The Sentence: Milkman, p. 98

As for da, I remember third brother’s urgency and my own in asking for him, in pleading for him to be there, to be a man among men, doing normal men things, as he did manage to do years later when searching with the others for Somebody McSomebody’s brother’s head.

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Woe: Milkman, p. 97

Mammy! The heads! They took the heads! Where are the heads? Where’s Lassie, mammy? Where’s daddy? Have the brothers found Lassie? Where’s daddy? Where’s Lassie?

This novel, which won the Man Booker, fully deserved to win.

Graywolf Press has now given self two books that absolutely shattered her: this one, and the translation of Liu Xia’s poetry collection, Empty Chairs.

That is all.

Milkman, pp. 13 – 14

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Annaghmakerrig: November, 2018

The narrator, 18, runs. The milkman starts following her on her runs. He is much older, and seems to know her schedule: he knows where she reports to work, he knows that she likes to read. During one of their encounters, a bush to the narrator’s left emits a distinct “click.” The milkman then abruptly walks off.

Hey hey hey, Anna Burns: you are brilliant.

He doesn’t touch her, doesn’t address anything overtly sexual to her, but for a whole week, she doesn’t run. When she starts again, she asks her “third brother-in-law” to accompany her:

Should he take exception to brother-in-law accompanying me, he’d encounter not only the opprobium of the entire local community, but his reputation in it as one of our highranking, prestigious dissidents would plummet to the point where he’d be put outside any and all safe houses, into the path of any and of all passing military patrol vehicles, exactly as if he wasn’t one of our major influential heroes, but instead just some enemy state policeman, some enemy soldier from across the water, or even one of the enemy state-defending paramilitaries from over the way.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Poetry Sunday: AINE MacAODHA

Self really likes that the cottage is full of poetry books. Every time she comes, she discovers someone new.

She found a book called Landscape of Self (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2015) by Aine MacAodha.

Here’s the first half of a poem called

To My Children When I’m Gone

Some mountains are higher than others
Winter can cause frost bite.
Without a bit of darkness
We may not appreciate the light afterwards.
Remember the good in the world
The take your breath smiles
The smile from a stranger in a strange place
The beauty in a daisy chain
The elegance in a buttercup
The wonder of a webbing spider
The warmth of a heart
When another’s fiery arrow hits it
Love and goodness costs nothing
Hatred causes illness
Treat the nature around you with respect
Treat your spirit with kindness others too
Manners are easily carried.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

The Story of Trees

First Tree: Great Beech, Fagus Sylvatica, Non native, Seeded around 1860

Writer: Olive Broderick

  • There is no going back. She is so deeply rooted here it’s hard to tell her from Oak and Ash in this delayed-spring grove.

The Trees of Kilbroney Park is a publication of Light 2000. A copy was mailed to self in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig by her friend, poet Csilla Toldy, who edited the book.

Stay tuned.

 

Place in Mystery Fiction: It Is Everything

Self is closing out 2017 with Tana French, and she is also reading Kelly Creighton’s Bank Hurricane Holiday, a super short story collection set in Northern Ireland.

Place is everything in the writing of these two women. She isn’t finished yet with Creighton’s book (just out from Doire Press) but she finished her first Tana French, earlier today: Broken Harbor. And she’s just started reading The Trespasser.

She’s very late in coming to Tana French, but why. She’s been coming to Ireland for years, if she’d had enough sense, she would have read Ms. French years ago.

Self loves mysteries. She especially loves the mysteries of: Henning Mankell, Morag Joss (only one book), Ruth Rendell, and Karin Fossum.

She thinks her love of mysteries in foreign landscapes began with Peter Hoeg’s mesmerizing Smilla’s Sense of Snow. (And now she writes dystopian fantasy set in snowy landscapes, what a coincidence)

p. 4, The Trespasser:

  • Murder works out of the grounds of Dublin Castle, smack in the heart of town, but our building is tucked away a few corners from the fancy stuff the tourists come to see, and our walls are thick; even the early morning traffic out on Dame Street only makes it through to us as a soft, undemanding hum.

Who doesn’t know Dublin Castle. Tourist mecca. Now, in her mind, Dublin Castle is the home of the Dublin Murder Squad. Love.

On to p. 5.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Repurpose 2: London and Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

For this challenge, show us something . . .  put to new use.

— Krista, The Daily Post

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Shoreditch, London: Jack the Ripper was here!

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Welcome to Narnia: Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

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Twigs Am I: On the Narnia Trail in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dance: The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is DANCE.

And it just so happens that self was having a conversation with a member of her writer’s group, about Diary of a Wimpy Kid and other childhood classics, which led her to remember:

Rostrevor, July 2015.

She was a guest of Csilla Toldy, a poet she met in Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig. On her first day in Rostrevor, Csilla took self walking along The Narnia Trail, which led through a magical wood. At intervals along the trail were these strange twig creatures, each caught in the middle of doing a silent dance:

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Aren’t they fabulous?

C. S. Lewis was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He would have loved this trail.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Optimistic 2: 2016 WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge # 4

From Krista on The Daily Post:

To stay optimistic at -30 degrees, I try to imagine spring in full detail: tiny perfect oak leaves sprouting, bird radio increasing in volume, water lapping on red granite as the ice rots and recedes . . .

So, here are three more examples of Optimistic:

David is about to slay Goliath. Self would say that’s being VERY optimistic.

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Michelangelo’s David: Saw it for the first time, November 2015. (Look at the tracery of veins on the man’s ARMS, OMG you can almost feel them!)

Sign sprouting above self’s head. Indicates the direction she is headed.

Florence was a trip that called on self’s low supply of OPTIMISM and increased it 10-fold (Yes, dear blog readers, it IS possible to begin a trip with low energy and end it with energy to the nth power)

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Florence, November 2015: Niece and self, armed with 3-day museum pass, are determined to hit all of Florence’s 64 museums, in 3 days. Nuts!

Finally, Csilla Toldy hosted self in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, July 2015. Csilla is a poet, novelist, and documentary filmmaker. We first met at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, 2014. She has written a novel and a collection of poetry, as well as filmed a documentary on the celebration of Bloomsday (June 14) in Dublin and Hungary.

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Csilla Toldy went over the Green Wall when she was just 18. Here we are celebrating in her current home, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, July 2015.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sylvain Landry – Week 22: TRANSPARENCY

Self enjoys doing Photo Challenges. Since she began doing the WordPress Photo Challenge, three years ago, she’s derived much pleaseure in sharing her travel photographs with blog readers. Photographs can say so much more than words can.

This year, she also became an occasional contributor to the Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge. This week’s SL prompt is TRANSPARENCY. Self thought that theme would be a piece of cake, but it wasn’t. She had to go through all her Florence pictures, all her pictures of the Mission in San Francisco, all her pictures of London, until she finally found this picture of a room in filmmaker and poet Csilla Toldy’s house in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland. Self visited Csilla during the Fiddler’s Green Festival, July 2015. It was a lot of fun:

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Csilla was preparing to show self a documentary she made on Bloomsday (celebrated in both Ireland and Hungary!); she had to draw the curtains in her study.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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