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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 – Kerrie O’ Brien

Posted by Derek Flynn on 24 April 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? My grandmother singing in the kitchen in the mornings. And my mother blaring Elkie Brooks and Mary Black in the car. Who or what were your musical influences growing up and why? Up until the age of about twelve I remember most of my knowledge and memories of music being connected to MTV videos – I vividly remember the first time seeing the Run DMC video It’s Like That,...

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Music & Me – Catherine Ryan Howard

Posted by Derek Flynn on 10 April 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? I was a dedicated disco-dancer when I was a child (um, yes – Munster Disco-Dancing Champion Under 8 Category 1991, thanks for asking) so pop music was a huge part of my childhood. The earliest music I remember was Madonna and Michael Jackson. I did actually think that Madonna and MJ were the only pop-stars in the world; it was a while before I realised there were other people...

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“Mental” – A New Short Story Collection by Waterford Writer Orla Shanaghy

Posted by Derek Flynn on 30 March 2017.

Orla Shanaghy can remember vividly the moment she realised she wanted to be an author. “When I was about eight years old, I had a series of Ladybird books called ‘The Garden Gang’. The books were about these cute fruit and vegetable characters. But it wasn’t so much the content of the books that interested me; it was the picture of the author on the back cover. Her name was Jayne Fisher and she was...

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Music & Me – Nuala O’ Connor

Posted by Derek Flynn on 20 March 2017.

“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 Nuala O’ Connor. What are your earliest musical memories? My Da singing to us, rude songs (A sole, A sole, A soldier I would be…). Singing hymns in the car and at mass (we were charismatics so it was all very touchy-feely, ‘Kumbaya My Lord’ etc.). Singing Irish songs at school...

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Samuel Beckett and Foxrock

Posted by Derek Flynn on 27 February 2017.

Samuel Beckett, Nobel Laureate is regarded as one of the world’s greatest writers but in Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, his strong connection with the city is a matter of pride. He was born in his family’s home on Kerrymount Avenue in Foxrock on Good Friday 13th April 1906 and was educated in Dublin before being sent to Portora Royal School in Enniskillen. He entered Trinity College Dublin in 1923, having spent much of...

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Music & Me – Ethel Rohan

Posted by Derek Flynn on 13 February 2017.

“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 Ethel Rohan. Ethel is the author of The Weight of Him, a debut novel first published in the United States (St. Martin’s Press, February 14, 2017) and forthcoming in the UK from Atlantic Books, June 1, 2017. Raised in Dublin, she lives in San Francisco, California. What are your...

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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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