Friday, December 2, 2011

'Some Poems' by Kate Dempsey

If you are looking for small but perfectly formed Christmas gifts this year, check out The Moth Magazine who have published a series of beautiful, miniature poetry books.

I received a few copies of Kate Dempsey's 'Some Poems' in the post today.
It is a beautiful little poetry book.

I have read two of the poems so far.
'It's what you put into it' - a particularly appropriate seasonal poem, especiallly for us parents who wait excitedly for our children's glue and tinsel gifts at Christmas and

'What to do with my ashes', which should be read at everyone's funeral.

Release me over the river, into the trees,
up to the wide blue sky, and say goodbye


Well done, Kate, I look forward to reading the rest of the book.

Other poets in the series are: Dermot Healy, Ted McCarthy and Ciaran O'Rourke.

The books are 4 euro or 4 pounds with free postage worldwide.

Thanks, Kate, for all your invaluable posts!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Magpie 89 'Dear Daring'


My love sent me a letter, typed in a romantic font, tied with a red ribbon.


It said:

'My daring
I ove you
I ove you more each day
I ove you aways
You are the ove of my ife'


Shame about the 'L' key.

I replied.

'I ove you too
my daring'.

My 'L' key worked but I somehow prefer to be called 'daring' than 'darling'.

A Magpie Tale thanks Tess.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Electric Picnic 2011.... and a band called 'Ghost Estates'....


If you are attending The Electric Picnic in Co. Laois coming up on the 2/3/4 September 2011, check out this new, exciting Dublin band. They are going to be
BIG!!

They are called Ghost Estates, you heard of them here first!!
They perform on Saturday 3rd September, so give them your support if you are there.
Ghost Estates

There is a huge variety of entertainment at The Electric Picnic, music, arts, poetry and....... Pulp will be there.
Click on the link to see the programme of events.
Electric Picnic 2011

If you go, have a great time!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who do you write like?

I love this website, it tests, apparently, who you write like.
Check it out on I write like:

So I thought I'd put it to the test:

On the first one, I pasted some text from the imitation James Joyce piece I did last week:

....sure I'd get off the bus at Parnell Square and pop over to the Garden of Remembrance stepping down the steps and tripping over the junkies saying: 'hows it going, bud?' and them shaking all over sitting in Dublin's park that honours the great dead of the country and hoping the children of Lir in the statue come alive and rescue those junkies, bad hair and black teeth, they must be someone's son, for crying out loud?....


Result:
I write like
James Joyce


Then I tested it on an actual piece written by James Joyce:

.......Yes because he never did a thing like that before as ask to get his breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs since the City Arms hotel when he used to be pretending to be laid up with a sick voice doing his highness to make himself interesting for that old faggot Mrs Riordan that he thought he had a great leg of.......


Result:

I write like
James Joyce


That's good considering it was actually James Joyce.

Then I thought I'd type in a random piece of mind garbage (I found that a bit too easy to do).

...So I said to himself, sure why don't we have a bit of steak for tonight's dinner and sure, he looks at me as if to say, don't be bothering me with your women's nonsense, jaysus, I'm off to watch top gear and look at cars I can never afford....

Result:

I write like
James Joyce


Uncanny? Now, I'm thinking it doesn't work, or else I am actually chanelling James Joyce and will continue all my writing in that strange stream of consciousness style.

Should I be worried? Or should I accept the spirit of James Joyce in my life?

Or should I just get off the internet and do some actual real writing?

Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some more humorous quotes from writers about writing


Writers should be read and not seen. Rarely are they a winsome sight.
- Edna Ferber.

My advice to aspiring writers: marry money.
- Max Shulman.

I asked my publisher what would happen if he sold all the copies of my book he had printed. He said, "I'll just print another ten".
- Eric Sykes.

If you steal from one author, it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's research.
-Wilson Mizner.

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
-Robert Benchley.

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning and took out a comma. In the afternoon, I put it back in.
-Oscar Wilde.

A publisher would rather see a burglar in his office than a poet.
-Don Marquis.

Poetry books are handy implements for killing persistent irritating flies.
-Geoffrey Grigson.

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning-bug.
-Mark Twain.

Writing is like the world's oldest profession. First, you do it for your own enjoyment. Then you do it for a few friends. Eventually, you figure, what the hell, I might as well get paid for it.
-Irma Kalish.

and finally,

Writing is the hardest way to earn a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.
-William Saroyan.

