Tai Chi, Writing

Tai Chi Chuan and Writing

Since April 2012, I’ve been learning Tai Chi in the Abbey Hall in Clane.

Tai Chi has not only improved my overall health significantly – plus my dodgy left ankle and knee are dodgy no more! – but it has also done wonders for my skin and hair. Goodbye cellulite, hello ‘inner glow’. A colleague even called me ‘sleek’ on Friday. I’m still smiling.

I believe this is because of the simple, but powerful benefits: improved circulation, deep relaxation, greater flexibility and balance, and ability to focus. A few deep breaths, head as if suspended from above, hollow the chest, sink the energy down … stress-busting, in an instant. And that’s before you’ve taken a single step.

What has this to do with writing, you ask? Everything! Imagine being able to become relaxed and focused, within seconds. Your mind pushes out the stresses of the day, and in the words of productivity guru David Allen, you achieve a state of ‘mind like water’. Just think what that will do for your concentration and creativity.

So, there’s no chance that any script I write will ever (again) go like this:

EXT: STREETSCAPE. NIGHT.

The SWAT team signals to the helicopter pilot that they are ready to storm the building.

The SERGEANT suddenly raises his hand, and halts the assault.

SERGEANT
(frantically)
Oh no, I forgot to buy toilet paper. And
the cat has just walked across the keyboard.

Yes, focus is everything when you’re writing!

My instructor, Brian Bergin, is opening a NEW Beginners Tai Chi Class starting in January just up the road from me in the bustling university town of Maynooth, Co Kildare.

Classes begin on Thursday evening, 9th January 2014, in The Leinster Clinic, on the Kilcock Road. Suitable for complete beginners, and those with some previous experience, these classes offer traditional Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung in comfortable surroundings with free parking. Classes last for an hour and a half, and a course of seven weeks costs €90.

Places are limited, so contact Brian Bergin on 087 2157231, or e-mail him at bpbergin@gmail.com for details and to book your place.

There is also a Tuesday class in Kilcock, but that’s full already.

Why not find out more about the academy on the Tai Chi Kildare website, or find the club on Facebook at Master Ding Academy North Kildare, for news, articles and Tai Chi videos from around the world.

IFTA, Irish Film & Television Academy, Writing

Masterclass with director Neil Marshall

Kreeta Taponen enjoys the ambiance of The Light House Cinema, Dublin, as director Shannon Moncrief talks to Neil Marshall

“He was just a naked Geordie covered in KY Jelly.”

Director Neil Marshall’s description of that jump-out-of-your-seat scene from ‘The Descent’ when a ghostly ‘Crawler’ first lurks in the background behind the women trapped underground in a caving accident, sums up the less glamorous side of the film industry. Even this hilarious description could not overwrite the creepiness of the Crawler characters from what was perhaps the scariest movie of 2005.

Neil went on to outline his journey from rebellious film student to membership of the notorious ‘Splat Pack’, at this Directors’ Masterclass in the Light House Cinema, Dublin, in conversation with fellow director Stephen St Leger. Using movie clips as case studies from his horror films, including ‘The Descent’ and ‘Doomsday’, we learned the importance of tenacity, script management and a good sense of humour. Neil also discussed the creative challenges of being a writer/director, with the dual challenges of writing feature film scripts, and then finding the funds to make them.

With thanks to the Irish Film & Television Academy for organising this event, which took place on 28th September 2013.

Anna Parnell, Writing

The E-Book Rebellion

Well, after a year of upheaval and house moves, the dust is finally settling (literally – the builders have just left!), and there is finally some time to update my blog.

Petticoat Rebellion, the book after which this blog is named, is now available as a Kindle e-book download from Amazon, to mark the centenary of the heroine of the piece, Miss Anna Parnell. So, having shied away from purchasing e-books because I love ‘real’ books, I finally caved in and bought two.

The first was Petticoat Rebellion (of course!) and the second was Results Not Typical, a fun novel about the diet industry by the wonderful ‘unpublished’ author, Catherine Ryan Howard, aka Catherine, Caffeinated. My guess is it won’t be too long before she achieves her long-overdue and much-deserved publishing deal!

If you’re nervous about buying an e-book, don’t be!  You can download the iPhone Kindle app for free and they also have free apps for your Mac, PC or other smartphone. Then try out some free e-books to get started!

Trish

Anna Parnell, Writing

Kildare Readers’ Festival update

Great news – the Kildare Readers’ Festival micro-site is now live, with full details of all the activities over three days.

Kildare Readers' Festival
A map showing all the locations for the Kildare Readers\’ Festival

The festival kicks off with the Mayor’s Festival Reception at 6pm in Time bar in Naas and the Devise & Conquer Theatre Company’s performance of The Proposal by Anton Chekhov. (If you miss The Proposal on Friday, you can catch it again on Saturday evening at 6pm in the Osprey Hotel Ballroom.)

Well-known names in the Irish literary arena will feature during the festival, including Sheila O’Flanagan, Dermot Somers, Brian Keenan, John Minahan and John Connolly.

I’ll be reading from “Petticoat Rebellion” in the Osprey Hotel as part of the Kildare Author Panel, along with John McKenna and Rob Kitchin. Dermot Bolger will chair this event. The Author Panel starts at 12 noon, and finishes around 1.30pm.

Anna Parnell, Writing

Kildare Readers’ Festival 14-16 May 2010

Great news – “Petticoat Rebellion” has been selected for the Kildare Readers’ Festival in Newbridge this May!

The festival runs for three days – Friday 14th May to Sunday 16th May inclusive.  Petticoat Rebellion is one of three books selected for the Authors’ Panel in the Osprey Hotel on Saturday 15th May.  As soon as there’s more information, I’ll post it to this blog.

It’s really exciting to be able to share the book in my home county, and I look forward to seeing you there!