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Month: November 2016

Being thankful

Being thankful

My first thanksgiving in New York. Strange. I’m flying solo, but I kind of feel that’s right. I can’t help but think about what my dad’s last thanksgiving must have been like. Alone. Wandering. I don’t want to be too maudlin, maybe it’s just one of those weeks (months? Years? Definitely one of those years right?!)

I’m not sleeping well. My mind is in a million places at once. I’m drowning in papers and research that at face value seems to be headed nowhere fast. I guess the inside of my head is a perfect reflection of what it feels like in the city right now. A constant state of dazed and confused. My nights feel like I’m awake every half an hour and my days feel like I’m sleep walking through them. Split down the middle in all the wrong ways. Even my Spotify playlists are schizophrenic, lurching from angry Beyoncé to calming Debussy to the heavier end of Muse.

I had the dream again. My dad carrying me down a long corridor. I can’t see his face but I know it’s him. The dream gives me such an odd sensation. I feel at once safe and at the same time there’s this sense of loss. It sort of spurred me into a bit of Sullivan Green research. Research that entails rereading the notes of what Mr Wallace told me, the records he kept while my father was travelling the world, and endless annoying phone calls from me to follow up on those notes and records at all hours of the night.

I know he was around when I was born. I mean, I don’t remember as such, but I remember being told we were all together. I remember Auntie Mon saying that he left shortly after. But I’m sure she said he never abandoned us. It wasn’t like he was running away from his responsibilities. I remember she said that he had to go but that he came back a couple of times. Once when I was only months old. And once before my mom died. He could’ve come back other times but that last time, when he took me to Ireland (I assume), I’m pretty sure that time’s connected to the dream.

I’ve been told that mum had died in the US and that’s when I came to Ireland, so that rings true, but who knows… Mon has told me different versions of events, sort of like when people can’t remember which version of a lie they told? But why would she make stuff up? The more I think about it the further away I seem to be from certainty. I’m going to make a list of questions for her to see if I can get it all straight.

I’ll carry on with my digging though. This feels important. I mean, I know the work is important, but it feels like it goes beyond that. I want to make sure that I’m building the right company. I want to be putting good into the world. I’m sure that’s what my dad would have wanted. The Ackerly Green books I have don’t seem to fit that mould just yet. Maybe when I find the others the first two will make more sense. I want to make him proud. I want to honour his legacy. I just need to be a little clearer on what that legacy is!


ALSO: I thought it would be fun to register @AckerlyGreen on social media… but they’re registered already. Who would want them beside me? I emailed them, we’ll see.

The Big Idea and The Real Reality

The Big Idea and The Real Reality

So here’s a thing – setting up a publishing company isn’t as simple as I thought. Are you shocked? It’s mostly legal things and working through documents. Yaaaaaaaaaaawn! I’m sure it’ll start to feel more fun and exciting once I get the details sorted.

I feel strange about the whole thing really, as the books I have don’t feel like they belong to the publisher I was expecting. I have these two conflicting stories of my father. One is the vagrant adventurer and the other is this suit and tie business man. The books feel very much in the world of suit and tie, but mixed in with this dark undertone. So not really part of either world. It doesn’t feel like the sort of thing I’d be interested in, but yet there is something intriguing about it all.

So the plan right now is to go find the remaining books. Try and collect all these stories that were published by the company. I have 2 and I know there are at least another 3. No one is printing them and (as I already knew) they aren’t all that easy to locate online. I’ll need to continue going shop to shop on foot. Fortunately, NY still has loads of second hand bookshops I haven’t visited. There must be the odd volume hidden here. I’ve set up Google alerts should any of the titles come up for sale, but who knows if that will work. I’ve even contacted a rare books dealer I found in a newspaper ad. I only have to pay her if she finds something. We’ll see what happens. While I may very well live in a multi-million dollar house I don’t exactly have the disposable income to take on staff! I know I could sell this pile to make a pile, but that feels… wrong. This is pretty much all I have left of my family (except Mon of course!)

It would be great to find the books and sort of have them as the core of the company. Something to build from. I’d love to see what they feel like as a collection. I’d love to find new writers who could take those ideas and build something that means I’m honouring my father’s legacy. Building something. All just a pipe dream right now, but soon…


I just pulled The Wolf and The Wild off the shelf to jot down the copyright information and this page fell out.



I SWEAR it wasn’t in there before. I definitely would have seen it. I guess it could have been tucked in the back, but it seems highly unlikely.

It has roman numerals just like the page my father left me. It gives me chills everytime I hold it. I’m trying to make sense of it… maybe it was some sort of marketing material or advert for Ackerly Green? Otherwise why would it be in a book I bought from Hong Kong?

Maybe I’m just finally losing the plot. I know that’s how the world feels right now, anyway. (I refuse to say his name.)

This an honest-to-God mystery. Which, I have to admit, I much prefer to file requests and copyright applications. Something real, something concrete. Even if it seems to have fallen out of the non-concrete ether.