Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day Fifty-two: lame wings

While I rested my 'lame wings' last night (bordering on a relapse), I watched TV. A rare enough occasion.
I watched the X-Factor, I know... an even more rare occasion.

As there were many breaks in the program, for my taste anyway, I finished three sudoku puzzles in the Irish Times newspaper in the meantime.
Also I can't say I am a fan of all the extra dancers and the gimmicky hype, but boy was I pleased to have heard this young woman Rebecca Ferguson sing. A beautifully stunning slightly eccentric looking singer with a voice that no one can better.

Thank you Rebecca for making my night of nurturing my 'lame wings' special.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

day Fifty-one: the scares about a virus...

Was not going to write a blog today - looking for a computer free afternoon/night as I am tired... yet again...
But before I turn of the computer my email box showed a few messages.

One was a message to members of the M.E. Chat Room on Facebook, posted by Vikki Walker: her message follows below in italic

There has been a lot of talk about the XMRV virus and it's link to M.E./CFS. A new minefield to deal with, as far as I am concerned. I try not to get too involved into new findings as they turn up on a regular basis. This one however is not going away, and now countries all over the world are banning people with ME from donating blood... and at the same time they are telling us with M.E. that it is all in our head...
Although I have not given blood, I do have worries about whom I might have infected...

The message is to work 'aks' for a policy chance in the U.K. I can imagine that the policy chance is needed in many more countries other than the UK....
So, please make your voice heard, whereever you are.
Thank you


For over 25 years, all evidence of viral infections and immune abnormalities in M.E patients has been suppressed. Ignored. Buried.

Instead, the Government shut the files away in a secret Medical Research Council vault, locked for over 70 years, and listened to a group of unconventional psychiatrists, authorizing them to control policy for patients.


In 1991 a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania discovered a brand new retrovirus in the blood of M.E patients. This information was deliberately buried for 18 YEARS until in 2009 the retrovirus XMRV was uncovered by the Whittemore Peterson Institute in 67% of M.E/CFS patients.

Further evidence of Murine Leukemia Viruses in 86.5% of M.E/CFS patients was confirmed by the US agencies Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health in August 2010.

The Department of Health has BANNED the donation of blood in M.E patients from 1st November –stating it “as precaution to protect the donor's safety by ensuring their condition is not made worse by donating blood" and that “there are no plans to screen already stored blood (Anne Milton Minister for Public Health, October 2010). THEY WILL NOT ADMIT IT IS BECAUSE OF AN INFECTIOUS RETROVIRUS.


The current treatment guidelines for M.E were developed by a steering group dominated by psychiatrists, who state of M.E patients:

“Those who cannot be fitted into a scheme of objective bodily illness yet refuse to be placed into and accept the stigma of mental illness remain the undeserving sick of our society and health service”.

Most M.E treatment centres are funded by mental health authorities within primary care trusts and placed within mental health units of hospitals and headed up by psychiatrists.

We are not mentally ill. We are sick.

Not only is XMRV prevalent in our blood, researchers have also found immune system abnormalities and EIGHT infectious subtypes of M.E. Antiviral trials have been a success in America yet these drugs are banned under the NICE Guidelines in the UK.


The US NIH has recruited top pathogen hunter Dr Ian Lipkin to carry out further XMRV research.

The UK authorities state “no public health action is required at this time.”

It seems the UK Government is quite happy for this cancer-causing retrovirus to be infecting the blood supply; already it is estimated that between 3% and 7% of the healthy blood supply is infected and cancer has increased by 4% annually since 2008.


M.E/CFS patient community, sufferers, family members and friends - it’s time to join together once again and demand policy change in the UK!!

The “UK POLICY CHANGE: NOW” campaign has just four simple steps or AIMs and taking part in our campaign is easy:

1. Address your email
2. Inform the campaign: Bcc:
3. Message: copy and paste our message
4. Start over: repeat these actions once each day.

Sample message: (adjust as necessary)

Dear …...,

"Stop allowing policy to support the refuted psychiatric model of ME/CFS, which presumes that ME/CFS has no organic basis and is therefore contradictory to current science and research on XMRV and other viruses. Pledge to make a definitive policy change NOW, patients and their families are waiting."

