Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Sunlight rained down…

A short extract from LeafLight Moon, the novel I’ve just finished writing. If anyone reading this blog knows of an agent who’s looking for a unique and compelling novel :-), here’s the pitch: Sligo, 4000 BC: the world of the hunter-gatherers is threatened to its core by the arrival of Ireland’s first farmers...

Published in Africa Magazine, layout Loretta Brennan.

Documenting 100 Years of History and Heritage in Co Leitrim

Artists Grainne McMenamin and Catherine Bourne are facilitating a series of public drop-in sessions, to document objects & stories from Leitrim at the time of Irish independence. They especially hope to create a fuller picture of women’s lives, so personal/domestic items and crafted/ everyday heirlooms are of great interest, especially if they have a story to tell…  Grainne and Catherine are also available for one-to-one appointments, in person or online, if the library sessions are unsuitable. They can be contacted at

The Cursing Stone, a free serialized novel from Tom Sigafoos

Many people who follow my blog will have met my partner – my beloved, my editor, my co-facilitator – Tom Sigafoos.

In the spirit of Charles Dickens, Margaret Atwood and Stephen King, Tom has serialized his novel “The Cursing Stone” and is making it available online for free – click here to subscribe. Here’s Tom’s message:

I’ve published The Cursing Stone, an Irish historical novel, and I’d like to invite you to read it at no cost.

County Donegal, Ireland, 1884. Your island home is threatened with evictions. How far would you go to stop them?

The fates of two men – Ruari Mullan of Tory Island, and Sub-Lieutenant William Gubby of HMS Wasp – intersect in the disastrous arc of the Irish Land Wars.

If you’ll sign up to my mailing list, I’ll send you The Cursing Stone in weekly instalments. I’ll also send Bonus Materials – photos, maps and unusual background information.

There is no cost to sign up or read the instalments. If you enjoy the novel, I’ll appreciate it if you’ll write a review. That’s the entire proposal – no strings attached.

To subscribe to The Cursing Stone, please follow this link and sign up at If you change your mind, you’ll always have the option to un-subscribe.*

Paperback and ebook versions of The Cursing Stone are also available from Lulu and Amazon.

If you know others who’d enjoy reading a lively historical novel, please forward this invitation to them as well. Questions? Please contact me at

Thanks and best wishes,

Tom Sigafoos

*You’ll receive an email in your primary inbox within an hour of your subscription. Others will follow every 3-4 days. If you don’t see them, please check your alternate email folders, like Social, Promotions and Spam. If you can’t find the emails, please let me know.”

Give the World a Shot

Unicef UK and Crowdfunder is campaigning to fund and deliver Covid-19 vaccines around the world

I’ve just donated to VaccinAid, helping UNICEF deliver 2 billion vaccines in 2021, so the whole world can be safe from COVID-19. Join me and #GiveTheWorldAShot at

Making a donation is good, but it’s nowhere near enough. We also need to TAKE ACTION FOR A PEOPLE’S VACCINE

“Our best chance of ending this pandemic is to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. But pharmaceutical monopolies could leave countries in the global south waiting up to 2023 for widespread vaccination. This threatens everyone as no-one is safe until everyone is safe. People from around the world are calling for a #PeoplesVaccine – freely available to everyone, everywhere.” Join them at

In ár gcroíthe go deo / In our hearts forever: An art project to honour lives lost to Covid-19

A stunning art project, based in Carrick on Suir, described here by Margaret O’Brien, one of my Amherst Method writing colleagues. Heartbreaking and inspiring.

“I don’t know if I can take another Irish funeral,” whispered my English-born and -reared cousin, Nicholas… It was 2005… Now it’s 2020… How are you supposed to deal with the death of someone you love, someone you have cared for, in a time of a global pandemic, a period of national lockdown, with so many restrictions in place that the usual supports are kicked away from underneath you?”

Artist Tony Oakey, right, holding the original legacy art piece, with the late Mary Wells’ daughter Geraldine and family, and niece Martina. Geraldine is holding a copy of the print.

“the border between us”: a creativity up-skilling programme

Excellent opportunity for anyone in the Leitrim / Fermanagh region who wants to learn the skills of visual storytelling, while exploring the political, personal, real, imagined and socially-distanced borders that impact on our lives.

This 12 week series of free, online workshops is hosted by the Glens Centre/Across the Lines, and facilitated by writer Monica Corish and visual artist Rachel Webb. Full details, including how to book, at


Image Credit

“The Air is Alive with Fear and Care” @AllinghamArts #CreativityAgainstCorona

The Air is Alive with Fear and Careriver and tree

When people greet in South Sudan, they hold hands for many minutes – half an hour if the warmth is strong, the bond of kin or friendship. How is your mother? Your aunt? Your son? And your herd of cattle – thriving? Did the speckled cow survive the difficult birth?

Now the air crackles between us, friend or stranger, in every nation. Two metres. Six feet, the length and depth of a coffin. I walk a narrow path in the woods, meet a man with an unleashed terrier. Will he step to his side, mirror my care? He does.

We smile, we breathe a sigh. The air is alive with fear and care.

On the lake the Swans continue their slow courtship. I am learning the songs of the residents – Blackbird, Robin, Song Thrush, Wren – while they have the forest to themselves.

The evenings are longer by the day. There is no call to quarantine the birds. Larks exhilarate, Starlings murmurate, dark swirls against a clouded sky.

Soon the explorers will arrive from Africa – Cuckoo and Swallow, the creaking Corncrake, not yet extinct. Our small island will levitate with their cacophony, their mating joy. They will tell again their noisy stories, how they navigate by star maps and the magnets in their eyes.

Leave us our green walks, I pray.

O makers of the rules of wise restraint, let me be close to the wisdom of Hazel, let me watch her leaves unfurl out of the cell of winter.

I can do this, I tell myself. Cocoon. Lock-down. Self-isolate.

And if they say I cannot walk between the trees, there is still my garden, small and unruly, in need of love.

I can do this, however long it takes.

If every day I can rinse my heart clean of fear. If I can fill my lungs with God’s green air.

ghamArts #CreativityAgainstCorona