The Closet of Savage Mementoes

Head above Water holidays

RialtoHead above Water has had it’s head literally above water on holidays near Venice, a beautiful, surreal, inspiring centre of wonderful renaissance architecture and art. The holiday spirit still lingers, particularly with the school holidays still in full flow, it’s difficult to eek out extended periods of writing or creative time so I look forward to September to really get back into the flow of it all.

Book bounty

In the holidays of course I used the time to revel in reading – more on the specifics later but I really enjoyed Nuala Ni Chonchuirs/Nuala O’ Connor’s The Closet of Savage Mementoes, vivid, touching, engaging and although drawn from real experiences able to spin a universal, beautifully drawn and accessible tale about the different kinds of loving in life, about forgiveness and imperfection. I also had the good fortune to have been completely bound up in A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book, a massive but enthralling and fascinating tome set between the 19th and 20th centuries. What a wealth of knowledge and social history covering the potteries, the economic and political situations, artwork and art movements set alongside the very real and personal unfolding story of several families and in particular that of a children’s writer and her many children and their trajectories. Questions of upbringing, relationships with different children, the place and ambition of women, all this is covered in this breathtaking novel. Now I’ve begun Matt Haig’s heartwarming and comic The Humans and it looks like I’m in for another treat.

A wonderful book that I thoroughly enjoyed recently is Laura Wilkinson’s Public Battles, Private Wars. There’s a chance to grab it for FREE on Kindle (I believe offer ends today July 31, so quick!) I really recommend this and you can hear Laura say more about it here.

On of my favourite bloggers is Karen Rivers whose lovely first book The Tree Tattoo was a great read, again, very insightful, poetic and engaging (she writes mainly now for the Young Adult market.) For me, her blog with her beautiful observations of life always hits the mark like no other. Here is her latest riff on Travel and Reading and the tricky eeking out of writing, putting down those elusive phrases and hoping for the rest.

Irish Blog Awards Longlist for Head Above Water

Speaking of blogging I’m happy to say that Head above Water is longlisted in the Irish Blog Awards along with many deserving writing and creative pals. This blog which aims to support and encourage busy people, and probably in particular writing parents, towards creativity in busy lives has been in existence for just over five years. I hope many of my posts, creative months and links have inspired others and helped you feel not alone in your writing endeavours. Blog judges will create a short list in the next few weeks and this will be put to public vote. I hope, in any case, to keep this blog as a venue for creative people who struggle with creating the head space or physical space in their lives to produce creative work. But it’s not just about struggle, it’s about the joy of doing something authentic in the span of our lives.Venicewkids

I hope you are refilling the well over the summer, whether through the better weather, a change of routine or location. For many, freed of job commitments over the summer, this may be a particularly productive time and may the force be with you! (They are filming Star Wars near my beautiful childhood home right now!