Thursday, 29 November 2012

James Barros photography.Poetic Diversity

Haiku in Tralee

Bamboo Dreams: An Anthology of Haiku Poetry from Ireland ed. Anatoly Kudryavitsky

Doghouse Books down in Tralee have published  the first ever Irish national anthology of haiku poetry, so if you are a fan, this is the book for you!  The interest in haiku has blossomed recently and an increasing number of Irish writers are appearing in print worldwide. This book contains work by seventy-seven haiku writers.The anthology has an excellent introduction by Anatoly Kudryavitsky, the editor of Shamrock Haiku Journal, where he discusses the development of haiku in Ireland from an unsuspecting Patrick Kavanagh around 1965-67 and Juanita Casey, a travelling woman in 1968.
This verse from Sharon Burrell could only be an image from Dublin; "chilly morning - / geese in formation/ over the Dart line" and this philosophical verse from Juanita Casey; "why rage if the roof/ has holes?/ heaven is roof enough". I particularly liked this complete haiku from Michael Coady; "ravens from the height/ throw shapes above the belfry - / deep-croak  rituals". With that "deep-croak" in the last line you can hear the voice of the crow, and it is explained that throw shapes: dance (Hiberno-Engl.
Patrick Deeley perfectly records an event any cat-owner will recognise; "dead thrush on the doorstep/ the cat's way/ to my heart" while Gabriel Fitzmaurice captures life from death in his three line haiku; "a rotting tree stump/ in the middle of the woods/mushrooms with new life". In Maeve O'Sullivan's verse I can see the colours ; "Basque flower market/ an orange hibiscus/ trumpets its presence" and Thomas Powell captures a everyday joyful sight with new eyes; "communal bath/ in the blocked guttering/ a row of sparrows".
I liked the enigmatic words of Isabelle Prondzynski; "fog in the city - / now I cannot see/ those I do not know" and the hopelessness in the words of Eileen Sheehan; "home village/ nowhere to visit/ but the graveyard".

 Published by Doghouse

Shankill Castle Christmas Gift Fair, a seasonal treat, etchings by Elizabeth Cope

Christmas Gift Fair

A Christmas Gift Fair at Shankill will take place on the 30th of November and the 1st of December. It  will be a glorious two day event with lots of luxry gift items to suit all budgets. From Etchings by Elizabeth Cope to locally handmade soaps and alpaca wool blankets from Peru. There will be some of our deliciosly zingy mulled apple juice and some mince pies availalbe to keep you warm as you roan the stalls or explore the wintery gardens. There will even be a hog roast outside and lots of other yummy food and seasonal treats On Saturday the 1st December the St. Patrick’s Brass and reed band will welcome December and the Christmas Season with wonderful music.

P.D.James.Rules for writing

P. D. James
Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL, commonly known as P. D. James, is an English crime writer and a life peer in the House of Lords.
Born: August 3, 1920 (age 92), Oxford
Awards: Cartier Diamond Dagger, Edgar Grand Master Award, Macavity Awards for Best Mystery Novel, Grand Prix de Littérature Policière - International Category, Macavity Awards for Best Non-fiction, Anthony Award for Best Critical/Nonfiction
1. Center your mystery
"No matter what, there should indeed be a mystery at the heart of the novel," says James. "Usually, there is a murder, a closed circle of suspects with means, motive and opportunity for the crime and a detective, either amateur or professional, who comes in like an avenging deity to solve it."
She also emphasizes the importance of structure. "I always know the end of the mystery before I begin to write. Tension should be held within the novel and there should be no longuers of boring interrogation. 2. Study reality
Once you've plotted you're novel, the next step is to make it come to life, and James admits it is "more difficult (comparatively) to combine a credible puzzle with a setting which comes alive, an underlying theme and distinguished writing," says James.
What's the solution? "You must go through life with all your senses open to experiences, good and bad," she says. "Empathize with other people, and believe that nothing which happens to a true writer is ever wasted."

