Blogger’s Bane… I’ve Been Tagged!

Write Sign, love for creative writing, for writers and authors and education.

But it’s Ok, it’s not life threatening, and I’ll survive 😄. And despite the title, this latest round has been quite fun!

First up is Jane Dougherty, who tagged me on Facebook  to post 7 lines from page 7 of my latest WIP. So here goes…

Manannán had done so much for them already. He it was, who had come to them in the depths of their despair, rallying and calling them to action, urging them to choose a leader and decide their fate, when their existence lay in tatters on the battlefield at Tailten. When the conquering Milesian leaders had mocked Denann integrity by choosing to rule that half of Ireland which lay above ground, dooming the defeated to what remained, he had found for them all the wildest, the most secret hills and valleys, where they could be shielded from human interference. There, they had built their palaces beneath the domed hills, their entrances to the forbidden land that Manannán had given them, the place to which mortals in time would attribute the label of ‘Otherworld’.

Now, as his final parting gift, he shrouded them with the Faeth Fiadha, the Master of Mist which would form the border between the mortal world and the magical realm, a boundary through which mortals would stray at their peril.

Bodh Dearg knew this new home of his, Sidhe Femen, with its lake at the summit, was only one of a number of sites around Ireland sinking into the fog of obscurity as the chosen Duns of his people, a network of fairy forts lost to human vision but connected by magic threads invisible and unfelt by dulled mortal senses.

The dominion of the Denann was over. Bodb Dearg bowed his head, and followed the last stragglers of his people into the abyss.

Next is Sally Cronin, who also tagged me for the same project. Instead, I’m going to give you 7 lines from a short story I’ve written called ‘The Cinderella Shoes’…

“I’ll take them,” I hear myself say, and suddenly, my heart is fluttering randomly like a butterfly in my chest. “I’ll keep them on.”

The two young sales assistants exchange snooty glances, rolling black-rimmed eyes at each other. One of them goes to get a bag for my old grey trainers, while the other processes my purchase at the till.

As I teeter out of the store on my new high heels, I hear the ring of their mocking laughter, and my spine stiffens.

I glance down at my feet. Four hundred euros of Swarovski encrusted soft silver leather now adorn each one, balanced on a perfectly crafted, needle-thin mirrored heel.

Finally, I was tagged by Sue Vincent to take part in the Freestyle Writing Challenge. Her question was;

If you could visit, for just one day, in any era and location, past, present or future, where would you go and why? I went for ten minutes, and this is what I came up with, warts and all …

If I had only one day, I’d travel back in time to the days when Cormac the Wise was High King of all Ireland. I’d head for Almu, the Hill of Allen, home to the Fianna and their great leader, Fionn mac Cumhall. I’d cross the bogland, feet slipping on the wooden trackway. I’d climb the hill, path meandering between tall trees and fields bright with golden gorse, its scent rising in waves on the warm summer air.

There, cresting the summit, I’d find the shining white washed walls of the palisade. The guards would let me through, this strange, unarmed foreign woman. I’d demand to see Sadbh, and then I’d tell her.

“Don’t set foot beyond the palisade, my Lady. He may look like Fionn, but he isn’t Fionn, and he means you harm.”

Would she listen, that pale, beautiful innocent creature who had captured Fionn’s heart with her big brown doe eyes? Of course she would, too gentle and kind  is she. But would she obey? No reason why she should.

But she is of the Sidhe, and they understand visions. I’d tell her that’s what it was, not that I came from the future… how could she comprehend that? But she would respect a Seer. And if she listens, how different life would be for her, for Fionn for the unborn child Oisin swelling her belly…

229 words in ten minutes… that’s not much!

I’m not going to tag anyone specifically, because I’ve already done it here, but if you want to play along, this is what you have to do;

1. Open an blank Document
2. Set a stop watch or your mobile phone timer to 5 or 10 minutes, whichever challenge you prefer.
3. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!
4. Once you start writing do not stop until the alarm sounds!
5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write with correct spelling and grammar.)
6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals.
7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” to give an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers)

When you have the document and the timer ready to go, scroll down to see your subject…






If you could go back in time and alter a major world event, what would it be and why?


43 Comments on “Blogger’s Bane… I’ve Been Tagged!

  1. Damn fine free writing, Ali. Having tried Sue’s prompt I now feel that quantity rather outdid quality in my case. Now, I’m not well read on Irish folk history (hope that is the right way to describe it and not some inherent English arrogance popping through!) but had your advice been taken how would the history of you deliciously delightful island have been different? Is this a sliding doors moment in Irish history – like last week’s extraordinary vote – well done the Irish btw

