Archive for June, 2016


Great ad for Irvington. 🙂


It was early morning when we stepped quietly into the cozy dining area of the bed and breakfast. A quick glance told us we were first, so we took a seat at one of the several small tables arranged intimately throughout the room. Soon other guests trickled in and sat where they liked, usually leaving the empty “buffer” table between themselves and those already seated. A few “good morning” nods were traded but no one spoke. We were, after all, strangers.

Each table solemnly eyeballed the others to see just who chance had decided they spend that particular weekend with. No one in the room knew the other guests, but by luck of the draw and an online reservation we were about to share breakfast. Bad hair, puffy eyes, and all. It’s an awkward silence that wins as strangers size up one another.

That silence was broken when the friendly…

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Congrats, Norm – looking forward to buying a signed copy for my grandson!

Norman Jorgensen

My new  novel The Smuggler’s Curse is scheduled to be released by Fremantle Press on September 1st, 2016. It started out in the first draft as a historical novel for high school aged kids, but as it developed, the manuscript somehow turned into more of a straight out adventure for younger readers.

I’ve found that manuscripts and characters in them do take on a life of their own and no amount of pre-planning from me is going to stop the characters doing whatever they like as soon as I get beyond the first page.  They are completely out of my control, and this one was no exception. Where did the storms at sea, explosions, cannons firing, gun- runners, murder and savage head-hunters all come from? Probably the  Saturday afternoon matinees I enjoyed as a kid at Narrogin Cinema, but I’m not admitting to that.The Black Dragon

Between now and the publication date…

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I remember thinking about this bridge after a writer’s meeting at the library in Dungarvon. I think I wrote a poem… must look it up. Thanks for this, Joan.

Retirement and beyond

Dungarvan, Co Waterford Bridge built from Portland Stone

The Devonshire Bridge in Dungarvan, Co Waterford was built in the 1830s by Lord Devonshire, it is a single arched bridge and was built of Portland Stone which was imported from Cheshire in England.

Prior to this time, the town of Dungarvan could only be reached by ferry from the adjoining neighbourhood of Abbeyside, where most of the working class lived, or otherwise they crossed by horse and cart at a nearby causeway, when the tide was low.   I would say that would have been rather a dangerous crossing, especially in winter, and the bridge was a very welcome addition to the town.

The bridge still stands today, as solid as when it was first built, and when we strolled over it on Saturday evening at high tide, the local youngsters were enjoying diving backwards off the bridge into the cold water below!

Dungarvan Looking…

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Thanks, Thom.

The Immortal Jukebox

‘There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love’ (Washington Irving)

‘Oh, I awoke in anger, so alone and terrified,
I put my fingers to the glass,
And bowed my head and cried’ (Bob Dylan – I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine)

Sometimes we cry. Sometimes we don’t know why. Sometimes (though we are loath to admit it) we know exactly why.

Sometimes we know we are about to cry. Sometimes the hot tears overwhelm us in an instant.

Sometimes we cry when we read, or write, a tear stained letter.

Sometimes we cry when the hearse carries our loved one away.

We knew that would happen one day, even thought ourselves prepared for it, yet we learn that no one…

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Congratulations to all the nominees.

Cinema Australia

FTI have announced the 2016 nominees for the 28th Annual West Australian Screen Awards (WASAs) Young Filmmaker of the Year award. Briege Whitehead, Jess Black, Hayden Fortescue and Jordon Prince-Wright are all up for the gong.

Briege Whitehead Cinema AustraliaBriege Whitehead
Briege is an experienced director and producer, specialising in interactive. She directed two episodes of the Your Call interactive series, is currently directing the interactive design for TV web series Top Knot Detective and directed Shirtfront (nominated for a 2016 WASA Award for Best Interactive Production). Briege is a writer/producer/director at Showrunner Productions, and has worked on reality TV series sold around the world. Briege is currently directing the FTI Oompf! film Crumbs and is in pre-production on a documentary A Crash of Rhinos, which is partially funded through FTI’s Philanthropy Program.

Jess Black Cinema AustraliaJess Black
Jess Black is hard working young producer with an impressive array of credits to her name. She has produced over ten short films…

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Woo-Hoo! True Blue!

Cinema Australia

Your first look at Kriv Stender’s Red Dog prequel, Red Dog: True Blue has dropped via the film’s Facebook page.

Check it out below and let us know what you think.

Red Dog: True Blue is set for a Boxing Day release this year.

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I loved “Oh, Donna” too. Beautifully written Thom Hickey!

The Immortal Jukebox

‘[Ritchie Valens] was a quiet, underrated yet enormously influential member of the handful of folk visionaries who almost single-handedly created rock and roll in the Fifties’ (Lester Bangs)

‘I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.’ (St John’s Gospel)

February 2 1959.

The coin rose into the Iowa night air – spinning, spinning, spinning.

Tommy Allsup and 17 year old Ritchie Valens watched it carefully wondering which way it would land and who would have the good luck to exchange freezing hours on the ancient, ‘Winter Dance Party’ tour bus for a seat on a plane with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.

Before they knew it they’d be in the warmth of Fargo Airport and arrive at their next gig in Moorehead without having to worry about frostbite.

The coin was caught and Ritchie, the…

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Lovely post, I’ve had the same thoughts – even wrote a poem about some similar cows in an Irish field: https://francesmacaulayforde.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/for-all-vegetarians/

SOCIAL BRIDGE ~ Jean Tubridy connecting with you from Ireland


Spinning around Co. Waterford, it’s very easy to pass by fields of cattle with a second glance, as they are so common.

Standing at the gate of this field of young heifers the other day, I was thinking of a teacher from inner city Dublin once told me of how hardly any of her pupils had ever seen cows or sheep grazing in a field in the countryside. In fact, the only kids who had ever seen them were those who had gone to visit their father’s who were in prisons down the country and they had seen the animals grazing as they looked out the windows of the train as they made occasional  journeys to see them.

Most of the pupils had no idea where milk came from; apart from out of a carton and meat was something that was packaged on supermarket shelves or displayed in butcher shops.

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Ruby Finalists!

Congratulations all, but especially Perth writer, Rachael Johns!

Romance Writers of Australia

Every year at RWA, we invite romance writers with books published in the previous year to enter the Ruby – RWA’s Romantic Book of the Year contest.   The final results are announced at the Gala Dinner at our annual conference in August (which is in Adelaide this year).  But for now, just to whet your appetite, we are delighted to announce the finalists in the five categories.  We are also delighted to point out that this year, we have included the novella category in its rightful place, in the Ruby list.

Today, to spread the love as quickly as possible, we’re just publishing the list, but over the next week, we’ll devote a day to each of the categories and share the covers and more information about these wonderful finalists – so watch this space for additions to your TBR list!

Long Romance

  • Rise by Karina Bliss – self-published

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