Posts Tagged ‘reading’

No Fences

Are you, like me, anxiously awaiting news of whether or not the 5 concerts will go ahead? Or are you fed up of the whole fiasco?

I can remember my first introduction to the music of Garth Brooks. It was 1991. I was at home, sitting on my bed, reading a book and listening to the radio. My older sister came into our room and gave me two cassettes that a friend of hers had given her the loan of. No Fences and Ropin’  The Wind. And there the love affair started.

I put the first track on and I was in love. I hadn’t been so in love with a singer since Michael Jackson in the ’80’s. That’s what The Thunder Rolls did to me.  http://en.musicplayon.com/play?v=102875

After that, every new album Garth released was on my Christmas wish list. It got so that my brother stopped asking me what I wanted for Christmas. After a while his only question was, ‘Do you want it on cassette or CD?’

When I heard that Garth Brooks was coming to Ireland in 1994, I immediately wanted to go to see him. However, he was coming in April. I was due to start my work experience in Euro Disney in April. I was a little heartbroken. But my love affair with Disney had been going on for a lot longer than my love affair with Brooks. And I figured that Garth would come again, but that my chance to work in Disneyland Paris was a once in a lifetime one.

I was right, Garth did come again. In 1997. But I was saving to get married in 1998. I know his tickets are inexpensive, but it was still an expense we couldn’t spare. Once again I figured Brooks would return. So I got on with the business of getting married, hoping that I would get to see Garth before too long.

Imagine how upset I was to hear of his retirement before he could return. I anxiously awaited news of him coming out of retirement. And finally the news came. As long as we could get tickets I would finally get to see Garth Brooks in Croke Park in July 2014.

Just moments before the tickets sold out my husband was successful.

I was ecstatic. I have been waiting 20 years to see Garth.

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been remaining hopeful while the whole thing is up in the air. I believe in thinking positively, and that’s just what I’m doing.

I will get to see Garth at the end of this month!



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love letters

How times have changed! Recently when my husband was away on business we kept in touch via Google hangouts, phone calls, texts and email.  But when we weren’t long going out together, when I was away on my college work experience, I used to come home from work and run to the mailbox in anticipation of those words of love flowing from the page.

In five and a half months there weren’t many phone calls. It was back in the day when it would often take a full week for a letter to get from Paris to Ireland. So by the time he got my letter telling him to be by the pay phone down the road at a certain time on a certain day, that day might have passed. Usually if I posted a letter on a Monday he would have it on Friday, but sometimes it would be the following Monday before he got it.

So even though we were eight hours apart recently with him in San Francisco and  me in Ireland, it was much easier to keep in contact than back in 1994 when I was working in Disneyland, Paris and he was here in Ireland. The time zones only had us an hour apart, but because of snail mail we may as well have been living a week apart.

I think letters are a much more romantic way of keeping in touch, and it was wonderful at the time, the anticipation, the reading and rereading, the writing of the answering letter, followed by the week-long anticipation. But could I do it again? A week without any contact from him? I don’t think so.

What do you think? Love letters versus modern technology. Please leave your comments. I would love to know – should we fight for the lost art of letter writing?

more love letters


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Some would argue that spring starts in March, not February, but if you are to follow the Celtic Calendar, Imbolc is a Gaelic festival celebrating the beginning of spring, and it falls on February 1st, halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. So for us Irish, spring is indeed here.

Okay, so I know it’s still cold, wet and windy, but just knowing that it’s February puts that extra pep in your step, doesn’t it? The birds are singing, the sky is blue, some of the time, the sun is shining, at least right at this moment, and the air is full of promise. The days are starting to get longer and they should start to get warmer too, any time now, I’m sure of it.

Valentine’s Day is right around the next bend, sprinkling the air with a tiny bit of love dust. And I don’t know about you, but I just can’t resist watching a few rom-coms at this time of year, and reading stories about love. Speaking of which, keep your eye out for 8 Slices of Cake, a romantic ebook out soon on smashwords.com. It is a collection of short stories compiled by  Melanie Toye and written by myself, Paige Bleu, Meadow Bleu, Lisa Day, Monica Lee, Paula Mills, Brenda Perlin and Melanie Toye. Each story is about a person or couple attending a wedding and the stories are linked by the bride and groom, Ava and Michael.

And if all of that wasn’t enough to have me jumping for joy this spring, this month sees me teaching my first creative writing class, which excites me no end. Writing, reading, teaching creative writing classes, watching rom-coms, celebrating Valentine’s Day, bringing out an e-book with some great writer friends, this February really is a great  month.


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I’m delighted today to have Chris Hill here to talk about his new book.

Thank you for having me – it’s a pleasure to be here!

How did you first stumble into writing?

I remember writing creatively as a child – maybe even when I was at junior school. I used to write scraps in the back of old school notebooks – not proper stories or poems, but attempts at fiction certainly. I can’t remember why I started but I always loved reading and I guess it grew out of that.

