Saturday, April 30, 2011

Familiar road.

I walk upon the hard tarmac
Of failures and hopes and doubts
It isn't a straight road
Every time I expect it to go smooth
I see the bends
and they are nearly throwing me off.
I look on the horizon
But its path is hidden from me
Yet as I recover from my precarious balance
I see
a flower blossoming up ahead.
Patches of soil is covering the tarmac.
Beneath my feet,
the road is no longer hard
It is soft
Although the road is still winding up ahead
loosing itself in a jungle of trees,
A fragile truce has bud in me.
I am confused but I am not lost.
It is getting easier to walk the road to writing.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Francis Thompson

I have been lent a book which I have been previously discussed in this blog before.
It is called "The Hound of Heaven" by Robert Waldron.
Robert demonstrates that poems can be read in prayers in the study on the work of Francis Thompson's life. He studies how his poetry awakens the spirit.
Admittedly it is not a common book to get a lend of.
And I didn't ask for it. It landed with me. So I had little choice but to accept it or I will offend the person.
And I must say I am quite enjoying it.
It is very strange the way Poetry has been following me around lately.
Ever since I joined the Upstart project, instead of getting closer to the world of Novels,  it has evaded me and in its place the world of Poetry has swirled me in.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When the tough gets going, the going gets tough

For the past few days, i grew annoyed, desperate, helpless, restless.
I knew my synopsis was crap and I felt I could turn to no one to get help.
I sent emails, cried for help five, six times. Got no reply.
I felt stuck. When will this ever get done? Sent?
I was stuck at one point of the journey and I could see the door that I had to step in order to move forwards but I couldn't get through.
It felt like knotting at it and getting no answer.

But I got one reply to my desperate call with the synopsis.
Well two but the first one was not really satisfactory. The second one was unexpected and was more what I was looking for. I was trying to sell the story and I failed miserably at it. But that person managed to open that window for me. 
And I am grateful.
I am a little less discouraged a little more hopeful.
Still need reworks though.
Lots of reworks.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The crying game

I watched the Crying Game last night.
I thought this movie would be about War and it wasn't. It was about love. And what a love story!
It is unlike anything you will see or expect.
A man called Fergus working for the Irish Revolutionary military organisation (IRA) befriends the person he was supposed to kidnap; a British soldier called Jody. However it goes horribly wrong. Jody gets killed and Fergus escapes to London. However he made the promise to check if Jody's girlfriend, Dil is okay and starts falling for her.

There is a scene in this movie when Fergus follows Dil into a pub after she has cut his hair. (She is a hairdresser) She notices him at the counter but instead of talking to him, she uses the bartender to languorously flirt with him.
I was flabbergasted by her performance. She just watches him. A half smile appears on her red lips. She lazily rolls her eyes down and round at him, with such slowness, cheekiness, and control. It was beautiful to watch. Her eyes are so playful.
She owes that moment. She plays it as if she owns herself, as if she owns him even though he doesn't know it yet.

At that point I was already hooked and I knew I would see the whole movie no matter what would happen.
In this film, she is gentle, confident, discreet, demanding, understanding, loving, witty, playful, delicate, needy.

I don't want to reveal the story for people who will see the movie but it is a a very touching subtle love story  and I must say that I have never seen a  a love story with this shade of complexity. Very well put together.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time will tell.

So now that eBooks is not really possible, I am going to have to go through a road I have been before. Only I didn't know much about that publishing road, three years ago.
Maybe this time around by being a little more professional and knowing a little bit more about the industry, I will get through the traditional way of getting printed, or not.

Time will tell.
And to start on this road, I think I will try to befriend a Panda.
Well not exactly a Panda: Panda's collections from the O'Brien Press Limite.
I will see where that leads me.
Hopefully not to a black and white gloom.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Taboo Word : ebooks

I was hesitating you see. I have got one children' story - short enough - just over 12 pages which I was considering for publication.
But instead of thinking of taking the traditional route to publication, I was thinking of the big Taboo word.
I was thinking : eBook.
Because let's not kid ourselves here: why would I to want to go through all the pain of going through the research, the submissions guidelines, the publishing criteria, the genre, the cover letter, the synopsis, bla bla bla ....if I could avoid all that fuss?
So I was thinking: where is the catch? Do I do it? Do I not do it?
Better read about it first.
Well as it turned out, the decision was a simple one. The market for children stories on eBooks is nearly non existent.
Good. So no choice to make. 
Here are a few figures about the eBook market based  two years ago.

