Must get my copy!

looking up/looking down

Version 2It’s my great pleasure to be introducing Rashida Murphy’s accomplished debut novel twice this week—first, here on looking up/looking down; second, on the occasion of her book launch on the 31st (details here)

I absolutely love The Historian’s Daughter—the intelligence and vulnerability of young Hannah; the tender relationships between the sisters, between them and their mother, and between Hannah and her ‘mad aunt’; the novel’s pace alongside its sophisticated use of restraint; and the lyrical prose that sings from the page as the narrative takes us from India to Australia to Iran and back to ‘home’.

Here is the book’s blurb…

In an old house with ‘too many windows and women’, high in the Indian hills, young Hannah lives with her older sister Gloria; her two older brothers; her mother—the Magician; a colourful assortment of aunts, blow-ins and misfits; and her father—the Historian. It is a world of secrets, jealousies and lies…

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Seeing Red

Nice twist…


You can sit in your easy chair
mocking tired old commercials
and checking lotto numbers
to see if you got lucky,

or you can be like the cardinal,
up at 5:00 am each morning,
tapping on my window,
(even on Saturdays)
just to make sure I’m awake,

then, leaving me
in a red cloud of dust
with a smile

and seeds
to grow a poem.


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Please help if you can.🙂

Fight for Rhinos

In 2007, photographer David Hulme came across a baby black rhino near the body of his poached mother. He took the little orphan to family friends, Anne and Roger Whittall, in Zimbabwe.

They named him Jimmy. Incredibly, they successfully raised him, and he quickly became a part of the family, bonding with Anne and befriending the family dogs. Even years after he was released, he still came to visit them regularly.

Jimmy Rhino at dining table by caters news agency

Jimmy rhino at kitchen window by caters news agency

Jimmy Rhino still visits Carters News Agency

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Jessica McCallum © from Raincheck Exhibition 2010

Jessica McCallum © Raincheck Exhibition 2010


merge you and I
into a private existence
mirroring each other
different shades of blues
silver rings of protection
white dots of hope
green patches of communication
blue background of love

until someone else
jumps in with both feet
splashing and spreading
drenching our safeness
with questions
green jealousy
and blue moon moods
holding a red umbrella.

After a while calm silver
reflects our feelings
reminding us what we had
in our perfect puddle,
holding a mirror to our faces
before rubber boots intruded
so we realize what we had

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2010

SOCIAL BRIDGE ~ Jean Tubridy connecting with you from Ireland


I’ve always been a puddle person ~ drawn to them as a small child and drawn to them even more as a big child.

Interestingly, the Irish word for puddle is locháinín which certainly hints at ‘small lake.’

As a child, I loved the ‘boldness’ involved in getting my shoes wet. This was a source of ENORMOUS tension between my parents. Mother didn’t give a damn and always seemed to be able to produce spare pairs out of nowhere or advocate the tearing off of shoes and socks in all weathers so that we could feel the ground beneath our feet. Father, on, the other hand, had a thing about both bare feet and wet feet and I mean a major thing!

I think I truly came to puddles and wetness on bare soles as a result of interviewing a man who had been completely paralysed in an accident. He spoke…

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tell me 

Simply sincere.

sheila sea

tell me again

about how we met

one more time

before I forget

I’ve lingered in your pause

in your held breath

I’ve waited in your palm

in your collecting sweat

I have been pledged

to your knees

for a lifetime

it seems



tell me again

about how we met-

just one more time

before I leave

and forget.

– sheila c

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“Writers should always hang out with non-writers; it encourages a different, equally important sort of creativity.” I certainly agree, Niall.

The Fluff Is Raging

Writers should always hang out with non-writers; it encourages a different, equally important sort of creativity.

More importantly, it ensures that conversation is not too writery. There’s nothing wrong with writery conversations, but most writery conversations start off with spirited discussions about character and plot and language and soon dissolve into grumbling about book deals gone awry and useless agents.

The annual John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh offers a unique opportunity for writers; the opportunity to mingle with painters, musicians, poets, actors, potters, sculptors, and academics.

It’s an arts festival. It’s a music festival. It’s a literary festival. It’s a festival of ideas.


And it’s busy. It’s a hectic week of workshops, readings, lectures, discussions, music, and theatre.

CoSziIqXgAAw2Wt Glenn Patterson

And scones. There are an awful lot of scones, served at several intervals each day by the massively hardworking and relentlessly upbeat staff at The Marketplace Theatre. Sometimes there’s shortbread.

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Thanks Anastasia & Booktopia – always loved the gentle books & characters.  Nice tribute. Sin-título-110

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