Mattie Lennon Irish Author- NOTHING RHYMES WITH VOLVO.


By Mattie Lennon.

I’m trying to set up a support group called VOLLOCS; with a V. (Acronym will be explained anon).

You see I owned a Morris Minor in the seventies…Which reminds me. Have you ever noticed, apart from the social possibilities afforded, the literary merit of the MM? Fair play to Christy Moore, Richie Kavanagh, and Micky McConnell – they saw the rhyming potential of the Morris Minor; Dine ‘er, Wine ‘er, Baldy Miner, Recline ‘er. Try working Peugeot, Chrysler, Citron, or Hyundai into a villanelle or a sonnet.

Have you ever heard anyone stand up at a Fleadh to sing; “The Toyota Camry Car?” And an ode to an Isuzu or a Renault would be utter Philistinism. I suppose you could rhyme something with KA, but who’d want to?

I digress. As I said, I owned an MM in the seventies and I sustained a lumber-disc-lesion (slipped disc to you) in the same decade. I contracted the latter in the back of the former during nocturnal post-dance activities around Lacken and surrounding areas of the Wicklow Mountains. I claim the Morris Minor designers/manufacturers were, at least partly, negligible through providing front seats which tilted forward making certain pelvic roll-back activities possible, if uncomfortable, in the rear. There are many places in our towns and cities, where the outside of a building describes an internal right angle, contagious to the thoroughfare. Have you ever noticed that, in such corners, there is sometimes a convex railing, with a spiked top, in position? This was a Victorian device for the purpose of discouraging erotica while parallel with the perpendicular. Why couldn’t Sir Alec Issigonis have designed, if not spikes then, some form of deterrent in the back seat of the MM?

But instead of inhibiting they subtly advertised the added facility. A promotion leaflet from fifty years ago reads; “…relax in perfect comfort in the rear seat of the Morris…the seat is extra wide and deep and there is extra leg room…deep pile carpets pad the floor…” More recently Paul Skilleter, in a Technical and Historic analysis of the Morris Minor, says it;”…gave a standard of ride-comfort such as had never been experienced in a small British car before…is more than a car…it is a familiar, dependable friend that does everything asked of it….has well planned accommodation inside.”

And what did the late Ian Nairn mean, when he wrote, of the MM, in the Sunday Times,; “…there is no way I can see a comfortable solution to a passionate embrace in the back seat?”

Bad back or no bad back it would be sharp practice on my part to take legal action against the designers of a machine with such attributes; and anyway, Sir Alec Issigonis didn’t leave forwarding address. Of course I mightn’t fare very well in court anyway; and it would be less than prudent to call a witness.

I see, now, where the British inventor, Cris McGlone, has applied for a patent for the “Posture Perfect”; a buzzing leotard. If the wearer adopts a wrong posture an alarm will go off. I wonder…

A friend of mine, a shopkeeper, claims the aforementioned alternative gymnastics are not possible in the MM. (This man once owned a Morris Minor, but it must be said he has a perfect back) “I’ll show you how possible it is,” says I ” Get me a Morris Minor and a…” Then I remembered the words of Nicolas Boileau; “Chaquee age a ses plaisirs…” (every age has It’s pleasures) I am anno-domino-barred. However I felt obliged to point out to my friend, the shopkeeper, that when Dermot O’Leary was promoting “The Oldest Swinger in Town,” it wasn’t a Prefect or an Austin Seven he used on the posters.

I’d swear the ancient Romans knew the erotically appealing properties of the MM; do you remember that little red car in the background in Ben Hur? It certainly wasn’t a Romeo or a Lada.

Remember the character in Lee Dunne’s “Does Your Mother” who was conceived in a watch-mans hut; he was called “Watchbox.” Now wouldn’t Morris Minor make a better name for a person than, say, Ford Orien or Opel Vectra?

A University-of-California study has found that men whose initials form negative acronyms e.g. P.I.G. or B.U.M. die 2.8 years younger than those with initials like V.I.P. or W.I.N. It would hardly be conducive to longevity to be called Volvo Diesel or Saab Turbo.

