Thursday, February 26, 2009

The End is Night

Remember that short film I was in where I read Day Watch on set? Well, here it is. Made by Vico Films. Blink and you'll miss me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Books I'm Reading This Week

I was introduced to the Watch series when I saw the movie adaptation of the first book - The Night Watch. The film was sufficiently interesting to make me buy the book and I've been hooked ever since.
I really enjoyed Night Watch, Day Watch not so much and Twilight Watch became my favourite of the first three books because of its strong plot, magical scenarios and devious twists and turns.
The latest book - The Last Watch - has not disappointed. It is as strong, if not stronger than Twilight Watch and is full of magic, fast paced action, occasional humour and a very satisfying end.
It is nice to catch up with Anton, the hero of the series. He is still working in the Moscow Night Watch and is now a Higher Other. A young Russian has been killed in Edinburgh and a vampire is suspected. Geser sends Anton to Scotland to investigate - unofficially. However, Anton realises that a lot more is at stake than one murdered student and a potential rogue vampire. In fact, the existence of the Twilight - essential to Others - might be in jeopardy thanks to an object hidden hundreds of years ago by the wizard Merlin.
If you like fantasy and haven't read these books yet, then you should start reading them immediately! I would advise you start with Night Watch, however, to get to know the characters when it all started.
Random story - I read Day Watch while on set for a short film, while waiting for the cameras to be set up. One of my fellow background support approached me and asked if the book I was reading was Russian, which then sparked off a conversation. It turned out she was Russian and working in IT in Ireland. We got on really well and had a very fun day on set together.

2.Doctor Who: Ghosts of India by Mark Morris
Pinky very kindly gave me this book last Saturday. It is a Dr Who novel set during the days of the Dr as played by David Tennant with Donna as his companion. I have read a few Dr Who novels and adaptations before and found them to vary in quality. So far, Ghosts of India is good.
Donna has a craving for a curry, so the Dr takes her to Calcutta to sample the real thing. He means to arrive in 1937, but the unpredictable TARDIS deposits them a decade later, when the country is on the brink of civil unrest. Even more worrying, a strange illness is spreading through the city. Could the god Shiva be responsible?
Morris captures the characters of the Dr and Donna well, and creates a nice atmosphere for Calcutta. There is an ever so slight feel of a creaky BBC set about the action, but that actually endears the book to me. What does concern me, however, is that the blurb mentions the Dr meeting up with Gandhi. That makes me groan. Why does the new Dr ALWAYS have to meet up with a famous person from Earth history? Why does he never visit alien planets anymore? I can understand that budget might limit the tv series somewhat, but it would be nice to see more imaginative locals in the books.
Ghosts of India has given me little to complain about so far and it is produced in a very attractive A5 hardcover that makes me want to touch it and read it no matter what lies inside. I haven't got far enough yet to give a thorough review, but I'm enjoying it.
Now, what I want to know is - how do I get me one of these tv series tie in deals (or a movie novelisation for that matter?). Firefly or X Files books anyone? A Labyrinth novelisation perhaps? (apparently one was written, you can buy it here. Isn't it time for an update?)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Writer Out and About

This week I went to Brittas Bay, a beautiful sandy beach in Co. Wicklow, about 45 minutes drive down the motorway from where I am staying in Dublin at the moment. It was such a warm, sunny day I decided to get out into the fresh air and get some inspiration. Also, I miss the sound of the sea and the smell of the salt air. I'm used to living between the sea and the mountains, and while I still have the mountains, I do miss the water a lot. I think I am part water sprite (don't know which part, however).
I found the beach was a very difficult place to write. First of all, Janna was under the impression we were there to have fun and didn't want me to sit down. Secondly, there was no where comfortable to sit and watch the waves and if you sit on the beach, sand gets everywhere! I did find it refreshing, however, and inspiring. I think that is just as important.
I took with me this week:
1. Docpot's car (it was the longest I have spent behind the wheel since my accident. I was a little nervous on the motorway at first, afraid that I would skid again, but then I relaxed and enjoyed the drive).
2. Janna
3. Tennis balls and tennis ball thrower
4. Plastic bags (for keeping the beach clean)
5. Water and water dish (for after the walk)
6. Pen and paper (glad I didn't take my laptop, sand is much easier to clean off paper)
7. Iphone
8. Video camera
9. Docpot, Pinky, Toffee and Honey (they were no distraction, however, as they walk much faster than I do and I was left with lots of time on my own to think)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Good News

