So…it’s been a while

Oh. Hi. Hello.

Well, this is awkward. It’s been so long since I’ve blogged I’m not really sure how to do it anymore. I’ve never been great at blogging at the best of times (mostly because my natural response to sharing any aspect of myself with strangers is to hiss like a cat and run and hide under some blankets), and I think we can all agree that these aren’t exactly the best of times.

It’s been over a year since I last checked in here so let’s address the elephant in the room – WOW 2020 is basically one giant shitshow huh? Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the US election, rampant wildfires, controversy after controversy after controversy… it’s started to feel like we’re all trapped in some eternal hell cycle. If you’re having a tough time right now just know you’re not alone. Like most of us, I’m really struggling right now.

Back in January, I was so sure that 2020 would be my year. I planned to query agents for my children’s novel (which I haven’t really done), I planned to polish my Urban Fantasy novel and consider self-publishing it (which I haven’t done), and I planned to have at least one more novel fully drafted (as of today, I have exactly 1683 words written). So yeah, 2020 has not been a great year for me writing-wise (it’s also not been great mental-health wise, but that’s a sore spot I’m not quite ready to unpack publicly yet).

But enough of the doom and gloom (let’s face it, you get enough of that on Twitter). I’m here to talk self-promotion baby! Despite the fact I have let my writing goals wither and die like a pot of grocery store basil, I haven’t been entirely idle. About two months ago, I decided that I couldn’t keep putting off my writing goals and I started making tiny steps back in the right direction. Because of that, I actually have quite a few fun projects to share (who knew that making even a small amount of effort could actually yield results?!).

The Uncurriculum

If you know me in real life, you’ll know I have a mind like a sponge but ONLY for strange or useless facts (seriously, I don’t remember 90% of my life but I’m great in a pub quiz). I also happen to have a friend who loves learning weird things as much as I do. Throughout the worst of lockdown, we were desperately searching for something to take our minds off of, well, EVERYTHING, and so the idea of The Uncurriculum was born. It’s a blog of sorts where we share our love of the strange and talk about all the shit you don’t learn in school. For example, did you know that the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin may have some basis in historical fact? And have you ever heard of the saint who faced off with the Loch Ness Monster?

It’s still early days for the Uncurriculum but we’d love it if you gave us a follow.

Dark Tales for Dark Times

Speaking of strange things… back in September, my friend (and Uncurriculum co-founder) Sarah Lally and I had a crazy idea – what if we made a bunch of short horror-themed radio plays for Halloween? Considering we only had 5 weeks to write, cast, record, edit, and produce the plays we knew it was an ambitious undertaking. Luckily, our friends are as batshit as we are and we managed to rope a few of them in for the ride. The result was Dark Tales for Dark Times – an anthology of four short radio plays.

The days grow shorter and the first frosts of winter touch the land. We are entering the dark time of year. A time to gather round the firelight and tell stories. So listen close dear friends and try to ignore the howling of the wind and the branches that beat against the windowpane. These are Dark Tales for Dark Times.

Each play is 5 to 10 minutes long and it was so interesting to see the different directions we all took the prompt in. Some stories are scary, some disturbing, and some feature some very dodgy American accents (my apologies America, but consider it payback for decades of Darby O’Gill-level Irish accents). Honestly, this project was so much fun. It reminded me that there’s joy to be found in creating something that didn’t exist before. I think that the rest of the cast and crew had fun too…at least I hope so since I absolutely plan on roping into another round of radio plays in future!

Silver Apples Sunday Sessions

A few months ago, my Silver Apples Magazine co-founder Gráinne had the wonderful idea of starting a virtual writing group that would meet on Zoom every Sunday. Her idea was that we’d and spend two hours writing together (except, you know, not actually together) with a few sociable chats in between. We’ve been going at it for around two months now and I must say, it. has. been. GLORIOUS. I’ve met so many lovely people and there’s something about knowing that other writers are cheering you on that’s so motivating. The sessions run from 3pm – 5pm GMT and we’re ALWAYS open to new people joining. Check out this post for more info (fair warning though… our Sunday Sessions are actually called No C.U.N.T but I promise it’s for a very good reason…)

Honestly, writing is a lonely business and it’s so lovely to feel like we’re building a little community. We have people from Ireland, the UK, Canada and America and people come and go all the time so please do drop by if you’re curious – I promise we don’t bite.

I think that’s about it for now. Hopefully it won’t be another year before I check in again!

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