My Fictional Family • TAG

Okay, full disclosure; I wasn’t tagged for this, but I’m having a bad mental health day so I need a distraction! I read about the rules and info on the tag from The Bibliophagist and it looked like fun… so here we go!


  • Pick 8 books from your shelves
  • Arrange them in random order
  • In the order they are arranged, open them to a random page and write down the first name you see
  • In the last book, find the name of an animal/pet and write it down
  • Put the names in the right category (below)
  • Tag people (spread the love!)

Parent One a series of unfortunate events

Klaus from A Series of Unfortunate Events 

This is a pretty good outcome! Klaus is intelligent, sensible, and willing to do anything for his family. I think I’d grow up pretty solid!

Parent Two 

preciousMrs Lichenstein from Precious

It’s been a long time since I read this fantastic book, so I had to google her to remember who she actually was! She’s such a minor character that there wasn’t much info on her, but I’m pretty sure she’s either the principal or the counselor. Either way, she gave Precious information about an alternative school she could go to, which changed the course of her life. So it could be worse! My mother could be Ms Trunchbull or Bellatrix Lestrange or even MAMA

from Precious.

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Irish Sci-Fi Anthology Available For Pre-Order

When I first got into fantasy and sci-fi books, I remember lamenting that I couldn’t find any work by Irish authors. Of course, the reason for the scarcity was mainly due to my own laziness… plus I never went up to a bookseller and just, y’know, ASKED.

Years later, I now know of authors like Anne McCaffrey, who was the first woman to ever win a Hugo Award, and the first to win a Nebula Award, both of which are given to the best works of science fiction and fantasy. Her 1978 novel The White Dragon became one of the first science-fiction books to appear on the New York Times bestseller list. These are such incredible achievements, yet it took me a long time to hear about her. And I’ve never seen her work in any book store, which is very disappointing.

a brilliant void

Thankfully, after many years of obscurity, publisher Tramp Press is helping to bring oft-overlooked Irish science fiction to the forefront. They are releasing an anthology of science-fiction works by Irish authors through the years as part of their Recovered Voices series. It’s called A Brilliant Void and it’s available to pre-order now for €15.

It’s great to see Irish science-fiction being given its moment in the sun, as it’s long overdue. I’m sure the book will be a success as I can’t be the only one looking for something like this. Here’s hoping booksellers will give other Irish science-fiction writers some front-and-centre attention!

The synopsis from Tramp Press: 

These fifteen darkly funny stories illuminate a side of Irish literary history that is often overlooked. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the winds of change came rushing in Ireland’s direction. Science and technology would transform everything: life, love, death, crime, war, and even history itself.

One of the stories is about an astronomer challenging an emperor, while another is about a young Kerryman emigrating to the Moon to seek his fortune. It’s edited and introduced by Jack Fennell, and includes stories by Frances Power Cobbe, Fitz-James O’Brien, Charlotte McManus and Cathal Ó Sándair. I can’t wait!

The launch will take place on Saturday November 17th at the Gutter Bookshop on Cow Lane in Dublin.

Are you going to pick it up? Will you be at the launch? Let me know in the comments! 

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NaNoWriMo 2018 • The Third Attempt

Whew, how is it this time of year again?

I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2016 and 2017, so this will be my third time attempting it. I won in 2016 with just over 50,000 words and that work was actually the base for the novel I’m currently editing! It’s pretty much the ideal outcome (short of actually getting it published – which is something I hope to do) and I really hope to replicate those same results.

Things didn’t work out last year and I bailed on my project after 25,000 aimless words. I’m going to spend the rest of this month planning my 2018 project because I don’t want to go in blind this time. I’d love to see my new idea become the bones of an actual book, and I think I have a better chance of doing it if I abandon the pantser life.

nanowrimo 2018

I’m going to start by writing out some character bios and drafting a beginning, middle and end. I’m not going to write out super detailed scene descriptions, but a loose plan will definitely help me keep on track. Plus if I feel like giving up, having a planned ending will stop me because I’ll be frustrated if I don’t finish it. Having that ‘The End’ goal to work towards really helps.

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Editing Update • Twelve Chapters Down, Many To Go

It’s almost exactly two months since I finished my first draft. Two months and four days, to be exact. I decided to post an update for two reasons: 1) to update my blog, and 2) to shame myself into getting my shit together and starting my edits again.

I haven’t edited in about two weeks. I have plenty of lovely excuses ready to justify WHY I haven’t edited in two weeks, but they’re all rubbish. The only one that has any truth to it is that my boyfriend had appendix surgery and I abandoned my edits to take care of him. But I was only gone about four or five days before I was back home again. What about the week after that, Mary? What about this past month? What about it, indeed. I should have been editing but fear of failure – once again – has held me back.

editing problems

I constantly change my mind about my work; after one editing session I’ll think it’s good, and after another I’ll think it’s not good enough to wrap chips in. I know I shouldn’t judge it until I’ve edited the whole thing, but it’s hard. It’s hard to see awkward sentences and repeated words and dull prose and still convince yourself that there’s a gem in there somewhere, hiding under all that rough. I know I have to keep at it – and I will – but I’ll be on this rollercoaster for a while.

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