Not a Pheasant Plucker

This is Day 20 of the Blogging University course I embarked on, 20 days ago, called #everydayinspirations and the topic for this final day is, well, open ended. In fact, it has been suggested we reflect on what we've learned. Since I can't speak for anyone else, I'll say it has been interesting and, occasionally,…Read more Not a Pheasant Plucker

Nothing’s ever what it seems

Miss Brown’s daily preparation began with a sweeping entrance as she crossed the classroom to the dais in five brisk paces. She plonked her handbag – usually one of the black patent variety that were then so de rigeur – on the seat and in one elegant turning motion, began the morning prayer with a…Read more Nothing’s ever what it seems

Glitch in the Matrix

Two blind sisters sitting on a train carriage wearing matching mirror shades stop him in his tracks. An inexplicable fear grips him. He misses the Gatwick train. It’s early rush hour on a Monday morning in London. The city’s awake and in full swing. The suburbs pile into the metropolis and the trains run on…Read more Glitch in the Matrix

A Life in a Day

6.05am Woke up... fell back to sleep. 7.30am Woke up...check my phone. It's very early and it's Saturday and I don't want to be awake at this hour. Have to get up now, must pee. I don't 'wake up, fall out of bed, drag a comb across my head,' for a whole bunch of reasons.…Read more A Life in a Day

Day 13: Play with word count

This one almost got past me, as in I didn't get the email with the prompt so I went into WP Resources to find out if I'd missed some homework. But, in an odd moment of synchronicity or symbiosis, Richard Ankers' Six Word Stories came to my rescue. Richard's six word story for the…Read more Day 13: Play with word count

Thoughts on the novels of James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels are never 'typical' crime novels. First, there's Robicheaux, a disgraced, former NOPD Homicide lieutenant turned sheriff's detective in Iberia Parish. Robicheaux is a good man with a chequered past; a Vietnam veteran and recovering alcoholic who carries traces of post-traumatic stress disorder and an unspecified, but lingering, guilt from…Read more Thoughts on the novels of James Lee Burke

Not Tempted by Inept Reviewer, in response to ‘Not Tempted by Latin Loser’

  Posted for Reinventing the letter format, #everydayinspirations Everyone's read a restaurant review they didn't agree with but few take the time to respond or react. Here's my response to a review of a Brazilian restaurant, in Dublin. Dear Metro editor, I was astounded to read a recent review by one ********** regarding Brasil, the,…Read more Not Tempted by Inept Reviewer, in response to ‘Not Tempted by Latin Loser’

Anyone can write Someone commented on a story of mine, recently, that they couldn't write fiction and I thought, why not? Anyone can write but not everyone will write a story that every one wants to read. That takes time and practice. There are no rules in writing but a story, everyone understands, has a beginning, a…Read more Anyone can write

Where I like to work

  I live in a tiny apartment in one of Dublin's oldest neighbourhoods called The Liberties. My place is a classic artist's garret. It's even got skylights for windows and a view of a church tower, right outside my window. I've also got a small garden on my roof so, in summer, I sit outside…Read more Where I like to work


I've always had a thing about churches. They're a haven from the outside world, a sanctuary where the mind can wander and meditate in silence. My relationship with churches, though, is tempered by what they represent. Those vast, cavernous, cathedral buildings represented power and intimidation, too. In such a massive space, how could a sinner…Read more Churches