10 December 2006

Irish dreams

I was telling my good friend over coffee this morning about how I’ve been using all my suddenly copious free time since being laid off work.

Along with chores around the house that have gone undone for the longest time and shooting off resumes, I’ve been futzing around, trying to pick up the thread of the book I’ve been working on forever.

It’s fictional, based on fact, about the Troubles in Northern Ireland. I’ve been researching and studying that particular situation for years now. For some reason, it strikes a chord in me. It’s fascinating.

I said, “You know, what I really want is to go there, to Belfast, for about three months. Longer, even. I want to just talk to everyone I can. Do a bunch of interviews. See the place, get a feel for it. Travel around the north, see the places I’ve been reading about all this time.”

It’s one thing to research from a distance, and the Internet is great for that, but nothing beats being there.

“That’s the first step,” my friend said. “Putting it out there.” He meant airing the wish, putting it into words. Another friend would call that “telling the Universe.”

“Yeah, but I don’t have the money for an extended stay in Northern Ireland.” Shoot, I don’t even have airfare. I sighed. “I thought I’d go ahead and see about getting a passport, at least, though.”

We discussed it a little more. I was full of reasons I’d never get to go.

He said, “Why don’t you post it on your blog? Maybe someone will have some suggestions.”

“Good idea,” I said doubtfully.

But after we parted, the idea stuck with me. So, I’m tossing it out there, into the world. I’m a writer who wants to write, but wants to write with a good understanding of her subject. I’m looking to correspond with people who either live in Northern Ireland or who have been there; people who may have some ideas for how I’d go about applying for writing grants or even assignments, that sort of thing. I’d like to talk with people from all sides of the conflict, from all walks of life.

There’s a book here in my heart, trying to take shape, trying to get out. My curiosity is boundless. Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you.


René López Villamar said...

One fellow Chump to another, I think it's a great idea. And a dangerous idea. I would go for it.

Wil Robinson said...

I have a couple of friends from college that worked on a Wide Angle documentary about the peace process in Northern Ireland last summer. They interviewed Clinton and Gerry Adams. I'm not sure, but I think the documentary comes out next year.

I'll send off an email and see if they have any suggestions.

Nothing like a good fact-based fiction-novel. (Ever read Ken Follet's work?)

Eamonn said...

I've just written a full memoir of life there, Blue Wren. Only happy to let you read it,if you'd like.

Warmest wishes,



Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

How about the good ol' American Way: charge up a credit card. Then worry about paying it back later.

Mojo said...

Are there still "bucket shops" with deeply discounted last-minute airline seats?

Do it quick, before someone hires you and you have to show up someplace every day.

Meanwhile, how about a book report on Eamonn's memoir?