Monday, 20 January 2020

Getting There

Ok, so you know when you finally get a handle on something complex? So much so that you feel you can then present it to others in a semi-coherent fashion? Well I'm not quite there yet, even though I thought I was ... twice already.
Writing for one is easy but that's because I'm already in my own loop. Writing for you, on this particular subject is proving to be something of a challenge but I'm up to it, even if I find myself hanging in there like a terrier after a rat.
As always, my writing has to be very real and I need to get it to the point where you as the reader, can not just see but also smell the same rat, dank matted fur an'all.
In the 'Old Irish', Tir na n'Og is a place of Celtic Mythology and/or mentality. It's a land of eternal youth and vigor from which anyone can depart but with no hope of return once contaminated by touching anywhere less pure. That's pretty much anywhere else.
Global warming is not just impure but also catastrophic. Real science supports models that indicate tectonically induced earthquakes arising from the weight of melted ice being lifted from the arctic and antarctic. There is also a model supporting a cooling of North Western Europe due to gulf current weakening due to glacial melting.
That cooling however would be temporary, but in the meantime, sea levels would rise significantly which in turn, would force people to move. With survival at stake, passport controls and borders become porous.
In Ireland, Dublin and Belfast are no-go gang areas and people need to get rural and rediscover some very basic roots to survive ... but when winters are hard and life no longer has value, a hero is humanity's only solution.
When the legendary Oisin claims to have been reincarnated with the sole purpose of bringing people back to the perfection of Tir na nOg, Aaron Maxwell knows what he must do. He must show his humanity by putting the decrepit old man out of his misery, just as he did his uncle Sammy. I'm getting there...

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

New Project 2019-20

It's been a while and my excuse is that I had some editing and revising to do in order to bring some earlier books up to the same standards as my latest. 'Book of Plebs' being the most noteworthy.
Anyway, my new project has just begun but I thought I'd share the Draft Prologue with you. The reason for that is because I was obliged to do some global warming research and to be honest, I was a little unsettled by what I found. Hopefully, we can all do as much as we can as soon as we can. This book was not originally supposed to get this dark but like all my work
PROLOGUE (Draft)
‘Weather-People’ use a bewildering array of technologies to decide what number they should stick on a storm to forewarn us and they seldom get it wrong. Media being what it is, we’ll get that number somehow. But what if the storm arrives unannounced because of general disagreement about what makes a bad storm bad?
In that unlikely event, we’ll probably just batten down the hatches to get through it and hopefully help others do the same. When the dust settles we may lodge a complaint or an insurance claim or both but in order to do that, we’re going to need that number.
The thing is, we can estimate a storm’s strength for ourselves by comparing the contrasting stillness of the calm that invariably follows. We then assign the perceived variation using a scale of 1 for moderate to 5 for deafening.
Big numbers with more red than orange warnings were bandied about for years before the first churning clouds roiled over the horizon to make night of our days. By then however, crying wolf was a booming business and only seeing was believing because basically, the number was off the scale.
That brought out the adrenaline junkies who wanted to catch selfies with the sea-surges but who caught silent screams instead. Banshee wailing went airborne, adding dozens more decibels to a din that dragged already screeching winds down to street level with the accumulated weight of our woes.
To this day, shorter, sharper variants of the same enduring sound sometimes shatter the stillness to remind us, with the death of yet another, that we are sentenced to never forget our folly. Nothing in the human experience will ever compare with the eerie emptiness of the silence that ultimately prevailed.
A wise man once told me that qualities like generosity, cruelty and even wisdom itself can be measured by the time it takes to forget someone’s name. To that, I propose the three additional attributes of arrogance, greed and stupidity because the fallout from the climate change storm is forever etched into our chastened human psyche.
When we first met, I honestly thought he was brain damaged, especially when he chose to banter on about vocabulary. As it transpired, Oisin was once a teacher and in an effort to prove his usefulness to me in surviving new world disorders, he insisted on sharing archaic definitions of ‘Bleak’. I was so surprised by such obvious desperation that I was obliged to listen. But when I realised just how weak that word once was, I knew he was far more than he appeared to be.
With a toothless cackle, he claimed to remember when ‘Bleak’ was once as useless as a mumbled apology, his words not mine. Apparently, there was a time when it could describe abstract discomforts and was nullified with a sympathetic frown or an imitation shiver. ‘Bleak’ was merely an aid to polite conversation in an age when people exchanged plastic cards or brightly coloured paper for ready made meals … served hot.
‘Bleak’s’ power is now inversely proportional to the silence that embraces the world and her decimated assets. ‘Bleak’ has rapidly evolved and now genuinely chills to the bone while also stinking of stagnant death, especially in winter. 