And speaking of longevity; the next time you see some fellow walking with difficulty (I would have every sympathy with him, he is in pain) but, ask him what’s wrong with him. He will quote all sorts of erudite specialists and tell you we evolved too quickly. We weren’t intended to stand up straight, he’ll tell you. Then you’ll have to listen to all sorts of fancy terminology; Scoliosis, Lordosis, Lor…this and Lor..that. Just listen to him for a while and then innocently ask; “Did you ever bring a Morris Minor to a dance?”

If you happen to see my old Morris Minor on the road (the Reg.No. is 7440 IK) have a look at the current driver. If it’s male and walking in the manner described above, there is a good chance he didn’t heed the warning on the faded bumper-sticker; PRACTICE SAFE SEX, AVOID THE BACK SEAT.

Oh, I nearly forgot the acronym.


Mattie Lennon

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The Writers Studio- Writing Courses July & August 2018

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Mattie Lennon Irish Author-IS IT WISE TO ASK?


By Mattie Lennon.


   When I go into the voting booth, do I vote for the person who is the best President or the slimebucket who will make my life as a cartoonist wonderful?

    With a Presidential election coming up in October the above quotation, from American cartoonist Mike Peters, came to mind and speaking of cartoonists.  Since 2005 I have been Hon Sec  of CIE Writers’ Group. We were, and still are, completely dependent on sponsorship and artists and corporate bodies have been very generous with us down the years. 

   I recently sent the following request (and it was a request and not a demand) to Allan Kavanagh one of our better known cartoonists;

 “We need a simple line drawing, for in-house distribution to Dublin Bus employees, during the Pope’s visit. Unfortunately we won’t be in a position to remunerate you but if you are willing to do it I’ll send you the details.”

 Was Mikhail Bulgakov right when he said, “You should never ask anyone for anything. Never- and especially from those who are more powerful than yourself?”   I don’t know.  All I know is that Mr Kavanagh was underwhelmed to say the least and replied as follows;

Explain to me why you think I’d work for free? How long would I get to stay on a Dublin bus if I didn’t pay?

   That was fair enough and I explained, as best I could, that I had no way of knowing that he wouldn’t be prepared to do a small job for free.  I went on to explain, “We are not Dublin Bus; we are a writing group made up of Dublin Bus employees and retired employees.”

   To which he replied; “You contacted a professional about engaging his professional services and you had no way of knowing I’D CHARGE FOR MY WORK? What other line of business would you contact and expect free work? My time and skill have value. Stop expecting artists to work for free.”

Notice the instruction at the end?

   I was soon told that Mr Kavanagh had published my original request on a networking service.   (He also posted our email address ( which had an unexpected benefit but that’s a story for another day.) 

  Mr Kavanagh did   get a large volume of support from his fellow tweeters, some of whom used the “vernacular of the soldier” and the crutch of the crippled conversationalist a lot. Have a look for yourself;

  One Nigel Bell from Brisbane managed to establish that I was, “Not brought up properly”. And somebody called  “Fuster” suggested that Mr Kavanagh  send me  a well- executed line  drawing of a “middle-finger salute” which “Fuster” posted.


 If Mr. Kavanagh feels like going to the wider media with his complaint   about  illustrators and cartoonists being asked to do work for free and if he wants a list of artists who did work for our group free of charge I can supply it. He refers to red mist being on him and according to himself he has, “. .  . A zero-tolerance name-and-shame policy when it comes to this.”  It is not clear to me who he is going to shame.

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Odyssey Storytelling: Presents “Summer”

Odyssey Storytelling : Presents “Summer”

July 12th, 2018
7pm (Doors Open at 6:30)
The Sea of Glass Center for the Arts
330 East 7th Street, Tucson AZ
$10 General / $7 Students with ID

Every month, several people are invited to tell ten minute personal stories on a theme to a live audience. The stories are not read or memorized, they are told from the life experiences and creativity of the teller.

Tickets available at the door or online

Buy Tickets

Come hear local true stories about Summer.

