I’ve been SHORTLISTED for the Littlewoods Ireland Bloggers Awards 2016! #LWIBloggies2016

Excitement overload! I just found out I’ve been short-listed in the Arts and Culture category of The Littlewoods Ireland Bloggers Awards 2016! To say I am delighted is an understatement! You can tell just by the number of bad boy exclamation marks in this short paragraph! Luckily, this being a Blog rather than a Vlog, you don’t have to witness my demonic grin, demented jumping up and down, and depraved ‘happy dance’. Sighs of relief all round, huh?

But see, this is where I really need your help, because in order to progress through to the next round, I need your vote.

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Yes, there is a public vote, and it’s brief; voting opens today, Wednesday  17th August, and closes Tuesday 23rd August. That’s only one week to get your vote in, so please don’t put it off till later… you’ll only get distracted by important, real-life meaningful stuff, like should you have peas or beans with your dinner, or taking the cat for a walk, or which selfish sod (ahem… it wasn’t me. No, really it wasn’t!) drank the last dregs of that last bottle of wine.

If you have ever enjoyed anything you have read on aliisaacstoryteller, please VOTE NOW. It would mean so much to me. How? By clicking the whopping great ‘VOTE FOR US‘ button. Lol! You can’t miss it! And please don’t forget to annoy tell all your friends, family and social media followers too.

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Go raibh míle maith agat. A thousand thank you’s! Not just for voting, but for supporting me and my blog over the years… it’s been a wonderful journey so far, and you’ve all been great company. 😊

#BloggersBash Myth 2016: Part Two The Pyjama Party

Two lonely figures made their way cautiously up the loooong winding drive.

“Could do with some lights. It’s pitch black around here,” complained Hugh, looking nervously over his shoulder and walking headlong into a gold plated lamppost.

“Ouch!” He rubbed his tender hooter.

“Matches his dark soul,” replied Ali. “You OK?”

“I’b fide.”

“What?”

“I said… oh, forget it.”

The mansion reared up like a forbidding dark shadow ahead of them.

“How does anyone afford a palace like this in the middle of London unless it’s through ill-gotten gains?”

“He was a solicitor in the 80s. Of course it’s through ill-gotten gains!”

“Well he’s obviously trying to save money on his leccy bill then,” said Hugh, stubbing his toe on the diamond studded kerb.

“Look, we’re here now. Ring the bell.”

“No, you ring the bell.”

“Fine.”

Ali pushed tentatively at the doorbell, and from somewhere deep inside the house the muffled sound of chiming reached them.

“No one’s home,” said Ali, and turned to leave.

“But what about the Pyjama Party? I’ve brought my best sparkly pj’s with the glittery collar and my favourite nightcap.”

“You wear a hat in bed?”

“Hardly.” Hugh grinned. “It’s brandy.”

“Ssshhh. Someone’s coming.”

Slow shuffling footsteps could be heard pacing on the other side of the door.

“D’you think it’s a ghost?”

“I don’t think ghosts shuffle, do they?”

“Only when they’re dancing.”

“There was no mention of dancing on the invite.”

“No one said anything about ghosts either.”

“Must be a very long hall. We’ll be dead and buried by the time the door opens.”

With that, the steps stopped. Hugh and Ali clutched at each other nervously as the door began to creep slowly open. Light spilled brightly onto the stone steps, making them blink as they tried to focus on the shadow silhouetted in the door way.

“Hello chaps! Just in time for dinner,” said a voice they recognised.

“Geoffle!” cried Hugh with relief, and bounced through the door.

“We thought we’d got lost and arrived at the wrong house. Your directions were a little… confusing,” said Ali as she followed Hugh inside.

“What’s with all the shuffling? Have you injured your leg?”

“You try walking in these cute fluffy bunny slippers, and see if you get on any better. The Textiliste insists I wear them when we have guests. She’s not keen on me showing my toes. Makes me wear socks with my sandals, too.”

Hugh took a closer look, and blinked. “Are they real bunnies, Geoff?”

“Yes, but it’s Ok, they’re dead. The Vet shot a couple out on the grounds this morning. I needed a fresh pair. The others were getting a bit whiffy, and they don’t fare very well in the old washing machine.”

“Love the nightshirt,” said Ali, stifling a giggle.

