A bit of news

OxymoronsI’m really excited this week because one of my short stories, Coveted Nightmare (a fairytale rewrite that I’m very pleased with) has been published in the just-released issue of Silver Apples Magazine.

This is a big thing for me; it’s the first story I’ve had accepted by a printed lit magazine. I’m also really happy that it’s Silver Apples. I enjoyed submitting to them, because their website and submissions page were so good-humoured, so funny and so friendly. Getting the acceptance email was a brilliant feeling. I have loved this whole experience.

The magazine is on sale now. Click here to buy a copy, do.


Something worth watching

“I’m gonna answer the questions that people always ask me, but with an honest twist.”

Just about every TED talk is worth watching if you have time, but “Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model” by Cameron Russell is one that has stuck out for me.

Question: “How’d you become a model?”

Truthful answer: “I won the genetic lottery, and I am the recipient of a legacy.”

After proving the power of image in the first minute of her talk, Russell dissects the legacy and industry from which she has benefitted, tactfully and with honesty: image is superficial, and yet, has a huge impact on our lives. Russell mentions racial discrimination (something that I really appreciated and thought brave, as a white woman discussing her own white privilege). She also very effectively explains that the cool happy image in the photo is not real, despite girls across the world thinking these pictures are what they should aspire to.

I would definitely recommend watching this talk, which you can find here. It’s entertaining, it’s well structured, it makes you think, and it’s less than 10 minutes long. What’s not to like?

Chapters bookshop – somewhere to visit

I love bookshops much more than I should for the amount of money I have. One brand-new book is enough to make me happy, but shelf after shelf…gets dangerous.

I like Hodges Figgis a lot, but my favourite bookshop in Dublin has got to be Chapters on Parnell Street. It’s independent (Ireland’s largest independent bookstore), Irish-owned, and the sheer volume of books…it can be hard work finding the back wall of the shop.

Chapters also buys second-hand books (or CDs or DVDs) for cash or store credit. The upstairs of the shop is a huge second-hand section. I don’t bring all my books there – there are a lot of options for second-hand stuff, I also like book swaps and car boot sales – but if I’m looking to buy something specific, or if I have some good quality hardbacks, this is my go-to.

The one criticism I would have is that, to me, the Young Adult (YA) section feels a bit understated. It’s hidden in the corner so you have to search to find it, and the selection is not the best or the most varied I’ve seen. That said, Chapters has a way of making other books appeal to me in a way many shops don’t. The classics section is lovely.

If you’re in Dublin and you think you’d like to visit, there’s a map at the bottom of their website, linked above.