Thursday, June 2, 2011

Writer's Week Listowel#1

June 1st 2011

Posted late because of my WWW ineptness - not wrestling.

Ok. Landed in the Kingdom of Kerry – to me capital Listowel- but people have other favourite Kerry towns. Found the gaff we were booked to stay in for four nights and was pleased fit to burstin’. We had been done proud by the Writer’s Week Accommodation Officer Norella and our landlady Marsella. After last years’ jaw dropping disappointment (on my part) over our Sydney accommodation I had given up believing Internet descriptions of temporary housing. But this lovely wee house within a ten minute walk of the buzzin’ metropolis that is Listowel over the next four days is perfect. Even better, the landlady sourced a hair straightener for son#1 when it was ‘discovered’ that because I finally left him to pack for himself – the big lummox – he forgot hairdryer and hair straightener. I cannot believe it!! This kid spends at least twenty minutes on his fringe every morning, Jemser and I have had to take out bridging loads to cover the cost of gels, mousses and bloody hairspray over the last couple of years. Not to mention the ungents, ointments and doctors visits for scalded foreheads because of said bleedin’ straighteners! What is it about hair? And shoes? There must be a PhD in there somewhere.

In the background as I type (under the lovely influence of a wet substance not boiled) there are two eleven year olds who, with the incessant sounds of bullets and people in pain question each other as to ‘why are you settin’ those zombies on me’. The answer, although extremely original is scary – so I won’t tell you.

Other than that, meandered down the town to opening night – official ceremony too long sorry lads – but it is. Picked up, as is my wont – somebody said I'm like the Pied Piper, children seem to attach themselves to me. I love them, love discussing the absurd with them. The lovely siblings of Max from Dingle who was awarded a prize in the limerick competition kept me company with their Mam for a while as they waited for their big brother to receive his award. Go Max!! I met the cutest little babog then, Nia, in the lobby who hasn’t hit her first year yet sitting with her Dad waiting for Mam – who is a literary agent - was out networking. It’s hard enough being a writer – I can only imagine how hard it is being an agent – that elusive conduit to the publisher who can deliver the written word to the reader in the preferred format.

However difficult the Internet has made life for publisher I think I sympathise most with the agent. You believe in your client. Think he/she has a product you both love and think you can sell. Then have to battle against the clamour of every other bloody agent who believes the same thing. You have clients getting pissed off waiting in the slowest of slow games – the written word – setting up on their own, discovering that – actually I’ll never hit the million but I can write, people will read and I can also afford to eat and send my kids to college. So **** all you who said 'No'. I can! Is feidir linn.

The bigger publishers will survive. They have enough resources to adapt. The tiny publisher will also survive, it was never about having enough to eat there. But the agent? The medium sized non-specialist publisher?? Hmm……….I will watch with interest.

I’m glad I’m only a writer. I’m just doing what I must.

Talk soon.



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