Your Own Back Yard – Michael Gillan Maxwell

Visual Art – Creative Writing – Social Commentary



Bound by Blue: Stories by Meg Tuite 2014 Sententia Books

Book Review: “Bound by Blue: Stories” by Meg Tuite 2014 Sententia Books

Bound by Blue Cover

I know it’s been said before, but it took courage to write this book and it takes courage to read it. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s rough, tough and in your face, unflinching yet poignant and compassionate, but certainly not without humor and redemption. Meg Tuite’s stories are inhabited by wanderers, wonderers and seekers, lost and broken souls, parents and children estranged and searching for connection, people looking for meaning and characters dancing on the fringes of society and the edges of reality.

Each story, from the opening “The F Word” through the keystone in the arch, “Bound By Blue”, that leaves you stunned and reeling, to the final (and my favorite) piece “The Healer” bristles with fulminating energy that simmers just beneath the surface before exploding in your face. These stories are written in prose that is rendered with the sensibilities of a visual artist and the soul of a poet.

The 13 stories in this brilliant collection are dark, tough, beautifully written and skillfully wrought by an author who can look right through you and immediately tell if you are bullshitting or not.

Meg Tuite’s writing is raw boned and edgy and her voice is all her own and totally original and unique. Bound By Blue is unlike anything you’ve ever read. It’s a beautifully designed book, published by Sententia Books, and the cover art alone, a reproduction of a painting by Goro Endow, would be reason enough for me to buy it. You should buy Bound By Blue, read it, talk about it and try, just try, to write something as unique and powerful as this. Go ahead. I dare ya!

An Embarrassment of Riches


An Embarrassment of Riches

 Back in June I experienced the surprise of my life when my piece “Funky Little Blaze Orange Pork Pie Hats” was selected as the first place winner in the FLASH MOB 2013 Flash Fiction Day Competition.

LIke I said then, I’ve won stuff. Lottsa stuff. A bike at a school blacktop carnival. A pie at St. Anthony’s parish festival. A bag of groceries. A two dollar lottery ticket. A karaoke contest in Tokyo. A bonus round on the slots at a casino in Cleveland. An arm wrestling contest.  Yeah, I’ve won stuff. Lottsa stuff.

But I never expected to win that kind of honor in FLASH MOB 2013. That was overwhelming enough. Then, unexpectedly, surprises began to arrive in the mail. The surprises were the 1st place prize in the form of the latest books authored by so many of the writers whose work I admire. It is an honor of the highest sort.

Included in this unexpected bounty is a copy of Gears ~ A Collection by Alex Pruteanu, Thank You For Your Sperm by Marcus Speh, Three Squares a Day With Occasional Torture by Julie Innis, The Merrill Diaries by Susan Tepper, and The Cheese and Onion Sandwich and other New Zealand Icons by Vivienne Plumb.

It is with a sense of deep gratitude and appreciation that I welcome these works to my library and accept the responsibility for their care and feeding, but most importantly, for their reading and appreciation! I only hope that some of the genius of these authors might rub off on my work!

Once again, my gratitude and appreciation goes out to the participants, organizers and judges of FLASH MOB 2013, including Christopher Allen, Michelle Elvy, Marcus Speh, Robert Vaughan, Leah McMenamin and Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Linda Simoni-Wastila, and to the aforementioned authors for their work ~ Alex Pruteanu, Marcus Speh, Julie Innis, Susan Tepper and Vivienne Plumb. Thank you one and all. I look forward to paying it forward if I am ever presented with the opportunity to do so!

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