When you’re standing at the bus stop outside the Irving Mainway on St. Patrick’s Day with your flaming red hair and bright blue eyes glaring in the sunshine, knowing you should have worn make-up to cover your blooming freckles, and a con who has just been released from prison and is now being recalled to meet with a parole officer because he may or may not have violated this parole for reasons unknown to you, and the con has determined that you need to hear his sermon no matter where you go to stand and wait for the Acadian Line that seems to be late, and his message is an increasingly agitated rant about the bitches that women be yet slightly better than the damn Irish . . .
When this happens, you might wish for a moment that maybe your great great great great so-and-so hadn’t fled the famine, because then you wouldn’t be at this bus stop being so obviously a woman and even more blatantly Irish on St. Patrick’s Day with a crazy sometime-ex-con spitting in your face, you’d be in a pub like a normal person. And for one stressful moment as this giant criminal looms over you and steps a bit close pinning you to the wall, you might even wish that you had nothing whatsoever to do with the Irish, wouldn’t it be nice to have Lebanese ancestry for a change? But other than during that longish half hour waiting on that very slow bus from Halifax there’s never been another time when you didn’t love all things Irish.
This is a true story of course, happened a couple of years ago at the Sackville bus stop where there was never any shortage of recently released cons travelling. At the time it was a stressful situation. Now, it’s just a funny story, the luck of my Irish to be looking like that and to run into this particular man on St. Paddy’s no less. But yesterday I had a different kind of Irish luck. Recently I submitted some stories. Fiction. Yes, I know! I NEVER do that! But on a whim last month I answered a call and sent some work off to something called The Sharp Review, published by the National University of Ireland at Galway’s Society of Writers. I sent one piece that I thought was the better piece and then as an afterthought and throwing caution to the wind I sent “Three Thirty Three” (now in the first person) thinking “They’ll likely read this and write back asking me to never submit another word.”
So imagine my surprise when I received an email from a lovely chap named Liam informing me that my story “Three Thirty Three” has been accepted for publication and they welcome more of my submissions. I am being published! Ok, you’re sitting there wondering what the big deal is because I’m clearly being published quite regularly in Bread ‘n Molasses, and I’ve got a string of newspaper and magazine credits dating back into the early 90s that clearly show I can get published . . . BUT this is my first piece of short fiction to be published. This is my first time appearing in a literary periodical published by a university. And damn! This is the first time I’m being published in Ireland! I feel like I’ve finally done something. I feel like hey, maybe I don’t have to write cheesy non-fiction for the rest of my days, maybe I can do fiction. Maybe. I feel possibility. There seems to be an awful lot of new stuff going on in my life lately. It’s exciting!
Included in the note was an invitation to attend the official launch at a little pub on campus. How I wish! But the timing is impossible . . . yes, like that’s the ONLY barrier. But contributors are invited to come and read at the launch, the editors would buy me a pint . . . and how much fun would that be? Ireland is where that writers retreat/workshop happens that I’ve had my eye on for a couple of years now. This isn’t my year to attend, it’s just impossible financially. But sometime. It’s a goal.
So yeah, I’m being published . . . in Ireland . . . and I’m very happy. Today is a good day.
Drinking: king cole tea, black
Listening To: the tv in the apartment below me
Hair: very fluffy