Friday, 11 January 2013


I'm going to Rome for a month on Tuesday 15th January. I'm excited and apprehensive about it simultaneously, if that's possible. Looking forward to it and fearing it. 'Feel the fear and do it anyway' a la the title of Susan Jeffers' book. Will I be mugged? Will I get all disoriented? One thing is for sure, I'll have to work at it to benefit. 
I'm staying at Villa Irlanda, a guest house run by the Irish College. My idea is to do some serious writing while I'm there, but also to brush up on my Italian, meet some old friends and make some new contacts, maybe travel a bit outside of Rome but certainly see some Roman sights which I haven't seen before.
There's a lot of preparation involved, both in setting things right for my wife and son at home (she's coming to see me in Rome for a long weekend) and in making sure I bring everything I need – clothes, communication devices with lists of addresses, the files I need (which I have to transfer from my main computer to my laptop), identity documents and tablets, innocuous items like my clothesbrush (which has gone missing), bills that will become due when I'm there, my chequebook, credit cards, copies of my books and the books that I'm currently reading, including an Italian translation of Dorian Gray, the Rough Guide to Rome...
I hope that by immersing myself in a new setting, I'll be stimulated to begin a new novel. That worked for my first novel, 'A Year's Midnight', but I had a year in Umbria to write the first draft of that. So I think what I will mainly be doing this time is taking notes of various interesting settings and happenings in the city, and waiting for the big plot idea and the characters to come tumbling out of this observational activity. Maybe 'a horse never steps in the same stream twice' but it's worth a try. If not a novel, maybe a few poems or even a journal of my stay....

A Year's Midnight, Ciaran O'Driscoll, Pighog Press 2012

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