The Food of Love?

0:06 / 2:53

All The Things

The lyric goes back about fifteen years. I used the chorus in my book The Company of Thieves. This is my eight attempt at a video, and I still made mistakes. But if I waited till it was perfect it would never get done. You might have to turn the sound up, it plays fine on my phone, but on the computer I have to turn it up full.

Anyway, here’s the lyric,

All The Things 
All the things left unsaid 
Swing like Sinatra 
Singing in a Bunny trap 

All the things left undone 
Swing just like children 
Silent children from a tree 

I believe we have been born 
To Live simply and with love 
In the world 
That comes to hand 

I have failed my body, baby, 
I know that I failed yours 
Cos this quiet life 
Is free of charge 
And costs too much to keep


The first of these quotes occurred to me when I was working on the first draft of what would become The Company of Thieves. The other two are from songs I tried to write many years earlier.

Covid has me playing guitar again, and a lack of book sales has inspired me to work on the songs, so maybe something soon.

Disappearing Dublin

I had no idea what this building was when I took the photo. I saw them from upstairs on a bus and liked the look of them, so I got off the bus and went back to take this shot. I put the photo into an exhibition, and it was there one day someone told me they used to be a stable.

A few months later this and some other buildings in the area were torn down to make way for apartments.

Writing Advice

I’m calling this post Writing Advice because I said on the About page that there would be no writing advice.

Some of the best writing advice I’ve ever had came in a rejection slip. I don’t know if it was intended as advice, but it worked. The Editor said she could see how much work and creativity had gone into the book. After I got over my initial disappointment, which included a lot of ‘What the hell does that mean?’ moments, I had another look at the manuscript and discovered it was so overwritten it could be fairly described as the work of someone desperate to prove they could write.

As I write this there’s one thing that comes back to me. The protagonist, Jack Higgins, is a burglar, and in one sentence I had written ‘To Jack, burglary was an art form, and those on whom he practiced his art…’ It goes on. When I read it out loud I couldn’t believe how bad it was. The idea was fine, the expression was terrible. It took a few rewrites before I arrived at ‘the victims of his art’, much better.

I went through the entire book like that, making the language as straightforward as possible without compromising the story. In some parts I cut whole sections. When I finished I had cut about twelve thousand words. I had also turned what was a run-of-the-mill thriller into what I’m told is a literary thriller, a term I’d never heard.

Unfortunately the finished book was too short for publishers. I didn’t mind that because indie publishing was by then a serious option, so I went that way. Now if I could just figure out how to market a book that’s written for the characters instead of the reader, I might actually sell a few copies!

That book is The Company of Thieves

The Bridge

The Bridge

I took this on my way home from a job interview. I didn’t get the job, but I got this. It was the only good thing in that area.

There was a tension in the air, like you could be attacked at any moment. The streets were empty, with litter the only evidence of life.

I’d been in a situation like that only once before. A theatre company I worked for in the mid nineties hosted a workshop for kids in a deprived area of Dublin. Even though I traveled in the back of the van, with no windows to look out, I knew we had entered the area because the atmosphere suddenly changed.

Temple Bar, Dublin

Another of my Lockdown pics. Temple Bar is usually overcrowded and noisy. Maybe that’s because I’m over fifty and quiet, thirty years ago it was one of my stomping grounds. I remember getting stoned in the green room at the Rock Garden while the worst hair metal band I’ve ever heard sang about being red hot lovers. The air in the green room was like mist in summertime with hairspray. Thankfully it didn’t ignite when we lit the spliff.