It’s My Party

By Ken Bruen

It’s my party


I’ll cry

If I want to

God, I wish I didn’t remember that damn song

Louise did a post recently that moved me in ways I never will admit

Broke me heart in bits

And then some

Why that damn song is stuck in me head


My daughter Grace, nigh 15 soon and with Down Syndrome, is just about the coolest young lady I know, and yeah, with a mouth on her, she writes a diary every day, not for what happened, no ………….. she writes  the events in the morning and then shapes the day to fit them

e.g. ……………. DAD brought me to McDonald’s, got me a ton of good stuff and was really nice to me and he wasn’t sad for one single minute

She shows me the diary before we go out ……………. so am I gonna screw with that?

While I was away, she was shopping with her Mum and they come out ………. a TV crew is there and the guy goes ………….. are you Ken Bruen’s daughter?

She rolls her eyes and says maybe?


Jesus on a bike

So he goes, in a very condescending tone, he’s talking to a handicapped child

And very slowly

“Would …………….. you like ……………. to be ………….. on TV?”

She goes

As she gets in the car

“Call my agent.”

I love it

And I ask her

“Am ………… you have an agent?”

She checks her burger for mayo, then looks at me, this tiny wee thing, says

“Dad, I’m going to be a hairdresser, like ……………. I need an agent?”

Silly fook that I am ………….. I persist, go

“Hon, wouldn’t you like to be famous?”

And she slams down the burger, just like her Mum would, sighs, says

“And be happy like you dad?’

I’m batting zero out of ……….. zero, try

“I’m not famous, I just write books and am ………………”

Trail off

She goes, dipping a fry in her curry sauce,

“Mum said you were nicer when you were just a teacher”

Crushed, I’ll admit, I push

“What do you think hon?”

And she says

“I love you anyway, do you think I should have the ice cream?”

I think
            I think
                           And Snow Patrol come on the speakers

Chasing cars

I adore that song, wish I could loosen up to that extent

And Grace smiles


“You love that song”

I agree

No argument

And she licks her ice cream, says

“Cos it’s sad ……………… RIGHT DAD?”

When we’re leaving, she takes my hand, asks

“When is your next trip?”

I go

“Aw, not for a while.”

She gives that Irish smile that Irish women are damn born with, says

“So …………….. soon?”

When I’m back home, me heart is fooked

And I’m muttering

        Would write you                     
                    what I hope
                                might read
                                                me eyes
Sight warmth

I know she’d go

“Whatever ……………… yada yada”

Let me go learned a bit here, a bit of am ……. well, ok, pseudo …….

Above me desk are 2 quotes

One is by Somerset Maugham and it scares the living daylights out of me

“To have the compulsion to write and no talent”

The 2nd

Very classical

From Aeschylus

Spell it, I can hardly pronounce it


It goes

Pain that cannot forget

Falls drop by drop upon the heart

Until in our despair

There comes wisdom

Through the awful

Grace ………. of God

Sing that


27 thoughts on “It’s My Party

  1. callmeishmael

    just counting the seconds before someone writes in:


    ’tis as predictable as rain in County Mayo….btw, the clasical quote was one that Robert Kennedy invoked publically, the night Martin Luther King was shot.great story about the diary entry before the eventbutI got to asksorryis being sad same as being deep?

    and re: comments always posted when K Bruen writes:just wondering – seriously -what is gained by posting how much you respond to a blog emotionallya race to post with the greatest sensitvity the quickest, and in the fewest words’cos it’s not frendship as much as the spectacle of friendship, or friendship-like. easy to do, done for unseen others to witnessandrelated to networking and marketing maybeno sin in that, it’s what muderati’s about, by a third…don’t tell me I’m sad to ask this -blogs ain’t life – Guyot was right-a real friend gets in touch directly

    breakin up is hard to dobutsucking up is easy

    it’s why the Lord gave us the blogs….

  2. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Oh, come on, now, Ishmael. Love feels a lot better than all that cynicism – really, it does.

    That’s why we love Ken. It’s scary to have someone make you feel all that, but I also think you don’t know what you’re missing.

    Or maybe you do.

    It’s not too late. Change your name and join the party.

  3. billie

    Grace is doing something very powerful with that diary – there’s an entire school of thought that teaches the skill of “creating your day.”

    It sounds like she’s creating yours as well.

    Wise girl.

    And lovely post. Tuesdays at Murderati is becoming heartsong day for me, a wonderful way to roll into my week.

