Sunday, January 31, 2016

Don De Lillo, Haruki Murakami and Mary Lawson

Just completed De Lillo's Falling Man. I've been reading this author for years, along with Murakami whose Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage I finished two weeks ago. Both of these authors write in a very similar way about their countries, America and Japan respectively. Their characters are always somewhat psychotic or at least thoroughly alienated and reading these men is like wandering through a strange dream landscape that is mildly disturbing while utterly compelling. One can only wonder what kind of conversations they have. Would love to know. And now for something completely different we have Mary Lawson, a newish Canadian author I've just discovered to my absolute DELIGHT. She started writing in her 50s and doesn't belt them out like the aforementioned men so her enthralled fans just have to wait. Write faster, woman! Only joking. Unbeknownst till too late, I started with the third of her Crow Lake 'trilogy' The Road Ends, But really the books stand alone even though characters wander through the three stories, rather like Kieslowski's Three Colours film trilogy. But oh how I love her writing and her characters and her stories! I was already homesick for Canada with the new Prime Minister Trudeau but Lawson's descriptions of winters in small town Canada made me yearn to return.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Angelina Jolie's By the Sea

I took two nights to watch this, not because I found it difficult or boring but because I wanted to savour it. Very like reading a novel. It's slow and subtle, elegant and beautifully shot. Hemingway would have liked it, I think, the spare dialogue and the intensity of the characters. More European than American, it's the kind of film Charlotte Rampling usually stars in. The American critics have savaged it en masse. They like to run in packs, like ravening wolves, but are rarely right when it comes to something beyond conventional fashion, something different. Something extraordinary. I predict By the Sea will be reassessed in years to come

Monday, December 21, 2015

My Christmas Books and Films

Everyone has their favourites and these are mine: The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (finished two days ago, yes I cried over Tiny Tim as I do annually), Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti (seriously bizarre story but Finn and I read it together every year) and A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas (oh such beautiful writing, but my little blue paper edition has disappeared, who fecked it?!). Meanwhile have watched my favourite Christmas television episode, "All Ye Faithful" of JAG, very clever writing which includes references to various Christmas films, books and songs. I've also managed to watch two favourite Christmas films Love Actually and It's a Wonderful Life (cried here, too). Don't know where I found the time to watch anything as it has been seriously hectic these past few weeks! But the cards are off, the presents wrapped, the plans made. I'm ... dare I say it? ... ready. May I wish you a very Merry Christmas and healthy and happy new year.

Thursday, December 03, 2015


I just made my annual contribution to Wikipedia. It's a brilliant service which I use regularly to check on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. It's a fabulous resource tool to send you in the direction you need to go to find what you need to find if it doesn't already have what you want. Great for sending you off on tangents and unnecessary but fascinating searches also :). The founder could make a fortune if he chose to inflicts ads on us like Skype, FB etc but he doesn't. All he asks is any small amount you can provide. Do give this a thought. You know you use it. We all do.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Voice of America Teen Radio

I was interviewed last week by two charming American teens Zahra and Brigitte for Voice of America Teen Radio programme "Express Yourself." The founder of the programme is Cynthia Brian, writer of Be the Star You Are. She contacted me before I went on the Camino and asked if I would talk about The Summer King under the theme of "The Gift of Healing." I was quite happy to as the book deals with the healing of loss and grief. Those who have read the book know that the story opens a year after the main character, Laurel, has lost her twin sister. The pre-recorded interview will be aired on Tuesday, November 10 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time. That's 8:00 pm in Ireland but if you are from somewhere else you'll have to check online for the corresponding time in your country. To listen in online go to: Hope you enjoy it. I did!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Writing Days

The long grey of the Irish winter has begun. There's nothing better for writing than a rainy day outside and a warm fire in the hearth inside. So I'm working on the revisions of my screenplay for The Hunter's Moon (announcement coming soon, stay tuned) and I'm also transcribing my Camino notes from tattered copybooks to beautiful bound journal. Will post pics of same soon. Meanwhile, here's me at the end of all things, i.e. beyond my boots lie the rocks and waters of Finisterre on the western coast of Spain, Land's End to the Romans. The most wonderful thing about going through my notes is the full recall of the experience. I'm back there again ... on the sacred way.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Rebel's Tale

I mentioned in my personal blog that I'm doing a full-time art course at the moment (writer turns visual artiste). Here's a little video made by the talented 2nd Years and directed by TP MacCurtain who's risking his life to teach me metalwork. Next year I get to do digital photography and filmmaking with himself. Will have some news soon about my own script and the film of The Hunter's Moon. Stay tuned!