Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Break

Don't feel like blogging these days. Will get back to it when the long dark haul of winter begins! Hope you are all having a lovely summer.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Articles Online

Two of my articles written for collections published by Benbella Books (Texas) - one on C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia and t'other on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials are now available here: I think you can read one for free for a time, otherwise they are a buck a peep.

Friday, July 01, 2011


I'm racing out the door to go on retreat but here's my Canada Day post on another blog: Have a lovely sunny-cottage-barbecue-parade-party-whatever-it-is-you-do-to-celebrate-your-country day!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Tree of Life - Trailer

Here is a film I really want to see. I'm particularly happy to see the theme as it echoes what I'm doing with People of the Great Journey.

Blogger Problems

Apologies for long delays between blogs betimes, but more often than not I am locked out by blogger for no discernible reason. My password is not accepted and all the notices are in Japanese or Chinese so I have no idea what they say! No amount of changing my password works and then suddenly - presto! - I'm in again with my old password. Wyrd. Needless to say the help section is useless. So that's my rant for the day.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Looks like I am going to have to eat crow on this one. (What a terrible expression, wonder where it comes from.) I've been reading about Amanda Hocking and her huge success via indie e-book publishing leading to a massive advance on her new YA series with a traditional publisher. Clever girl! I wish her well. It would appear that indie e-book publishing is the first real break for authors - in the master/slave relationship that is the publishing industry - since agents were invented. I'm afraid I don't see where writers' unions or associations have really mattered. They simply don't have the power. At the moment, the publishing industry is in a state of fear and chaos bordering on paralysis. They seem unable or unwilling to deal with the rapid advance of e-technology. Latest statistics show that e-book sales are passing regular book sales. We live in interesting times. If the publishers don't move with them, the writers must! Watch this space.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Here's a fabulous pic of Uisnech (I'm using the Old Irish spelling here instead of the modern Irish 'Uisneach') the most ancient of Ireland's royal and sacred sites, even older than Tara. It featured in The Singing Stone and now plays a central part in The Celtic Princess, both book and film. I found this on the Festival of Fires site, do have a look:

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Just finished Iris Murdoch's The Bell. As usual I found her characters tedious and repellent and their situations ridiculous and uninteresting and yet - as usual - I felt compelled to keep reading to the bitter end. I even find myself thinking about them still, just as I remember from time to time that bizarrely obsessive character in her The Sea, The Sea. The sign of a great writer. My one major complaint with this book: the use of the word 'rebarbative.' If she used it once, she used it seven times. Did she not notice? Did her editor not notice? Was it deliberate? The second time she used it I thought to myself, "there's that word again." By about the fifth time I thought "if I see that bloody word again I'll scream!" But sure enough it showed up a few more times, to my extreme annoyance. Conclusion: the word 'rebarbative' is, in itself, rebarbative. Is there a term for that, I wonder. Perhaps a form of onomatopoeia?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Script Done and Dusted and Off!

COLLAPSE TIME! That was an all-nighter all week to meet the deadline but The Celtic Princess script is done and - if I do say so myself - she's brilliant. A great action-packed, emotion-filled story. So the BIG NEWS is that it's really happening with several producers on board. There's some question about whether it will be a feature film or a mini-series but I'm thrilled either way. I can't say any more - big stars being mentioned, yippee! - but I'll make announcements as soon as I am allowed. It's all good to go. (Artwork: James Brady, Ireland)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

German Edition

The German edition of The Light-Bearer's Daughter was released yesterday. If you would like to order, go to their website at: I'll be posting off my freebie copies to various German friends but also keeping a copy for Finn who is learning German at university. She decided to add another language to her impressive array that includes Irish, Spanish, French, and some Italian.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Good Day to Write

After a wonderful week of spring sunshine which saw me hill-walking in the Wicklow Mountains and out gardening on the side of Bray Head, it was cold and grey and rainy today. Perfect for lighting fires and writing! I am well into Act III of the script for The Celtic Princess (back to the old title). Did I mention I was commissioned to write the first draft of the feature film? It all rests on me. If my script is good enough we move another step closer to the real thing. Got a great boost of encouragement from a friend of mine, script supervisor on The Tudors and the upcoming Camelot. She has offered to read my script! Now that's a friend worth her weight in gold.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patricks Day 2011 Flashmob. Central Station, Sydney, Australia.

The first dance is called "St Patrick's Day" and every Irish dancer, no matter what part of the world they live in, knows this dance. It is the one dance that is never changed or modernised. I still remember it myself after all these years! Beannachtaí Lá Phadraig! It was a soft day, thank God, a good parade and now guests on their way for supper. Hope you had a good one too, wherever you are!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lost and Found

Ok, I found my script in a very unlikely place. That was all very strange and a reminder to me to make hard copy at all times. NEVER TRUST YOUR SOFTWARE. I'm willing to admit I may be doing something wrong but I'll be damned if I could get the tutorial/help/or techie support to explain it to me! Saving documents in Final Draft and making pdfs is a complicated mystery. I've read online that Final Draft 8 is buggy and maybe that's it. Anyhoo, I've learned my lesson: print out hard copy at the end of a day's work!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Final Draft 8 Has Lost My Script!

Arghhhhhhh. I don't know what happened but I have lost a whole day's work on my script for The Celtic Princess. (Decided I prefer that title.) I'm new to this software but I can't understand how it can lose a new title page and a new script. The back-up files don't have the material either even though they are a larger size than the older files. What the ... Anyway, let's see what the techies say. I'm so sick I couldn't work today and I'm utterly wary of this programme. Will go now and cry.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Puja - Varanasi India - Night Ganga

This is a beautiful puja I attended in the holy city of Benares (Varanasi) on the ghats of Mother Ganges. Here you can see how theatre developed from origins in sacred performance. Breathtaking. I'm missing India so much.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I have come to India to do some finalising research for the Tibetan character in People of the Great Journey. He is a young tulku (reincarnated lama) and his name is Tenzin Dawa. I've just survived a 12 hour overnight bus journey from Dharamsala to Delhi, hairpin turns and all. But here's the stunner. The woman beside me asked me to write out her name on the bus ticket list handed around by the driver, as she only writes in Tibetan. Put my brother's name, she said, as he booked the ticket. And what was his name? Yes, you got it. Tenzin Dawa. [Twilight Zone music.]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011