Wednesday, 17 August 2011


The newest issue of Wordlegs magazine has just been released online. Featuring original works by contemporary Irish writers, Wordlegs is a brilliant read and I would recommend you all to stop by - and bookmark! The current issue features a short poem I wrote a few months ago. I'm definitely more a fan of poetry than a writer of it, but to be selected for such a great magazine is a real honour.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Music is my solace.

My summer of hell continues! On the bright side of things, I feel that my supervisor and I have reached a place of Zen, where we are on the same plateau. I am enjoying a lot of the reading I'm doing and I feel that with a lot of hard work in the next two-and-a-half weeks, I should pass and be upgraded to second year. At the moment I have just under 6,000 "good" words and am going to wake up early tomorrow morning to revise the last 2,000 just to make sure they are ok.

I do enjoy the quite late-evening time of day best. I like to put on some of my favourite music and spellcheck my chapter, double-check references and take it easy. I am a huge music fan. In my last blog post, I wrote about how I was looking forward to seeing Prince live. He was fantastic, playing a show of his many many hits (he even said "I've got too many hits!") and the weather was just beautiful. A little light rain for "Purple Rain" which was really lovely. I had great company too, as I spent time with my best friend who I get to see all too rarely these days.

While listening to music when studying may prove more enjoyable, I am of the belief that the distraction of music in the background may do more harm than good. Perhaps classical or instrumental tracks provide stimulation for the brain, but in my opinion 100% of brain activity should be focused on the task in hand. Either that, or staring out the window!

I would be interested to know the listening-habits of my readers. I think that different types of brain activity merit different approaches to music. For example, when I waitressed the only way I could get through the day was with pumping music in the background. When I worked in administration, I found the radio was important as it got me through the day (morning-time quizzes, lunchtime chat and drive-time afternoon). But when I sit in my lonely little cave and read or write up things for my thesis, I do so in dead silence. That's why I value my winding-down session at this time of night. The time where I put on a good few tracks or the radio and chill out! For posterity, here are some lists!

My favourite radio stations are: NPR, 6music and Today FM.
On my album playlist at the moment:

Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Kate and Anna McGarrigle - s/t
John Fahey - The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death
The Strokes - Angles
U2 - Achtung Baby

In fact, you can keep up with my favourite music by becoming friends with me on!