Throughout my professional career I found myself writing—White papers, marketing, reviews. When I started teaching at university, my professional writing became more research and teaching focused. I wrote papers to present at conferences and, in the process, began contributing to collected works.
- In October 2010, Teaching with Multimedia: Pedagogy in the Websphere, Volume 1 was published by Hampton Press.
- In July 2012, the second volume of Teaching with Multimedia came out, also on Hampton Press.
In 2013, I published Visualizing Culture: Analyzing the Cultural Aesthetics of the Web, a book based on the research done in my Visual Media in a Cultural Context course. While it can serve as a textbook, it was also written with professional media designers in mind. It isn’t a formula book regarding cultural aesthetics but rather a method of researching the visual aesthetics of a culture.
Between 2005 and 2010, I worked on my doctorate and published my dissertation, The Golden Age of Irish Music: The Cultural Impact of 78 RPM Recordings in Ireland and Irish America, 1900-1960. This was the BIG work and the one closest to my life and loves—history, anthropology, music. In 2013, I was approached to write a critical essay for TechnoCulture, “Your Granny’s Gramophone: The Cultural Impact of 78 rpm Recordings on Ireland and Irish America.” It was a sheer delight to immerse myself in writing an article where I could incorporate images and sounds. Then, one day a few years ago, when I was in Ennis for the All Ireland Festival, a documentary producer for BBC-NI rang me and asked would I consent to being interviewed on a piece he was doing on the old 78s. It felt like the pinnacle of all the research and work I had done for 10 years. But I don’t think I’ve closed the door on that subject. I imagine (and have often promised to people with whom I fell into “gramophone” conversations) that I will write a non-fiction book based on the more than 60 interviews I conducted while I was writing my dissertation. That is still somewhere on my writing back burner.
All of this was very satisfying. I thoroughly enjoyed all the stages of writing, editing and publishing, both as a collaborative effort and as an individual journey. However, there was always something outside myself that was driving the work—my job or my vocation as an academic, which privileged academic writing and publishing over other more personal pursuits.
In August 2018, I attended the Time to Write weekend at the Molly Keane Center, about 15 minutes away from the West Waterford cottage my husband and I bought a year earlier.
Those few days started me writing in a very different way and that is the journey I am on now.
This blog is part of that journey.