Today is International Women’s Day. The Women of Ireland are taking to the streets.

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And what a perfect day for Ireland’s Repeal the 8th campaign to take to the streets wearing black  in protest of how Irish women are treated in their own Country. This is a simple overview of what’s going on and why.

The Irish Women’s Council among others are wearing black today and marching on the streets of Dublin in protest.

http://www.repealeight.ie/event/march4repeal-international-womens-day-2017/

‘The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment is a growing alliance of over 80 organisations including human rights, feminist and pro-choice organisations, trade unions, health organizations, NGOs, community organisations and many others.’

So what is the problem here? What’s all the fuss and what do these people want?

All abortion is banned in Ireland unless a doctor deems the woman’s life is at risk. Apart from the obvious choice, control, dis-empowering, disabling  issues here, with not allowing women to make their own choices regarding their own bodies,  women die at the hands of doctors who are biased or are simply against abortion.

Remember ‘you’re in Catholic Ireland now’?

Despite promises of a referendum nothing has happened. The Eighth Amendment is an archaic display of matriarchy and church rule. It is no more than deeply discriminatory and a ‘national shame for Ireland’

‘The presence of the Eighth Amendment in the Irish Constitution is a source of discrimination against all women living in Ireland. It creates a discriminatory health system where a pregnant woman only has a qualified right to health care. International human rights organisations have repeatedly taken the state to task for its draconian abortion regime, observing that it violates women’s right to bodily integrity and self-determination’

It violates International Human Rights

and Women’s Right standards.

  • Every day TEN Irish females leave their Country to have a termination. That’s THREE THOUSAND & SIX HUNDRED women, in a population of 4.5 million who travel abroad (mostly to the UK) to have terminations.
  • Women and girls who cannot travel, cannot have a termination and are therefore discriminated against.
  • It does not reflect the opinion of the Irish public.

All data taken from http://www.repealeight.ie/event/march4repeal-international-womens-day-2017/

Reading Challenge 2017

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Last year was a poor year for reading so I’ve decided to up my game in 2017, giving myself the challenge of reading 30 books throughout the year. I thought I might struggle after 2016’s meager 10 books but no, more early nights, less T.V. and series binge watching seems to be agreeing with me! Book number 6 was finished today. I have chosen to use Goodreads.com as it has a simple built-in book challenge and shares easily into the wordpress format, so I can post each review individually! This new regime is keeping me driven and active with my reading which is much needed for the Creative Writing module I am currently working on with Open University UK.

Reviewing books is something I’ve thought about doing for years but never seemed to find the time. I’ve just started out and am enjoying but will begin to write longer reviews with more critical analysis, rather than summaries. Hopefully, developing further will allow me to apply for ARCs in the future 🙂 Watch this space!

You can find my reviews so far here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/52879977-claire-o-connor

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Book Review: The Secrets of a Fire King by Kim Edwards

The Secrets of a Fire KingThe Secrets of a Fire King by Kim Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An elegant collection of short stories with unforgettable characters and engrossing plots.
The style is serene and a little slow moving in parts for me, but always worth the wait as each delves into the lives of people that are ostracized by society in some way.
The voices and points of view are beautifully developed from both strong female and male characters and this makes the collection a special one. The variation in plots, too, hold the interest for the reader. All stories have a lesson to learn although not all lessons are obvious. The need for some interpretation is done so well and seamlessly. There wasn’t one story I did not enjoy. My favourite collection of stories…TO DATE!

View all my reviews

Sound advice from Meg Dowell, A Writer’s Path.

by Meg Dowell What is your reaction – or what do you perceive your reaction will be like – when you finally finish writing that first draft? Relieved? Sad? Ecstatic? Numb? All of the above? Finishing a first draft of any major piece of writing is an emotional roller coaster. You probably expect to […]

via On Learning to Be Happy with Your Imperfect Draft — A Writer’s Path

Shame

Hardened by the weather and attempts
to ignore the silent hysterical aversion in their eyes
darting in all directions to avoid seeing
his overgrown hair dribbling from nostrils and face
He shuffles past with his grub and filth in a plastic bag
Is it unreasonable to say hello?

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Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains EchoedAnd the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Compelling from the start, this poetic novel is an epic saga starting with the lives of a young brother and sister who had a very strong bond. Almost every chapter tells a new tale of a character woven into the original story. Some never meet, some do. All the characters are strong and believable. The reader is enticed to get to know them; their good and bad qualities. Overall, it was gripping, but at times I wanted desperately to get back to another story inside the main story to find out more. It’s cleverly written but I think there were too many stories inside to be as engaged as I would like half way through. I do love Hosseini’s old worldy poetic style of story telling though.

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Elephant woman

Mother And Baby Elephant

Wading through the grasses
on her way to water,
gracefully composed steps
mountainous swaying
heavy, but solid.
Mammoth motions
balanced by her trunk,
measuring her movements,
she takes time to get
to her destination.
Baby playfully skips
around her ankles
tripping carelessly.
Flailing his useless trunk
in the air, he tumbles.
She picks him up and steadies him.
Her eyes, like pools, blink sagely.
She moves him on slowly
to the water.

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