Tell me a good story. And please, please, tell it well.

Good storytellers may not be good writers. Good writers may not be good storytellers. They’re brilliantly boring stylists. But when I find a book that tells me a good story, telling it well without calling attention to its …

Modern Times in Dalkey, sans Damon, Enya & Bono

It seems like I was in a galaxy of both a long ago past and a far-away future. I was sitting in a railway station – Dublin’s Connolly – doing what I’ve had a lifetime of practice doing: …

Blowing in from the beach – and other places, too

There’s something nice about walking along a deserted beach, one that you’re sharing with just a few dogs and their owners. Should I mention that the dogs looked rather joyous when their miserable-looking owners called for them to …

Once upon a time…at a castle near a campus

I was waiting for the traffic signal to change to change when a different light appeared – in my brain, not on the street I was waiting to cross. It wasn’t Maynooth’s classrooms and bookstores that started me …

How do we let in the light?

I was standing on a corner near campus, next to Maynooth’s 13th Century castle. At first I thought it was just an ABC [another bloody castle] until I noticed where its windows used to be. For whatever reasons …

Does Easter bring you more memories than Christmas?

Yes, I know that both holidays have centuries-old pre-Christian roots that were glossed over as Christianity became one of the world’s dominant religions. But, for whatever reason, Easter brings me memories of various clergy I’ve dealt with through …

Can fiction tell us what nonfiction can’t?

And is there a difference between nonfiction and history? Is it just the time period they cover – or is it the author’s attitude, as well? In nonfiction we see an author’s view – or the reporter’s selection …

If you were thinking of a White Christmas…

It’s been a while since I’ve seen snow on Christmas Day. But whenever I see an accumulation of freshly fallen, still clean snow I remember a particular day in the Colorado Rockies.  I try to remember exactly how …

A thought-no matter what you’re celebrating or not celebrating this year

How do you feel about these long Northern nights?

If you live south of the equator, you can either put this piece aside or remember how you felt six months ago. It’s called “Lighttime, meet nighttime.” https://jpmaney.com/light-night/