  4. Christa Miller

    Oy, kids. What a way they have of humbling and uplifting us at the same instant! My 4-year-old tells me, “Be happy, Mama.” Doesn’t matter if I’m sad or mad or stressed out. Or even happy but not showing it. Not that I’m that great at revising my mindset, but I’m working on it.

  5. ken Bruen

    Dear CallmeishmaelHope I got the name right, you certainly stuck it to me good, you dont like the blog, no problem but what is highly offensive is the cheap shots ofSucking upRealted to marketing and networkingand the cynical shots of at poetry, sensitivityBlogs ain’t life………..Jesus, you really have the wisdom of the ages in that pala real friend get’s in touch directly………what with you……….you sound like a friend I’d kill to haveThe suggestion I use my daughter for marketing, networking is beyond insultingYou have some fookin problem with me but stay the hell away from posting your vicious crap about my childsucking upYou seem to know all about itLemme ask you a simple question, you have such an issue that you write a lenghty sarcastic vile post on me…………why do you read the blog………why not save your self all the sucking up, the lecture on friendship etcyou must be delighted with your wondrous question………….is being sad the same as being deep?Bet you loved that lineThe sheer superciliousness must have made your whole marvellous dayYou must love blogs that play your game, the vilest one I know, taking cheap and hurtful shots at other writersBut you did me a real favour, really, …….even deeply though not alas sadly, cos we know how you feel about the cheap exploitation of that, you made me realise that out there, there are lurkers like you, waiting for the opptunity to sit on a high moral ground and then lecture us lesser poor …………..sad …..bastards…….who can only sell books by faking emotionI’d love to wish you well but would that be sucking up?Worse, marketing?As we say here and as you seem fond of sneering at the Irish accent…………..lemme say what we’d term you hereTis……….like that………..true……’re a piece of workKen

  6. Evil Kev

    Every time Ken Bruen posts, I come and read his thoughts. I actually know Ken and I wish I could say this was the first attack I have seen, but this kind of thing happens too often. Each time it fills me with contempt for those who feel cowardly attacks make them feel important.

    So here is a little poem for Ishmael but I think the more appropriate nom de plume would have been Dorian Gray:

    Bitter and alone at the keyboard

    Resenting in isolation

    The success of others

    Failing to discern

    The difference between respect and sycophantism

    For a man with a poet’s soul

    Avoiding the light out of fear of discovery

    Of their dual nature

    They sing praises in front of the other sycophants

    To gain favor and advance themselves

    with smiles and handshaking in the public eye of men

    They curse and resent in anonymous discourse

    And still they hide

    Their shame not great enough

    To make them see

    Their true self

  7. pari

    Every line we write for public view could be considered marketing. So, what?

    I don’t understand the condemnation there, the holier-than-thou position that sharing our lives and thoughts is somehow cheaper because we’re doing it in blog form — because we’re encouraging conversation with readers.

    Odd, that.

    We create because we must. We write for the same reason.

    Ken, I want to meet Grace someday. I wonder if her name shaped her, too. She certainly provides grace in your life.

    One of my daughters has a similar name — but I don’t post it online — and when she was younger, each time I asked her how she was, rather than the common response of “good” or “okay,” she’d say, “Better.”

    That beautiful optimism has brought me to earth many a frustrating or sad day.

  8. Louise Ure

    Gorgeous, gorgeous blog today, Ken. And yes, Grace is a touchstone. I’m starting her plan of pre-writing the dairy entry. I think she’s onto something there.

    And thank you for being such a warm, wonderful Tuesday partner.

  9. Rae


    Grace sounds funny and feisty – two of my very favorite qualities in a human. Thanks for telling us about her.

    Sending good thoughts to her and to you…

  10. Kathy Kiley

    Ken,You are a treasure. Someone I am so proud to know and love.

    Your Grace is a beautiful soul.

    Give her a hug from me. And one for yourself.

  11. Steven Torres

    Lovely post, Ken, no matter what anyone says. And Grace sounds like a wise soul.

    Words about marketing and networking would carry weight if they weren’t ascribed to a false name. Ishmael was not sucking up, but he(?) also isn’t owning up. Ah well. Alex had the wisest response, and now that I’m done with mine…she still does.

  12. JDRhoades

    Since callmeishmael hasn’t showed back up to defend his hateful bullshit, I think we can pretty clearly classify him as your basic troll of the “shit and run” variety. And rule one of dealing with trolls is don’t feed them.

