She haunted me, she had a story which needed
to be told, and Kate, well she had to wait until Ellie’s voice was fully realised. The great thing is
though, looking back on it all, it was the absolute perfect way to write this story. You don’t always
know what you’re doing when you are writing, but you get a sense when something special is
happening. If I had written both these female voices with the same intensity first time around, each
would have been diluted. The end result is exactly how it should be.

As for which part of the book I sweated most over, I would have to say it was the action pieces.
When I did the research into psychological profiling, police procedure in Ireland, and forensics, I
thought I had most things covered. But I forgot one important detail, I had never written live action
before. Sure things happened before in my writing, but not fast action-intense, a million things
occurring at the one time, multiple reactions, panic, movement, anxiety, building up to a crescendo
and resolution. In the end, I went with my gut – if the action was fast, I wrote fast – if the emotions
were tested, frightened, I wrote the same way – if a character stopped, when everyone else was
still rushing, I stopped with them, slowed down, reflected. I guess I wrote as if I was there. I hope it

4. What's your view on short stories now, having written both those and the novel? Would you see

one as practise for the other or are they completely different to you and how?

They are completely different. A short story can take months to get right, and still it can test you. A
novel obviously has more words, but it is freer, certainly in the first draft stage. You don’t have time
to mess around with a short story, but equally, a novel has its own rhythms, and in a crime novel
especially, every chapter has to be there for a reason. I think I learned a lot from writing short stories
about character creation, description of place, establishment of mood, showing without telling. I
don’t think you necessarily have to have written short stories to write a novel, but I think it helped

5. The big launch of the book is tonight... What are your hopes for the launch, for the tour, for the
readers - did you think of them while you wrote?

Well I’m excited about the launch and I’m nervous. I know everyone will be there to support me,
which is totally amazing and beyond words. I’ve no idea how I’m going to feel when I see so many
people from my life in the one place, and during this special time, but I’m pretty sure it will be
emotional. There could be tears, there could be many things, but I hope it will be a fantastic night,
and my gut tells me, it will be like nothing that has ever happened in my life before.

My hope for the blog tour isn’t defined. It is something which I think will be very worthwhile. I have
certainly learned a lot about RED RIBBONS, when other writers like you, Niamh, ask me questions,
and take part. I’m overwhelmed by how many of my friends have wanted to be involved. It started
as a one week blog tour, then two, and finally ended up as sixteen blog visits from Ireland to the
USA. The world is wide and vast, but friends are always close by.

Did I think of the readers when I wrote Red Ribbons? The answer to that one has to be ‘no’. Not
because I don’t have an absolute respect for readers, because I absolutely do, they are the real
test for any manuscript – but I don’t think as a writer, you can listen to any voice other than the
one inside your head. You are never completely sure you’re getting it right, but you can’t write it to
please, or perform for others. It is all about story – it dictates.

So there you have it folks... the story dictates and it will captivate you, so go on, get your copy now....

and the good news is the follow up is already in progress - a chiller by the name of the doll's house - the images for the second novel are already being chatted about in this boutique in powerscourt....

The Dolls House.JPG

He did not intend for her to be found, but when a storm comes, there is little that can be done to stop it from disturbing what was meant to lie hidden.
On a cold October morning, the body of schoolgirl Caroline Devine is found buried in the Dublin Mountains after her grave is uncovered by harsh weather. Lying in the foetal position as if fast asleep, her hands are clasped together in prayer, and her hair has been plaited and tied with red ribbons.
When O’Connor, the detective leading the investigation, calls on Dr Kate Pearson, a criminal psychologist, to offer some advice, she tells him what he wants to hear – she feels confident the killer will take his time choosing his next victim, giving O’Connor the time he needs to catch him. But twenty-four hours later, a second schoolgirl is found in a shallow grave, her body identically arranged. Now, O’Connor and Kate find themselves desperately trying to catch the killer before he strikes again. And the more Kate discovers about the deaths of the girls, the more it all begins to feel terrifyingly familiar and long-buried memories of the past start to struggle to the surface.
There is one vital connection to be made – Ellie Brady, a woman who has been institutionalised for the last fifteen years. When her daughter’s body was found in a burnt-out caravan, Ellie confessed to setting the fire, but claimed her daughter was already dead before she struck a single match. But no one – not her husband, not the police, not the doctors at St Michael’s Institute – believed her. Will she decide to share her story once more? Is there anyone who will listen?
The bad man is everywhere. Can you see him?
RED RIBBONS is an eerie, chilling and intricately woven mystery that will appeal to fans of Sophie Hannah and Tana French. A gripping page-turner told from three points of view – criminal psychologist Kate Pearson, institutionalised patient Ellie Brady and the killer himself – this is truly an incredible debut novel.
Louise Phillips returned to writing after a 20 year gap spent raising her family, managing a successful family business, and working in banking. Quickly selected by Dermot Boger as an emerging talent, Louise went on to win the 2009 Jonathan Swift Award and in 2011 she was a winner in the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice Platform, as well as being short-listed for Bridport UK Prize, the Molly Keane Memorial Award, and the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition. In 2012 Louise was awarded an Arts bursary for literature from South County Dublin Arts. Other publishing credits include many literary journals and anthologies, including New Island’s County Lines. Louise’s psychological crime novel, Red Ribbons, is published by Hachette Books Ireland, and her second novel, The Doll’s House, will be published in 2013.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Coming Soon!!!