Heard back from Alienskin today and they are going to publish my flash 'Topper's Shop' in their June/July issue. Yay! That's four acceptances this year already. This will be my second time appearing in Alienskin. I love those guys.

Fantasy on my mind

I've had the biggest craving for the movie 'Labyrinth' the last week or so. I bought the soundtrack on ITunes and listened to it every night as I fell asleep, I bored my companions about wanting to watch it and I tried to recreate the movie in my head. This weekend Pinky kindly bought the DVD for me and I watched a fantasy movie trilogy Labyrinth, Legend and The Princess Bride. It was interesting watching all three movies one after the other. I like them all, but watching them in that fashion really highlighted their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their similarities.
So, what is the point of this post?
The first thing I want to say is that I think I'm going to leave aside writing dark horror for a while and get back to writing fantasy. Maybe even some lighter fantasy than normal. It's scary for me to admit it. I love horror, I'm not setting it aside, I'm just going to concentrate on fantasy for a while.
The second thing is that while I was watching Labyrinth I couldn't help from thinking about what a lovely place Jim Henson's brain must have been to live in. There is so much creativity in that movie. David Bowie's songs and acting, Jim Henson and his workshop, Brian Froud's artwork. It reminded me why I love cinema so much. The writer sets the initial note ringing by writing the script. No matter how fantastical, someone is found to act or make real what the writer has created from their imagination. Then come all the other players, each one as important as the next in their own way - the actors, set dressers, location finders, casting agents, directors of photography, cameramen, editors, composers, Foley artists, etc (I'm sorry for not mentioning them all, there are so many) and at the helm, like the master conductor, is the director, making sure that the combined vision of the entire crew is realised.
So, tell me, what movies are your guilty pleasures and why do you love them?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fan Mail

Look what I received in the post yesterday morning. It is a beautiful golden mug with my sonnet 'Mal Content' written on it. Anon sent it to me. Thank you Anon. *hugs*. Now, for the rest of my loyal readers out there (and not so loyal - you can listen too). I don't expect you to send me gifts, but feel free to surprise me! (hint hint).

Thanks once again Anon. It made my day. :)

Have a good weekend everyone.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Inkpot Challenge

Shadowthorne challenged me to write my poem in blood AND to write a poem about the colour red. So here it is Shadowthorne. I apologise for the bad quality of the photo, but I was feeling woozy when I took it and passed out soon afterwards. In case you can't make out my writing, this is my haiku to the colour red (I thought it would use up too much blood to write a longer form of poem)

Red tastes like velvet
Smells of sweet cranberry tea
Texture smooth as blood

I hope it meets your exacting standards, Shadowthorne.

Anon also challenged me to write a limerick about blood. Here it is Anon.

Most people have veins full up with blood.
It carries their air, water and fud.
Some say it is blue,
But I don't think it is true,
I know mine is the colour of mud.

Finally, SSQuo challenged me to write a poem set in the future, contained alliteration with the letter Z, included my name Murphy and had a metaphor for my Iphone. Thanks for going easy on me SSQuo. :) I decided to write in the lyric form because it is my favourite type of poem to recite (I have been told I have a very lyrical voice). Here it is, I hope you like.

The End of the World

Zealous zombie zealots
clog the streets
wondering about how they look,
and who they're going to eat;
while the last sunrise turns the sky
blood red before my eyes.

The redness of their broken veins
matches the bloodstains on their chin,
and between their teeth and fingernails
are shreds of human skin.
But they are merely empty shells,
hungry echoes of their former selves.

