For the past five weeks, I've been across the Irish Sea from Reese and the dogs, writing in Cork, Ireland. What started off as a solo adventure ended up being an adventure of community and camaraderie. As far as spending time away from my family, this was well worth it.
Each summer the University of New Orleans meets in Cork, Ireland for their Writer's Workshop, hosted at University College Cork. Luckily for me, the program is open to writers outside of the program as well. Throughout my time there, I participated in two writing workshops, one fiction and one non-fiction. Both were led by published authors who also happen to be wonderful teachers. For weeks, my peers and I immersed ourselves in each others work, learning new craft techniques, asking questions, pushing each other to create better work.
On free weekends, I took the chance to do some exploring. The first weekend I headed up to Belfast, but the rest of the time I enjoyed some little day trips to Cobh and Kinsale. Both are little seaside towns that are less than an hour by train or bus, respectively. While many go to enjoy the delicious, fresh seafood (so I've been told), I went for a change of scenery while I write and people watch. Both towns have charming cafes and pubs with some of the most friendly people I've ever met. If you're traveling through southern Ireland, these should be on your must visit list, even if it's just a fly-by.
There were so many good moments that came out of these past weeks, but here are my top three:
And while I had an amazing time this summer, I'm happy to be reunited with Reese and the dogs in Edinburgh.