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16 March 2011

Irish Movies: The Emerald Isle And The Silver Screen


Celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the creative spirit of Ireland with an Irish film. Try these lesser known gems related to the Emerald Isle:

In America: An Irish immigrant family learns to adjust to live in the U.S. Written and directed by Jim Sheridan in 2003. A devastatingly powerful film. Watch trailer at this link.

The Field: The legendary Irish attachment to land provides the motivation for this dark picture in which an American businessman (Tom Berenger) clashes with an Irish farmer (Richard Harris). Rated PG, some violence and profanity.

The Secret of Roan Inish: This beguiling folk tale blends realism, myth, family legend and the Irish art of storytelling. Set on Ireland’s coast, this mystical movie includes a boy in peril, as well as a wee bit of profanity, resulting in a PG rating.

Catholics: In this twist on liturgical reform, Martin Sheen plays a papal representative who travels to Ireland to conform Catholic priests to “new” Church teachings. Also starring Trevor Howard as a rebellious Irish abbot.

Da: When an Irish-American playwright (Martin Sheen) returns to Ireland to bury his father, he relives a bittersweet past that includes Catholic family and an anticlerical dog. Touching but unsentimental Irish irony and humor.

The Field: The legendary Irish attachment to land provides the motivation for this dark picture in which an American businessman (Tom Berenger) clashes with an Irish farmer (Richard Harris). Rated PG, some violence and profanity.

The Secret of Roan Inish: This beguiling folk tale blends realism, myth, family legend and the Irish art of storytelling. Set on Ireland’s coast, this mystical movie includes a boy in peril, as well as a wee bit of profanity, resulting in a PG rating.

The Dead: John Huston directed this elegant 1987 adaptation of James Joyce’s short story, but died before the film’s release. The cast includes Huston’s daughter, Anjelica Huston.

St. Patrick Photo + + + The Crosiers/Gene Plaistead, OSC

Author's Note: My first novel, "Glass Halo," centers around a stained glass artist of Irish descent. See below for more information. Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Colleen Smith.

Colleen Smith’s debut novel Glass Halo, set in Denver, was a finalist for the Santa Fe Literary Prize and was praised in the latest issue of The Bloomsbury Review. The novel is available online and through your favorite bookstore.

To learn more:

FridayJonesPublishing.com

GlassHaloNovel.com

Become a friend on Facebook, or follow FridayPublisher on Twitter.


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Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Colleen to you and those you love


Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm a Colleen, with an uppercase "C"-- if not a colleen--with a lowercase "c," the Irish word for a young girl. I'm not so young anymore, though I'm still half-Irish, descended from generations of Irish farmers on my Da's side.

Since I began as a writer in my youth, I appreciated my connection to the Irish tradition of storytelling and the magnificently colorful contributions to literature from the little Emerald Isle.

My next novel, ONLY WILD PLUMS, presents a quirky Irish family, the Larkins. The novel includes chapters from various character's points-of-view, always emphasizing the power of memory and also the fact that each of us has a story.

Gathered here to celebrate the "great day for the Irish" are some links to pieces I've published about Irishmen and women, or Irish subject matter:

David Whyte’s nonprosaic world (An interview with this Irish-English poet in The Denver Post)

A talker most literate: Dubliner’s candid writings celebrated a culture’s melancholy and joys

(An interview with the late Irish writer Nuala O'Faolain in The Denver Post)

Going Green: Preparing for Saint Patrick’s Day (From my Denver Flower and Garden Examiner page)

Irish Arts and Culture

17 Questions about Irish Arts for St. Patrick’s Day (A multiple choice quiz.)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

All About Shamrocks

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you and all those you love.

"...May the wind be always at your back..."

~ Colleen Smith

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15 March 2011

John O'Donohue's Irish Blessing for Your Work


Here's a beautiful blessing by the late John O'Donohue, a prelude to St. Patrick's Day:

May the light of your soul guide you.

May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.

May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.

May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.

May your work never weary you.

May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement.

May you be present in what you do.

May you never become lost in the bland absences.

May the day never burden.

May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises.

