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Ponies and Horses

I have been neglecting this blog recently… because I’ve been scurrying about setting up my own wee publishing empire, Ponies + Horses Books, with my ridiculously talented illustrator/designer friend Tracy Craig. Our first book, The Mostly True Adventures of Jim Craig, came out in November and has already sold in exceedingly pleasing numbers. Next up is […]

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TV screenplay, Travel Memoir and Fruit de Mer Fiction

One of the things my mum found most hilarious in life (along with Terry Wogan’s annual commentary on the Eurovision Song Contest and most things after a couple of drams of Jameson’s) was the fact that I once asked for help with the personality quiz question, “Am I Decisive?” I insisted afterwards that I was […]

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Rush Hour Reading

I’m trying to read a book a week on the streetcar on the way downtown each morning. The feeling of finishing a book is a splendid one and if accomplished during a morning commute, shunts my day into the success category before most people have even struggled to their desks. Very little needs to happen […]

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Chariots of Fire, the Xylophone version, or Why I Love the State of Michigan

This wee bit follows on from this post… where, having been racing through Detroit Airport in the hopes of catching the day’s final flight to Tennessee, I have given up and am standing disconsolately on the moving walkway, my hopes of reaching Knoxville dashed. But, just at that moment, just when I’m ready to hang […]

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Seattle to Gatlinburg and An Alphabet of Knowledge

At the airport in Seattle, Courtney and her daughter Caitlin are in the check-in line in front of me. I ask Courtney if she has Irish heritage and she looks confused. “No.” She shifts the toddler to her other hip. “Why?” “I just thought that because of Caitlin’s name.” “Caitlin is an Irish name?” “Yes. […]

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Tired of the Elephants: In New Mexico with Jose Cuervo, Jesus and a penguin

I found a wee scrap of diary from a trip to report on Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Hot Air Balloon Fiesta for The Irish Times a few years ago… It was one of my very first travel writing trips. It was pretty great; I looked at America from a train for two days, drank tequila and […]

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Learning Scottish Gaelic in Texas: From Ovine to Bovine and Back

My Texan Gaelic teacher tells me it is fun to get Dwelly’s Scottish Gaelic dictionary and look up words for sheep. She is right! There are words for a small or inferior lamb, draft gimmer, crooked hogg and other sheepish types I’ve never heard of. For a short tailed-ram, pet ewe-hogg and three-winter ewe. You can […]

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Crow’s Feet

This morning I walked up to the library to collect a few books I’d ordered. The books were a lot heavier than I’d expected, so I had to weigh up how much I really wanted today’s tomes. I checked that nobody in the vicinity was doing online bongo lessons like the last time I was […]

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Backdropped

Today I’m in a Venezuelan café where they sell empanadas and play slick R’n’B. I’m drinking very strong coffee that will soon turn me into a crazed monster who will wreak havoc on the world. I’m not supposed to drink coffee. Usually, at this writing slot time, I write in a Starbucks, its bland anonymity […]

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Norm and The Herring Belt

I live in Parkdale. I like to call it Little Scotland, but it’s actually Little Tibet or Little Roma-ville or Little Halfway House. Doing laundry round here can be interesting. There’s a laundry much closer than the big, airy one I trek to at King and Dufferin, but I prefer a laundry where the folding […]

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