Right now, I’m taking a break from redrafting/editing my latest novel to work on a short story. This is something I often do to keep things fresh. When you stare at something for a long time, you may feel your eyes starting to blur. To refocus, you avert your gaze to a completely different object and hey presto, your sight is 20:20 again. For me, writing is a little like that especially when it comes to a novel. Working with a novel is little a like a deep-sea dive, every so often you need to come up for air and today, is one of days when I need to freshen my writing and style by focussing on a completely different project albeit for a few hours.
The short-story I am writing is a little absurdist, a genre I have a particular liking for especially when it has grounding and parallels with the real world otherwise absurdism can just become plainly absurd and abstract for its own sake – easy to do but with little literary benefit for both writer and especially reader. Someday I may even gain a second reader 🙂 but I digress.
The story is about an Irishman who finds him reincarnated as a rose in flowerbed in a local municipal park. He wonders how he got there, reminisces about his life, offers insights into how he comes to terms with his new manifestation of being. Of course, being an Irishman myself, I am obliged to throw in a bit of religion and politics and muck about with it in a way that would drive my dead granny to reach for her rosary beads whilst spinning in her grave but without taboo, art loses a stone to whet it’s blades upon and goodness knows, Ireland north and south has many such stones. His new life, such as it is, crosses with an aspect of his old towards the end of the story but that’s all I’ll say for now but I will post it here when completed in the next day or three.
One thing struck me when writing it, this is the first story I’ve written with what I believe is an authentic Irish voice. I dare to state this as the voice is actually my own. Why haven’t I done this before? Of course, a writer is not obliged by law to write in the voice of his/her own country or even his/herself. Many fine writers have built great careers setting books in foreign lands peopled with characters totally unlike themselves but today, I found it greatly refreshing to write in my own personal voice for the first time. I found the authenticity gave the ink a better flow (ok, it was on my computer but ink is a much nicer word than keyboard) and I genuinely felt the story came from a truer soil.
Those familiar with my blog will know I’m lover of Americana and America literature and this is probably the style my future novels will follow but perhaps in the near future, I may create an Irish protagonist at the heart of my American settings and have the best of both worlds.