Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 - the literary highlights.

Well another year over.

I write a diary, which, much like this blog has been very neglected of late, like very very, like I didn't even write in it since 2016, I just discovered. I normally try to write on it towards the beginning of a new year, end of an old year. But that's just an aside.

And now, for the main event.  The literary highlights of 2018, for me.

1. I started back writing. I think I can officially say this, as I'm now confident that I'm back, since starting back around May of this year for reasons that will shortly become clear, and writing fairly regularly since. 

2. Reading poetry in a meadery, invited by the lovely Emerging writer, I had a lovely time reading in Kinsale Meadery with the poetry divas.  I brought the kids with me, and though they were very well behaved, I can tell you, 4 years and poetry readings are not actually the best of friends.

3. Mathew Geden's workshop - as part of Midleton writer's group I got to attend Mathew Geden's lovely encouraging poetry workshop, I'm not writing poetry at the moment, but many of the skills are transferable, and he was a great teacher.

4. Culture Night, Midleton.  The lovely thing about this evening in Wallis's pub in Midleton was the local history on show, also that my fab Aunty and Uncle from Barbados were there and I got to say a couple of poems in front of them, kinda nerve-wracking too for that.

5. Fiction at the Friary.  Finally got to this event for the first time this year having wished myself there over several year.  Was not disappointed.  I made 3 events.  Thomas Morris, which I blogged about, also Tania Farrelly and David Butler, who were absolutely fab and fascinating on a sweltering summer's day, and finally Kevin Power, who was hilarious and brilliant, and it was lovely to see him. These events are great too because of the free books you can win just by reading at their open mic.  I read twice. Two Books. Ching Ching.

6. A trigger.  Billy O'Callaghan's short story workshop. Another one with Midleton Writers, this happened in May. We spent a spell binding afternoon with Billy generously sharing his approach to, and love of story telling.  He reminded me of some of the things I love most about short story writing, and I started that very night applying his lessons.  I've written almost 6 stories since, a big increase on the previous 7 years of 0 finished stories.

7. Encouragement. One story from years ago I had given in to Billy as a pre-read. He gave everyone a page with feedback at the end. He said lovely things about my writing. Definitely a big part of what is keeping me going in the journey.

8. Some Successes. Sent said story to the Irish Times for New Irish Writing, and they wrote me a very kind decline where they said it was strongly considered.  I then took a prompt from Fiction at the Friary to write a story including the river Lee somehow.  This story was one of three they selected as winners of their competition.

9. Benefits. Two lovely things that came with the win was the chance to get some feedback from the writers who run Fiction at the Friary - Madeleine D'Arcy, and Danielle McLoughlin.  It was great getting direct feedback from such talented writers.  The second lovely thing was a very enlightening drama workshop on how to read your work with Corca Dorca Theatre Director, Pat Kiernon - this was a half day that got me thinking more about writing but also scared me a bit as it showed how well things can be read, and made me want to use it well.

10. Big Moment.  The big moment of the year was the culmination of the above where I got to read my winning story at the Cork International Short Story Festival. It was terrifying.  There was a lovely, very appreciative audience, and we got some great feedback, I was delighted to get to go first as well, so I could properly enjoy my fellow winners Olivia Fitzsimons and Deirdre Kingston doing their thing. One of the favourite hours of the year, definitely.

Anyway - grateful to be back "at it" and hoping it lasts.  Wishing you loads of creative success for the coming year.

x

4 comments:

The Bug said...

Oh it's good to see you here! I'm glad you had such a great year. Perhaps post a story for your friend across the pond since it's not likely I'll get anywhere to hear you read? :)

Rachel Fox said...

Well done on all the good things!
x

Unknown said...

Ah thanks Bug! Yes, I will do that, even by mail!!

Thanks a million Rachel - yes it's great to be somewhat back in the groove.

Mark said...

Niamh, what’s your twitter handle? I need to send you a message. Follow me @MChanning2012