Free Virtual Allingham Concert – Thursday 16 July, 9:00 pm

Tom Sigafoos

Allingham Festival organisers, in association with Ballyshannon’s Abbey Arts Centre, will broadcast a Virtual Allingham Concert on Thursday, 16 July.

Featuring new contributors and favourite performers from past Allingham Festivals, the Virtual Concert will be live-streamed at 9:00 pm on Thursday evening on the Allingham Facebook channel and on YouTube.

Contributors will include:

  • Musicians Marie Askin, Grainne McMenamin and Eamon Travers, Shauna Mullin and Damien McGeehan

  • Poets Monica Corish, Colm Keegan, John O’Donnell and Chris Sparks

  • Popular Sunday Miscellany contributor Olive Travers

  • “A Little Touch of Magic,” a new film by Emer O’Shea

  • Scenes from “Much Ado About Nothing” by Sean Donegan and the Ballyshannon Summer Shakespeare Group

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Episode 4: Lunasa

Lugh – Brian Froud – cropTune in to the Glens Centre YouTube channel on Friday, June 26  at 8 PM, to hear poems, stories and songs inspired by Lunasa. The cycle of the year that began with the dark of Samhain is crowned by the brightness of Lugh, and by the harvest festival held in his name. As part of our Lunasa workshop we visited the Shannon Pot and the Cavan Burren, an extraordinary landscape of weathered limestone and megalithic monuments crafted by Ireland’s first farmers.

This episode will feature writing from Tom Sigafoos, Paula Lahiff, Shane Leavy, Dermot Lahiff and Monica Corish; and singing from Tara Baoth Mooney and Maggie Kilcoyne. This event is a fundraiser for North West STOP Suicide Prevention, which provides counselling support for people at risk of suicide. Donations can be made through their website, or through Facebook.

Image credit: Lugh, Brian Froud

Writing prompt for the Crossing Borders Open-Mic: Interiors and Edges

The endlessly inventive and productive people at Across the Lines (IFI) / Open Mic Manor / The Thing Itself are inviting video or audio contributions for their next Crossing Borders Open Mic Online (IFI). The theme for this event is “Way-points and Markers” – the places, journeys and signposts that have marked our individual and collective transitions over the last three months.  They invited me to come up with a prompt to spark contributions. Here it is:

Hestia is the Greek goddess of interiors, of contemplative time and space. She is the hearth-fire that makes a house into a home.

Hermes is the trickster god of travel, trade, computers, protector of doorways and boundaries, the messenger and mover, the communicator.

In her books “Goddesses in Everywoman” and “Gods in Everyman”, Jean Shinoda Bolen tells how these two very different archetypes  are related. In Greek households the “herm” – a pillar symbolizing Hermes – stood just outside the front door, in a distinct but intimate connection with Hestia’s hearth-fire at the centre .

I invite you to see in your mind’s eye a place that represents the containment of “lockdown”; and a place that represents the process of “unlocking”. These places may be in the geography of your home, your county, your country, the world; or virtual places; or the space inside the arms of someone you love – a hug you are grateful to have received during lockdown, or a hug you are still yearning towards.

Whatever spaces come to you, feel them through your senses, through smell, and sight and touch and sound. And then write about these two spaces, placing them in relationship each with the other.

Image by Varun Kulkarni from Pixabay crop

Photo credits:

 

Episode 2: Imbolc

snowdrops and snowTune in to the Glens Centre YouTube channel on Friday, June 12 at 8 PM, to hear poems, stories and songs inspired by Imbolc, by Spring, and by Brigid, Goddess and Saint. This episode will feature writing from:

  • Monica Corish,
  • Shane Leavy,
  • Dermot Lahiff,
  • Paula Lahiff,
  • Tara Baoth Mooney,
  • Margaret Timoney
  • Tom Sigafoos.

This event is a fundraiser for North West STOP Suicide Prevention, which provides counselling support for people at risk of suicide. Donations can be made through their website, or through Facebook.

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon, June 2

This will be my last Writing Prompt from the Cocoon for a while – not because I am fully out of lockdown, but because summer is here and it’s time to concentrate on my own writing.

