My Ten Favourite Books (From April This Year)

Smoke and Mirrors – Neil Gaiman

I first read this book when I was eleven. I had (and still have) a deep love for fairy tales and my father recommended a story called Snow, Glass, Apples. It was terrifying and probably deeply scarring but also magical and fantastic and really inspired me. If I was on a desert island I would take this book. Read Murder Mysteries, Snow, Glass, Apples, Troll Bridge, and all of them.

Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Another book recommend to me by my illustrious father. It’s been a favourite since I first read it, particularly because it’s by two of my favourite authors. It’s also been signed by them both which makes it doubly precious. The autumn before I turned fifteen I decided my life goal was to get it signed by both of them and through some wonderful and serendipitous coincidences I met Neil in October and Terry in December, within three months of making that a goal.

Stardust – Neil Gaiman

I think I saw this in a bookshop and decided to by it simply because it was Neil Gaiman and had a gorgeous cover. I love it, it’s a marvellous fairytale and a beautiful love story full of adventure and good vs. evil. Also witches, lightning catchers and true love.

Blankets – Craig Thompson

If I could draw like one person, or have one person agree to illustrate my
writing it would be Craig Thompson. I adore his art style and the honesty
he puts into this coming of age story. It’s about religion, love and family
and Craig’s relationship to them all. A first love story remembered with
such honesty it makes your heart ache.

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman – Richard P. Feynman

This book is wonderful, I thought I needed some non-fiction on here and
this is it. I’m not very sciency at all and I tend to not read that many
biographies but I really love this book. It’s how to take one Nobel Prize
winning physicist and make him not just a name you’d hear in a class or in
a history book, it makes him a real, fascinating and wonderful person. I
wish I could have met him.

The Amber Spyglass – Phillip Pullman

The third book in a trilogy that I adore and definitely my favourite by
him. It’s a series about parallel universes starting in an Oxford not
unlike ours and ending up going as far as heaven itself. This along with a
lot of books by Tamora Pierce introduced me to a rather strange and bookish
idea of romance which has managed to stick with me until now at least. A
wonderful book with great characters and plots that have really stuck with
me. “Tell them stories” is one line in particular that had a lasting effect.

Maskarade – Terry Pratchett

I’m putting this book on the list to represent all of Terry Pratchett’s
books but it could as easily have been Feet of Clay, the Last Hero, Mort or
Reaperman (Or any of them to be honest). I’ve been reading The Discworld
since I was 12 and have adored and reread them many, many times since. I
found this copy in a clearance bookshop for four euroes. It’s a magically
beautiful edition… And it’s signed!

The Cats Of Seroster – Robert Westall

I found this on my brother’s bookshelf and quickly adopted it as my own.
It’s an awesome and incredibly detailed work of fantasy. It sends shivers
down my spine again and again. Something I love about this book is that I
honestly can never quite remember the end.

Trickster’s Choice – Tamora Pierce

This is another place where I use one book to represent an author’s entire
bibliography. I grew up wishing I lived in the world that she’s created. I
love this book because it took a land I knew really well but changed it all
by going to a different country and a different situation I loved the
intrigues and the setting and all the glorious characters.

Counting Stars – David Almond

Another book of short stories. These stories really stick in my mind and my
subconscious, they’re set in New castle I think but they really make me
think of home (Ireland) in many ways with the role of the church, the
family and the community playing roles I don’t generally associate with
England. They are truly beautiful stories of love and faith and wings and
stars.

Post script-

I wish I’d had a good book of poetry, or some more non fantasy books but
mostly I love poems for being poems not for the books they are, and I
prefer anthologies but could bring any good ones to find for this. Also I
give myself a month before I start thinking of a whole other list that I
should have written but for today (And hopefully tomorrow) this is good
enough.

Joy

She had not been a  mermaid long, and as such had not yet outgrown the simple joy of movement through water, the delight found in the path of bubbles.
She could spend hours just gliding and gazing at the trails and patterns she could create with her body.
She didn’t notice, much less care about the disdain that the others showed her. Because they disregarded her as simple not a one of them noticed the beatific look on the new one’s face.
She seemed only to want to sway and swoop and swoon, treating the temperate waters like the touch like a long lost lover’s embrace.
And perhaps gratified by the new one’s state of utter bliss her new-found old lover caressed her gently. Arms stretched out in loving greeting with tail swirling and sweeping behind her, she showed her grateful adoration.

Super Short Story

I didn’t know it was possible to want someone as much as I want you right now.
Do you even know? Do you have any idea how sexy you look holding that slice of tomato on the end of your fork as you talk near endlessly about that book you’ve just read.
You eat things so precisely, slicing the tomato chunks. I can’t remember seeing anyone eat like that. And I want you.
How can you not notice this?

Inspired by an O’Brien’s Sandwich Bar postcard freebie for use in an art project.

A really interesting review on losing weight, really, really worth a read!

Bank Holiday Tuesday

I went to the doctor with cripplingly bad period cramps.  I wanted the pill so the pain that stopped me in my tracks every month would stop.  So I trotted along to the doctor, in a hoodie that I assumed made me look okay.  I explained to her the pains, the crushing depression I felt, the irrational anxiety and the general discomfort that was beginning to effect my work.  She nodded, and then briskly glanced me over.  She said the worst thing I’ve ever heard.

‘I wouldn’t be happy putting you on the pill with your weight.’

The bottom dropped out of my stomach.  The fact that she had this doubt from only glancing at me was the worst part.  To confirm her suspicion she weighed me and took my height.  I was 5 foot 3 and I was 14 stone, 5 and a half pounds.

She kept using the…

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Savita and our National Shame.

Savita Halappanava was a 31 year old woman who died on the 28th of October. Her death was unnecessary and could have been avoided.
But she was in Ireland, and therefore things were more complicated.

When she went into hospital it was found she was miscarrying, and when she begged them to abort a definitely in-viable and dead fetus they refused on the grounds that “this was Ireland, a Catholic country”. Three days later she died of septicaemia.

I’m assuming you know the story, it’s been the big viral news story of the last twenty four hours or so.
What I’m here to say is that I am ashamed and disgusted and depressed by this.

I have always been proud to be Irish, it’s a fact I’ve taken joy in all my life. But there have always been niggling and annoying things about my country that I haven’t been happy with, the lack of legal abortion being one. And now it’s turned into a world-wide scandel. I’m ashamed my country let this happen.

It’s time for another referendum.

 

 

[For further reading or more information –

http://studentstandard.ie/story-of-savita-goes-viral/

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/1114/1224326575203.html%5D

NaNoWriMo And The Book Celebration Update

So, despite my best intentions I have had to give up on NaNoWriMo this year. I feel find quite depressed about it but I’m nowhere near halfway through and I just can’t do it. I guess it’s just not the year for my novel, don’t know if any year will be 😛

So my new writing focus is on writing a new short story for the celebration of the book, hopefully I’ll be able to do this little challenge. Otherwise I may as well just give up on writing…
Like that’ll ever happen!

Contents

The handbag contains:
An old bus ticket,
Pages from some old books,
A blue purse,
Two pieces of paper, one saying “Anger”, and the other “Hallway”,
A music notebook full of chords, songs, and lyrics,
Two pens, one gold, one black,
A rose quartz on a string,
A library card,
A gold-ish bracelet,
A Book, “Remember Me When I Am Gone Away” by Christina Rossetti,
A small cloth heart, red gingham with white thread,
and a stolen bourbon.