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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 48 ‘a tune that wasn’t from this world’


Everywhere he looked Mac could only see faces staring blankly as they recited the lyrics to a song that none of them had ever known before.People sang with gusto. They punched the air. They rocked from side to side in time to a tune that wasn’t from this world. Children sat on the shoulders of adults and waved.Inteachán stood small beside Mac. She felt lost and alone.Mac was deep in thought and when Inteachán looked up at him she could see he was crying.Original link
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Lee Child Reaches Out.


Lee Child comes from Coventry, the city I have lived in for the last 30 years. He is the author of the fantastically successful Jack Reacher series in which his hero tours America righting wrongs. Child has been in the news recently as he has announced that he will no longer be writing Jack Reacher novels, but that his brother Andrew will continue the series – provided that he uses the surname Child rather than the family name Grant. Andrew, perhaps not surprisingly, has agreed to this condition.Why has Child taken this decision? A clue may be in a book he wrote last year, The Hero, analysing the role a hero has played through time and story-telling. He has also agreed to be a Booker prize j...
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 47 ‘Someone has to not’


The power of the crowd was such that Inteachán found it hard not to join in the singing.She looked at Mac and he shook his head.‘Someone has to not,’ he said. ‘We came only to observe and hopefully record.’The family turned to look at Mac and he stopped talking. It just seemed easier.Inteachán looked back towards the middle of the fort and gasped. Hundreds of old televisions had now been arranged in an enormous pile.The kind that only showed programmes in black and white and don’t work anymore.Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 46 ‘the song of the abattoir’


As the ambulances continued to unload, the assembled crowd began to sing.With a low moan at first, a collective mumbling, the sound of the crowd soon found a common purpose.Gradually the full range of the human voice found expression on this awful night as father and mother, son and daughter, friend and stranger joined in.At first the driving rain damped the singing but it wasn’t long before the voices of the gathered triumphed, winning the night as they sang the song of the abattoir.Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 45 ‘We have moved beyond Thought now’


As each ambulance stopped its back doors opened and a small army of orderlies began unloading people on stretchers. Once emptied the ambulance pushed its way back through the crowd to then collect its next load.A line of nurses now moved into view, leading the infirm, pushing their wheelchairs. Those that could manage were seated on long low benches. Those that couldn’t were asked to lean or lay on the ground.‘What could they ever even be thinking what will happen?’ asked Inteachán.‘But that is exactly it,’ replied Mac. ‘We have moved beyond Thought now.’Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 44 ‘a spiteful darkness’


The rain was falling really hard now as a spiteful darkness descended upon Inis Mór.Phones, torches and naked flames spiked the night.A gasp from the family beside her caused Inteachán to turn her head. A fleet of old ambulances was pushing its way slowly through the crowd.‘George Petrie called this place the most barbaric monument in Europe,’ whispered Mac.‘How could he have even begun to know?’Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 43 ‘We surely must and will’


Eventually Inteachán found a tiny space for the two of them, wedged between a family and a handful of tourists.Beside her Mac stood stooped and weary.‘This is too much,’ he repeated. ‘Simply too much.’‘Don’t despair,’ whispered Inteachán. ‘We must go on, Mac. We must.’‘We must,’ he said. ‘We surely must and will.’Mac sighed.‘But it can only get worse from here.’Original link
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Who’d be an Assassin?


President Trump is reported to be displeased when people refer to the recent killing of the Iranian military chief as an assassination. I’m not surprised; after all an assassin, both in history and popular fiction, is usually the baddy (a revolutionary or a hired hand) who murders a goody (a Tsar, say, or an arch duke).But is the assassin always the bad guy? Certainly my dictionary describes one as ‘a murderer, especially one who kills a prominent political figure.’ The noun, apparently comes from the Latin assassinus (singular), which in turn came from the Arabic hashshashin (plural). So far so good. But the singular of hashshashin is hashshash, which means one who eats hashish / cannabis.I...
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 42 ‘The Flowing Crowd’


Ahead of her Inteachán could see men gathered in coloured robes.White and purple.Cassocks. Capes. Collars.Also military uniforms.Dark blue. Epaulets. Bright medals.Ceremonial swords.And expensive suits. With men holding umbrellas for them to shelter under.It was quite some procession in the driving rain.Like a Saint’s Day of old.Sacerdotal.Private security guards wearing fluorescent jackets and earpieces controlled the crowd that flowed around the stones. The Crowley Baird Inc. logo was clearly visible.‘Don’t push,’ they shouted above the roar of the rain.‘Keep moving now.’‘You can’t stop there.’Mac stumbled as the crowd surged behind him.Inteachán gripped his coat and held on for dear life....
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 41 ‘a bleeding statue begats’


Never a nation to miss a chance, the path to Dún Aonghasa is littered with people pushing wares from bockedy prams.Bottles of water. Single cigarettes. Bags of broken biscuits. Shower caps. Cheap umbrellas.‘This is simply hateful,’ said Mac. ‘Like the shrines of old where a bleeding statue begats an army of hawkers and peddlers.’He spoke to the crowd.‘Do we never learn?’But what with the rain and the sellers and the journey, no one was listening.Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 40 ‘Like one shoe too tight one time’


