Quotes on Writing, Quotes on Living

Tom Sigafoos

Each morning I read the latest postings from The Writer’s Almanac, Delancey Place, and Word-a-Day. From those sources, and a few others, I’ve collected two kinds of quotations that have caught my eye:

  • Quotes on writing, primarily from writers – observations and advice on how to use language to spin stories, conjure memories, and reconstruct vivid experiences.
  • Epigrams, aphorisms, and observations about this endlessly-challenging business of living.

aa-author-photo-cropped-2Last year I launched www.tomsigafoos.com, hoping to attract a community of like-minded writers and readers. At the core of the website, I’ve posted quotations. In 2016, most of my posts were about writing. In 2017, in a world that seems to be losing its sense of decency and compassion, I’m going to post other quotes as well.

I hope that you enjoy the quotations and ideas. Please consider following my blog, re-blogging the quotes, and sharing them on Facebook or re-tweeting them on Twitter…

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My Friend Andy McLaren

A moving tribute from Tom Sigafoos to his friend Andy – Ní beidh a leithéid ann arís.

Tom Sigafoos

andy collageAndy McLaren died last Sunday, 2 July 2017. He and I had met for breakfast at Linda’s Diner nearly every week for fourteen years.

Andy loved reading, especially the big novels by Wilbur Smith. He read early drafts of my work and gave me solid, nuts-and-bolts feedback. The Cursing Stone will be dedicated to him.

A few years ago when he was recuperating from open-heart surgery, Andy said that he’d always hoped to see the herds of wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti plains. I’d like to think that he’s there now, as the trek goes on.

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What do “The Song of Wandering Aengus” and “The Twilight Saga” have in common?

FULL To go on a cancellation waiting list, please email me   Writing Workshop: Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth: Saturday, August 19, 11 am – 5 pm. Star of the Sea, Mullaghmore, Co Sligo. Places limited to 12, early booking advised. Cost: €75 / €65 if received by August 12.  For more info go to monicacorish.ie/workshops

Yeats’ poem and Stephanie Meyer’s’s novels were both inspired by myth and legend, fable and fairytale – by the collective dreams that have helped humanity come to terms with an unpredictable world since the beginning of human time.

The list of writers inspired by myth goes on and on: Margaret Atwood in “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Carol Ann Duffy in “The World’s Wife”; Philip Pullman in “His Dark Materials”; WH Auden in “Museé des Beaux Arts”; JK Rowling in the Harry Potter stories; William Allingham in “The Fairies”; Salley Vickers in “Miss Garnett’s Angel”…

Perhaps you think that you don’t know enough about myth to participate in this workshop? You do – from school, from home, from pop culture, we all grow up learning ancient and fabulous tales. Some, such as Queen Maeve and the Táin, were written down; others – of fairy rings and púcas, selkies and changelings – were handed down at bedtime from grandparent to child; and others are alive and buzzing in our minds from watching last night’s television.

In this writing workshop we will read extracts from myth-inspired writing, and craft our own versions of the myths that engage us. You don’t need to do any preparation– just come along with your pen and notebook, and a willingness to be surprised at your own imagination and inventiveness. The workshop will be led by Monica Corish, an inspiring and encouraging Amherst Method certified writing group leader, and an award-winning writer of poetry, short stories and memoir.

Fighting Words – A Great Opportunity for North West Ireland

Tom Sigafoos

Sean Love, Executive Director of Fighting Words, Tom Sigafoos, and Conor Carney, Principal, Holy Family NS, 12 June 2017

A version of this article appeared in the Donegal Post on Wednesday 21 June 2017. (Photo: Seán Love, Executive Director of Fighting Words; Tom Sigafoos; and Conor Carney, Principal, Holy Family National School, Ballyshannon)

“It seemed daft, in a country that prides itself in being a land of writers, that so little time was dedicated to creative writing.”

At a June12 meeting in Ballyshannon’s Holy Family National School, Seán Love, Executive Director of Fighting Words, described how he and Co-Founder Roddy Doyle sensed a great opportunity in 2009 to launch a creative writing programme that is branching into every corner of Ireland. “Regional programmes are now springing up,” Love added, “in communities of all sizes and descriptions – Glencree in Wicklow, Castlebar in Mayo, Clarenbridge in Galway, not to mention Belfast and Cork. It’s great to see the interest that’s sparking in Ballyshannon.”

Speaking to a group of…

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Readings by Noel King from his new book The Key Signature & Other Stories

The nineteen stories in this book concern the trials of modern man in an Ireland of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.  Each first-person narrator is grappling with something: host family father falling in love with the au pair, cross-dressing husband unleashing his grief and his vices after the funeral of his beloved wife, Men’s Shed participant falling in love with another male attendee. The Key Signature is a superb debut collection of stories from a fine poet and actor.

Noel King was born and lives in Tralee, County Kerry. His poetry collections are published by Salmon: Prophesying the Past (2010), The Stern Wave (2013) and Sons (2015). He has edited more than fifty books of work by others (Doghouse Books, 2004-2013) and was poetry editor of Revival Literary Journal (Limerick Writers’ Centre) in 2012/13. He also enjoys acting and singing in amateur plays and musical theatre, and in the odd film. He was once a Bunratty Castle entertainer. The Key Signature & Other Stories is his debut collection of fiction.

Come and see Noel read from The Key Signature at one of these venues

Monday 5 June – Launch of The Key Signature & Others Stories (Liberties Press) – Siamsa Tire Theatre & Arts Centre, Town Park, Tralee. 6pm

Tuesday 6 June – On the Nail, Shannon Rowing Club, Sarsfield Bridge, Limerick hosted by Limerick Writers’ Centre. 8pm

Wednesday 7 June – Seanchai Centre, Listowel. 7.30pm

Thursday 8 June – Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway. 6.30pm

Friday 9 June – The White House Bar, Fermoy, County Cork.

Saturday 10 June – Four ‘pop-up’ readings with Mae Leonard in Naas, County Kildare: McAuley Place, 2pm; Naas Library, 2.30pm; The Moat Club Cafe , 3pm; Swan’s on the Green, 4pm

Sunday 11 June – National Concert Hall, ‘The Sprit of Kerry’ night

Wednesday 14 June – David Butler’s Serrocco series reading in Baggot Street, Dublin.

Thursday 15 June – Cork city, hosted by Matthew Moynihan

Friday 16 June – Louis Mulcahy Pottery, Ballyferriter, County Kerry

Noel King

Yeats Day Book Launch by Paula Lahiff; and Stoneywoods Festival Update

The launch of From India to Ithaca, a new collection of poetry by Paula Lahiff, will be held in the Yeats Memorial Building, Sligo on Yeats’s birthday — Tuesday, 13 June at 1:00 pm. Damien Brennan will launch Paula’s collection.

Sinead Morrisey at Stoneywoods Festival – start time 5.50 pm, entry fee €5.

Join poets Sinead Morrissey, Monica Corish and Teresa Lally for a summer feast of poetry in the community centre in the heart of Kiltyclogher! If you wish to reserve a place in advance, contact Alison: 083-1755723. Tickets: €5 at the door – proceeds to charity. Cash only, please! www.facebook.com/events/682393661931626/

Poetry and Myth Workshop Postponed

The “Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth” writing workshop, which was due to take place as part of the Stoneywoods festival, has been postponed. Future venue and date TBC