When an actor reads your work, it brings a new element and gives new life to the words.
The gap between my intention as writer and the understanding of the characters, and their intentions seems to be miraculously bridged in the way the story is felt and interpreted.
Over the last few years, Kildare writer Neil Donnelly (with Kildare County Council) has curated several volumes of collections of “Stories for the Ear.”
In these days when we are always rushing, why not spend a little time listening to finely read stories from writers in Kildare. You can hear my story Roses wonderfully read and interpreted by Pat Laffan on the Kildare Arts Service You Tube Channel.
I’m deep in a long writing project and alternating between writing, researching, and writing some more. It is growing – slowly – but still growing.
On the days when I am wondering why I am doing this – when my characters fail to speak when I need them to, or when that great plot line falls flat on the page – I need to remind myself that this is all part of a larger process.
A novel is not composed in isolation and the journey it makes from the jumble that is the writer’s mind (my own!), through the editing process, the reading and advice from agents and publishers until finally it becomes a book – is a long one indeed.
This business of writing, this craft of creativity is strange.
And I remember an article I wrote just over a year ago for Writing.ie – Because I do.
Creativity and industry are like two tracks, running parallel, sometimes crossing over, or intertwining. Other times changing direction, making choices, and moving slowly. And on these tracks sit the carriages of desire and ego. And you’re feeling them….Tracks, as we all know, join, and split, and move towards each other, a singular destination for a journey. Beside creativity is industry. Without it what you produce is not going to move beyond that track, or even out of the carriage.
And I recall what Anne Lamott said about adding life to form. And I read the last line of my article. Truth can be seen, and felt, in writing. And in living.
And I’m reassured.
Let life burst out from the seams of routine. Add life to the form that you are creating. For the story to be real, the page needs to provoke feeling.
So let the words come – or not – but always, let the living continue.
I was delighted to be asked to participate in preparatory creative writing workshops with Clogh Writers as part of their collaborative project Handling Fossils with visual artist Sarah Lincoln (Sarah, pictured, right below with writer Jane Meally).
At a mesmerising event last night, guests were treated to visual interpretations of the land around north Kilkenny by way of a mixture of Sarah’s still photography and film and invited to digest poetry and prose written and read aloud by Clogh Writers group.
We were brought into the magical world of fossils – underfoot, embedded in the landscape and yet not always visible – and wonder.
The readings were interspersed by exciting visuals which asked rather than answered questions about how we view and engage with our past – and the land around us.
In particular, Willie-Joe Meally’s recital of his poetry powerfully echoed the beauty of the accompanying pamphlet which featured one of Sarah’s arresting images of him holding a piece of coal. (see picture at top of the page)
After the presentation of Handling Fossils I made my way to the back of the community hall where guests were invited to handle some of the tools used to mine coal and find fossils, and, even more interesting, examine some of the fossils.
Collaboration between communities and across landscapes bring exciting creative results – and last night’s celebratory event in Clogh Community Hall in Kilkenny was certainly testament to that.
Connect with Sarah Lincoln and her work by taking a look at her website.