Wednesday, September 30, 2009


So, with my masters and now pending phd, my (fiction) writing and poetry has taken a backseat and i've gotten fed up with myself and my procrastinating ways.

Often i feel too tired to write AND for the past 6 months i've had awful mind-numbing soul sucking writers block, which hasn't gone away.

I've tried 'the break' thing - and that hasn't worked so now i'm going to be proactive!


Basically i'm big about goals/aims/plans and small on the details, and the actual grunt work!! So, i'm going to do a little and often strategy.

A short story a month (12):

1st week - 1st draft
2nd week - building up characters etc.
3rd week - 2nd draft
4th week - edit, polish, post on AW for feedback.

A Poem a week (52):

Starting on the 1st of November!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Competition: Book Bundle

We're having a contest over on the book bundle, we're you've the chance to win a free copy of Tom Holland's 'The Vampyre: the secret history of Lord Byron'

From the back cover:

"I have written my memoirs - but omitted all the really consequential and important parts - from deference to the dead - to the living - and to those who must be both"
- Lord Byron, Detached Thoughts

What was the deadly secret that haunted the writings of Lord Byron, that most brilliant and notorious or romantic poets? Tom Holland, in this dazzlingly crafted blend of fact and fiction, offers a truly terrifying answer. Impeccably researched, vividly imagine, The Vampyre i gothic fiction at its most atmospheric, allusive and thought-provoking. As Byron himself pointed out: truth is stranger than fiction.

So drop on over to the book bundle, look at our competition and enter - its so easy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mysteries of the Second Hand Books.

I know some people who wouldn't dream of buying a second hand book, to be honest i can't really understand that mentality! Although i love the smell of new books etc. i equally i love second hand books cause often they have a history (and well they're cheaper too).

For instance, I remember sitting in the University Library in my first year of college, reading Popper's book on falsifibility (a very wornout torn edition with lots of underlining) when i saw a 'conversation' in the margins which went on for several pages - i found it was brilliant, although it was all mundane - i could imagine these two people writing together in the margins - and then near the end of this conversation - another writer (written at a later date) chimed in, thanking them for the entertaining break from Popper. I was very tempted to add similar sentiments, because although it was all written at different times - we were all bonding over popper!

Similarly i remember finding the title of one of my favourite muse songs in one of the toilets in university, i wrote the next lyric underneath. few days latter i returned to the same cubicle - and the next lyric of the song was written. this continued for a while till someone bleeched the writing away, but it was such mad fun, because i'd often be wondering who my fellow muser was (i'd say i sound insane i know).

Apart from my vandalising ways and back to the point of this post, theres an excellent bookshop in Dublin called chapters - which offers both used and new books. I love wandering the shelves of the second hand section cause you really don't know what you might happen on. . .

So, a few days ago i was wondering the poetry section and found two volumnes (nice and thick) of poetry - i bought them for an amazing price and went on my merry way. Sitting on the train i opened them both and realised that these two very different poetry books (one '1000poems' and the other post-modern) both had inscriptions.

The '1000 poems' one is the most intriquing though - its not a 'happy birthday' note but a very personal christmas note - asking the reciever to love themselves and to think of the person who wrote the note everytime the open the book. Its signed but the person its meant for is never named. all the top says is 'Dublin, '98 and the signed name is definitely not irish and the written english is slightly broken.
Then on the next page a poem is written 'the spirit singer' by Mark Collins in the same hand writing with sections underlined for emphasis.

Of course my imagination goes into overdrive, imagining that she had broken up with this boy who needed to be reassured, or maybe it was for a friend who was depressed? Between the wording of the note and the poem itself, it was aimed at trying to help someone through a difficult patch. Looking at the poem, definitely it must be to a lover, with "drifting forth as one we lay" underlined, i imagine that maybe shes returning home and leaving someone behind this as a token? The poem is written on the title page - and she has crossed the last 0 out so it now says 1001 poems.

So, i've just googled 'Mark Collins' and 'The Spirit Singer' - and theres nothing. No poet named Mark Collins either, which means that Mark might be the person this is addressed to and maybe an aspiring poet back in 1998? Its a beautiful poem, i hope he hasn't given up on poetry if this is the case.

The second inscription is interesting as well, dated Christmans 2008. From a 'two time winner of the ''poetry aloud'' competition (which after google is a secondary school competition in ireland for spoken poetry). Its says 'we're never to old for poems or fudge magnets - enjoy these words of sense'. I think the poetry aloud competition is quite new - and the handwriting is definitely an adults. Googled - found nothing so maybe its ironical?

aw enough Nancy Drew - i'm meant to be working on my proposal and here i am procrastinating precious time away!!

