August 30, 2013

I was sitting there, writing, minding my own business - when

This is my entry into the writing contest “You are a Writer” being held on Bryan Hutchinson’s website Positive Writer

Last night I sat in the offices of Emu Ink with its founder Emer Cleary, having a conversation about my self-publishing project. For a couple of weeks I’d had a question rolling around in my head but had been too afraid to ask. Last night, I just went for it.

“You wouldn’t let me do this if the stories were rubbish would you?”

I had to ask her – I couldn’t bear the constant inner monologue anymore….

This woman has business to run and cannot afford to turn down clients, but surely she has a reputation to uphold. She can’t just put her name to any old scribblings… can she? I’ve only been doing this for a year. Don’t I have to ‘serve my time’? I’m indulging myself by barging past the patient folk who are waiting to be discovered – pushing my way to the front of the queue like a literary version of Verruca Salts.
I want a booooook, I want a no-vel…
I want to hang with the famous and arty; have twenty launch parties,
Give it to me now! 

(Yes my inner monologue is actually a musical! How COOL is that!? )

Emer was very encouraging and (of course) does take the reputation of her company seriously. She reassured me that the stories are good and that in her professional opinion, the book is worth publishing.

But I’m still waiting for ‘someone in charge’ to tell me I’m not allowed to do this…

Thinking about it again today, I was reassured by one thought.

I didn’t start this to be published.

I didn’t start writing, to write a book. I started writing cos it felt like the most natural thing in the world to do. For about 5 years it was non fiction, then I started to make stuff up and once I started I couldn’t stop. The stories just keep coming. There are the writer’s block days, and the editing headaches, and crises of confidence and all that; but now that I’ve started I can’t stop writing stories.

If they happen to be good, if they happen to be liked, if they happen to be popular – well then fantastic.
I won’t complain.

But I write cos… erm,… well… I am a writer.

Now if you’ll excuse me… I have a golden ticket to find.

August 21, 2013

The Court of Public Opinion

“I can’t believe you did that to me. I just cannot believe you SAID that Mark.” Lucy was pacing the floor passing Mark each time, ignoring his attempts to explain himself.

“Luce, I didn’t know. I didn’t realise…”

“I can’t believe you. YOU! I thought you were on MY side, how could you say that to the Judge?”

“It was a mistake love; honestly. I’d no idea the Judge going to ask me anything. And anyway it was the truth. What the heck was I suppose to say Luce? You expected me to lie to the Judge?”

Lucy swung around. “I EXPECTED you to support me. I EXPECTED you to be on my team. Not on Bella’s!” Lucy went from the door to the window, then to the chair, then up again to do another lap.

Mark stood helpless in the middle of the room. “Oh come on. I am on your team. I haven’t seen Bella for years. I didn’t even know she was your opposition in this. Another thing you didn’t tell me.”

Lucy stopped and after a moment, looked like she was slowly deflating. “I wanted to win. I really wanted to win Mark; and I could have won.”

“You would have won with a lie, love. If I’d known what you were doing was against the rules I would have stopped you from entering at all.” He walked over to her and put his arm around her shoulder.
“And there’s always next year.” Then to himself he thought, “If they let you enter again.”

They both stood and looked at the Victoria Sponge and the label beside it that read
“Disqualified, for use of shop-bought jam.”

August 17, 2013

Ficticious Amo is back and there's some news about Lizzy

Hi all


after a week or so of ‘maintenance’ Ficticious Amo is back.


As you see there is a new look to the blog. You may also notice that I’ve taken away lots of stories in preparation for the book in October.


I will be sharing some fiction stories here as I always have but I’ll be adding some new stuff, like sharing story ideas, hopefully getting some discussion going about the process writers go through, and I’ll also be sharing some of the things I’m learning as I navigate this unknown path of self publishing. (Well it’s unknown to me anyway!)


And as for LIZZY… you remember Lizzy don’t you?
I’m delighted to tell you that Lizzy will have her own series. Not on TV (although I’m sure she’d give Fair City a run for its money.) Lizzy is going in to a local newspaper as a weekly series. It’s due to start some time in October so I’ll let you know when the dates are set and where you can find her.


All this means that I have a lot of work to do 


I’m so excited to be taking my writing to a new level and thankful to each and every one of you for reading and commenting.


I feel like Bilbo Baggins…. I’M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE! So glad you’re coming with me x

Full credit for this pic belongs to

August 5, 2013

From Competition to Publication - what a year!

I was very excited to turn 40 last year. I planned my party in my head for months and when I got up to sing with The Cure tribute band (arranged for me by my nephews) and then danced the night away to 80s music surrounded by friends and family – well it was just fab :) I didn’t realise though, that at 40 my writing life would really begin!

Just over a year ago I wrote my first piece of fiction. Well, it was the first one since writing essays in school, and very quickly it became something I loved to do. I’ve been blogging and writing for VOX Magazine for a few years now, but fiction was new to me and in some ways it was like starting again. It was around that time that I had the moment…


‘THIS… THIS right here… THIS is what I’m supposed to do with my life,’ 


I couldn’t help myself when it came to writing and the more I delved into it the more compelled I felt to find somewhere I could go, or something I could do, to find out more. I saw a tweet from about a one-day workshop in Carousel Creates, a dedicated writers’ centre based in the Dublin Mountains. It promised inspiring views, plenty of coffee and lots of quiet time to write, as well as time to talk to the organiser. After a chat with my beloved, we agreed that I should go, as it seemed that this would be a good opportunity to ‘test the waters’. While I was booking my place on the one-day retreat I saw a competition to win a two-day retreat. A 300-word piece entitled ‘I am a Writer’ was required for entry and as I had just had that self-same epiphany it was an easy task!
And I won the competition! 

The view I have come to love Carousel Creates became a regular haunt for me and founder Carolann has become an editor, teacher and dear friend. A year later and I’ve met so many more fantastic people who have encouraged and inspired me, including popular authors like Louise Phillips and Catherine Dunne who have read my stuff and given me the courage and confidence to push on. Storyteller extraordinaire Catherine Brophy, and her workshops, taught me how to take a memory and make it a story; and every day it seems is just another exciting learning curve for me. I love it!


Over the year I’ve joined (as an emerging writer member) and two writing groups as well as the ASMSG. I’m also in the middle of Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers course which has set me in a vast community of writers of all ages and stages. Already Jeff’s advice is changing my writing and my attitude to it, for the better. I’ve found lots of fab Twitter pals and Facebook friends and I relish the fact that the writing community on social media is fantastic!


This past year has changed me. It’s given me more confidence in my writing and the network I have built around me has been paramount in my decision now to take a leap of faith – I’m bringing out a book!


I’ve decided to self-publish an anthology of short stories and in doing this I’m excited to be signing up with the team at Emu Ink who are already on the case, and we are looking towards October for publication in both printed and e-book version! Over the coming days various short stories will be taken down from my blog in preparation for publication but there are also some brand new stories that have never been available, set for the book – I can’t wait to share them with you.


I want to thank you all for reading and sharing and tweeting and encouraging me with my writing, and there’s plenty more where that came from!


I also want to thank God – He is my ultimate inspiration.
Lord unless you build this house, I am building it in vain. (from Psalm 127)

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