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Ireland's Toxic Romance

“I don’t want a baby who is slow and will have me to blame for it,” Emer said when she finally had an abortion. Emer and her long-term boyfriend Connor had booked an abortion earlier on in the pregnancy but cancelled it reluctantly because two friends of mine convinced them to wait. The couple wanted to marry and family together, but this baby was a surprise. When they were partying so much in the early months of the baby's life they had not known the woman was soaking the young infant in glasses of vodka.  The friends I have in common with this couple told them to make sure the baby was, in fact, harmed first, because they could be aborting a healthy baby. The weeks of pregnancy wore on and the couple had another scan which showed the baby was healthy, but they could not be assured that the baby's intelligence had not been impaired by the mother's excessive drinking in early pregnancy, so as fast as they could, they aborted the baby.


I have found that Emer and Connor are …

Our Lady of Siluva

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I have turned my blog black as a mark of respect for Our Lord's Sorrowful Passion

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Today is Good Friday and the holiest of holy days, and in honour of Our Lord's Passion I have changed my blog's background image from the bright lights of London to a sombre black. 

I have been reading and re-reading a lot of St Francis de Sales of late, because I will be editing a book which draws on his wisdom. 

From St Francis de Sales's The Invitation of Calvary I have been meditating on these lines; 

"He mounted the cross through obedience and died on it through obedience. All those who are willing to be saved through the cross will find salvation there. But those who desire to be saved without it will perish miserably" 

"Listen to this dear Saviour, who cries out that he is thirsting for our salvation who awaits and invites us to it."

"Why do some ask for a redemption other than that of the cross? Is the cross not sufficient? It is more than sufficient."

"He did not redeem us with just a single sigh, just a single tear, but with many, m…

John Carmichael, author of Drunks and Monks on The Journey Home

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John Carmichael, author of Drunks and Monks on The Journey Home, March 2018. 

 A still taken during the filming of The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi.


My friend Tom Leopold to comedy writers: "Make sure you think it's funny"

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Tom Leopold has given an interview to The Writer Magazine. Here is my favorite gem from the piece, "I want to speak as a comedy writer, If you want to touch people – using comedy writing as an example – make sure you think it’s funny." 

Tom warns against the trap of people pleasing where a writer writes, "what they think others might think is funny or what is funny at the moment."

There is a need for courageousness, as Tom says, "have the nerve to write the thing that absolutely drives you crazy, or you love, or you think is hysterical."

Speaking of the paramount importance of being specific, Tom advises, "the more specific you are in writing, the more general an audience can react to it".  Giving writers hope in being specific he says, "because none of us are so original that there won’t be a big swathe of people out there who agree."  You may read the whole interview here

Tom is a veteran comedy writer and has been in the business f…