Saturday, January 29, 2011


Welcome to the new followers to my blog-
Those of you that have singed up as follower and those of you who visit anonymously.

When my friend Spark was publishing her second book: Do you remember me? it felt like that the process of creating books is a bit like giving birth to a child.
To be clear from the start, l haven't brought a real child into this world of ours, but of course have friends and family who have gone through this "process". Like my niece Vera who is the proud mother of this serene looking girl Linsey.

A new book, or any creative project for that matter, but I think books more so... start with the thought of wanting to bring this 'child' into being. The gestation period can be long, depending on the objectives and unforeseen obstacles. Bringing Hatched into the world took at least five years. The Cirrus Chronicles was a wish for a few years too. The actual conception took place in early 2009. The birth about nine months later. See books

The worries if it will be 'healthy', will it be beautiful, what will other people think of it, is it possible that it will be a miscarriage, or will it have a short life? Or will it turn out the way I'd hoped.
Seeing these 'children' for the first time is, I can imagine, like seeing your own child for the first time 'did I really create this beauty?'

My friend Anna said the other day when I mentioned my current writing project (shadows of an invisible octopus)- "I don't want to read it until it is ready to face the world- It is a bit like a new born baby- everyone tells you it is beautiful until they get used to it and think 'the nose is a bit big- or what about that funny colour of her hair..."
I understood what she was saying.

My latest book Flying-on-little-wings had a reasonably short gestation period. Although if I look closely the idea might have been lodging itself in my head and I wasn't fully aware of its presence- an unexpected pregnancy perhaps? Suddenly there is was, a new born 'baby'.

Some 'prospective babies' have been aborted along the way. They were not fit enough to live in the real world.

Now, after Flying on Little wings has made it's appearance known to the world, and well received, I have been ushered on, to 'clone' this latest child and bring forth many many more of it as replicas. Making the handmade copies (all orders to date are in post!) and working on the preparation of this 'cloning' (together with other happenings I can't write about right now) has left me without much energy- postnatal fatigue perhaps?

Back to Spark Deeley's book: This work of beauty is a collaborative project with her friend Catherine Cunningham. Catherine is a musician and wrote the song Do you remember me? Spark illustrated this song with her artwork. The book is accompanied by a CD. Taken in the light of today's blog- it is a set of twins! *

In May (or June) I will be taking part in a three person exhibition at the Cork City Library. Spark, Dermot O'Dowda - a Cork photographer who just published his 'baby' Visions of Hibernia- and me will be showcasing our 'babies'!

So now I will continue to rest and recover from the Postnatal Fatigue.

*As soon as there is a link to this book on Spark's website I will let you know. For now, see it here

Saturday, January 15, 2011

When you are out flying on little wings

After a busy week, of which more some other time, I spend yesterday catching up on sleep. During waking hours I concentrated on creativity. My handmade book to be precise.

When you are out Flying on Little Wings

I enjoyed the process although making handmade books is quite time consuming... but the result is lovely- if I may be so bold to comment on my own creations.
Dianne wrote yesterday: "hope the creativity is making you happy". I can safely say: YES Dianne, thanks for asking!

I am most excited to have set free some of the photographs I had taken of the visiting birds in my garden. Most, if not all the images were locked into my computer, it feels good to have used them in a book, and to create a very short story around them...
The idea for this project came about during a recent relapse. At least it was good for something!! See here for more about the making of the book

If you'd like your own personally signed, limited edition (50) copy please contact me

Thanks for the visit to my blog!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Remembering Paddy Vaughan

A snippet of my dear friend Paddy Vaughan's public life in Lismore, filmed and edited by Pat Kiely. Thank you for sharing this with us Pat!
This video was first shown at the month's mind gathering

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Dear all,

I hope this finds you as well as is remotely possibly.
I am looking out at a gloriously clear winter sky with frosted plants and bronze coloured trees. How lucky I am.

Yesterday was one of those days when it was extremely clear to me that living with ME can present us with having to make really tough decisions.
There was a family gathering of descendants of my grandmother Keetje Kleijne. I had plans to go to Holland for this and to meet my niece Vera's first baby Linsey.
But as I had felt so unwell the past while, I hadn't booked a ticket. To be honest, in the past few days I felt relieved not to have to travel to Holland. But then when it comes to the actual day I wondered what it would be like to be among cousins and their families that I haven't met properly for years...

Also there was a months mind mass for my dear friend Paddy, see a very special man post. Friends had organised a gathering after the mass. I wanted to be there. I longed to be among his friends and family and join in, in celebrating the life that Paddy lived.

The reason why I decided not to go was to protect myself from the many flu and vomiting bugs that are doing the rounds around town...
A very tough decision. Even when I had decided not to go I still wondered if it was the right choice.
To be honest, I felt sad, very sad.

