• Happy New Year!

    What says Happy New Year more than a colony of bats with tiny jockeys riding upon them? May they shower Bright New Year wishes upon you! The inaugural issue of my newsletter Irregular Thoughts has gone out to subscribers.

  • Adapting your Voice workshop

    At the Junior Film Fleadh in Galway this Saturday I’ll be giving a workshop on Adapting Your Voice: Tailoring Stories for Various Media. It’ll be a two-hour whistlestop overview of the basics of storytelling, with tips and suggestions on how to tailor your story idea for different media: prose, Film/TV/Internet, theatre, games, comics, and radio/podcast. All for €12.50! The Junior Film Fleadh is the young people’s arm of the prestigious Galway Film Fleadh, and offers four days of fun and useful events aimed at budding filmmakers and young film fans.

  • Jennifer Wilde – the Computer Game

    I’m pleased to announce that Outsider Games is partnering with Irish comic book publisher Atomic Diner and Northern Ireland Screen to adapt the comic book Jennifer Wilde as a Point & Click Adventure game. I’ll be writing the script for the game, which is based on the original comic book series I wrote for Atomic Diner. Here’s the official blurb: At the start of the Jazz Age in Paris in 1921, young French artist Jennifer Chevalier becomes embroiled in death, espionage and revolution which takes her across the three nations of France, England and Ireland – ably assisted by the ghost of Oscar Wilde. Jennifer believes the recent death of…

  • Tea and Jeopardy

    Thanks to the fabulous Emma Newman who invited me recently to appear on an episode of her (and Peter Newman’s) utterly charming podcast, Tea and Jeopardy. Where you have tea, cake, conversation, and some mild peril. I started the the wide-ranging chat discussing my vigilant keyboard companion, a colourful statue of Ganesha who watches me write. Here he is: //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js His benevolent, but steely, gaze encourages me daily.

  • The Green Book – issue 3

    Today I received my contributor’s copies of The Green Book: Writings on Irish Gothic, Supernatural and Fantastic Literature, issue 3. The Green Book is a handsome anthology of essays and reviews published regularly by The Swan River Press, edited by Brian J. Showers. Issue 3 is devoted to examining the work of Ireland pre-eminent 19th century supernatural writer – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. It’s the 200th anniversary of Le Fanu’s birth this year, so it’s quite right the work of Dublin’s ‘Invisible Prince’ gets a proper celebration. This issue comes with a postcard as a lovely extra – it’s a rare image of Le Fanu’s death mask (© Anna &…

  • bird on a wire

    I took this long-distance shot recently of a pigeon sitting on a cable because I liked the colours, and the symmetry of the lines bisecting the image. Afterwards, when I examined it on my computer I realised it reminded me, in a metaphorical way, of one of the most frustrating aspects of writing: the waiting. So much of what you do is hanging about to hear from other people. The sitting on your own creating worlds is just one part of the work. After that there’s the waiting to see if your work will find a market. And since rejection is also your constant mistress (I’ve learned to accept her…

  • life is not measured

    I spotted this faux-weathered sign in a shop in Galway. The full quote is: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Of course it wasn’t attributed, so I had a quick look online today to figure out who said it first. Looking at this discussion online it appears that it is regularly attributed to Hilary Cooper or George Carlin. But just because someone said something, doesn’t mean it originated with them. Another source claims that this was a quote written for a greeting card put out by the Carleton Card company in the mid 1970s. Other sites…

  • visual narrative

    After I select a picture to feature on my Flickrstream I sometimes ponder what it is about the image that appeals to me. In many cases it’s aesthetic appeal, but often there is an element of narrative. The ones that resonate strongly with me are those that suggest a story. Yesterday, I turned around and spotted this bank of clouds swallowing the clear blue sky. I automatically swung my camera up to snap a few shots. The little grouping of asymmetrical trees set against the stark blue seem like the last, scraggly defenders against an impossible foe. I want them to survive the coming battle. Yet, they are trees and…

  • water analysed

    In Black Static #21 my flash story ‘Water’ was published – you can read it online on my web site. A short time later writer Ray Cluley wrote me a very kind email telling me how much he enjoyed the story. It was the type of helpful message that keeps a writer going during the rough patches. Today on This is Horror Ray has written a column about the story, and he invited me to add a few words about writing it. My thanks to Ray for spotlighting the tale, and for his thoughtful exegesis.

  • all things pass

    The stones of the ruined church are warmed by the setting sun, giving it a temporary Hollywood glow despite its location in Galway, on a cold February day. The gate squeaks as she walks in, camera in hand, eager to capture the picturesque as the sky prepares for its transition to night. Despite living in the area for a long time she had not visited this church before, and now she realises there is a graveyard attached. She is fond of graveyards – they a familiar, comforting, presence. When she was a child she played in one close to her house. Sometimes she’d visit it at night, perch upon a…