Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

Editor’s Corner: 101.23

Well! It’s kind of like this…I am a sort of field mouse, as it were, gnawing away at meaning, if you know what I mean! Jokes aside – what a sparkling Mandala of prose from our Editor’s Corner. Enter this labyrinth if you dare!

MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest

Hedge Trimming – Bidding Adieu to Ambivalence

Dragon ScribeIt is another glorious August morning; the dog days are past, there is a slight nip in the air, and the New England sky is taking on the vibrant blue of ear…ly autumn. A perfect day for hedge trimming.

I am not talking about shaggy privets or laurels, or overgrown rhododendron and yew turning the yard into a wilderness and begging for the touch of well-edged shears. No, I am referring to the stray equivocations that seep insidiously into our prose – wee, verbal field mice, gnawing away at our meaning. Seems to be, more or less, essentially, about, almost as if, sort of, as it were…. The list goes on with the persistence of a Minoan labyrinth.

fxdrtfde65564They dilute our prose and sap our meaning. Unless spouted by a character less decisive than Hamlet’s second cousin twice removed, they are unnecessary 99.9%…

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

5 comments on “Editor’s Corner: 101.23

  1. “We serve the story, after all.” Exactly! You know what Shawn, I have a feeling I am in the presence of greatness and between the lines of a writer heaving this fine staunch arrow from the hedgerow of Joan of Arc. Even when you are meandering in a contrived mess of cut sentences and equivocations you wow me! I’m serious, your style of writing and exploration is seasoned with the finest herbs a sharpened blade could ever expect to ravish reverently. The imagery and how you begin this day of war towards the blue sunrise is magnificent…your peasant poet leaves the courtyard with the sun in his face and full of the fresh injections of light from the master’s shears 🙂 Thank you Shawn…

    – Alan Patrick Traynor

    p.s. Thank you Niamh for sharing the work of a master…yes we have modern day masters amongst us people…Niamh Clune included, of course!


    • ontheplumtree
      August 27, 2013

      Many thanks Alan. It’s lovely to be back on my computer and able to share such lovely posts.


  2. Betty Dravis
    August 27, 2013

    Thanks for this absorbing post, Niamh. The Dragon/Scribe picture pulled me in… I’m thinking of posting that pic as a self-portrait of me… Na-aaah, Too many people already think I’m a dragon; better quit while I’m ahead. 🙂 Seriously, love all you write and things you select from others to provoke our thoughts.

    You rock, Niamh, Hugs – Betty ❤


    • ontheplumtree
      August 27, 2013

      How lovely to hear from you, Betty! I hope all is well in Betty Land.


  3. thiskidreviewsbooks
    August 28, 2013

    Great post! I like Mr. MacKenzie’s talkings of The Truth, and that truth is different from fact. I read in an Indiana Jones book (the original), where Dr. Jones (Indiana) says to his students “Archaeology is about fact. *writes FACT on chalkboard* Fact is not truth. If you want truth, Dr. _____’s (I forget the name) philosophy class is just down the hall.” 😀


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