Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh
(pronunciation Ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah gheev)
Happy New Year to you all, and thank you for supporting Aliisaacstoryteller last year! I hope 2018 will be good to you. I can’t believe we’re already two weeks in… time sure flies.
Why the long silence, Ali?
Well, let’s just say the Christmas break did not go completely to plan. Two days before the big day itself I was flying around trying to make sure everything was ready, and I managed to injure my eye, which meant I could barely see, and was in agony. I couldn’t drive, do the food shopping, and certainly couldn’t see to read, write or blog. It certainly put a damper on the festivities for me.
After Christmas, Carys and I caught the Aussie flu. I was very ill, and in fact, I’m still not fully recovered, but life has to go on; I have my family to take care of, and I had to study for my exams… that was the last thing I felt like! Only one more exam to go next week, and then I have some time off until semester two starts at the end of January.
Of course I learned something from all this; as usual, I was trying to do too much, thinking ahead and not concentrating on the here and now; also, I need to take better care of myself, for my sanity as well as my health. I’m probably not the only one… am I right???
Top Posts of 2017
Thank you for visiting aliisaacstoryteller last year. I write for fun about a subject I love, and I’m so happy that so many of you enjoy it, and feel the same. Thank you also for all the emails; I love getting to know you, and appreciate you taking the time and trouble to get in touch. I try to answer each one, but sometimes I get a bit snowed under, as aliisaacstoryteller is just a one-woman-band, so if you didn’t get a reply from me, I apologize sincerely.
These are the posts you liked most in 2017:
- The Curious Phenomenon of the Irish Fairy Tree
- Warrior Women of Ireland
- The Red-Headed Folk
- The Crow in Irish Mythology
- The Serpent in Irish Mythology
- Double Trouble | Twins in Irish Mythology
- The Beast Within | Shapeshifters in Irish Mythology
- 6 Most Tragic Love Stories in Irish Mythology (Part One)
- The Swan in Irish Mythology
- The Power of Water in Irish Mythology
What’s happening on the blog this year?
Well, there will be plenty more of the features you know and like, such as Ancient Sites of Ireland, and more Mythology posts. The Planning Your Visit to Ireland series has closed for now, but will be continuing later on in the year. New series planned are Iconic Irish Women, from mythology and history, and What’s in an Irish Name? in which I look at a traditional Irish name, its meaning and heritage, and the individuals who shared it.
Also new is Ask Ali, in which I will endeavor to answer all your Ireland related questions. So if there is something you have always wanted to know about Irish myths and legends, or archaeology, or Irish history, or if you want advice on where to visit, or eat, or sleep, get in touch. I will try my best to answer your query.
For the bookish among you, I will be continuing with the occasional Book Review, and Friday Fiction, concentrating on but not limited to, Irish authors.
Books I read last year
In the first year of uni, I was so overwhelmed that I dropped everything which did not include my family or my studies. Last summer, I decided I wanted to be a bit more in control of my life, and not miss out on the things I love.
That meant keeping the blog updated with regular new content, keeping in touch with friends, and reading books for pleasure. So in the last half of last year, I managed to read 49 books, which I think is fairly good going. Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favourites, that I highly recommend:
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
- The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
- Sealskin by Su Bristow
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
- The Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
- The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
- The Otherlife by Julia Gray
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
What can I say? I’ve never really grown up… I’m a YA addict!
Is going really well. I really enjoyed last semester, because I was able to choose to a large degree what I wanted to study. I also had the opportunity to attend a series of workshops with Writer in Residence Sarah Maria Griffin, author of Not Lost and Spare and Found Parts, which was a fantastic experience. I am now quite literally in the middle of my degree course; only three more semesters till I graduate. In the mean-time, my studies are my priority, so writing and blogging may be sporadic until then. Apologies in advance for any interruptions… normal service will be resumed… eventually.
I did not post about Carys much last year, not because there was nothing to tell, but because every time I started a post, I ended up deleting it… my emotions were a bit raw, probably because psychologically, I was building up to writing my book, Unique, about her.
Carys had a growth spurt last year; she’s still small, and always will be, but for the first time ever, she grew out of her clothes before they wore out. She started staying overnight at respite, omg I was a mess getting used to that!
Now she is awaiting an assessment for eye gaze technology to assist with communication… her SLT thinks she is a great candidate for it. I can’t even begin to articulate what it would mean to us if we were able to meaningfully communicate with Carys. I promise to be better at keeping you posted, and thank you to those of you who emailed in asking how she is getting on… it means more to me than you know.
This blog has quite a big readership now, particularly in the US. I would like to open my blog to Irish writers who blog or write books on all things Irish. Topics might include Irish history, archaeology, paganism, mythology, mysticism and magic, flora and fauna, Irish music and dancing, famous Irish people… anything Ireland related, really. I think it would be nice to be able to offer my readers more than I can give myself, and also to introduce other writers who are producing in broadly the same area.
So if that sounds like you, please do get in touch.
So that’s about it for now. I haven’t disappeared. This year, I will reach my 5th anniversary of blogging… 5 years! I’ll have to think of some celebrations for that. Meanwhile, watch out for some new posts coming soon to a laptop/ tablet/ phone near you!
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