Sunday, March 16, 2014

Non-traditional Speeds; A work of Irish Dance fiction for the "old" people?

Hey Gang! Still alive and dancing here. Haven't killed any bratty kids and have managed to get in a better head-space about it again. More details on that in some other post.

By the way, happy early Saint Patrick's day. I know everyone is probably running ragged with shows, parades and parties. I am not. . . .

So, instead I am dedicating some time to a little Irish Dance side project I've been thinking about for year, talking about off and on for about that time, and finally started taking a whack at.

Some of you may know, when I am not spraining ankles, being the laughingstock of children and managing to get better scores than I deserve at feiseanna, I am a writer. And no, not just this strange, oft times Joycean, stream-of-consciousness blog. I have been writing stories and novels from a young age. Luckily, most of my pre-highschool graduation work has been lost to the ravages of time and the world is a better place for it. But for the last ten years I have been working on several pieces - a couple historical pieces, some modern, some tending towards the epic-y other no more then romantic schlock.

But I digress.

Everyone always tells writers, write what you know. The problem is, I know a little bit about lots of things, but there is very little I know well. Irish Dance from a unique perspective just happens to be one of those things.

There is some Irish Dance themed fiction out there - some of it remarkably good. If you haven't read "Awakening" by Christy Dorrity, do it. It may be geared more towards the YA crowd, but I couldn't put the thing down. Read it in less then a day and am anxiously awaiting Book 2.  Fantastic writing.

But that's just the thing, most of the ID fiction out there is geared towards the largest demographic - the younger crowd. And that's ok . . .but I have always thought to my self how fun it would be to have some Irish Dance story geared to my own reading level. And then I got to thinking, that I am not the only Adult Irish Dancer, or Adult Some How Involved With Irish Dance out there, and that maybe there are others out there that would also get some pleasure out of reading the same. I mean, not just late starter like me - Dance mom's waiting for class to be over could kill some time reading, late teen to college age dancers traveling to feis/O's/Nans/Worlds, even people who love watching Irish Dance but aren't involved themselves.

So, with all this thinking, I also remembered - hey, you want to write a book. Why don't you write this grown-up Irish Dance novel that you are always complaning doesn't exist.

So, just recently, I started to.

I've got a synopsis, a basic plot outline, characters in the early stages of development. I kind of like where it is going and  I think it could turn out ok, but I guess I am just worried that maybe I am going to write something geared to too much of a niche market. What do you all think - think Irish Dance fiction would be enjoyable? Would it be something that would interest people, do you think?

I have also thought about perhaps not "publishing" it, in the real sense, but just posting it on Wattpad, or or the like (probably Fictionpress as I already have a account and they are practically the exact same website). Y'know, get a feel if people would actually enjoy what I am putting out there, before I go through the agony of actually trying to put something out there "for real."

Perhaps I should put up a chapter here, or a blurb or something? Let everyone get a taste for it?

Anyway . . .there's lots to think about and I am trying to get the first chapter done, so I've got plenty of time to try and figure out the answers. In the meantime, I will keep jotting down ideas between classes and feiseanna. . . .


  1. Hi!

    I love your blog. I'm almost 25 and have been on the fence with taking up Irish dance for a while now. Your blog came up while researching and after reading about your journey, it's convinced me to give it a try. Haven't found a school yet, but it sounds like when I do I will probably be in a similar situation to you. (No adult levels in local feiseanna, only & overs) Terrifying but kind of awesome at the same time...

    As for your story, totally do it! I would read it! I'm sure there are others out there too. Just the other day I searched Irish Step Dancing on fiction press and three things came up. You could revolutionize the market! :)

    Good Luck!

    1. Kay - I can't say this enough - DO IT! It's tough, you'll pull muscles and roll ankles, somedays you'll feel like you will never be "good enough", somedays you might even have bratty kids making you want to cry and quit . . . but the overwhelming sense of joy when you complete a step perfectly for the first time, hearing the music and automatically starting to count in your head, standing up on a feis stage, being able to say the phrase "I'm an Irish Dancer". . . . it's indescribably awesome.

      On the more practical front, start calling and visiting classes. Be honest and upfront with them that you are an adult and that you want to compete, and don't be offended if they say that they don't really have a place for you (one school I emailed when I moved to OH literally never even emailed me back and I can only assume that it was because I lead with 'I'm a 25 year old Advanced Beginner and compete in &Overs) but seriously, don't take it personally, some schools just don't cater to adults. But some will welcome you with open arms, and that is where you will want to be. Get info on different schools from forums and and the like. But seriously . . go do it. You are absolutely right - it is terrifying but kind of awesome.

      Hmm . . me, a revolutionary huh? Well . . . Viva La revolution!