My love nestles warm within my palm,
a safe haven against the horror,
soothing me with his gentle voice,
keeping count of the day and the hour.
The undead try to grab us as we hurry past.
I almost pity them, but the feeling doesn't last.

The ship is waiting in the square,
a shining metal monster exhaling white hot breath.
They beckon, calling for us to run;
there is room for one more left.
They chose Murphy, my love, over me.
Only the useful ones can survive, you see.

The spaceship scorches a blazing trail through the clouds,
as the zombies gather near.
I check my gun - one shell left.
One left for me, I shouldn't fear;
while I watch my last sunrise
the world turns red before my eyes.

Any ideas for my next Inkpot Challenge? Let me know.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Book of the Month

Spencer L Casey lives in Northern California and has been writing since he was in Primary School. ‘Dalia’s Fire’, his first full length work of fiction, combines his love of horror and thriller in a fast paced supernatural page turner reminiscent of Dean Koontz.

The book centres on Dalia, a young woman, and her estranged father Jay. Dalia is pregnant, but can’t remember who the father is until he comes calling for his offspring. She disappears and Jay’s home in the mountains burns in a raging fire impossible to put out. Suspected of murder, and plagued by visions, Jay has to find his daughter - and soon to be granddaughter - before it is too late. Can this curmudgeon recluse get anyone to help him?

‘Dalia’s Fire’ starts strong and hooked my interest from the first page. The pace, apart from the occasional blip, rolls forward with gathering intensity, making it very hard to put the book down. The characters are likeable and well written and I cared about them, often shouting at the book to egg Jay on to action or worrying for Dalia in her hardship. I found the character of Dalia particularly appealing. She is a young woman who lost herself in drink, drugs and debauchery to escape the pain of life but, during the course of the novel, slowly wakes up to her behaviour and matures. The antagonist (who I won’t name here for fear of spoilers) was also one of my favourite characters. The pages sizzle every time he appears and he is evil, tempered with enough depth to make him human.

The supernatural elements, hinted at from the beginning, come into their own in the middle and latter parts of the book. As a fan of the paranormal, this extra string to the story line increased my interest in the novel. Spencer weaves the supernatural story into the plot well, without damaging the believability of the realistic modern day setting or reducing the story line to fantasy. The supernatural element itself is new and refreshing and while I did not agree with some of the rules of its universe, they were complete and well told.

By the end of the book it becomes obvious that the central theme is love – something that Spencer is quite open about in his books. Love a parent has for a child, love a man has for a woman, love we all have for our environment. This made the story stronger for me, and the ending is fantastic, wrapping up the threads with a satisfying, and emotional climax, leaving just enough of a hint about things that may or may not come in the future that you are left wanting more.

This was the first book of Spencer L Casey that I’ve read and he is an author I will look out for in the future. His fast paced writing, strong characters and emotionally satisfying plot are exactly what I look for in a book and once you find an author who delivers, it is good to hang on to them.

‘Dalia’s Fire’ is a highly enjoyable, entertaining piece of fiction. If you enjoy thrillers, and especially ones with a different edge such as the works of Dean Koontz or Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, then I think this book is for you. It is currently available from Lulu and Amazon. Its ISBN is 0557033470 and is 298 pages long. $1 from every book sold goes to fire relief or fire prevention in California. To learn more about Spencer L Casey, read my interview of him here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Writer Out and About

This week I visited Milano's Italian Restaurant in the Dundrum Town Centre.

The Dundrum Town Centre is really a massive shopping centre with lots of shops, restaurants, a cinema, theatre and lovely courtyard with a cool fountain, music and flashing lights. Milano's is a nice place to eat. It has good food, nice waiting staff and they don't try to rush you out. On mild/warmish days you can sit outside and watch the fountain and flashing lights. I didn't get too much writing done because I was tired and I forgot to bring my earphones and couldn't shut out the background chatter of the other diners, but I think on another day it could have been a good place to write.

I took with me
1. Black biro
2. 79 c foolscap writing pad
3. Iphone (minus earphones, unfortunately)
4 The Chocolate Monster aka Pinky

Monday, February 16, 2009

Challenge Me

Just a reminder in case any of you have an idea for a challenge I have to complete before Friday.



Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Toon

Inspired by this post on Young's blog.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blog Post Bingo

I thought I better blog about the Blog Improvement Project as I haven't mentioned it in a while and I still have to do my brainstorming, which was the last task. However, more about that next week. I'm here to talk about blog post bingo.
A little while ago Kim set a challenge. Us BIPers had two weeks to mix up our blog posts. The suggested post topics were
1. A link post
2. A short post - less than 200 words
3. A list post
4. An opinion post
5. A poll or question post
6. A how to post
7. A long post - over 700 words
8. A review post
9. A definition post
10. A free space post
We had until midnight tonight to include as many posts from the list as possible and there are prizes for those who posted the most list items.
Now, I didn't do very well in the last two weeks. Here are the posts that I feel qualify:
1. Link Post - Blogs of Note
2. Short Post - Sunday Toon (much less than 200 words, but it does have a picture)
I think blog post bingo is a great idea and I even though I didn't post about all ten items on the list, they have given me ideas for future posts. If you have any post ideas you would like to see for a special Inkpot post bingo, let me know.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Inkpot Challenge

Today is Friday 13th. I'm not superstitious, but if were I would say that the bad luck arrived early for me. A day early in fact. I scheduled my posts so I could leave the blog for a day and when I came back to make sure everything was ok what did I find? Chaos, that's what! So I apologise that my posts haven't appeared for the last two days. I hope I have rectified the problem now and that everything will be ok in the future.

Now, onto the important matter of the day. My challenge. I was challenged to write a poem by Malice Blackheart last week. The form - sonnet. The theme - favourite fictional character. Words to be included - entirely, lonesome and caricature. The deadline - today, Friday 13th February 2009.

Shadowthorne decided to further challenge me to approach a random stranger while on my travels out and about and ask them how they would like the poem written. It was a brilliant challenge, Shadowthorne, but I am afraid I failed. SSQuo told me not to leave the house - ordered me! - how could I disobey? :)

As for the sonnet? Well, Malice has already posted his excellent poem titled 'The Crow'. You should read it, it is fab. How did I fare? I am pleased to say I wrote a sonnet. It was tough, but I got it done on time. Here it is:-

Mal Content
By Inkpot

When burdened with the problems life does bring
And earth bound all the sky is denied me,
I let the darkness inside reign as king -
Shades and caricatures are all I see.
Freedom-less with clay feet I cannot fly,
Wildly I reach for dreams beyond my scope,
Wishing for a different path where I
Forego my lonesome ways for ones of hope.
In this malaise serenity I seek,
To fill my vision entirely with you.
Watching you shoot your gun and hear you speak,
My spirits your adventures doth renew.
For thoughts on you gives me such sweet delights;
Sustains me through the hardest days and nights.

Thank you Malice for challenging me, I really enjoyed it.
Now, who is next? What new challenge will I have to complete by next Friday? Step up now, don't be shy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Author of the Month

I first became aware of the work of Spencer L Casey earlier this year when I read his new novel, ‘Dalia’s Fire’. It is a thriller about Jay and his daughter Dalia, who must face adversaries of both the human and supernatural kind, set against the backdrop of a raging fire in the Californian mountains. I found it an absorbing read. He very kindly agreed to be interviewed for my inaugural author of the month.

Hello Spencer, it is very exciting interviewing you for my blog. I really enjoyed ‘Dalia’s Fire’. I’m interested to know how long you have been writing?
My first poem came out in the fourth grade. It's a funny story, actually. We had a writing contest to get into a book published by educators in our county. Probably 30 schools and 15,000 kids. So our teacher had everyone write a poem. I wrote mine and threw it away. She retrieved it - love this woman forever - submitted it and it was chosen for the book along with maybe a hundred other pieces.

More than twenty-five years later, after I had been married to my love for several years, we were digging through some old boxes and discovered that we were both in that same book. The poem she "wrote" at five years old from a school sixty miles away, two decades before we would meet was published on the page just before mine. Weird, eh?

