Winter Cheer

I started writing this blog post a week ago, but then I became happily distracted by the visit from a dear friend of mine.

October and November are busy months for me. It’s when the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild organises its annual screenwriting awards, the ZeBBies, and it generates a lot of extra work.

On November 25th we had the ZeBBie Awards Ceremony in the Sugar Club in Dublin, and it was a fun night. I put on a frock and shiny shoes. People were bewildered but complimentary.

I spent all of that Tuesday at the Arts Council’s conference, New Media, New Audience? The panel I participated on was stimulating and informative, so much so that it felt like a pity to finish up when we did. Overall it was a fascinating day, listening to speakers discuss the intersection of technology with the arts, and how they can be best utilised together. I always enjoy meeting and talking to creative people from across disciplines, but this was particularly satisfying (to me) since so many were tech savvy.

The Arts Council promises to follow up the conference because it had such an overwhelming, positive response, and I hope it will do so.

On the personal news front a couple of weeks ago Pseudopod, the horror story podcast, bought the audio rights to my short story “Bone Mother”. I am delighted, because Pseudopod not only pays its authors, but also offers an excellent product. This story has now almost paid its way (short stories rarely return on their investment of time and effort).

Last week I received the welcome news from editor Chris Cevasco that Paradox Magazine is buying my short story “Beautiful Calamity”.

Each of my stories resonates with me in different ways. To execute a story in a manner that feels meaningful and natural usually requires a specific process – every story has a unique labour. It’s not that some stories are more important than others, but some hit the mark better than the rest. “Beautiful Calamity” is a story that required concerted effort, but the result was worth the time. It’s deeply gratifying when someone else appreciates that kind of story, and wishes to share it with others.