Why are Writers So Happy?

Why are Writers So Happy?

The question was ironic. The questioner was commenting on the subject matter of the three readings at the Cork International Short Story Festival at Cork City Library, one of which was by me. The event was showcasing the Smoke in The Rain Anthology, the 2017 From the Well Short Story Competition, organised by Cork County Libraries and Arts Service and it was very kind of The Munster Literature Centre to do so.

In fairness my story was probably the darkest, but Mary Rose’s wasn’t all sugar and spice either. Anne’s was a bit more uplifting, about a boy coming to terms with his grief after his father’s death – yeah, I know, says a lot about the others doesn’t it? Continue reading “Why are Writers So Happy?”

Cycling to Coomenole

Cycling to Coomenole

I cycled over the road to Coomenole. It isn’t a long cycle from Baile an Chalaidh, but there are a few climbs and my legs aren’t what they used to be, so I took my time. Thanks be to God for the granny cog on the old Bentini. I got there in about 45 minutes, with a couple of scenery breaks on the hills (ahem). Continue reading “Cycling to Coomenole”

On Watching Waterford v Wexford in the New Páirc

On Watching Waterford v Wexford in the New Páirc

I was trying to remember the last time I was in the Blackrock End and I think it was back in the heyday of the Clare v Tipp battles. Those heady days when Clare were a mighty force on the wane and Tipperary were trying to recreate the vigour they used to exude in the early 90s. Maybe 2003. Continue reading “On Watching Waterford v Wexford in the New Páirc”

On Gruissan Plage 3. Sounds like…

On Gruissan Plage 3. Sounds like…

When you go somewhere new it’s always interesting to listen. The sounds of a different place are thought-provoking. Stimulating. We don’t usually pay attention. They often go in one ear and out the other. The eyes have it (haha).

Dermot said that the sound of the fierce Tramontane evoked ancient fears and he was right. This wind blows over Gruissan from the north from time to time, sweeping down over the Massif and out into the sea, and one day when we were there it gusted to a violent 70 kmph. Continue reading “On Gruissan Plage 3. Sounds like…”

On Gruissan Plage. 2: Bonjour, une Baguette S’il Vous Plaît

On Gruissan Plage. 2: Bonjour, une Baguette S’il Vous Plaît

What was I looking forward to most, on my holidays? What was I thinking about most in the weeks beforehand, in the days getting stuff ready, on the drive to the airport, in the plane, on the drive out to Gruissan Plage? On those succulent days before a holiday?

Was it the sunshine, the warmth, the sound of the waves wafting up from the beach? Bare feet and sandals, no socks? The beach, stretching itself out long and lovely, exotic in sunshine? Non, monsieur. Non, madame. Continue reading “On Gruissan Plage. 2: Bonjour, une Baguette S’il Vous Plaît”

On Gruissan Plage. 1: The Evening.

On Gruissan Plage.   1: The Evening.

It is evening. I am writing on the balcony. The sun is slanting across the chalets. Its light is softening, running to red.

The chalets are mostly white, white legs, white bodies, their gables ends pristine and clear.

Shadows rise. The shadows of electrical wires rise on walls. Continue reading “On Gruissan Plage. 1: The Evening.”

A Picture of a Man

A Picture of a Man

There’s an amazing scene in the film M by Fritz Lang* where a serial killer of children is put on trial by the local criminal fraternity and the parents of those he has murdered. They decide, not surprisingly, that he must die for his crimes. And in the scene, the murderer, Beckert, played wonderfully by the wonderful Peter Lorre, tells them all that they cannot kill him, in fact they have no right to try him at all, because he is a man. Continue reading “A Picture of a Man”