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooh! You are full of compliments today, you charmer! 😀 Well, in answer to your question, quite possibly. Sadbh and Oisin would have stayed with Fionn, he would ever have married Deirdre, he wouldnt have fallen out with Diarmuid and Diarmuid wouldnt have been killed. That would have had big impact on the Fianna, maybe his relationship with Cormac and maybe he wouldnt have risked so much in battle. All those events led to his death. Would it have changed things for Ireland? Not now, but alliances and allegiances may well have turned out different at the time. But its mythology not history. Maybe its all lies anyway! Interesting to speculate, tbough…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think being called a charmer by an Irish Maid is the perfect compliment. After all they must teach you to spot charm frauds in primary school!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Another interesting thing to consider… the tragedy with Sadbh could have inadvertently led to the existence of many people living now. Think about it with your own family history: if someone’s father, hypothetically say, hadn’t kicked them out of the house and that person hadn’t then met the person who, together had children who had more children and so on until you came about, what would that mean for you? Maybe you’d be born to someone else, if you think that’s possible. I tend to think though that you, in the way you know yourself, wouldn’t have ever existed. In no way does that justify tragedy, it is an inherently backward looking perspective that puts assessments on events that, at the time, had no such determined link to the future. I also doubt Sadbh’s staying would have changed all of Ireland. Such a change in events would have drastically changed Fionn and Oisin, for sure, different joys, different challenges, and it is hard to say how exactly the differences would work out. Other than that, things would change only to the extent that a few people can ever influence a few hundred, who might then influence millions. There are so many people, in Ireland and then again in the world, one sequence of things does and does not create a recognizable difference in history in one sense. But for Oisin’s descendents, it seems more the family patterns rather than anything else have changed things, in ways usually that are incapable of being traced back to their origins. But that seems true of most of our individual decisions, consequences, and of what happens to us. Just something to think about.


    • Thank you David! I dont know about that, but I will happily accept your compliment! 😀 It’s actually a hard thing to do to publicly post a piece of writing without first editing and pollishing, all I see is the flaws!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Ali, such excellent writing all around, I’m not even sure where to begin with a comment! Every time you post parts of book III I absolutely can’t wait to read it, and it’s so vivid, I get flashes of pictures but so fast I can’t focus on them.

    Now to the writing challenge response you posted, not to worry about quantity, your words were so thoughtful and heart felt, and appreciated. I know there are many who wonder what might have happened if someone warned Sadbh in such a straightforward way. I definitely wonder about that! If she were to listen to such a one as you were imagining with yourself, it would save countless generations of people from living out cycles of sorrow, not just for Oisín, but countless after him also. There might be a wholly different story to tell right from the beginning, which none of us can say much about, because it would be quite different from the general experience that actually happened. Your wish to change that is moving, and beautiful.

    Oh, and I want to say, last week I got a really good picture of that wall you’re talking about. Too bad there aren’t any remains of it, it would have been quite impressive even in that time. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I imagine the they would have shone like a beacon in sunlight or moonlight, being lime-washed like that! I wonder why it was done? It must have been Tadg who did it, not Fionn, and was obviously not the norm, for it to have been so remarked upon, and named after. Maybe it preserved the wood or something. Maybe it sent out a strong message about who lived there.

      What happened to Sadbh seems so travic and unfair. But even so, I am surprised that it popped into my head. I mean, I would have warned her, if I could, but I had started out just writing a description of the place, what it would look like to actually be there in its heyday, and then something happened and it changed!


      • You’re very empathic, Ali. You do what’s needed when you see it, and I have no doubt you’d do the same for the past as for the future– meaning now. 🙂

        Well I heard the lime prevents moss from growing over wooden boards, and allows a structure to last twice as long or more. It makes the wood look clean and new, as well as bright and gleaming. Also it helps prevent the wood from burning. I’d imagine building a fort wall that wasn’t as susceptible to fire and needed to be repaired only once a year would be really advantagious, particularly for the fianna’s stronghold, as during the winter mostly women and children, druids, and people employed by them lived there.

        I got most of this information from a link to a book about liming tips from the 1800’s, I don’t know if tar was used at all in the second century, I’d think not honestly, but not all the techniques rely on tar.

        When I saw the wall in a visualization, which doesn’t mean it was accurate!, it looked like white stone and felt very smooth, slick almost. You couldn’t get purchase on it if you tried to climb. It was roughly ten feet high, though the height was hard to judge because it was so much higher than I am tall that I couldn’t gauge it well. It appeared about 4-6 inches thick. The lime wasn’t just on the outside. There were at least three buildings inside the wall but I saw that a different time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wow thats really interesting Éilis! That’s just the kind of info I would get distracted by when researching! Makes so much sense, too. Thank you! 😊


            • Okay actually! I have a great intro to chapter 3 now, and section III is fantastic. Hopefully I can insight my way through the rest of the chapter without figuratively hitting my head against a wall. And then, when that’s turned in, everything will be in my committee’s court. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

        • Oh I was also wondering if it was one laher or would there have been a ditch on the other side with anotber bank and an inner palisade. What do you think?


          • Oh I think there was definitely a ditch, but where exactly I’m not sure. It might have been on 3 out of four sides actually. I’ve got to really seriously get into dissertating now though, I’ll have to really look into it later, no pun intended. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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