Maureen from North West Writers sent me on a circular of their writing weekend from 24th-26th July. Special Writing Weekend workshops will be held in the beautiful and tranquil settings of Carn Lodge, where I had the pleasure of giving a workshop earlier in the year. Facilitators include John McKenna, Niamh Boyce (fellow Novel Fair winner!) and a launch in Cafe Blend in Letterkenny. More information available here or below.
I really recommend this as part of an extended weekend. It’s a lovely part of the country to get away from it all and enjoy what the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer as well as enjoying the workshops (and I had some lovely cakes when I was there :)
In a nutshell, due to loads of positive feedback (not the microphone kind) after my performance reading from White Feathers at the Listowel Writers Week open mike, where I had to wait my turn for a brief slot and then allow myself to be possessed by the unlovely Mrs Humphrey Ward in the middle of her rant, I have decided to podcast readings from the book.
(This is due to the dearth of Irish literary festivals to which I have been invited to read or speak. I can either sit and wait my turn like a good girl, or I can make a ****ing podcast instead and get on with it!)
God Only Knows (How All This Stuff Works)
So, not knowing much about podcasts and realising I needed some equipment, I received an early birthday present from my beloved in the shape of a Blue Yeti USB Microphone. This is a very large microphone shaped in a very not-safe-for-work fashion. It also came with some software, and I had some fun with it. But God Almighty, you’d need to have a degree in engineering to know what’s going on. I did a brief vocal test with the tag end of God Only Knows which didn’t sound too bad.
Less successful were my attempts to record myself playing the piano. Of course I am not trying to record piano, I am trying to record my voice :) but this piece, Chopin’s Waltz 69 no. 1, was always one I kept in mind for a character in White Feathers, Eva’s ailing sister Imelda. I had a whole big chunk of Imelda’s time in Switzerland written down, which never saw the light of day, but that piece was being played and it’s always the piece I have in mind for that character, and I feel a certain yearning to it. But unfortunately even with plugins to make it recital setting, the piano quality isn’t what I’d like. Still, here is the first page of it, played somewhat inexpertly by yours truly on a Yamaha Clavinova :)
Just a few announcements about up-and-coming events and put out a question for those who might answer it.
First, my story “Ward 7″ is appearing in a new anthology To Shape the Dark, edited by Athena Andreadis, the successor to her earlier very successful anthology, The Other Half of the Sky. The theme of the anthology is, to quote from the link, “Protagonists: women scientists, mathematicians or engineers who live in universes where they don’t have to choose between work and family”. The genre is Science Fiction and Fantasy, which might seem like a departure from the usual for me, but I’m fortunate in having had great mentors such as Athena and Henry Gee of Nature, who have encouraged my writing in that area. The story concerns a woman who finds an enhancement that can save lives – but one society is not quite ready for.
Secondly – and this is quite a way off, I know – I have been invited to give a reading for Culture Night on the evening of September 18th in the Stone House bookshop in Kilkenny. I’m really looking forward to it. I know three and a half months is kinda short notice, right? ;-) but might be one to mark in the oul’ diary all the same.
Thirdly, during the Listowel festival I made the acqaintance of a lovely and talented playwright called Sadhbh Moriarty, who has written a play “In Light of Salt Wings They Drew” which has already won an award and been successfully staged. She would now like to have that play published and was asking me for recommendations as she is relatively new to the business. I’m unfortunately unable to help her, but if anyone else might know, please drop a comment here, contact me via the form, or let me know via Twitter, and I can pass all suggestions on to her!
It was lovely to meet many people at Listowel Writers’ Week, which I attended with my friend Helena Mulkerns, and even read at the open event at Scribes cafe. For me, this tweet from a conversation I had with Paul O’Mahony was my favourite little moment – Augenblick, even :)
So, what is it about articles about writers and writing not talking about the Day Job?
I’ve just read an article about writing rituals. It had a series of writers talking about how they work for x amount of hours in the day, starting in the morning, or if they’ve become parents (well mothers, because men don’t get asked about parenting as much) how that has all changed. Nowhere, anywhere, did anyone mention “well at 7.45 /8 / 8.30 I commute to a demanding job and work there until 5 and then come home and stare at the computer for an hour or so trying to pull it together.” Continue reading “We Need To Talk About…Day Jobs and Money”→
Today’s clip has been brought to me courtesy of novelist Arlene Hunt‘s twitter feed – her editor Ciara Sidine is also a talented singer and recently re-recorded Curtis Mayfield’s civil rights classic “People Get Ready”. She recorded it for the “Yes to Equality” campaign which is being held in advance of the referendum in Ireland on same-sex marriage on May 22nd. This is not an issue I can sit on the fence about. I don’t think anyone who’s read my book or knows me should be surprised to hear that I will be voting Yes. I hate this whole campaign when I see how much it is distressing gay colleagues and friends. I hate that it even has to be up for discussion. But I love this song – and wholly endorse the beautiful and dignified sentiment behind it. Please listen.