Jane Smith, Newcastle
Housebound and bed-bound since 1999

Send to:

1) Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health
2) Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health
3) John Savill, Chief Executive of the MRC

Contact info:

1) Rt Hon. Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health
Email:, DHMail@dh.;
Telephone: 020 7210 4850 Fax: 020 7210 5952

2) Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
Email: CMOweb@dh.;, sally.davies@dh.;

3) Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the Medical Research council
Email: Linda.Willmott@headoffice.; (personal assistant's name)
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7670 5155
Fax: +44 (0)20 7580 4369

NB. Please use Bcc (instead of Cc) when copying us in and create your own subject titles. These actions should reduce the number of emails stopped by those pesky spam filters.

Many thanks

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day Fifty: Writing a bestseller?

Busy with writing today, and if I had even the slightest notion that I will be able to enter the TV3/Poolbeg competition, then I you won't
see me here again until Christmas... (which reminds me, don't forget to order your Christmas cards from the Little Wings Shop )

Anyway they're asking for a completed novel between 100.000 and 120.000 words before 17th December.
Just checked and I have about 6000 words... and a few thousand words elsewhere on the computer, and many many more in my head, but I don't think they count in this case

For those of you in Ireland who have been working on a novel a bit longer, here are the details:
  • Write a Bestseller
  • Imagine seeing your name on the bestseller list in 2011?
  • If you've ever dreamt of being a published author now is your chance to make it happen. The Morning Show with Sybil & Martin have teamed up with Poolbeg Press, Ireland's leading publishing house, to offer you the prize of a lifetime -the chance to see your novel published and on bookshelves around the country.
  • For more see: Article
  • See here for an entry form
Bye now,
Back to work!

PS, a great website for writers in Ireland:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day forty-nine: Shadows

shadow of the 'people in my family tree'

It might be a strange notion, but I like shadows.

Shadows can create images at times more wonderful and interesting than it's original.
Take a plant in the windowsill at nighttime. Illuminated by a streetlight, the shadow on the wall takes on a completely new identity. Spidery- Spooky- Ready for Halloween

Walking in the low hanging autumn sun, my shadow is long. I am TALL! And my walking stick is not recognisable as a stick any longer.
(...may I divert a little, I was walking on a beach a while back and my shoes left an imprint in the wet sand. For some reason, my stick did not. This REALLY excited me! No stick!)

Anyway shadows. The shadows of the telephone poles over the field in this same autumn sun, stretch out to the end of the field.

Distortion. Beauty. Intrigue.

Last night I was sitting in my study, under a wall light. My Family Tree sculpture - on which I am still working- stands across the room. The shadows of the 'people' I see in the tree-stump were clearly visible on the wall.
I 'found' a new figure in it too - a dancer- only visible because of the shadow.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day forty-eight: reality hits back

(I will let a few videos do the 'talking for today)

Last night after writing my musings about Facebook,
I felt good. Happy. Contented.
As usual I created a link to Facebook and Twitter.

On Facebook I had a quick check to see what others had posted...
Sus had just posted this video:

Here is my own story about M.E. (in two parts)
Filmed and edited by Irish Artist David Begley
in 2003:
Fit to Fly
(note that the first video starts with a black screen for ten seconds.)

for those of you still looking for more 'entertainment'
here is the link to the documentary Flight Path accompanying my book Hatched.
A story of triumph, picking up my 'baby' from the printers

Thank you for taking the time to watch, and please do forward any of the video's to bring more awareness to the condition M.E. which brings huge devastating to so many people.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day forty-seven: musing

Time for some musings. Strange word actually... musings:
absorbed in thought/ meditative/ contemplation/reflection

My 'musings' were going to the strange and wonderful world of Facebook, Second Life, Twitter, ... Blogging
There I have said it, I am enjoying Facebook... and blogging... although I still don't really understand Twitter. But thank you my followers!

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while, might remember that I did a small survey on the effects of social networks for people with M.E. At that time I had only just succumbed, reluctantly I must add, to Facebook and had a blogger page because I trusted my friend Shannon's suggestion of this.

Forty-seven days ago, I started writing an almost daily blog, partly (to convince myself) of a change for the better in my health, and partly to share with others my love for writing and life around me.

Every time I write I create link to Facebook and Twitter. Suddenly I have people all over the world, whom I've never met, and probably never will, reading my thoughts, sharing my pain, and delight in the small triumphs.
I am in awe of all the kindness you, my readers, my friends, are bringing me.

Cyberspace is where I have met the most wonderful of people, some living with the same condition as me, others who share a love of books, or creativity. All add something to my life. There are young people and people older than me. Age doesn't matter, race, state of health, country of origin, none matters. On Facebook.. and I am sure also on Twitter, we are equal.
If you can run a marathon and I can walk to a little up the path to Ballynelligan, we are both equal in cyberspace.

