August has me in a reflective mood, probably with the upcoming harvest season. Even though I live in the city, it is still a primordial feeling that is inescapable. The small crab apples are already beginning to fruit in Four Masters Park and the end-of-summer flowers hold onto their final moments of glory. To be fair, I love autumn and all that it brings but it’d be foolish not to recognise that there’s an inherent tinge of melancholy in the approaching winter. I think for that reason, as well as it being the third anniversary of his death today, Seamus Heaney’s Blackberry-Picking comes to mind.
As well as looking forward (i.e. constantly towards the “what’s next”) I intermittently need reminding to take stock of everything that has gone before. Looking at my blog for this time last year I see that I was on the 5th draft of my screenplay, Grand. That in itself was an achievement, and still a story that I love. In fact I saw a young woman on a bus recently and I thought to myself, “Oh, that’s Shayla” (my Grand protagonist) and every time I see the actor Ruth McCabe I think of Val (who I wrote with Ruth in mind). Of course, that reminds me that I’d like to write the novel of Grand too but… then I need to take a deep breath and refocus on more pertinent matters. Bitten By A Dog On Tuesday is still ticking along nicely and while I’m not 100% happy with the current draft, it’s certainly getting there (wherever there is).
Preparation for the Creative Writing Course is keeping me busy and it looks like it’s going to be a nice little course with a variety of participants. I’m genuinely looking forward to this. Autumn is the perfect time to taking on a nice writing project in my opinion; it’ll keep the mind busy for the longer nights. There are still places available on the course, details of which can be found HERE.
Speaking of new writing projects, I’ve been squirreling away little nuggets of research for my next novel, which I’m hoping to start as soon as possible (although it might coincide with NaNoWriMo, which would be handy). As of it yet it’s untitled but will be historical fiction mainly focusing on the true story of young housemaid who murdered two children in her change, set against the backdrop of the formation of the Irish Free State and leading up to World War II. The story takes place in Ireland and England and it will follow her in the events leading up to and after the murder, as well as how she managed her life in the aftermath. I cannot wait to get stuck into it to be honest and my description here isn’t doing it justice. It’s going to be a big task but it’s giving me that spinning feeling in my stomach and, thankfully, it’s excitement, not fear.
September promises to be a busy month- it usually is, especially on the theatre scene in Dublin. The Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival takes place from 10-25 September and hot on its heels is the Dublin Theatre Festival, carrying the culture well into October. I’ll be busy reviewing shows for The Reviews Hub, and I’ll make it a point to go to a few shows that I’m not reviewing, just to enjoy them without thinking too much. Both festivals have fantastic and varied line-ups, so if you’re in Dublin check them out. The cherry on top is Culture Night, which takes place on September 16th. There’s litany of free events on throughout the city and country, and trying to decide which ones to attend is almost impossible. Thankfully my mind has been made up for me this year, as I’ve been invited to read at a Poetry Ireland event in Dublin Castle, and no doubt I’ll still make it to one or two events afterwards.
All in all, I’m embracing the busy season of autumn. Though it can seem momentarily overwhelming, it’s also full of individual moments of pleasure and joy. I guess I have to remind myself to stop and take time to smell the… crab apples. You know what I mean.