“Playgirl” | Yemassee | 24 October 2019

Thanks to all the editors, but especially Editors Hannah Ford and Andrew Green at the beautiful Yemassee Journal for accepting this story, and to Editor Dylan Nutter for publishing it.  To jump to “The Playgirl of the Western World,” click this link.

I usually write something about my stories here on the blog, but this year I am writing a novel and can’t get in all my customary essay flexes. Writing a novel is like that. Everything has to stand aside while that word-elephant galumphs its way through the gift shop.

So, I’m just going to explain 3 things;

  • The story title is a nod to J.M. Synge’s “The Playboy of the Western World,” and the nod is deepened by the last word of the story. It’s not essential to have read Synge or not.
  • I do enjoy French New Wave films, yet it’s not important if you’ve seen them or not seen them. They are strange and boring and so, so perfect. (ahem… A car scene from “Breathless”)
  • I thank Hannah Tinti and the fun “Write With One Story” class. Her lesson, which involved wedding guests, got the ice breaking on this one. The triple shadow, the aligned glassware, the opening sentence survive from that draft.

I love this character, my little Poppy. I feel so sorry for her. I feel sorry for anyone who forgets to have a dream of one’s own, or is otherwise curbed by some childhood miscue.

I hope you enjoy “The Playgirl of the Western World.” Please read, and if you liked it, then maybe share or comment. Here it is at Yemassee.  Thank you for visiting!

Note: Image is of my Mister standing near a painting at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. Madonna Irlanda or the Very First Real Irish Political Picture 1977 by Micheal Farrell (1940-2000). Acrylic on canvas, 174 x 185.5 cm.