What a joy is has been to share funny video's, small anecdotes of life around us, the joy of growing vegetables, of watching the birds, of given someone who has a bad day, a virtual hug. To chat with someone in Australia, in Ireland, or young teenager who loved my Cirrus book.

Why oh why did I not want to see this at first. I was very much against Facebook... I didn't want to know what one had or breakfast or if someone had brushed his or her teeth that morning... Little did I know that I would be excited to check up on my friends in the morning, see what they've been up to and to read the lovely comments from 'virtual strangers' - no they are 'virtual- real friends'! I remember even a photograph of what one of my friends had for breakfast... A great image.

I rest my case, and will muse a little further on my own.

Goodnight my friends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day forty-5+6 Autumn

I feel privileged to have my little home
with a view
over a field,
with trees
in their autumn outfit,
birds in the sky
and on the wall opposite me,
and bare mountains
bright with a warm glow
as if they are proud
to be there.

What else would anyone ask for?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day forty-four

I received a hard copy of the edited Hatched (Re-Hatched) in the post yesterday. So far the only thing I have done today, is making the slightest corrections. Other than that, it was a day of rest.

A snippet from the second edition:

From the reviews of Hatched

‘Hatched is one of the most energetic, generous-hearted, sharp minded and inspiring books of poems I’ve read for quite a while.’
Poet Brendan Kennelly

‘“Great day for a walk” – is not just a greeting, but a celebration for the human spirit.
Hatched deserves an international audience, and merits a place on best-seller lists.’
Munster Express

‘It is beautiful. Really beautiful. It gives me courage.’
Dianne Mawhood

‘The lesson of the deeply personal yet emphatic diary that is Hatched is that you don’t have to get ME to embrace them.’
Dungarvan Observer
‘This is something really special and uplifting.’
Interaction magazine

‘I found tears rolling down my cheeks- tears of both empathy and relief. You have shared your experiences in a simple, beautiful, and human way.’
Sue Page

‘Corina Duyn is living proof of the adage that you can’t keep a good woman down.’
Irish Examiner

For further information about the author’s art and writing, please visit
There are some first editions left, see the shop on the website

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day forty-three

To follow up on the tidying of my study... it is as good as completed. Always more to sort out, but that can wait until the next spurt of autumn-spring-cleaning
For now, I have a space to work in and plan to get writing on Monday!

This morning- REST! and look out the window where the sparrows are munching on the last remaining blackberries.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day forty-two: Cloud Fairies

Hello, I am Tarik, I am 8 years old and a brother of Cirrus Kalani.
Who is he? Well, he is my big brother and he visited Ireland last year. Kind of by acciddent. I'll tell you:
We were at the Clouds Land International Dance Festival on Cloud Nimbo and Cirrus took part in a Cloud Hole Jumping Event, and suddenly he disappeared. We didn't know what had happened to him, but as it turned out, he had slid down a rainbow and landed in a field in Ballynelligan.
He landed in a pool of water - the bath of a bird called Sarah Robin.
Still makes me laugh!
As it happens, a writer lived nearby and she wrote Cirrus's story about his adventures in Ireland. Cirrus Chronicles you can buy the book. People all over the world have read the story. My brother is Famous!

By the way, Cirrus came home on a Zebra which can fly.

This is Cirrus and Zebra and me!

I am now visiting Ireland myself, and am staying with a lovely lady called Theresa.

A note from Corina:
If you are interested in having your own Cloud Fairy "visiting" you, you can place an order for a doll to be made. All are original! You can contact her at contact Corina to ask for furhter details.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day Forty-one; procrastination or the start of something wonderful?

Correction on the number 40... in yesterday's post.
Despite being related to the word "four" (4), 40 is spelled "forty", not "fourty". according the Wikepedia!

Anyway, I won't include an image today, for two reasons... one was just given to me when I opened blogger to write today's musings, image uploads will be disabled for two hours due to maintenance at 5:00PM PDT Wednesday, Oct. 20th.

The other being the REAL reason... I am 'tidying' up my study, rearranging books, paperwork, printer and scanner to a new location, and other stuff that always seem to accumulate without my knowledge... and I really would not like to share the state of the room in it's present state!

So better get on with the job in hand, or eat first, or have yet another break, or listen to the radio, or... any other suggestions of procrastinating?