Summertime and the living is easy…unless you have prickly heat. School’s Out. Gentle Breezes. Ice Cream. Exotic Travel. Adventure, romance and relaxation. Were you a Surfer Girl or did you dread bikini season? Did you have a fling or fall in love with baseball? Come join us to listen to true stories that will no doubt confirm what Ralph Waldo Emerson observed “do what we can, summer will have its flies.”

Curated by Phil Gordon
Produced by Roscoe Mutz

Storytellers Include:

Stephen Krohn
Dave Margolis
Mike Schaefer

Aimee Finkelstein
Kristine Levine

Paul Lucie

For more information and storyteller Bios, visit

Come early to enjoy the Beer and Wine Garden at The Sea of Glass before the show and explore their eclectic, fair-trade, eco-conscious boutique!

Upcoming Dates and Themes

August 2- Red Flags
Sept 6 – Branded
Oct 4 – Big Brother
Nov 1 – Deal Breakers
Dec 6 – Mortified

Would you like to be a storyteller for one of these themes?
Submit your story here!

Thank you for all that you do to keep our community connected.  We look forward to seeing you at the shows.

Odyssey Storytelling:
Creating Connections One Story at a Time

Support Our Work

Your donations have helped us continue this work of bringing live storytelling to Southern Arizona since 2004.  Thank you for your continued support.  Odyssey Storytelling is a project of StoryArts Group, a 501c(3) Non-Profit Arts Organization.

Donate Here

Copyright © 2018 StoryArts Group – Odyssey Storytelling, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 40422
Tucson, AZ 85717

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The Society of Southwestern Authors -Authors Wordshop July 21, 2018

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The Writers Studio- Special Offer for the Writers Studio Community & Other Things

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The Original School of Creative Writing and Thinking
Special Offer for the Writers Studio Community
Nell Painter and Vivian Gornick in Conversation
Monday, July 23 at 6:30 PM

Join historian-turned-artist Nell Painter for an intimate conversation with acclaimed writer Vivian Gornick about the joys and challenges of turning one’s lived experiences into written narrative. In her new book, Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over(Counterpoint, June 2018), Painter explores questions of gender, race, and what it means to be an artist through her journey of attending art school after her retirement from Princeton University as an American history professor.

Reception and book signing to follow.  

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St.
Writers Studio: Use code MEMOIR1 for $10 tickets
Register here.

Limited Time Special Offer
Register for a full 10-session tutorial and receive your choice of any 10 selections from the Craft Class Archive.

The Writers Studio Craft Class Archive includes nearly 30 years of recordings of Craft Class lectures taught by Philip Schultz, various Writers Studio teachers and distinguished authors. Listen in as the lecturer identifies the techniques at play in published work — both contemporary and classic—and helps students discover and closely study how literary writers achieve their artistic goals. Browse through the classes, or search by author, title, or teacher.

If you want an intensive private, one-on-one 10-session tutorial with a professional Writers Studio teacher, register for a tutorial. More info here. Or write to Lisa Badner with questions.

Register Now
Online Maintaining Your Creative Spirit:
Writing Through Constant Disruptions From The Outside World
Class Starts July 19

How to deal with the constant disruptions of this present political climate? How to tolerate the constant badgering of one’s inner life, to safe-keep the preciousness of one’s very thoughts? Writers have always dealt with these questions, in the best and worst of times, and these, as many would agree, are certainly among the most challenging. We explore

  • Writing when you feel like screaming
  • Writing when the political / cultural conflict we are in makes it seem a) impossible to write or b) necessary to write and you don’t know how to start
  • Writing when you ask yourself whether it is worth while to even try to write in these times
Class open to people new to The Writers Studio as well as current and former Writers Studio students.
Six-week class starts July 19.
More info and registration here.


Register Now, Space is Limited
NYC Memoir:
How To Make Your Story Interesting to Readers
Class Starts Next Wednesday, July 11What is so challenging about writing a memoir is that you are asking yourself to take the charged events of your life and shape them aesthetically, so they appeal to a reader, a reader who doesn’t know you and doesn’t necessarily care what happened to you – unless you can make them.

