Sean Walsh

I live in Dublin, Ireland. Sometimes. Most times I live in my head, quite unaware of my surroundings – if you know what I mean… If you succeed in tracking Sean Walsh, please let me know, ok? I've been searching for him for years…

In Labour… Birth Soon.

Published on Thursday 20th June 2013 by Sean Walsh

Out of rich soil many healthy shoots spring up – Ancient Celtic proverb. Well, no, actually. I’ve just made it up!

 Where rubies and diamonds go to make up a priceless crown, there also will be clustered rarest gems and pearls – Ancient Oriental Proverb. Well, no, not quite. That one’s mine, too.

By way of an Intro to what is – I hope you will agree! – a collection of goodies. A Memoir of sorts. Memorabilia. A kind of compendium. Highs from a Creative Writing life spanning several decades. Stemming from worn, black-n-white snapshots… scraps of scribbling from bottom drawers, long-forgotten archives…

Like the photo on the cover of my book: my Dad and I on the beach at Rossnowlagh, Donegal, Ireland… I dwelt on it, recalling summer days, winter scenarios…

 Sunday afternoon, long-ago winter… My Dad was bringing Rusty for a walk and would I like to come? Would I!..

Two lines written down on impulse, out of the blue. Not knowing where they had come from, much less where they would lead to… Why, I still have that jotter page somewhere, in an unchartered backwater!

Little did I know then that I was at the beginning of a journey that would unearth long-buried treasures, beam light down corridors long in darkness, bring again to colorful life voices and sketches from a long-forgotten past…

And so I began to write, favourite dictats to the fore: you make your way by taking it…it doesn’t happen, you have to make it happen…

Some twenty pages later I scribbled The End and sat back, resting from my labours, content enough. I had composed a nice piece of nostalgia, a monologue that would cause no ripples, ruffle no feathers…

Next day I set to work, editing the MSS as I typed. By week’s end I handed the text to a former colleague, a producer in RTE One’s Radio Drama department. A few days later he got back to me with a suggestion that fired my imagination anew: “That line could be given to the boy,” he put it to me as he turned pages. “And this one here… And this other one there…”

Two heads better than one? In this case, decidedly! Breakthrough! I now had a new format, framework; a monologue had given way to dialogue; son to father, father to son… I began again to write, edit, chart a stronger storyline…

The piece took off, grew a life of its own, morphed again and again; first one parting, then a second. And a final, irreversible THE END…

Until, that is, I showed it to my eldest daughter, Siobhan, who was at the time – give or take – embarked on a course in Theatre Studies at Trinity college, Dublin. She read it quickly – as is her wont – then observed: “Lovely, Dad, but the ending is very down.”

Down, eh? Leaving the reader sad, perhaps tearful. But not uplifted… I mulled over this a while, then nodded in silent assent. She had a point… So. Back to the drawing board. Again? Again…

A final ending that only gradually dawned on me – a wee double entente, would you believe? – causing me to change the original title, Penny for your Dreams, to what it is today…

If I have learned one thing more than another from years of wielding pen on paper it is this: one thing almost invariably leads to another. Writing has been compared to drawing a chain out of dirty water:  it only appears a link at a time. And there’s the wonder! There the excitement! Whatever next?!

And so one turn on the road led to another – from Kerry to Galway to Rome… London to New York… then back to Dublin… A road that for all its twists and turns was never far from the Word – or Centre Stage!

P S: Penny for Your Travels, a memoir of sorts, scheduled for launch, Autumn, 2013.

 

Copyright © 2020 Sean Walsh

Lovingly crafted by Design for Writers