3. Create compelling characters
Most of all the characters are important. You want them to be "rather more than stereotypes. The characters should be real human beings, each of whom comes alive for the reader, not pasteboard people to be knocked down in the final chapter."

4. Research, research, research
In addition to paying attention to real-life, a huge part of the writer's job is to research. Often times, this is the best way to make your characters real--by finding out the facts they would usually know. James does her research personally, and it usually takes months. "I revisit the scene, get advice from experts, and usually consul
t both the police and the forensic science laboratory."

5. Follow the "fair-play rule"
James always makes sure that information available to the detective is available to the reader. "By the end of the book, the reader should have been able to arrive at the real solution from clues inserted into the novel." Of course, she also admits that you can provide these clues with "deceptive cunning but essential fairness."

6. Read!
It may seem a cliche, but you have to read in order to write. First, find your favorite authors. James particularly admires and says she has learnt from a diverse collection including Jane Austen, Wilkie Collins, Dorothy L Sayers, Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh.
"Read the good prose, and learn from it," she says. "And the tools of your craft are words." she says. " Try always to enlarge your vocabulary through reading. This is not in order to use complex or pretentious phrases, but to have available precisely the right word for every sentence."

7And write
When asked if she gets writer's block, James said "No, I have never experienced writer's block, although I sometimes have to wait a long time before I receive inspiration for the next book." So don't think of yourself as blocked. Use your time between inspirations wisely, and practice the craft by short pieces. Create exercises to complete or take a class. "By writing prose and learn from the experience, you will develop your own style."

8. Follow a schedule
Here's how James says she works:
"I get up early, make tea and settle down to about two hours writing. I have no special room, require only a comfortable chair, table or desk at the right height, and sufficient space for my dictionary and research material. I do, however, need to be completely alone. When my secretary arrives I dictate to her what I have written. She puts it on the computer and prints it out for editing and correcting."

9 Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more ­effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.
10 Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.

11 Don't just plan to write – write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

12 Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

13 Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other ­people. Nothing that happens to a writer – however happy, however tragic – is ever wasted.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Lisa's Books: Author Interview with Helen Moorhouse

Lisa's Books: Author Interview with Helen Moorhouse:
Helen Moorhouse Did you always want to write? Always. As a child I was surrounded by books, learned to read at a ver...

Launch of 12 Miles Out by Nick Wright at The Phoenix Artist Club London

Launch of:

12 Miles Out
Nick Wright

 Thursday 6 Dec: 8.00pm
The Phoenix Artist Club
1 Phoenix St London

 12 Miles Out was chosen by David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas) as the winner of the
Fish Unpublished Novel Award.

 12 Miles Out is a love story, thriller and historical novel; funny and sad, uplifting and enlightening.
Lee Snowball, a pirate DJ on a ship moored off Liverpool, loses his job when the station turns legit and comes ashore. With his relationship falling apart, and a child on the way, Lee sails to Africa with the ship on a mission to end apartheid. But the ship’s new owners have other ideas, and the crew become embroiled in the conflict in Sierra Leone when the hidden cargo is revealed.
Lee's story of struggle and hope is intertwined with the story of his ancestry - the earliest black settlers in Europe, ex-slaves who, in exchange for freedom, fought in the British army during the American War of Independence, and were settled in Liverpool.

"There were times when writing the book, I wondered if the dialogue was too direct, the reaction to a mixed race couple too extreme. We now live in what is considered to be a multicultural society. Race is no longer thought to be to an issue but the fact is, there is nothing that is written in this fiction that was not said to my wife and I. My mother – on whom the character of Angela’s mother, Jean, is based - really did demand to know why we were risking a relationship which would result in children being born “with the additional burden of growing up half-cast.” An elderly lady on a bus really did turn round and declare – apropos of nothing - that “doves and crows don’t go.” More over, Lee’s feeling over the decision to abort a life that would have grown to adulthood, are my own."
Nick Wright 

Anne Enright,Booker Prize Winner, ten rules for writing

Anne Enright
Extract  from an interview by Sean O Hagan -read the full article  in The Guardian/The Observer

I am interested in creating female characters who are no better or worse than they should be, who are, in fact, just themselves. I don't want to invest them with some idea of the goodness or the wickedness of female nature, but I am drawn, as most writers are, to flawed female characters – flawed as opposed to bad."

