NB: Apologies for the quality of these photos folks. My iPhone does its best, but it also relies on my (un)steady hand…
It’s become traditional for me to treat myself to a champagne cocktail at the airport when I fly solo.
If I’m honest, I’ve always liked a bit of the high life. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find the billionaire to go with it but never mind. This is not the time or place for lamentations on the topic of my non-existent love life.
It occurred to me (whilst sipping said cocktail) that I hadn’t packed an umbrella. Yes, that’s right. On a trip to Ireland! Luckily, I didn’t need it. Save for an unwelcome but not inconvenient downpour on the Saturday night, it was remarkably warm and dry all weekend.
I had chosen my courses carefully, based on addressing the one weakness I have found in my writing so far – writing dialogue – and the elephant in the room, my lack of business acumen and, particularly, marketing know-how.
Saturday morning dawned bright and very early. My apartment in the Smithfield area overlooked the famous Old Jameson Distillery so I decided to take a deliberate walk past on my way to the Irish Writers’ Centre.
Following a cheeky McDonalds breakfast, I arrived at the centre in good time for my first Course, Dialogue in Fiction. It was a wonderful couple of hours spent talking about the importance of good dialogue and how it should be significant to the plot.
It was, however, also the day for Dublin Gay Pride. Not only that – they had organised to congregate right outside the centre in Parnell Square before setting off on their march around the city.
Margaret Murphy, our tutor, performed admirably to be heard above the noise of the pumping dance music. In one particular episode, we were discussing how the use of silence in a conversation can create tension, just as an enormous cheer from outside the window rang through our ears, to much hilarity from the class.
After a brief buffet lunch, Nicola Cassidy and I escaped into the street to join the throng of revellers gathering to see of the Pride Parade. Having been an attendee at Birmingham Pride for many years, it was refreshing to be treated to the Irish version.
The afternoon session was spent listening to the fabulous Catherine Ryan Howard talk about treating our writing as a business venture. This is a skill I need to work on very much, and it requires one to separate emotion from the creativity which is easier said than done.
Dinner on Saturday evening allowed us to socialise with one another, and also to listen to the inspirational Paul O’Brien talk about his dedication to his day job while juggling his passion for writing and a young family.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, packed with opportunities to all help each other along the self-publishing journey, and offering guidance, support and a helping hand among the group.
BooksGoSocial founder Laurence O’Bryan has built an empire of readers, eager to get their paws on good quality self-published books, and authors willing to provide such material. If you’re interested in self-publishing your work, these guys are essential. Hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Facebook followers, all tuning in for a dose of who’s got what coming out next.
I now have a To-Do list as long as my arm and I’m busy putting it all into practice.
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