Sort of Writing


This week’s guest post is from Brigid O’Connor and you can check out her very witty blog at Sort of Writing.

My prized possession as a child was my library card. Living in a house full of nine people, I escaped into a world of books. The books revealed worlds away from my own Dublin terrace.

Before long, I started imagining my own stories and at the age of 13, I sent off a poem to The Irish Press for their Junior page. It was entitled ‘Lizzie’ and was about a six year old homeless girl:

“Today’s her birthday, she’s six years old, Nobody loves her, she’s hungry and cold”. That’s all I can remember of it, I lost the original cutting.

I know, not exactly Seamus Heaney, but I received the princely sum of a one-pound note, was published and even more importantly, I was hooked by the magic of seeing my name in print.

Life intervened and I graduated from U.C.D. with an Arts degree and like a lot of other people in 1986, emigrated to London. Returning in the 1990s, I gained a husband and two children.

I worked in sales and marketing roles in both London and Ireland but always felt that there was something else out there waiting for me. I returned to writing while raising my children to try and find my own identity and find some hush in the daily chaos. I started writing in diary form and managed to edit some pieces that I felt were possibly good enough to send out for publication.

I plucked up the courage last year to send some of these pieces out and was delighted to be chosen to record five radio essays for RTE Lyric fm’s The Quiet Quarter. The pieces were broadcast last year and one piece was selected for their anthology. The same piece was chosen for RTE Playback’s Best of 2009 programme.

I write poetry and short stories and I live in hope that some of my submitted pieces will be successful. I am a huge fan of Anne Tyler and love the way she turns the ordinary into the extraordinary and would aspire to be able to do that myself. I owe all my interest in the arts and literature to my parents, who always recognised that education was the key to unlock the riches of the world.

I would like to end by quoting a line out of one of my radio pieces ‘Grief’ about them. The ‘he’ refers to my father.

‘Yes, Mother, you were the earth and he was the sky……..

We floated somewhere in between…………’

I hope I can make them proud.

13 thoughts on “Sort of Writing

  1. What a wonderful post.

    I also spent many hours in the library and lived on books. And I’m a big fan of Ann Taylor. My mother-in-law just recommended Noah’s Compass, so I’ll have to add it to my growing list of books to read.

    I love the excerpt from Grief. Keep writing.

  2. Thanks, Olive for featuring me, I see you got the photo uploaded !!

  3. Brigid, it was my pleasure!
    And thanks for forwarding on the second photo:)

  4. You are a born poet Brigid and will always be one no matter what!!

    What a lovely post and thank you for sharing these treasured memories.

    Take care

  5. Ann

    That was wonderful Brigid. You are a great guest blogger!! Loved the lines from your poem Grief. Beautiful. Would love to read the rest.

    A published and paid poet at 13, you go girl!!!

  6. A beautiful extract from “Grief”. I really like the poem that Brigid wrote at 13 years of age too!

  7. What a wonderful post! You’re brilliant, Brigid. I love your poetry!

  8. Really nice to see you Brigid and enjoyed reading your guest post! The excerpt from “Grief” is stunning, it could stand alone. Poor Lizzie! you’d a kind heart. Reading played a huge part in my early life too … from the ladybird fairytales to the torrid attic of Virginia Andrews…& well done on being published at 13!

  9. Great post Brigid – lovely to hear about your poem, that is so cute! And how exciting that you’re redicovering all of that talent again!

  10. There you are Brigid… after all this time a photo and your post is wonderful – fills in lots of gaps! Its great to hear a bit of your history. And I agree that in your heart you are a poet… keep writing!

  11. Thanks to all for the lovely comments.
    The blogpost has piqued my curiousity to check out the Irish Press archives to see if I can track down ‘Lizzie’ in all it’s printed glory.
    Thanks, Olive, I feel like I am hijacking your blog, but just wanted to enter a little thank you comment.

  12. @Brigid; If you find the Irish Press piece, would love to see the full poem:)
    And you’re very welcome, it’s a great post!

  13. @Barbara, Niamh & Niamh, Talli, Róisín, Ann, Old Kitty, Theresa;
    Thank you all for visiting my blog and for all your great comments!

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