Sunday, December 30, 2012

Minigreen is OUT!

I don't know where to start. It's been so long since I wrote a post here.

I suppose I'll start with the good news!!

Minigreen is OUT!

My first ever illustrated children e-book was released last month both in French and in English.

The French version was released on channels like E-pagine and and

And the English version on

You can also buy the story directly from the publishing house. They are Canadian and they are called "Chouetteditions". They sell other Amazing e-books for children.
The only thing is you need to have a paypal account.

So now that I've put down my "Writing Hat", I've started to put on my "Marketing Hat".

I've started to promote my story on Facebook with teasers and cute illustrations and it's been a very exciting experience so far.

I'm hoping to contact next Gardening Clubs for Kids and Mums Blogs and Book reviewers to get some help with the promotion of Minigreen.

Or even get interviewed on blogs. Interviewed. (Daydreaming)That sounds big and a bit intimidating.
It should be interesting.

My journey starts here. Where's your journey at? Which hat are you putting on?
Let me know and share this journey with me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Interview of a poetess: Sarah Maria Griffin

When I was writing for, (For people who don't know what is, it's a non-profit arts collective which aims to put creativity at the centre of public consciousness in Ireland) I was asked to get the views and thoughts of poets and writers on the Upstart Project.

The project was to put original art and poetry posters on Dublin streets during the Irish General Election Campaign 2011. It engaged the interest of hundreds of artists, writers and volunteers, capturing the imagination of the public and featuring widely in the national and international media.

And so to generate more interest around this collaborative Project, Upstart had started a blog and contacted 8 bloggers (me included) to keep the momentum going.

Their blog was in site maintenance for a while and I thought it would be a shame if all that content was lost. We must have written more than 100 posts in the first 4 or 5 months and generating about 500 comments in that time. Poems, interviews, news, essays and reflections.
And so I promised myself that when and if the site was back online again, I'll put some of my interviews here.
Besides who doesn't like to read a good interview whether it is about a writer or a poet or an engineer? At the end of the day, interviews are about people and people are fascinating creatures.

The first interview I did was with Sarah Maria Griffin On February 22, 2011

We sat down in a nice coffee shop off Dame Street. I turned on my recorder, put it on the table and proceeded with my questions. It went very well.

Since then she has gone to live in San Francisco. She was 23 at the time and was writing furiously as her blog states and still does. Through the interview, I learned that she was a diversified writer: poetry, plays, online blogging and storytelling. She has won first prize at 2010's Over the Edge Fiction Slam. She performed at Electric Picnic 2011’s Mindfield in the Arts Council Literary Tent. In September 2011 she won the Literary Death match Dublin.
She is everywhere and does everything.

I didn't know all this about her when I interviewed her. But I did sense the "fury" of getting her words out there. It translated in how lively her eyes became when she spoke and how fast her words flew out when she talked about writing.

Anyway, here is this retrospective interview:

Hi Sarah, glad you could make it today. Will you tell me a litle bit about yourself?
I come from Dublin but I am currently living in Galway where I’m doing an MA in writing. I am a poet, mostly, although I’m working on a few other projects at the moment. My first collection Follies is coming out soon.

How have you heard about UpStart?
I used to go along to Wurm im Apfel which is a spoken words night run by Kit Fryatt, and it was through her I heard about the initiative. They were looking for poets to take part of the poster campaign. I sent one of my poems in andit was accepted. It is up near Jervis Street at the moment. I also performed at a recent UpStart fundraiser — the poetry and wrestling night.

It must feel strange to see your work out there in the street?
Yes, but it also feels great. You have to remember that this might be the first poem that people have read this week, this month, this year and it is fantastic to be part of that.

Do you think it is important to encourage a debate on the role of the arts in Ireland?
Oh absolutely. It is part of our culture and always has been and the current climate has encouraged creativity. Every single month there are so many nights where people put on spoken word shows and storytelling nights in Dublin, it has created a huge revival of that kind of culture. I think with the way things have gone, arts have taken a new place in people’s heart.

What about funding?
Most people I know who run those nights aren’t funded but they still do it any way because it isn’t about that, it is about loving what we do.

How long have you been writing?
Since I could hold a pen, so pretty much all my life.

Is there something in particular that triggered writing for you?
As you change from a teenager into an adult, a lot of things also change in your world, the way you look at the world, at people and the way they look at you. That for me, was really what pushed me into writing. Nothing is ever still, not even for a moment. Ever!  There is so much going on all the time, between people and outside, everywhere, I feel I have to track it.

Who are your favorite poets?
e.e. cummings wrote wonderful poetry on nature. Although I wouldn’t be inspired by nature I feel his use of the language pulled something out of me that nobody else has before. I discovered him through the film maker Woody Allen.  Th poetry featured in one of my favourite films,  Hannah and her Sisters, and that led me to e.e. cummings. On the other end of the scale, I also really like Charles Bukowski. e.e. cummings had an huge influence on Bukowski. He was the complete opposite of him, drinking, smoking, hating women…but what they shared in common was an identical visual style. Those two poets mean an awful lot to me but in terms of Ireland, people like Rita Ann Higgins had a huge influence on me.

