Claire Keegan at Jasper’s


Upstairs in Jasper’s was the venue for a Claire Keegan masterclass organised by Lightning Bug Press on Saturday 25th April. Jasper’s café sits perched in a nook on Beech Road off New Street around the corner from Boylesports and just below what we in Killarney call “Old Tesco”.

In any case, coffee in the system, I took my seat at the back with a couple of other hardy punters eager to hear what a purveyor of fine fiction might have to share.

I was immediately impressed by the not-so-subtle “Phones Off” policy already embossed on the flipchart and thus began a relentless and epic journey in pursuit of TIME and its function as the single most important element in the writing of stories, the “temporal art”. After all, if something happens, you can’t change it, the watch can’t be wound back!

Keegan covered every pile of the carpet as she roamed back and forth, sideways and even up onto a chair, making use of any and all available props (including the colour coded tops of the markers!) to elucidate meaning. Drawings, graphs, role play, quotes and arm spans of passion became the hallmarks of the day and we hung on every word.

Keegan proffered light, food, drink, money and deep murky water as the means to get to the core of a story; stalwarts all of the writer’s toolbox. The notion of writing with your bellybutton as your radar summed up what was a privilege to experience. You’ll have to get along to one yourself to find out more. As for me, I’m journeying to the white-hot centre to find the right time in which to begin my next story!