Irish School Students Helping Their African Counterparts #WATWB

Portlaoise College is a dual purpose establishment, both a secondary school and a further education college. Back in 2007 I attended evening classes in painting there. At that time it was the newest of Portlaoise’s education campuses, having been constructed the previous year. More recently all of Portlaoise’s secondary schools have been housed in new buildings on a campus on the other side of town. This post is about the activities of a group of students and teachers from Portlaoise college’s secondary school facility and draws on a story from one of the town’s weekly newspapers. Secondary Education in Ireland … Continue reading Irish School Students Helping Their African Counterparts #WATWB

Getting to Know Your Characters

Earlier this week Stevie Turner posted a piece about character development. I commented on the piece, saying that I sometimes place my characters in difficult situations in order to see how they respond. Often these situations will be tangential to the actual work in progress. I’m posting here an example of that in which I explored aspects of the relationship between my main character in the novel Transgression and his partner through the partner’s eyes. I might add that it also impinges upon the recent discussion here about diversity in fiction because my characters are gay and I am not. … Continue reading Getting to Know Your Characters

What Would You Do Differently if You Could?

For me it was becoming a shop-keeper. I’d taken up politics in a big way and took the opportunity my employer provided to take voluntary redundancy. What to  do with that lump sum? Why, open a shop, of course! Nothing wrong with the idea in principle, nor the detailed plan – if only we’d stuck to the plan! Instead we were seduced by a man who had a small shop selling his home made ready meals. He was moving into larger commercial premises and needed someone to take on the lease of his shop and continue to sell his products … Continue reading What Would You Do Differently if You Could?

What do you Give a Writer for Christmas?

Inspiration! That”s what every writer needs and, if all those TV Christmas Specials are anything to go by, not to mention dozens of Christmas No. 1s from singer/song writers, Christmas is a great source of inspiration. But we all know that genius is only 10% inspiration, the rest is hard graft, especially when you’ve got a deadline to meet. Here’s how Paul Andruss handled the problem last year, courtesy of Sally Cronin over at Smorgasbord. via Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – Have Yourself a Merry Little Writer’s Block by Paul Andruss Continue reading What do you Give a Writer for Christmas?

A Heartfelt Plea

This post from Tina Frisco certainly made me re-evaluate my response to last year’s referendum result in the UK. Am I motivated by anger or by a genuine concern for those I believe will be most harmed by the consequences of implementation of the result? Or by hatred for the men who used their influence and their persuasive lies to swing the result that way? If I’m honest, I have to say ‘all three’ and I hope I’ve made that clear in my many posts on the subject. I hope, too, that my hatred of the promoters of the ‘leave’ … Continue reading A Heartfelt Plea