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?”

So You’ve Been Publicly Shortlisted* or ‘Jealous, Who? Me?’

So You’ve Been Publicly Shortlisted* or ‘Jealous, Who? Me?’

Dealing with rejection is part and parcel of being a writer. The stories are legion.

JK Rowling rejected by 52,000 publishers. Donal Ryan rejected by 230,000 publishers, including Ireland’s Own. James Joyce self-publishing and then buying up all the copies with a loan from his brother and then ‘giving’ them away for glasses of white wine. Yada yada. Continue reading “So You’ve Been Publicly Shortlisted* or ‘Jealous, Who? Me?’”

The Echo Boy

The Echo Boy

I’m the Echo Boy on Patrick’s Street. No, not that one, I’m the one across the road, outside the old Examiner Offices. I’m the statue.

I didn’t know I was a statue for a long time, actually. I used to be over on Cook Street and one day I heard a woman tell her daughter what I was, so that’s how I found out. Continue reading “The Echo Boy”

Bracia / Brothers – A Masterpiece of Film

Bracia / Brothers – A Masterpiece of Film

I resolved to see some of the Film Festival this year and booked a ticket for a Polish documentary called Bracia/Brothers by Wojciech Staron and boy am I glad I did. It may be the best film I ever saw. I’m not sure yet. But it’s way up there – that’s for sure.

Two brothers, Mieczyslaw and Alfons Kułakowski have returned to Poland after an exile of 80 years (yes), in Siberia and Kazakhstan, to resume their lives as best they can. The film, shot over 8 years, tells of their lives, as they live them, now. Continue reading “Bracia / Brothers – A Masterpiece of Film”

Tom Ford v. The Dardenne Brothers (AKA: Style v. Substance)

Tom Ford v. The Dardenne Brothers (AKA: Style v. Substance)

Warnings : Contains spoilers: if you’re planning on seeing Nocturnal Animals, be warned. Also, this is long, and rambling.

I went to see Nocturnal Animals on Friday.

I had mixed feelings. John thought it was a case of style over substance, he was surprised at all the five stars. Mark was impressed, he liked the style, but he’s also braver than me and is okay with being unnerved. I’m a scaredy cat. Continue reading “Tom Ford v. The Dardenne Brothers (AKA: Style v. Substance)”

The Shawlie

The Shawlie

“Onions! Onions! Three for a penny.”

Once I sells off the last of these, I’ll go over to the Market and get a nice bit of tripe for Joseph’s tea. He loves the bit of tripe boiled up in milk. He be’s starving after taking the horse and trap all the way to Ballycotton, to get them poppies and carrots. I hope to God he don’t go into that dirty pub and lave everything on the cart outside like he done a few weeks ago. Continue reading “The Shawlie”

I’m Worried About Ricky

I’m Worried About Ricky

I’m worried about Ricky. Ricky is the young robin who has fledged from a nest in our hedge and is hanging around, mainly in front of our house, his ‘parents’ having flown the coop (haha).

I use the inverted commas around parents because, for the most part, birds don’t really do parenting. When chicks are fledged, they are fledged, and are largely left to their own devices.

Continue reading “I’m Worried About Ricky”