Category Archives: Life Happens

Recovery mode

Well, that was horrid. My website (along with a large number of others) was hacked yesterday. We’re just about back to normal now thanks to my hosting people and their very hard work. My blog is still a little screwy, but hopefully I’ll have that back in action soon as well.

So lucky not to have lost anything.

2011 – the year of edits

This time last year we were buried in snow, and edits. This year Christmas day was something like 20 degrees warmer than last years and the holiday has in general been a bit more rushed and fraught, and oddly enough, ill. Tummy bugs and the head cold from hell forced us to hibernate almost as much as the snow did.

So here’s the round up of 2011.

In January I went to Rome and Songs of the Wolf got some nice reviews. Continue reading 2011 – the year of edits

Loughcrew – the research trip that wasn’t

So I promised to post about Loughcrew, or the stop off on our journey home from Ashford Castle where we did this.










A rather important scene in my WIP is set in the Hag’s Cairn on Slieve na Cailleach (Loughcrew), and so I kindly suggested, as it was a lovely day and we were travelling along a completely different road, wouldn’t it be nice to take a detour and visit it. For fun. Because I’m like that. All about fun. And not about research at all. OH NO. NO RESEARCH INVOLVED HERE. *ahem*

Continue reading Loughcrew – the research trip that wasn’t

A May Tree in November

The May Tree, or Hawthorn, or the Fairy Tree features in my novel THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS. The tradition is to tie a rag or ribbon to the tree and make a wish. It’s a gnarled, thorny little tree, with the most beautiful white flowers in springtime and bright red berries in autumn. It is the Thorn in the saying Oak, Ash and Thorn, and grows in the most exposed areas, clinging to the sides of hills and the rocky earth.

We’ve been away for a couple of days, back to Ashford Castle in Mayo. I’ll have more photos and a post about it soon.

On the way back, we stopped off at Loughcrew, or Slieve na Cailleach (your spelling may vary). Slieve na Cailleach means Mountain of the Witch and is topped by a stone cairn called The Hag’s Cairn, which is about 6000 years old. It’s a fantastic place, really atmospheric and not a little creepy. I’ll have more on that too, including some compass related weirdness. But for this morning, here’s a photo I took on the way up there.

It’s a May Tree in November, with it’s rags and ribbons clearly displayed to the world as offerings to the fairies and the wishes of mankind. We added our own. I sort of felt I had to.May Tree in November πŸ™‚


So, where am I? – a waffly post of waffle

Well, at home on the sofa to be honest.

With the writing? Well, that’s a different story.

THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS is all finished. Another full manuscript is making its way out into the world shortly, plus a proposal. And my lovely agent has something else.

So I am writing new things. Without totally focusing on just one. Where’s the fun in that? I currently have:

The Library Book – I’ve been talking about this one for a long time and it’s finally coming together, for now.Β  I wouldn’t have the greatest belief that this will continue. This one is elusive.

The Brittany Book – I got the idea for this one on last year’s holiday and this year it went ballistic while I was over there. Loads of ideas, a plot, various scenes. Nothing that coherent though. I’ve jotted it all down longhand and (probably next year when I go again) it’s many plotbunnies will ambush me again.

The Space Opera – there’s quite a bit of this, but it has stalled for the moment. Still ticking away in the background though. It does that.

The thing is when I write it isn’t a start middle finish sort of thing. Never has been. It comes in fits and starts, I get ideas out of order and jumbled up. Sometimes I have to write longhand to get hold of the story, sometimes that’s just too slow.Β  The old cliche is that books are like children, and in a sense they are. In that no two children are ever the same, nor is exactly the same approach correct for every one. And no matter what they put you through, you keep at them. Sometimes it just takes a bit more time.

Life has been getting rather hectic again, but I’m trying to put some things in place to deal with that. I’m involved with Irish Pen (not on any great level, but I’m there). There are lots of family things going on (dentists! Lots of visits to dentists! The horror.) and of course I’m still working full time. Octocon is coming up fast (15 days or so – *SQUEE* – if you’re there, say Hi!). Before that there’s an awesome Writing for Children night run by Irish Pen in the Irish Writers’ Centre. After that (when we’ve recovered) we’re off to Ashford Castle for a Harry Potter Night. All very exciting. And tiring.

But writing has to fit in around this. What’s the point in writing if you don’t have a life? But equally I’d be a basket case if I couldn’t write. So evenings and weekends have to adapt, and notebooks have to be carried around.

Speaking of notebooks – this is my 12th wedding anniversary present. Just right for notes on the Library Book, don’t you think?

So, that’s where I am, in a general, spiritual and bibliographical sense. Busy, but happy, determined to write more, and trying not to think about submissions. In a nutshell, business as usual. πŸ™‚

Holiday reading

One of the most wonderful things about holidays is that I get time to work my way through my TBR pile. Some of these are books I’ve had for AGES, others are new (books tend to shuffle up and down the pile, in a bizare sort of queue jumping, elbowing others aside sort of way) but they are all books I want to read.

The Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Poison Throne by Celine Keirnan (and the next 2 in the Moorhawk series)

Evermore by Alyson Noel

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Cathars by Sean Martin

and hopefully Revelation by C. J. Sansom (if I manage to borrow it before I go)

Plus a book on the Megaliths of Brittany. And a trip to the library before we go.


Hey, last year I took 16 books for a 14 day holiday… and read them too! πŸ˜€

Post Pcon Post

Well, I it’s a week after PCon and I’m still recovering! My con report is up on with pictures by Kate Sheehy. Thanks to Elizabeth Murray for inviting us to play on her blog. πŸ™‚ Make sure to visit and read all about it. (zombie fuelled mayhem, one way trips to Mars – what more do you want?)

In the meantime I have my edits back so may be dropping off the face of the earth (a little bit more than usual). So excited about the various changes. It’s getting so much closer!

I will be back soon, I promise.