New Book, New Soundtrack

With NaNoWriMo almost at an end, I’m happy to say that my new novel (book number three!) is really taking shape and I love it!  I’m living in the world of my book, becoming more familiar with my characters and my surroundings.  One of the most important ways for me to connect with this imaginary place is to create a soundtrack that instantly takes me there.

Now normally, I sing like a canary and can’t wait to give away all the secrets like the story-line, the title, etc. but not this time.  I’ll just say that it is set in rural Ireland in 1910 and it is a veritable love letter to simpler times.

So, in order to give you a taste (or a listen!) of what to expect, here is the soundtrack I’ve been listening to while writing everyday.  It’s traditional with a contemporary twist.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find one song, ‘Eleanor A Run’ on Spotify, so here it is on Soundcloud.  It’s a traditional air sung by the spellbinding Roisin Elsafty.  This song genuinely brought me to tears when I heard it (in a good way!).  I think it really embodies the beauty, the sorrow and the uniqueness of the Irish culture.

Happy listening 🙂

Keeping Christmas In Your Heart

While Christmas can bring so much joy into many hearts, this time of year can also be quite difficult for people who are alone, missing a loved one or stuck in hospital.  Lots of people (like Santa) are working over the holidays, others live abroad and can’t get home, so sometimes the pressure to have a picture postcard Christmas can just be too much.  My wish for everyone is that they have good food, good company and good cheer (you can see I’ve got my priorities right!) and that you enjoy the day in whatever way you choose to mark it.  It might just be a walk out in the crisp air, calling an old friend or downing a full box of chocolates (while watching all of the Downton Christmas specials – oops, my plans slipping out again!).  I think the whole point, as Dickens said, is to honour the spirit of Christmas in your heart.  And in that vain, please listen to this beautiful song by Lisa Hannigan and if you buy it (which I’m sure you will once you’ve heard it), you’ll be helping the homeless charity Simon with their Christmas appeal.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported my writing over this past year and taken the time to read, chat, comment or like!  Happy Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Having spent many’s the Paddy’s Day away from Ireland, I understand how melancholy it can get.  We’re lucky really, because regardless of where you are in the world, there’s bound to be a parade and it’s a lovely tribute to the Irish diaspora when other countries celebrate our national day.  I’ve been fortunate enough to attend parades in France, England, Greece (it was small, but still!) and Canada. I know there are many new expats experiencing their first Paddy’s Day away from home this year, so I want to send a big Beannachtai La Feile Padraig to all of you and anyone who celebrates this greenest of days 🙂  As a writer, I should probably list all of my favourite Irish authors, but when I lived abroad, it was hearing Irish music on Paddy’s Day that made me feel happy and proud of my little country.  Plus it’s easier to dance to 😉  Although I did want to cry out “We’ve got more than U2 and The Cranberries!”  So, with this in mind, I want to mark the day with some of the best contemporary Irish music and hope you enjoy listening.