Louise Phillips is launching her book Red Ribbons very soon and I can't wait to read it.

Go here

to check her and it... out - it's going to be a thrilling read, having had the privilege of being in the same writers group for a time with Louise, hearing her work fresh off the press, I can confidently promise this will be a book well worth reading and will most likely be one of those you keep, on your shelf, for a long time, for when you want to read it again or offer to a friend.

Anyway, she's coming soon, and will be here with me on this very blog on the very day of her launch...




So I'll see you all then - 5th of September...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I never wanted to be that blog

Not posting for ages and ages - then coming back in with apologies for all the lost time and promises to mend my ways, then failing to do so...

So where does that leave us?

Nowhere really, since not wanting to be something sometimes isn't enough to prevent you from becoming exactly that.
It's been a summer.  I've had holidays.  I should say we've had holidays.  Danger has taken to doing spontaneous happy dances with some mean fancy footwork, and has already learned to direct our hands back to the computer when we mistakenly put on something boring like the olympics instead of Tellytubbies.
 He's getting bossy.

Hedges are exploding with colour.

My evenings are being spent learning how to replace computer key board keys  ( - here's how if you ever need help)
and finding more childhood works of genius...

Monday, July 9, 2012

what's he on about?

Yes, we're here... Still...  Hope you enjoy this latest installment from Danger, entitled

  "A Brief Soliliquay"  You'll need to paste it into your browser as I don't think the linky thing is working

Friday, June 15, 2012

Good Medicine

A crowd of music, poetry and general good time lovers ascended into the upstairs bar in the Teach Beag Lismore last night - moments after the infamous defeat (they only won 4 nil!) Vick of Watercats fame was on hand to dry all our tears.
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Here's Vick introducing the night

the venue is cool - and I mean Cool with a capital C

Check out the lampshade!  And the wonderful Noel, who kicked off the night with some atmospheric and carefully crafted multi layered music.  More than a touch of the Tom Waits from him.

Peadar's poems were searching, thought provoking, and honest.  This picture was taken during his preamble when he mostly said "The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain"*

And down to business - absolutely holding everyone captive with his words.

The famous Poet generously signing copies of the book for his adoring fans.  (aka my mammy)  (yes my mammy and daddy followed me to Lismore - what can you do?!)

And the moment when I read out poems in public for the first time in over a year, with mixed levels of success in terms of brain function, (and my mam says I spoke too fast, but I always do that) and the kindest audience you could ever want.  Seriously I wanted to take them all home with me. (even the parents)

The people of Lismore are haunted, as we say in Cork, to have such a great night on their doorstep.  Keep it up Vick and Ron!!

* I might be making that bit up

Just because it's Easter too, I've decided to share this sighting of a Giant Bunny with baby in background.  It has created havoc in a normally very orderly and tidy room - disgraceful really.  Bad Bunny!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book of Faces

I bought a new phone at the weekend, finally caving and abandoning my less intelligent hand set for a so called "Smart" phone.  A boy barely older than my son sold it to me, and when he heard my date of birth as part of the interaction, he proceeded to write down all the apps I should get - including facebook... he didn't think me capable of remembering to get facebook.  I need new wrinkle cream.
In other news - this has led to the ability to get photos onto the computer without using a lead.  Like magic it is.
So I give you - "Danger on a train" he's the one hanging out the back - little stunt man - no wires or anything.

In other news - The Scottish Book Trust has an article about IPYPIASM in scottish schools... that's gonna be worth a lot of points when the season starts... See here - isn't that exciting?  Well it was for me - thanks to all the Scots IPYPIers for firing that teacher's imagination.

In still other news - I'm heading to the medicine sessions on Thursday night.  Really looking forward to seeing the famous published poet Peadar O'Busahue doing his thing.  Going to read a few pomes myself for the first time in over a year.... I'm not saying I'm nervous, but I might do a passable impression of someone reading poetry while driving over a bumpy road.