    So, Ken: great post. Hugs to you and yours.

  13. Tom, T.O.

    As usual, you bring the tears to well in my eyes. Such depth and lyricism you achieve with ordinary words–still wish your blogs would go on and on and on, and that your books would come faster. Your daughter, wise beyond years, with more understanding than many (most) of the adults around her, jabbing them with such pinache.

    Sorry I missed you at Thrillerfest

  14. Jacky B.


    Thing about wearing your heart on your sleeve, it tempts the maggots to feed.

    You gotta roll with the punches, even when it’s a lightweight that’s throwin em.

    This dude’s problem? He. Ain’t. You.

    Roll on, Jacky B.

  15. Jason Summers

    I’m running a day behind here in Spain, so I’m lucky – I got to read a KB post on Wednesday morning – three great ones in a row, now, and all with that touch of darkness – even the “happy” post. I’m envious of the skill with which you present it.

    We all have that bit of darkness – certainly the troll does – but you express it in a way worth reading, which most of us (troll included) do not. My crummy day is just that – a crummy day. When my daughter tries to cheer me up, it helps, but she’s not an archetype who reaches up and grabs everyone’s attention through my writing.

    Your telling of an ordinary day with Grace breaks my heart.

    And Grace seems a wonderful girl that most of us would like to meet, especially to hear her give you the business, so we could chuckle to ourselves for a moment, half-entertained and half-envious. Kind of like when we read these damned blogposts that keep hitting where it hurts.

  16. ken Bruen

    for, Jason Summers, alex, PARI, DUSTY……….ESP DUSTY………..lOUISE OF OF COURSE…..ALWAYS…….TO ALL THE WONDROUS COMMENTS……….to Kathy…….sis, of mine…… Jacky b………to maria, to steve……….one hell of a writer, to TOM O……….TO……….TO Duane…… billi to Fran………….and Jesus wept………….to evil Kev………….what a poem, you know buddy, it was worth the vile to get that poemI was told today that I dont quite have the necessary sensibily to be a blogger and that’s true but you know what, it was worth it it,to have such wondrous comments, tis all I need to know and Call me ishmael………….no doubt you’re reading the havoc you caused………..guess wot pal……… know how the internet works and goggle etc, I actually found out who you were……………Call me ishmael………….finding out your real name and who you are…………now Iunderstand where your vile comes from……………and am I gonna tellyour name………….put it out thereThat would be really nasty…………wouldn’t it, let the world see you as you are but you know what pal…………..I’m going to show you what decency is and ain’t……………it’s me not blowing your lurking real personna on linenetwork that palso you continue to lurk and do your vile shite but guess what , knowong your name………….even my daughter would go”you’re kiddin”Network that pal

  17. Cornelia Read

    Since my computer screen is a bit scratched, I read the last two lines of Evil Kev’s “Ode to Ishmael” at first glance as:

    To make them pee

    Their true self

    Which seems entirely fitting.

    I’d rather call him/her just plain “wanker,” with “eejit” a close second.

    More importantly, Grace has a stellar wit, and her dad is pretty damn cool too.

  18. Donna

    My goodness – what a nasty and uncalled for comment from callmeishmael. Ken – as ever, your post was funny, touching, and a joy to read. Please give Grace a big hug from me. I love the idea of making your day fit your diary entry. Maybe callmeishmael should try it – “I didn’t have one attack of the spleen today and it felt so good.”Donna

  19. Daniel Hatadi

    I’m days late, but my response would have been:

    callmeishmael = TROLLAppropriate response = DELETE

    Then I thought of another one:

    A man wears his heart on his sleeve and you respond by doing the same. I know which heart I’d rather know.

    Ken, don’t ever stop writing.

  20. d.a.davenport

    I just discovered Murderati and was touched by Ken Bruen’s illuminating day with his daughter, Grace. A beautiful and wise young lady, light-years ahead of most of us.

    Then I read down a few and see callme ishmael’s directly contrasting post. Is it really possible for someone to be so incredibly not in tune that he can see only the negative out of such an lovely post and the reactions of everyone else who read it?

    And just so he doesn’t wonder where I stand…

    1. Have never met Ken.

    2. Have written to express my admiration of his work.

    3. Know the difference between appreciation of talent and sucking up.

    4. Recognize envy and bitterness when it shows it’s face.

    It is refreshing to see a man unafraid to express such deep and touching emotion online and pray that Ken keeps being himself and including everyone in these slices of his life. It’s a privilege to read them.


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