A Photo for Reading Inspiration


Cork – Ireland

My sister emailed the picture above last week while visiting Ireland. A beautiful shot, I’m sure you’ll agree, and you can just about hear the haunting Danny Boy being sung somewhere in the background. The photo got me to thinking about Ireland. It’s been awhile since I last saw any Irish-based movies, so I dug around in the DVD cabinet and came up with two choices – Angela’s Ashes and Agnes Browne. My life in general has been depressing enough over the last few weeks without the recollection of Frank McCourt’s miserable childhood (and I LOVED both the book and the movie), so I chose to watch the later. I’m glad I did. Though I’ve never been a huge Anjelica Huston fan (she’s the title role), she was so great as Agnes Browne that I now keep an eye out for her movies.

You need an appreciation for the Irish-absurd to watch Agnes Browne, and you really have to pay attention to the women’s dialogue in the movie. The Irish, I am told, have a tendency to take things very literally. Agnes and her best friend, Marion, take literal statements to a whole new level and are freaking (do I dare say fecking?) hilarious! I won’t do a spoiler here. It’s a sweet, simple storyline (not a full-blown comedy), and small stories are my absolute favorites. If you want a feel-good tale and love to laugh, watch it.

Okay, so I did watch it – which got me to thinking when I was in the library a few days ago. The movie was based on the book The Mammy by Brendon O’Carroll, a rather famous comedian across the pond who seems to be an almost-unknown here (at least I had never heard of him). I couldn’t remember the name of the book and didn’t recall the author, but I explained at the information desk that I learned of the books (it’s a trilogy) through Amazon. So if they could look on the internet . . . and they did. They had the books on the shelves – The Mammy, The Chisellers, and The Granny. I checked out all three and have three weeks to read them. Luckily I’m a binge reader. I won’t read anything in the genre I’m currently writing in, so these books fit the bill perfectly. Even better, Gabriel Byrne gave the books glowing praise. I’m such a sucker for the guy that if he says they’re hysterical, that’s good enough for me!

Onto my own writing! Food for Thought and Recurring are coming along nicely but not quickly. There’s so much to do, so much to remember, and God, how I wish I could just think something and the words would magically appear on the screen – the grammar, punctuation, point-of-view and train-of-thought all correct and neatly typed and ready for the final proof-read. I’ll muddle through with a little inspiration from Brendan O’Carroll though.

So as summer vacations end and we look forward to the fall, pick up some great books and get out in the sun to read them. Reinforce your Jersey shore tans (or where ever you happen to soak up the sun) before the days turn autumn-crisp!

Have a great week everybody.

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