Hitting the ground running

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When I was eight, we lived in a small town in County Kildare in Ireland, called Monasterevin.  It’s where most of the enduring impressions of my life were laid down and are now emerging as inspiration for stories.  It’s also proving rich picking for a talk I’m giving next week as part of the Elmbridge Literary Festival.  Linda Gillard and I started off that festival giving a weekend workshop and I end it by giving a talk. The ladies who wrote the blurb for it did a great job. They’ve promised ‘an entertaining and humour-filled evening.’  They’re opening the bar at 7 and when the attendees are nicely pickled, I’ll stand up, STONE COLD SOBER and talk for an hour about how I came to be a writer and how I always wanted to be a storyteller.  A full hour, no stopping for breath, no deviation, no repetition.
It reminds me of Monasterevin.  When I was eight I used to go for long walks with my parents and I liked to tell them stories – all the way around.   My mother sometimes asked when the story would end.
I’d tell her, when we reach home.
She’d be quiet for a while then she’d say, ‘Pet, will we walk a little faster?’
As a treat, she’s even let me run sometimes – all three miles.
So Monasterevin is very alive in my head just now.
The talk is entitled, ‘Hitting the Ground Running…’

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