Tag Archives: GBS

Good news and bad news for writers

The Irish Writers’ Centre held a seminar about – yes, about writing.
Here are few write-bites:
Guy attending it told me he writes one a short story every five days. And has published 56 short stories this year. Hmmm

Penguin Ireland publishes 22 books per annum, of which 6 are fiction.

The recession means less advertising revenue for newsapapers and therefore fewer pages, therefore fewer book/writer features and fewer reviews.

E-book man, giving a PPP, says e books sell at around £5.59 per copy. We didn’t get the comparative figures for production costs set beside that.

Agent explains it takes about four months to hear from a publisher after sample three chapters have been submitted. She only has four people on her books.

Woman got published then decided to set up small publishing company to publish her own books plus two by other writers, every year. The venture got a boost when they got an order for 170.000 football-related books.
She said that publishers are looking for trends. Food could be one such trend now that we’re all getting fatter etc etc. (That’s me speaking.)
In Germany, they like a lot of thrillers which is great because she writes thrillers. Irish readers, she said, seem to prefer US, German, Danish writers etc to Irish writers.

We withdrew for lunch to the Irish Writers Museum, next door. This place has a bookshop so I did what most writers do – I went in to check if they had my book. They didn’t. They only had Joyce, and Shaw etc. The shop is run by Failte Ireland which was previously Bord Failte eg Irish Tourism so they stock mainly touristy things like green paper napkins, shamrocked tea-towels etc. Nevertheless, the man working there made a note of the name of my book ( http://wp.me/p1Frlu-2K) in case you’re interested and then asked me to autograph his notebook. He showed me the two previous signatures neither of which I recognised and neither of which was Joyce or GBS.
He emigrated during the last recession (1980) then came back. Now his son has emigrated to Canada and is doing well. An old tale retold…

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The Irish Writers’ Centre held a seminar about – yes, about writing.
Here are few write-bites:
Guy attending it told me he writes one a short story every five days. And has published 56 short stories this year. Hmmm
Penguin Ireland publishes 22 books per annum, of which 6 are fiction.
The recession means less advertising revenue for newsapapers and therefore fewer pages, therefore fewer book/writer features and fewer reviews.
E-book man, giving a PPP, says e books sell at around £5.59 per copy. We didn’t get the comparative figures for production costs set beside that.

Agent explains it takes about four months to hear from a publisher after sample three chapters have been submitted. She only has four people on her books.

Woman got published then decided to set up small publishing company to publish her own books plus two by other writers, every year. The venture got a boost when they got an order for 170.000 football-related books.
She said that publishers are looking for trends. Food could be one such trend now that we’re all getting fatter etc etc. (That’s me speaking.) In Germany, they like a lot of thrillers which is great because she writes thrillers. Irish readers, she said, seem to prefer US, German, Danish writers etc to Irish writers.

We withdrew for lunch to the Irish Writers Museum, next door. This place has a bookshop so I did what most writers do – I went in to check if they had my book. They didn’t. They only had Joyce, and Shaw etc. The shop is run by Falite Ireland which was previously Bord Failte eg Irish Tourism so they stock mainly touristy things like green paper napkins, shamrocked tea-towels etc. Nevertheless, the man working there made a note of the name of my book ( http://wp.me/p1Frlu-2K) in case you’re interested and then asked me to autograph his notebook. He showed me the two previous signatures neither of which I recognised and neither of which was Joyce or GBS.
He emigrated during the last recession (1980) then came back. Now his son has emigrated to Canada and is doing well. An old tale retold…

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Alchemy, spirituality – and photoshop

Tough day and not altogether satisfying. Plus, I’ve just  realised that it’s a bank holiday weekend. I have to do something special to mark that.

Notice on the internet that there is a gallery opening late near me so I walk out into a calm, warm evening that I didn’t even know that was there.

Here’s what I’m looking for: 18 The Copper House Gallery
Synge Street
Dublin 8

And here’s what the art show is about:

Into the Greenwood Deep – An exhibition by Phil McDarby Phil McDarby is a digital artist and photographer, whose work is informed by a sense of magic realism. This is his first solo show. At the heart of this work is a desire to capture a feeling of wonder and discovery – something we can lose touch with as adults.

Given the incestuous nature of the social media, I hasten to say I don’t know Philip nor the gallery owners. My problem is that the address is not quite correct. George Bernard Shaw lived on Synge Street but where’s No 18?

I stop and ask a woman who gets out her cellphone and becomes engrossed in it. Important message? No, she’s looking for The Copper House Gallery for me. Another woman approaches, notebook in hand.

“You looking for The Copper House,” I ask. But no, she’s looking for The Lantern House.

“What’s on?”  I ask. Apparently something about spirituality.

“And you,” I ask the cellphone woman. “What are you looking for?”

“A talk about alchemy in art,” she says and then Bingo! She’s found my art gallery and we all part, to continue our quests for art, spirituality and alchemy. It’s that sort of evening.

The gallery’s correct address is St Kevin’s Cottages but the cottages are long since gone. Instead, there’s a laneway that leads to the gallery, called St Kevin’s Cottages.

“ I’ve come here,” I tell the gallery owner, “because some places are open late on the second Tuesday of the month.”

I need to say this so that she understands I’m just out for some fresh air and won’t be buying anything.

“ First Thursday,” she says and shows me round.

I look at the photographs. They’ve been done with photoshop and one shows a little girl, on her own, in a dark greenwood with spookey eyes looking out of tree trunks.The artist wants to project the greenwood as a safe place and that darkness is often OK. It’s true that in  Celtic mythology, the underworld is a good place – subversive but good. I don’t agree but say nothing. Why spoil someone else’s dream?

There’s another image of a small boy looking up at a cloud from which grows a fabled, fantastical turreted castle. When  I was small girl – and indeed when I was a big girl – I avoided looking at clouds in case the Virgin appeared on top of one at which point I would have to become a nun and die young. Luckily, this never happened.

Then again, when I was in the Sahara and walked out alone, beyond the camp, to watch a majestic electric storm develop, I saw a lightshow of magical proportions in which, high in the sky and miles away, there appeared fabled buildings, turrets, sky scrapers, huge spatial cities. It was awesome and terrifying and I hurried back across the sand dunes to the comfort of the fire round which my Saharwi companions were sitting.

The gallery owner chatted. They do prints and apparently, with the recession, this is the way to go. Where before, an artist might sell a painting for 10.000 now s/he has prints made of the original work and sells 40 of them at  250 each and everyone is satisfied. When I get home, I have a glass of brandy from a bottle that says Zagreb on the lable. I think maybe bought it in Moldova…

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