Make Straight Make Curved Make

Claudia’s reblog button is back, so I can share this lovely poem around.

Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

Make Straight Make Curved Make

Take the unshaped mass of clay.
Between your hands press it
until a cylinder forms. Press in more and draw up the sides.
It will take strength. Do not hesitate.
The bowl is made. Take your finger and hold it to the bottom
let it rise to the top
leaving its spiral track.

So your thoughts are made and so
they arrive at a finished state. Even the
yellow dandelion ideas that spring up overnight
have spent all winter underground
until the hands of spring press them upwards
and out.

Haste and confusion thrive
up and down the earth
but the road
every road
is curved and the end
is out of your sight
until the right time has come and

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you’re my piazza navona

I once dreamed of living in Rome. This blog is the nearest I’ll get to it.

a love letter to rome

When I think of the Piazza Navona in Rome I think of you now.

Last time I was there I was walking around, and every coffee I had, or wine I sipped, or smile I gave to a passing man, or Bernini fountains I stopped and stood at for the hundredth time pondering with fresh eyes, or place I wandered into… gazing at everything in Saint Agnese, or in the museums near by; I thought about you there in the piazza before me, and after me, off in your own reverie, not thinking of me except when I asked for an image of you once, standing before a marble goddess. You sent it to your part-time Aphrodite on Hérmes’ winged feet, and I treasured it, and buried it, like Crassus’ riches.

You have captured my imagination against my will, and that’s kind of lovely.

This strange, exciting, impossible idea of you…

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The Friday Fiction with Michael Bolan

Something to get your teeth into.


I am delighted to introduce Irish author Michael Bolan to you today. Like me, Michael bases his books on Irish myths. Here is an excerpt from his latest book, The Stone Bridge; check it out,  and give the gift of a book this Christmas… even if it’s to yourself! Enjoy!

Michael Bolan’s latest book

Isabella’s good mood stayed with her as she walked her horse slowly through the ancient trees of the forest. It seemed that most of the world was covered by trees, something she never complained about. The soft sounds of the forest soothed her, the rustling of the leaves overhead helped her forget the perils that lay ahead.

She kept thinking about her mission and about the family she had left hours previously. Their life was etched in sweat and toil, bound by the cycle of the seasons. It was so different to the pampered life…

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Manannán’s Land Irish Myths of the Sea

If you’re not going to see the sea this summer, read this—it almost makes up for it.


Until I moved to Cavan eight years ago, I had always lived within sight or sound of the sea. Every summer I head down to Co Kerry for a few days with friends and the boys. There, we are surrounded by sea, and mountains. I love wide open spaces. Both the sea and the high places provide that.

Being a small island, peoples lives have been dominated by the sea. In mythology, the Danann, the Milesians, and various other races came to Ireland from the sea. According to legend, Ireland had two sea deities: Lir, and Manannán mac Lir, which means ‘son of Lir’, or ‘son of the sea’.

Little is known about Lir; there is a Lir who was father to the four children turned into swans by their jealous stepmother, but it is by no means certain that he is one and the same with the sea-god of…

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Perfect Your Dystopian World in 5 Easy Steps

I’m in this guide of how to write dystopias—shoulder to shoulder with Orwell and Huxley!

Sacha Black

DystopiaI’m obsessive. Once I get my little fishhook fingers into something there is nothing I won’t consume about a subject.

That’s why I’ve obsessively read books since I sung my first ABC and it’s why I write just as obsessively now.

One of my biggest obsessions, is the concept of dystopian worlds. I heart everything about them. I want the t-shirt, the fan girl moves, the merch and ALL the books. ALL OF THEM.

But right now, as a writer, I’m more interested in how to get them right. What do you need building bricks do you need to include and what key factors do you need to make a dystopian world realistic.

I’ve just finished reading Jane Dougherty’s Abomination. It was both a fantastic read and an exceptional example of an apocalyptic and dystopian setting.

Here are 5 steps to perfect the dystopian world.

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