Saturday, March 2, 2013


photo by Sarah Clancy

photo by Sarah Clancy
If its been quiet here for a while, its due to the fact that I've been temporarily living a life miles away from my own. I've been hanging out at the edge of the world, listening to the sea, meeting other writers, quaffing wine, laughing, running, keeping the stove burning, day dreaming, night dreaming and scribbling. I was on a retreat at Cill Rialaig - a restored pre-famine village on Bolus Head at the very end of the Iveragh Peninsula.

Once away from the routine and chores of daily life, work, motherhood etc... I imagined that I'd be writing every second of every day, even through the night, would I even have time to eat? In truth, it took a few days of wrestling with stories that needed endings, poems that needed clear eyes before I could begin to write anything new. And no, I didn't write every minute of every day - I couldn't live somewhere so beautiful and atmospheric and keep my head down. That wouldn't be living. More and more, I'm finding that I need to strike a balance, and surprisingly that means writing less and living more, in order to have a better quality life as a writer. So I wrote early and wrote late, and in between I ran, prepared meals, and met with the other residents who were full of fun, warmth & stories of their own.

The suspicion that my house was slightly haunted has provided fuel for the novel I'm working on at the moment, as has the brutal, beautiful scenery of Cill Rialig itself. I ended the week by travelling to Cork and reading as guest poet at ó' Bheal session, brainchild of the charming and talented Paul Casey.

And, for anyone with a story or poem that needs a home...
The Cúirt New Writing Prize is still (just about) open:
The poetry entries must consist of 3 poems under 50 lines each, and the fiction pieces may be up to 2000 words. Entries in both English and Irish are welcome.Three copies of the work are required and a €10 entry fee applies, which must be a postal order or bank draft. Writers submitting work should not have had a collection published in the category in which they enter.This does not include the publication of single poems, stories or chapbooks. Send to - The Galway Arts Centre,47 Dominick Street.


Liza said...

The time in between probably offered some lovely inspiration for your later writing. We have to open our eyes to see before we can write well.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

A retreat sounds so very appealing.

Donna Hole said...

Yes, enjoying the atmosphere does feed the soul with inspiration :)


Anthony Duce said...

The idea of getting away to such a beautiful place to work sounds so wonderful. I’m afraid I would be out painting the coast and daydreaming most of the time in such a place.

Rachel Fenton said...

Sound and looks like a beautiful and restorative place. Hope your creativity got a super charge, Niamh.

Louise said...

Thinking you were a little quiet!! I'm off to the Tyrone Guthrie centre the day after Mother's day. xx L

Words A Day said...

so true, and its something to remember next time I'm feeling miserly about my writing time:)

Hope you get some, well deserved, time soon too.

Words A Day said...

it does for sure

The cottages double as artists studios, would suit you to a t

@I did Rachel, am still holding onto the buzz:)

@Louise, you'll love it there, the food is amazing

Jan Morrison said...

oh my ... think I'll start planning now so I can go next year. Ireland - I so want to go back and this sounds a wondrous way to do it. Yep. fill up the well. that's what I love about travel.

Words A Day said...

Jan - if you ever get to come back over do get in touch, I would love to meet up:)