To read my previous post with more quotes about writing click here

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ninja Mother


Your mother spends nine months carrying you around.

This is her 'L' plate time, she learns to avoid certain foods, fast drivers, hot sun, alcohol and nicotine.

Already you are number one in her life.

For the next five years, you will make her tired, irritable, increase her grey hair quota by at least 50%.

Her conversation skills will decrease, most of her sentences will begin with 'Be careful... ' and 'Don't...'

She will never sit down properly again.

She will perfect that mother half sitting down, ready to rise and fold something pose that every mother from Athens to Zaire learns instinctively.

She will stare longingly at photographs of herself from her pre-child years where she was wearing a bikini and holding a drink in one hand.

She will stare most intently at the novel lying in the sand and remember that was the last book she actually finished reading.

She may attempt to open a newspaper on Sunday mornings but it will never be read in it's entirety until you are least twenty one.

From the ages five to eighteen, she will mainly spend her time like a car assembly worker, making sure all your parts are in working order.

You will be vaccinated, your temperature checked many times, seasonal items purchased and added to your wardrobe.

She will revisit her school career with you, which will prompt old buried school memories for her involving algebra and science tests.

All through these years, she may hold down a paying job. That will always take second place.

She will sit through hours of boring meetings and take criticism from her bosses / co -workers and not bat an eyelid.

But if anyone dares look at you sideways in the school playground or any other place where children congregate, she will simultaneously, be heart-broken and incensed on your behalf.

She will produce three meals a day for you over these eighteen years.

She will then act surprised when on your first day in your student flat/ gap year hostel/ house share with friends, you ring her to ask her 'Emm.. how exactly do I cook?'

A good mother will tell you to google 'Jamie Oliver' and invite herself over for supper.

When you are around twenty-one, she will attempt to pick up a newspaper again.

However, she will now be reading it at dawn, because she can't sleep as you are out doing something with someone somewhere she doesn't feel comfortable with.

Mothers have vivid imaginations, so when you arrive in at 6 a.m, remember that she has already created a back story in her head about your night out which involves drug barons, dodgy male characters and kidnapping.

Notice that she has her hand on the telephone, she was about to ring the hospitals, the police and the Air Rescue service. She has their numbers on speed dial.

She will carry these fears in her heads even when you are 30, married and going on holiday with your family.

She just won't verbalise it.

She will spend the two weeks you are away, worrying about child snatchers, fatal car crashes and malaria.

She will do this even if you are just going to Dingle

So, a mother's job is 24/7/365.

Remember those figures. They are vital to your relationship survival.

You will never be far from her mind, even if she has reinvented herself and is doing a 'Shirley Valentine' on a Greek Island.

She will spend most of that time thinking about you, well, maybe slightly less time if she is suddenly single and meets a nice Tom Conti lookalike.

But the conversation with the Tom Conti lookalike will very rapidly involve your name, age and personal details. She will most likely produce photographs.

So this Mother's Day, remember to bring flowers.

Motherhood is not a job, it is not a vocation, it is a MISSION.

Your mother's mission is to keep you safe at all times.

She is a ninja warrior. Don't mess with a ninja warrior.

Go on, buy her some flowers!!

And preferably not some petrol scented ones from a garage.

Remember, she gave up bikini wearing for you.

Make your Mother happy this Mothering Sunday.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Adorable

I have decided on the spur of the moment to join in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Click here for Talli Roland's list of bloggers who have joined in the madness.
I am going to write an A-Z on female virtues and how despite our best efforts we can't sustain them and other random childhood and current anecdotes.
I apologise in advance if I don't do the full blogging rounds of commenting, I'm doing it for a little challenge to myself mainly.



A is for Adorable

When I was about six, a lovely neighbour in my Dublin street called me 'adorable'.
She did wear very thick glasses but 'adorable' still counts even if you are just a blur.
She also told me that I looked like a film star.
I was thinking one of the girls out of the Little House on the Prairie, maybe the blind one who was also beautiful and good?

A boy on my street overheard the 'film star' remark and replied:

'Lassie is the only film star you bleedin' look like!!'

My state of adorable-ness lasted for about five seconds.

And yes, if you are wondering, there was minor violence involved, but a limp adds a certain attractiveness to a boy, n'est ce pas?