The re-shuffle of my room is really to make a statement that I am serious about my writing, and, I can only hope that a tidy room will be the start of my master piece of a book!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day fourty: Driving

To escape the computer for a while (lots of work done last week on editing Hatched - Re-Hatching?) I took myself off to Town. In the car!

While driving I thought about some of the peculiarities of having M.E..
For example, I drive with a hand control, which means no legs involved in the driving, but more to the point, both hands are always busy. One with the pull and push leaver, which works the accelerator and the brake, while the other hand is on the 'steering knob'. This is fine as long, you don't have an itchy nose; the sun shines too brightly (love it!) in your face and you need sunglasses... you want to turn the radio on, or you have to sneeze and you can't out your hand in front of your nose or get a tissue... until you get to a traffic light, a red one- but the first light is at least 15 minutes from home.
One plus, I won't get penalty points for driving with my mobile phone in my hand!

Another thought was that I have a mobility scooter in the back of the car and a mighty hoist to get it in and out. A plus is that I can park in disability parking spots. Free of charge.

I am proud to drive again, even if it means I can only go a short distance, have a survival kit on board: water, food, blanket, pillow, mobile phone, and that I have to sleep for an hour after returning home.

Who cares?
I got out!
On my own!
Free as a bird!

Ps a most wonderful rainbow appeared just now over the field at which I look out from my study window.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day Thirty nine: My 'daughter' in Mexico

This is 'my' little daughter Yudith Evelin, well at least, I see her as part of my life. Yudith is almost five years old and lives with her parents and little brother in Mexico. I have been her sponsor for the past four years, through an organisation called Child Fund.

About ten or eleven years ago, I was pretty much house bound, and thus unable to buy Christmas gifts for family and friends. I wrote to them and suggested I sponsor a child in stead of buying gifts that year. I contacted Child Fund and the girl that was chosen for me was called Kinga, a little 6 year old, living in Romania and enrolled in a school for the blind, as Kinga had very poor eyeside. We communicated by letters and I received photos and drawings from her. My most precious letter was when Kinga asked if I would like to be the Godmother of her new doll. This little girl grew into a young teen, who was very keen on playing music, creating art and performing in plays.

Four years ago the organisation - the school for the blind- became able to support itself and funds through Childfund were no longer needed.
I was asked by Childfund if I would like to sponsor another child instead. At the cost of only €20 per month, I said 'of course'!

That is how I became involved with my new family. Yudith's mother writes to me and posts photographs. It is lovely to be able to make a difference in the lives of others less well of than me.

Friday I received the yearly progress report, and this time it came with a short CD documenting how the early childhood centre and school are run, and what impact the sponsorship has on a whole community. Besides the basic education, the children and parents are educated about healthy eating, the children receive health care, and recently the families were supported with the growing of their own vegetables.

I am proud of 'my' little girl and am grateful that I am in a position to help.

I hope that many of you will consider entering in a sponsorship for a year. See how it goes, and I can guarantee that you will not look back. Childfund - sponsorship


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day Thirty seven and eight... two for company

The past few days rather overwhelmed with the editing of Hatched to prepare for printing the second edition, but got some help from Shannon who really knows about photoshop! Thanks Shannon!

Robert (Cat) is getting a lot of attention here in cyberspace. In real life too I suppose.
He is a creature of habit. Everyday the same pattern, from which we can all learn I suppose.
Sleep a lot and go outside when the sun shines. If not, then sleep, and sleep some more. As long as you are awake at 'dinner' times.

When I go for my nap after lunch, without fail Robert snuggles up under the blanket with me.
(and stays there for much longer than me!)

This is the only time of the day that he wants to be under the blanket. With the only exception if he got a big fright- or when he had his little private parts removed... (sorry guys)

Another habit is that at night time he wants to come in via the living room window. If I am in the study - one window further- he still sits at the living room windowsill... Special needs or what!

Still, with all his peculiarities and his VERY messy eating habits, he is great company.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day Thirty 4, 5, 6... been busy

Haven't forgotten about you all, but... I have been on a little holiday, at least I call it a holiday.

After a short visit to town, a rest at my friends house, and a dinner at the Indian, we (Phyllis did) drove to Waterford to see a play called "Dear Frankie", and what a treat it was.
Niamh Gleeson wrote an amazing play, with Nuala Hayes in the title role of Ireland's First on-air agony aunt. Sarah Barragry and Donagh Deeney both play a variety of characters.
The play chronicles Frankie's 'on air' personality and her private life behind it. The quick character changes, especially by Sarah, were mind blowing. The play portrays Ireland and all it's hangups of the 60's and 70's.

