Happy New Year! So What’s in Store for Aliisaacstoryteller in 2018?

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???

Happy New Year from Aliisaacstoryteller

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:

  1. The Curious Phenomenon of the Irish Fairy Tree
  2. Warrior Women of Ireland
  3. The Red-Headed Folk
  4. The Crow in Irish Mythology
  5. The Serpent in Irish Mythology
  6. Double Trouble | Twins in Irish Mythology
  7. The Beast Within | Shapeshifters in Irish Mythology
  8. 6 Most Tragic Love Stories in Irish Mythology (Part One)
  9. The Swan in Irish Mythology
  10. 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 Aliin 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:

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.

Guest Posts

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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56 Comments on “Happy New Year! So What’s in Store for Aliisaacstoryteller in 2018?

  1. Hi Ali. I know I’m terribly late, but I wanted to say hello and that I’m so happy to see you back. I’ve seen very few of you in the last months. But I understand, you had lots on your lap.
    I hope this year will be fantastic for you and your family. It sounds like you have all the good bases laid out 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year, Ali! Yes, you do have a lot on your plate. I don’t know how you keep up with all of it! I’m happy to hear the good news about Carys. The flu! Phooey! How horrible for both of you. I’ve been absent from blogging and reading blogs for the most part of December and all of January. I had a bad cold (a combination of catching it from my wee little granddaughters and doing too much and not taking care of myself), was on the mend when George caught it, and then I caught it again, the second time ending up in a bad case of bronchitis. I was just thankful it wasn’t the flu. Hopefully, I will get back to everything soon. This has left me exhausted, which I’m sure you can identify with. Looking forward to your posts. Take care and don’t get derailed on the road to recovery. Love and hugs.


  3. So, you can tell how far behind I am in reading. Look, it’s taken me a week to get here, Ali. So sorry to hear about you injuring your eye two days before Christmas and then both Cerys and you going down with flu. I hope the New Year has got off to a better start. It seems to be flying pass already. Would you believe that I’ve already got my Xmas wrapping paper and tags? 😀 I’m just a savvy shopper when it comes to bagging a bargain.
    Looking forward to all the new features you’ve got coming up on your blog this year. I must say that your blog is looking great and very refreshing. Have you been tinkering with it?
    Looking forward to seeing you at The Bloggers Bash in May. ‘Hugh hugs’ at the ready.
    Take good care, Ali. And hugs to Cerys.


    • You are welcome here any time, Hugh, no pressure at all. Your comments always make me feel like we are sat on my couch having a cuppa and a natter! 😀 And yes I can well believe that you have your Christmas paper and tags bought for next Christmas already, I know how much you love Christmas! 🎅 Thanks for the compliments about how the blog is looking, I got a new theme in August, and upgraded my plan at the same time so I have a bit more flexibility. Do you know I have been blogging 5 years this year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I forgot to congratulate you on your 5 years of blogging, Ali. That’s an amazing milestone. I don’t know many bloggers who have been blogging for more than 5 years. I’m a year behind you. Next month I will have completed 4 years of blogging. That deserves another cuppa, yes? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy New Year Ali 🙂 Hats off to everyone who masters the Irish language (looking at your header). Many years ago I got some Linguaphone tapes but couldn’t make head or tale of the very first lesson.
    Good luck with everything in 2018. Everyone will understand if you miss a blog post or two. A good idea to invite guest posts. I’m always learning something new from you, also Angela Gallagher (The Silver Voice) and Finola and Robert (Roaringwater Journal). I’m sure that there are other worthy Irish blogs out there.


