Sunday, 16 April 2017


Ground art - Williamsburg Bridge

I really wanted to blog about my trip to New York and my dinner/talk with the fabulous docents from the Morgan Museum (about Emily Dickinson) but outrageously painful tonsils, and jetlag, have had me corpse-like since I got back from NY.

Docent dinner table

And I have proofs to finish (for Joyride to Jupiter), and Becoming Belle to re-write, and a flash paper to write for my upcoming trip to Roma. And I've my Cruinniú na Cásca gig tomorrow, and an Italian exam to study for and essay to complete. So everything is feeling a little overwhelming and full-on and time is not on my side. I worked on my proofs both yesterday and today, though I am sick and it's a bank holiday weekend. I've no choice. If I don't do it, it doesn't get done.

Books acquired in NYC

And this is one of the major drawbacks of being a writer and self-employed: the absolute impossibility for time off. NY was supposed to be a holiday, one that would incorporate a trip to the Morgan to see the Emily exhibition. Then my cousin-in-law, who works at the museum, asked if I would give a talk to her docent colleagues. I LOVE talking about Emily D so yes, I said YES. And we had a gorgeous dinner and they were erudite, funny, sweet people and it was enormous fun. But it was work and work gigs make me anxious and cranky until they are complete. So inevitably, during some of our holiday time, I was a bit wound up.

A trip highlight: the aerial tram across the river from Roosevelt Island

Also my agent and main editor are in NY, so naturally we arranged to have lunch. And we did and we yapped and laughed and made plans for next year's novel (June 2018) and we admired the cover for my forthcoming short story collection which my agent and I had just that morning signed-off on (reveal soon!). I love these people, we get along and we have great fun when we get together but, again, this is work-related stuff (no matter how jolly) and here I was, again, on holiday but allowing work to seep in.

McSorleys - the ale was delicious
I have this vision of a time where I do nothing but sleep, eat and read. Sleep. Eat. Read. It's a dream, a wish, something that can't be reached, I guess. I'm grateful for the life I have built and I'm not moaning about all the joy and privelege that writing brings but sometimes I would just love a day off. Just one day to call my own where I wouldn't do one thing that was work-related. Not one little thing. And, also, that I wouldn't feel guilty about it. Because this is the major problem - I can't seem to give myself a break. If I'm not working I feel guilty because time is so precious. I can't even have tonsillitis in peace :( (Or, I can't let myself...)

Liberty Island from Battery Park

Not wanting to end on a downer, I will apologise for the cheerless post and wish you a very Happy Easter. I hope you all got as much chocolate as I did :)

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