I loved the play and hope that any of you who are living in Ireland, will go and see this show. See tour-dates.

Afterwards we met the cast of three. Thank you Nuala, Sarah and Donagh for a wonderful evening.

The following morning I had to drive myself home... with my tired head and body, but I did it and after a nap, worked on editing the second edition of Hatched.

Today I finished the sculpture of Cirrus's brother! I won't show a picture yet, as I would like it's new owner to meet him first. All I can say is that he turned out rather 'cute'/sweet.

Having finished both the sculpture and the main work in terms of editing Hatched I am going to have a good rest... like Robert (cat)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

an extra post today

Today I had my first meeting with my PR-man to discuss the re-launch of my books Hatched and the Cirrus Chronicles.
While he had to go out to make a call, I read Christy Parker's article again, which he had written after the IMMRAMMA travel writers festival 2006, where Hatched was launched. The article was on the same page in the Dungarvan Observer as his account of the main speaker of the festival, Robert Fisk.

I was in tears reading it, and wanted to share this article with you.

I will republish Hatched, I will find the funding for it somewhere.

AN UNPLANNED JOURNEY Christy Parker. Printed in Dungarvan Observer July 2006

Christy Parker finds Corina Duyn’s account of coping with illness a revelation.

Few interpretations of IMMRAMA’S 2006 theme, Travel and Conflict, surpass the courage, hope and enlightenment of that supplied by Corina Duyn. The Lismore artist did not submerge herself in Baghdad or venture to Cambodia, She didn’t even argue with a bus driver! Rather Corina’s conflict became her journey and resistance her only map as she suddenly herself on the dark road of ME -often understatedly called chronic fatigue syndrome. Her voyage will find resonance with anyone negotiating the steep hills of serious illness and bring insight to those who are not.

At Lismore library on June 16th, Corina launched ‘Hatched’ her art-intoned diary tracing the story of her ongoing, eight-year battle with her illness. The book is a 184 pages ‘diary’ through sketches, photographs and short synopsis. Each visual and literal observation is a footstep formed at that particular time in her journey. It is an inspired and inspiring piece of travel writing.

In 1998, Dutch-born Corina, was a commercially successful doll-maker when, as suddenly as a car crash, her life changed. “One week I was playing badminton and cycling, the next I couldn’t cross the street”, she recalls. After months of desperation deterioration, doctors diagnosed ME.

At 36, her independence gave way to reliance. Friends rallied to provide a rota of care. In November the wheelchair arrived. To the former nurse, it was a crushing delivery. “I couldn’t look at it”, she says.

Yet as she sat in her front room or garden, amongst the spiders, birds, shadows, smells, running water, grass, or visitors’ chat, her world began to re-assemble. Now it had a different shape, the colours brighter. She “became more aware of the beauty in simple things. I also desperately wanted to express myself”, she recalls. Her journey was taking a new direction

Energy might be a mere 10–minute burst in which writing at first was too challenging, but Carina started, shakily, to sketch. Writing, painting and even sculpting would be reclaimed in time as mostly every day she allowed her streams of consciousness to express the moment and make sense of her new life. “Suddenly I was committing everything I was experiencing to paper. It was so fulfilling”, she smiles. “I couldn’t fly a kite but I could painting one flying. It was my escapism.”

Over the years, the captured impression accumulated. Then came another twist on the road, when Patricia Martin of Lismore Arts centre persuaded her to exhibit them. From Lismore to Bantry and Dungarvan to Tramore, people lauded the work. “I couldn’t believe it. People seemed to relate my story to their own lives and take something positive out of it” she muses. A DVD, “Fit to Fly, was launched during M.E. awareness week in May 2004, followed by national TV and newspapers features.

Now, with financial help from the Waterford Co. Council’s Arts Office and personal assistance from amongst others, her good friend Jane Jermyn, comes Hatched. The book is accompanied by Flight Path, a superb CD freelance filmmaker Katie Lincoln, charting the book’s production.

Hatched is not an incidental title. What was a suspected sinus infection in 1998 was to render her fragile. The Egg, in various manifestations, is employed as a metaphor throughout. In June 1999 it was both self-representative and symptomatic as she wrote: “Horrified to realise I do not have the strength to crack a boiled egg”. That first year, the challenge dug its roots in deeply. Her memory failed and life was “a scrambled” egg as she had to “rely on writing lists”.