Where are eBooks selling today?
US - 67%
UK 7%
Europe - 7%
Australia- 6%
Canada - 4%
Others - 9%

And what is being read on e-books?
Fiction - 65.2%
Business - 8.2%

Computers -2.6%
Family and relationships- 2.4%
Body, mind and spirit - 1.6%
History - 1.6%
Children and young adult fiction - 1.5%
Religion - 1.4%
Language arts and disciplines - 1.2 %
Health and fitness -1.2%
Others - 13.1 %

So basically I would have 1.5% of  7% who might be buying children book through the eBook medium.
Not much. So all the talk we hear about how easy it is to make money out of eBooks is mainly possible if  you write fiction and  your reading audience is likely to be American. So you better right accordingly!
For the rest of the writers, it is still going to be tough.

The people who are currently buying eBooks
travelers - 8%
teachers and researchers -31%
and business and professional- 21%
Impaired readers - 4 %
Leisure reading- 36%

Figures from the Writers and Artists Yearbook 2009.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nordic Night of Poetry

I remembered with crisp clarity that Nordic night two weeks ago at the Irish Writers' Centre and there was nothing cold about that night, quite on the contrary.
It features Tua Forsström, Jan Erik Rekdal, Morten Sondergaard and Eva Runefelt. Four Nordic poets were invited with Poetry Ireland in association with the Irish Writers' Centre.

I arrived late. Nearly thirty minutes late. And I had considered turning around as I knew they were only to speak for 15 minutes each and I didn't want to interrupt their readings but something told me that I should go nonetheless so I tip toed as quietly as I could, sit behind a door and I didn't regret it.
As it turned out, when I arrived the first poet had just started her poetry. It must have been a pretty long introduction to greet them. Then again, they had made a long journey to answer Ireland Call to poetry.

If my memory doesn't fail me it started with Eva Runefelt. Her tone was so calm and composed I felt I could spend hours listening to the sound of her voice.  Then the evening moved on with Morten Sondergaard as he read witty and slightly thought provocative poems. One was called "Post-Mortem" as a nod to his own name. It is said about him that he hasn't been afraid to try things out and there was indeed an element of refreshing curiosity and simplicity in his poetry. His poems seemed universal to the audience who laughed easily at his words, speaking freely of his feelings.  Then Tua Forsström read a poem in Finnish about Marylin Monroe which was read by Judith Mok in English. Then she gave way to Jan Erik Rekdal.
When Jan started to read his poems in Norwegian, the words had more tension, torturous as they rumble deep in his throat. One of his poems was about  his experience of watching an Irish woman 's face and body coming alive as she sung in Gaelic. It was a beautiful poem.

Yet I wouldn't have missed any of their poems. Listening to every of their Slavic language was like diving into a worldwide music. The sounds are unknown to you yet somehow they are familiar as well, maybe because through the driving force of the words, I could hear  them speaking from the heart.

Emotion carry on, silences and tones letting words drift through you like expensive clockwork.
I don't know why it took me so long to come around to write about it. Maybe I felt I wouldn't do it justice unless I had digested how it made me feel retrospectively.

All I know is that their Scandinavian visits strike a sympathetic chord in me.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

I don't know if this Friday was better than last Friday.
Yet it was supposed to be good.
Well I might have one thing or two to say about that.

But I guess overall failing to be good, Good Friday was productive enough on the writing side and on the house cleaning side.
I know.
Happy Good Friday to all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

There is safety in numbers

All the time.
We are run by them.
It is a show.
Sometimes we hit the jackpot and sometimes we lose.
Size. Height. Weight.
Figures on a bank account.
Security number.
Date of birth.
And then your number is up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lightship First Chapter Competition‏

I have realised that since I was looking for competitions for myself and sending it to other people, I might as well advertise it here.
So here is an interesting competition, not that I am going to apply for it but I must say that the prize is probably the dream of every aspiring novelist. That would be a nice gift!
For the modest *coughs* sum of 15 £ per entry, you can get a chance to get a priceless feedback from an acclaimed literary author, a top literary agent and a commissioning editor as you write your novel.

Not only will the winning First Chapter be published in the Lightship Anthology in 2011, but if, after the mentoring process, your finished novel is as enthralling as your First Chapter, Simon Trewin will agree to represent your work and Lightship Publishing and Alma Books will publish it as a book. Potentially, with a quote from Tibor Fischer on the cover, people will pick up your novel in a bookshop, and buy it. If your work is of the highest quality your mentors may become your champions. Winning First Chapter is a fantastic publicity platform to launch your novel and achieve the acclaim and sales that could secure you a career as a novelist in a highly competitive market.

Closes on 30 Jun 2011
Results published on 8 Sep 2011
Fee: £15.00
Word Limit: 5400
The Prize - Expert Mentoring

Monday, April 18, 2011

Flying bed

I see flying pigs!
Well never mind that when you can see flying beds!
There is no need to try drug. Just go to the Propeller Island city Lodge Hotel in Berlin.
I don't get a special discount for advertising the hotel.
I am just amazed that one hotel could come up with so many crazy ideas for rooms. And they have so many more...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

When furniture are out of reach...

