A Lover of Books

Guest Post by Deirdre Quiery

Deirdre Quiery

Deirdre Quiery is the author of ‘Eden Burning’.  I have previously hosted a couple of her guest posts on here.  Deirdre is now back with another one.


Storytelling, Photographs and Memories

Blog by Deirdre Quiery

1st March 2016


Today I spread onto the floor photos which I had kept in a bag from years before. It was to help me tell the story of Eden Burning next week in the Irish Pub in the Port of Soller. I wanted the past to become present. I am looking at one of those photos now – of my father blowing one of those squeaky things which roll out as they make their noise. He is wearing a green crown of paper on his head. It is Christmas.

My mother has a song book in her hands, wearing glasses and a blue and white track suit with cartoon doggies on the jumper. My nephew John is dancing, pretending to play a guitar. There is a Christmas tree growing out of his head. There are the legs of my sister wearing black tights to the right of the photo but not her face. You know that this is not a professional photo.

Yet it captures something which every photo does which words cannot do – or maybe cannot do so well. You have to keep looking and keep telling something more with words to help the reader get it. Yet it is infinite what can be told. The photo seems to tell it all in an instance. You drink it in.

In this photo a Van Gogh print hangs on the wall – a yellow cornfield. The dull brown and white curtains are closed. It is evening. My mother’s feet twist outwards and are slightly swollen –squashed within slippers.  My father’s eyes, now that I look at them again are distant – with a hint of his dementia to follow. What I feel is that I am there with them. They are not dead – my parents – they are not lying in boxes of ashes waiting to be buried. My father’s ashes are behind me as I write. I will do something with them – but only when the moment is right.

The photos on the floor are like that. I must do something with them. Words are like that. You must do something with them. I will tell the story of the photos and Eden Burning on International Woman’s Day on the 8th March. My mother’s feet will tap on the floor. She will laugh and sing “Danny Boy”. My father will smoke his Hamlet. The hairs will still be growing out of his nose. His eyebrows will need a good cutting. His hands will be curled into claws with arthritis. John my nephew will play a real guitar with his hair in dreadlocks.

That Christmas will never be forgotten. As a writer, words are for me what makes the world eternal – never to be forgotten. Words make the world real. They can even make the world realer than real. Now I feel like John, playing with words as he played with his pretend guitar. I know that the world is waiting for new words to be spoken – for new worlds to be created.


‘Eden Burning’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/eden-burning/

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eden-Burning-Deirdre-Quiery/dp/1909273902/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458254682&sr=1-1&keywords=eden+burning



Eden Burning


Matthew Smith is kindly giving away three copies of ‘Eden Burning’.  To enter just leave a comment about this guest post.


Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 3rd April 2016.

The winners will be randomly chosen within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be passed on to Matthew Smith who will send out the prizes.

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16 thoughts on “Guest Post by Deirdre Quiery

  1. Dear Sonya and Matthew

    I want to say an enormous thank you to you both for publishing this blog.

    As a writer you are so often alone with your blank sheet of paper.

    You have both been wonderful companions with the writing completed and helping with the writing still being born. You are in there. How could you not be?

    You are inspirational for me – with your openness, kindness and frankly unbelievable generosity of time and consideration.

    I’m loving reading the other Urbane writers blogs and really so much want to know them more.

    Thank you and a big hug and a kiss from Mallorca



  2. Sue Harrison on said:

    The power of photos as an Aide Memoire is so important they can help those tossing on an ocean of Dementia safely back to shore(if only for a short while) and create a bridge between their present and their past Brilliant and informative post


  3. I really enjoyed this post, which is beautifully written. Recapturing memories, and bringing the past to life again, is one of the reasons that I write. Thanks for sharing this.


  4. Rhonda on said:

    Wonderful post love how photos bring memories to life.


  5. Looks like a great read


  6. Beky Austerberry on said:

    From reading this post I am really interested in reading this book


  7. lindarumsey on said:

    Photos mean so much more when printed out – a memory stick full just isn’t the same!


  8. Lovely!! Sounds wondeful!


  9. Leeanne Clifford on said:

    Really enjoyed reading this. Thank you.
    The book looks very interesting


  10. Julie Camm on said:

    I enjoyed reading the post…. so well written. I’d love to read the book.


  11. Dale Dow on said:

    What a lovely thought provoking post, would love to read x


  12. How amazing does this look! x


  13. joanne cox on said:

    Would be wonderful to read your book!


  14. Carly Benson on said:

    This book looks fab


  15. nicola james on said:

    sounds like a great book to get lost in


  16. Thanks to everyone who entered this competition.

    The winners are:-

    Beky Austerberry
    Nicola James

    Your details have been passed on.


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