Brian "Watch our Brian," our ma shouted from the kitchen, elbow deep in peelings. "No bother" I called, plumping down my bag and coat. But when I made a mug of tea, he'd slipped away for a wee dander on the street. I let him have his play, Not wanting to bother our ma. "Your… Continue reading NaPoWriMo Day 3 -Brian
Rosemary It's the thirteenth today; touch wood. So long I've waited, and it has to be this day? Still, I'm doing what I longed for this last three years. But here's me, crouched in a toilet, fiddling with wires, and I'm to be a teacher! But the cause is right, and casualties regrettable. Touch wood.… Continue reading NaPoWriMo Day 2 -Rosemary
Linda Her da would sing to her; two years gone now, but loyalty, that widow maker, lingers. His name, etched in stone and statistics troubles her. So she gives it a shot, puts on the serge green, walks the beat; patrols her home town, still a teen. Green, she sticks her neck out, and the song… Continue reading NaPoWriMo Day 1 – Linda
I've previously written about my failed experiment with NaNoWriMo and why writing a 50,000 word novel to order in 30 days wasn't for me. And yet, in a moment of madness and inspiration (I've just discovered Northern Irish poet John Hewitt), I've made a commitment to write a poem a day for the 30 days of April… Continue reading NaPoWriMo 2019 – 30 Poems in 30 Days
I've just discovered the poetry of Belfast-born writer John Hewitt, which is a shocking oversight for someone writing a novel based in Belfast during the Troubles. But then his name is somewhat overshadowed by those other dazzling Northern Irish luminaries: Seamus Heaney, Louis MacNeice, CS Lewis and Frank Ormsby. I read the poem below and… Continue reading Poem of the Month -Neither an Elegy Nor a Manifesto, by John Hewitt
I've been thinking about beginnings a lot, since, well, the beginning of this new year. I'm currently reviewing my manuscript for And The Buntings Flew, having put it away for a few months; that distance allowed me to clean up what I've written to date, and forge on with the story. I've now got 35,000… Continue reading Begin at The Beginning -Does My Novel Need a Prologue?
This month's poem of the month came to me during a work meeting recently; it was a somewhat attenuated review of some annual targets, and the use of jargon and corporate buzz words led my gaze to fall from the screen and out of the window to the street below. Students from the nearby university… Continue reading Poem of The Month – Naming of Parts, by Henry Reed
I've just created this new regular feature for 2019, after re-reading some of my favourite poems; it occurred to me that I'd discovered many of them by browsing around online on all sorts of sites, literary and otherwise. Some of these poems have become touchstones in my life, and I revisit them regularly to refresh… Continue reading Poem of the Month – The Journey, by Mary Oliver
We took down the last of our Christmas decorations today, as we always do on the 6th January, or the Epiphany; it's a tradition carried on from my own mother, who insisted almost fearfully that every last scrap of tinsel and turkey must begone by this date, or a calamitous year of bad luck would lie… Continue reading Happy Nollaig na mBan, 12th Night, Epiphany 2019!
This is a post I wrote on my family history blog in July that I meant to crosspost sooner; it's a short musing on food and language in Northern Ireland, both important themes in much of my writing! via For Cod, and Ulster - Northern Ireland's Enduring Love of Chip Shops