Ferries had been running non-stop for 36 hours to get the crowds to the Tuning.With its history of pilgrimage and servitude, the country’s shabby infrastructure was built to just manage and no more.As befits, Mac was a terrible traveller and the coach journey had been bad enough before they even got down to the quay.Inteachán slept for the most of the way. She wasn’t tired exactly; it was something else. Something deep within her had slightly shifted. Or been shifted for her.Like one shoe too tight one time.But not the other.Original link
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Writing Resolutions 2020


Happy New Year, and I hope 2020 goes well for you, whether you have made a resolution to write / write more / write better or not. There are plenty of ‘how to’ books out there to advise you, as well as a growing number of podcasts, including In writing with Hattie Crissell.Advice is varied, so you can take your pick for what suits you best. Or decide it is all just too confusing, and you’ll take up knitting instead. Certainly, depending on who you ask, you should: Plan and plot each chapter meticulously // rely on your instinct to develop the story.Get a life, so you have something to write about it // dedicate yourself to writing virtually from the cradle.Work in total quiet so you can conc...
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 39 ‘Dún Aonghasa’


On Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands.Dún Aonghasa.The site of a prehistoric slaughter. Hundreds of thousands of men destroyed.Sharp stones embedded in the bedrock to damage horses.A place for the performance of rites.On the edge of a cliff above the Atlantic.Looking down you feel the urge to join the waves. Time is marked by the endless beat of the sea on the rock.Amidst the multitude, an old man and a young girl struggle up the hill in the blinding rain.You are wet through before you wake here.Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 38 ‘A Tuning’


‘The best way to understand what is going on is to see a Tuning in action,’ said the Rock Star. ‘I was going to have one here but that was before this.’He looked at the wheelchair.‘A Tuning?’ asked Mac.‘A ceremony of acknowledgement, ‘ replied the Rock Star. ‘Quite the thing at the moment among new devotees.’‘And where would we find one of these Tunings?’ asked Mac.‘Dún Aonghasa,’ said the Rock Star.Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 37 ‘Tomorrow really will be Never’


The Rock Star rubbed his hands.‘The aim of Terminal Transit is a simple one,’ he explained, enjoying being centre stage again. ‘Bringing the Past and the Present together creates a space where the Future is supposed to be. The5 will fill this space and Tomorrow really will be Never.’The Rock Star’s eyes were bright with joy.‘The process has begun.’A single tear began to form.‘With the First of The5 already through we only have four left for the Transit to be complete.’Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 36 ‘Terminal Transit’


‘But what can we do?’ asked Inteachán.“Nothing,’ said the Rock Star.‘Everything,’ said Mac.‘Nothing!’ repeated the Rock Star. ‘You are too late. Even as we speak Crowley Baird are preparing for Terminal Transit.’‘Terminal Transit?’ asked Inteachán. ‘What’s that?’‘The end of the world,’ sighed Mac.‘Precisely!’ said the Rock Star.Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 35 ‘Baird’s machinery’


‘Crowley was obviously very familiar with The5,’ continued the Rock Star, ‘and wanted a way of facilitating their transit into this world. He saw Baird’s machinery as the answer.’Mac didn’t speak as the enormity of this revelation fell hard on him like the heaviest rain.‘Don’t worry,’ said the Rock Star, ‘for many various reasons Crowley and Baird fell out before the transit arrangements could be completed.’ He paused. ‘Guided by the First of The5, Crowley Baird Inc. has been set up to complete these arrangements once and for all.’Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 34 ‘some kind of infernal connotation’


‘They are that new technology company who have moved into the old offices of the Irish Nationwide Building Society down on Merrion Row,’ said Mac. ‘I always thought that their name had some kind of infernal connotation.’‘And you are right,’ crowed the Rock Star. ‘John Logie Baird didn’t develop television on his own. He was helped by another famous resident of the sleepy little seaside town where his workshop was based for a while.’‘You mean Aleister Crowley,’ said Mac. ‘The self-proclaimed wickedest man in the world.’Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 33 ‘Crowley-Baird Inc.’


‘As you now know, the First of The5 is now here and with the kind of beautiful randomness that denotes such steely precision has taken the name Stooky Bill.’‘Stooky Bill?’ asked Inteachán.‘The ventriloquist’s dummy used by television pioneer John Logie Baird in his early image transmission experiments,’ said Mac.‘Precisely,’ said the Rock Star, ‘and this is just the beginning.’He smiled at Mac.‘Have you heard of Crowley Baird Inc.?’Original link
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Inteachán – Book Two: A New Signal 2: 32 ‘I may be a fool’


‘I may be a fool,’ replied the Rock Star, visibly stung by Mac’s forthrightness, ‘but I’m the fool who currently knows more about everything than both of you put together.’‘If that’s the case,’ replied Mac, ‘then perhaps you might give us the benefit of this knowledge.’‘Why would I?’ asked the Rock Star. ‘What would be the point?’‘Precisely,’ said Mac so seriously that the Rock Star nodded.‘I think I see what you mean.’Original link
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