Enright grew up in Dublin "on the border between Terenure and Templeogue", the youngest of a family of five, all of whom, she says, "were brainy and did well at exams". She was the youngest and the lone creative in a family of successful professionals, gaining an international scholarship that took her to "a funny school in Canada" for two years in her teens. "When I came back," she says, "Ireland did not make so much sense." You could say she has been trying to make sense of it through her writing ever since.

"The thing is, though, I love doing voices. And I love the characters not knowing everything and the reader knowing more than them. There's more mischief in that and more room for seriousness, too."

Does she consider herself an Irish writer? "No, I was always on the side. Like a salad."'
"I guess I'm engaged with the tradition even insofar as being against it. The periphery has always been the more interesting place for me. I didn't quite fit and that suited me. I never wanted to be mainstream as a writer, but look at what's happened."

Anne Enright
Ten rules for writing
1 The first 12 years are the worst.
2 The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page.
3 Only bad writers think that their work is really good.
4 Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand.
5 Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn't matter how "real" your story is, or how "made up": what matters is its necessity.
6 Try to be accurate about stuff.
7 Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you ­finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.
8 You can also do all that with whiskey.
9 Have fun.
10 Remember, if you sit at your desk for 15 or 20 years, every day, not ­counting weekends, it changes you. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else. It makes you more free.

Monday, 26 November 2012

More on Margaret Atwood Booker Prize Winner

The Year of the Flood Cover

just because I like it!

Photo: What a beautiful sunset last night over Garrison Lake! The colors were nothing short of amazing!

Ten rules for writing -Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can't sharpen it on the plane, because you can't take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
2 If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
3 Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
4 If you're using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.
5 Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
6 Hold the reader's attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don't know who the reader is, so it's like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.
7 You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there's no free lunch. Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you're on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine.
8 You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You've been backstage. You've seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
9 Don't sit down in the middle of the woods. If you're lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
10 Prayer might work. Or reading ­something else. Or a constant visual­isation of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards

The winners of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2012 were announced on the 22nd November 2012 in the RDS. Tune into RTE 1 on the 24th November at 11.05pm to watch the ceremony!
We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2012 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards and wish to congratulate them on their success:
The Argosy Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year - Country Girl by Edna O’Brie
Category: The Argosy Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Title: Country Girl
Author: Edna O’Brien
Avonmore Cookbook of the Year - Eat Like an Italian by Catherine Fulvio
Category: Avonmore Cookbook of the Year
Title: Eat Like an Italian
Author: Catherine Fulvio
Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award Winner - Jennifer Johnston
Category: Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Jennifer Johnston
Bord Gáis Energy Book Shop of the Year - Bridge Street Books, Wicklow
Category: Bord Gáis Energy Book Shop of the Year
Bridge Street Books, Wicklow
Eason Irish Novel of the Year - Ancient Light by John Banville
Category: Eason Irish Novel of the Year
Title: Ancient Light
Author: John Banville
Eason Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year - A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
Category: Eason Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year
Title: A Week in Winter
Author: Maeve Binchy
International Education Services Best Irish Published Book of the Year - Atlas of the Great Irish Famine by John Crowley, William J. Smyth and Mike Murphy
Category: International Education Services Best Irish Published Book of the Year
Title: Atlas of the Great Irish Famine
Author: John Crowley, William J. Smyth and Mike Murphy
Ireland AM Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year - Broken Harbour by Tana French
Category: Ireland AM Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year
Title: Broken Harbour
Author: Tana French
Sunday Independent Best Irish Newcomer of the Year - The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan
Category: Sunday Independent Best Irish Newcomer of the Year
Title: The Spinning Heart
Author: Donal Ryan
RTÉ Radio 1’s The John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award - Just Mary by Mary O’Rourke
Category: RTÉ Radio 1’s The John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award
Title: Just Mary
Author: Mary O’Rourke
Lifestyle Sports Irish Sports Book of the Year - My Olympic Dream by Katie Taylor
Category: Lifestyle Sports Irish Sports Book of the Year
Title: My Olympic Dream
Author: Katie Taylor
Specsavers Irish Children’s Book of the Year: Junior - This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
Category: Specsavers Irish Children’s Book of the Year: Junior
Title: This Moose Belongs to Me
Author: Oliver Jeffers
Specsavers Irish Children’s Book of the Year: Senior - Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer
Category: Specsavers Irish Children’s Book of the Year: Senior
Title: Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian
Author: Eoin Colfer