    • Hi Roy, nice to hear from you, Happy New Year to you, too. 😊 I find Irish enormously difficult, but I’ve never had lessons, and you can’t pick it up by listening as no one speaks it as a habit. I keep saying I will go to classes, but so far I never had the time. I love Finola and Robert’s blog, and they are such lovely people too. I also like Holy Wells of Cork, check it out if you haven’t already. I dont know the silver voice, but thanks for the tip, I will investigate. I used to love Ed Mooney’s photo blog, but sadly he stopped blogging two years ago. Ed Hannon has a good one, though. All the best to you, Roy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry that you were injured and sick around the holidays. They’re such a busy time to begin with! I hope this year proves wonderfully successful for you and your family, Ali. It’s lovely to hear about the wonderful plans ahead. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Diana. I like making plans, but my life has a nasty habit of disrupting them, so I have become quite good at adapting, and not being rigid about them! Lol! Hope 2018 is good to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hope the lesson has been learned, Ali, and you are taking a bit more time! It gives you the chance to enjoy the moment as well. (Not that I’ve ever been very good at that!)
    Looking forward to sharing a Magners with you in May

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know how you do it all. I do much less and get to the point of burnout. Sorry about your eye. That has to put a damper on your holidays. Looking forward to whatever you bring us in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I was just thinking the same about you! You are a very busy man. I have really lost touch with everyone, but I saw the other day that you have not one but several new books out! I will have to get them, I have always enjoyed every single book of yours that I have read! Oh and the eye is back to normal… which for me is extremely short sighted (-10), but I am delighted! 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Mark! Great to hear from you, and Happy New Year. That’s good advice for us all, I think. All the best to you!


  8. Happy New Year, Ali! Sorry to her ya’ll were sick, seems like new strings of the flu are popping up everywhere. Best of luck on your exams 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Thanks Sarah. Most of those books were YA so they’re not the longest. I read a few rambling long ones though… Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and Nights at the Circus, for example. Seems to have been the popular style of writing in the 80s. I read every night when I go to bed. I think that’s why I sleep so well! 😂 Hope 2018 is good to you. Xxx


  9. Happy New Year, Ali. I hope your eye has fully recovered now and that you and Carys have come through the worst of that flu and are now well on the road to recovery.
    I am pleased that Uni is going so well for you, and it must be a fantastic feeling now knowing you are halfway through! I am just astounded how you managed to read 49 books! My TBR pile is mountainous and I just don’t seem to get time to read anything other than stuff for uni at the moment!!
    That eye gaze technology sounds like it is going to make a huge difference for all of your family, and you must be so excited to see how Carys gets on with it.
    All the best for 2018, I hope you have a fabulous year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Judy. In my first year I read hardly anything but for uni, and I was so unhappy with that, so this year I resolved to go to bed earlier and read every night without fail. That’s how I read so many books. I didnt have a goal, its not about speed, its about enjoyment. Also, I dont watch tv. I’d rather read. But I do have to be more organised about my uni work. How are you getting on with your studies? Its really hard doing it this way around as a mature student with a family, isnt it? And yet its the young ones who miss handing in work or fail an exam… no responsibilities and all the time in the world! Lol! I am only jealous. I would probably have made a rotten student at their age! 😆 Happy New Year, my lovely! Will I see you at the Bash this year?


      • I am finding some aspects of Uni tricky as I settle into it, but now, nearing the end of my first year, I am getting the gist of it. I think the hardest part was writing assignmetns, having exams and being on placements at the same time! I don’t know how the youngsters can go out on the piss and still drag themselves in (late) for lectures!! I admire you for making time to read. I always used to read without fail every night before sleeping but have not done that for over a year now. I don’t know why as I love reading. Now of course, my brain is full of facts and info and I just can’t seem to concentrate as I used to! I am not sure about the bash as yet, I don’t want to commit to something I can’t stick to although it would be lovely to see everyone. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I was like that too in my first year… never read a thing except stuff for uni, and really missed it. But I was completely shell shocked, and was just coping from day to day. I dropped everything else that I loved, and decided I wanted to be in control of my life for year 2. I still dropped stuff, had to prioritise, eg I’ve not done any writing for my books at all, and only a minimum for the blog to keep it ticking over. In my first year I couldn’t even contemplate reading for pleasure! I was too tired and didn’t have the focus. But year 2 has been better so far, I seem to have found my feet, not that its any easier, not at all! But I seem to be coping better. I’m sure it will be the same for you too… you will find your stride. I have a friend on the course, she’s 60, no husband, her children are grown up, she’s having a whale of a time and flying through it because she has no other responsibilities or family to look after. It makes such a difference. She treats her study like a 9-5 job, all her evenings and weekends are free. Me, I’m only sitting down to study at 9pm every night once Carys is asleep and the house is tidy (ish)… just when she’s thinking of going to bed. But I only work for 2 hours, then go to bed and do an hour’s reading… works for me! Good luck with your studies! I’m not sure if I will be at the Bash myself… May 19th is my mum’s 70th birthday, and also I hsve exams in early May but no dates for them yet, so we’ll see. I bought a ticket anyway, just in case. 😊 Take care Judy. Xxx

