Archive of ‘reading’ category
I am enjoying Honoured Guest by Joy Williams. The characters are genuinely hilarious and odd. The situations are even odder though Joy writes about surreal events, I absolutely believed that these things could happen. In “Congress” we have a story of an unhappy couple, Jack and Miriam. Jack is not a very nice person. He is smug. Dislike. Miriam is weak, walked all over, refuses to speak up and puts up with a lot. Jack moves his student lover boy in and Miriam is still passive though shows rebellion by striking up a relationship with a lamp made from four deer’s feet.
Surreal but understandable?
I am re-reading “Congress” especially the last paragraph. Simon, my husband is being forced to listen to the last paragraph of it too! We have puzzled over the last two lines and wonder what she means. I am slowly understanding. Should a short story take this long?
I received word today that an application I sent through to Carlow County Council for Arts Service funding this year was successful. I had applied to attend the Listowel Writers Festival in June and taking a place in Danielle Mc Laughlin’s short fiction workshop, which runs for 2 days.
I greatly admire Danielle, her writing and her helpfulness as a writer to other little writers like me. I have a sneaking feeling that she will be as good of a teacher as she is a writer.
Happy New Year!
Gosh, I don’t even care about the whole New Year’s Even thing but I do like the tidiness that comes with a brand new day on the 1st of January and when the supermarkets take all of the nonsense away off their shelves and start preparing for Easter or Halloween or something.
Christmas is an excellent time for getting the reading done. The open fire. The glass of fizzy minerals to sip on. The chocolates. They all add to that reading feeling. This Christmas Day I received 2 books. It is a strange one, surely my gifts should be 100% book related. Don’t all of you know I LOVE reading? My husband knew and my writing group homie knew. Therefore, I received a huge copy of the mustard-coloured Winter Papers Volume 2 annual. It is fab. It is made up of artwork, interviews, fiction and poetry. It is a true fest. Despite the fact that Kevin Barry is one of the editors(with Olivia Smith), there is no new fiction from him but it might be a bit egotistical if he did that, I guess and I think he is not that way.
The second gift I received was the Mslexia Writing Diary for 2017. Full of prompts, sections to write my personal details in(I love this!), interviews, recommended reading and prompts, it is a real writer’s gift. It is simply gorgeous and will be used and is being used already!
I treated myself to Donal Ryan’s new novel, All we shall know. I have a problem remembering the title always of this book. I keep thinking it is “All that we shall know” or “All that is left behind” or simple “All” The novel is narrated by a pregnant lady and it is broken up into weeks. I am at 20 weeks already and Donal, as per usual is compelling, full-on with his strong language and depressing all at once. It will catch you by the first paragraph. I am reading this for a book club I set up in work.
Plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble anyway. I also keep calling the Kevin Barry annual by its incorrect name of Winter Pages. It is Winter Papers!
Hope you had a good one!
Gosh, I kind of find these posts odd and ego-ridden and cringey to read so here goes….
One of my stories has been shortlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year award 2016, got the news this morning via an excited husband holding a mobile screen in my face! It was a lovely way to be woken up and then a coffee and then a coffee and pretzel chocolate thing in Costa with my lovely M-boy.
I have been working on this story for over two years and the first draft of the story has morphed into an entirely different one. Even the title has changed! I have been writing for quite some time and only feel that this story and others I have written recently have started to show me as a person, writer etc and how I think other people might think about the world. I am proud of this story because of those things. It is me and what I like to read and it just makes me feel all delighted to see that someone else might think it is okay too.
I would love to be at the fiction slam in Galway in October but we are booked to go away to Munich and Salzburg to see my most loved cousin, Trina and her lovely, Australian husband.
Life is good. Back to the work.
Was this odd, ego-ridden and cringey? Comments below, please. Send good thoughts. x
My haul from Kenny’s Bookshop is rather long and all second-hand/pre-loved. I never understand how anyone can bear to give away books but in this case, I win!
I got all of these short story collections for 29 euro!
L-R John McGahern, Gerard Donovan, William Trevor, Bernard Mac Claverty, Edna O Brown, Doris Lessing, Maeve Brennan&Sean O Faoilean. They were all personally picked and recommended by the owner and uber-book reader, Des Kenny. Great guy, great shop and simply book heaven.
A fab time was had in Galway city for Culture night 2016. I was reading a story of mine which had been longlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition and Simon was judging the Poetry Open Mic. Elizabeth Reap was there reading from her debut novel, Red Dirt and Karl Parkinson was reading from his new novel, The Blocks. They are both excellent readers of their work. Karl’s book is hilarious, great stories in there and well-told by Mr. Parkinson.
The next day, we went back to Kenny’s Bookstore to spend my winnings(I came third in the Open Mic Fiction) and Des, the owner took me around the massive bookshop and showed me his top pickings. I will post on these later.
Thanks, Galway, Fun was had, for sure!
A picture of us here that was taken by Dean Kelly, the gallery and event organiser there in Kenny’s. Apparently it will adorn the walls along with Roald Dahl, Edna O’ Brien and thousands more who have visited this very cool bookstore!
I am re-reading this amazing book. I started ages ago and forgot and then saw this brand-new 30th anniversary edition in the library so it was sure sign!
Natalie is well-known for her books on writing, she writes so gently, spiritually about writing and the process.She really does free up your negative thoughts about the writer that you are.
I am adding her list of topics to write about to the resource section. She recommends that you fill a notebook every month with writing, any writing to flex your muscles of writing! Then, write daily, set a clock for 5 minutes and write about anything, or her list or start to develop your own list. We have heard this advice over and over so now take heed!
I love “The gun” by Mark Haddon, have a watch and see if you might like it too!
You can listen to the podcast here where Mark chats to Granta about his story and the writing process at http://granta.com/Granta-Audio-Mark-Haddon/
You can also download a pdf of it to save to your tablet/kindle or print it out here https://web1.asl.org/jambalaya/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Mark-Haddon-The-Gun.pdf
My one minute vlog is up on youtube and it is my first try! See it here.
This was my first time at the Hay Festival in Kells. I have never even been to Kells and it is a pleasant little town! I was attending the festival as a V.I.P with Simon who was reading there too as a first!
We stayed with friends so were able to nip in quickly enough to the town. There was loads of events on for kids so Emrys got to listen to stories and scribble away to his heart’s desire.
They had many, many big name and a mix of commercial, literary and a focus more so on the reading element as opposed to the writing. The organisers were really warm and welcoming to us and it is possibly the friendliest Lit festival I have attended yet.
The Green Room was located in a wonderful treasure cave of a second hand bookshop cafe and we had plenty coffee, fruit and biscuits. We were also treated to a lovely lunch in the nearby hotel.
I went to see Simon who was a guest speaker at an Amnesty International event with Colm O’ Gorman, Exec Director and they spoke about the refugee crisis. Colm is so passionate and cares so much about human rights issues, I was delighted that Emrys was kept very quiet with a bag of baby books the event organisers gave to him!
Simon took Emrys off the next day and I got to enjoy a full hour of Kevin Barry and Matthew Spangler talking about how Beatlebone should be directed if Matthew were in control! For the last half an hour of the discussion, Kevin and Matthew discussed the various ideas that had been floated on staging Beatlebone, the musical options, the actors and the budget! It was simply a unique format and I was glad for it as sometimes the typical reading of the novel can get a bit yawny.
This was all we managed to get to but we did well, just sauntering around the town and taking it in. I would definitely recommend it, the festival brochure is thick and chunky and full of events for everyone, a real inclusive one.
Thanks, Hay Festival and all who run it! From what I saw, you rocked!