In many ways it feels a lot longer since some of us gathered in the wonderful Established Coffee house and heard the story of Half Irish. The night was fantastic and a wonderful way to celebrate a couple of years of hard work. My only regret - I didn’t get to eat any of the awesome traybakes! I haven’t put the photos online - must do that soon!
Over the last month (and I don’t mean to sound like a celeb here) I have had a number of radio interviews, TV interviews, been in a couple of magazines, presented at the Belfast Book Festival and tried my hand at having a market stall! It’s been a surreal experience and I have been loving every minute of it.
Things I have been learning:
The people of Belfast/Northern Ireland/Ireland love a good yarn/story/natter! I have had countless conversations with people of all arts and from all parts. Carrying a message of life, love and inspiration is an attractive message. People seem to be attracted to Half Irish - through its message, the characters and the way I carry how much I love it! Whatever gift you have or thing you work at carry it with life, love and inspiration. That’s not just summer advice but life advice.
Tall Ships We love a good global event. Yesterday I had a stall at the Tall Ships - hosted at the wonderful Dock Market (blog post to follow later in the summer) There was so much to do so I would recommend getting down and checking it out! My only regret - I could only have my stall for 1 day as I am heading off at the weekend to Latvia.
This is a lifetimes work Over the month I have been convinced once again that this writing malarkey is a lifetimes work. Buoyed by the joy of the feedback coming in about Half Irish - from 73 year olds to teenagers and everyone in between - I have been encouraged and convinced that writing is something that I not only want to do, but have to do.
Listening During the last month I met the wonderful local author Tony McCauley for a coffee and he gave me some tips, hints and great advice. Apart from being local authors, we have a few more things in common - past pupils of BRA, youth work backgrounds and we are both former employees, of sorts, of Ormo Bakery! Tony has written about his experience in Bread Boy - a recommended summer read! It was fantastic to listen to Tony, the journey his writing has taken/is taking him on and to garner inspirational thoughts and words from someone who is further down the line.
Next Project I have been sharing a little but about my summer writing project and have received some great reactions to it. At the end of my workshop in Belfast Book Festival I read the first chapter of the next book and the audience were laughing throughout! It’s about a Polish kid who comes to live in Belfast. The book has been great yet difficult to write. I tackle the idea of a changing Belfast, racism, transitions and write about another character coming out of a paramilitary background. Some chapters are charming and others are just difficult to write because they reflect on some issues that are live and real to our wee country.
I hope you have a rocking weekend! I might be a bit quiet over here for a week as I’m away - but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on getting stuck into Half Irish
Other random things:
A dead ringer for Foy Vance in a charity shop in East Belfast