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Gavin Donaldson

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Bio

I hold a B.A in English, Media and Cultural Studies from IADT and have continued writing since graduating while working in areas such as news publishing and social media.

My strengths centre on dialogue and humorous content and I have used these skills to develop many short stories.

Recently, I completed my first novel and am seeking to have it published.

Email – gavin.donal1@gmail.com

Current project

My most recent project is a novel that I have completed called CAIRDEAS (THE IRISH FOR FRIENDSHIP).

It tells a quirky story of friendship with a laugh-out-loud narrative driving it forward.

Friendship can be complicated, sometimes even more so than love. In CAIRDEAS (THE IRISH FOR FRIENDSHIP), these six Irish men work in pairs as they grapple with their challenging past and present surroundings in a darkly humorous way. The theme of misunderstanding and bad luck fuels the narrative as they develop into different (and not always better) people.

Writing sample

The following is taken from a short story that I have written.

‘Yer bleedin sick!’

Derek heard the words as he received a dig in the ribs, jolting him from his foetal position on the couch.

‘Hah?’ The word oozed out of his mouth.

His speech was slurred from last night’s valium, as he managed to sit up on the couch, nursing the pain in his ribs. Sharon stormed over to the curtains and reefed them open. The sun burned through the haze of cigarette smoke, lighting up the small flat.

‘I said yer bleedin sick! I saw what you were watchin on yer phone last night when I came home from work, ye ko’d with it still fuckin playin.’

Her figure was dark against the bright sun. Through squinted eyes Derek saw that she had both hands on her hips, ready for a fight.

‘If ye hadn’t have been so out of yer head on those bluies, ye could have done that with me instead of lookin’ at it.’

A grunting laugh escaped Derek’s mouth, as he realised what she was talking about.

‘Ah Sharon, that was a fuckin video one of the lads sent.’

‘One of the lads? Really?’ She strode over and slapped him in the face.

He screamed in a mix of shock and pain, raising his hand to his cheek.

‘Not only are ye a filthy prick, but yer a lyin filthy prick too.’

Before he had a chance to answer, she turned and disappeared into the kitchen.

‘Ah it’s just a fuckin video!’

‘A video?!’ she shouted from the tiny kitchen. ‘That was some fuckin video ye were watchin… It was so good ye fell asleep with yer hand halfway down yer fuckin jocks!’

‘Sure I always sit on the couch like that.’

‘Not when I’m around ye don’t.’

‘I do yeah, yer always moanin about it.’

‘Listen here,’ she poked her head back into the sitting room, ‘don’t be tryin’ to explain this away after you and I both know what ye were doin, alright? And keep yer fuckin voice down, Lyndsay’s gettin ready for school and she doesn’t need to hear yer sick excuses.’

A voice came from one of the bedrooms as Sharon returned to the kitchen.

‘Mam! Where’s my homework journal?’

‘It’s on yer desk love, under yer coat!’

Derek started organising himself. Rubbing his eyes and standing up, he looked at the small mess around him. Two empty cans, an empty sleeve of Diazepam, an empty box of John Player and an ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts. He slowly walked over to the window and opened it, finding that his legs were still rubbery from the bluies.

Picking up the brown paper bag he’d gotten in the offo last night, he started cleaning up his mess. As he crumpled the two empty cans, he saw that he must have knocked one of them over last night, leaving a stain underneath the chipped coffee table. The once pink carpet in the sitting room was now turning a brownish colour; a result of cigarette ash and dirty shoes. He made a mental note to buy some carpet shampoo in the shops later this week. Finishing off his small clean up job, he reached into his pocket to check the time on his phone. A wave of panic washed over him as he saw fourteen missed calls.

‘Sharon?!’

‘What?’ she said, walking back to the sitting room with a pair of rubber gloves on.

‘Jesus Sharon, I’ve fucked up,’ his eyes wide with panic, ‘I’ve really fucked up.’

‘Jesus Derek, what’s happened?’

‘I was supposed to be on a job this morning, helpin a few lads out… but I’m fuckin after sleepin through it.’

‘Ah ye fuckin tick!’ she said, turning back into the kitchen, losing all sympathy for him, ‘I’ve been trying to wake ye for a good hour, but ye wouldn’t fuckin budge, dead to the fuckin world ye were.’

He began pacing around the carpet, wearing in all the new ash and spill stains from last night. He dialed the number that called him – no answer. He tried again. Still no answer. A cold sweat ran down his neck, momentarily snapping him out of the hangover. The number rang out again. He dialed it once more, still pacing back and forth like one of those tigers in Dublin Zoo, trapped in this wave of panic. No answer.

‘Are we still walking to school together?’ Lyndsay asked, standing at the door. She was wearing a red cotton jumper and had a bright pink back-pack on her shoulders.

‘Ah Lyndsay…’ he was about to explain to her the shit hole he was stuck in, but he couldn’t think of an excuse that a little girl her age could understand.

‘Remember you said last night you’d walk with me?’

Sharon walked out from the kitchen glaring at him, the rubber gloves were in her hands now, looking like a baton that a Garda would hold.

‘He said he’d walk with you to school did he?’

‘Yeah.’ Lyndsay said smiling.

It was the smile that broke him.

‘Of course I’m bringing you to school, if you don’t mind walking with an auld lad like me?’ he said, as he ran over and gave her a tickle. Once she’d stopped laughing, he grabbed his jacket and opened the door.

‘I’ll buzz ye in a few.’ he said to Sharon.

He tried to give her a kiss on the cheek but she pulled her head back.

‘Not a chance. Yer in the good books with Lyndsay but not with me.’ She turned and walked back to the kitchen.

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