Using the tried and true Writers Studio method, we will closely examine the work of writers who have been able to turn their very personal subjective stories into memoirs that are transcendentally universal. How did writers like Ed Hirsch, Annie Dillard or Joan Didion create a persona narrator who could tell their story? The answer, of course, is that successful memoir writers are able to think of themselves as characters in a story. In this eight-week course we will dive deeply into the techniques that served as a handrail for writers dealing with personal trauma. Each week we will read and emulate a different voice that has used first person to unlock the emotional power of a story or poem.

Class is open to people new to The Writers Studio as well as current and former Writers Studio students.

Eight-week class starts July 11. More than half full.

More info and registration here.

Summer Classes, Very Few Spots Open
Online Maintaining Your Creative Spirit with Lisa starts 7/19. Info and registration here.
NYC Level 1 with Scott started 6/25. Info and registration here. <You may enter up to two weeks late.>
NYC Memoir with Sylvie starts 7/11. Info and registration here.
Tucson Intermediate with Philip starts 7/12. Info and registration here. <half full>
Tucson Advanced with Janelle starts 7/11. Info and registration here. 
Tucson Masters with Renee starts 7/10. Info and registration here. 
Upcoming Event
NYC Poetry Festival on the Chumley Stage
July 28 @ 2:30 PM 

Readings by Writers Studio Faculty Members 
Lisa Bellamy, Sherine Gilmour, Julianne Bond
Help celebrate the publication of Lisa Bellamy’s book, The Northway, forthcoming from Terrapin Books. 

July 28 and 29 Visit The Writers Studio Table
Say hi, and learn why The New York Times calls us “the most personal of the programs.” 
Colonel’s Row on Governor’s Island
Saturday July 28- Sunday July 29 11 AM – 6 PM

Free and Open to the Public
FB Event here.  NYC Poetry Festival info here.
Summer Opportunities

Gulf Coast
Barthelme Prize For Short Prose
Flash Fiction, Prose Poem, Micro Essay
Founded by Phillip Lopate and Donald Barthelme in 1986, Gulf Coast is a journal of literature, art, and critical art writing, publishing contributors who represent a flow of international cultures, voices, and aesthetics. Through programs and publications, and in collaboration with the University of Houston, Gulf Coast brings consequential art and writing to an engaged audience.”
The 2018 Barthelme Prize awards cash and publication for works of no more than 500 words. Laura van den Berg will judge. Deadline 8/15. Details here. 

Chapbook Contest

Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Hybrid
“Pank fosters access to emerging and experimental poetry and prose, publishing the brightest and most promising writers for the most adventurous readers.” Currently reading manuscripts for publication in 2018 and 2019. Send up to 40 pages of poetry, 65 pages of prose. Details here.

Sugar House Review
Summer Submissions

“We are excited to be some of the first people to see your work and to help the best of that work become available to a larger audience.” No deadline, but the number of monthly submissions is capped, so try to submit early. Details here.
The Hunger
Submissions for the Fall Issue
Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Experimental, Art, Photography
The Hunger publishes visceral writing. The theme of “hunger” is not confined only to food, but hungers and thirsts of all kinds: the craving for connection, the human need to be filled or emptied, the devastating desires that define our most alive moments. Hungers can be sexual, romantic, familial, individualistic, spiritual, creative, sorrowful, conflicted, humanistic, and/or existential.”
Deadline 8/15. Learn more about the magazine here. Submission details here. 
Poetry Reading is On The Rise
“In half a decade, the number of U.S. adults who are reading poetry has nearly doubled.” Read the article on the NPR website here.
NYC – Tucson – San Francisco – Online – Kids Write – Hudson Valley

Leadership – Press – Student Feedback – Visiting Writers Feedback 

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New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest is accepting scripts

Now in its 16th year, New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest is accepting scripts
through July 31, 2018 (Email Submission Date)    
For Submitting Guidelines and Application Form go to:
$300 + a professional reading and Q&A valued at $1,000.
If you wish to Unsubscribe, please mark Unsubscribe in the Subject Line 
of the email.  Upon receipt, your email address will be promptly deleted.
We look forward to receiving your script.
Literary Staff

New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest

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