Things have been going downhill now for a few weeks. Minor out-patient surgery, then a stroke that got me to Miami for a weekend and, of course, the hurricane hitting Key West only miles from my house.
As the hurricane got closer, all services in Key West were canceled, in including medical. I decided to drive to my daughter’s house in West Nyack, NY. Somewhere been I-81 in Va., and my daughter’s house I had another stroke. My son-in-law Paul got me to the hospital in NJ where he knew people.
Accept for a slower than normal memory of people’s names, I am fine. If I continue to feel good, I will head back to a messy situation in Key West next Monday. I have no droopy eye or limp arm. I am told if I could choose the type of stroke to have, I chose right. apparently, vessels in the back of my head burst. Will it happen again? Maybe, maybe not. Medical science!
According to my wife, who stayed behind, the house has minor damage but the once landscaped yard is a mess. Three trees down and plants . . . well there ain’t no plants!
We certainly made out better than folks only 30-miles or so north of us in Big Pine and Marathon. Many of the homes in the middle and upper Keys were destroyed.
I am only 50 or so pages from completing my novel, Mistaken Identity, but with illness and worry over my family and house in Key West, I haven’t been able to find the imputes to writer! Maybe when I get home to my desk and books surrounding me the story will finally come to an end.
Stay tuned. Would like to hear from any of you that are stroke survivors.
I’ve been in Dublin for a little more than a week and the weather gods must not be pleased with me! Converting celsius to Fahrenheit I came up with the mid 60s during the day and too damn cold at night! Low 50s to mid 40s. Luckily, I came prepared for the weather.
Bad weather (by my standards) has kept me at the keyboard. I have finished chapters 46, 47 and 48. I’ve introduced a new character. All I can say without ruining the story is the character is a woman. Good or bad, you’ll have to read the book to find out. But it has been fun throwing her into the mix of Murphy and clan, even Padre Thomas.
It’s also nice to be writing all day for a change. Maybe I’m not cutout to write in T-shirt and shorts. Can’t bundle up like this at home. I’d be committed!
There has a been a day or two the sun came out and I got pizza and took it to Cusack’s Pub about the five-minute walk from the cottage. The small pizza place is across the street and they welcome customers to bring the pizza in and enjoy a pint or two. I’d be going back but a cold pint is not inviting at this time.
The cottage does have an espresso coffee maker (there’s a God in heaven) so I have my daily overdose of cafe con leches.
Last night I put my Boy Scout training to work and started a fire in the fireplace. Jensine, whose cottage I am staying at, called the local firewood guy and though this is not the season for deliveries, she explained I was from Key West and cold. I ordered five bags and six were delivered! The driver said the boss felt for me! I think he would’ve laughed but knew it would be impolite.
My Boy Scout training is kind of rusty when it comes to starting fires and I proved that last night and this morning (can’t get the fire going no matter how much newspaper I put beneath the logs). I have to bundle up to walk to Fairview to the store and by some starter briquets. If they have cans of soup, I’m getting a few of those two.
It looks as if I will get a lot of writing done in the next week. Always a silver lining, my mother used to say. At least I’ve got matches and don’t have to rub two sticks together. Maybe I should return my Eagle Scout badge?
I arrived in Dublin on the 22nd, after an overnight flight – Key West to Atlanta, Atlanta to Dublin. Only Delta has that connection. It beats flying to Miami, to NY to Dublin. No matter how you fly, you arrive the next day.
Before I left, Ireland was having a heat wave. Of course, the weather returned to normal on the 22nd.
The conference started Friday afternoon and offered good speakers in their field. Subjects included: Storytelling and Our Evolving Business. It was interesting to see how different writers felt about the evolving business. The one thing they all seemed to agree on is that publishing has changed and is continuing to change.
After the formal session, everyone headed to the restaurant and writers read from their works.
Saturday began at 10 am. Subjects the panelist talked about were: Self-Publishing Vs. Traditional Publishing and Creative Elements. Those two subjects took up most of Saturday’s conference. There were speakers with a lot of knowledge of subjects about self-promotion and how to set up book-signings.
An informal dinner was held Saturday evening and was well attended.
This conference gave me somethings to think about but also to network with other writers and a chance to catch up with some friends. My five weeks in Ireland will involved a lot of catching up.
There are actually large and small bookstores to visit and signings to attend and pub conversation with other writers.People actually buy books here! If the sun gods return, I might even take a tour of southern Ireland. If not, it’s always warm and snug in a pub.
Sorry about the poor quality of the image, but it was the best I could get from where I sat. That’s Laurence O’Bryan, conference founder, talking about promotion.
I have been writing! Honestly! Up to chapter 45 and ready for some more twists to the plot. I am also leaving Wednesday afternoon for 5 weeks in Dublin, Ireland. I arrive in time for the yearly Dublin Writers Conference and stay at a friend’s cottage in the North Strand neighborhood where my new book has a few chapters about the cottage, taken with poetic license.
I finished Right As Wrong Could Be at the cottage last year and hope the cool, fresh air of Ireland’s summer temps helps me finish Mistaken Identity. Last September I began the book and due to the circus in DC, I have logged more TV time than writing time! With a little bit of Irish luck, I will have the new book out in the fall.
A small germ of an idea has planted itself in my head about a new story, but I don’t think too much about it because it would only be another distraction from my writing.
Dublin is a great city for writers, with its Irish Writers Center in Parnell Square. What a building! It has classes and lectures offered to members and the public all year-long. I joined a couple of years ago.
Also, the city has bookstores! Real bookstores that have signing that people attend!
I am fortunate that over the years I’ve met and become friends with a lot of people in Dublin that are successful writers to struggling writers. The common thread is that we all write.
That thread is missing these days in Key West. No gathering place for writers (or maybe I’m just not invited) and book signings for local writers and less known writers seems to be off from eight to ten years ago. Where’s Hemingway and Tennessee Williams when you need them?
I hope to post from Dublin but if not, I am either dead or enjoying the company of other writers. Some travel to other parts of Ireland is scheduled too. Oh yeah, and lots of writing. I prefer enjoying the company to death, in case you wondered.
(The photo above is a collection of writers at Toner’s Pub in Dublin. There was a reading by writers that night and the room was full)