UNESCO City of Film and the Galway Film Fleadh

Here are the past city/designates:

  • 2009: Bradford, England
  • 2010: Sydney, Australia
  • 2014: Galway, Ireland

The only one self has been to is Galway.

At Tyrone Guthrie Centre this year, self met an artist named Ruth who was preparing her short film for showing at the Galway Film Fleadh, part of the Galway International Arts Festival in July. The documentary was filmed around a housing project, a wasteland of abandoned buildings and detritus. It was fascinating (not to mention, the filmmaker herself, Ruth, has so many stories to tell about the process of filming)

Best of luck, Ruth. Hope your film wins something.

Must make plans to visit the Galway International Arts Festival sometime!

Stay tuned.

Most Embarrassing Day of Self’s Life

Self was in Shannon Airport, Galway. She heard the PA system come on, and someone say xxxxxx please come to the security counter.

If she’d had her wits about her, she’d have known that the name coming over the PA system was her fan fiction pen name. And there’s no way in heck that there can be two people with that same name anywhere in the universe.

But self is so stupid. At that moment, she just thought, “Huh! Guess I’m not as unique as I thought I was!” And continued reading People Magazine.

Until it came time to board the plane, and self thought, Might as well take out the laptop before I have to stow my carry-on in the overhead bin.

She reached down, to the place where she always keeps her laptop securely tucked away, and gasped.

The space was . . . space.

Self couldn’t believe it. She must have stared at her carry-on for a full minute. Then, it suddenly dawned on her: the name over the PA system! That was HER the security people were calling!

She barreled down the airport corridors, going first the wrong way, doubling back, and when she finally reached the security checkpoint, there was a group of men there, looking at self with a very odd expression on their faces. It’s as if the men were thinking: So is that — ? It can’t be!

Then, self put two and two together and realized: she’d been working on the latest chapter of her fan fiction. It was on the screen. That’s why the security people knew her fan fiction alias. And they must have read some of the story, too. And self just wanted to die. Die! Die!

With as much dignity as she could muster, self identified herself, retrieved her laptop, and returned just in time to board her plane, sweat streaming from every pore.  Too bad for her seatmates, two young guys who looked thoroughly disgusted at self’s ripe smell as she plopped down into her seat, red-faced and absolutely shattered by her near-death experience. These young men were so cute, so adorable, so attractive and sweet-smelling, that self wanted to curl up into a ball and apologize for her dishevelment, for her bad smell, for everything, for being picked to sit beside them, for ruining the start of their trip, for her very existence.

When we arrived at the first stopover, which was Heathrow, both young men jumped from their seats so fast, self didn’t even have time to ask Please kind sirs could you retrieve self’s carry-on bag from the overhead bin seeing as you’re almost twice self’s height and your biceps are extremely toned ?

She was still so discombobulated by the fact that five security men in Shannon Airport in Galway knew her fan fiction pen name. How could she be so stupid? That is the last time, the very last time, she writes fan fiction in an airport.

For the record, this is what self looks like, for REALS. Now you know why the security people at Shannon Airport in Galway could not reconcile her actual self with the fan fiction writer whose chapter they (had probably) just finished reading.

Photo on 8-21-15 at 1.13 PM

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Change 4: The Moon Last Night, Cork International Short Story Festival, Galway Coffee Shop

This was an attempt to take a picture of the moon last night. It’s there somewhere.

There was talk of a “Super Moon” last night. Of course self totally missed it.

Where Am I? I am in a car. That's about it.

Where is self? Self is in a car. That’s about it.

Here’s an extreme close-up of a poster for the Cork International Short Story Festival. 2015 just wrapped. Does self need to remind dear blog readers that reading changes lives?

Close-Up: Cork International Short Story Festival Poster (September 2015)

Close-Up: Cork International Short Story Festival Poster (September 2015)

Finally, two women in a coffee shop, oblivious to the cars passing outside. One of the passing cars is blurred. Voila: CHANGE!

The coffee shop was on Shop Street or Middle Street, self forgets which street exactly, in Galway.

Coffee Shop, Galway

Coffee Shop, Galway

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Change 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is CHANGE.

The Daily Post includes a quote from Lao Tzu:

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.

Here’s a picture of the Triskel Art Centre in Cork, which was the venue for the Kelly Link/ Heather O’Neill reading last Thursday, during the Cork International Short Story Festival. It used to be a church, and they kept the wooden pews:

Triskel Christchurch, Cork

Triskel Christchurch, Cork

Another event self attended was the launch of a new literary journal, Banshee, edited by three intrepid young women: Laura Jane Cassidy, Claire Hennessy, and Eimear Ryan:

Below, Issue # 1:

Issue # 1, Banshee Literary Journal, Autumn 2015

Issue # 1, Banshee Literary Journal, Autumn 2015

Finally, a sign on the wall of the Galway Train Station. NIIICE! Trains represent movement, movement represents change:

Galway Train Station

Galway Train Station

Funny, in the States, self has grown used to associating the color red with STOP signs.

Here in the UK, she’s seen red phone booths, red sofas, red walls, red sneakers, red sweaters, and now this sign in a train station.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Grid 2: Galway & London

“We often superimpose a mental grid over things we photograph to help with composition. This week, let’s go literal.”

The Daily Post Photo Challenge, GRID

What self heard over and over in Galway was that they didn’t have a summer. It was grey throughout. Grey like today? Self thinks the city is beautiful. The rain is light.

The picture below has many different grids: the grid of the streets, of the sidewalk railings, the buildings:

Walked up this Galway Street, looking for the sea.

Walked up this Galway Street, looking for the sea.

Unfortunately, by the time self got to this wee independent bookstore, it was closed:

Galway Bookstore on the corner of Middle St. and -- ?

Galway Bookstore on the corner of Middle St. and — ?

Self is appending a link to The Daily Edge’s list of the 17 Best Independent Bookstores in Ireland.

Finally, buildings on a street off Whitechapel Road in London. Self was on a Jack the Ripper tour:

Somwhere Off Whitechapel Road, London

Somwhere Off Whitechapel Road, London

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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