Now off to find this Face Book thing the young people are always on about.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

About the pedometry

So yes, they gave us pedometers, for team spirit.  So we can write down every day how many steps we've taken.  I foolishly asked my good friend google what counts as average, - it's 5000 steps, if you're a woman, and 7000 steps if you're a man. The difference between sexes is kind of odd - considering most women are slightly shorter than most men, so you would think they would need to take more steps to cover the same ground.  I have two theories for why this might be - A - Multitasking - women get more done at a time, so can iron while practising harmonica and still manage to nag their husbands (might as well go the whole hog on the stereotyping) and typing too of course.  so they don't need to retrace their steps as often.   B - The method of measurement.   The pedometer is attached to me all day - and there is an honour system whereby the people running the event trust the partakers to enter the correct number.  Now there is a possibility that sometimes men might feel compelled to fib just a tiny bit to make their number look bigger.  I'm not saying they're more competitive than women, but they're more competitive than women.
Anyway - turns out - I'm a smidge below average most days - 1000 or so below if I'm feeling womanly, and a whopping 3 K less on my manly days.  And well short of the 10 thousand steps a day that we're actually really supposed to be taking in order to stay healthy.... I was telling my colleague about it the other day "I think my pedometer is broken" I said, "It never seems to go up, I was sitting there last night waiting for it to go up..." how they laughed....  So I'm lazy - it's been officially diagnosed.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Maybe i'm lazy

So, they've given us pedometers at work... Part of a fun, team building, which team can walk moreee kinda thing (and i do know, before you all point it out, that It's really their sneaky way of actually i've just confirmed it, I'm too lazy to even finish this post!!! No maybe about it!!! Off to enjoy more suntime, GOWAN JEDWARD!!!!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I love JD

I know some of you are thinking of that handsome young Doctor in Scrubs (and I do love him too if you must know, I've got a lot of love to go around), but in this instance I'm referring to the remarkable JD Salinger and his book "Franny and Zooey"
The book is two short stories sewn together, one called Franny, and the other (rather predictably) titled Zooey (ok it's only predictable when you know the full title I suppose, but you know what I mean).... (especially when he bursts into song - that's when he's at his cutest I find).. and anyway - this book was picked for my local book club, and I got my second hand copy from the nice Amazonians, (they've some amount of cheap books in Brazil, must be all the rainforests) and so my copy had been intriguingly gifted to someone from their parents for their 22nd Birthday - imagine that?!  A skinny book, for a 22nd birthday present, maybe they pushed the boat out for his 21st... There was nothing written on the back, so, with no hint apart from a dedication stating that it was being offered with the enthusiasm of a one year old offering a cold lima bean - (and when he plays those hilarious tricks with the dead dog), I dived in.
In summary, in 178 or so pages - the main character Franny stares twice (maybe even more often, but definitely at least twice) at the ceiling (and then there's those times he has that sweet little sing song voice where he talks about the lessons learned during the day aka the half hour that the show has lasted).  She has a fight with her boyfriend - who's a bit of a drip, then goes home all mopey, not over the boyfriend, more because she wants to find some kind of inner peace, so she's home all mopey and her mother and brother try to cheer her up and then she falls asleep in the end. (or when he thinks out loud in the middle of the corridor)
So in summary, not much happens, the action covers about 3 hours in total, and yet it is  COM PLETE LY transfixing.  He's a genius of a writer, that's all there is to it.  Shows you the minute telltale signifiers of a person's mood, effortlessly brings you into the hot, smoke filled, world of the characters and doesn't let you out. So, yeah, I love him.  There were bits that I didn't love too, but sure no one's perfect, (except JD from scrubs maybe)... And it is the ONLY book I've managed to finish this year so far... apart from "La Gatita", "Colours for Babies", "Shapes for Babies", "Words for Babies" and "Jenni, an Chearc Beag Donn" (Jenny the little brown hen).  I'm still struggling through "Teddy is Polite" it's a hard hitting drama about a Teddy forced to recognise the consequences of his actions - I'm fairly sure it's not by a JD of any kind.

The book list is gonna be short this year.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Here is...  I think you'll agree - the most moving rendition of Twinkle Twinkle recorded by anyone - anywhere - ever

The kid's got some voice

Monday, May 7, 2012

Daft Punk

Danger loves Daft punk - most specifically their Around the World video... Youtube it... watch it once a day for the next month - I can personally guarantee  it never gets old.  It's most likely the most magical music video ever.  I find it particularly apt coming up to the olympics, with all the swimming and synchronisation and all. I couldn't even see Jedward doing something as good as it...
So anyway - all this daft punking has led him to his first independant steps two days ago 3 weeks ahead of his first birthday.  And here you've all been thinking you're missing majorly profound thoughts and huge entertainment since I've been so slack on the bloggy front whereas actually you've just been spared the mind numbingly boring repetetive parent talk that I go on and on with at work and anywhere else anyone talks to me... " he's so cute, he's doing kisses, he climbed up the stairs with a balloon in one hand,  he loved the swimming pool, he knows how to say tweet tweet,  he always wants to play with whatever the dog's playing with, he's very discerning in his musical tastes, he's figured out how to stick out his tongue on purpose, he'll wave after you leave the room blah blah blah - " I do see people's eyes glazing over with it all, but wanted to put this up about the walking anyway, as I don't have one of those books to fill out all his firsts in (ok I do, got one as a present but I never filled it out, in my defense neither has he,,, danger that is... ) and we haven't taken any photos of him for quite a while (this is not because he's not beautiful, he is, it's just that the charger for the camera is lost etc etc) so anyway - this is my little attempt at cherishing his youth while he's still having firsts...
Don't worry, I won't keep ye posted on further developments.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two wrongs?

