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Guest Blogs

A blog by Derek Flynn

Derek Flynn runs Writing.ie's SongBook blog, and is an Irish writer and musician. He has a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. He’s been published in a number of publications, including The Irish Times, and his fiction was featured in 'Surge', an anthology of new Irish writing published by O’ Brien Press with the aim of showcasing “the very best of the next generation of Irish authors”. Online he can be found at his writing/music blog – ‘Rant, with Occasional Music’ – and on Twitter as @derekf03

You can follow Derek online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Music & Me: Dave Lordan

Posted by Derek Flynn on 27 November 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories?  Drunk balladeers on Bog Road. The Wolfe Tones on the Jukebox in Mick JC’s. My faader on the sofa murdering murdering the lyric sheets in the Ireland’s Own as if the songs themselves were guilty of the imperialist crimes & misery they sang about. Who or what were your musical influences growing up and why? The pub-singers of Bernies Bar. Because I was there. The Sex Pistols & The...

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Write More, Do Other Stuff Less

Posted by Derek Flynn on 14 November 2017.

In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill is practicing for a total of around 10,000 hours. Many writers have adapted the “10,000-Hour Rule” to the act of writing. One of those is comics writer and script writer for the TV show “Lost”, Brian K Vaughan, who has some interesting thoughts on the subject. Brian K Vaughan...

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Hurricanes, Storms, and Book Launches – Oh My!

Posted by Derek Flynn on 27 October 2017.

It’s every author’s worst nightmare. What if I throw a book launch party and nobody comes? Par for the course, really. Every author panics before their book launch. Usually, needlessly. But then, most authors don’t have to contend with hurricanes and storms. So my launch was scheduled for the Friday night of Waterford Writer’s Weekend. Flashback to the previous Monday. The worst hurricane in centuries decimates the Irish coastline. I say to my wife, “Imagine...

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Music & Me – Hazel Gaynor

Posted by Derek Flynn on 4 September 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? ABBA! I grew up listening to, and loving, everything they did. My sister is a few years older than me and was a member of the fan club. My parents drove us all the way from ‘Up North’ to that London to see them at Wembley Arena in 1978. It was absolutely amazing. I still can’t believe that actually happened! I went to a Depeche Mode gig in Sheffield...

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Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing 2017 invites readers to share feel-good poetry and prose

Posted by Derek Flynn on 21 August 2017.

We haven’t had an earthquake lately… Do you reach for a favourite poem or piece of prose when you need to be inspired, comforted or cheered up? Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing 2017  is calling on all avid readers to submit their favourite piece of writing (not self-written) for consideration for We haven’t had an earthquake lately…, a flagship event of the festival which celebrates the joy of reading, taking place at The Book Centre, Waterford,...

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100 Great Works Of Dystopian Fiction

Posted by Derek Flynn on 14 August 2017.

With the recent popularity of Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”, dystopian fiction has come into the spotlight again. And if you’re wondering where to get your next dystopian fix, Vulture’s article “100 Great Works of Dystopian Fiction” is a great place to start. To begin with, this is not just any old thrown together list. It’s compiled by two professors of English at Cornell and UCLA, no less, both of whom study...

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Duke Special’s new album ‘Hallow’ based on the poetry of Michael Longley

Posted by Derek Flynn on 27 July 2017.

The eminent Belfast poet Michael Longley was once described by his friend Seamus Heaney as ‘a keeper of the artistic estate, a custodian of griefs and wonders’. Duke Special’s new studio album Hallow is entirely based on the poetry of Longley, full of gentleness, honesty, mischief and love, and peppered with a cast of artists, animals, flowers, friends and long forgotten soldiers. As ever, Duke Special is mining a new seam of inspiration, always trying to get...

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New Music Books To Watch Out For (Sex, drugs & rock n’ roll edition!)

Posted by Derek Flynn on 17 July 2017.

This edition of “New Music Books” is a sex, drugs and rock n’ roll extravaganza. From unknowns to rock legends, the next few months sees a slew of tell-all tales of excess. A History of Heavy Metal – Andrew O’Neill The history of heavy metal brings brings us extraordinary stories of larger-than-life characters living to excess, from the household names of Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Iron Maiden and Metallica, to the brutal notoriety of the underground Norwegian...

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Muldoon’s Picnic, Poets on Tour

Posted by Derek Flynn on 19 June 2017.

Poet Paul Muldoon and his house band Rogue Oliphant lead a star-studded literary and musical tour of Ireland. Launched on 15 June at the Abbey Theatre, the tour is presented by Poetry Ireland, and featured guests include Kevin Barry, Eavan Boland, Paul Brady, Lisa Dwan, Anne Enright, Martin Hayes, and Duke Special. Hosted by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon, Muldoon’s Picnic has been described by Muldoon himself as “an omnium-gatherum” of...

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Music & Me: Jane Casey

Posted by Derek Flynn on 29 May 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? I was brought up listening to two kinds of music: classical and swing. My father is a true enthusiast for music and took me and my sister to concerts from an early age. He likes to put the radio on and guess what composer is being played – or if that’s too easy, which recording it is. I think it grieved him enormously when we were old enough to...

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