Lady Death Screenings

Lady Death was screened at the Belfast Film Festival. Thanks so much to all who came along! We had a blast. For me, it was great to see it on the big screen for the first time. Months of late nights, constant emails (the occasional curveball) and endless cups of tea have paid off.

NEXT SCREENING: Lady Death will be next screened at Glór, Co. Clare on the 25th of April. If you happen to be hanging around the West of Ireland, please go and check it out. I, Daniel Blake is on directly after, so it’s definitely value for money! To book ticks visit the Glór website. 

Go read a children’s book!

A monster calls blog postI recently went to see A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Being one of my favourite novels, I was incredibly excited to see this adaptation on screen. I wasn’t disappointed; this film was brilliantly written, directed and produced, with some fabulous performances that brought the characters to life. I was eager to read the reviews after I had seen it (I’m aware it’s been released for some time, but I do lock myself in a work-bubble), and I was surprised to see that some reviewers were unsure of who the film was aimed at, with some even saying it wasn’t a film for children. I can understand parents’ concern; the subject matter of a child coming to terms with his mother’s terminal illness is most certainly not one to be taken lightly. Also, the Monster is a scary beast, who at times, approaches Conor in a quasi-King Kong, crazy-eyed, and generally terrifying way.

Continue reading

New article available online!

20131206_IntoFilm_Logo_grad_CY

I wrote an article for Into Film, encouraging young people to get into screenwriting.  You can check it out here. So if you know, or have, any young eager minds out there who want to write the next big movie, then tell them to check this out! I would also recommend exploring the Into Film website. It’s bursting with loads of helpful hints and tips on becoming a filmmaker, with plenty of competitions and opportunities too. I was delighted they asked me to write this article, because they’re in my opinion, one of the best organisations out there! Have fun kids, go make some films.

 

 

North West Words

2017-january-poster

I am very lucky to be taking part in this event. North West Words do an amazing job of promoting  arts in the North West of Ireland, so I’m very excited to meet everyone involved. If you’re in Donegal and  fancy some cake (and a story or two) come along! It’s going to be held in Café Florence, Letterkenny, Thursday 26th January at 8pm.

 

2016 round up!

Apologies for my long absence from the world of the internet. I had a busy couple of months, so I’m hoping you will forgive me. Here’s a roundup of all things writing:

The Belfast Comedy Writers Showcase

15250954_1645508639080640_8540100878222478149_o

I had a fantastic time at the Comedy Writers Showcase in November! Massive well done to all the actors involved. A special thank you to Grand Scheme Media and Belfast Comedy Writers for making it all possible. The full version was then read at the Garrick bar, shortly after. I was (and still am) very grateful for the support I was given. Nothing like a good laugh to finish off 2016 (which, to be honest, was needed).

Oxfam Write to Refuge

 

img_3938

I was delighted to be asked to be apart of the Oxfam Write to Refuge event. It’s really a very important cause, with it encouraging increased awareness of the refugee crisis. We were given a photo and were asked to write a short story inspired by it. My story was called, “The King and his Two Daughters”, and you can listen to the event reading by clicking here.

How do you work here?

I knew this day would come. Three Bags of Sugar was going so well.

Then the Spam-bots came.

Just incase you are unaware of the term, “Spam-bots”, they are little troublesome online creatures that comment on blogs. These Spam-bots  are not human, but were created by them. Spam Bots are designed  to leave comments on blogs, hoping that unsuspecting human readers would click on links included with their comments, leading them to advertisements and other such boring stuff.

You haven’t seen them, but I’ve been getting endless emails from these Spam-bots, commenting on my blog. At first, I was annoyed. Now they are an endless source of entertainment.

It all started with the comment, “How do you work here?”

(so I thought about it)

I usually use WordPress to work here. So thanks for asking, Spam-bot.

After this, I decided to make note of all the Spam-bot comments and respond to each personally. They are listed and answered below:

“I made a fool of myself.”

Sorry to hear that, Spam-bot.

“You have a good sense of humour.”

Oh Spam-bot, you charmer.

“I let myself become a fool.”

Quite poetic and sad there,  Spam-bot.

“You’re so cute.”

Spam-bot, stop it, you’ll make me blush!

And finally, “I have no idea what you have said.”

Hardly anybody understands a thing I say, Spam-bot, so you’re not alone there.

That’s it so far. I’m sure there’s more to come from my Spam-bot friends, so I’m tempted to make this a regular feature. In the meantime, I’ll make a cup of tea and wait for those little online creatures to comment again. You guys are free to comment too, I’ll make sure to answer in equally as sarcastic a tone.

Until Friday!

K

 

Flash Fiction Friday

Taylor

I am a Labrador Retriever. I am ten years old and walk with a limp. I can’t remember what happened, but I now trail my back leg slightly. I am not agile. I can never be discreet. I drag my leg.

I see spots in my eyes now. It sometimes annoys me but I’m used to it. I can smell her anyway. She has a scent like wildflowers and toasted bread. She’s always warm and she speaks to me. Sometimes she speaks to only me. I understand most of what she says, but some words stand out better than others. Words like, “Dinner”, “Toilet” and “Walk”. They are my three favourite words. And “Biscuit”.