But... there is always a but...
Some cousins in Holland had created a direct link through Ustream so the cousins like myself who live abroad were able to at least view the happenings at the party. I saw, and heard, my brother Hans play with his band; I saw Vera and her baby Linsey, and saw lots of other people too and we managed to communicate via "texting" or whatever the word is.
So I was there in a way.

Then just before I was on my way to bed, two friends Mary and Margaret, who were behind organising the gathering for Paddy, came to visit to tell me how the night went. So again I was there in some way.
Pat Kiely showed a video of Paddy filmed during my book launch. (Hope to see it soon myself and share it with you here). The room where the gathering was had a fireplace in it which Paddy had made a long time ago. The pub owner told of memories when Paddy had set up a youth group in Lismore, he was one of the participants when a young teenager.
Happy thoughts. I am glad to have heard some of them.

So although I had to make tough choices, I felt included in both events.
Thank you all!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Flying on Little Wings- handmade book

Life with an illness is a "funny" thing isn't it. Not ha, ha funny, but more the peculiarity of it all.
For me, my creative brain takes full advantage when I am forced to stop moving around, rest a lot, and am re-evaluating where I am at.

During the past challenging spell, my mind wandered to the photographs I have of life in my little garden, and how they are all locked up in my computer's hard drive. Fair enough some found a bit of freedom by making their presence known on my website or onto my Facebook page or here on this little wings blog.

My thoughts moved to books, handmade books in particular, something I have longed to explore further for quite some time. I thought about writing.... and sharing a message of hope.

Playtime on the computer, playtime with leather, thread, glue, and ink on paper, all contributed to the birth of my next book: Flying on Little Wings.

In short, it is a 36 page book, with lots of photographs of birds, and a simple message in between. Hand bound in leather wrap around cover. Approximately 13 x 13 cm.

I am rather chuffed with the result and relieved when my artist friend Spark really liked it too, even in it's very rough stage of multiple printed images glued over each other, and the rough quality of printing... I can't wait for the proper printing paper to arrive and I can start the process of REAL printing. Yesterday bought the more leather, and other materials.

I intent to bring out this book as a limited edition of 50 copies. As soon as the first one is ready, I will post more about it on this blog and on my website.
(... in the meantime, if you have a great desire to become the owner of your own personally signed handmade copy please stay in touch, or let me know your interest!)

In all, what I a most excited about
is that my creativity
found space to flourish again.

Love to you all!

ps, feel free to share this post on facebook, twitter, or wherever you like! :-)
and as always, I love to read your comments and thoughts! X

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Little Wings

No, you haven't accidentally clicked on the wrong blog,
just my old little wings one,
with a face lift for 2011.

I hope you like it!

By the way...
I don't want to rip the skies wide open....
comes from the Little Wings lyric by Kris Delmhorst.
Watch it here!

Thanks Kris, I hope you are flying! X

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ability v Dis-ability

First of all - Happy New Year to you all!

I started my year with writing a "morning page", as I used to do in the creative days.
It starts my day off on a better note. I get my worries out of my mind and usually I find unexpected clarity on the page, which I would not have found if I got up straight away to start my day.
Writing has to be the first thing I do in the day. I have come to experience that if I tell myself I'll write while the porridge is cooking, or straight after breakfast, or after my bath... it never happens. I might make the odd note, but the clarity from a "morning page" is hard to beat.

This morning I wrote about the fact that I am living in the 'alien' land again, the land of M.E. and that I actually find, that in balance, it a much easier place to live in than the one outside my front door. The world that we all aspire to live in but which costs lots of energy to survive in.
At first this thought comes as a worry: do I stick my head in the sand and retreat from the world to feel safe in my 'alien' world... there might be a bit of that, but then I come to the conclusion that in this 'alien' world, of which I have been a resident for over a decade, is a world I can feel safe in. A world where I can live happily and within my ability.

The buzz word is ABILITY not DIS- ability.

A world where I can flourish. And from this place I will keep my eyes open to look for signposts towards healing from this illness.

This 'alien' residency has rules: Stay within limits, listen to my body, listen if my heart is beating too fast (*) for what I am doing- too much in that case... stay positive and stay in touch with the outside world through friendships and trips outside the door, when appropriate. The "are-you-sure" motto is the first rule here...
I can live with that. And this rule is a wonderful rule for living in the real world too, when I get to the point of changing residency!

Today I will continue to work on my "Flying on Little Wings" handmade artist book, which I am truly enjoying!

So long my friends!

(ps, feel free to share this post on Facebook or other places, there are links for this are right under this post)

(*) you might like this post by Barry I have a dream
Barry added an update of the "I have a dream" project, see here