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sue! And Happy 2018 to you and your lovely family. Are you recovered from the flu now? I’ve not been so sick since I was in my early 30s and had suspected meningitis (it wasn’t). My flu loves me so much it won’t let me go, it’s hanging on as a cold. 🤣 I’m just happy to be getting back to ‘normal’! Hugs to you!


      • It is a most affectionate virus. Doesn’t seem to want to leave at all, does it? 😦 Much better than I was but far from right still and waiting to see if it clears off or stays as a chest infection . I woldn’t mind…I’d had the ‘flu jab 😦 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes I heard that the flu jab wouldn’t provide full protection for this one. Sounds like it didn’t give you any at all. I hope you don’t get a chest infection. Never mind, the days are getting longer and Spring is nearly here. I have snow on the ground yet some if my baby gorse bushes are already flowering. Hardy little things, aren’t they?

          Liked by 1 person

          • It has felt like spring here today… mild, sunny and encouraging. Ruddy cold now though…especially as Ani is still enjoying the fresh air with the big doors wide open… 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • Don’t worry… better to have the flu jab then not, and it does give some protection, but its such an individual thing. Most people from what I have been told who have the injection will suffer far less than those who don’t, if they catch it all, so I was told by a nurse. 😊

              Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Ali,
    And I also hope you have a happy New Year.
    On behalf of my countrymen, I apologise for the aussie flu you and Carys had.
    If it makes you feel any better my daughter and her boyfriend both had a very bad dose of it in Northern Ireland over Christmas and it spoilt their trip.
    To make me feel better, many of us Aussies blame the flu’s origin on our tropical Asian neighbours.
    Good luck in 2018 with all your endeavours.


    • Hahaha! The blame game. Well as far as I’m concerned it’s just a name, there is a new strain of flu out every winter. I’m so sorry your daughter and her boyfriend had their trip spoiled by it though. That’s such a shame. My mum goes to Spain for new year every winter and this year she was laid up in bed for most of it. Would you believe, it’s snowing as I write this. And I have so much to do today! Guess I’ll just stay home and revise. Hope 2018 is a happy and healthy one for you and your family, Colin. 😙


  11. So nice to get an update on what has been going on in your life, Ali. I have never heard of eye gaze technology, but it sounds like it could be great. And congrats on reaching the halfway point of your studies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rachele. The time has flown by. I really feel that Graduation will be here in the blink of an eye. But then what??? I’m not getting my hopes up about the eye gaze technology, but if it works for Carys, it would be amazing. At a basic level it would transform her looking at pictures into speech, so she could look at a picture of a cup and it would say drink, so she could tell me she was thirsty. But people who are less developmentally challenged than Carys can use it for whole conversations, even for controlling their computer, the lights in their house, surfing the web, all kinds of uses. It’s amazing. Hope 2018 is a great year for you, Rachele. Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Just curious when the 3rd book od the Trilogy will be finally out!! Im really happy to hear about Carys

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Diane! Believe it or not, I keep starting it but never seem to get it finished. I’m not setting myself any book writing goals until uni is over, as that is my priority right now, but after that, well, I need closure from that series, and it deserves a proper ending, so it will be one of my first projects. I promise! 😀


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