30 September 2009


I am still on a sort of high from being shortlisted, and am excited to see if I will be going to London; Did you know London is three times as large as New York?
Also, London has twice as many people as the whole of Ireland does, and one-fifth of the population of Great Britain.

29 September 2009


Almost fifty posts!
Anyway, short note (yeah, right) on Castlecomer; me and MM, that is to say, MM and I, went to a cafe to have some tea, as we had gotten up before the sun (*gasp*), and were tired.
We went to a really nice little cafe called The Lime Tree cafe. Tea and toast was only three euro total!
MM said that sometimes tea can be five Euro just for tea. Anyways, the cafe was soo cute, it had these cute little curtains, and the chairs were so comfortable. I had forgotten how comfortable wooden chairs with proper backs can be after the disaster called our kitchen table/chair set. So, we ordered, and wow, I just really like the place, you know? Kind of hard to describe...it was nice.

Then, we went to the writers' workshop(s). Met some really cool people: Siofra, Jessica, Becky, and Jade. They all knew each other and were from Castlecomer, but were really nice and welcoming.

Finally the NEWS NEWS NEWS; my story, the one I mentioned here, has been short-listed for Take a Break's Fiction Feast Young Writer of the Year Award.
Check out the awesome prizes that you missed out on

27 September 2009


I am a bit disappointed atm, because a poetry competition I thought I still had time to enter, turns out needs to have all entries received by post tomorrow. So missed that one unfortunately. Just goes to show that things can creep up on you.

26 September 2009

Castlecomer Workshop

I am ashamed to say I have only been to one other workshop in my life. That is, besides this one.

It wasn't really a workshop exactly. It was a workshop spread over two weekends that you brought a story too, and then worked on.
Well, after days of trying to convince my friends to come with me, and having three or four decline right after being asked, I still went. I was nervous, as I didn't know anyone, and my mum wouldn't be there. (This was a few years ago, okay?!)
So, the workshop didn't go too well and needless to say, I did not go again to the follow-up workshop the following week.
Well recently, my Religion/C.S.P.E. teacher told us this story;

A man was walking along the road, and came upon another man.
"How are the people in the next town, then?" the man asked.
The first man said, "How are the people in the town you just came from?"

The second man said, "Oh, they were lovely, they
were kind, they were good people."
The first man then replied "So you will find the people in the next town."
They both went on their way.
Presently, the first man came upon a third man.
"How is the town you've just been in?" asked the third man.
"Well how is the town you came from?" asked the first man.
"Horrible," he replied. "The people were nasty, and greedy and rude," he grumbled.
"Then so will you find the people in the next town," replied the first man.

The moral? The way that you come into a situation influences how the situation turns out. If you expect a bad workshop, it will be a bad workshop.
I expected a bad workshop the first time, as no one I knew would be there, and it was a bad workshop. I glared at people, and didn't speak to them, and kept to myself. And they stayed away from me, and I was miserable.

But this time, I was determined to pull it off. You never actually have to be happy, or outgoing, just a good actress.
I smiled, and laughed, and talked with everyone there, and it was great! It was the best experience, and so refreshing to meet others who are interested in writing, as none of my other friends are.
So, I will definitely be going to more workshops, and even if they are bad, I can draw on this good experience, and know that all workshops can't be bad, even if three out of four are.
Yes, I definitely enjoyed it. It ran for two hours, from half ten to half twelve, and at the end, Roisin Meany, the workshop person (what is the correct word here?), said "ten minutes left" and everyone gasped in astonishment, because we thought maybe it had been a half hour at the most. All enjoyed it, and we will be back next year.
(This post has a tone of MM in it)

25 September 2009

Blackberries and Photos

I have finally figured out how to re-size an image so that I can post it, and it will be reasonably sized in the post.
Now I will be adding images to my previous posts as well as starting to put them in new posts. In my opinion, a blog without pictures can be boring, and pictures help give you a"picture" of the author. I am not a hypocrite, I haven't been able to size the pictures correctly to post them until now.
I thought I would use one of my favourite pictures, taken recently, featuring some of the blackberries we picked. We froze then to be used at a later date, and when that date came, they looked beautiful.
They were frosted with little crystals of ice, and looked magical. I was surprised, as they had been frozen in a Tupperware-ish container.
Just another one of those things that are so beautiful and intricate upon closer examination.

Old Habits Die...Hard

Okay, that's supposed to mean it's hard to overcome bad habits...but what about it being hard to keep up good habits?
Like, oh, I don't know...posting?
Anyway, my old (and brief, let me add) habit of actually writing down ideas pertaining to the blog when I thought of them...died.
But, it has been resurrected by myself cleverly putting a notebook and pen once again beside my bed. (Did I mention I also killed it in the first place?)

