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
‘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

Wednesday, 12 September 2018


 3 Chapter Preview (E-Pub)3 Chapter Preview (E-Pub)

This 3 Chapter preview is guaranteed virus free so please enjoy. Skellig took longer to write than planned because technically, it's far too big to be a Novella like the other 3 of my 'Thin Places' Series, but that's good news for anyone buying it because the outlay is the same. This is the last of that series because a new project calls, though I can't say I didn't enjoy creating these incursions through the fabric of what we call reality.

The name Skellig is derived from the old Gaelic word Scelec, which means simply a splinter of rock. About a thousand years ago, a ‘new’ church building on Skellig was dedicated to the Archangel Michael which is where it gets its better known name. But Scelec was a very special place long before the modern era, and it went by the name of Tearmann or refuge. Further, it has always been an extremely ‘Thin Place’. Celebrated Irish Poet and Playwright, George Bernard Shaw, offered his own suggestion of what a ‘Thin Place’ might be when he declared that Skellig "- does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in. It is part of our dream world."

When he is brutally reminded of his mortality but considers himself quite literally god forsaken, a Jesuit Priest, the Reverend Father Ignatius Moloney reacts by abandoning god in return. The Jesuits agree that he be taken on a day trip to Skellig as part of his treatment to rediscover his lost spirituality. But Skellig will always be Tearmann, and was more than ready to accommodate him. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Blasket - Is a somewhat darker 'Thin Place'


How is it possible to return to somewhere you’ve never been? He was not just an entire ocean but also fifty years distant from Portland, Maine and Portland was another fifty years behind New York. Yet despite all that time and distance, he was once more looking at an island on the other side of a turbulent sound, just as he’d so often done from his own weather smeared window on Maiden Cove. 

Jack Sullivan didn’t notice the girl who was clearing away the breakfast things from his table on a hill, halfway between Dunquin and the lowering cloud layer above it. He was peering intently through the dank drizzle and counting too many years since he’d actually sat behind the helm of a fishing boat. 

He was also asking himself how any island could exude such a brooding presence, or maybe that was just Blasket and the weather. It just lay there like a sulking skulking hulk, more like a huge dog left out in the rain. It stank of resignation to an undeserved fate with the added insult of not being recognised, or acknowledged by someone who should know better.

He was in Kerry hoping to join some dots. Ideally, he would stand on the same patch of land his ancestors worked to make his existence possible. That done, he would satisfy his diasporic urge to turn over some of the same sods that they had, just to feel the dirt under his fingernails. That act might hopefully quench the otherwise totally illogical compulsion to come full circle. 

Jack was a fisherman with an understandable disdain for farming and farmers, and this had injected more than a small measure of insanity into the whole business. It had come to the point of him seriously considering if he wasn’t being haunted across the ocean and the years. He’d more or less settled on the notion of some errant agricultural forbear committing an atrocity, which he had to somehow put right with his physical presence. It was either that, or the very early onset of Alzheimers or Dementia but either way, it wasn’t something he could share with rational people.

He was more fortunate than most Maine fishermen, though some called him lucky while others pinned less generous tags on him. Jack thought he knew who he was and he accepted that sometimes he did what he had to do to survive. That wasn’t to say that he wasn’t acquainted with failure, but that was yesterday. 

Today he could take as much time as he needed and invest as much money as it cost him to discover who he really was. The briefest of smiles creased his face as he remembered his old Grandfather Pat telling him that only time could tell the whole truth. 

There is another old Irish saying that says, ‘time waits for no man’ but apparently not this time.