You know when you have one sock on, and then you realise the sock you already have on is on inside out and assuming you also hold the match to the sock in your other hand (and it happens to be turned the right way around for applying to the foot)..... what would you do?
Do you
 (A) - just put the second sock on the right way and get on with your day
 (B) - turn the second sock inside out so that it will match?.................

 There're no other options that I'm missing out on are there?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The truth is

I haven't been abducted by aliens, nor have I been recruited by the Irish Secret Service for some glamorous and fantastic mission involving using my jacket as a parachute while escaping from a helicopter, I didn't get so confused by the new look of blogger behind the scenes that I fell down a well, nor have I had more children or dogs, I haven't failed to notice all the brilliant exciting achievements of people I know from blogland (are you listening Niamh Boyce, Peadar O BusaJewel?!), nor have I won the lotto and spent the last month recruiting a new blog team from all corners of the earth to bring you the BEST blog ever known to anyone, and I certainly haven't had a surreal wardrobe exploration which resulted in me being missing for almost a century in wardrobe time but only a few weeks in time here on this place.... I am coming up on almost the 3rd anniversary of me finishing writing my difficult 2nd novel. I've never reread it, not more than a page or two anyway, I haven't edited it, I haven't sent it anywhere. The sad truth right now is that I wouldn't even have time to read it. I'm in a book club nowadays and I'm still half way through February's book - I get a half page of it read every so often. Where else is my time going? Not into writing. And I think this needs a bit of correction. I spent half an hour writing last night, what I wrote wouldn't be worth telling you about, but I actually felt better for it today, like - slightly less stressed, more creatively brained, more like myself... I think It could possibly be something I need to do - even if what I write never sees the light of day...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nothing against Easter

I mean, I've been known to partake in a cup of tea from time to time, have dabbled in Eastenders during my wild youth - even spent a day being an extra in a bollywood short film... and I do like the odd sunrise as you walk home after a crazy night out - but what's with all the focus on the Eastness? There's not a single holiday celebrating any other direction and I think it's about time we put a few dates in the diary for Norther, Souther and Wester!!??!
in all fairness like

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Something Fishy

Below I've pasted in a long list from the fish prizes - titles of storys/ memoir pieces - it's kind of heartbreaking to scan down through all of them thinking what hard work went into all the writing.
I didn't enter this time round, so there was no hope in my scanning down through them - but what I am thinking ... is that next year... my entry will encompass all of the below in some way or shape - so that it'll be guaranteed to win.

(in fact I might never enter Fish... I'm not that into salmon [unless it's of the poetry or knowledge variety, ok bad choice of example but you get what I mean] and I always feel like I could do better things with the money. Like if you had to enter a poetry competition or rescue a dying child - which would you do? of course you'd rescue the dying child, not that I actually rescue a dying anything every time I fail to enter a competition - but you get my drift - it's sorta a philosophical question)

A little Scar

A Room in my First House

A Song In The Night

A to Markworthy

A Trio's Travels


All I Know is a Door into the Dark

Approaching Death


Ask the London pigeon

Bad Hair Day


Been Here Before?

Before Without

Beneath These Feet of Mine

Biryani Mountains, a Lake of Lassi, and enough Kebab to fill the Grand Canyon…my ‘Lowe Marriage’!


Blessed are the Cracked

Born a Dublin Lad

Boystown S.A.



Building a Sandcastle

By Invitation Only

Casenotes (i)-(vii)

Cattle Market



Chivers Road E4

Chocolate con Churros

Christmas at No.3



Come Again Another Day

Confirmation Shoes

Conformity and The Art of Skipping Stones

Cows and Lies

Crossing Glaciers


Day Day

Dear Sorrow Madam

Death By Fire

Death of a Family



Driving on Empty

Dumber Than Buffalo



Excerpts from Doing Time with Nehru


Family Bones

Fashion Victim

Final Contact

Finding Nick


First Trip to Poland

Five Cities



Full Circle

Ganja Girl


Growing Up with Jimjones



Heritage: A Memoir in Fifteen Parts

Hesperus' Daughter


I Killed My Landlord

I Very Quick

I Was Here

Images Through a Smokescreen


Inside the Fence at Buchenwald

Inside the Nation's Most Respected Freak Show

It Happens Like This



Jailhouse Rock

Keep Hope Alive: Post-Racialism in America



Leaving the Ark


Letter from Alaska

Lies That Bind

Life after Death; Grief and the Seven Deadly Sins.

