Archive for December, 2011

I’ve jumped aboard the Authonomy bus – an impressive community of writers who read and critically appraise any work you want to upload. Its the brainchild of Harper Collins publishers, and books that get to the top 40 in the readers’  list get read by an editor… 

If you’d like to read an extract from my new book, THE DOLLYWAGGLERS, please join in!


Happy New Year to all !

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Speaking simultaneously in Dublin and London, faceless spokespersons announced that the government ‘has had no alternative’ but to tax the previously sacrosanct twelve days of Christmas.

Here are the revised budget estimates:

Ist day of Xmas: a wren, or other small bird may be exempt. Tree subject to heavy peartree tax, so best omitted.

2nd day of Xmas: full allocation of turtle doves permitted, but each fifth egg will be taxable at source, regardless of household income.

3rd day of Xmas: French hens definitely not approved;  a small locally reared hen [one per household] is to be substituted for all foreign poultry.

4th day of Xmas: four calling birds will require an entertainment licence for private home use.

5th day of Xmas: all gold rings property of the No-Kandu People’s Greedibank till further notice.

6th day of Xmas: no goose to be permitted to lay about doing nothing. Geese to work a five day week in accordance with EU regulations.

7th day of Xmas: planning permission is required for a lake or any other recreational waterway whether for use of swans, boats or leaping lords.

8th day of Xmas: inspectors will be visiting all milking parlours and any milkmaid failing to meet legal requirements will not be allowed to continue milking. Heavy fines for non-compliance.

9th day of Xmas: owing to a ban on overtime the government has been unable to complete its budgets for the ninth and subsequent days of Xmas. These will be entered into the budgets for next year, but predictions seem set for punitive measures on all arts and leisure activities; consumers would therefore be wise to abandon any further celebrations after day 8.

Happy Christmas in moderation from the Revenue Department.


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An independent bookshop in Somerset has got a new lease of life –  thanks to the local community who have decided to run it cooperatively.

Great news for book lovers and people who like browsing in small bookshops.

Oh, and if you want to help them, you could buy a share and have a say in how it’s run.

Here’s the link:


Might make a nice Christmas present for someone in the West Country?


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…. and sometimes it’s a film. Well, actually, I have only done this twice.

The first play I dreamed was about a hive of bees – I saw it all; the sets, the costumes, the characters and the story. It turned into a play for five year olds about life in a beehive. Originally titled THE BUZZ IS GOOD, this was changed at the suggestion of Martin, the director, who said the title was too ‘druggy’. So it ended up being called BUMBOGS AND BEES –  bumbóg is the Irish word for a bee.

Then, a couple of nights ago, a short film crept into my dream – tantalisingly unfinished. It was called BAR COLONELS. Four colonels from different South American countries, in full military uniform, are running a bar on a beach. In my dream, it was being directed by my friend Maurice, who runs the Dingle Film Festival. Bizarrely, he’d turned up for the shoot also sporting a full dress uniform, white, with lots of gold medals and ribbons. Although it was being shot on a windy beach in County Kerry we were all wearing our own versions of South American clothes, and the set was dressed with flowers and plastic pineapples. Underneath the jollity, however, there was an undercurrent of something dark…. the colonels were smiling too hard – and did they have guns hidden under the bar? Were they actors, or real soldiers?

I’ve given this idea to Maurice, as he seemed to have inspired it. so he now has the copyright to BAR COLONELS. I will keep you posted if it turns up in 2013’s  Dingle Film Festival..

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Recently found Bethany’s blog on wordpress which made me laugh a lot, so here’s a link:


Not actually written by students – these are entries for a bad writing competition run by Bulwer-Lytton. But since I’ve read them, I’ve been making up my own – and hey presto! another Christmas party game.

Here’s one I just made up:

‘She had a tinkling laugh which always surprised him, like when you accidentally clash two glasses together in the washing up and one of them cuts your finger off’. ‘

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