May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.

May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.

May your soul calm, console, and renew you.

~ John O'Donohue, Anam Cara

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08 March 2011

Denver Book Babes Sponsor Opening Night Film for International Women's Festival


I'm honored to belong to a rollicking book club made up of wonderful, entrepreneurial, hilarious Denver women known as Book Babes. The book club established in Denver in 1987, is sponsoring the Opening Night film for Women+Film Voices, Denver Film Society’s six-day film festival. Opening March 8 and running through March 13, 2011, the film festival celebrates the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.

The Book Babes will sponsor Miss Representation, directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, one of many films—both documentaries and feature films. The festival also will include salons, and in-person guests focused on thought-provoking, inspirational stories of women from around the world.

Two members of Book Babes—Joanne Katz, and Lu Law—serve as Denver Film Society board members. A third Book Babe, Terri Garbarini, also is sponsoring another film through her Cherry Creek North namesake women’s fashion boutique, Garbarini.

Book Babes includes the following members:

• Meredith Carson: Works at the Denver Performing Arts Complex and serves as a music DJ Friday mornings on KGNU, 88.5 FM, 1390 AM. Meredith reads some of the books some of the time.

• Susan Erlich: LoDo Pioneer, Generalist.

• Terri Garbarini: Owner, Garbarini, a woman’s fashion boutique.

• Lee Goodfriend: Co-owner of Racines and Dixons Downtown Grill restaurants.

• Mimi Kaupe: Book Babes’ founder and an in absentia member in good standing, is a costume designer.

• Joanne Katz: Denver Film Society board member, owner of Three Tomatoes Catering, Cowtown Barbeque Catering
, and Three Tomatoes Steakhouse & Club at Fossil Trace.

• Lu Law: Denver Films Society board member and designer extraordinaire.

• Jennifer Macy, Esquire.

• Karen Means Moore: Owner of Djuna, an interior design/home furnishings store, and also Pilates Evolution, an SPX Fitness studio.

• Karen Roehl: An Abstract Expressionist painter with a studio at the Dry Ice Factory in RiNo.

• Carol Simpson: Owner, Fine Gardens landscaping.

• Me, Colleen Smith: Author of the acclaimed novel “Glass Halo,” founder of Friday Jones Publishing, freelance writer & graphic art director.

• Alice Sperling: Mostly retired from the P.R. business in Denver, and living happily-ever-after in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

• Deborah Williams: Miss Chief at Design and Image Communications. Deborah--to her credit--reads most of the books most of the time. For the occasion, Design and Image Communications created a new Book Babes logo, shown above.

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02 March 2011

National Read Across America Day Here At Friday Jones Publishing House


It's never to early to read to children. Or too late.

Happy Read Across America day!

My baby book indicates that one of my first spoken words was"book." Half a century later, I still give lip service to books. As a publisher, an author, a journalist, a ghost writer, a copy writer, and, of late, a blogger, Tweeter, Examiner, and Facebook aficianado, and moreover a reader, I bow to the written word.

Photo by Quincy Benton for Friday Jones Publishing
The image shows a volume from a set of books that enchanted my childhood. These books brought to bear an enormous influence on my creation of the design for "Glass Halo," my first novel.

When I began visualizing the art direction for my first novel, "Glass Halo," the book took shape in my mind's eye with strong influences from the Arts & Crafts Era. In particular, book designs by William Morris stood out for me. As I formulated my own ideal cover and page layouts, I researched artful books of the bygone era because I saw a similar passage: Just as the Arts & Crafts Movement responded to the Industrial Revolution, I responded to the digital age.

At Friday Jones Publishing, books are held in esteem. Our books bear the imprint of joy in the work.

Here's a link to the Presidential Proclamation on Read Across America day, from which I pulled this excerpt:

"Hidden in the pages of books are extraordinary worlds and characters that can spark creativity and imagination, and unlock the potential that lies within each of our children. Reading is the foundation upon which all other learning is built, and on Read Across America Day, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting America's next generation of great readers."


It's never to early to read to children. Or too late.

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Pass it on!

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