Yet, Corina equally saw the Egg’s representation as a new life. So, seizing every moment, often-innocuous activity becomes an allegory for progress and growth. As her life is re-constructed, her spirit grows a beak. It eventually breaks through its shell of limitation, hatching towards that quest for eventual flight, discovery and self-destiny.

The book thrives on rampant editing from the original works which, accompanied by colour illustrations, renders every word a potent punch. “Pain-ting” she adds to an acrylic portrayal of a crow in February 2003.

Adding much fancy to the book’s flight are the underlying gusts of wry humour. In 2001, she decides that if she wins the lottery, “I’ll buy a customised van so I can be housebound on wheels.” November 2002: Would someone like to paint a still life? Me lying on a couch”!

Suspected meningitis in May 2004 turns out to be “Just ME”. Her observations are of without as they are within. July 2004: “Birds singing while hailstones are belting down on them”.

Following this compulsive trail of honesty and wisdom, the Egg becomes a bird; sometimes a balloon surfaces and at Christmas 2002 a plane rises as she becomes, literally, a “Flying Dutchman” to visit her mother: “Done it. Made it to Holland”. The spirit refuses to be grounded.

“Creativity knows no boundaries”, Corina observes in February 2005. Therein lurks the ultimate irony of her life and of all our lives. Hatched tells us as much about ourselves as it does about Corina. Compelled to stop and stare, she didn’t find creativity in herself no more than she discovered the kindness and caring of her friends. They found her. They were there all along. The lesson of the deeply personal yet emphatic diary that is Hatched is that you don’t have to get ME to embrace them.

Day Thirty Three: Two left hands...

Last night I made hands for a little 'doll' - Cirrus's brother Tarik.

The process of making hands, especially so tiny, is rather tedious. I make the wrist and palm first and let that fully dry. Last night I put on fingers, thumbs, knuckles etc. Each finger goes on separately - let it dry- put in the thumb- let it dry....
As I sat right beside the radiator, I placed the hand I had been working on, on the radiator, so it would dry while I worked on the second hand. And visa verso.

This morning I started sanding... and realized that I had made two identical hands... as in two right hands...

Now the saying goes (in Holland anyway) that if you can't do a practical job, you have two left hands... does that mean that Tarik, will be an extremely gifted little Cloud Fairy?

I made a left hand this morning.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day Thirty Two: To be in a Postcard

The other day I received a phone call from my friend Bentsi, from Israel. We met at least 12 years ago during a doll/puppet making workshop in France. Bentsi is a full time puppeteer and visits schools all over Israel with his shows. He writes his own scrips and makes the puppets, the set and record the music.

He was telling me about a recent trip to Tirol (I hope I got that right- brain not always reliable in retaining information) but anyway. He described being there as "being in a postcard".
What a lovely description and thought.

My friend also mentioned the movie Julie & Julia. And of course, I had to watch it again. Even second time round it is still a great movie. Meryl Streep (brilliant) plays the cook Julia child, who brought French cooking to the American housewife. Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, an author who never had her books published and works for an insurance company dealing with the aftermath of Nine-Eleven.

Julie sets herself the task to write a blog, everyday for one year, and works her way through all the recipes in Julia Child' cookbook. More than 500.

Not wanting to spoil the story completely, I have one thing to tell you though... Julie's blog created such an interest that she had numerous book offers, and interests in movie rights...

I keep dreaming!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day Thirty One- There or Here?

A late blog today...

Anyway, I was writing in O'Sullivan's bar at the pier in Kilmackillogue about a week ago and wondered if I could work better on my writing, 'here' or 'there'.

It suddenly dawned on me that there is only one letter in the difference... T here...
Yet these words bring about hugely diverse thoughts and emotions.

Here, was at home where I was stuck between four walls for a long time, and at that time There was where I wanted to be.
In terms of that afternoon in the pub, Here was in that gorgeous utterly remote setting oozing with character, and a quiet place to write.
There would be home...

I am!

Especially when I looked up both words in the dictionary. The first description of each word are pretty much the same... but they are not!

There: In, at, or to that place or position.
Here: In, or at, or to this place of position

(according the Oxford Concise English Dictionary)

There or here

Ps, I actually set out to write about the movie Julie & Julia, but I will leave that for another day.

Sweet dreams

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day Thirty... Christmas on the way... Sorry..

