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.

Monday, 25 September 2017


Small extract from my 3rd Thin Places Novella, which is almost complete. Then the delightful task of proof reading. Thankfully, I have the two best proof readers to give me a dig out. 
Gina&Grainne Inc.

This Novella is a little darker than 'Fanore' and 'Erris' 
Chapter 3 begins in Autumn.

It’s not possible for Autumn to finish as it starts because destiny decreed that it be born in summer and die in winter. It is looking at Spring in the mirror, which simply reverses life and death. Transitions from one state to its opposite must by definition be dramatic but the opening act of every drama will first introduce us to subtlety. With the stage thus set, metamorphosis can quickly accelerate to its point of no return.

The first sign of summer becoming winter begins when nature reaches into her fashionably well-worn artist’s satchel to squeeze a tube of Sepia onto the palette. Like the software written into a digital filter, the landscape becomes tinged with soft earthy yellow to produce the kind of warm and comfortable ambience that seems to make everyone more likely to smile. The mystery for this unexpected geniality is the undeniable fact that the only thing better than looking fondly at an old photograph, is finding that you are living in one.

This pleasant ambience becomes particularly noticeable when the air is full of moisture, just as it was in Dunquin that morning. The only truly unusual aspect was the almost total calm at high tide. A state of no-breeze on this temperate Atlantic Coast is virtually unheard of, and it only added to the overall ‘halcyon’ perception of the morning. 

Jack Sullivan smelled the distinct possibility of an isolated thunderstorm later that afternoon, but he didn’t care. Despite having one too many twelve year old whiskeys, he’d slept like a baby and was feeling just fine. The hazy sunshine proved to be a potent antibiotic for the malady of an oppressive melancholy that had only threatened to deepen over the last few days. Depression was once something that he associated only with the weather but in Ireland, it could be something far more prevalent and scary. 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Erris - 'Thin Places' Series - Book 2

Erris arrived a little later than planned but that shouldn't be bad news. It grew into the meatiest Novella out there.  
 Your free 3 Chapter Mini e-Book awaits 

Click me for your 3 Chapter Preview download.

This the second Novella of my 'Thin Places' Series after Fanore, which is still a free download from a previous post. That means you can get two for the price of one and this one is very well priced indeed. It's a steal, but I'm not looking ... at least not for a while anyway.

The thing is, I fully intended to put this second one into a competition, but I missed the deadline because I needed it to be perfect before putting it out there and now it is. Doh.

So, it looks like you can judge it for me but believe me, I made that job very easy for you because you won't get a more entertaining holiday read this year, unless you're going to Erris. In which case it will still be waiting for you when you get back ... if you get back.

You see, Erris is in Ireland and the Celts were probably the first civilisation to recognise "Thin Places' for what they really are, or aren't.  Sure they can look beautiful, which is why people from all over come to immerse themselves in their pristine timelessness. However, they are also places where the boundary between our physical reality and the metaphysical reality that parallels us, is sometimes in flux.

The reasons for that phenomena are as plentiful as rainy days in Erris, but it ultimately comes down to the issue of multiple undocumented histories. We like to think that someone with a pen will always survive history and then write it down for us, despite the fact that the last man or woman standing, sometimes doesn't make it. 

Written or not, these histories happen and if they are truly significant events that didn't get into words, you can be sure they'll etch themselves into the fabric of time itself.

In places where time and reality are occasionally in flux, we would be foolish to assume that our familiar 4 dimensional version will always be the default value. What I'm saying is that if we choose to immerse ourselves in 'Thin Places' like Erris, we need to be very careful about just how deep we want to really go.

The case in point deals with a fairly naive young man who packs himself off to Erris most summers to perfect his Gaelic. Apparently there's a well known summer school there. Anyway, when he tunes in on that placid invitation to soak up some timeless ambience, he gets himself immersed in more than just cold water. 

He finds himself in a life and death struggle that may not have ended well ... but when?

Friday, 10 March 2017

Fanore - A Gift to You


Just use the link above to collect your free gift directly.


Fanore is a very real place but this is not a guide book for tourists. It is the first Novella of my 'Thin Places' Series. If you don't know what a 'Thin Place' is, you are in good company, because no one knows for sure. You see, there is no accepted definition of what they are, but we do know some of what they do. They exist primarily in wilderness areas and through them, we can paradoxically gauge our significance to this reality by the extent of our insignificance or helplessness inside it. If we yield to them, we can receive the gift of temporary insights into the moment beyond the present and into a tomorrow filled with all possibilities. Some people report insights and even experiences of moments long past, so we know that time seems to be in flux around them.

