I arrived in Narnia the evening that I joined my first writing class – never to return. And what a journey!
I’ve always had to have my daily fix – reading. As a child, I would be outdoors, playing with friends, but if I didn’t have a book waiting patiently by my bed, then I would feel a little out of sorts. But the solution was easy – I just began another journey between the pages of a book. Often, my parents would find me late into a school night, with my head buried beneath the covers with a torch, just finishing those elusive ‘last few pages’.
Although I’ve always written a little, it was when I joined my first Creative Writing Class that I felt as if I’d entered another world – my own, personal, Narnia. Only this time, there was no wicked witch! Instead, fellow writers I’ve met, at every stage of their career, have been nothing but a delight. In Narnia-speak, pure Turkish Delight – but without the catch. Every one of them has offered nuggets of advice, at the exact moment I needed them most, to push me forward.
And so, armed with all this knowledge, I talked about writing a novel, incessantly. Then I finally began. Taking on board, tips from Alex Barclay and John Connolly, I began again – this time changing the location from the streets of Dublin to those of New York. It is October 2012 and I’ve finally done it – I’ve finished my debut novel!
Now, before we all get too excited – I do know it’s still only the first draft. I know that I’ll probably have close to ten drafts before I’m entirely happy with it – so still a lot more work to be done. BUT, at this moment in time, I am so happy to have 90,000 words which I have managed to spin into a story, printed and sitting on my kitchen table.
Maybe you’d care to follow my journey through Narnia as it continues or comment about your own writing journey. I’d love to hear . . .
Little did I know, as I walked into Eileen Casey’s Creative Writing class in September 2008, the world it would open – the Narnia of my childhood resurrected . . .
From the age of seven I’ve always been an avid reader. Then, the libraries of my home and my grandmother’s, from North and South of the Liffey, were scavenged to reap the finest rewards. The little bookcase above my bed, filled to capacity with birthday and Christmas presents, mainly Enid Blyton, in those early days. Now, a bookcase in the family room sits three-deep along with an eReader I swore I would never buy.
I love books too much, I thought, but, it appears, I love the written word, in any shape or form, even more!
I’d be very interested in your feelings on the eReader versus the book – if you have the time to comment . . .
I would be lying if I did not admit to missing the look, the feel and the smell of a book with my eReader, but, on the other hand, I can read six books while on holidays without having to extract a couple of pairs of shoes from my luggage to squeeze them in! I can pick up the classics for free and borrow from the local library without leaving my house – and without incurring a fine when I fail to bring books back on time – they just magically return to the virtual world of the library, ready-and-waiting for their next reader.
And if I thought I’d captured the written word in all of its entirety I was wrong!
Hearing the written word, read aloud, preferably by its writer, really brings the world their words create to life.
I had the pleasure of being one of the many writers involved with the Tallaght Library Readings, facilitated by Eileen Casey, which ran from Monday, 5 December to Monday 19 December.
With Readings of poetry and prose from so many diverse writers; David Mohan, Louise Phillips, Brian Kirk, Mary Guckian, Mervyn Ennis, Doreen Duffy, Michael Whelan, Kate Dempsey and Eileen Casey herself, it was always going to be a success. The fact that The Echo is currently profiling each of these writers has made it even more special; you can find out more about each writer and read a little of their work here.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you have an opportunity to take a break, in this madly busy season, to enjoy WORDS, in every shape and form . . .