I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year break.  The tone of this post was set by my New Year’s Eve iTunes playlist  (mercifully for my friends and family it’s quite short, unlike my eight-hour gargantuan Christmas version). While singing along to Abba’s “Happy New Year”  I realised it’s not […]

This month’s poem is inspired by both a trip during August to Northern Ireland, my journey of DNA discovery, and the depressing news cycle we watched when we (rarely) turned on the TV to catch the news while taking in the magnificent Causeway coast. I recently had my DNA ancestry traced on 23andMe and discovered that […]

…And the blackbird’s tune, And May, and June!                               – De Gustibus, Robert Browning I’ve added a lot of tags to this post; my four weeks away from writing and blogging generated quite a few thoughts and ideas, as well as […]

(Apologies for the hiatus, I’ll be catching up with posting my NaPoWriMo poems this week…) David We’ve stopped here by a ditch, across the sea from home; guns across our chests, peering like Eagle Eyes action men. It’s wetter here, more clouds; the sky drips more, but still I know this grass, this hedge, this […]

Thomas I was dumped at this church, unable to get home; back down the hill into town. This city, this town is deathly sick; my head stoved in with a brick and barrels from the bar. I watch a car toil up Forthriver’s rise, from this hill among the skies. No hallowed stones or weathered […]

Samuel Winter still, the earth brown between wet lanes and the hedges bare like bones. My thumbs, stiff and rough yet twitch for spring, for nature to swing into its well-worn path. The blush of green will creep as always over the Sperrins, the daylight unbend as the dew retreats to misty morns. More than […]

Murals, Belfast, 2016

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 […]

Helen's Bay, County Down, Northern Ireland

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]