Saturday, July 01, 2006

Writing, footy news and a book review

Well, I'm really on a blitz with my memoir/non fiction and have written the prologue and five whole chapters in a week. But most importantly, I'm having a ball doing it. I really am enjoying the process of creating a story that will become a book, eventually. I think that's what drives a writer: the joy of creating a new and wonderous world with words.

The only cloud in the horizon this weekend is that England is now officially out of the world cup, having lost to Portugal by three goals during a penalty kick-off to decide the winner . I know that might seem odd--an Irishman who's sorry England lost. But, having lived there, I harbor no silly animosities and England did provide us with some tense and exciting moments in the contest. Isn't that what it's all about in the end?

Finally, I'm a member of and another member, Barbary Chaapel (who's an Irishophile--if that's the term) read my book and posted a review. She's also a writer so her review is doubly pleasing to me.

Here it is:
Book Review


A novel by Damian McNicholl

A Son Called Gabriel is written by one of our own Gather members, Damian McNicholl. It is a quiet story that takes place in Northern Ireland in the 1960's and 70's, with The Troubles skillfully woven into the background of the story.

Gabriel Harken is the son of a working class Catholic family. Damain McNicholl has written a sensitive portrayel of Gabriel's coming of age, a very young Gabriel who had not the least idea for the longest time he was gay. How he deals with this discovery is sometimes comedic, but at times painful to read:

"But God knew I would never spurn Him. He knew He was in every molecule of my being. He was my life force. Moreover, fear wouldn't allow me to turn from him. I was too frightened, because then I'd really have nothing."

A Son Called Gabriel is a book of family pride and tribulations, guardia raids on Catholic homes, school pranks, the church, dancing with girls, discovering sex and coming to terms with homosexuality. But it is about more than these things: It is about honesty and acceptance, innocence and maturity.

Kudos to you, Damian, for your grand debut novel.

Here's some info on Barbary's work taken from
I have recently launched my book, No Name Harbor, Poetry of Barbary Chaapel. To view four poems from this collection go to: Barbary Chaapel

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