Thursday, July 30, 2009

One More Day . . .

*touch wood* that i'm not tempting Fate, but i sent the final version of my thesis at 5.30pm today to the binders.

Hopefully a meteroite won't strike the binding shop.

This time tomorrow i hope to be thesis-free!

Peace out!

Monday, July 27, 2009

For all parents who are writers

This a shout out for Kerrie McLoughlin, who has written a 400-page e-book kit which contains information for over 200 regional parenting publications in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Jennifer Gregory of Raleigh, NC said this before she had even used the e-book: “This is very complete and will save a TON of time. The listings for the publications are very comprehensive and save so much time looking up the writers guidelines. I also really like the spreadsheet and how you note things like no reprints and exclusive. This will be great as a quick reference.”

“Get Published in Regional Parenting Magazines” in e-book format is now available at for $20.

Monday, July 20, 2009

RIP Frank McCourt

Just a small note in remembrance of Frank McCourt, the beloved raconteur and former public school teacher who enjoyed post-retirement fame as the author of "Angela's Ashes," the Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of woe about his impoverished Irish childhood, died Sunday of cancer at age 78.

"Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood," was McCourt's unforgettable opening.

McCourt will be cremated, his brother said. A memorial service is planned for September.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Signing off for now . . .

Thesis is due in the 31st of July, hope to have it boundworthy by 29th.

So am signing off from the Blogosphere.

See you on the 1st of August (hopefully with one hell of a hangover ;) )

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bogus agents

Just a little note.

Anne R Allen has an excellent post on 6 things to watch out for in regards to scams and literary agents. Essential reading to anyone looking for representation!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Statistics KILL

Wait ok maybe its smoking that kills but statistics can drive a perfectly sane person fecking crazy (like crazy-cat-lady crazy) !!!!

multiple regression, aw you truly are the bane of my existence!

23 days to go . . .

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Bernard Response to REJECTION

"Thank you for returning my manuscript, ... I can only assume that it is company policy to reject all manuscripts not submitted in ten foot high braille."


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Calling all Writers

My good friend Amanda, wants your opinion about a new challenge she would like to start! Essentially an online circle of writers, with a weekly writing challenge, inspired by a musical song instead of the usual writing prompts!

Pop on over to her blog if your interested! I know i am! :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Book Bundle Competition Give-away

The Book Bundle, a Book review blog i contribute to is having a competition.

All you have to do is drop over to THIS post and leave a comment!

The Prize is a personally addressed signed copy of Crossed Wires, Rosy Thorntons most recent book!!

This competition is open to everyone everywhere. So drop by and leave a comment :)

Post - Thesis Goals.

So, i've decided to write these up here in the 'public domain' so i will stick to my guns and not be pressured immediately to try and find a job that i don't want.

So once my thesis is finished, and i've had a month to recover and resusitate etc. I'm going to look into the publishing/media industry (bad time i know). I never took a 'gap' year or anytime off to 'find myself' or discover what i really wanted to do. I loved my undergraduate degree but i guess i'm at an impasse about what to do. So, my plan is to contact the following and ask for two weeks work experience. This way, i'm hoping i can find something i really like and work in that area.

#1: Local regional newspaper - newspaper journalism

#2: Local irish magazine - magazine journalism

#3: Contact irish literary agents (there are 5 in the whole country lol): (probably won't happen)

#4: Contact Irish or irish branches of publishing houses: editing, publicity etc.

#5: Booksellers: publicity element, buying and selling etc.

My hope is to find out if i enjoy working in any of these areas - its a win-win. if i don't like it, then i can cross these off my list, if i do - well begging and england here i come, me thinks!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Genre: Now What is Magic Realism?

Now i thought i had a handle on Slipstream/New Wave Fabulism. Recently though i wandered into a Waterstones in dublin and came across the category 'Magic Realism'. Now i've heard of this genre type before, but when i looked at the books in the section, such as the dream eaters and the princess bride, i got more confused. Both would be considered slipstream?!?! Wouldn't they?

