aliisaacstoryteller

Welcome to a new feature on Aliisaacstoryteller. Are you planning a visit to Ireland? Over the coming weeks, I’ll be featuring places in Ireland that I love, and which are, I think, well worth a visit. Some will be familiar to you, others will get you off that beaten tourist track, and make your visit to Ireland a more memorable and unique one.


Sligo is a county rich in history and legend, with ancient sites leaping out at you on almost every bend and twist of the road. So it comes as no surprise to suddenly come across this…



It’s known as the Split Rock of Easkey. Easkey is a small village on the Atlantic coast, and its name is derived from the old Irish word  Iascaigh, meaning ‘abounding in fish’. It can be found on the driving route which comprises the Wild Atlantic Way. Read More

Click on this button to check it out… what do you think? check out ali’s new look I’ve been working hard on it all week, but there’s still quite a bit of tweaking to do. Still, it’s all… Read More

As you may know, I am rather fond of Greece, having spent some of my childhood growing up on a Greek island, and getting married to my lovely husband, Conor, on another. We go back most summers for a holiday.

But not this year. This year we spent time with family in the UK, particularly with my gorgeous Nana, whose 90th birthday we celebrated!

I’m having Greece withdrawal symptoms though, so when the lovely Sally Cronin republished my story, Aphrodite’s Rock, which I wrote especially for her Authors in the Sun Series in 2015, I was surprised and immediately transported to sunnier, more exotic climes. It was just the pick me up I needed… thanks, Sally!

sunshine

Enjoy the sunshine!

Aphrodite’s Rock

“It’s just as splendid as I remember,” she says with a sigh, a rare smile playing on her lips. “Thank you. I never thought I’d see it again.”

I gaze at the rock; although the sea is calm, water foams and gnaws at its base. Here, they say, Aphrodite, Goddess of Love was born, and the magic of the moment is so intense, I half believe it.

The evening sun bathes the scene in soft gold, and we hang there between sea and sky, crying gulls and the ocean’s soft murmur filling our ears as we rock in our cradle-like boat, and drift with our memories.

Her voice is little more than a whisper. “Do you remember the last time we were here?”

I nod, and think back to that day; we stood hand in hand on the headland, eyes fixed on the rock, mum with tears in hers, and acknowledged there was more to life than love.

“You’ll know love one day,” she had said to me.

“Not me,” I had declared emphatically. “Love is for wimps.”

Mum had turned her face away at that. “You’re too young to be so angry.”

“Anyway, I’ll be much too busy digging treasure out of the ground,” I had added. And that, at last, had made her smile.

“Just you and me from now on,” she’d said, turning her back on Aphrodite, and I had done the same. We had never gone back. Until now.

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Please click the button and pop along to Sally’s blog to read the rest of my story, and why not have a look around and say hello to Sally, whilst you’re there.

I took this image of Aphrodite’s Rock with my first ever camera, a Minolta, when I was about 8 yrs old. Taken from the other side of the Rock as the header image.

thank you for visiting

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a celebration of life

Today, the Irish are well known for their love of partying and enjoying the craic; whilst this may seem like stereotyping, it’s no exaggeration. Nor is it a new phenomenon… I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was one day discovered to be a trait handed down through the centuries in Irish DNA. 😀

Historically and mythologically, Lughnasadh was pretty much the biggest party of them all. One of the four ancient Irish pre-Christian festivals (the others being Imbolc, Bealtaine and Samhain), Lughnasadh was celebrated midway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox, around August 1st.

As Christianity spread across Ireland, the event was adapted as a festival of thanksgiving for the harvest, and moved to the nearest Sunday.

In a way, this feels very appropriate to me, for Lughnasadh originated way back in the era of the Tuatha de Danann, not so much in thanks for the harvest, but in thanks for a life… the life of a very special woman, or Goddess, named Tailtiu. Read More

Introducing Sarah Brentyn, author of fantabulous flash fiction, deep thoughts and darkness, a brilliant blogger, and also a fine friend.



This is Sarah’s new book… great cover, isn’t it? And here’s a taster of what it’s all about:

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.

A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.

Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.


 

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It’s so hard finding a really good book these days, so when I find one which stands out from the rest, I just have to share it with you. So here it is, ‘Hinting at Shadows’ by Sarah Brentyn… your next great read!


Flash Fiction is like Marmite – you either love it, or you don’t. But that’s because it’s still a new genre, and the majority of the reading public are either unaware, or suspicious of it. I mean, really, how can you tell a complete story in just one or two hundred words?

The answer is… you can’t. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s a snapshot. A crystallized moment in time. Flash Fiction distills a story down to it’s most vital essence. The rest is told – hinted at – by implication. And as a reader, you are invited not just to passively read, but to read actively; Flash Fiction fires your imagination. So if you are one of those people who likes a linear tale told from beginning to end with a definitive character arc and every detail spelled out for you, well then Flash is probably not for you.

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A man borne of a virgin was destined for great things.

THE INTERNATIONAL VIRGIN BIRTH

The virgin birth is not just a Christian ‘thing’… weird and wacky birth stories exist in ancient cultures from all around the world.

forty five virgin births were reported in the US in recent years.Buddha, for example, entered his mother’s womb in the shape of a white elephant; Athena was born from Zeus’s forehead, Dionysus from his thigh; Vishnu descended from heaven into the womb of a mortal woman and was born as Krishna; the prophet Muhammad was born of a mortal woman but had no father; Coatlicue was unknowingly impregnated by a bunch of feathers which she found and stowed in her clothing, later giving birth to Aztec god Huitzilopochtli; in Japan, Momotarō was found inside a giant peach floating down a river, and so on.

Despite all these marvelous miracles, however, the pregnancy of a chaste and virginal woman is the most enduring and beloved tale of all. And unsurprisingly, the immaculate conception almost always results in the birth of a spectacular male child who goes on to achieve great deeds as an adult. Read More

The legend of the veiled one

Who was the Cailleach Bheara? She appears as a mysterious and shadowy figure hovering around the edges of Irish folklore and myth, yet very little is known about her.

The word cailleach has come to mean ‘hag’, or ‘crone’, yet in Old Gaelic it actually means ‘veiled one’. This conjures up images of early Medieval Christian nuns, yet it is possible that the word has more ancient origins and could refer to the wise-women or female Druids of pre-Christian and maybe even pre-Celtic times.

The legend of the cailleach can be found not only in Ireland, but in Scotland and the Isle of Man, too. She is associated with Winter, and the creation of the landscape. Read More

the bash is back

And it’s bigger and better than ever! We have a lovely venue for you, which is central and easy to get to, and this year, we have focused on bringing some REAL blogging experts to you, people you know and love, who will share the secrets of their success and expertise with you.

Plus… it’s going to be a whole heap of fun!

So, are you joining us at the Bloggers Bash? Have you got your ticket, booked your transport, and decided what to wear? If not, it’s still not too late to get yourself a ticket. You can do that here.

Curious about what we’ve got planned for you on the day? Here’s what we’ve got lined up… Read More