Thursday, 22 November 2012

This launch is on tomorrow night in Cork, check it out.
First launch of the Bare Hands Anthology tomorrow in Cork 8pm upstairs in the Long Valley!! Spread the word!xx
First launch of the Bare Hands Anthology tomorrow in Cork 8pm upstairs in the Long Valley!! Spread the word!

The Crocodile by the Door.Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards tonight. I want this book for Christmas!

A decision not to cash in on her uncle’s farm in 2004 looks to have paid literary dividends for Irish writer Selina Guinness. The author’s memoir, The Crocodile by the Door, details her complicated inheritance of Tibradden, a Victorian farmhouse in the Dublin Mountains, which could have achieved a sizeable sum had it been sold.
Instead, Selina and her husband Colin decided to try farming and bring the business and buildings into the 21st century. The memoir has now been shortlisted in the biography section of the Costa Book Awards 2012.
Guinness says she is “thrilled and a bit chuffed”, adding she has struggled to keep the news to herself since she was told about it several days ago. A decision on the category winners is due on January 2nd and each will go forward for consideration for the £30,000 Costa Book of the Year on January 29th.
“You always hope as a writer you’re on to a story that can chime with other people,” Guinness says. “The book is an exploration of place and what it means to live on, work in and farm a place, at a time when these are unprofitable activities and the land we were farming was worth millions.” The memoir is also shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards as newcomer of the year. The winners of that award will be announced in the RDS tonight.

There is always , always, something to be thankful for...

Fiction Writing: The Passionate Journey Emily Hanlon

We all have our definitions of what it means to be successful with our creativity. All too often, those definitions are based upon the insatiable appetite of the ego for outer world recognition.

Not that there is anything wrong with outer world success. There isn't! Outer world success can be fun, remunerative and reduce, for a while, one's anxiety about "just how talented am I really?"

When we hand over validation of our creativity to others, we become victims of their judgments.

Creativity in its infinite expressions is our most vital experience of the life energy and the adventure of life itself. When we answer creativity's call, we give our self one of the greatest gifts that life can offer.

We give our self... there is tremendous power in those words. For what we give our self, no one can take away, unless we allow them to. The creative part of you will never give that gift away, but the ego will and does.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Costa Book Awards 2012 Shortlists


2012 Costa Novel Award shortlist
Hilary Mantel
Bring up the Bodies Fourth Estate
Stephen May
Life! Death! Prizes! Bloomsbury
James Meek
The Heart Broke In Canongate
Joff Winterhart
Days of the Bagnold Summer Jonathan Cape

2012 Costa First Novel Award shortlist
J W Ironmonger
The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Jess Richards
Snake Ropes Sceptre
Francesca Segal
The Innocents Chatto & Windus
Benjamin Wood
The Bellwether Revivals Simon & Schuster

2012 Costa Biography Award shortlist
Artemis Cooper
Patrick Leigh-Fermor: An Adventure John Murray
Selina Guinness
The Crocodile by the Door: The Story of a House, a
Farm and a Family
Penguin Ireland
Kate Hubbard
Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household Chatto & Windus
Mary Talbot and Bryan
Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes
Jonathan Cape