Life and Death Perspective, From Eastholme

Life Drawing

Life is Like a Daisy

Life Without Parole

Little Billy

Livin' on Silver, Parts 1 & 2


Losing Dave

Love Letters From Transylvania

Made in Libya


Masks of Freedom


Me v. Dad

Memoir, The Last Territorial

Memoirs on a noticeboard

Memory Bubbles

Memory rings true


Miss Valentine

Mother and Troubles


My Father's Garden

My First Job


My Teenage Romance

National Pastimes

Okavango Safari

On the Road in Limerick: Forms of Apprehension

One Summer, Way Back

Only for the Summer

Our House

Over Cast Days

People Can Surprise You!

pike parnell and tom finn


Purim & My Bangladeshi Friend


Raising Up Horsies

Rejected by God


Resistible: A Comic Memoir about Comedy


Rotting sharks, smoking volcanoes and the deadly end-game

Sailing the Kungsholm

Scenes from the boxes in my bedroom

Sea Shanty

Searching for the Centre

Selbach, Germany


Skinning a deer and other stories


Slap that Bass

Smalltown Shadows

Societas Post Pubertatem

Soft Shadows in the Mind

Some Tea Towels, a Turkey and the Running

Somewhere in the black-out

Speaking for the Big Shot




Stina and Vino



Suffer The Little Children

Susan-the Big Girl

Taking Education, or a Love Letter to my Student Loans

Talking Double-Decker Bus Tour Guide

Tea with Immortals

Ten Things You Should Know About Grandad Jack Price

That Day

The 1966 Kilrush Fleadh Cheoil

The 27-Year-Old Sister Addresses the 29-Year-Old Sister

The Bella Boys

The Border Crossing

The Border Crossing

The Burden of Memory

The Carer

The Castle


The Color of Love

The Commonwealth Club

The Crystal Glass

The Crystal Glass

The Curse of the Five Note

The Dog Kill Squad (Kosovo 1999)

The Drowning Girl: Riding the Rapids of My Son's Psychosis (Excerpt)

The Exciting Agonies of War

The First Sneeze

The Fragile Frame

The Gate

The Green Chairs on Ward B

The Guy In Frankie's Hatbox

The house we live in

The House-Keeper

The hunger

The Jaded Slave

The Joyful Mysteries

The Knot


The Mad Marine

The Magic Teaspoon

The Paintings in the Rafters

The Particulars

The Pinochle Players

The Secret Lies in Remembrance

The Sinking of The Lancastria

The Sorrowful Songs of Monkeys

The Spider

The Stenographers

The Strange Laptop

The Sungazer

The Talkies

The Town by the Bog

The Village at Lakeside

THREE WHIZZES: FOR DAVID (Dec 4, 1939-June 23, 2001)

Ticket to Ride

To Laugh at Dandelions

To Whom It May Concern

To You, A Thousand Thanks

Tolkien, My Love

Tolstoy's Family

Tracey's Rug

Treacle mining


Turning the Wound: A Memoir

Twenty-Three : Twenty-Four


Viva Madrid!

Walking Around

What Kind of Mother?

When I Come Around

Where We Went and What We Did There



Sunday, March 25, 2012

An Exercise

No, the nice weather hasn't got to my brain - I haven't begun jogging or anything. Yes, the exercise I speak of is a writing one - and one I found surprisingly good - it was one of those "oh this is going to be so lame" in your head before you do it and then you do it, and it's surprisingly interesting. It came from a workshop I attended yesterday, given by the fabulous Afric McGlinchey, and it went something like this...

Spend 90 seconds writing down all the nouns you can think of relating to hospitals.

Then spend 10 minutes writing something that uses as many of those nouns as possible, without referring to illness/ hospitals etc...

11.5 minutes in total. Here's mine

George opened another banana while the children watched. He could have kept a whole corridor of kids entertained with the faces he pulled, magicking thoughts of flowers and balloons just from the way he held his arms. George never spoke, but he never stopped playing. One minute he was reading pretend leaflets or nailing posters to the trees, the next he'd be holding a stethoscope to the earth, listening to its heartbeat.
"Why does George only wear pyjamas?" Tom once asked his mother, when she was towelling him down after bath time, but she only smiled. Adults didn't see George and thought the kids were only joking when they said they needed the thermometer to check George's tea, or when they were playing statues and George was watching for who'd move - adults would always interrupt. George would be sucked up in a tube of sensibleness then, and kids would start to see him only in their glasses of water, or when they took mammy's pills or if they fitted themselves into a bedside locker.
It was getting harder to see him all the time.
He was only apparent from a giggle in the curtains or a drip from the railings on a dry day.

