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.

Lily Allen’s “Donald Trump” Playlist

Posted by Derek Flynn on 24 January 2017.

Unless you’ve been held captive in a dungeon for the past few days, you can’t have missed the fact that a certain orange business mogul was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. I think it’s fair to say that a few people were less than enamoured by this development. One of those people was singer, Lily Allen. To “commemorate” Trump’s inauguration, Allen put together a little Spotify playlist entitled, “He’s Got the...

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Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2017

Posted by Derek Flynn on 4 January 2017.

Waterford City & County Council’s Arts Office is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting entries for the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2017. The late writer lived, until her death in 1996, in Ardmore, Co. Waterford.  Her first ten novels and four plays were published under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell.  In 1981 ‘Good Behaviour’ became a publishing sensation for which she was short listed for the prestigious Booker Prize.  Annually since 1998, to...

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Music & Me Christmas Special

Posted by Derek Flynn on 19 December 2016.

Christmas songs. Love them or loathe them … Well, actually, that’s what I wanted to know. Do authors have a favourite Christmas song or do they run a mile when they hear these seasonal ditties? Here’s what some of our previous contributors to Music & Me said. Tara Flynn   “I’ve always loved “Peace on Earth (Little Drummer Boy)” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. I love that it’s a mash-up before mash-ups really happened and...

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I’m Just Paying My Rent Every Day in the Tower of Song

Posted by Derek Flynn on 21 November 2016.

What can be said about Leonard Cohen? Well, the first thing we can say is that he’s funny. I mean, hilariously funny. All too often, tributes to Leonard are very sombre affairs, and they reinforce this notion that his music is only listened to by lovelorn philosophy students in dingy bedsits. He’s not the “Prince of Doom” or any of the other epithets that have been lazily applied to him over the years by people...

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Music Books to Look Out for in November

Posted by Derek Flynn on 1 November 2016.

Set the Boy Free – Johnny Marr (3 Nov 2016) This month’s mother lode comes courtesy of “Greatest Living Guitarist and Rock God”, Johnny Marr. We got Morrissey’s side of the story in his Autobiography; now we get to hear Johnny’s side. “In 1983 The Smiths released their first single, and within a year their eponymous debut album reached number two in the UK chart, paving the way for mainstream and critical success on their...

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Music Books to Look Out for in Oct 2016

Posted by Derek Flynn on 26 September 2016.

Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt – Kristin Hersh First up is a book that’s released this month but somehow passed me by in my last round-up. “‘Friend, asshole, angel, mutant,’ singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt ‘came along and made us gross and broken people seem … I dunno, cooler, I guess.’ A quadriplegic who could play only simple chords on his guitar, Chesnutt recorded seventeen critically acclaimed albums before his death in 2009 …...

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Music & Me – Carmel Harrington

Posted by Derek Flynn on 12 September 2016.

“Music & Me” is a feature in which authors talk about their musical influences, their favourite musicians and their “musical guilty pleasures”. This week’s victim guest is writer, Carmel Harrington. Carmel is an author from Co. Wexford, published with Harper Collins. The Things I Should Have Told You, Every Time A Bell Rings, The Life You Left and Beyond Grace’s Rainbow are translated into eight languages and are regular chart toppers. She is also a panellist on TV3’s Midday...

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Music Books to Watch Out For in Sept 2016

Posted by Derek Flynn on 15 August 2016.

Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen “Writing about yourself is a funny business … But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” – Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run. For Boss fans [Disclaimer: Me], this one is the biggie. After over forty years in the business, Bruce has finally decided to put his life...

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Waterford Healing Arts Trust invites you to share your feel-good poetry and prose

Posted by Derek Flynn on 26 July 2016.

The Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), Ireland’s leading Arts and Health programme, is calling on all avid readers of poetry and/or prose to share with us their favourite poem / piece of prose for a unique event as part of the forthcoming Well festival of arts and wellbeing. Research from the University of Liverpool revealed that people who read as little as 30 minutes a week are 35 per cent more likely to have greater...

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The Levitz Paradigm – A New Way of Thinking About Plot

Posted by Derek Flynn on 20 July 2016.

Have you ever read a series of novels such as George R. R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” and wondered how Martin kept control of all those various plot strands and endless characters? “Wait … who am I fighting again?” One very interesting technique for doing this is called “The Levitz Paradigm”. This was invented by comic’s writer Paul Levitz. In The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics, another comic’s writer, Dennis O’Neil, explains it thus: “Basically,...

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