A journalist of more than ten years, Claire has interviewed everyone from politicians to celebrities and has written for publications including the Belfast Telegraph, Culture NI, Local Women Magazine and the Coleraine Chronicle. Also a copywriter and published children’s author, short story writer and poet, Claire was one of Lagan Online’s 12NOW (New Original Writers) for 2016/17. In 2017 she received a grant from the Arts Council NI to support her writing. Claire loves books and hosts the new Giant’s Causeway Book Club. She also enjoys baking, walking her dog and playing the violin.

As a Story Terrace writer, Claire interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better: you can read an autobiographical story of her own below. Get in touch today to work with her!

Field Mice

There was a time when the fields were an adventure waiting to be lived. We hunkered down among the cool green blades, smoothing out a space for ourselves as if we were a fox or some other wild creature.

Down there, the world took on a different perspective. Everything stilled and fell to a slower pace, the birdsong muffled and sounded further away than it ever had before; the sun lost in the dewy succulence of this little oasis. The soil revealed now the myriad life forms that scuttled and crept and slithered around in it. Up close, nose to ground, there was an abundance of joy to be found that others trampled upon without thought.

The breeze made the grass sway as if it was enjoying a slow waltz and perhaps it was, for it had all the time in the world to dance and we were not brazen enough to suppose that we knew its secrets.

Sometimes, buttercups grew in amongst the grass, hidden near the roots, their silky golden petals like treasure unearthed. We used their magic to see if we liked butter or not, jutting out our chins to find the answer to what we already knew.

To lie back upon the grass in those secret spots, blades long enough to tower over us and offer sufficient camouflage, was to look upon endless skies of blue and characterful clouds—this one resembling a running dog, that one a dragon, or a giant face, or a pig. If you looked long enough at them, eventually they contorted and dispersed, vital elements of their features breaking up into new likenesses. It required a skillset of patience and perseverance, however, to identify these new creations, so it all depended on what sort of things were happening in the day and whether you were willing to wait it out.

Behind this particular field—at the very top—lay a glade of bluebells, which brought a special kind of magic to that pocket of green when they bloomed every spring. As if to taunt us, however, the area was sealed off by a wire fence strewn with barbs and surrounded on each side by thick hedges festooned with all manner of thorny appendages.

All the same, a small hand could be poked through the wire just far enough to grab a few stems, though we seldom did it in truth, for it had the air of a fairy place…

 

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