Funny how myself and another guy in the group both had banana's in our story - would you have included banana's in your hospital list?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Doors and books

So Danger does love the Doors, but while he was swinging out of the living room door there recently - hitting himself on the backside with the door, having forgotten to get out of the way, such was his enthusiasm to open and close it - it struck me that he's pretty darned adept at the motion of opening and closing doors, and I was wondering why that might be... well if you are wondering the same, dear friend, wonder no more!!
He's been practicing on his books. Books all have little doors on the front of them - most of em less heavy than the ones we have separating ourselves from the world outside or segmenting our mini kingdoms into different colour coded places for living. There's even a door on the laptop for gawd's sake, that swings up to let us see through and into the whole world (or onto the next humour related stumble page - whichever comes first)
Books and doors have a lot in common. They can both surprise (remember bosco)
Actually anyone who doesn't remember bosco - you have to check this out. Seriously cult youngsters tv... They both can educate... and lead to unexpected places. An open book could be the source of a draught, might let in some flies, or just act as an invitation... A door can become an old familiar friend when you've been through it often enough - or might become a rueful memory, something best avoided.
And the difference?
A book will not generally cause you to hurt your fingers if closed suddenly.
A band called "The Books" would not be quite as genius (or cool)

And for those of you wondering what Danger's library consists of you'll be glad to hear he counts such classics as
"El Catita"
"Baby Touch"
"Catch my tale" among his favorites.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sore throat

I've a sore throat, poor me, it means I mightn't even make my course thing tomorrow night, which is sad, as I also managed to miss it last week... So here is a tiny snippet of creativity that I managed to get down this evening... - though you should really check out Emerging Writer's Wedding poems if you want to see some real gems. I put mine in the comment box. seriously, everyone should do one - they're brilliant.

Danger mouse has graduated, by the way, to mocking his parents - when he goes to chew through a wire with his little Danger teeth and we say "aah Ah" in that all-knowing and authoritative way we have, he actually laughs, and says it back to us... All that's left now is for him to be completely mortified by our presence and we'll be fully fledged parents.

Anyway - here's my little effort, that may not even be a poem at all, since it doesn't rhyme or do anything much of any great importance... maybe its modestly is its greatest strength.

Sleep wants you

Sleep wants you so bad it writes your name in the air
It laughs at all your jokes, widens its eyes at your anecdotes
Makes your eyelashes want to hug, tug tug tugs them together
Answers teen magazine questionnaires to find out if you’re interested
Waits for you at the end of every long and lolling day
Warm arms enfold you in everything your mind wanted to do
And everything you’re scared of
While your body turns a blind eye
Sleep loves you, even when your mouth is slack
When the saliva drizzles softly past your chin
Or skin is twitching with weird imaginings
Sleep creeps through your every part
Relishing the journey

Friday, March 9, 2012

Trying to guess

- do you think a child who is interested in opening and closing doors of all kinds (bathroom doors, dresser doors, locker doors) will be interested in "The Doors"?

By the way - on a somewhat related note - the dog is proving to be a great aid to parenting efforts.... in the life lessons department mostly... things she has taught Danger include...

that shouting will not necessarily always result in being picked up.

that not all toys belong to him.

that sometimes large objects can move - without warning - so check for stability before using them to pull yourself to standing.

that the yellow bowls are full of interesting things, but you'll be in trouble for investigating them...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dya know what

I'm posting another poem, already, and you'd think I'd have better things to be doing, but I really don't right now, Mr VC is out at a school concert of some sort, Danger Cushions is miraculously in bed - preparing for his big day tomorrow (9 month old check up!! - I'm very excited, they're going to tell me he's a genius and that I win a free years supply of nappies since they've never seen a child so advanced, in such a modest understated kind of way)... so I sat me down and wrote a poem, I have to acknowledge it is somewhat inspired by another poem I came across in class last night - a little number called Similes - by Charles Reznikoff. Yes I'm going to classes by the way. Just one a week, and just for a few weeks... it has the intriguing title "Parallel Worlds, how to build them with words" and is facilitated by Trevor Joyce, and I'm rather liking it.

Anyway - here's me poem


She’s eating her words now.
Fierce watery words they are too.
She could never wash with them, they’re too scarce and sputtering.
She tried to drown Seanie in them, but it was only a drip drip drip, drilling
a hole in his ear.
Through to his brain.
True, and down the drain with that relationship.
No type of a ship could’ve gotten across that tempest, the temper on her.
And her holding up each phrase as if he should listen.
She wrote him a letter too.
She wrote him a poem.
She carved his name on her arm, and on a tree, and in cheese from the fridge.
She soaked herself in soft old talk about his early days with her, their
happy times.
Her mouth is dry with calling him.
What she said was what she said, and it hailed out of her frozen sometimes, or misted in her quiet breath, or lashed with the warm enthusiasm of a summer storm, fat drops of things she said, thick streams of sayings, flowing, leaking.
All she ever said gushes with the rest -
white noise tearing through the string vest of space.

and now the poem by Charles Reznikoff -


Indifferent as a statue
to the slogan
scribbled on its pedestal.

The way an express train
snubs the passengers at a local station.

Like a notebook forgotten on a seat in the bus,
full of names, addresses and telephone numbers:
important, no doubt, to the owner—
but of no interest whatever
to anyone else.

