Lessons Along the Way

The World In Between

Unhappy Feet.jpg Not my happy day

The doctor suggested I take a statin. Hiking 85 miles through the Wicklow Mountains seemed a rational alternative.

It wasn’t an ostrich response—not exactly. I just felt lifestyle should lead medication. I was less fit than I should be; this wasn’t rocket science.

I amped up my walking, doubled down on my diet, and last week, walked 90 miles in seven days on the Wicklow Way into Dublin. I made it!

We had moved by bus from Dublin to Bunclody, a town near the southern terminus of the trail, in order to hike from south to north. The bus route paralleled the Wicklow mountains and gave me the first glimpse into just how far and hilly this walk would be.


The night before we set out, I lay awake. Had I signed up for too much? Was I fit enough? What would I do…

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Gifted and Misunderstood

Your Rainforest Mind

photo courtesy pixabay CC photo courtesy pixabay CC

How are you misunderstood? Let me count the ways.

People tell you to lighten up when you’re just trying to enlighten them.

People tell you to stop being so critical when you’re just making careful, thoughtful and thorough observations.

People tell you that you need to stop overthinking when you haven’t even begun to truly analyze the situation.

People tell you that you’re arrogant when you’re just desperate to find someone who can discuss the philosophy of William James. Doesn’t everyone love William James?

People tell you that you don’t know how to have fun when you’re having a ball reading Tolstoy.

People tell you to slow down when you’re already going at a painfully plodding pace.

People tell you that you’re OCD when you’ve painted your living room 12 times in the last 3 years, but you discern the difference between white, off-white, and off-off-white. And, you’re distressed when the color…

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PEACEKEEPER by Michael J. Whelan – Introduction by Peter O’Neill (Arma virumque cano!)

Michael J. Whelan - Writer

Hi everyone, this is Peter O’Neill’s fantastic introduction to my debut collection ‘Peacekeeper‘ (Doire Press) at the launch in the County Library Tallaght on the 13th of April 2016 .

It was recently published in this current issue (June) of Ireland’s Military Story & Reveille Magazine for which I would like to say a massive thanks to Wesley Bourke and his team and also to Peter O’ Neill.

Arma virumque cano!

Peacekeeper by Michael Whelan,

Doire Press, 2016.

War is the father and king of all (Heraclitus).

Every age has its wars.

Since the first existing literary text, believed to date from Babylon in 1300-1000

BC, The Epic of Gilgamesh and onto Homer in 750 BC, till the arrival of Virgil,

whose opening line to The Aenied forms the title of this text, in and around 40

BC, to our own Táin , or Cattle Raid…

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Selling Your Book In A Post-Factual, Post-Brexit World

Tara Sparling writes

Dear Mister Publisher,

I have written the best book. My book will be bigger than the bible. It will make cynics laugh, optimists cry, and toast. Before he died, David Bowie said he wished he had written it.

It is impossible to say what my book is about without revealing a shocking twist which has never ever been done before, so people will have to buy it to find out. Anyone who doesn’t understand my legitimate reasons for secrecy is a potential terrorist.

Book jacket quotes will come from Ellen DeGeneres and the Dalai Lama.  Bono, James Joyce and Donald Trump will offer quotes, but be politely refused. The New York Times  will ask to syndicate it.

Genre doesn’t matter because absolutely everyone will want to read my book. People who haven’t read it will pretend they’ve read it, but get eviscerated at brunch parties for not understanding it properly. They will then pay someone else to go and buy it…

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It’s Never Too Late To Be Your Gifted Self

Your Rainforest Mind

I turn 65 this year. I started blogging at 62. My first book on giftedness in adults and youth will be released next month (May 2016). You see? It’s never too late.

Granted, I’m not as cute as I used to be. This is particularly noticeable if you look closely at my skin. Who knew skin could sag like that? And I never thought I’d be dependent upon the pharmaceutical industry for the maintenance and functioning of certain body parts. Luckily, I still have excessive amounts of hair. Even though it’s no longer happily auburn in the sun. It’s still there. Curly as ever. Which, in my older years, I’m finally able to appreciate.

It’s never too late to appreciate your gifted self.

I started dancing the Argentine tango when I turned 49. I’m still at it. Not only is dancing good for coordination, balance and neuroplasticity, it’s also a…

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Why Are There So Few Great Writers In Their 20s Today?

Tara Sparling writes

Why Are There So Few Great Writers In Their 20s Today?

In the last century, great writers achieved their greatness far earlier than they do now. Granted, they died earlier too, of fashionable afflictions such as bacterial infections, addiction, suicide, and the spleen; but it wasn’t uncommon for writers to be well on the road to superstardom and inclusion in the grand literary canon by the end of their twenties. So why are our great writers now so old, when they do great things?

James Joyce had written the genesis of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by the time he was 22, and finished Dubliners before he hit 30. Franz Kafka was dead at 40, leaving behind a considerable body of work. Ernest Hemingway published The Sun Also Rises at the age of 27.

In other fields, successful artists are much younger. Popular musicians generally achieve career highs in their 20s, or earlier, as accomplished at their craft as…

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With Batman V Superman We Have Reached Peak 5 Star Insanity

Tara Sparling writes

I’ve been droning on about this for years, but I’ll say it again. 5 star reviews do not sell books. They do not sell movies. At this point, a 5 star review would have a job selling panty liners at a Justin Bieber concert.

Every time I meet a published author nowadays, I have the same conversation with them.

Author: I’ve been under pressure to get my review score up. I need more 5-star reviews.

Me: You know, I’ve never ever bought a book because of a 5 star review. I don’t believe them.

Author: But I need them.

Me: No, you don’t. I’ve bought far more books because of moany or irritating 2- and 3-star reviews I didn’t feel I’d agree with. 5 star reviews never sell me a book. Iassume they’re all lies.

Author: That’s an interesting viewpoint. But I need them to bring up my…

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