Tune in tomorrow for 'B'!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - junior version

I was walking with my son to his school the other day.

In front of us were a group of girls and boys who were due to make their Confirmation (a Catholic religious ceremony for 12 year olds) in a few days time.

The girls were talking at full speed:

'What are you wearing?' 'Who's going to your party', 'What are you doing with your hair?' 'Did you get the pink handbag?' 'Is your mam letting you wear make-up?'

The boys looked at the girls with that look they will learn to perfect over the years, a kind of 'Women, huh?' look, an L-plate version.

They looked like they felt the need to say something to each other, there was so much conversation going on elsewhere.

After a pause, Boy 1 gets conversationally inspired.

'What's in your sandwich?', Boy 1 said to Boy 2.

'Sausage', Boy 2 said with a grin.

'Sweet !', said Boy 1.

'What's in yours?', Boy 2 asked.

'Ham...' Boy 1 asked.

'With mustard?...' Boy 2 interjected.

'Of course', Boy 1 answered.

'Sweet' they both said.

The girls gave them withering looks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A little tiny piece of mine in the Irish Times Today

I was just having a little online breather before starting the festivities, faces to paint, shamrocks to iron, when I checked to see if my 'Dear Saint Patrick' letter made the Irish Times, Letter to Saint Patrick Competition.

I was delighted to see it is in the paper today, (a shortened version), with the other very worthy winners.
The one that won is a worthy one, I should have thought of that myself and me a Brigid.

Read the witty entries here.
----------------------------------------------------------
The full version I submitted is:

Dear Saint Patrick,

Do you mind if I call you Patrick?

Thanks, it is 2011 after all, and we are all very familiar nowadays, maybe if you were on twitter I could tweet this and say something like:

@stpat the snakes are back, can you come back pls? AWESOME!

Well, the snakes ARE back.

I know you will find that distressing, they took all our money and built us houses that we queued up for overnight, in winter, in Ireland, I know?

We are now left with shoebox houses that shake when it's windy and you can hear next door sneezing if you try hard enough.

Anyway, Patrick, the houses are tiny but we owe HUGE amounts of money for them, because we had a boom here.

Basically EVERYONE owns ten properties, except for a few of us who due to other issues in our lives, like family raising and other non-profit making enterprises, didn't save a few hundred thousand euro quick enough to buy a brace of one bed apartments in Leitrim (two hours from Dublin - if you are on a space shuttle).

So, like the Bible tells us, we worshipped false gods, well, not all of us, mind, and now we are owned by the Europeans and are embarrassed to take a ferry to Brittany because a woman in a supermarche might remind us of our debts.
I live in fear of ordering a baguette and a vin rouge to be reprimanded for careless fiscal policy.
I have been practising for this eventuality by using Google translation and entering the phrase:

'Apologies for the complete breakdown of our economic and political system.

I had nothing to do with it. Could you make that two bottles of vin de rouge, Madame Shopkeeper?'

Not quite the conversation opener I had planned for the laidback campsite atmosphere.

Our second favourite hobby after house-buying is now shopping.

Hordes of people spend afternoons buying clothes with labels advertising big manufacturers, enabling them to make 7,000% profit.
Clever, huh? I am sure we could use your help with finding new hobbies.

We need you back, Patrick, the snake infestation is worsening and you are the only man for the job.
By the way, the snakes are shape-shifters and may appear respectable people but believe me, look a bit closer, you will see them for what they are.

I eagerly await your reply,
Brigid.
----------------------------------------------------------
Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all of you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dear Saint Patrick, can you come back?

Dear Saint Patrick,

Do you mind if I call you Patrick? Thanks, it is 2011 and we are all very familiar nowadays, maybe if you were on twitter I could tweet this and say something like:

@stpat the snakes are back, can you come back pls? AWESOME!

Well, the snakes are back and I know you will find that distressing,they took all our money and built us houses that we queued up for overnight, in winter, in Ireland, I know? We are now left in shoebox houses that shake when it's windy and you can hear next door sneezing if you try hard enough.

Anyway, Patrick, the houses are tiny but we owe HUGE amounts of money for them, because we had a boom here and basically EVERYONE owns ten houses except for a few of us who due to other issues in our life, like family raising and other non-profit making enterprises, didn't save a few hundred thousand euro quick enough to buy a brace of one bed apartments in Leitrim (two hours from Dublin - if you are on a space shuttle).