Words like drops of water on a stove—
a hiss and gone."

- and yes there's a heap of sweeping still to be done here....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring or - I should be sweeping the floor now

Inspired by the word Spring - as a people's republic of bus monday poem - otherwise known as the scooter.... I have written the following


Ground tilts, warms towards life
Locked away in homes the Ordinarys
See new telly schedules
The arrival of the Oscars

Walkers see excitable shoots
Animals are squelching out of older bigger animals
And getting licked and loved and discarded
Vets elbow deep rooting for hooves or heads
Thinking of their tea, the summer holidays,
the Oscars
Shiny tiny people taking tiny shiny people home

In school the frogspawn arrives in tanks
Boys wait in gleeful horror for brothers to awake
and eat each other
the world writhes with excitement of the new
stuff from ash reborn into
the tilted landscape

Monday, February 27, 2012

in other news

I've decided not to join the secret service after all... Turns out since they're all secretive, I wouldn't get to brag about my big fancy job with them, and their canteen is rubbish. All it is is a can machine and a few sweets and foodservice instant coffee with a burker boiler that hardly ever works and drips boiling water into the sink constantly.... Or was that my last job? I can never keep these things straight in my head.

Anyway - yesterday I went on what can only be described as a trip through time.
Meself and himself and the other himself, found ourselves in the city, in the early part of the day and a big latin mass about to be said in one of the churches. By god, we said, we'll have a bit of that, bit of culture, bit of language, bit of religion, sure why not?
Well. They should sell tickets. It was amazing. The priest and his two assistants stood with their backs to the congregation for all of the latiny bit, so you only got the odd "carpe", or "labia", here or there. It gave a great sense of how alienating the old church was though - with their mysterious non layman language, and how you'd be looking at the backs of their heads for so long. Then yerman turned around, and that's when the fun really started. If there was a theme park in the vatican, with haunted houses to visit where you could see priests as they might've been in the old days handing out fire and brimstone, this guy would be the top man.
Did you realise the pain of childbirth was a punishment because of Eve's misbehaviour in the garden? We could've all saved ourselves a lot of money on epidurals if only... There was a punishment for Adam too - probably manflu - I missed hearing exactly what it was because I was so shocked by the former.
Anyway he was going on and on about giving up things you like for lent. And I was thinking he should give up giving out. He referred to this letter sent by the pope a couple of years ago - when we were trying to get over the abuse scandals, anyway - one of the recommendations in the letter was that we should give up things we like every friday for a year. The priest didn't mention whether he had adhered to this recommendation himself, but you just knew he knew no one in the church (out of the whole 30 or so of us in the place) would have done it, he wanted us to feel bad. (I did, but only because I was so affronted by the cheek of such a recommendation forming part of what was hoped at the time was going to be an apology). He also asked that we refrain from "Googling" he didn't mention any other search engine - and if google were present they would have surely thought it unfair - but "Googling" was mentioned in much the same tone as "looking at porn" He also said 30% of the bold angels, ie the ones turned into devils, were still on the earth. I feel kinda bad passing this info on, but I was so impressed by him having statistics to hand like that...
We were just leaving when he started in on "Nice People" too. "Nice People can lead you astray" he was saying - as us 3 relatively nice people sailed out the door, not for the first time I was glad to have a loud chirrupy little fella with me who didn't know or care about the correct social conventions and had decided to sing all the way through...
The church has changed a lot, but if you ever want a glimpse into the guilt laden/ bizarre past, there's a definite tourist attraction for you.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Did you know Ireland has a secret service?

Now maybe I dreamed this, but I heard someone on the radio this morning saying their funding had been increased by 76%.

I can only assume they've been hiring in new staff with this money and one of the newbies disastrously, mistakenly took it upon themselves to release a press release. They were probably instantly fired on the spot. Men in black erased all their memories and they were dropped back to the corn field.... or something.

If the irish ss IS looking to replace that particular specimen, they need look no further. Yes I can be the spy with the eye, the agent with the stage-ent, the undercover with the brover... you get my drift.

I've proven, I think, by recent performance here, that I can also be extremely secretive when I want to be. I haven't let a word slip about my adventures of the past number of weeks. No, not even anything about danger pulling himself up on the couch to stand up - then true to his name letting go, not a hint about the fun of a course in writing that I'm attending in the people's republic, no sniff of the festivals I am failing to get to, or the million movies I'm watching before my free months trial of netflix runs out. No, these, and many other secrets can be safely counted as under my care. Secure. Secret.
Ye know where to find me ss, if ye need me... ye know where to find everyone.
(yes I am just trying to flatter them so they'll approach me)

(and yes, this is probably exactly the post someone who was really in the iss would write, just to throw ye off the scent, and this kind of comment would be further proof)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The pomegranate of vice

Here's what would happen if the world went monochrome, ie black and white.

