• because I’m a girl

    I mentioned last year that Martin and I joined Plan Ireland, and we’re now sponsoring a girl in India. In December we received our first note from her. Both the letter and its translation were hand-written. It was lovely to hear from her in a way that makes the connection immediate and real. I returned her note with my own hand-written letter. I could have sent it via email, but in this case I felt it was important to take the effort for her to see my writing – not as neat as hers! Plan Ireland acts as the intermediary, so I included a note saying how much I appreciate…

  • new shoots

    This is a hopeful sign from yesterday. It was taken on a day that could pass for Spring, but which followed one of the most miserable days (weather-wise anyway) we’ve had in months: sordid skies, torrential rain and gusting wind. I don’t mind coping with the grey days when they blow away and leave us with spearmint fresh skies and promises of verdant earth.

  • swivelling on the year's axis

    I purchased this candle-holder and holiday decoration this winter. It’s a star entirely made of beads, and it’s been hanging in my dining room window for a couple of weeks. Today I lit a votive candle, placed it inside the star and took pictures of it illuminated by the Solstice sun. It’s quite a special day since it’s a full moon with a lunar eclipse on the solstice. I’m glad to celebrate the passing of the shortest day and to welcome back longer days. It’s been a cold and tough winter by Irish standards, and we’re not out of it yet, but I often feel optimistic on the winter solstice.…

  • write to remain hopeful

    It’s very satisfying to finish a piece of writing, bundle it up, and send it out into the world. Psychologically, it’s important for me to complete and submit work. Sure, many of them return unsold, but at least I’m in the game. Recently, I read an apt quote on the subject by Isaac Asimov: You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist. This subject came…