Pretty stoked that my story, The Third Time my Father Tried to Kill Me, is nominated for a Best of the Net Award, by Mojave River Press. Indebted to Michael Dwayne Smith and his press for the honor. You can read the story, HERE, at Mojave River Press, and HERE, on Fictionaut’s site.
Leaven the pizza dough on Wednesday nights.
Read more books than last year.
Write in journal every day as the sun clears the MacArthur tree.
Drink more black coffee in the mornings.
Submit only to places that will enhance my writing.
Savor the lines written, but don’t be afraid to abandon them to the winds.
Don’t be afraid to reconstitute the parts of the novel that don’t work.
Write through the grief, for it’s in the agony that the truth resides.
Bring my grandparents back to life in the pages of the manuscript.
Kneel at the writer’s shrine in my office before each writing session.
Foster strong relationships with supportive friends and colleagues.
Don’t treat my readers like fools.
Find the joy in nature’s destructive patterns.
Turn off the editor in your head and let the writing sing clear.
Accept rejection with grace. Each one is a cobblestone on the road to success.
Sanctify the writing with strong verbs and language.
Set deadlines and meet them as best I can.
Take long walks on the beach to remind myself of how good life can be.
Examine the underside of rocks and fallen branches to discover the unearthly.
Read a passage to my son and daughter every day, even though they may not understand the words.
Have a soundtrack for the writing, but above all let the words themselves be the music.
Never take no for an answer. Always rebound and submit the work one more time. Writing is a relentless endeavor.
Invite success and failure into my home, but open the fine wine for success.
Sharpen the nib with an arrowhead and dip the tip in the inkwell of my grief. The true material is buried in the deepest reaches of the heart.
Create a sanctuary in my home where creativity flourishes.
Mismatched socks, the striped and the spotted, holed shoes, no chance of repair. Scissors and Sharpie, tools for the downtrodden. A red ribbon hangs from a nail, frayed ends and forgotten rewards from a grateful employer. Standing in line at the dole office, smell of cigarettes and stale beer, the overcoats damp from the falling rain. We were comrades, cast-offs in search of drinking money. They tied the pencil stubs to the counter with baling twine, little scuts would steal them and rest them behind dirty ears, only to later mark the Racing Form before making bets on sure-shots to nowhere. Pints of plain and bags of cheese ‘n onion crisps, the color televisions playing the 3.20 from Chepstow. Wing. Prayer. Disappointed confetti. Cheap flat on the South Circular Road, bottom flat three nurses from Tuam, nice girls, shiny shoes and starched collars. Nights spent in the National Ballroom, eyeing the talent, fingering the coppers and the silver in the pocket to see if there was enough for one more drink. One last chance before the lights came up and the National Anthem played for the lost and the languished.
My story, “Skull of a Sheep,” originally published by The New Orleans Review, is included in the W.W. Norton Anthology, Flash Fiction International. I’m listed under “Ireland,” I believe. Hard to believe a piece of my work is in one of the Norton Anthologies. I’ve still got my old ones from my time at UCD, back in the eighties. Available for pre-order: HERE.