Heroic Verse

Honest Garda I don’t know how that half
ounce of cannabis was on me, laugh,
me head is wrecked trying to make it sense.
Garda I shouldn’t be in custody
it’s some sort of crazy joke me silly
mates played then ran off when you lot came, no
offence, ha, I’m a good lad really though.
Me mam, bless, she says I’m her pride and joy
apple of her eye, her golden boy
never been in bother with the law, well
except for that time I broke done me girl-
friend’s door but that was just a lover’s spat,
a misunderstanding between me girl
and me, we’ve been fine ever since, she
knows her place. I love her to death. Sure I’ve
never even smoked any weed or gan-
ga or whatever it’s called, I just like
a good night out like the next lad, a few
drinks and a bit of fun, not into drugs
at all, it must be that I borrowed these
jeans from a mate of mine, what’s his name? Well
not a friend as such, more an acquaintance,
a stranger really, what? How did I come
to be wearing this stranger’s jeans? Well that’s
the odd part of this story. Let me think,
but first can I have a drink? I’m quare thirsty
it’s very hot in here, that light is awful bright.
I’m hungry too can we pop out for a
kebab or a pizza? I’d kill for a
battered sausage and chips. I’ve got an aw-
ful hunger all of a sudden, what time
is it? 3 A.M., that’s mad, I should be
in bed. I’m never out this late and I’ve
school in the morning, teacher will be cross.
If I’m too late mam will be up the walls
any chance I can make a quick phone call
on me mobile? No? You’re an awful prick
what’s it to you? You’re some sort of a cul-
chie dick, sorry, sorry, I don’t mean that.
Ha you’re a lovely fella, I’m just feel-
ing quite sick. You look like a lovely guard,
no don’t hit me please I promise I’ll tell
the truth, his name was Pat, or maybe Mick
and he sold me these jeans on Henry Street
mine had gotten soaked with diesel on the
way, don’t ask how, we’ll be here all night, I
trekked all the way on foot after me car
broke down. Yes, he was selling jeans there on
the street, Gucci ones he said, made in Milan
great value they were, I got changed in the
Ilac jacks, didn’t think to check the pockets
wish I had. I’d never have anything to
do with cannabis, sure my brother is
in Cloverhill for a similar offence.
This will break me mam’s heart, honest Garda
I don’t know how that half-ounce of hash got
in me pocket. It’s certainly not mine, ha
I wouldn’t know how it’s used or rolled, as they
say. I’m a good lad doing me Leaving
Cert next week, honest Garda that’s God’s truth.

-Job

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Listowel Writer’s Week 2014

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Last year I was funded by Artslinks.ie, (http://www.artlinks.ie) an organisation that supports artists in the South-East of Ireland to attend a three-day workshop on Writing for a Teens with Siobhán Parkinson at Listowel Writer’s Week.

I gained a lot of insights that have helped to improve my writing and Siobhán was an excellent tutor. I highly recommend attending a workshop with her if you get the chance. http://www.siobhanparkinson.com

A number of Siobhán’s tips have stuck with me since attending.

Think about your audience.
Young people
Publisher/Editor
Critics
Schools and
Curriculum makers
Yourself: write what you would love to read.
Tip: don’t write what you know, know what you write! Research is key.

A formula!
Action: open with action.
Background: fill in the characters/setting
Development: move the plot forward
Crisis.
Ending.

Introduce information as you go along.

Readers like to work out what is happening. Reading is a creative act.

Character is story.

What does your character want?

Your story is the journey of your character moving towards what they want.

Open endings are good, but don’t leave your character in a muddle.

A new character

What biscuit would they be?
What’s their worst nightmare?
What do they want?
What gives them most pleasure?
Who would oppose them?

Tips on Dialogue.

It should be brief.
It should move the story forward.
Avoid cliche and unnecessary phrases.
It should tell us about character.
Break dialogue up with description.
It should be clear who is speaking.
It’s ok to use and repeat said. It’s not a word, it’s punctuation.

As well as learning a lot from Siobhán, Listowel was a fun place to hang out for a few days during the Writer’s Week. I met lots of other writers and enjoyed their company. It’s a small town so you can walk everywhere. There’s plenty of fine pubs, The Listowel Arms is the hub of the Festival, lots of events happen there and they serve good Guinness.

My favourite restaurant was Allo’s Bar, Bistro Restaurant & Townhouse. They served really top-notch Michelin star quality food and it has a really cool atmosphere. I spent many happy hours there. Find out more here: http://www.allosbarbistro-townhouse.com/Allos_Bar_Bistro_Townhouse/Restaurants-In-Kerry.html

If you’re thinking of attending Listowel Writer’s Week it’s well worth a visit. I hope to get back there again myself…

See http://writersweek.ie for more info.