Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 6 2014: How to be inspired—plant a lupin bush outside your study window—and throw in a strutting bantam cock. Oh, and by the way, be living in a thatched cottage in West Waterford, Ireland

I'm home a lot. Because I live in Ireland, we can live under the celebrity radar. I might go missing for a whole year.


Geographically, Ireland is a medium-sized rural island that is slowly but steadily being consumed by sheep.

Dave Barry

When I’m doing serious book-writing I don’t really want or need a glorious view (or so I pretend). I tell myself it would be too distracting—and I may be right at that. Certainly, being totally focused—being in the zone, if you will—is a wonderful thing.

Yet I do hark back to my cottage in Ireland during the time the lupin bush just outside my study window was in full flower—and I miss it greatly. When it was in flower, it seemed to make the whole world a better place. I absolutely adored the thing.

All in all, I’m a pretty lousy person to advise you as to whether your surroundings—and your view in particular—will make you a better, or a more productive, writer. On balance, I favor the ascetic approach of no view—but full focus on your work.

But, by god, I miss that lupin.

As for my bantam cock, he liked to parade up and down my window sill until I was appropriately smitten by his beauty—and then he would ignore me. I became very fond of the little monster and christened him Yul Brynner—because no other human could strut quite like him, the man.

He, the bantam, had a sex life to die for. If you are a cock.

Funnily enough, Brynner’s son went to my old university, Trinity College, Dublin, and dated a former girlfriend of mine. So much for degrees of separation.

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