Blog & Guestbook

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Below is my blog about my books, thoughts and advice on how to Go Creative! (see also #gocreative on Twitter) and  first glimpses of new stories and poems.

Here is also where I post advance copies, free giveaways and signed books.

Comments are invited in the GUESTBOOK.


Creative Searching with Seenapse

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

A search engine for creatives

We all love Professor Google but there’s a new and very different search engine on the scene, Seenapse.

Right now, as I type in “why do I” to my Google search engine, my sentence is finished off by Google’s Autocomplete with “why do I sweat so much?”.

Enter Seenapse.

Seenapse calls itself an “inspiration engine” and is aimed at creatives. The search engine makes interesting and unique associative links, a key component of creativity and creativism.

Seenapse crowdsources all its information and is just getting started — so it needs to Read the whole post »

Ask Me A Question on Goodreads

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Free Writing

I‘m getting more and more into Goodreads and I’d love to connect with those of you who have accounts over there.

Go Creative! It's Your Native State

I’ve just signed up to their Ask An Author feature to answer questions about going creative — in celebration of the books coming in September.
If you’d like to ask anything about anything, but especially the Go Creative! books, you can post your question here.

Creating Money Creating Meaning

Looking forward to some good book conversations too.
And a big giveaway coming up soon!

Be More Creative Guest. This week… Paul Graham on the Perils of Prestige

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
Paul Graham with some of the startups funded by Y Combinator

Paul Graham with some of the startups funded by Y Combinator

Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like…

Prestige is just fossilized inspiration. If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious… So just do what you like, and let prestige take care of itself.

Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige.

That’s the recipe for getting people to give talks, write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on.

It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn’t suck, they wouldn’t have had to make it prestigious.


From How to Do What You Love by Y-Combinator founder, Paul Graham .

Goodreads Giveaway Winner

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
After the Rising and Before the Fall Two-Books-In-One

After the Rising and Before the Fall Two-Books-In-One


Our Goodreads Giveaway of After The Rising & Before The Fall, the two-books-in-one special edition, is now over and the winners are…. (drum roll!)  Kjell Meijer of Limburg, Netherlands and Maria Pia Quijano Castillo of Lima, Peru.

Your copies of After The Rising & Before The Fall are on their way to Peru and the Netherlands, enjoy!

Thank you to all who entered.

Next giveaway on its way very soon…


PS If you’ve read either or both books, or the new two-in-one, could you take a moment to give your opinion on Amazon here. The new edition is looking a bit lonely there, with no reviews.

1 Comment

Be More Creative Guest. This week… Martha Nussbaum on Being Good

Sunday, July 13th, 2014
Creative: More like a plant than a jewel

Creative: More like a plant than a jewel


“To be a good human is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame.

“That says something very important about the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertainty, and on a willingness to be exposed.

“It’s based on being more like a plant than a jewel: something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.”

From Martha Nussbaum in Bill Moyer’s World of Ideas.

Last Promise: A New Poem

Friday, July 11th, 2014


Promise me, that when the leaves turn in the wind

or in the falling, you’ll remember. And smile

at the day we spent under the green ocean dome

that welled above us, all ebb and flurry, each leaf-shake

a flutter held, a quark of forest time shifting

and regrouping, but yet the whole — the copse within

the wood that was the whole of it to us — set slow. Slower,

the further out we looked, until our eyes could see 

no further than an army-band of trunks upholding calm.

The wood protects us. I could not bear for you to see it all. We are too small.

So when the coming time is here

and you see a leaf is turning green to brown

and beginning its intention to descend, anticipating

the day of its great fall, twisting, pirouetting even,

high above the floor that’s calling: come. Come. When

you see it twist this way and that, testing the stick of its stalk,

the heft of its trust, look. Look closer, past the colour of its sap,

the flow of its line in space, in time, and know it has practiced

what it needs, all summer long dancing with the wind. And think of

me and how I loved the leaves and brought you there to see you smile.

And smile. Now, promise me.


The Controlled Chaos of Creativity

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
creative chaos

creative chaos

Author’s work rooms all look remarkably alike — stacked books and papers and a lovely air of barely contained chaos. This applies across the creative class of artists, writers, musicians, entertainers…

Californian professer, Sarnoff A. Mednick, has been reasoning with our anarchic method of organisation, exploring the root of creative ideas.

Mednick looks at how people associate certain things with others (the core of creative activity) and the links they make between words. He disputed that creative people link more abstract words to other words than less creative people. For example, when given the word ‘ball’, the creative may think of the word ‘exercise’, whereas a less creative person may think of a simpler and direct word such as ‘football’.

The conclusion to all of Mednick’s fun with words is that creative people have a greater ability to associate more distant and random things and thoughts. This is why our minds may seem scattered, and our rooms may look like pandemonium — our brains are accessing more sources than the average.

At least this is what we can tell our housemates.

For a lovely diagram of the words most commonly used by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dylan Thomas, and more details, read more on the Scientific American Blog.


Be More Creative Guest. This week… How Sorrow Changes Us by Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, July 6th, 2014
Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke




“ask yourself whether these great sorrows have not, rather, gone right through the middle of you? If much within you has not changed, if you haven’t somewhere, in some place, changed your being, while you were sorrowful?…

“If it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a bit farther than the works of our forebears, perhaps we would then bear our sorrows with more confidence than our joys.

“For they are the moments when Read the whole post »

Goodreads Giveaway: After The Rising & Before The Fall

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

I’ve just launched a Goodreads giveaway, running from today through to the 7th of July. Enter now for your chance to win a free copy!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

After The Rising & Before The Fall by Orna Ross

After The Rising & Before The Fall

by Orna Ross

Giveaway ends July 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

This is a special edition of my first two novels, brought together, for a limited time only — both books for the price of one.

You can also buy a copy on Amazon Here, if you prefer.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: In 1923, Dan O’Donovan, a young soldier, was lured to his death in the notorious sinking sands that surround the small Irish village of Mucknamore.

Now, in 1995, Jo Devereux has returned home to Ireland, needing to know more about this “War of The Brothers” and the secrets that haunted her childhood.

Jo’s life in California has come to a full stop and she knows that if she wants to move forward, she’s going to have to go back.

Settling down in a makeshift shed overlooking the ocean with a suitcase of old family letters and journals, Jo uncovers astonishing truths about Dan’s death. Truths about her mother and grandmother that have ricocheted across four generations and are igniting again the passionate conflicts of her youth, bringing her back into contact with Rory O’Donovan, Dan’s great-nephew.

As Jo negotiates a shifting landscape of love, loss and revenge, she begins to question everything she thought she knew about her family – and her own choices.


Where are You? A New Poem

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

irish poetry


Where are you? The splendour of creation awaits.

Beauty veiled, she dallies, playing with the wings

of birds passing, swaying her hips with the wind,

wanting to dance, to bring you music from planets



and clouds. Call her by right name, hear her answer.

Male or female, she is yours. She lingers, singing

and playing, holding out a braceletted hand, all tinkle

and glint. She wants to roll ecstasy over and


under your skin, swirl bubblings into your blood, breathe

you away through the waves of the ages. You can stay

where you are (where are you?) and just listen. No,

don’t even listen, just be quiet. Unmask, that is all,


and she will offer herself, unasked and unasking. No demands 

from her, ever, no pleas, no appealing: where are you?