Lately, I've been feeling as blue as B.B. King. I'm putting in the hours, slaving through the research for my novel and occasionally interrupting myself to bloodlet a few words of half-conceived ideas for stories, but the clouds have massed above my head and the rejections are piling up around me at a frenzied rate. My new book, In Too Deep, is coming out soon but my confidence is in the gutter just now and I can't even begin to imagine who might pay out hard-earn coin for the privilege of reading it.
And then, yesterday afternoon, a ray of light poked its welcome head through the gloom. I answered the phone to a message from RTE, informing me that, for the second year running, I had made the shortlist of the PJ O'Connor Radio Drama Award. A couple of months ago, like so many other hopefuls, I polished up the manuscript of my second ever 28-minute radio play, found a title that seemed to fit ('A Game Of Confidence'), printed it out and sent it off.
Last year, when my play, 'Deliver Us From Evil', was shortlisted, I took myself off to Dublin 4, sat through a nice ceremony and drowned my considerable nerves in too much red wine. I came away empty-handed (and light headed). This year, though, things will be different. Apparently, in an effort to tighten their belts and shoelaces, RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster, have done away with such formalities and have set aside a date, the 8th of June, on which they will simply announce the winning entries. A relief, actually. I don't think I could stand another crippling ceremonial disappointment, and I know that I can't spare the cost of a train to Dublin and an exorbitantly overpriced hotel room.
So, roll on the 8th of June. I'll be crossing everything up and down my person that is even remotely possible to cross. And I'll be tuned in to the Arts Show, desperately hoping against hope to hear my name announced, from the cramped comfort of my attic in Cork.