Thursday, May 29, 2008


Neglecting the blogs. Up to my eyes in deadlines and Finn's Leaving Certificate ordeal. See you on the other side.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Summer King Ballet

Last year I gave permission to a ballet school in New York state called "Dance for Joy" to use the story-line of The Summer King for their year-end recital. Well, look at the photos they sent me yesterday! Oh, I wish I could have been there. Findabhair, who has been doing ballet for years here in Ireland, agreed with me that the performance was obviously fabulous. And may I just add that this is the kind of thing that makes a writer's day!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Can't resist including this little clip by Irish comedian Dylan Moran. A good laugh for every writer and would-be writer.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wolfe Tone Square

I'm posting this little image of the Grotto which stands just up the road from me, for two reasons. (1) The month of May is dedicated by Roman Catholics to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary (see the initials on the gate) whose sacred colour is blue. By no coincidence, this month is also special to the Faerie Queen. It is imperative that you do not take the blossoms of the hawthorn into your house during May as it will bring you misfortune. (2) Wolfe Tone Square is where Dana lives in The Light-Bearer's Daughter. It is a very old neighbourhood, one of the first low income housing estates in the Irish Free State (after English rule ended), built around the 1920s-30s. Sometimes you see the residents saying the Rosary in front of the Grotto and sometimes they do a little parade around the square, carrying the statue. Times like that I feel like I am living in Spain. I like it. Even though I no longer practise Catholicism myself, I prefer tradition and community to modern soulless urbanity.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Slowly But Surely

Yes, People of the Great Journey is definitely coming along. I am almost half-way through Chapter 9 of the second draft. For speedy writers, that is dead slow. For slow writers like me, it's not bad going. There are even some sentences I like and some images which I think are fabulous. I will have to put the book aside this week as my editor's final comments on The Book of Dreams are due in. The sooner that book goes to the printer the better. The delay in its publication has been an utter pain - it was due out last spring! - but better late than never. Here's the time schedule ticking away in my head: People of the Great Journey finished this year, The Book of Dreams out in Spring 2009, and my Celtic graphic novel and Young Adult novel (first of a series) well on the road by then. At this rate, I just might become prolific.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Creative Writing Workshops

Finished up my writing workshops at Killruddery House today. It was a great week. I keep forgetting how much I like working with young people until I do it again. The ages varied from 10 to 14 and there was a good mix of country and city, Catholic and Protestant and non-denominational, and also all-boy, all-girl, and mixed-gender schools. Some wore uniforms, some didn't. There was one workshop in the morning, then we broke for lunch - for the adults, homemade sandwiches and lemon or coffee or carrot cake and tea or coffee, while the kids brought their own - then a second workshop in the afternoon. Each class would do an artistic workshop, either music or writing, plus an environmental workshop around the grounds. I always brought my class for a wild run through the giant labyrinth after we did our work. The Pushkin Trust is dedicated to encouraging creativity in young people and also environmental awareness, and they are also big on everyone having FUN. Will blog some more pics on my regular Blog as Killruddery House is so beautiful. Here's a pic of the house from the back. My workshop was held in the Orangerie with the glass dome (at the very left of the house photo) and here's an inside view of where we all sat and talked and imagined and wrote.