Posted in Lessons Learned

An Evening with Ian Gould

with Ian Gould

I usually have an agenda.  A plan.  A list.  I have an idea of how I think things should be done.  How it should all unfold.  And I’d say that some of the time it works out as my plan, agenda and lists indicate.   It’s the times that don’t exactly work out according to my plan that get my attention.  When life forces me to stop.  And take a breath.  And even smell the roses.

I spent Thursday living according to plan.  I’d been interviewing for different jobs all week-long.  Taking entrance tests and job shadowing.  Only to not find the next job of my dreams.  As you might imagine, that wasn’t quite the outcome I had worked out in my head.  So there I was, sitting on my deck stunned at the end of the day, when I got a call and was invited out for the evening.  Without a new plan in mind, I said yes.

From the sidewalk I had no idea the treasures I’d find.  The booths were filled with evening diners enjoying Irish Stew, Bangers and Mashed and Shepherd’s Pie.  I opted for the St. Patty’s Melt right from my seat at the bar.  This pub offers 30 brands of beer on tap.  Irish Beer of course.

The wait staff informed me there would be entertainment beginning within minutes.  I was delighted.  Just the sort of tonic I needed for my latest plan gone awry. And delighted I was from the first note.  (Which happened to be from a harmonica).

Ian Gould was performing.  A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, he had just returned to the States from a special performance.  The president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins had requested that Ian would  grace his July 12th Garden party with a performance.  The Garden Party is held to honor the unification of Ireland and Ian wrote a special song for the occasion.  “Look How Far We’ve Come.”   He shared that same piece with all of us at O’Riley & Conway’s Irish Pub tonight.

Throughout the evening Ian continued to entertain us with his Irish quips, traditional Irish melodies as well as an extensive repertoire of popular music from the Beatles, Dire Straits, Elvis Costello and the Turtles, to name a few.

By the end of the evening I had a new perspective.  Look at the wonderful time I had.  It wasn’t part of the plan I had in line for today.   But what a gift it was.  I also concluded that since I couldn’t find a job today, I might as well get busy writing that book I was working on before my trip.  …And a new plan is born.


6 thoughts on “An Evening with Ian Gould

  1. So often I find that “my plans” aren’t really the best idea! Sounds like maybe your kind of sidetracked and disappointing day is giving you some new options. You will find it and writing that book—-amazing!!! Love to hear about the process!

  2. Thank you Beth Ann. I’ve been reflecting on the ‘goals’ that I’ve had in my life, and I realized that I’ve accomplished them all so far. Just not in the ways I had planned. It seems that life gets us there… one way or another.

    The book process is a daunting one when I look at the whole project at once. Kind of like the trip I took, driving 6000 miles by myself. It would have been overwhelming to look at the whole route filled with it’s obstacles and challenges. So I broke it down to one day at a time. I told myself that ‘today I’m travelling to… ” and I only had to manage that. It was very do-able that way.

    The book has been the same. I’ve had the idea/concept for years. I’ve been putting stepping stones in place for quite some time. And now I’ve gotten many of the details in line.
    I went to the Writer’s Conference and learned so much… then I finished the trip and found a place to live. I moved to Wisconsin from Clear Lake.. new town, new everything. I got hung up on finding a job right away. Financially, I’m okay for awhile, so I dont really have a reason to panic.. I just got stuck on ‘my plan.’

    The actual writing.. takes a lot of focused time. Undisturbed time alone. For a social person, it’s hard for me to balance. Its going to take some discipline for me to remain undisturbed and alone. One editor I met at the conference recommended that I write 2000 words a day, every day. That in itself, is a full time job.
    Many of the speakers at the conference took years to write their book. Only to have it returned by an editor for rewrites.. sometimes many rewrites. As an example, Monte Schulz spent ten years writing this three part book series.

    I wonder if my response to you, counts toward my 2000 words today? lol.

    Have a wonderful Friday!


    1. Hi my lovely friend!
      They may be right steps.. they’re taking me in new directions! That makes them an adventure. I wonder how it will turn out.
      Love you!!
      Jeannie xxxx

  3. The biggest obstacle for a writer is that life gets in the way. Aaand, I gotta tell ya 2,000 words a day is a full-time job.

    You have good instincts, Jeannie; you will work it out.
    Blessings – Maxi

    1. Maxi,
      I just don’t know where the time goes! I wake up and the day begins. Before long it’s almost over again. I did get some writing done today.. it felt VERY good!

      Love & Hugs,

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