Well, I had a brilliant idea for a story (I never use brilliant to describe any thing but my stories...good or bad thing?).
Sending it off to Writer's Forum just as soon as it's written, and scaring up some free advertising at the same time. But that's what occurred to me just now... if I say on the blog, I'm going to get free advertising...
Maybe they will figure out what I am doing, and not publish the blog link. Maybe they won't wise up to it, but rather will go to the blog to check it out...and find my confession of trying to get free advertising!
Anyway, I don't really mind if they don't print the link, I will just comment on others' blogs to publicise.

21 September 2009

Dashing Their Way Into Our Hearts?

Are we using the dash correctly? Or, more specifically, are you? I know I'm not. I just read this article about the dash. Well, to be cruelly honest, I had a topic to write about, then promptly forgot, but I saw a link to an article about the dash on my Google home page, so decided to talk about it. That doesn't mean it doesn't also have relevance to normal topics as well.
Well, I have to say, I learned quite a bit in the article, not least how to actually make a dash in Microsoft Word. Be forewarned: a dash is NOT a hyphen. Most keyboards don't actually have the ability to make a dash. The key after 9 makes a (-) hyphen, not a dash. There are two types of dashes, the "n" dash and the "m" dash. These are so called because of the amount of space they take up. In order to make a "n" dash in word, simply put a hyphen in between spaces: "Sam - even though she fears them terribly - went to the doctor with me today." Note the spaces. This autmaticaicallly changes the hyphen to a dash in word. To make an "M" dash, do not put spaces. "Sam—even though she fears them terribly—went to the doctor with me today." Notice there are no spaces. This makes a longer dash, of course.
I have a feeling that this is totally debatable, so I wouldn't say the use of dashes/hyphens is too much to be worried about. I would worry more about the actual writing bit.

20 September 2009


To be honest, I was going to say something, wrote it, found it stupid, and then deleted it. So, I don't really have any idea what to say.
I finished my story, well mostly. I have to let it sit a bit, then edit more.
And I wrote a poem for English class, which was okay, but I don't enjoy my teacher's style of teaching. She seems to like set structure; and while I appreciate that others might not be as poetically inclined as I, it was a letdown to have to write about something, in a set structure, that I really did not want to write about. I just noticed that I write long sentences when I have strong emotions about something.
So, the poem was about our favourite person in the world, using similes and metaphors likening them to our favourite things (favourite drink, food, place, emotion, colour, etc.). Yes, well, I couldn't think of a favourite person, and when I choose DD (for lack of better), the poem sounded off somehow. So I wrote it about my (dead) cat. And well, I don't like it.
That's all. :)

19 September 2009

September, September, September

Astonishingly, I have not blogged in ages. Well not astonishingly, quite normal and unamazing in fact, I should say.
Personally, I love pancakes. DD recently obtained a really good from-scratch recipe, and it has turned out beautifully. The key is sugar in the batter, something I have never done before. Well, usually we have them with berries (frozen usually, but last week we picked some blackberries off the side of the road!!). However, we didn't have berries. Well myself being the genius I am,-oh, excuse me, I forgot...it was MM's idea actually, she went picking in the fridge and found some jam. Blackcurrant-not good on toast because it is full of bits *shudder*. However, heat it up, and you get....blackcurrant syrup! That's right, syrup! And what a cheaper option than buying the fruit syrups in the shop, and a better tasting one too.
Not that I should be blogging about food in a writer's blog, but it's better than the alternative of not blogging at all.
Oh, so I should think of something writing related to blog about, should I? (Just in case you are wondering, I actually am talking to myself, there is no one in the room with me.) Well, I am going to two literary festivals next weekend. Luckily, I get Friday off to prepare. But honestly, what idiot decided to have all the literary festivals in the country on the same day?! So, I am going to the Castlecomer(link needs internet explorer to work) lit fest, then one in Athlone, for MM to write an article on it. So, should be nice and busy.
I am going to one of Rois
ín Meany's workshops in Castlecomer. I am writing a story for Writers Forum at the moment, and I do mean at the moment, Word is open in the other window now. First things first, after I post this I have to go back over all the other posts and make sure there is nothing incriminating or embarrassing, so I can promote the blog with no fear. And by the time anyone other than me reads this (MM and DD admitted they lied when they said they read it!), they will never know what it said before. Mmwahahahaha!