If you haven’t checked out The Coven yet you need to get on it. So many excellent essays by ladies who have something worth saying in one handy website. I’ve a piece up there this month on disparaging attitudes to female fandom and popular culture, which are a) a classic example of sexist double-standards and b) total nonsense. Check it out here.
Mom/Mam/Mummy – whatever your ‘m’ word of choice, in the current edition of Irish Country Magazine I’m wondering why we are so quick to use words for ‘mother’ as pejoratives. After all, mothers do incredible work so isn’t it about time we reclaimed the word as something to celebrate, rather than cringe over? Yes, frankly.
Behold the bootiful new edition of Irish Country Magazine with the super-talented, super- stylish Imelda May on the cover. Inside I’ve a feature entitled ‘Be Your Own Hero’, which you can read the opening to here. The premise is that we – hello, ladies – are often the ones that hold ourselves back from going after what we want because, sadly, we lack the self-belief required to really go for it. Life, I’m sure you’ll agree, is too short and too precious for that. The article has plenty of good advice on cultivating self-belief and testimonials from women who went after what they wanted and succeeded, so if you fancy a read skip down to your newsagents tout de suite mes amis, tout de suite.
Roll up, roll up, ye lovers of literature! On August 28th, I’ll be one of the featured readers at Galway’s Over The Edge open reading in the city library, which I’m thrilled about. Over The Edge is a huge support to writers of all kinds and I’m very grateful to Susan and Kevin for the opportunity. On the night, I’ll be reading with Majella Kelly and Jane Williams. As always, there’ll be an open mic afterwards if you’re brave enough (and you are) plus this year’s Over The Edge new writer competition long list will be revealed. If you entered, you may be on it, so good luck. For more details about the night and the great work Over The Edge do, click here.
My short-listed short story The Last Time I Saw Valerie was broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on July 31st as part of their Francis MacManus season. If you like fiction and tales of toxic female friendships born out of necessity rather than choice, you can listen back here. Big ‘thank you’ to actress Aileen Mythen for bringing the story to life so beautifully.
Do you ever feel ‘not good enough’, despite your accomplishments, life experience and all the other evidence to the contrary? Imposter syndrome – the agonizing, often irrational sense that you are a fraud, destined to be found out – is a very real phenomenon. Disproportionately affecting successful women, imposter syndrome piles more tension into already stressful lives. In the current edition of Irish Country Magazine I write about the dreaded imposter and what you can do to ensure you wriggle out of its grip or better still, avoid it altogether. You can read the opening of the article here.
When not casting a long eye over the internets for work, I’ve been reading for Arena, RTÉ Radio One’s flagship arts programme, so if you’re heading for the sun (we had it here in Ireland, once) and are wondering what to read as you chill, these might help.
Lisa Jewell’s The House We Grew Up In has a very pretty cover but the actual story – an interweaving tale of a family with a hoarder matriarch and a host of dark secrets – was much more than the cover image suggested. Fans of Jewell (and she has many, this is her 11th novel, a sure-fire bestseller like the rest) will find a lot to love between these pages. Click below to listen.
I read Alison Jameson’s debut This Man and Me many moons ago and it really stayed with me so I was thrilled to be asked to read her latest, the gorgeous and heartbreaking Little Beauty, which tells the tale of Laura Quinn, an eccentric native of the Atlantic-bruised Whale Island. Laura’s struggles with love, motherhood and small-minded society are beautifully evoked by Jameson, making for a great read and leaky eyes. You can listen to my full review with the lovely Seán Rocks below:
If you are a fiction fan and like your short stories, the kind folk at Dublin online literary journal The Bohemyth published a story of mine ( Pandora453 ) recently, which you can read here. While you’re there be sure to check out the rest of the site. Lots of great writing and photography, all for free, so what’s not to love, am I right? I’m also very happy to have a story featured in the latest edition of Wordlegs, which should be out soon.
As the man says, it’s good to be back.
We have to wait until June 5th to find out if Gillian Flynn’s wildly enjoyable Gone Girl pips the all-conquering Bringing Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel to the literary post in this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize).
Thus far, Gone Girl has been snubbed by major awards in the US, supposedly because the book is strictly speaking a thriller and therefore less than literary, a stance I wholly disagree with. A win for Glynn in June would be entirely deserved. She has managed to create a book that combines and transcends traditional genres and is packed with the type of blistering prose any author would be proud of, literary or otherwise.
Luckily for me, I was asked to review Gone Girl for Arena, RTÉ Radio One’s nightly arts and culture show presented by Sean Rocks, the fruits of which you can enjoy below or above by clicking on the speaker icon.
And if you if fancy a written review of the book, here’s one I did for the fabulous Fanny.ie.
So, my blog has been shortlisted for Best Personal Blog at the Blog Awards Ireland 2012, which is just lovely. I’m also nominated for Best Blog Post and, as it is a public vote, I would be delira and very thankful if you could kindly give me a vote here.
Thanks a million. I always said you were deadly.
Well done to all the gang at Grafton Media who are organising this year’s awards and best of luck to all those shortlisted.
You can read my nominated blog post, On Blogging, here.