Author Story

Cake and Family

Whenever someone needs to know I care, I reach for the mixing bowl.

If you’ve had a scary diagnosis: it’s brownies, made with Muscovado sugar and a negligible amount of flour.

If you need donations for your fundraiser? Chocolate chip cookies. With golden syrup dripped in for a crystallised chewiness.

If it’s your birthday: of course, I’ll make you some cake. You get to choose. Lemon Drizzle? Marbled? Chocolate?

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The Ten Confessions of Juno Dawson

Juno Dawson

The first secret was Dad
And Extra Strong Mints
Mum and Minnie Mouse in Florida
‘I’ll see you on a weekend
We’ll get ice cream and candyfloss’

The second secret was Mum
Gingerbread women
Four divorcees
Eight kids in neon cycling shorts
Burn on the Costa Del Sol

The third secret was Her
Chopping Board Girl
Razor blade Pink Lady
Adopting the waifs and strays and queers
Nature’s hated children

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Author Story


Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Sheas mi seo san Dàmhair;
Chaochail an aimsir os mo chionn,
Leis na duilleagan uile ’tighinn gu bàs
’S iad donn san abhainn dhomhainn.

B’ e seo mo dhrochaid;
An t-àite bh’ agam fhìn,
Far an d’ fheuch mi m’ fhigh’ air ais ri chèile,
A dh’aindeoin an leòn ‘bha fada domhainn.

Agus ò
’S aithne dhomh
Òran bròin.
Òran bròin, no dhà.

Agus ò
Seinneam ò
Òran gaoil.
Òran aotramachd an t-saoghail.

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Author Story, Poem, gaelic


Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Cha do dh’ iarr mi thu mar nàmhaid,
B’ urrainn dhut a bhith nam charaid,
Nam faiceadh tu tron cheò
Mud choinneamh.

Dh’iarr thu orm co-choslachadh,
Cha b’ urrainn dhomh mo thàmhachadh,
Chan chluinneadh tu an ceò,
Na mo ghuth.

’S e seo an cogadh na thost;
An strì eadar iomadach loidhne
Agus stadaidh sinn an seo oir
Cha do ghabh thu idir ri mo dhòighean.

Aghaidh ri aghaidh san talla;
Chan eil air fhàgail ach sàmhchair
Nach gabhar a gleusadh.
Tha sinn nar crìonglaich
A’ chogaidh shàmhaich seo.

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gaelic, Poem, Author Story

The book

Sometimes it’s good to be outrageous. Most of the time I’m cool, respectable, but I like to keep an air of unpredictability about me. What am I going to do next? What do you expect me to do? In that case I’ll do the opposite, or something else entirely. Who knows?

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The Little Red Library

The library in my hometown was a little red brick building no more than 15 feet square. It sat on a corner shading itself under the leafy oaks and elms in summer and shivered against a white arctic bareness in winter. It was as sleepy as the rural township it served in America’s dairy heartland, but it woke me up to the world.

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The Great Pick 'n Mix Robbery of 1972

Debby Waldron, @ReeligDeb

I was like a kid in a sweet shop.

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Not Such A Beautiful Game

It’s a bit unusual for a bloke, but I really do not like football. At all. It bores the pants off me. It’s even funnier because my wife is an avid fan of the game. She can’t understand my lack of interest; I can’t understand why she gets so excited. I mean, it’s not as if it’s that difficult – from what I can see, you have to get something roughly a foot in diameter into a target that’s about fifteen feet by ten. That says to me, it doesn’t have to be that accurate.

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Summer Void

Some things were secret for a little while – long enough that they were exciting to hold onto before being exposed with jittery-joyousness at the end of the day. There were no serious accidents. Whether this was due to luck, the sweating endeavours of our guardian angels or because we had an intuition that some discoveries should not be repeated, I’m not sure.

However, a sure way of preventing any activity being enjoyed with abandon was telling what we had done to our mother.

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Bad Behaviourism

I am not academically gifted. I am academically jammy, which is fair compensation. I lucked out with wonderful teachers in secondary school, who shouted at me as Gaeilge until I was able to shout back, or stayed after-hours to give extra lessons in maths and French. There were Saturday study sessions too, during which I would feverishly write things unconnected to my schoolwork: screenplays about teenaged thieves, short stories about substance abuse (I was reading a lot of Melvin Burgess at the time).

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