My first short story was in my late teens and my first novel was about nine years ago.

How you describe your writing style?
When I wrote for the county's Scripps Howard paper I was told I had a friendly writing style. I think I write in the moment. If you know horror, Dean Koontz would be in the moment and Anne Rice would be in a more abstract state. I'm closer to Mr. Koontz. I write mostly complex, difficult, emotional, sometimes horrific stories in a very straightforward way.

Is 'Dalia’s Fire' your first published novel?
I've written six books. Two are short-story compilations published under a different name. The other three are, well, practice novels. They will never be seen by any eyes but my own. So, yes, this is my first published novel. I have three more in various states of composition and plan on releasing one a year.

Can you tell me a little about your inspiration for the book?
I grew up and live in the area where the book takes place. In my early 20's a blaze called Fountain Fire swept through the hills and trees I had known like friends since I was old enough to know, much the way Jack Bastion knows and loves the wilderness near his home. The fire was a devastating time. My grandparents lost their home of twenty years or so in Round Mountain, Rounders Mountain in the book. The story grew from there, fueled by my fascination with the power of the human mind to create beyond the boundaries of thought.

I notice that a percentage from each copy of your book sold goes to help people who have suffered from the recent fires in California, which is a lovely idea. How often do real life events influence your work?
Real life events almost always influence what I write, whether it's for a setting, a character, an emotion or an idea. Even the most fantastical creations are filled with pieces of my own life. Real life is the fuel that burns during the writing process and the resulting flames are the story.

I heard you say once that you find writing in different genres helps you keep your writing fresh. You likened writing in one genre all the time to being like only eating one type of food. With that in mind, which genre do you consider the staple of your literary diet?
It's horror, definitely, although I'm afraid that turns many people off. I've tried dressing it up with words like suspense and thriller. I believe when many people think of horror they picture "Friday the 13th" movies where everyone must die, save that one final victim. That is miles from what I do. But horror is the accepted term for what I write most often.

Do you have a writing routine that you would mind sharing with us?
It varies, certainly. With four kids, a full-time job and seemingly endless obligations, I have to find writing time where I can. I think it's that way with many writers these days. But I carry with me either my MacBook or AlphaSmart NEO almost all the time, so I can take advantage of unexpected bits of time.

They say every writer should first be a reader. Which authors are your favourites and why?
I read a lot. I think that's as important as writing to an author. Favorites are hard, but I think my top five right now would be Koontz and King for their style and fantastical stories, Terry Brooks for nostalgic reasons, Orson Scott Card for his pure brilliance and Christopher Moore for his blending of horror and comedy.

I really enjoyed 'Dalia’s Fire'. It gripped me from start to finish and I would like to find out more about the characters introduced in the book. Have you plans for a sequel?
There are five element novels. The second is called "Twin Waters" and I expect to complete it in 2010. Right now I have two others in process, a wonderful futuristic fantasy I conceived many years ago and am finally capable of writing and a pure fantasy which may or may not take precedence.

And finally Spencer, if you only had one paragraph to describe 'Dalia’s Fire' to potential readers, what would you say?
Well, that standard blurb is : In the beautiful mountains of Northern California, a young women is abducted and thought murdered by her estranged father. Now she must fight for her life and the life of her unborn daughter, a child who holds the key to the greatest power the world has ever known.

If I was just talking to someone I might say, "This book is a ride. It's about sacrifice and courage and the power of the mind. But in the end, as with nearly everything I write, this novel is about love, and what a human being can accomplish and endure simply because love exists. That theme is what I write and why I write it."

If you would like to find out more about Spencer L Casey and ‘Dalia’s Fire’, check out his blog, which he writes under the name George Coddard, a character in a D.H. Lawrence book, his Facebook Fan Page for Dalia’s Fire and Dalia’s Fire is also for sale on and

Next week I will post a review of ‘Dalia’s Fire.’