What genre do you write and why?

I’d call it literary fiction, or general fiction. I write that because it’s what I read, and what I love – I think that’s the only good reason really. If I were to try to write in a particular genre because I thought it might sell well for example then I’d know I was doing it for the wrong reason – and that there were many authors with a real passion for that genre who could make a better job of it than me.

What do you do when not writing?

I work in PR for a children’s charity. I have two sons who keep me busy so I do the usual family stuff. I run sometimes, when I can be bothered, and I did London marathon a couple of years ago – mostly I’d rather sit around in front of the TV or listening to music though. Oh – and I read, I’m always reading.

Who are your main influences in writing?

So many authors I can’t list them all. Instead I’ll tell you some books which I think influenced Song of the Sea God. In no particular order I think it owes a debt to The Magus by John Fowles, Perfume by Pattrick Suskind, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, Tin Drum by Gunter Grass, Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The writing style has been compared by others to The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills – but that must be coincidence because when I wrote the book I’d not read it, I loved it when I did though.

Tell us about your new book.

Song of the Sea God is a book about a man who comes to a small island off the coast of northern England and tries to convince the locals he is a god. In some ways I suppose it’s a book about the nature of religion – what it means to people, how it works. I’d like to think there’s humour in there, particularly in the narrative voice, but it’s quite a dark book as well, it delves into some quite murky places.

It’s available on Amazon here and you can read the first few pages to get a feel for it.


I have a blog, where I talk about writing and lots of other stuff, here:


Thank you for joining me today for this interview Chris, and I wish you the best of luck with your writing career.

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Hi Winsome, I’m delighted to have you here today, all the way from Jamaica, to talk about your writing.

What is your book about?

Learn about the ten most fundamental lessons that will forever change your life. Written with openness and honesty, the book provides a refreshing look into how you can follow your intuitions to make better life choices. One of the key points to look for understands the power of visualizing which helps you to change your thoughts and eventually your life. This is a book for both men and women that and can be shared with your friends and family.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The idea was born from my own personal struggles. I had written down the first five lessons in 2011 and I felt compelled to add to it. It was not until early 2012 that I decided that I would publish it in a book.

What makes your book different than others in your genre?
My book is short, sweet and is an easy read. It is small but delivers a great message. In short, great things can come in small packages

What strange writing rituals do you have?

Sometimes I listen to music and write. Music helps me to get in touch with my emotions. Another thing I do is that I write better at nights. There is something about the ‘quiet’ that makes me focus more on my work

Is your writing style similar to any well-known writers? If so, which one(s)?

I have not tried to identify with any known Authors but I do write from a place of openness and honesty. I like when it sounds conversational.

What are your hobbies?
Writing first and foremost, going to the beach on the North Coast, Photography, Cooking and Reading.

What are some writing goals for the future?
I am currently working on a personal memoir about growing up in Jamaica. As most memoirs are personal, in this book I have more freedom to express myself in a deeply personal way.

If you were stranded on an island which book would you bring with you?
Jane Eyre…Read it over twenty times

What was the most difficult thing you have learned being a writer?
I learnt that the writing is the easy part but when its published I had to start making time for my family and friends. I am trying to find time to go back to my book, and blog. However, I learned that what it takes is commitment.

Where can we connect with you?

On goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6552647.Winsome_Campbell_Green

Where can we buy a copy of your book?


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Hello, booklovers. What did you all get up to yesterday on National Book Lovers Day? Whatever it was, did you manage to take some time out to enjoy the heatwave, watch Katie Taylor win the Gold medal, and to do some reading? Great fight, wonderful weather, and I had some fantastic reading time in the sunshine.

So, which do you prefer to read, ebook or paperback?

I had a discussion with my Information Technology Lecturer in college back in the nineties about this very subject, and I was firmly in favour of the paperback novel. He guaranteed me that I would some day be curled up on my couch with an ebook, and he was right.

But I love to read both. They each have their place.

In the last two days I’ve spent some time reading outside in the glorious sunshine. For that purpose, a paperback is essential. Unless of course you position yourself in the shade, which I had no interest in doing.

When in the bath, a paperback is also a must. It’s never pleasant to drop a book in the bath, but paper is infinitely more replaceable than an e-reader. I perish the thought of dropping my kindle fire in the bath.

It’s great when travelling or in a waiting room to have an e-reader, as books can be rather bulky. It’s funny though, when your name is called to go in to the dentist and, rather than putting  your bookmark in your book and closing it, you click a few buttons and put your e-reader, smart phone or kindle fire in your bag.

It’s fantastic to have access to so many books, fantastic, but dangerous for a bookaholic. How wonderful to have a book delivered to you instantly with just a touch of a button and only a little money.

I used to only read one book at a time, but now I always have two on the go at once. One paperback and one ebook. When in bed or relaxing on the couch I reach for whichever book has me more gripped.

I don’t think paperback books will ever die, they won’t be taken over by e-books, but the two will go hand-in-hand.

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