Happy Christmas and Thanks

I just want to take the opportunity to thank some very special people who made this year in work and writing my most successful yet.

To Karen Frampton, who gave my business new direction and new impetus. Her guidance made this year the most successful year yet career wise and helped me lay the foundations for many more successful years.

To Orla Shanaghy and Derek Flynn, for letting me rant over coffee.

To Mags Durand O’Connor, for spreading the word.

To Tracy McEneaney and all at Tramore Library who let me use the library as a venue for my relaunch.

To Mark Roper, for relaunching the book.

To Samantha Clooney, for another year of successful collaboration.

To Vanessa O’Loughlin, for sound publishing advice.

To Stan Phillips – I was so touched that you mentioned me in your acknowledgements.

To the similarly named Sian Phillips, for lovely lunches in Tramore and good social media advice.

To Jennylynd James, Oisin Browne, Pierre Blundell and all the other people who entrusted their boosk to me.

To Mary Grehan, for giving me the opportunity to work with an enthusiastic bunch of people at Waterford Regional Hospital.

To all the people who came to my creative writing workshops throughout the year.

And to all who have replied to my posts, subscribed to my blogs and said kind words, a big thanks. The writer’s life is lonely and I gratefully Hoover up all crumbs of appreciation.

Happy Christmas to you all and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

 

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Half Past Christmas

Half Past Christmas is the hushed hour that comes just as Christmas morning breaks, an hour stolen from the Christmas juggernaut. You wake all a-tingle. The sky is the colour of ink, but the clock tells a different story. Something exciting is happening. You fancy you can hear Santa’s footsteps on the rooftop. Your stomach carries the memory of the years when you tumbled down the stairs, in search of Santa’s bounty.

You swaddle yourself in a dressing gown and slipper socks and creep downstairs, taking care to skip the creaky step. A veil shrouds the house. You don’t turn on a light, in case you pierce it.

Defiant embers still burn in the grate. On a table beside the couch, there is a plate strewn with crumbs and a glass with a dribble of milk on the rim, left for an incredulous child to find. You flick on the Christmas tree lights. They begin to dance on the walls, showing off their colours, pink, orange, yellow.

You nestle beside the tree. The lower branches tickle your face. The carpet feels scratchy underneath you. The house murmurs to itself; you listen to the quiet chorus of whirs, grunts and moans. Next to you is a pristine pile of presents. The paper crackles a little, as if quivering with anticipation. You breathe in the smell of pine.

Christmas Tree

 

 

 

 

The house begins to stir. You hear doors open, running water, running feet. The veil is torn away. But as the day whirls around you, you hold fast to the memory of Half Past Christmas, the hour when you let yourself believe.