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Books I'm not Reading this Week

I'm not reading a book this week. I've finished the ones I have with me and I haven't found a new one yet. So, to keep this post novel related, I thought I would write a list of some of my favourite books. This list is in no way exhaustive, is arranged in no particular order and doesn't include any books written by my family - you know you are top of my list guys.
Here are 11 books for the 11th of February.
1. Dracula by Bram Stoker - as scary now as when it was first written, this classic was almost solely responsible for catapulting vampires into the limelight - and eventually into our beds. If you haven't already, you should read it.
2. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien - I know this book so well I almost know it off by heart. It is an old dear friend I like to revisit on cold winter evenings.
3. The Abhorsen Chronicles by Garth Nix - I enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Sabriel, but the second and third parts (Lirael and Abhorsen) blew me away. Oh, and Kelloggs gave me Lirael for free, so it was a double win situation.
4. I am legend by Richard Matheson - Thinking about this book still gives me shivers. It has become part of my brain chemistry. Good game to play - what would you do if you were Robert Neville?
5. The Sheep Pig by Dick King Smith - I think I cried the beginning of a large size garden pond because of this book. It got to the stage where my sister had to change the story so it wouldn't cause me any more heart ache. It's a classic.
6. The vet books by James Herriot - He inspired legions of fans to become vets and entertained millions of animal lovers with his sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant accounts of being a vet in rural Yorkshire.
7. The Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill - This book was like a waking nightmare for me. I could not sleep I was so traumatised after reading it. It was absolutely brilliant!
8. Stardust by Neil Gaiman - It has magic, whimsy and evil witches. What more could anyone ask for?
9. The Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - They hit the right note of science, thriller and horror with their first joint outing and were never quite able to do it again.
10. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz - I love Dean, and it is hard to choose a favourite among his works, but wow!
11. World War Z by Max Brooks - Finding a good zombie novel can be hard. Most are pure guilty pleasure, but this book is a real find. Building on his earlier novel - The Zombie Survival Guide - Brooks improves upon the theme and creates a book which should be a must read in every school and university.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Writer Out and About

This week I am writing from the Pot's Writers Retreat in Dublin. I have with me
1. My laptop
2. Pen and paper
3. My trusty iphone
4. My dog, Janna (took a picture of her but she looked dead so I decided not to post it)
I recommend the tea and chocolate croissants. They were delicious - and free!
Ok, you have caught me, I'm writing from my sister's house. I think it classifies as an out and about because it is somewhere different to where I normally write. But Inkpot, I hear you cry, why are you staying in doors when you have the whole city of Dublin - Ireland's capitol city, no less - to explore and write in? Where are the cathedrals, museums and laundry mats that I long to see you writing in?
What answer can I give to that, except that now that I have no car I have to walk everywhere and I am lazy and I don't have money for the bus and I'm afraid if I go outside the door I have to accost people and ask them for poetry tips.
Weak, I know. I'll do better next week. I promise.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Writing Exercise #10

Ah yes, it is good to get back to my normal blogging routine. I feel like I have been away from it for a lot longer than two weeks.
Anyway, this week I am taking a leaf out of the excellent Pictures, Poetry and Prose (hope you don't mind Laura Jayne). I will be dedicating a post to PPP next month, but if you can't wait til then (and really, you shouldn't) pop over to the blog now and join in the fun. You might even win an Exceptional Writing Award!

Your assignment this week, oh dear blog readers, is to write a short story in the comment section based upon the picture above. I look forward to hearing what you have to say! Oh, and thanks to Valinora Troy for providing the photo.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Toon

If you were to call my mobile phone (or cell, for those of you who know it as such) and I didn't want to talk to you, this is what you would hear. What you might not know is what the creature who takes my phone messages looks like. Now you do. This is my message minder.