“Yes, turned out rather well. I’m thinking off extending the official line of Bloggers Bash merchandise with these. I’ve had boxers and padded bra’s printed too. Wanna see?”

“No thank you!” Hugh and Ali chorused hastily.

“This way then chaps.”

The dining room stood at the other end of the hall, past many intriguing closed doors. Inside, a large polished mahogany table was set at one end with five places.

“Five?” Ali raised her eyebrows enquiringly.

“You’ve been spending too much time with Sacha,” Geoff commented.

“Talking of whom, where is our glorious leader?”

“She’s been upstairs painting on her eyebrows for the last hour.”

“Well, they are a work of art. They’re very mobile. If she makes a mistake, one of them will arch a little too high and completely flip off her face. Beauty takes time, you know.”

“Surprise!” At that very moment, Sacha flounced through the doorway, wearing a steampunk nightdress in black brocade overlaid with a velvet corset with genuine authentic steel boning. She waggled her eyebows. “What d’you think?”

Ali gasped. “They’re PURPLE!”

“Yes, I thought I’d brand them with the Bloggers Bash colours this year. Beat Geoff at his own game.”

“Gorgeous!” said Hugh.

“As ever,” said Geoff, taking her hand and leading her to the table. Which is just as well, because she could barely walk. She collapsed gratefully into a chair.

“Bloody Leboutins,” she grumbled kicking them off under the table. “I don’t know how I’m going to manage in them all day tomorrow. Might need a wheelchair at this rate.”

“But they do give amazingly good toe cleavage,” said Geoff appreciatively.

Sacha levelled a hard stare at him. “You got a secret foot fetish we should know about? Is that why the Textiliste makes you keep yours covered? Ali, Hugh, make sure you keep your socks on tonight.”

“Let’s eat,” said Geoffle, changing the subject hastily. He picked up a slender silver bell beside his plate and shook it. Immediately, a food trolley was rolled in by…

“Urszula!” gasped Sacha. “What are you doing here?”

“I got lost following Geoffle’s directions, so he agreed to take me in for the night providing I cook up a fabulous vegetarian feast.”

Ali and Hugh nodded their heads in sympathy.

“But… the Bash isn’t till tomorrow,” said Sacha.

“I know, but I like to arrive early.”

Urszula served up the feast, and took her seat at the table. It didn’t take long for the committee to inhale the grub… partake of the delicious offerings with the delicate manners and grace of a sty of pigs.

“Wonderful,” sighed Sacha with great satisfaction. “I haven’t eaten real food in weeks.”

“We have serious matters to discuss, ladies and Hugh,” said Geoffle, lighting a cigar. “The small matter of the BOOB.”

“Well you seem to be in the know, Geoffle. We’ve seen enough to guess at your gangsta background. We think you’re the BOOB.”

Geoffle spread his hands and assumed an innocent look. “Come on. I may be a tit at times, but I’m hardly a BOOB.’

“It’s not Geoffle,” said Sacha, looking thoughtful. “But it’s clearly someone with inside knowledge.” She looked at Urszula. “Funny how you turned up tonight so conveniently.”

Urszula laughed. “It’s not me. If it was, you’d all be dead by now. I’d have poisoned your food.”

“Don’t look at me,” said Ali. “It was me and Goeffle who saved the day last year, remember?”

“True,” mused Sacha. “That leaves…”

Everyone stared at Hugh, who flushed bright pink.

Sacha’s eyes narrowed. “It’s the perfect disguise. Everyone loves you. You’re the Chief Hug Master. You have legions of adoring fans. No one would suspect you.”

“But I love the Bash, and I love all of you. I would never sabotage the Bash,” Hugh protested, looking greatly upset.

“But you did write The Truth App.”

“That was just a story. But this monster we have created, this Bloggers Bash is real, and it’s my baby just as much as yours. I would never hurt it.”

Sacha grinned. “Just kidding! No one as lovely as you could be capable of doing something so dastardly and despicable. But we need to be vigilant tomorrow, just in case. I suspect there are BOOBs everywhere.”

“If one of them comes anywhere near the Bash tomorrow I’ll bonk ‘em over the head with this!” said Ali fiercely, whipping out her shilelagh.

“My, that’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen,” sighed Hugh. “Is it new?”

“Surely is. Specially carved from magical hawthorn by the fairy king himself for just such an occasion.”

