Lane Ashfeldt

A SHORT story by Irish writer Lane Ashfeldt has been short-listed for the HG Wells Short Story Prize for a story on the theme of the sea.

The story, ‘Salt Water Dreams’ from her forthcoming book Saltwater is inspired by Lane’s family who used to live at 9 North Street, Skibbereen, in a house located next to today’s Riverside Café.

‘Salt Water Dreams’ is set at the start of the Second World War, at the time Lane’s grandfather James Nolan captained the Lough Ryan, a Baltimore sailing ship.

In the 1930s he had an engine added to the ship, and was very pleased with the speed improvement.

The Lough Ryan was flying the Irish flag to show neutrality in August 1940 when it was bombed by German fighter planes in the Irish Sea off the coast of Wales.

The ship was bringing a load of China clay from Par to Arklow.

Lane is currently in Cork visiting her parents who now live in Kinsale.

“Most of the stories in Saltwater are straight fiction but a few from the ‘Roaringwater Bay’ part of the book, are fiction inspired by real incidents,” she told Skibbereen Times.

“It was from my mother, Nanette Nolan, that I first heard word of mouth versions of the two stories I have titled ‘The Boat Trip’ and ‘Salt Water Dreams’,” said Lane.

“‘Salt Water Dreams’ is one of my favourite stories in the book, so I was thrilled when it was nominated for the HG Wells prize.

“A few of the other stories in Saltwater have also been short-listed for prizes. I don’t think I’d ever have dared self-publish without the confidence this gave me that my stories would find an audience. I am hoping to publish them on Kindle later this year,” she said.

You can support Lane’s writing by becoming an advance co-funder of Saltwater from €5 at the Fundit website, www.fundit.ie/project/saltwater.

Fundit has helped support some remarkable arts and technology projects across Ireland and Lane’s project is recommended this week.