2012 Costa Poetry Award shortlist
Sean Borodale
Bee Journal Jonathan Cape
Julia Copus
The World’s Two Smallest Humans Faber and Faber
Selima Hill
People Who Like Meatballs Bloodaxe Books
Kathleen Jamie
The Overhaul Picador

2012 Costa Children’s Book Award shortlist
Sally Gardner Maggot Moon Hot Key Books
Diana Hendry
The Seeing The Bodley Head
Hayley Long
What’s Up with Jody Barton? Macmillan Children’s Books
Dave Shelton
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat David Fickling Books

Shortlist for the 2012 Costa Novel Award
(159 entries)

Sam Baker
Novelist and Editor-in-Chief, Red Magazine
Toby Clements
Book Reviewer and Author
Wendy Holden

The truly creative mind....

'The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. 

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.'
                                                                                                                                                 ~Pearl Buck
Glimmer Train's
Short Story Award for New Writers
Deadline: November 30, 2012
glimmertrain on Twitter
1st place wins $1,500 and, of course, publication in Glimmer Train Stories.
2nd place wins $500 or, if published, $700.
3rd place wins $300 or, if published, $700.
Make a Submission
Other considerations:
Open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared in any print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Entries must not have appeared in any print publication.)
Word count: Most submissions run 1,500 to 6,000 words, but can be of any length up to 12,000.
Reading fee is $15 per story. Please, no more than 3 submissions per category.
Simultaneous submissions are okay. Please notify immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere.
Winners and finalists will be officially announced in the February 1 bulletin and will be contacted directly by January 24th.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Take an obsession with words; add a splash of weirdness, DEAD GOOD POETRY & MUSIC SOCIETY


Take an obsession with words; add a splash of weirdness, some theatrical training and you'd have something like what My Fellow Sponges get up to on and off stage. They are a five-piece Galway-based band with very diverse musical and non-musical interests who sing in three part harmony and are influenced by a wide range of genres and musical styles.

Following the success of Galway Rape Crisis Centre’s Culture Night event, their DEAD GOOD POETRY & MUSIC SOCIETY will return in association with Over the Edge at Galway Rape Crisis Centre on Friday 23 November, 7-10pm . This is a free event and the GRCC is proud to present poets Marie Cadden and Susan Lindsay , music from My Fellow Sponges and some other very special musical guests.
Venue: Galway Rape Crisis Centre, ‘The Lodge’, Forster Court , Galway City.

For further details: 091-564800

Susan Lindsay was a founding Director of the Creative Counselling Centre and Connect Assocs. Dublin. Having previously had her book, The Love Crucible (self-help genre) published by Marino in 1995, in 2011 she was selected by Poetry Ireland to read for the Introductions Series & her debut collection of poems, Whispering the Secrets ( ) was published.

Marie Cadden was winner of the 2011 Cuirt New Writing Prize for Poetry, Runner-Up 2012 Westport Arts Festival Poetry Prize, 3rd Prize Francis Ledwidge Poetry Competition 2012, shortlisted for Desmond O'Grady Poetry Competition 2012, Bradshaw Books/Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition 2011, Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award 2010.

The New York Times Seth S Horowitz The difference between hearing and listening

The difference between hearing and listening
Seth S. Horowitz explains the role that attention plays in helping us to hear less and listen more. (The New York Times)
While it might take you a full second to notice something out of the corner of your eye, turn your head toward it, recognize it and respond to it, the same reaction to a new or sudden sound happens at least 10 times as fast

Friday, 16 November 2012

Fish Short Story Prize 2012/13 (€3,000)

Judge: Philip O'Ceallaigh will select the best ten stories for publication in the 2013 Fish Anthology.
Closes: 30 November 2012.
Word limit: 5,000. There is no restriction on theme or style, and the prize is open to writers from all countries who are writing in English.
Ten best stories published.
First Prize: €3,000, of which €1,000 is for travel to the launch of the Fish
Anthology in July 2013 at the West Cork Literary Festival.

