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Listowel Days

As I promised before going away I’m going to give you the detailed report of my travel to Listowel writer’s week.

As you’ll find out for yourself, it hadn’t been the event I dreamed about and I remembered from the previous experience two years ago, still I’ve copied everything I noted in my notebook to be as more faithful as I can to the events.



My partner asked for an extra day off, so we were able to be there before. It was so sweet of him.
It was much easier because we could finish the luggage in the morning, eat a small lunch and then set off without having to rush too much, like we would if we had to leave after work.
All the travel went smooth, Maya slept in the car and after Limerick we stopped at a pub to have a break.
Then we were on the road again. Half an hour before the arrival, Maya became restless so I sat with her on the back sit to play, sing and so on. She began to point to the bag and I realized she wanted to drink.
I gave her bottle but she drank half of it in a few seconds. Too fast!

In fact, ten minutes before the arrival she vomited everything she had left in her stomach since lunch time and a lot of water as well, so we had to stop on the side of the road for a quick change and clean.
When we arrived we met at the main square, the landlady of the apartment we rented for those few days.

Breda is nice and very welcoming lady, and I have to admit this, everybody in Kerry is.
The small house is simply amazing, on the back there is a huge garden and at the edges there is just wood. I let myself go and started to roll into the freshly cut grass under the amused eyes of my child!

We ate out in the evening and we explored the area for the day after. I was anxious already and I wanted to make sure to find the place where the workshop was held.



The bed was very comfortable. Despite that my body slept but my head didn’t. I got up at 5 because Maya decided for an early morning and as soon as I opened the curtains of the door giving on the garden I discovered a hare hopping in the distance.

I have no clue how I managed to prepare breakfast and make myself presentable and still half asleep I headed to the workshop.

I know that now I might sound ridiculous, but when I stepped into the school I felt inside a movie….again! Schools in Italy aren’t structured in that way and there is no projector in each class, there is any means for communication through all the school. It’s happened to me before, the very first time I came in Ireland. I remember that I kept walking on the street looking around me in awe! The class was nice and finally different from the other workshops I had attended before.

Once again I was the only non-English speaker but I expected that bit.

Siobhán Parkinson is genius, a mad artist! Period!

And I didn’t remember how hard it was reading in front of the public. I mean, my heart was drumming so hard that I feared to feel sick at some stage.

After class, my partner and Maya came to collect me and we went to eat at the restaurant we used the day before.

Once at home Maya went for a nap and we unconsciously joined her. I slept so well, I woke up a bit confused but I could stand on my feet till the end of the day. I was knackered!

I cooked the dinner and prepared Maya’s lunch for the day after. It was a bit weird, I admit that, because I was attending a workshop but I was also supposed to be on kind of holiday as well, right?!

Actually I had to realize that I had a 17 months old with me and she has her needs. I’m always torn between what I want to do and what I have to do. I hate that!

Last two considerations for the 30th of May: happy anniversary honey! We’ve been together for 14 years now. It seems I made a good choice! I love you!

And once again it was too funny to find every now and then the hares in the garden. I was cooking and at some stage one of them was hopping in front of the window!




Today once again Maya wanted to make sure I would arrive on time, she woke us up at 4.20, but this time it was my partner getting up and mind her.

Although I didn’t sleep I felt better.

Then I went to workshop and once there I received the feedback on my piece I sent to Siobhán in advance.

I’m going to tell you later, in another post what she told me, because, yes, I need to rant a bit.

I’m sorry but I wasn’t happy with what she said and to be honest I was tempted  to give up what I’m doing and that’s it….but I want to write so, don’t you worry, if you’re part of the few people who like my writing! I won’t!

 I’m going to post the pages I sent her, later on and if you would mind to tell me what you think I’ll highly appreciate it.

Bad news weren’t finished for that day because when I went home I found out that Maya had 38 degrees temperatures, probably due to teething.



It was the last day of the class and I didn’t go there with such enthusiasm. Still I had fun in doing an exercise involving a new character I made up as directed. I have to admit we wrote a lot and I’m thinking to post some of the exercises.

When I finished, my partner suggested we leave on the same evening in case Maya was sick during the night and keep us awake. In this way we could rest the day after at home at least and not face a travel.

The journey home was fine, no traffic, just a bitterness mixed to will of improving and of planning my next move! Despite it promised to be different as workshop, I ended up in adding nothing to the knowledge I had accumulated in the past ones. This brings me to think that I’ll stop to do them, unless I’ll manage to find a Fantasy Fiction Workshop which is exactly what I need.

Also the whole experience wasn’t that fun I remembered, maybe everything was different now that I’m mum and my partner came over too!

I love Co. Kerry anyway above everything.

I’ll post to you later my piece, so you have time to read it and tell me what you think.



4 thoughts on “

  1. How many workshops have you attended now, Franny? I’d imagine after a point they just repeat the same points, so like you said, it could be time to focus on your writing more than the workshops. 🙂

    Still, sounds like when you reflect on it in a few days to come and the frustration has passed, you still have found it worthwhile!

    • Well there was children’s fiction with Oisin, short fiction with Elilish at the Writers week two years ago, one day workshop about speculative fiction at the Big Smoke Factory, Children’s fiction with Jane, I won a place with an haiku in Nessa’s class of creative writing and this one I’ve just done.
      Yes they repeat more or less the same things although the advices I follow more are the very first that were given to me by Oisin.
      Well, I don’t know if it was worthwhile, but still I love writing too much, so I cannot stop. I know I’m Italian speaker and this will require more than the double amount of job, but still probably what put me off was her brutal and almost kind of racist way of putting it. I hope and I think she didn’t do it on purpose, but still…I’m going to write it in the today’s post!

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