Repeal the 8th

Wasn’t it great when we owned the women we married, when, effectively, they were our property? ’Twas. Proper order, made things a lot simpler. We owned our daughters too, and they were very useful, in forging alliances with other men of power and means.

Why do we flock to the four great Sundays of September?

And so, tomorrow, we come to our fourth September Sunday, when the mighty women of Dublin and the mighty women of Mayo do battle to win the Senior All-Ireland Ladies Football Final. And the no less mighty women of Derry and Fermanagh and Tipperary and Tyrone do battle as well. By the way, I don’t use that word ‘mighty’ lightly, I mean it literally. These women are, as the dictionary tells us: ‘powerful, strong, in body and mind’. They bloody well are. And as the song goes: ‘this ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.’ This is the real deal. Try it sometime.

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?

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.