You think I turn this picture upside down? Absolutely not, this is an hotel room in The propeller Island City Lodge. The Lodge is in Berlin.
The furnishings hang from the ceiling and you sleep and sit in comfortable boxes beneath the floorboards. Uncannily surreal! The only four-bed room. One of the most unique accommodation.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring is coming

Girl holding onto her straw hat
ponytails flying in the air
boys laughing out loud
pink flowers blossoming
Adults chatting in their back garden
the smell of barbecues floating
and the sun beams wrapping it all with its benevolent warmth
It is Sunday.
Spring is coming...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Suddenly lucky?

What is happening?
 Did I save an invisible fairy a few days ago and got suddenly lucky?
I sent a book review I wrote to the Raft Magazine yesterday and not only did I get a reply immediately but it was a positive reply!

The book review will be in issue 3, for May.

I can't believe it! I am so delighted. I can't hardly believe it. I think I said that already! ;-)
Let it laaaaaast!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My biggest breath of fresh air in writing so far

Today is a special day and I wish to honour it and remember it.
Yes today, I came up with the whole plot for a chick lit story.
I mean: wow.
I mean: wow crazy.
I  just never come up with a full plot.

No usually I struggle.
I think and think, and think some more and still that leads me to what: the beginning of chapter One?
Chapter two if I am lucky.
But I could never foresee two chapters in advance. Never mind an ending.
But today, it happened.
Today, I thought about that potential idea for a chick lit story and I was racking my head to know how I could develop it.
Because the truth is that ONE idea does not make a full story.
So the idea had been swimming around in my head for the last 3 months and I thought about it again and some other thoughts got attached to that and before I knew it, I had written down ten lines: the whole synopsis.
The very fact of its existence appearing to me as a whole in my head was a near miracle to me.
It was fully formed. And structured!!
The struggle to see what will happen, where it will go, the big fog where I usually wander for months if not for years when it comes to create a story was over before it had even begun!

I had it mapped out.
Even as I wrote "mapped out", the verb is so alien to me it feels weird reading and writing it.
Yet I shall say it again:"it is mapped out."
A miracle.
This must be the bigger breath of fresh air I have ever taken.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It makes me laugh

Wow! Good news! Two pieces I sent got selected in an arts magazine.
Now the funny part, just last week, I received yet another letter of rejection from a writing competition in Cork.
I thought : "Alright, I am not good enough with semi pro or even amateur writing competition but a library competition with 20 chances to be selected as a finalist, I might get lucky, right?
Well wrong!
But I am kind of blase about rejection letters now. When I receive any reply at all.
So when I received this email tonight, I thought: " oh another rejection!"
Then I vaguely read the end part where it says "We'd like everyone to send in a short personal profile."
I got confused.
Hang on? I got selected?
So I re-read the email.
Please find attached a list of all the contributors to this issue of Minus9Squared.
Oh goodie.
Okay, so what did get selected?
I sent a short story, arty pictures, poems and the first three pages of a play.
Big laughter when I see that that it is the arty pictures that got their attention.
Damn it!
I want to be a writer, not a photographer!
Did I chose the wrong form of art?
That is so typical!
Still though I am happy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I have to write something...: something.

p.s: probably the shortest entry I wrote so far.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Now let's just do a little detour to Toronto...I am merely visiting long enough to create this post and go against the clock (changing the time settings of the blog preferences) so I won't miss my deadline which I forgot.

Can't miss it...sorry...
Yet too tired to produce anything.
So zzzzz....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Hero

I guess we could say that I must be inspired by this book because I am still going to make references of it in this post today ( and probably tomorrow also).
So I was reading another section of this book, ( For people who missed the two previous posts) she coughs ( as if they were millions of people reading this post every day) I am still talking about " the writer's journey" by Christopher Vogler, I noticed a very interesting section about the definition of the Hero.
I know I am doing this all backward because this should have been the first subject I should have covered.
Any way...
"The word Hero, you will be happy to know is Greek, from a root which means "to protect and to serve". A hero for people who wouldn't know ( but who wouldn't?) is someone willing to sacrifice his own needs on behalf of others."
I can't help feeling all weird about this definition. It is a rather beautiful definition.

"In psychological terms, the archetype of the hero represents what Freud called the ego (...) that part of the personality that considers itself distinct from the rest of the Human race. Ultimately a Hero is one who is able to transcend the bounds and illusions of the ego. (...)
The hero archetype represents the ego's search for identity and wholeness.
In the process of being complete, we are all Heros facing internal guardians, monsters and helpers. And along the way, we find teachers, guides, gods, demons, servants, masters, seducers, tricksters, betrayers, lovers, friends (...) And so the psychological task we all face is to integrate these separate parts into one complete, balanced entity."
And I guess that is why we are so messed up.
And that is also why we love a good Hero, because he can work out the difficult parts for us. He can balance out what we can't or what we won't.
On that deep note, I think I will wish good luck to all of us, on planet Earth for being humans and I will say good night.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

outline of the Hero's journey

Still based on the book " the writer's journey" by Christopher Vogler, here is an outline of the Hero's journey:

Act one :             Departure/Separation
Ordinary World
Call to adventure
Refusal of the Call
Crossing with the first Threshold

Act two:             Initiation/Descent
Approach to the Ordeal

Act three:          Return     
Rescue/ Resurrection
The Road Back
Return with freedom to live or new skills attained.

