Of Wondering and Writing

Well, wonders abound. It seems I’m writing again.

Not the next novel, sadly: that will have to wait for a while. And there’s still the book for Palgrave that needs finishing by December 1st, and we’ve had an idea for another sitcom, and there’s also the chance of being able to write a full-length stage adaptation of something wonderful and difficult and awkward (although that’s at least a year and a half away, and lots of things will have to fall into place for it to happen…)

But there’s some short fiction bubbling around, and, oddly, I appear to be writing poetry again. Curious, but welcome.

My point, given all that I’ve said above, is this: are you a novelist, a short story writer, a poet, a dramatist for either screen or stage, or are you merely a writer? I was at an event with Zahid Hussain recently, and we were chatting about how many writers seem to define themselves and their work according to the medium in which they write. ‘I’m a poet’, they’ll say, or ‘I’m a novelist.’ Am I the odd one out here in calling myself ‘a writer’? Do we need to categorise ourselves, to place ourselves into neat compartments? Will this make others like our work more? Will it make us write more?

Answers on a postcard, I suppose. In the meantime I’ll just keep tapping and scribbling, and try to work out what the most effective form is for each story, as it comes. There’s enough pleasure in each to keep me working.

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66 Nautical Miles

66_Nautical_MilesI’m happy to say that I’ve been invited to take part in a discussion/reading exploring the links between contemporary writing in Ireland and Wales.

It’s called 66 Nautical Miles, that being the distance between Dublin and Holyhead – three short hours on the ferry (less if you take the catamaran, but often much bouncier!) But those 66 miles seem to represent a historical gulf between two Celtic nations, each with their own literary heritages and traditions. Given their proximity, and their shared past, why is this, I wonder?

It promises to be an exciting and intriguing evening – Thursday, 26th February, 7.30pm, at the Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Square, in the heart of wonderful Dublin.

Along with me, the event will feature Nerys Williams, poet and UCD lecturer whose first poetry collection won the Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for best first collection; Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales, Jonathan Williams, one of Ireland’s leading literary agents for many decades, and poet, writer and teacher Nessa O’Mahony.

It will also feature performances throughout the night from members of the Dublin Welsh Male Voice Choir (Côr Meibion Cymru Dulyn), conducted by Geraint Waters.

For further info, and/or to book tickets, click here: http://irishwriterscentre.ie/products/66-nautical-miles

Oh, how I love Ireland. I still wonder how life would be if we’d moved there, all those years ago.

See you there?