This power to enhance our sixth sense isn't constant but seems to wax and wane to some metaphysical almanac along with our ability and/or willingness to tap into it. Ancient philosophers have for thousands of years told us of the duality in, or the Yin and Yang aspect to everything. That means that physicality must also have its opposite metaphysical reality. All of reality, or the extended reality, must therefore be made of both and 'Thin Places' are where we can sense aspects of both.

The suggestion is that the membrane which surrounds our physical reality from the rest of it, is stretched thin in these places and hence the name. I personally believe that our dual reality is what is contained against the vastness of infinity, because logically, infinity can be the only source of all possibilities. Thin places therefore, would be where these possibilities come but also go. 

This novella takes a look at what might be going on to make this particular 'Thin Places' so apparently thin. The Wild Atlantic Way along Ireland's West Coast seems to have quite a few of these 'Portals' and that is why I chose to start in Fanore, which is right in the middle. Each story will be as unique as the place it is set. Instead of chapters, each book has Acts, which are presented like a small play. The purpose of this is to get the reader involved in the scenes as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. The reader should succumb to suggestion just as the observer succumbs to the power of the 'Thin Place' ambience.

The events of Fanore take place within a small area of North County Clare, but time seems to be what makes this particular location so thin, so you will have to establish that aspect for yourself. Fanore is part of the Burren area of County Clare and I do appreciate that not all thin places are Irish, but this one has a distinctly Irish flavour.

I hope you enjoy it enough to revisit my Blog/Site/Facebook Page to follow my progress and hopefully to look at my other, much bigger books that will take you so much further away from your daily cares.

Please oblige with feedback and I will be guided by your comments as I decide which turn to take on my own particular road. More mega Science Fiction/Fantasy / Spirituality / or this quirky brand of Fiction.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Science Fiction is not just Literature at its Absolute Best


The following is typical of what you get if you 'Google' literature.

It is a noun, comprising written works, especially those considered 'superior' or of lasting artistic merit.

"a great work of literature"

synonyms:written works, writings, (creative) writing, literary texts, compositions, letters, belles-lettres, 

The accumulated rain on this brass sundial hides the time of day unless you adjust your perception to appreciate the beautifully detailed instrument as well as the accuracy it can produce. Yet some people claim to look for only the best books by blinkering themselves to some truly exceptional books. 

Believe it or not, there are those who do the equivalent of looking for literature under the letter 'L'. They have much in common with people who gather to taste wine because it's not vulgar like beer, even though it really is. I call them 'Long Noses' because beer tasting is just as much fun and you get to taste more without abusing your nose. 

There are also literary 'Long Noses' who have conditioned themselves and many of us into believing that truly great literature can only be an autobiography or a novel based on fiction or history. But seriously, who would really want to read a book written by someone with such an inflated ego? So, for most real people, 'Literature' is effectively 'the' novel based on history or fiction and everything else must be either crass or boring.

Yet any novel based on history could be interesting, but it's already finished. Another based on fiction will never happen, simply because it is fiction. They are quite limited.

Like any other book, Science Fiction can be written any way from poorly to extremely well and in as many styles as any novel, but because it is a logical, if sometimes far fetched extension of today, it requires the writer to create a tomorrow in which it can be reasonably played out.  I would consider that to be far superior to re-describing yesterday, or presenting a version of tomorrow that is destined to be forever fiction, because by that definition it can never happen.  

Science Fiction 'Literature' must be well written, but must also create a logical if sometimes incredible tomorrow that becomes more credible as the link to today is demonstrably maintained and even strengthened. It becomes even more acceptable when today is demonstrably derived from a previously distant and possibly undocumented past. 

Catalysis is Book 1 of the Catalysis Trilogy and it describes today just as it is about to diverge into a very real or an alternate tomorrow. Who can say which, until tomorrow actually happens. After all, that's the way tomorrow has always historically happened.

Ochre is Book 2 of the Catalysis Trilogy and it describes a yesterday just before documented history, but then everything that happened only 5000 thousand years ago is largely undocumented. So who can say what did or did not happen back then, especially when today is the very demonstrable result.  

Imago is the final book of the Trilogy and it will present you with a tomorrow unlike any you've ever dreamed of, but one that is based on yesterday and today, so it can never be discounted.

The Catalysis Trilogy is three separate worlds created from the simple fact of today. One retraces history while the other advances into the future. It is probably as far from the tired retelling of yesterdays as you can possibly get, and because it produces a viable tomorrow, it is every bit as 'Literature' as a Tale of two Cities. In fact, it has as many fabulous cities as it has viable worlds.

The real definition of 'Literature' is something to read anytime and any number of times and unlike a bottle of wine, it will always be full and never become bitter if left for a day or two. Enjoy 'The Catalysis Trilogy' sensibly because it is physically too big and conceptually too vast to be ingested as quickly as you will wish.

Happy Christmas.