Saturday, July 10th, 2010
Just call me Missus Blogs! There’s the Go Creative! Blog, the one on successful self-publishing and the original (here below), my personal blog.
I post here once weekly, usually on Sunday, writing about my books and my own reading life, and whatever topic is uppermost in my mind at the moment — as well as offering first glimpses of new stories and poems.
Here is also where I post advance copies, free giveaways, signed books.
In summary, this is where I generally hang out and say thank you, kind reader, for reading.
Comments are welcome, indeed appreciated, in theGUESTBOOK.
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
Here’s a sneak peak of the book I’m working on now, The Pilgrim Soul. It’s the first in a trilogy about love and loss, based around the lives of the poet, WB Yeats, and the mother and daughter he loved, Maud and Iseult Gonne.
The time is Christmas Day, 1893 and WB, or Willie as his family like to call him, is at Christmas lunch with them. In his late twenties, he is still living at home but beginning to make a name for himself as a poet of Ireland, a mystic whose childhood days in his mother’s home county of Sligo inspire lyrical celebrations of mountain and cloud, lake and moon, wind and stars.
Below the extract is one of my favourites of his poems from those early years, for its dreamy imagery and what it tells us about his attachment to sorrow. Were alienation and separation ever more lyrically expressed?
It began harmless enough, with Papa starting a Christmas speech on the state of the family, of how Jack was soon to marry and become a substantial man, with a cheerful kind-hearted wife and an open-handed welcome for his friends. This was a less-than-subtle hint towards what they all know, that Jack’s fiancée is tying up her money so Papa won’t be able to get his hands on any of it.
Papa’s self-serving cheerfulness was already wilting Willie’s spirits, even before he turned his glass on him. “And Willie will be famous and shed a bright light on us all, with sometimes a little money and sometimes not.” Papa drank, deeply and with significance, then sat, signifying the end of the toast. Lolly’s face reddened and his other sister, Lily, reached over to pat her hand, a gesture that only doubled Lolly’s fury. Papa noticed then and hastily stood back up. “And Lolly will have a prosperous school and give away as prizes her eminent brother’s volumes of poetry.” This, naturally, only enraged her the more. At that moment, Maria arrived in and plunked the plate of potatoes on the table.When he reached for one with his fork, his belligerent sister turned her wrath upon him: “You might wait for grace, Willie. You might
Read the whole post »
Sunday, April 28th, 2013
Allow Adversity To Deliver You Into The Present Moment
This post offers an answer to that question. I call it Creative Acceptance and it works better for me when adversity strikes than any of the coping strategies outlined last time.
The idea is simple. Instead of resisting and railing against adversity, we allow it to deliver us into the present moment by completely accepting what is happening.
We don’t need to accept the whole situation, all that caused it (past) and all its outcomes (future), just the tiny sliver of it that is (now). This creates a gap in the stream of thought and also in the stream of time.
Nothing truly creative comes into this world except through that gap.
Use Adversity To Delve Deeper Into Now
Any disaster or misfortune can be used in this way. My experience is that when I Read the whole post »
Sunday, April 14th, 2013
The pier where my poor arm perished in January, setting off a string of misfortunate events.
THIS WEEK ON THE BLOGS:
On the Go Creative! Blog:
On The Self-Publishing Advice Blog:
I’m writing this from under the desk. It’s scary out there.
Since the end of January, I feel like I’ve taken up residence in Lemony Land, named after the children’s book series where Mr Lemony Snicket recounts a melancholy litany of events that befall the Baudelaire children.
My own series of misfortunate events started with Read the whole post »
Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Biddy’s man, Mick, is home early,
She heard him fall in. Now he’s
lying, face down, in the hall. On
she sits, in her room made for sitting,
fingers wrapped round the remote.
Bid long ago quit getting Michael
back onto his feet.
While they’re playing the ads,
she untwists the cap for one
last little splash of wine.
Usually no more than a glass,
but tonight a small third –
for the evening that’s in it.
This is the year of The Gathering.
Come visit us, please. The Irish need
bucks. Give us your poor huddled masses
of cares — for a week; better, two — and
let us show you how to hightail
them. We have a word for our way,
we call it the cr –
Enough, thinks Bid. In English,
that word sounds a lot
like the noise a thing makes
as it breaks. But she’s not
getting caught in all that.