What do you write about?
I write about being young. I write about being twenty-three. That’s all I know about. Finishing college, people moving away, having a partner. I write about my life with him and the not-so-fashionable notion of wanting to settle down.

So I believe you are working on other projects as well?
I have written a 1000-word short story which I think could be expanded. It has the potential to become a very long and interesting journey but it is hard to maintain stamina for long things, especially when the longest poem I had ever written  was a page and a half long!  Then you suddenly find yourself facing into writing 52 000 words, it can be a bit daunting. I’m also working on a screenplay called Sleep Skips my Heart based on a song called “Narcolepsy” by Ben Folds. It is going to be produced this week in NUI (Galway) on two nights as part of the Jerome Hynes one act series.

I wish you good luck with the writing and once again thank you for meeting up with me.
For more details on Sarah Maria Griffin, check out her blog:

Did you like it this interview? Share it, like it and let your voice be heard.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Special Moment in Workman's Club

There are moments that are so perfect that you are aware of them right in the middle of it. Those moments gently nudge at your conscious for a few seconds. Precious seconds that make everything slow down around you. If you have ever experienced one of those, it nearly is like an out of body experience. It makes you appreciate where you are and who you are right in that instance.
And when that moment is gone, it becomes a delicate capsule of time that you can keep and go back to for as long as you want it to.

I'll try to describe for you one of those moments.
It's Wednesday the 19th of September 2012. It's late night in Workman's Club Dublin's leading live entertainment venue, situated at 10 Wellington Quay. I've been to this venue before. It's not a great venue. The building is 160 years old and you can feel it in the floorboards and in the walls and basically in the decor. 
But I'm not feeling any of this at the moment.
I'm a little tipsy from the Guinness I'm drinking but not overly so. I'm right in the middle of the venue. There are not many people in. I can see a few shadows around me. Two girls are standing right in front of me. The lighting of the stage is outlining the contours of their heads.  One of the girls has curly hair and the other has long hair. Occasionally the head of the girl with curly hair bobbed as she danced to the song. 
She is right to dance to the song because it's good. It's very good. Not only does the singing is top notch quality but so is the performance. There's something about the way the singer Cat Dowling is singing and moving to her songs. It's like watching gentleness and energy fold and unfold simultaneously. One form of expression is diluted in the other like in a painting of David Salle. And you don't know where begins the gentleness and where ends the energy.

It's like her voice, hushed and raw at the same time. She is accompanied by a good male vocalist and Superman himself as a bass guitarist or so it looks like. I mean the man is huge, tall with large shoulders and does his job well ( at playing the guitar not at saving the world although i'm sure he must have saved a few pretty girl's worlds). The guitarist and drummer are excellent too (I'm guessing) but my music ear is not good enough to tell exactly how good they are.

All this description really doesn't matter because as soon as Cat Dowling starts "the well runs dry" everything disappears into that moment of happiness and all I'm aware is this melody, this song, this sultry haze of a voice,the lights on the stage, the beats of the drums which has the effect of an army marching over my heart, the shadows swaying back and forth before me, the red against the black of the walls, and the hand of the person next to me tightening his grasp in mine as he realised how much I'm enjoying this song.
Here's the song:

This was the last of her song. After this came a different band or singer should I say. Laura Sheeran's style wasn't as nice and I felt she was more concerned with her "Cleopatra" effect on the male crowd than her singing performance. Then came Ham Sandwich on stage. For a band name, you would expect a male to sing ( or maybe that's just me) but it wasn't the case. And they were good. This Irish indie rock band from County Cork indeed rocked. The vocals Niamh Farrell and Podge McNamee ( vocals and guitar) made my feet "antsy" with some of their songs. One of their songs " Ants" captured yet again a little capsule of time in me.

Overall it was a special nite and it was pretty cool that this was being broadcast live on the Paul Mcloone Show, on Today Fm. (and blatantly sponsored by Meteor: you couldn't miss the advertising panels behind the bands, even if you tried)

Have you ever felt this type of out of body/unique moment that stays with you long after that moment has expired?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Walking on "Ripper Street"

A "stranger than fiction" type of moment in Dublin
There are Mondays and there are Mondays. Some Mondays are more interesting than others. Nine weeks ago, I was walking through the Guinness Factory area as part of my “try-to-exercise-after-study” type of duty when I turned left into Rainsford Street and found myself traveling back in time.

