Oh Dublin, How I Love Thee!

After 11 glorious days in Dublin, Ireland, I have returned home with an overflow of ideas and knowledge. What I had hoped to be a disaster-free trip, turned into so much more.

The trip began when I left my cozy, little apartment in Pittsburgh. It truly became an adventure when I finally sat on an airplane for the first time. While friends and family attempted to prepare me for the first trip hundreds of feet in the air, nothing compared to how it actually felt.  The adrenaline rush is akin to riding a roller coaster–only better! And the best part of the ride–the descent through the layers of clouds back to ground.

Once I arrived in Ireland, there was a new world to explore, and I was ecstatic to begin.

The beautiful old architecture that makes Trinity College so amazing to visit

We arrived at Trinity College in the unusual heat of an Irish summer day, and it was beautiful! The feeling you get when you walk down the cobblestone paths (besides exhaustion if you’re dragging a suitcase) is utter enjoyment knowing that Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde have walked on the same ground at one point.  The only disappointment of the campus is that the internet cost 15 euro for a guest, there is a ginormous walk to the computer labs, and my room was on the third floor (requiring me to walk up 8 flights of stairs).  The accommodations were perfect for an 11 day stay including the best shower and  cleaning services every day.

Now that I have established the setting for my stay in Dublin, let me tell you about the classes. Featuring some of the biggest names in Irish writing, the amazing MFA program allowed the students to sit and talk with the following authors/poets:

Edna O’Brien, Anne Enright, Hugo Hamilton, Claire Keegan, Kevin Barry, James Heaney, Paula Meehan, Kevin Power, Brandon Barrington, Harry Clifton, Gerald Dawe, Adrian Frazier, Sean Hardie, Brian Leyden, Molly McCloskey, Mary O’Donnell, Michael O’Loughlin

One of the most astounding qualities of this program is the ability for the staff and mentors to provide the best possible experience for those 11 days. I was swept away by the mystical quality of the speakers each and every day. Not only did I re-discover the passion for my writing, but I found the discipline I had been longing for since I began the program. With the help of Claire Keegan, Hugo Hamilton, and my mentor, Evelyn Conlon, I was able to grasp my purpose as a writer, and lock it safely within myself.

The amount of knowledge that has been stored in my mind hasn’t even been processed yet, but I can tell my writing has already changed in the short time I have been on my trip to Ireland.

The great view of the ocean from Dalkey!

It is from the experiences within the walls of Trinity College and in the streets of Dublin itself that I shall grow as a fiction writer. I will be coming out with more installments of what I have learned as well as sharing the pieces I have written since I left. Professors and professions sometimes say that you should write what you know. I will leave you with a piece of genius I learned  from Claire Keegan: writing what you don’t know is more exciting, and it allows you to truly understand how a character lives if you find out how the story will end with them. So, be prepared for the next few weeks because I will be dumping the mountains of insightful quotes and tips about writing I have learned onto your lap for you to learn as much as I have in the last two weeks.

Happy writing/reading! Cheers!

The bell tower of Trinity

The Sniffy Liffey!









The Garden of Remembrance

You have to be told which way to look. Trust me when I say..it was needed! I’m almost going to miss looking down to see where the traffic is coming from

Amy and Rory’s Door!! Minus the sign on the top of the door




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14 responses to “Oh Dublin, How I Love Thee!

  1. I am green with envy. And Irish appreciation.

    • Haha well green is plentiful on the Emerald Isle 😛 I hope you keep up with my posts because I will be working on updating EVERYTHING I have experienced so you can live vicariously through my trip!

  2. Hello and welcome back! I like the pictures of the view of the ocean & the Garden of Remembrance. Hope this trip brought you great inspiration and motivation!

    • It has completely altered my perception of writing. My love of writing has been refreshed and endless knowledge acquired. My novel will be well on its way during this practicum, and I have a short story I’m working on now thanks to a trip to the Dublin City Gallery. The inspiration is never ending, and I didn’t even see the countryside!It was so worth the money and the time.

  3. Sounds wonderful – and really inspirational. Was it exhausting? Sometimes your brain going off at a million miles an hours seems to be more tiring than running a marathon!
    Looking forward to all your coming insights.

    • It was exhausting. My brain goes from bouts of intense inspiration to complete shutdown and I have to sleep. Eventually it will be processed and I will get to use it to the full extent. My writing is going to be packed full of great writing now, though. 🙂

  4. Looks like you’ve had a lot of fun! Can’t wait to hear more about it! And glad you’re feeling reinspired 🙂

  5. I miss it already. 😦 We had so much fun!

  6. I’m very jealous but happy that you had such a marvelous time. I look forward to reading about your great learning adventure. I love your pictures, especially the one of the river taken between the columns (The Sniffey Liffy). 🙂

    • thank you! There are many more pictures to come and soon I will post my recent short story on my visit to the Dublin City Gallery, and my first experience in front of famous artwork. I cannot wait to get up every morning and write. It now becoming an everyday obsession instead of something I have to plan in my day, which is AWESOME!

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