Personally though i'd love a present that was so personal and loving (and a good read). Yet, how does something so meaningful and touching end up in a second hand book shop?? Maybe i'm way too sentimental, but even if i fell out without someone i think i would hold onto it (or at least black it out before reselling).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coldplay: the hardest part

Absolutely hilarious moment at the gig, first when Chris martin skits Westlife (irish boyband) and then of course the mom moment lol. Hard to hear the girl scream CHRIS!! but i was on other side of the gig and i could hear her lol.


Lines written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin by Patrick Kavanagh

'Erected to the memory of Mrs. Dermot O'Brien'

O commemorate me where there is water,
Canal water, preferably, so stilly
Greeny at the heart of summer. Brother
Commemorate me thus beautifully
Where by a lock niagarously roars
The falls for those who sit in the tremendous silence
Of mid-July. No one will speak in prose
Who finds his way to these Parnassian islands.
A swan goes by head low with many apologies,
Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges -
And look! a barge comes bringing from Athy
And other far-flung towns mythologies.
O commemorate me with no hero-courageous
Tomb - just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Luas and Bus Collide in Dublin

I take the luas everyday, luckily i took an earlier one today!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Went to Coldplay yesterday and it was an amazing gig! Chris Martin even said we were the best audience they had for the whole tour (156 out of 159 gigs). The whole crowd (30,000) were belting out the songs. It was really good!

There was great reactions for Yellow - and they had this sort of x-factor/irish idol thing (i don't know if they did that for the other gigs). The stage was amazing and of course they did a 'b-side of theirs' which was 'Billie Jean'.

As well as the fireworks and UV butterflies, it was a great night. I'm going to post youtube videos as soon as they are posted to give you an idea of the craic that was had!

I especially loved it when Chris was starting whiteshadows (i think) with piano melody anfd someone shrieked "CHRIS!!" and he stopped and said "what - god you sounded just like my mother there" very funny!

And of course most importantly - it did not rain!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Year Resolutions - Pagan Style

So i've come up with some decent new year resolutions . . .

but yes, new years is a long way off . . .

Aha! Not if you're a 1000 year old celtic pagan who believed the new year eve = halloween or should i say 'Samhain'.

So these are my Oiche Samhain (Halloween Resolutions) for the following five years.

100 poems : 25 Published - 5 per year published

25 shorts: 5 published - 1 per year

5 novels: 1 published - over 5 years

Basically the above nonsense means that over the next five years i want to have written 100 decent poems, 25 decent shorts and 5 decent novels - with the aim of getting 25, 5, 1 respectively published.

Sounds utterly stupid?

aw thats me all over :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Debut Authors?!?!?!?

So, over on the Writer's Chronicle Forum, we've started a 'debut authors' thread.

Diana asked a great question about whether you would buy a 'debut novel' or not, or would you wait till your got recommendations? and where does that leave the debut author and their sales (and space on the bookshelf).

If your a debut novelist with a book coming out, please drop in and let us know what you think? or how are your finding 'getting the word out' about your book?

and it also got me thinking (and maybe someone can help me?) is there a place (like goodreads) which has a list of all debut novels coming out in the coming year that say a curious cat might wander?

Award : Lemonade Stand

Thank you very much to the lovely Diana Paz who gave this blog this amazing award!! Check out her wonderful new blog!

Now that my blog has been nominated I'm set with the task of nominating ten other worthy recipients...

As the plot thickens
Author in Progress
A Novel Adventure
Anne R Allen's Blog
Authors Promoting Authors

Here are the rules:~Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog or post.~Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.~Link your nominees within your post.~Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.~Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.

Thanks everyone who's following or reading Writing Roller Coasters! I hope you're having fun!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Book Bundle Interview & Writer's Forum

Hey all,

just wanted to let you all know that we've done our first author interview, with Bosley Gravel over on the book bundle. Some great insights shared as well an amazing title!

Also i want to shamelessly beg you all to pop on over to the writers chronicle forum if your not a member. We've given it a serious makeover, and now have a blog and website (still under construction) too.

Heres a taste of our new look!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guidelines & opportunities

So, ladies and gents if anyone is interested in the basics challenge (and excellent one for writers!) please drop by and have a gander of the guidelines which i've just posted for the challenge.

Also i've a bit of good news, i went for an interview in my university on monday for a job in the department and it took an very unexpected turn when i was offered a phd!!! (pending funding) so now i'll be working on my research proposal for the next month and *fingers crossed* i'll get the funding and be a student for another 3 years!


thought i'd share :)
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