Inner Writer’s Voice (IWV): this isn’t going to be some kind of a whinge, is it?

Me: well, it is, sort of, but let me do it first before you have a go, right?

IWV (sighs, leans back, hand on big red knob (haha) like Graham Norton when someone’s in the big red chair): alright, begin.


There’s me, right? On Monday? I submits the manuscript to the editor, like, and it’s happy days––


IWV: are you really going to do that?

Me: do what?

IWV: vernacularise it, or whatever. Is it going to be all, I done this, he seen that, working class Corkish or whatever.

Me: Jesus, who bit your bollix? Give me a chance would you? Anyway …


I submitted the manuscript to my editor on Monday and (IWV: yes, before you ask, I see what you ‘done’ there with the personal pronoun. Me: I wasn’t going to ask, and WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP).


I submitted the manuscript to my editor on Monday and I thought, that’s great. That’s that off my back and out of my brain for a few weeks anyway, I’m shit sick of the damn thing and all belonging to it, can’t stick it for another comma.

And I tried to decompress on Monday evening, went for a walk. And I tried to have a lie in on Tuesday, but that didn’t go well, my brain was still in full fight or flight mode, so I had to get up early before I spontaneously combusted in the bed.

But then I did some writing Tuesday morning (something else entirely thank god, something affirming), went for another walk trying to break in boots for a week’s tramping in the Pyrenees next week with me brothers. Sorry, my brothers.

And I walked around the Northside, trying out a few hills for size and back into town to treat myself in Cork Coffee Roasters on Bridge Street and then did my few messages (as Mrs McGrath used to say) on Pana. (IWV: sorry, but will you get to the point any time soon?)

On my way home, just outside the South Infirmary a woman crossed the road and walked in front of me. She was wearing a black top, short black skirt and black tights and she had thighs. (IWV: careful now)

All the women walking around town had thighs that day, I know that, but she had a short skirt and thighs and I remembered a character in my book, Áine, who put on a certain pair of leggings because she felt that they made her thighs look thin. It was a difficult night for her and she wanted to make herself look well.

Only she didn’t use the word thin, she used the word ‘reasonable’. She said (and I quote): ‘over those magical leggings that somehow make her thighs look reasonable.’

Now I’m in the sweats on the Infirmary Road.

Is ‘reasonable’ the right word? Should I have said ‘thin’? Should I have said: ‘like they’re not tree trunks’. What? What should I have said? It’s wrong, all wrong all wrong, I tell you.

*faint sounds of sobbing*

And my point is: (IWV: about fucking time) I thought it was done, I thought I’d given it over and it would not just leave me alone? For a few weeks at least. I’ve worked hard at it, I did my best, won’t it just leave me alone? Please?

*sniffles, wipes away some snot, feels better, sort of*

Apparently not.

Then this morning. I’m preparing breakfast. A boiled egg and toast if you must know, a change from the porridge. (IWV, under his breath: jesusfuckinggodwillhejust)

And it happens again. Another character, a young woman, Emma, and yes this time she is working class Corkish so there is some vernacular. And I wrote: ‘I start walking. It’ll take me half an hour at least to get to my Auntie Karen’s …’ But now I’m thinking, should I have said: ‘me Auntie Karen’s.’ Or would a reader get it that she’d say it like that. The ‘me’ might look a bit too much, too slangy. Lisa McInerney warned me about that. (IWV: I thought we talked about name dropping)

And this is Wednesday, two days later and I just want it to stop. I have two or three weeks before MY editor gets back to me (IWV: ah now), can’t I just move on and enjoy the autumn and the robin’s singing from the hedge? And think about my walks with my brothers next week in France? I’ve a lot to do this week.

And it’s my sister’s birthday.

And …


(IWV: is that it?)



Image: Barry Deutsch from