So now i'm going to 'try' and tackle 'magic realism'

While looking up this genre, i came across the Encyclopedia of SF and this is what they stated:

Magic realism (or magical realism) is an artistic genre in which magical elements appear in an otherwise realistic setting. As used today the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous. The term was initially used by German art critic Franz Roh to describe painting which demonstrated an altered reality, but was later used by Venezuelan Arturo Uslar-Pietri to describe the work of certain Latin American writers. The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier (a friend of Uslar-Pietri) used the term "lo real maravilloso" (roughly "marvelous reality") in the prologue to his novel The Kingdom of this World (1949). Carpentier's conception was of a kind of heightened reality in which elements of the miraculous could appear without seeming forced and unnatural. Carpentier's work was a key influence on the writers of the Latin American "boom" that emerged in the 1960s.
With the elements of Magic Realism being:

  • Contains fantastical elements
  • The fantastic elements may be intrinsically plausible but are never explained
  • Characters accept rather than question the logic of the magical element
  • Exhibits a richness of sensory details
  • Uses symbols and imagery extensively.
  • Emotions and the sexuality of the human as a social construct are often developed in great detail
  • Distorts time so that it is cyclical or so that it appears absent. Another technique is to collapse time in order to create a setting in which the present repeats or resembles the past
  • Inverts cause and effect, for instance a character may suffer before a tragedy occurs
  • Incorporates legend or folklore
  • Presents events from multiple standpoints - ie. alternates detached with involved narrative voice; likewise, often shifts between characters' viewpoints and internal narration on shared relationships or memories.
  • Mirrors past against present; astral against physical planes; or characters one against another.
  • Open-ended conclusion leaves to the reader to determine whether the magical and/or the mundane rendering of the plot is more truthful or in accord with the world as it is.
Also reading this article, a number of the books mentioned in my previous post about slipstream are included under the genre of Magic Realism e.g. One Hundred years of solitude. The article does highlight however that the genre has recently been too broadly used to describe Harry Potter and the Stepford Wives.

Now i'm completely confused.

I'm hoping this might clear things up slightly though.

Magical realism often overlaps or is confused with other genres and movements.
  • Postmodernism – Magical realism is often considered a subcategory of postmodern fiction due to its challenge to hegemony and its use of techniques similar to those of other postmodernist texts, such as the distortion of time.
  • Surrealism – Many early magical realists such as Alejo Carpentier and Miguel Ángel Asturias studied with the surrealists, and surrealism, as an international movement, influenced many aspects of Latin American art. Surrealists, however, try to discover and portray that which is above or superior to the “real” through the use of techniques such as automatic writing, hypnosis, and dreaming. Magical realists, on the other hand, portray the real world itself as having marvelous aspects inherent in it.
  • Fantasy and Science fiction – Fantasy and science fiction novels, using strict definitions, portray an alternate universe with its own set of rules and characteristics, however similar this universe is to our world, or experiment with our world by suggesting how a new technology or political system might affect our society. Magical realism, however, portrays the real world minus any definite set of rules. Some critics who define the genres more broadly include magic realism as one of the fantasy genres.
  • Slipstream – Slipstream describes fiction that falls between "mainstream" literature and the fantasy and science fiction genres (the name itself is wordplay on the term "mainstream"). Where science fiction and fantasy novels treat their fantastical elements as being very literal, real elements of their world, slipstream usually explores these elements in a more surreal fashion, and delves more into their satirical or metaphorical importance. Compared to magical realism the fantastical elements of slipstream also tend to be more extravagant, and their existence is usually more jarring to their comparative realities than that which is found in magic realism.
  • McOndo – McOndo is a literary movement favored by several younger Latin American writers. It seeks to distance itself from magic realism and the stereotypes about Latin literature that some McOndo writers argue were perpetuated by magic realists and magic realism.

So - basically the difference is extremely minor between MR and Slipstream - it really is down to a matter of degrees of the 'extravagent fantasy'. Honestly between all the labels/genre names which exist for essential the same body of literature - it makes me wonder why all our little books don't have mutliple personality disorder!?!??!

Authors who have written in the style of magic realism (Encyclopedia source)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Exam Results

Still doing my thesis (and doing it badly and slowly lol) but i got my exam results. Not amazing or anything - high Bs across the board, so i'm happy enough especially considering.
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