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The Write Life

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The Value of Reading

When my son was at primary school he was told he had to...

The Write Life Turned Upside Down

I was waiting in the doctor’s office to be seen and I had...

Mission Creep

As a response to the Coronavirus (but not necessarily a wise...

Spring

Hope for me, I hope for you we’re snowdrops/falling...

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The Third Grade Set This Whole Thing Up

Third grade is weird. It just… is. Kids aren’t quite “little” but they are far from “big”. It is the introduction to those...

Where Have All the Orange Groves Gone?

Where have all the flowers gone, Long time passing,Where have all the flowers gone,Long time ago,

As I Walked Around Slad, One Midsummer Morning

Laurence Edward Alan Lee (MBE) was the first writer to touch my soul, so last summer I decided to pay a visit to the...

Keeper of gunpowder

My surname is Prokhovnik. It’s my father’s name. When I was a child people would say, ‘I’m not going to even try...

The Writing Life

There were three events in my early writing life, the point at which I’d begun sending out work for possible publication, that almost put...

Dickens, Iannucci, and David Copperfield

There’s a robbery in Iannucci’s 2019 adaptation of Dickens’ The Personal History of David Copperfield. It takes only seconds of screen time,...

Motherhood, you wench

I got the cot well before time and prettied it up with lace and ribbons.  It sat centre stage...

In hollowed oak – a short owlish meditation on mothering

Even now, I look for owls every time I pass a hollowed oak, hoping to find one nested in the trunk, or...

Seeing Clearly in Fog

It was October 1976. My mother had flown from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC to help me make the drive from Washington DC to Dallas...

My Mother and Our Animals

Last night, my son-in-law, brother-in-law, and I were telling stories about our past. Though my son-in-law is less than half our age, he knows...

The Look of Her

At my mother’s funeral on the day of a solar eclipse, a close friend said, ‘You were lucky to have such a wise woman...

Getting A Grip

That old knife of my mother’s was like a story. She’d had it for years: donkey’s years. I can’t remember...

Ma

She grew up on the banks of the Grand Canal, where her father was the lock keeper, tending boats that brought cargo down from...

The Write Life – Editorial

Mothering Sunday was traditionally when domestic servants were given the day off to visit their “mother church”, usually...

On Motherhood

For so many of us, mothers come first. They are first to see us draw breath, first to hear us cry. They...

Mam

On the landing of our semi-detached house facing St Anne’s park on the northside of Dublin, we sat down to dinner all that summer....

It’s hard to be a novice in your fifties

At fifty-four, I started a poetry course. A keen reader of poetry and novels, I hadn’t written a poem since secondary school.  A few...

Dust off your quill

When I sit down to write something, fiction or journalism, I begin by dumping every vaguely related thought on to my laptop, before gradually...

I Write for the Girl

I write for the girl with stick-straight brown hair that refuses to hold a curl, who despises being short and grinds...

Losing The Plot

One day, the amazing tutor in my creative writing group asked us to sketch out a plot for something we wanted to write.  My...