Sometimes when she’s not looking I steal biscuits.

Things are confusing me slightly. I’ll ask her to let me outside and then I’ll forget why. She’s patient though, she always listens. She knows to give me time. I find it hard to fit on a pet bed so she has given me an old duvet to lie on in her room. It’s the smelliest, greatest duvet in the world. I can sleep there for hours.

I cry when she leaves the house. I think she’s not coming back.

I got stuck in a thorn bush today. I can’t remember how I got there. It was raining heavily. She took the thorns out of my coat with her hands. Afterwards she dried me off with a towel and I got excited,  like I always do. She had scratches on her hands but didn’t notice. She never complained. We then sat in front of the fire and snuggled in. I licked her cuts better, wildflowers and toast filling the air.

***

This is a very special flash fiction piece that I wrote a while ago. It was inspired by my old dog, Taylor. Sadly I had to say goodbye to her  just over a year ago. I wrote this particular story  just after she got stuck in a thorn bush. She depended on my Mum, her best friend, to look after her.  Otherwise she would’ve been stuck in that bush for hours, silly thing. Anyway, that evening Taylor hugged into Mum. That wasn’t anything special – she cuddled into Mum almost every day. Only that evening,  I caught Taylor looking at her as if she was the world. I suppose Mum was the world to Taylor. In fairness, she’s the world to me too. So, I grabbed a pen and paper and started to scribble.  I always love catching little moments like this. It could have been forgotten about. This way, I get to hold onto that moment forever.

Frightening Friday

I had eaten far too many sweets. My haul had been devoured, my Mum’s morning fry unwelcome. I took a glass of water instead.

I hated the day after Hallowe’en. It was like a useless day, one where nobody did anything. I did have one neighbour who always took the decorations down and replaced them with Christmas ones. She was weird. My Mum called her a “rusher”.

Rusher, despite being far too eager, was also a pumpkin dumper. This was a sin that my Dad was guilty of too. They were in cahoots, Rusher and Dad, despite barely talking to each other outside of pumpkin-related matters. Mum once described their relationship as a “marriage of convenience”, seeing as Dad could drive and Rusher knew where best to dump the carcasses. The places she led him to were a haven for badgers who, according to Rusher, would consider their pumpkins a delicious treat.

That morning, Dad came into the kitchen wearing hiking boots and a parka jacket. He had that look on his face, like he was ready for his top-secret mission. He checked his watch far too many times. Then he downed a glass of milk and straightened himself up.

“Right love. I’m away now.”

Mum just smiled and he left. Dad had never told us he was a pumpkin dumper. Mum thought it was because he was afraid to implicate us in his crime. We knew of course, nothing much got past Mum. That and Rusher had no problem telling her what they were up to. Mum never wanted to spoil Dad’s deepest, darkest secret though, so she kept quiet.

Harvey, the dog, wanted to go outside. I was still feeling ill from the sweet binge, so I decided to take him a walk. I waited until I thought Dad was gone before I went outside. I put Harvey on the leash and was about to walk up the street when I saw him, pumpkins in hand, putting them into the boot. Rusher was in the passenger seat and waved.

Dad and I stared at each other for a long time. Caught out, his face began to match the vegetable he was holding. I made the first move.

“Just walking Harvey.”
“Okay.” Dad said.
“Have a nice day.”
“Okay.”
“Bye Dad.”
“Bye.”

I walked on, forcing my head away from the car. Later on that evening, Dad told me his not-so-secret secret.

I promised I wouldn’t tell Mum. Then I went into the kitchen and told her. We laughed and had some toast. Dad joined us. A part of me was delighted I officially knew. Not because I no longer had to pretend, but because it was something we shared together. It was no longer his secret, it was ours. That was going to last much longer than the pumpkins.

Flash Fiction Friday

I’m the winning lotto ticket. The purchaser, the person that owns me, is a top-end business man. He stuck me into the ashtray of his Lexus.

He drove for a while, made a few phone calls, smoked a lot and listened to some jazz. His suits looked expensive, he was the jazz type. His wife wasn’t happy with him, maybe because he had lots of other women. He called them all. His wife told him to stay away that night. So together we drove through the city, the sparkling lights dancing off the windscreen. He pulled into some fancy restaurant and was away for a while, when he came back he smelt of onion, wine and cigarettes. A homeless man knocked on my owner’s car window. He was carrying a three-legged rabbit. The man ignored him and drove away.

We spent the next day together. He attended meetings, met some of his women, gave them money, then took his daughter out for lunch. He gave her a lift home and handed her more money. She didn’t say thanks. She just said she’d see him later.

That evening he sat in his car and listened to the news. After that, the result was in and he looked at me, the winning ticket. He said nothing. Didn’t even smile. He just drove.

Then he pulled in and had dinner in that same restaurant, emerging a few hours later. He smelt the same. Only this time he lingered there, parked by the restaurant. He was taking stock of the situation. Thinking about things.

Then the homeless man and his three legged-rabbit knocked again. The businessman fired the engine but didn’t move. The man in the suit stared at the man with none, and slowly rolled down the window of his Lexus.

We’re the same, you and I.

He handed me out the window then. I watched him drive away, towards the city lights.