I know, not quite the Sunday Toon, but it has sound and vision. What more do you expect? :)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

First Friday Challenge

Yes, I know I'm a day late in posting this, and that my post is hours later than it should be, but I'm putting it down to delayed shock after my accident. I'm also attributing my terrible skull crushing tiredness to delayed shock. I might as well blame everything on it today.
As I am up in the air about things at the moment and still unable to update my DIY downsize me challenge, I thought I would introduce the inaugural Inkpot Friday Challenge. Malice Blackheart has been kind enough to challenge me to a poetry writing contest. I say kind, but what I really should say is sneaky as he knows he is brilliant at poetry and that I'm not, but that just makes it a greater challenge for me (you know I love you Mal).
Anyway, the deal is this. We are going to decide on what form the poem is to take and I want one of you, dear readers, to decide on the theme. I'll post the poems next Friday for you all to see and bask in our glorious-ness as wordsmiths. Poetry is the highest of the art forms, after all.
So put your thinking hats on for themes (and a new challenge for next week if you want) and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Snow Locked

This is what my little patch of turf looks like today. I know for those of you who live in the land of snow and ice, this petty frosting is nothing, but for Ireland it is a lot. Apparently we are going through the worst cold spell since 1991. The snow and ice continue to keep me trapped in the house. :) More time for writing I guess.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Blogs of Note

Here are a couple of blogs I thought you might be interested in checking out:-
I helped start this blog up while I was down in Cork, so I have a personal interest in directing my readers to it! :) Check it out to read some funny songs and poetry about blogging, as well as finding out more about the wonderful woman who runs the retreat (and some of the other writers and artists who have been there over the years).
Erica has very kindly featured me in her Writer's Write spotlight this week. You should check out her write up about me, it's really nice. And drop her a comment too, I'm sure she'd like that.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Inkpot Files Update for February

This is my 500th post! I feel I should be celebrating with fireworks and whistles and a marching band. Prizes too (maybe for my 1000th).
Anywhoo, as I am slowly working my way back to normal posting I thought I would give you a hint at some of the things I have planned for the Inkpot Files over the coming month (and a short month it is too):-

Things to look out for in the up coming weeks

1. More posts on the blog improvement program.
I'm already behind on my last task, which was brainstorming about blog improvement. I'll post soon about what brainstorming techniques I used and what the results were.

2. An Author of the Month.
I'm hoping to make this a regular to the blog. The inaugural Author of the Month will be Spencer L Casey. I'll post a review of his new book 'Dalia's Fire' in the next week or so and also an interview with the author, which is really interesting and I know you will like it.

3. The Inkpot Challenge
I haven't finalised the details of this yet, but I am planning on instituting a Friday Challenge where I either challenge myself or one of your guys (or you can challenge me) to do something over the weekend and then report on it the next week.
Anyway, these are just some of the things to expect on the Inkpot Files in February. If you have anything you would like to see, make sure you tell me in the comments!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

Anchors away

I hate to leave, I hate to leave but when I've gotta leave I've gotta leave.

This is my final morning in Anam Cara and what a beautiful morning it is too. I was going to work on my novel this morning but I think I'll work on a short story instead. I read my prologue to the group last night. I got plenty of constructive criticism which has given me food for thought on where I am going with the novel and I've decided to take a couple of days away from writing it to really think about its future. The drive back to Dublin this afternoon will be a good time for doing that.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Spring has arrived!

In Ireland today is St. Brigid's day and therefore the first day of spring, and as all first days of spring go in this country, it is wet and windy.

I can't believe January is over for another year. It was a good month for me, starting with my story appearing in Necrotic Tissue on the very first day of the New Year, then getting three stories accepted and ending the month writing my novel in the lovely surroundings of Anan Cara (which means soul friend in Irish, I don't know if I mentioned it before).

Thank you to everyone who gave me such good advice yesterday. I should have taken advantage of the sun but being a) slightly nervous of the flesh eating fairies and b) the dark queen of laziness, I had a nap instead. I feel a lot better today for it and my writing is benefitting to.

I am unconciously preparing to return to the real world tomorrow. I'm trying not to let it spoil my last day here and making sure I get lots of notes written and chapters polished so I am set up for continuing with the novel when I get back home.

There was a lovely golden crescent moon over the ocean last night. It shone with the intensity of a child's night light, softly cushioned by the clouds. For those who know the book I'm writing, it reminded me of two special characters who started the whole thing in motion.