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Showing posts from January, 2013

Scourged

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Scourged - The Backstory - 10 questions 
1. What is the working title of your book?
     The working title of my book was "Mothers Day"  - although it has had  many more,  before I actually committed.  Being Libran I was incapable of making a decision until I realised it could only be called Scourged.






2. Where did the idea for this book come from ?
The idea for the book came  from a series of articles and  postings about the stages of the crippling  disease of  Alzheimers in my Mother, Siobhan, an illness that the eponymous Scourge calls "death by a thousand cuts" Although engaged in another book entirely - (which is a whole other story as the Bishop said to the Actress ) - the sheer response and feedback from the great and the good suggested I would better serve my time documenting and narrating a story that is all too often "forgotten."  - Ahem  -  The implosion of the family dynamic as the  matriarch disappears incrementally, and the black sheep daughter…

The UNIVERSE can expand if it likes, but I intend to contract - Operation Transformation

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Sitting in my Mothers nursinghome  room on Wednesday night, 
the TV on low in the background, I catch  a glimpse of a man being weighed.
(A lot of the TV I manage to see  is in her room as Rte is always on.)



              "Fam- Leee, Fam - Leeeeeee !" -
             while they hurl clothing, errant spouses,wayward progeny and insults into the square. 
              (The writers must be distraught. )


I digress.
The man being weighed was poignant as he described how his weight gain, 
subsequent marraige breakdown, and sheer loneliness in an apartment where he was a "Weekend Dad",
 led him to stand on the balcony at night
 to hear the sound of traffic on the overpass
 and the cawing of crows for company. 









And of course his weight ballooned as he sat comfort eating and unconsciously watching TV.
I contemplated my own stomach as he spoke. 
It is the size of a full term pregnancy now and I almost hold it like such. 
I find at times I will have been cupping it, 
or absentmindedly stro…

Notes on a life

Michelle Dooley Mahon has the attention span of a flea.This has manifested throughout her life in an abundance of appointments, abodes and amours.Born in Wexford in  "Aul Gods time" ( when people still steppedoff paths for priests ) - she has variously been employed as gynaecological receptionist/breakfast chef/ au pair/ / pub landlady/ tourist information officer/ chef/hostel warden/cafĂ© owner / ships stewardess/film production assistant and hotel manager. She appears to have forgotten the remainder. She is as much of a cherry picker in the home department and has a touch of gypsy in her, having moved 15 times in 20 years - alternately filling and emptying multitudes of skips - and believes that houses are bricks that you love only while you are in them. She has been writing since she could form words on paper and been a story teller and narrator of tall tales since she was a smaller child.She has however neglected to actually do anything with it. Described as being “unteac…

Frankly Speaking

Being Frank – Ten Themes on a Life.
1. A Star is born in the (South) East. 24th November 1951 – Mr and Mrs Sinnott of Olde Pound House St. Peters Square, Wexford wish to announce the birth of their son Frank David , a brother for Declan, and Maurice. Mother and baby doing well. This section to be a nostalgic look back at the life of the little boy growing up in a small provincial town, and the imprint his childhood would have in later years. Series of moments and recall that are poignant yet comedic. Also an interview with his 97 year old Mother.
2. The Pecking Order Life as the baby brother in a house of men. Described by Maurice as being like a “ little teddy bear, always looking for a hug, a very affectionate child “. Frank describes Maurice as being “mammalian.” “Maurice is the favourite by a thousand years, and then Deccie – by 4 years, and then ………… Me.” Maurice gets to set the record straight.
3. A Literary Bent Frank becomes aware of words and falls in love with language. His rival…

Reminding

Lately I have come to notice that the inner monologue that runs in my head is my Mothers voice. As I hastily mop the fluff and coal dust from one side of the living room to the other - wet of head and wearing my coat to run out the door - I hear her say – “Give it a lick and a promise, Michelle.” When I am washing up my solitary plate and glass, a single fork, I hear her say “Dry them out of it”. If a knife falls on the floor I hear her say “Oh, here’s a visitor”. All day long the old words return, or maybe just re-appear. They have not been far. Some have been sunning themselves like lizards on rocks - some have been hiding underneath them. They awake now like sleepers and coil their sluggish drowsy selves around me so that I am encircled and consumed by them. These words of memoryrupture like fragile soap bubbles all around me and inspire the story behind the words, which leads to the words becoming something other than the sum of their parts. “She’s a real “Mary Hick “in that get up…

Serenity

SerenityThe antonym of Uproar is Tranquility. Coming from a place of uproar, I arrive into the Tranquility Spa at Whites Hotel and am given a warm welcome by the delicious and beautiful Susan Passfield. Pausing only momentarily to check-in to FB on the stairs, I draw my ragged breath scoping out a few of the random sporty men who are leaving with their freshly showered heads. I am wearing my only casual gear. A green hoodie, black track suit bottoms and Mini Slippertons. I have taken the liberty of donning my sisters bathing suit in the privacy of my own kitchen, which apart from a minor incident of almost toppling naked onto a super-ser was uneventful. Susan gets me to register and fill in my name, email, and any or all of a multitude of life threatening conditions that I may or may not suffer from. I scribble quickly as I am most anxious to be enveloped by the water. Not since Hippocrates first prescribed bathing in spring water for medical conditions has a person been so anxious to g…