Sitting by the open fire with the lights of the Christmas tree twinkling in the corner, I can almost feel the exhaustion of the old year as it limps towards oblivion while the lively, arrogant young new year waits in the wings, impatient for 2017 to shuffle off into the shadows so that it will have the limelight all to itself.
The new broom indeed!
Time though to reflect on the year almost done. A good writing year overall. This year I became acquainted with Eamon O Cleirigh of Clear View Editing who proved invaluable in helping me polish and edit my novel into shape for submission to publishers early in the coming year. So fingers crossed on that one. In March, together with the hardworking Kanturk Arts Committee, we celebrated a very successful festival with an expanded programme and increased crowds. My short comedy Take Off got a great reception from a packed courthouse, thanks in no small measure, to performers Teresa O Keeffe, Sheila O Connor, Martha Keller and Darragh O Keeffe. The other featured plays at the rehearsed readings also got a marvellous reaction from a great audience.
Throughout the year, I had memory pieces and a short story published by Ireland’s Own.
On a beautiful summer’s day in Cloghroe, friend and fellow writer Mary Bradford and myself met up with some wonderful writers at a workshop on Flash Fiction with well known novelist, Denyse Woods. Out of that workshop came my first flash fiction story which went on to be awarded third place in the Allingham Literary Festival 2017. In September, with fellow writer Aidan O Keeffe, we each put on a rehearsed reading of our latest work at the Daily Grind Coffee Shop in Kanturk. Half an hour before the performance was about to start, the place was packed and we got great affirmation from a very appreciative audience. Again, thanks to my performers, Teresa O Keeffe and Sean Bowman who played a blinder with my comedy Funeral Blues. The following month, I was lucky enough to be accepted for publication in the long established Holly Bough with an article recalling the first car my father had when I was a child – a grey Ford Anglia and the absolute delight we felt when we saw it parked outside the small gate of our cottage in Broadford more years ago now than I care to count.
In early December, I was in Cork County Library reading a story at an event organized by 2017 writer-in- residence for Cork County Library and Arts Service, Denyse Woods. The year is set to end on a high note with one of my plays The Invitation, being performed at the Glen Theatre, Banteer on the 28th of December at an event to raise funds for the visually impaired.
So what do I hope for in 2018?
Well, I hope to get a publisher interested enough in my novel to offer me a contract so fingers, toes and everything else crossed that this might happen.
In February, at a Drama night in Glash Community Centre organized by Mike Guerin, Newmarket, I’ll have a one Act play, By the Light of the Moon, performed by Martin Riordan(Banteer Drama) Sean Bowman and Cliona Broderick(Newmarket Drama) so hoping that will go down well. It promises to be an interesting night with short plays from Mike Guerin, Aidan O Keeffe and performances from some of Mike Guerin’s young drama students. It will be great to see a new generation of actors emerging.
I also hope to get a collection of short stories together and launch sometime mid year. So enough there to keep me busy, I’d say, and out of mischief for the foreseeable future.
On a personal level; here’s to health, contentment and friendship for 2018. Without those three, there’s nothing we can do.
May I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their friendship and support during the year and may I wish one and all a Happy Christmas and Healthy, successful New Year.
Happy memories from 2017.