The Eye of the North Book Launch

Standing on the shoulders of (giant) parental support – we all owe our achievements to those who made us what we are!
Traditional author SJ O’Hart tells us her personal tale at the launch of her debut children’s novel – The Eye of the North.

SJ O'Hart

The author, modelling her book, at the launch of The Eye of the North. Photo credit: Jan Stokes The author, modelling her book The Eye of the North, at its recent launch! Photo credit: Jan Stokes

Last Thursday evening, in Eason’s of O’Connell Street in Dublin’s city centre, I had the great joy of welcoming my book into the world in style. With the support of my publisher Stripes Books, and the fantastic organisational skills of Eason’s management and staff, I got to drink wine, make a (terrible) speech and read the first chapter of The Eye of the Northto a motley crew of friends, family and well-wishers.

It was a truly wonderful experience, and I will be grateful to everyone involved for as long as I have full use of my mind (which, hopefully, will be quite some time).

However, because I made rather a mess of the speech I had prepared – including forgetting to thank some very important people – I’ve placed the text…

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Views of the Neighborhood – The Fence

Heartwarming inspiration on the continuing theme of resurrection from the devastation of Harvey down in the Gulf of Texas.

Fiction Favorites

Some of you may recall on one of my tours there was a fence covered with numerous objects found on the beach. Hurricane Harvey took it and there was not enough left to take a photo.Fence Art - Port Aransas

I did have a photo of the original.

hurricane fence

I am pleased to report that the fence has been rebuilt.


Here is a shot of the one corner. The items on the new fence have for the most part been donated by residents.

Here is a longer view. That orange plastic thing on the right is a utility connection. The cover is gone, and the city ran out, and the plastic is temporary.

A close up of some of the items.

Another shot.

Pails, flip-flops, sand molds, a rake, and other trinkets that seem insignificant make up the inventory.

I love that shark shovel and the frog.

hurricane fence

Here is a photo of a piece of the…

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I’m SICK of being sick!

This is kind of a New Year Post… except that all this month I’ve had to go for a colonoscopy, scan and finally out-patients to get my conclusive diagnosis on what sort of IBD I have. That’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease – NOT IBS (irritable bowel syndrome, although it sure felt like it!) which isn’t quite so aggressive, hence the syndrome and not disease… 😦

So – the verdict is in and it’s Colitis rather than Crohn’s disease, which, luckily is pretty manageable if you can tolerate steroids. I can (or at least I was OK with the ones I had to take for a while for respiratory reasons). I started up with them yesterday, the day after I got out of the hospital pharmacy with a humongous bag, along with some upmarket Rennies for calcium replenishment, and a great big box of miniature gunshot grit, the purpose of which I’m not too sure of. You should have seen the size of the bag they gave me!


So far, so good after 24 hours – no having to use the en-suite bog because I’m averaging some kind of evacuation roughly 4-6 times an hour. Or feeling groggy in a bad way, not the hearty tot-o-rum way and can’t be arsed to get out of my pit… ‘Nuff said about that scenario, ‘cos that’s how we got the title of this little post! 😛

Suffice to say that, having everything firmed up (in every sense), I’m feeling more like tackling 2018 and putting plans into motion that don’t involve doing bugger all, all day long! At least over the holidays (this has all been going since December 8th), the telly was quite good and SKY Cinema had some decent premieres on. Trouble is my soap and daytime TV addiction has grown to mammoth proportions, so that’s going to have to undergo some Herculean discipline to slap me back into a universe where it doesn’t interfere too badly with online time. With luck and a following wind (the fresh and zesty variety!) 😀 I’ll get back into a 60/40 habit in favour of keyboard activity to mushy TV comfort viewing pretty quickly.

Back to the lovely same old, same old!

It won’t happen overnight of course. After a 2 month break from adrenaline-filled geek time, it’ll take mega nano-seconds to get back to my normal appetite for cyber activity – hopefully not too long. Here’s my souped-up ‘must have’ schedule for the rest of 2018!

  • more community-time
  • more ‘editorial’ activity with DreamWorlds Publishing
  • making time to get back into actually writing the Haven Lands series and not just thinking about it…
  • getting off my arse and start the editorials for The Qworks anthology – this is now festering way too much and needs some TLC, not to mention massive ICU attention

That’s enough professional stuff for now – and I’m not going to impose schedules that might prove impossible to execute. Losing control of your body teaches you not to make indelible goals because the real world can bite deep into your butt and lay you low!

Thursday – A Little Personal – Lucy and Bailey Face the Elements

It’s a blustery day on the beach for Lucy and Bailey… 😛

Fiction Favorites

“Hey, Boss.”

“Hi, Lucy. What’s up?”

“Um. Do we have to go for a walk today?”

“What’s the matter? We always go for a walk.”

“The wind chill is in the thirties.”

“Oh, come on you big sissy. You have fur after all.”

“Well ask Bailey. She’ll tell you.”

“Is that right Bailey?”


“Pops. it is a little cold out there.”

“Aw, come on you two. Let’s go.”

“This is not going to be fun, Boss. I’m just sayin’.”

“You have to buck up, Lucy. Look at Bailey.”

“Hey, Lucy. Do you see what I see?”

“My eyes are frozen shut. Tell me.”

“It’s a grader down the beach. Oh, Maddie’s papa is going to like this one.”

“Who wee. The wind is a little stiff, Lucy. Hang on to your ears.”

“I see you are right Bailey. Look the other way. There are front loaders too.”

“What are they doing?”

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