Friday, July 29, 2016

Disappointed with J.K. Rowling


I can't believe J.K. Rowling has joined the supporters of the anti-democratic parliamentary coup against the elected leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Did she not do her research? Did she not look into the background of Mr Corbyn's opponent's voing patterns, including voting for a cap on welfare benefits? Did she accept the consistent and constant media bias against Mr Corbyn which has been clearly proven by the London School of Economics: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jeremy-corbyn-media-bias-labour-mainstream-press-lse-study-misrepresentation-we-cant-ignore-bias-a7144381.html? Did she not consider Mr Corbyn's overwhelming support amongst the regular Labour party membership, the ordinary people who have suffered Tory austerity policy supported by the Labour Parliamentary Party who are trying to oust Mr Corbyn? Has she not considered the blatant and possibly illegal attempts by Labour's National Executive Committee to shut down democratic support of the embattled leader? Sad to think becoming a billionaire can change one's political leanings or one's concern for the poor, but sure looks like that is what has happened.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Reader Visit!


I love when my readers contact me and it's even more exciting when they arrive in Ireland and we get to meet. Here are Bronwyn and Emma over from Australia having coffee with me in my favourite café in the Albert's Walk, Bray. (It has shelves of books and the best Italian coffee in the country.) Like many of my readers, Bronwyn read my books when she was much younger and never forgot me. There was great chat and laughter and you would never have thought that any of us were strangers.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Books, Books, Books


I've been a very bad blogger, reading scads of books and nary a mention of one. Here's the list with quickie reviews: 1) Ender's Game - just plonked myself on the sofa and read the whole thing in a day. Couldn't stop, the story is so utterly compelling. I had seen the film and thought it rather good despite poor reviews; but, as usual, with the exception of Dr Zhivago (English translation, that is), the book is far better. Orson Scott Card is, of course, an author who should keep his mouth shut - see controversy on his anti-gay stance - but then we all probably should and most of us don't. I followed this book a month or two later with Children of the Mind, the last in the series. The Wicklow County library system doesn't have the other books so I had to extrapolate everything that happened in between the two. Managed all right. I am utterly baffled that Card can be such a deep thinker with such expansive views of the universe and then can be such a dick when it comes to human life on earth. 2) Eileen Gray: Her Work and Her World by Jennifer Goff - big fat tome on Ireland's most famous, brilliant and generally unknown designer. She was recognised in her own time - 1910s-1920s being her heyday, Paris being her venue - and then, like many great women before modern feminism, was forgotten by history (his story). She designed everything from chairs, screens and carpets to apartments and houses. Can't wait to see the collection of her work in Dublin soon. 3) Z, a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler - great read, though upsetting at times as you realise that Zelda would have done so much better in our time. You really hate Ernest Hemingway by the time you finish this one, though that wasn't hard for me as I had read a few of his books - see below - in honour of my Spanish sojourn last summer and soon realised what an overrated, misogynistic, pathetically macho man he was (Zelda's opinion, too, apparently). The saddest thing about this book, however, is the author's note at the back which states that both Scott and Zelda's biographers & critics are divided into two camps, each blaming the one for the downfall of the other. That Zelda was bipolar is now generally accepted and that Scott suffered from alcoholism is also uncontested. Why blame either of these creative, exciting, ultimately doomed artists when the fault lies squarely at the door of two diseases - mental illness and alcoholism? Funny how our society just still doesn't get it, despite all we know of both these afflictions. Most tragic of all, he died of a heart attack at 44, no doubt brought on by alcohol abuse, and she died in a fire in her sanatorium. 3) The Sun Also Rises never in the history of boredom was anyone ever so bored by the boring. And why is it that novelists who happen to be women are always being castigated for writing "Mary Sue's" (the term says it all and yeah, I'm referring to me) when men do it all the time but no one objects, e.g. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce. This is "bare" writing not "spare." As for Death in the Afternoon YAWN except for the poor bulls.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Virtual Chronicles of Faerie


These gorgeous images were created by Mary Pat Lynch aka Aoife Lorefield for the online metaverse Second Life.(The Faerie build was a temporary creation, so no longer there.) She also read from The Hunter's Moon for a blog called the Seanchai Library. The Seanchai is having its eighth anniversary and has set up a number of special readings and events to celebrate. You can check it out here: http://irelandslstory.blogspot.com.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Song for the Hunter's Moon

 

One of those magical moments that gives you goosebumps: I was working away on the screenplay of The Hunter's Moon with  RTE Lyric FM playing in the background when I slowly grew aware of fey exquisite music and two beautiful female voices. Then came the words the Hunter's Moon was bleeding red the night you left our thorny bed. "Blood Moon" is a strange thrilling fairy tale of a song by Irish duo Saint Sister. Have a listen!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Little Bit of Irish History from 1916 to 2016


There it was hanging on the Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey yesterday for the 80,000 anti-austerity marchers - and everyone else in Dublin - to see. A message from the past, from James Connolly, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion in 1916. In many ways it is as relevant today as it was during WWII as Ireland groans under the burden of the German-led European Union's insistence that the Irish people pay for the malfeasance of the Irish and German banks who crashed our economy. An election is coming up next week and nobody knows for certain how it will play out. But one thing is clear. A lot of people in Ireland are totally fed up with the ruling elites of both Ireland and Europe.