Try the news. All about the new Read the whole post »
Sunday, March 10th, 2013
It’s Mothering Sunday in the UK, the fourth Sunday in Lent. On this side of the Atlantic, the celebration arises out of a Christian tradition. This is the day each year, Laetare Sunday, when people used to return to their “mother church”, the main church or cathedral in their area, for a special service.
To do this was to go “a-mothering” and in those days, servants would be given a day off for the occasion.
Mother’s Day, the celebration honoring Read the whole post »
Sunday, February 24th, 2013
HIlary Mantel: “We don’t cut off the heads of royal ladies these days, but we do sacrifice them.”
I broke my arm on holiday — and lots of other personals have taken over time during the past weeks — including a burglar who made off with my computer and work I hadn’t backed up.
So I’m just tuning in today to explain that I’m on an enforced go slow, which is why you haven’t received an update in a while.
I can type only with one hand which, after a short time, creates pain in the broken arm. As recovery is likely to take a while – the break is in an awkward place and can’t be plaster-cast – this piece is being written with voice recognition software.
And I’m looking into making more podcasts for the blog, something I’ve intended to do for ages anyway.
Such transformed work practices, I’m hoping, might be the silver lining of the pain and inconvenience.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you Hilary Mantel’s controversial article in the Read the whole post »
Sunday, February 3rd, 2013
Sculpture of the hand of Kevin and The Blackbird, an inspiration for BLUE MERCY: Meditation room, Laragh Hermitage
I’ve been doing my last ever read through of BLUE MERCY as I finalise it for the print-on-demand (POD) edition of the book.
While doing so, I’ve been enjoying the reconnection with two of its major inspirations. One was a place — Laragh in County Wicklow, Ireland – and the other a poem: “St Kevin and The Blackbird” by Seamus Heaney.
Whenever I write a novel, I take a writing retreat or two, preferably in one of the book’s settings. While working on BLUE MERCY, I stayed a number of times in Read the whole post »
Sunday, January 6th, 2013
Happy New Year! I wanted to say a huge , huge “Thank You!” if you bought one of my ebooks over the Reading Season (AKA Christmas holidays). You’ve helped to put the three novels into Amazon’s Top 5 in the British and Irish fiction, drama category.
Yes, all three of them!
At the moment, Blue Mercy is at #1, After The Rising is at #4 and Before The Fall at #5
If you haven’t yet read one of the books and you fancy page-turning family stories with a twist of murder mystery, you’ll find them here at Amazon.com (USA) or Amazon.co.uk (UK).
If you’re outside those areas, Amazon is adding new local online stores all the time. Google the search terms /Amazon/ Orna Ross/ & /the name of your country/
Thank you for giving me the best possible start to my 2013.
Monday, December 24th, 2012
I hope you’re enjoying a special and happy time over these days. Here is a seasonal poem for you, based on an old Irish mid-winter blessing, that sends you all good wishes.Thank you, as always, for reading — and wishing you and yours the very best for 2013.
Father, mother, growing child, all blessings on you all,
bless your hearth, and bless your board, and every sturdy wall.
Bless the roof that shelters you, the cribs on which you rest,
bless the holding of your house, yes, all your lintels blessed.
Bless sun-fall on hands and face, brisk air on winter’s day.
bless trees that break the gnaw of wind, that heralded the way.
Bless the fine fields of your place, the hillock and the hedge,
bless holly bush, and laurel, the robin on the sedge. Read the whole post »
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
Available now on Amazon.com
A poem a day is my prescription for a good life. Everyday language is, as Flaubert once said, “a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to — while we long to make music that will melt the stars”. Poetry makes of language that melting kind of music.
This is why reading a poem a day has a transforming effect on our lives. It’s not just that artfully arranged words elevate our existence, fulfilling our neglected need for depth and beauty and grace and meaning. Just as more important is the act of making poetry a priority.
Taking the time to open the head, and heart, and soul space that needs to open if this serious pleasure is to be indulged, giving ourselves that gift.
This act, as much as the words ingested, is vital to how poetry melts, melds and moulds us.
The Christmas season provides the Read the whole post »