Second Prize: a week at the [3]Anam Cara Writers Retreat in West Cork, plus

Third prize: €300.
Online Entry fee: €20 (€10 subsequent entries).

Short stories Carys Bray article @Strictly Writing Awards

Whatever happened to the Stricly Writing Award Winner? Carys Bray returns to tell us all!

I wanted to be a writer when I was a little girl, but I married young, had several children in quick succession . I started writing again as soon as my children were at school. I did a writing module during my Literature degree with the Open University and then I decided to do a Creative Writing MA.

My collection, Sweet Home, is full of stories about family and the things that go right, and wrong, when people live together. Some of the stories are sad, some are funny and some are best described as fairy tales. 

Lancashire Writing Hub guest editor Sarah Schofield reviewed Carys Bray’s Salt Scott Prize winning short story collection Sweet Home here: she says "...The collection is titled after the third story in the book. This decision is well measured. ‘Sweet Home’ is an updated twist on Hansel and Gretel. Playing on the original narrative, it highlights discrimination, racism and small community gossip. Refering to the foreign woman’s gingerbread home, one zenophobic character states: “She should have used an English recipe… Victoria sponge… You can’t get more English than that.” It seems more than appropriate that the Hansel and Gretel narrative, so ingrained in family life and read to generations of children, should have a re-evaluation and hold an important place in this collection. Challenging established expectations of what ‘family’ looks like...."

I get inspiration from everyday things. A couple of the stories are set in shops; one in a surreal store where people can buy children, and another in a midnight supermarket during the rescue of a group of Chilean miners. I read a lot of parenting books when my children were small and, over time, I developed a hatred of them. The opening story in the collection deals with that hatred - it is interrupted by ‘helpful’ quotes from fictional parenting books. I really like fairy tales and I think they have fuelled my love for short stories where impossible things happen. In one of my stories an old lady builds a gingerbread house and in another a carpenter sculpts a baby out of ice.

I like to read stories that are funny and sad, probably because real life is often both of those things. I like beautiful language and I also like to be surprised.
I’m still writing short stories, although at the moment I’m mostly concentrating on a PhD and novel.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Happiness Comes From Nowhere: Clondalkin Library

Happiness Comes From Nowhere: Clondalkin Library

Posted by Shauna Gilligan on November 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)
Red Line Book Festival Event: 7pm 13th November, Clondalkin Library

My name is Shauna Gilligan and I'll be reading from my debut novel Happiness Comes from Nowhere at 7pm on 13th November in Clondalkin Library. Nothing gives me more joy than to hear readers engage with my writing – everything that they bring to my novel, all that they see in it that perhaps I’d not quite intended; part of the story not quite understood or maybe understood too well, too close to the bone.
How often have we heard the phrase to write well, you have to read well? I’m a believer of this though I have to admit that there was a time when I feared that what I read would seep into what I wrote. I even restricted my reading to‘non-literary’ things like magazines, newspapers etc. Here’s the thing: my writing stopped. I felt bored. Barren, even. So I went back to reading. Reading anything I could get my hands on. Literary fiction. History books. Magazines. And the stories came; the writing returned. Why? Because, as any writer will tell you, everything around us appears in our writing: invisible or otherwise.
And this brings me back to my evening with some serious readers in Clondalkin Library on 13th November. Thanks to South County Dublin Libraries and The Red Line Book Festival.
Book clubs – that place where you discover you like types of writers or books you’d never normally pick up let alone read. I discovered Philip Pullman in a book club, and, more recently, discovered Rani Manicka. I have to say, I am surprised and delighted by my new tastes.
So I hope that those who brave our chilly November weather on 13th will enjoy the sample of my writing that I’ll read and that those who have read Happiness Comes from Nowhere, will take this opportunity to engage with a fellow reader who happens to also be a writer.
Looking forward to reading to and chatting with you next Tuesday at 7pm! :)