1. Most people would be better looking - apart, possibly, from Pink.
2. You wouldn't have to worry about mismatching navy and black socks.
3. Team sports would never happen again - since it would be too hard to tell the teams apart (assuming no one tells the sporty types the obvious solution of one team wearing white and one wearing black)
4. Fresians and other monochrome animals would have the last laugh as they wouldn't change a bit.
5. No artificial colours in anything ever, so they could stop boasting about it in the ads/ on packs.

1. Snooker would get more complicated, with rules like - "Next pot the third lightest grey ball"
2. War would break out over whether it's spelled grey or gray, since it would be so important in the new monochrome world. (On the slightly positive side - peace would be declared in the colour/ color epic struggle since it would no longer matter)
3. Spreadsheets would get (even more) boring
4. Different flavours of flavoured milk would be indistinguishable from each other by sight alone and would need to be tasted to tell them apart. The taste wouldn't be as strong without the colour.
5. Joseph would just have a coat.

And if that all ain't controversial....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Have you seen

the lovely Kate Dempsey talking about poetry in public places, not least of all in IPYPIASM, and also reading her own fabulous poems?
If not click here

No other gossip here...
except to say...
next week is the "Official Worldwide Say Something Controversial" week or OWSSC for short... will you be taking part?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I have no idea what to blog about, was going to blog about the lonely voice website, which features a story of mine - yay - back when I had stories, but Brian Kirk beat me to it. Click over on the right there - my story's in Jan 2010.
But I still thought I'd like to blog. I so like that feeling when people comment, or click in, it's just so fuzzy and warm. And yet, I fear, they won't come back too quick if all I have here is a rambling wishy washy post about nothing.
That's not what the people want.
The people want "The Truth" "Answers" "Something that isn't nothing"
so here it is
I'm over a week back at "work" and it feels like when I first ventured into that cruel world from college land... when blinking I emerged into the morning darkness every day, before partygoers go to bed, to get up and go to work... and how shocked I used to be to see the sheer volume of crazy people going to work, and how bemused I used to be at how seriously they could talk about something minute and ridiculous as if the whole world hinged on the answer. How it seemed like life or death to some. How they stayed there for such a very long time... all the way from morning... till practically night fall.
Nowadays, none of that comes as a shock, and weirdly I quite like the place where I work, most of the people I work with, etc... I know I'm very lucky to have a job at all. But god it's still a long day, and the evening is sooo short, danger cushions hardly has time to say "Welcome home Mama" before it's time for his evening jog and then bed. And I'm not even doing long hours right now, I'm home by 6pm most days. No doubt I'll readjust in time.
So that's the truth (or at least the most pressing issue) of my little world right now. Feel free to share yours in the comment box.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 The Literary Highlights/ Passion Swap

This is where I'd usually boast about all the great things I've been up to hoping to make you all super jealous and cranky, but the good news is this year has been a quiet one on the literary highlights front. I read out poems in public, twice. Joined a new writers group due to the big house move. Attended a writing course gifted to me for my birthday. Started one short story - ie got a first draft done. Finished another. Wrote approx 10 poems including the 4 liners for IPYPIASM. IPYPIASM was a great success thanks to some brilliant participants - biggest and bestest ever. Other than all that, it's been quiet. No publications and very little writing.
I don't even have enough for the usual top 10 listing.

Why? I hear you ask. Well I sort of fell off the writing wagon towards the end of 2010 because of all my physical energy being unavailable to me personally, since it was diverted into making danger cushions. I thought once babs was out, then energy would return and I'd be writing away good oh in the fabled big long holiday known as maternity leave... (don't be angry north american friends, but maternity leave here is really good, I'm only going back to work tomorrow, and danger is over 7 months, and he landed late)... Anyway - still there's been no sign of much writing... I put it down to tiredness, busy-ness with the baby, lack of brain power etc. but I've recently discovered the truth (I think)
Writing was probably my biggest passion in life outside of Mr VC and my job (if my employer is reading), up until June 1st last year. So I've been muddling around here for months wondering where all my motivation went, until duh, it struck me. It has simply been bumped down the passion list, way down.
I still haven't quite got used to the idea of myself being a parent, that'll take years, but if I find myself with a spare few minutes these days - I don't think, poem or short story, I reach for a baby book, or online discussion about babies. It's very dull if you don't have one, but this magical little creature is by far and away the most absorbing hobby I've ever had.
You know that feeling when you invite someone to an event, or to a place they've never been, and then you feel like you should look after them for the evening,, introduce them around, make sure they've found the champagne and doritos? Well for me inviting a new person to live feels like that, but stronger, steel girder v's soggy pasta stronger.
Anyway, so I guess I'm excusing myself for not having more done this year, but I think I'm also saying I don't really care. For now, I'm having more fun trying to hone my mommyness, getting to understand everything about the little fella, and enjoying his babyhood, writing will be back, and it will gradually get a bigger and bigger chunk of me in the not so distant future, but for now there are more important things to do...