The ‘Festive Season’ marked with Thanksgiving or Christmas and hope for new beginnings is re-consigned to the dream-time for safe-keeping. Winter is stalking season and when there isn’t enough to go around, everyone needs to keep a personal stash of something somewhere. So, you either stalk or you get stalked or like the legions of dearly departed, you get extinct.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Prophets live

If black is not a color but the simple absence of light, then ... 'Silence and darkness could be sister and brother'. That observation didn't register as overly significant while writing my Thin Places, 'Erris' Novella. Now however, I am struck by how profound those words are and by deduction by how much innate wisdom we let slip by us unnoticed. Since I've always considered myself a fairly average Pleb, it didn't escape me that there may be something of a prophet in each of us. Spirituality might play major or bit parts in our lives but it makes us more than the flesh and bones we present daily to the world. The obvious conclusion is that maybe we could do worse than take an occasional time-out to spend more quality time with our real selves. "Where do I get time to do that?" I hear you say and the answer is that we don't have to make more time. We can tune out more of the mundane nonsense in our lives and use that time instead. Let's surprise ourselves by being more than we appear to be. 

Thursday, 11 July 2019

The Erris Starship

Sometimes, you know what you know and that's it. This book is not so much a turning point for me but it's also a revelation in how to present a story that reads as real as Irish rain. The title is totally ridiculous because the northwest corner of County Mayo has as much in common with starships as the Wild Atlantic Way has to do with boredom.
   This offering is fearless, cutting edge, insightful and humane Science Fiction, Tragedy or a hybrid mix of both that started only a few years ago in Ireland, though it could just as easily have begun in Scotland, England, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Argentina or the good old U.S. of A to name but a few.
   I know it's not just good but great and that's because I could feel it take something from me as I wrote the words but that's all good, because there is a universal equilibrium to be maintained. Unlike all of my other books and for purely marketing and commercial reasons, this book is only available from Amazon.
However, I have the assurance of Mr&Ms. Amazon that they will guarantee the free download of an Kindle e-reader to anyone who wants to read a book that will change the way life is perceived. If you're going on vacation, pack this first because it always rains. That's if you can wait for the rain. 

If you go to my website, you can download a 4+ Chapter Preview in a Mini-eBook or Me-Book Epub format, so you can read it on anything. https://denismcclean.wordpress.com/

Please enjoy Sensibly



Sunday, 19 May 2019

NEW BOOK - Almost There


My NEW BOOK is at the final draft stage and is now with my 'Official' proof reader and Editor, Grainne Pleiades McClean and I'm taking a really deep breath ... as you do, when you know you've achieved something special.

The thing is, I've arrived at similar milestones before and unquestioningly accepted that internalising this sense of achievement is expected of us guys. As utterly ridiculous as this sounds ... delivering a serious work that's been evolving in my gut as much as in my mind, has to be the nearest thing to giving birth, emotionally that is.

Yup, you heard me, but that in turn has given me the most superlative respect for women who simultaneously deliver physical flesh and bones with independent ideas of what life is going to be all about. Stay with me.

The parallel is, you cook and ferment something inside you that is extremely personal but impossible without major outside influences. It starts with a revelation, which is a metaphor for insemination and the concept comes to life. Then it grows and develops until it becomes all consuming and takes way too much space in the scheme of everything. I mean, how big can any book be?

If I said I didn't almost cry and then suppress it, I'd be denying myself what it feels to deliver something totally unique. I'm going to dedicate this book to women, plain and simple and they are by no means physical descriptions, because what women do is nothing less than a miracle.

I'm knackered and it'll be a little while yet before I can hold TESS up for you all to see. Life's a bitch.





Saturday, 22 December 2018

Winter Solstice 2018

The Celts brought much to Ireland but the Old Irish always celebrated Solstice to mark the turning of the year. Newgrange is proof of this.

Constantine 1st of Rome integrated Christianity into many older traditions by having Christmas coincide with the more widely celebrated Solstice.

Since Hope for the future is the prevailing message of both, Christmas for me begins at Solstice. That's how I tune out most of the rabid commercialism that threatens to destroy it.

Gina's roses come in all shapes and sizes but this common or garden yellow specimen is the very last of this year's outdoor crop. That however doesn't make it any less perfect and the fact that it arrived on Solstice makes it even more special, like herself I guess. So I thought I should capture this last natural gift from 2018 and share it with you.

My new novel is well underway and I hope to dedicate a page of my Website to it in the new year. 2019 WoW! It even sounds like a date in a once dim and distant future yet it arrives imminently. The new book will be a standalone work dedicated to a rather unusual future that must remain tenuously attached to today in order to happen.

However, those who populate that future want to sever all ties to reduce the risk of contamination from us, from here and now. At Solstice and Christmas it is my earnest Hope that this particular work will remain fiction and that all our futures are as bright as we want them to be but we need to work at that.

We need to emulate our little ones by trying to be good for Santa/Father Christmas. All that means is that we try to be a little more considerate of just one extra person during this festive season. One is enough because there are more than enough of us to make a huge impact on the future. That's how seeds are planted but this kind of giving is also a selfish thing. That's because we and our children will ultimately benefit from a very natural gift by return and in due course.

We wish you a very Happy Holiday and an Extra Special and Peaceful New Year.

                               Denis & Gina