I always enjoy walking the cobbled streets of Dublin. And I especially like the Dickensian atmosphere around the Guinness Factory. But this time it felt as if I had actually landed into the nineteenth century.  
Props of bales and crates were stacked on the side of Rainsford Street as if waiting to be carried away. 
Men dressed in Victorian clothes were casually smoking while others were reading from books. I stopped and looked back wondering if I had taken the wrong turn somewhere.
But apparently I hadn’t.
At least four very twenty first century cars were parked further down the road.
As puzzled as I still was, I gathered my wits and asked one of the authentic Victorian men with worn leather jackets and interesting mustaches what was going on.
Apparently I just ran into the last filming day of a new drama set in the East End of London in 1889 during the aftermath of Jack The Ripper murders. This series will be called "Ripper Street" and is scheduled for an autumn transmission.
The series will feature Matthew Macfadyen, Adam Rothenberg and Jerome Flynn as the main characters of the series. Matthew Macfadyen has been quite busy playing lately in Spooks and Pillars of the earth series and has just finished completing “Anna Karenina” the movie.

In this stranger than fiction moment, I felt lucky to be there and I even took a few pictures. 

Have you ever experienced a stranger than fiction moment and if so, how did it make you feel? 

More details on IMDB:

Friday, August 31, 2012

Defy The Dark Contest

I was all excited about a coming competition with called "Defy The Dark"
 The winner of the Defy the Dark contest could get a chance to be published in a HarperTeen anthology.

I was considering trying to do this context. For the past few days. 
I liked the title, the theme. Defy the Dark. 
So I read the guidelines:
Submission must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words.
Write a story that takes place at night or in the dark.
The story can be of any genre: contemporary, paranormal, horror, science fiction, romance, humor, fantasy, etc. 
Deadline:1 st of September.

So I wrote the piece. right. And just when I am considering entering the competition, I re-read the guidelines again and noticed you have to be a resident in Canada and/or the USA.
So that's that.

Anyway, I decided that I should put a sample here. The rest is on Smashwords: 
All comments are welcome.

The story is based in the USA, near New York even though I've never been to the USA. Maybe one day.


In my many layers of t-shirts and my floating jeans, I walk along graffiti walls for a few blocks. I can’t wait to reach the Wal-Mart parking lot. The streets are well lit but the night is cold and dark with no moon above my head.
There’s not even the sound of wind in the trees, just the sound of car engines further down the street. Around the corner, a bunch of graduates are laughing, punching each other as they speak. Two of them are leaning against a streetlight. They look pretty drunk. I cross the street to avoid them.
They hear my footsteps. One of them sees me and stares.
“Hey, aren’t you in Holman’s class? Com’on. Join us,” he says.
I gulp. I know these guys. Holman hates my guts. I feel the weight of my body as I always do when I want to run and know I can’t.
As one, they recognise me and spin around. They throw their empty beers in the gutter and start walking towards me.
There’s this need in me to turn around and run. But instincts tell me it’ll only make matters worse. I wouldn’t last two minutes anyway.
So I take a deep breath, push my hands hard in my pockets and curl them into fists. Big white puffs of steam come out of their mouth. They are now taunting each other to find out who’ll start with me. 
I’m still walking towards them, as calm as a prisoner about to be executed.
I’m cold, numb and terrorized but something else has taken over from me.
I want it to be over with.
Maybe they’ll beat this thing out of me.
It's funny, I think. When I ask anybody around me about supernatural abilities, they immediately think of vampires.
I hate vampires. Twilight madness. These guys could be blood suckers for all I know and nobody would care. They certainly look like suckers.  But as long as vampires will make people dream, they’ll keep the dream coming.
Now it’s fifty shades of grey. New phase. New dreams.
I’ve stopped dreaming long ago. But I can’t stop myself from asking people the same question.
“Why would they want supernatural abilities?”
And to anybody I’ve asked, they all answer the same thing. Nobody minds the type of supernatural abilities they’ll have, as long as they can have one. They all want the same thing.
To be a hero. To be different.
If they knew what it takes to be “different”, they wouldn't be so damn wishful about it.
They all want to be powerful: time-travellers, shape shifters, witches, werewolves, ghosts, angels, demons, gods.
The whole thing should make me laugh really. But I’ve also lost my sense of humour. And I’m only eighteen.
Phil thinks I’m a sad case.
I don't know why I keep asking “them” about supernatural abilities. By “them” I mean anyone I know at high school. I guess I’m hoping to understand what I’m supposed to do with this thing.
I shouldn't say “them” as if I wasn't part of them because I am.
In a way. A very distanced way.
I'm no angel, no demon either.
I'm “different” for a lack of a better word and wish I wasn't.
Yeah, suck it up, I know. Everybody is different.
No, I don't mean it like that.
I mean I have one of those supernatural abilities.
But there's nothing "natural" or "cool" about it.
I don't run like the wind. I can't knock down a tree or change into a wolf.
But I've felt like howling and I've been told I smell like a wet dog.
I disgust myself.
It's this thing. It makes me sweat like you wouldn't believe it.
And no amount of body spray can cover it. I've tried.


 For the dedicated ones, you have til tomorrow to try your hand at this contest. I think it's doable. 2000 words can be done in a day. Here's the link:

             Good Luck to All.