I leave you with another ekphrasticprompt, from this excellent Facebook page where members recreate famous works of art – in this case Кира Викторовна’s recreation of Salvador Dali’s 1925 work, “Girl at the Window“. You might write in response to either one of the images, or you might decide to place them in dialogue with each other.

Girl at the Window, after Dali

Two sources of prompts to keep you going over the summer:

  • Every week O Bhéal post a new five word poetry competition
  • The Poets and Writers website posts “a poetry prompt on Tuesdays, a fiction prompt on Wednesdays, and a creative nonfiction prompt on Thursdays”

Happy writing – stay well, stay safe, stay creative – Monica

Poetry and Story inspired by Landscape and Myth – Glens Centre YouTube channel

100474907_2343722685730463_2436211952595238912_n Tune in to the Glens Centre YouTube channel on Friday, June 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 8 PM, to hear poems, stories and songs inspired by the myths and legends, landscapes and festivals of the North West. Featuring work from:

  • Monica Corish,
  • Shane Leavy,
  • Dermot Lahiff,
  • Paula Lahiff,
  • Maggie Kilcoyne,
  • Tara Baoth Mooney,
  • Margaret Timoney
  • Tom Sigafoos.

You can hear more about these broadcasts in Brendan Murray’s interview with Monica Corish on Ocean FM’s Arts North West, on Thursday, June 4 at 9:30 PM (repeat Sunday, June 7 at 8 PM).

This event is a fundraiser for North West STOP Suicide Prevention, which provides counselling support for people at risk of suicide. Donations can be made through their website, or through Facebook.

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon, May 25

9360262_origA writing prompt to keep you going for a few weeks: Write a short story. How? There is plenty of advice on the Internet, some excellent, some less so. I chose the following from The Write Practice for one piece of advice that resonated: “Write your story in a single setting”.

Here’s an abbreviated list of their suggestions:

  1. Read short stories…
  2. Write your story in a single sitting…  Everyone hates being interrupted when they’re telling a story. Use that to your advantage and don’t stop writing until you’ve finished…
  3. Read your draft… without changing anything. This will give you a sense of what work it needs…
  4. Write a premise… Get your head around the main idea behind your story by summarising your story in a one sentence premise. Your premise should contain three things: a character, a goal, and a situation.
  5. Write, edit, write, and edit. Good writing is rewriting. Use your second draft to fill in the plot holes and cut out the extraneous scenes and characters you discovered when you read the first draft in step #2. Then, polish up your final draft on the next round of edits.
  6. Submit!

 

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon, May 19

image from the new art of memory

Write a flash memoir. Start from the memory of a sound, a smell, a taste, a touch. Set yourself a 500-word limit – for me this is the equivalent of two handwritten A4 pages.
Before you begin consider the following advice from True Stories Well Told.
Flash Memoir tends to be:
  • Free of preambles—They start at the flashpoint—the moment when conflict ignites tangible action that drives the story forward.
  • Scene-based—They frequently take place in one run of time, without jumping around.
  • Observant—They tend to feature not the “I” but the “eye.”
  • Insightful—Like a flashlight illuminating a dark corner, they explore something that provoked an insight.
  • Specific—They stick with concrete, observable events and actions rather than abstract concepts.
  • True—As a subgenre of creative nonfiction, Flash Memoir must uphold the nonfiction contract that what is reported actually happened.
More advice from The Writer Mag :
  • At its most basic, a micro-memoir is written in sentences, drawn from personal experience, and strives to create a world in as few words as possible.
  • A true hybrid, the micro-memoir strives to combine the extreme abbreviation of poetry, the narrative tension of fiction, and the truth-telling of creative nonfiction…
  • What they’re not: fragments. Micro-memoirs aren’t slivers of a bigger creation. They’re designed to stand alone…
  • Forget about the big memories, like meeting your beloved or witnessing a tragedy.
  • Consider memories that you retain without understanding why.
And here are links to places where you might publish your flash memoir:

 

Image from page 80 of “The new art of memory, founded upon the principles taught by M. Gregor von Feinaigle: and applied to chronology, history, geography, languages, systematic tables, poetry, prose, and arithmetic.”

Image from page 80 of "The new art of memory, founded upon the principles taught by M. Gregor von Feinaigle: and applied to chronology, history, geography, languages, systematic tables, poetry, prose, and arithmetic. To which is added, some account of the