I hate to mention Christmas in October. For me Christmas starts around the 23 December... but.. I have an Original Christmas Cards illustrated with the theme from the Cirrus Chronicles, for sale. There is little point in telling you this two days before Christmas.
Size: 13.5 cm square. Envelop supplied.
€30 for 16 cards/envelops. Free worldwide postage
Orders can be placed now, via my shop
Cards will be posted out in early November.
proceeds from the sales will go towards the cost of re-printing Hatched


Friday, October 8, 2010

Day Twenty Nine: Writers Group

Last night I went to the West Waterford Writers Group, and as always really enjoyed to be in the company of writers.
This nights facilitator had brought in a series of objects, from a Jerusalem Bible, cookbook, crossword book, travel stories, to Rosary beads and an engagement ring.
We were asked to write about any of these 'subjects'. The stories that emerged where diverse. Some had the capability of growing into a much longer story.
This is what I wrote:

At first glance the Bible stood out as it links in with my current writing - Noa's fictional autobiography.
Noa describes her birth- and how within the first twelve hours of being in this world she was whisked away from the cosy hospital ward to the cold sacristy of the parish church.
"Holy water cleansed me of my Sins.
I was chosen to be a child of someone called God.
I had only just acquainted myself with my parents...
And my great grand mother.
I now was given Godparents
Who are also my siblings.
and then there was someone called an aunt who took me from the arms of my Godmother-sister,
Whom to trust?"

In this fictional autobiography Noa is aware that in almost 560 days she will be 50 years old.
So far the themes that are jumping out are: flying, shadows, and an imaginative mind- needed to stay afloat in a family which had long established itself, and to find her way in her current life.
At the age of four, while singing a song with her classmates about a helicopter and and being happy up in the clouds, she takes on that sentiment -Flying becomes her dream/wish.

That's where the travel book -(one of the props)- comes in.
Will Noa travel in her mind as much as I have done in the past? Travel in thought, when a journey to the bathroom or kitchen was an adventure in itself.

I am planning to write Noa's memoir as one of.... have to think .. I am planning to write Noa's memoir as to the life I didn't have (for the past 12 years) - as in cycling to the local coffee shop, long walks up the mountain - a life of being well...
But I struggle with that sentiment- What is being well? I am well.
Is Noa me?
Am I Noa?
Who knows. - I will tell you the next time we meet and got to know Noa a bit better in the meantime.

I am excited to facilitate the next meeting which has the theme of this story Apples and Books

After the meeting I asked a few other writers about my current 'dilemma' of re-publishing Hatched - or not... To make a very exciting story short, the final outcome was to re-publish and to re-launch both my book. One of the participants - a PR man, is interested to work with me.
I was so excited about that news, and the support I got that I couldn't get to sleep... Facebook friends were there to congratulate me on this development.
Thank you all!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day Twenty Eight: Ballynelligan (3)

... and of course Cirrus Kalani arrived in Ballynelligan.

The idea for a story about a Cloud Fairy had been in my mind for a few years, but the move to my new house at the edge of Ballynelligan, brought the story to life. Every time I walked a short distance of the path, the story evolved. I saw a cobweb, that looked like a hammock; I wondered about the empty snail shells high up in the crevasses of the old wall; a robin followed me on my walks...
Thus The Cirrus Chronicles- Landing in Ballyneligan, was born.
If you are interested to read this story of Magic Realism (for ALL ages), and bring yourself out of the negative field of the current recession for a few hours, please visit my web-shop

From now until Christmas there is no charge for postage.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day Twenty Seven, Ballynelligan (2)

As I wrote in yesterday's blog, the walk to Ballynelligan fills my mind with all sorts of creativity and gratitude. No more so then a few weeks ago, when during a walk, I was thinking about the Family Tree Project I am doing with fellow artist Spark Deeley.
During the last time we worked together, we talked about possibly using a real tree branch as part of our project....
There it was. Lying on the side of the path!

I dragged it across the path to hide it, just in case anyone thought it to be a nice piece of firewood.
Days later I drove my scooter over the path... a painful, bumpy ride... and of course had the misfortune to be greeted by a group of about fifteen teenagers. All laughing at me.. Ok it must have looked funny, to be carrying this rather large piece of wood, in between my legs, bumping over the path on a scooter...
I am now working on that piece of wood and am creating our 'ancestors' that I see hidden in the branches and twigs.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day Twenty Six: Ballynelligan (part one)

Last night I went on a short walk to Ballynelligan. This is the area adjacent to my house, and is part of the so-called Lady Louisa's walk.
Within two minutes of leaving my house, I am on a gravel path and am almost instantly overjoyed with being among such beauty. Here is where my creativity flourishes; my writing fills my head; where I see the beauty of nature, and feel this intense gratitude that I am 'allowed' to live here.
The first sight of nature's wonder are the Himalayan Balsam flowers. The scent emanating is that of a sweetshop. The flowers are like orchids.
I can not help but touching the seed heads.
They are explosive, so say the least.
When you gently touch the seed head, within seconds the seed head jumps open and scatters the seeds all around you. The seed head becomes a 'delicate sculpture'

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day Twenty Five: Funny lady

Just a rather short blog today, but one that I hope will make you smile.
(text: Still can get totally outrageous!)