If you look at this outline nearly every story fits this pattern which is crazy when you think about it because it sounds so dead simple but of course it is not. It is about how well the writer is able to fill every part and how they link together.
That's it for today. ;-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

The archetype of Mentors

I wouldn't be reading how to write a novel type of books but this one I found quite interesting.
I haven't read it from cover to cover. I was just shuffling through it.
It is called " the writer's journey" by Christopher Vogler and it basically tells the mythic structure for storytellers and screenwriters.
There is a part where he explains about the archetypes of mentors that usually appear in stories.
You will be happy to know that the word "mentor" comes to us from the Odyssey. There was actually a character called Mentor and he guided the hero Telemachus on his Hero's journey so there you go...
Any way moving onto the more interesting part...
They say in this book that the Mentor is usually the positive figure who aids and trains the hero.
I must disagree. Baddies are mentors too even though they are not here to help the Hero, they have their part in making them grow. Like what would be Luke Skywalker without Dark Vader? Huh? Just an average Jedi but in the face of the enemy, he overcomes who he is to become greater than he is.
Still moving on, in the anatomy of the human psyche, mentor represents the Self, the god within us.

So the archetypes:
The Dark mentor : he is the anti mentor who appears to guide the anti hero on the road to destruction.
The Fallen mentor: the mentor who experiences a crisis of faith in their calling.
The Continuing mentor:  the ones who keeps giving assignments.
Multiple mentors: it is pretty self explanatory or do I have to say it? The Hero have a series of multiples mentors to teach him or her.

Comic Mentor: it does have to be a funny person. In holliwood movies, she is usually the same sex as the Hero and would give advice about love like offering to make the husband jealous and then the situation will get worse or comical.
Mentor as a Shaman: the healer or medicine man
Mentor as an inventor: like the mad scientist or the revolutionary genius
The inner mentor: the main character has internalized the archetype and it now lives within him as an inner code of behaviour, like the grand father who died as a hero.

Any way, I found that quite fascinating. Not that you wake up in the morning starting your new book thinking: "oh I wonder what  my Hero is going to surround himself with? Should I go for the Fallen mentor or a Comic one?
Yeah a dreamland...that would work.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I can't believe I conquered sadness and anger after all and all it took today was the call of a friend and the email of another.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The girl that couldn't get a horse...

This video really made my day today. 
It told me that if all is set against you, then you still must try.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Meeting with past and future

There, my child, there,
I am here
Holding your hand.
Don't cry.
It will be alright in the end.
I promise.

Hey, are you crying?
Cuz I never see an adult crying
Laugh, laugh
til you think it is silly
til it will go away.
That way,
It will go away
I promise.

I wish my older self would show me the way and tell me it will be alright while my younger self trustworthy would hop along and laugh it all away.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh boy. What a day. Up and down. But ultimately I could summarise the day as such: I would rather be poor than sell insurances over the phone.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The one who walked on water...

" Do you know there is actually two people who were able to walk on water..." he said matter-of-factly.
She frowned.
"Yeah, " he said, "you probably know the first one is Jesus, right..."
"And the second one..." she asked.
"Well, it is..."
And I never heard the end of his sentence.
Can you imagine that?
I was waiting for the bus and I heard this teenager talking, a boy and he was pushing his bycicle along in the streets of Dublin and the girl was mostly listening. She also pushed a bicycle along.
My ears couldn't help being caught by their conversation and I craned my neck as far as I could to hear his reply but I never heard it.
I saw a vision of myself running after him and ask him to tell me what the answer was but he will probably have thought that he was dealing with a psycho so I let it go.
So frustrating though....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ode to Rain

Drops of silver
raining down
From the top
And freely
descending by the force of gravity
Casting me
into a new me.
Monochrome of mercury.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I want to be mean

Question to the world, to anyone who is out there:

Have you ever be so nice that you feel you want to be bad?
Because that's how I feel right now.
I want to thrash, cry til I scream, scream til I cry, crush people's dreams, scratch them with words til they bleed, crunch their heart and soul because I felt so damn terribly sick of being nice.
I want to say nasty things, be mean, be awful til I smile again.
What do you get from being nice?
You are supposed to feel good?
But if being bad makes me feel good?
I feel terribly bad for saying that.
Maybe by tearing people apart, I can tear myself apart.