So, like the Bible tells us, we worshipped false gods, well, not all of us, mind, and now we are owned by the Europeans and are embarrassed to take a ferry to Brittany because a woman in a supermarche might remind us of our debts.
I live in fear of ordering a baguette and a vin rouge to be reprimanded for careless fiscal policy.

I am just writing to ask you to come back and remove the snakes that are left here, maybe when they are gone we could return to a happier state.

By the way, if you do get back, there is quite a large motorway going past Tara Hill, you won't need such a big torch this time as the car's headlamps will light the way.
I am apologising about that, even though I have nothing to do with it. In fact, I spend a lot of time in Tara with my kids and find it the most peaceful place in Ireland, something to do with the ley-lines.
It certainly beats an afternoon at a mall buying clothes with labels advertising some big manufacturer, who outsources his work to India and China and makes 7,000% profit and we then, buy it and advertise his company for him.
Clever, huh? That is our second favourite hobby now after house buying.

Anyway, as you can see, we need you back, the snake infestation is getting worse and you are the only man for the job.
By the way, the snakes are shape-shifters and may appear respectable business people but believe me, look a bit closer, you will see them for what they are.

See you soon, I hope, and again apologies for the big dirty motorway,
Yours in faith,
Brigid

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In a Minute Rita


To anyone who managed to stay up late enough last night to hear my story, thanks so much for listening to it. For anyone who missed it and would like to hear it, RTE normally podcast the stories each year, so I will post a link to it as soon as I have it.

It was a really great experience listening to my story and an honour to have an actress of Ruth McCabe's calibre reading 'In a Minute Rita'. She read it beautifully.

The biggest thrill for me was seeing my daughter's face when they announced the story. Sometimes, the impossible can be possible.

Wishing everyone a Happy St. Brigid's Day today and a wonderful spring.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rabbit Hole Day !!!


As it is Lewis Carroll's birthday today, I am joining in the madness of Rabbit Hole Day via Fairyhedgehog's Blog (Thank you, Old Kitty and Niamh at Words a Day). Click on the link above for more mad but great tales.

How curious it was today.
I woke at 17 o'clock again, late for my day and then the cereal box with the big K on it which makes you turn into a supermodel AFTER ONE SPOONFUL and wear red bikinis,
even in winter on Dollymount Strand, well, the cereal box said EAT ME and I said
SOD THAT, I have a date with a walrus and he likes a woman with a bit of blubber,
lucky for me.
So I ate two giant blackberry sandwiches oozing with butter bought at the farm just outside my window (in my imagination anyway) and I weighed myself with the help of a lovely March hare who had Gok Wan's face and kindly manner and he said:
BRIGID, you mightn't be able to wear a red bikini on Dollymount Strand in winter or summer for that matter, love (I love when he calls me love, it's all so well..love.ly) but I bet that Walrus will love you for the woman you are, a bit creased around the edges and with that home hair dye job making you a bit strange looking, even psychotic.
BEWARE OF LABELS, DEAR READERS: The home dye said 'You will look a bit like Catherine Zeta Jones when you use this!! and I ended up looking like Elvis or worse, an Elvis impersonator in a bad, cheap backstreet club.

So I said, Gok, you are a love, and I will meet with my Walrus and we will make merry and have tea and everything and I might even try that dance with him that Johnny Depp does in the movie, it is definitely, most positively turning into that kind of day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

'Rita' on the Radio - RTE Francis MacManus Short Story Season






I picked up a copy of the RTE Guide this morning with next week's listings.

I am delighted to see my story 'In a Minute Rita' is to be broadcast next
Monday the 31st January, which is nearly St. Brigid's Day, so I am doubly happy.

Excuse my bad webcam images, the other stories for next week are:

Monday the 31st: In a Minute Rita by Brigid O'Connor
Tuesday the 1st: Scrabapple by Gabriel Curtis
Wednesday the 2nd: Four by Four by Richard Gibney
Thursday the 3rd: Nesting by Andrew Fox
Friday the 4th: Raparee by John Philip O'Connor.

Congratulations to my fellow shortlistees and looking forward to listening to your stories.

There are also stories running this week, at 11.15 p.m. so enjoy them if you tune into RTE Radio 1. There is a facility to listen to RTE Digital so you can listen on your laptop or p.c.