It certainly works for me!

I came across this eccentric lady in an antique shop in Kenmare,
My visiting cousin kindly bought her for me.
Thank you Ton!

While she is standing proud on my desk,
I try to work out if/when I can re-print Hatched

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day Twenty four: Republishing Hatched?

At the bottom of every new blog-post I add a label: Photography; Writing; Nature, Day, M.E. etc, to note the main topic of the blog. Some have more than one label. There are now more posts with the label Day, then there are posts with the label M.E. Just a little observation!

The recent (renewed) interest in my book Hatched- A Creative Journey Through M.E. is touching me deeply. The comments bring me closer to what I love best, and would like to continue to do; writing and creating. Thank you all!

Some comments:
"Have finished reading "Hatched". A few pages in, I found tears rolling down my cheeks. Not necessarily bad tears, but tears of both empathy and relief - somebody (you) has shown me, by having the courage to publish, that others experiences are so like mine. At times we feel as though we struggle on trying to explain how it is... and you have done that Corina in a simple, beautiful, and human way.

The spider moving in the room, wondering whether to shower, achieving goals like walking down the road, when years ago that would have meant nothing. I have been in the midst of those thoughts, observations and feelings. Not fitting in the illness box - I don't belong there either. I think I would place myself in the Fledgling chapter - getting there, but a way to go yet!"

"This book has touched me Corina, as I'm sure it has many others, in places only those who have truly been there could touch. Thank you.'"

"Reading Corina's little book 'hatched". It is beautiful. Really beautiful . She has inspired me to pick up my poetry pen and find a special writing pad, then I may be able to put pen to paper again after these mind numbing years. The first will be the hardest. Thanks Corina-you give me courage."

"U took me on a journey and I almost felt like I was standing nearby watching U go through a life changing experience. I can only hope that one day U will be well again. U have such an amazing talent and its heartbreaking that U can't enjoy as U should. Life can be so cruel, but maybe one day that will all change for the better!!!"

As I said, I am touched, really touched!
...But.. this leads me to a minor dilemma. I only have about twenty Hatched books left, and am now debating if I can republish. In my mind, the next edition will have some additional pages/introduction and I probably won't include the DVD. But... where do I find the money to print? Unless a publisher is interested to take on the book.

Any help/suggestions gladly accepted!

And if any of you would like to own a copy of the first edition of Hatched, please go Shop or to "Two Book deal" for the current offer.

Thank you for your support and interest.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day Twenty Three."If I knew your were coming...

...I'd have baked a cake, baked a cake..."

Well I DID bake a cake, a sugar free one, and will gladly share the recipe with you.
Just before you think this is a 'too big a job', I can assure you, this is a very easy cake to make!
... and... the sugar free recipe doesn't stop sugar lovers from enjoying this cake.
Corina's (Sugar Free) Apple Cake.

  • 8 ounces white flour *
  • 2 teasp. baking powder
  • 2 teasp. speculaas kruid (which is a Dutch mixed cookie spice)- or a mixed cookie-spice
  • 3 to 4 ounces of butter or margarine
  • 4 ounces of sultanas
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of apple concentrate. (equivalent of 3 ounces of sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup soyamilk, or ricedream (or cows milk if you prefer)
  • 2 apples cut into small pieces

( *you can also use gluten free flour, but in this case increase the amount of baking powder to 2 and 1/2 teaspoon and add more liquid)

  • Sieve flour and, baking powder, and spice into mixer bowl
  • add butter/margarine and mix until the consistency resembles course cornmeal
  • by hand: mix in (sugar), raisins, apple
  • mix egg with half the milk, and add the apple concentrate
  • mix this with dry ingredients to create a wet-tish dough that easily falls of the knife
  • put into greased and floured 2lb loaf tin and level on top.
  • bake in centre of oven 350-375F or gas 4, for 1 hour.
  • Eat and enjoy!