“Will you two stop thinking with your shilelaghs and concentrate for a minute?” snapped Sacha, both brows arched to the max. She delved into her dainty postage stamp sized vintage Victoriana lace handbag and pulled out a wad of red envelopes. Then she pulled out ten small boxes.

“Wow! You have a handbag like a Tardis,” breathed Ali, enviously.

Sacha gave a smug smile. “It’s Sacha Black Magic. I need it for carrying all my make-up and my airship puncture repair kit around.” She looked around at them all. “The day has finally come. Tomorrow we open these little red bad boys and announce the winners. Then we present these super duper luxury one of a kind awards. Are you ready for this?”

There was a solemn nodding of heads.

“Right. You…” she pointed a purple talon at Hugh. “Go and get your bottle of pink sparkly stuff so we can dye Geoffle’s beard. And you…” she turned to Ali. “Go and get your PJ’s on, and Geoffle, pour us some Champers and let’s get this party started.”

No one noticed the dark shadowy figure which had been peering through the window as it turned and slipped noiselessly away into the night…


ABBA 2016

You can read Part One of the Bloggers Bash Myth here.

You can read last years Bloggers Bash Myth here.

And if you want to know more about BOOBjust take a look at this, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!


As you are reading this, I am already on my way across the sky from Ireland to London! Keep your eye on our Facebook page, and on our Twitter hashtag #Bloggersbash to catch up with everyone as they set off on their travels to the Bash.

See you tomorrow, Bloggers!

 

The #BloggersBash Agenda and Who’s Who

London skyline2You’ve all been asking for it… and now you’re gonna get it! The Bloggers Bash Agenda, that is. I can’t believe that it’s already nearly a year since the very first Bloggers Bash. When Sacha, Geoffle, Hugh and I sat down to our first Google Hangout to discuss Bloggers Bash 2016, it seemed ridiculous to even contemplate it so soon after the first one, yet here we are, only 16… yes, SIXTEEN days to go, and I can honestly say the time has flown by.

We are really looking forward to seeing all our old friends from last year again, and meeting all our new ones too. It’s an extraordinary experience meeting a blogger for the first time when you have known each other for ages on WordPress. I’m so excited!


what will the day look like?
1:00 PM
Arrival and registration
2:00 PM
Welcome Address from Sacha
2:30 PM
Presentation of first two ABBA awards
3:00 PM
Presentation from Luca Sartoni, GROWTHKETEER AT AUTOMATTIC
Introduced by Geoffle
3:30 – 4:45 PM
Presentation of ABBA Awards
4.45 PM
Closing Speech from Sacha
Food will be served throughout the afternoon
Hugh will be circulating during the event, capturing the day on film

who’s going to be there?

In no particular order. Please feel free to drop by the virtual homes of your fellow bloggers and say “hi”, by clicking the links. Have fun!

Lbeth 1950
Nutsrok

Shell Baker
ChellesBookReviews

Noelle Holten
Crime Book Junkie

Judy E. Martin

Sherri Matthews
A View from my Summerhouse

Lucy Brasier
Secret Diary of Porter Girl

Helen Jones
Journey to Ambeth

Linda Hill
Linda’s Book Bag

Cynthia T. Luna
Living in Cyn

Lucy
Blonde Write More

Ritu
But I Smile Anyway

Rich Moran
Wafflemethis

Esther Newton
EstherNewtonBlog

Marje
Kyrosmagica

GraemeCumming

Barb Taub 

Julie Lawford

Suzanne Cronnolly
Suzie Speaks

Thalia
April4June6

Christina Philippou
Writing Round the Block

Rosie Amber

Alison Williams
Alison Williams Writing

Amanda Lyle
Inside the Life of Moi

Simon Farnell
Universe of Possibilities

Dwane Bickersteth
The Rantaman

Adam Dixon
Adam Dixon Fiction

Christoph Fischer

Shelley Wilson
I Write. I Read. I Review.

Emma Robertson
Hello Emma Kay

Sarah Hardy
By the Letter Book Reviews

Urszula Humienik-Dworakowska
Confessions of a Broccoli Addict

Steve Tanham

Loretta Milan
Literary Lightbox

Becky Brown
It Caught My Eye in Portugal

Ruth
Image and Word

Dave Robertson
Misty Books

Lauren Wills
My Kind of Movie

Alex
Alex Raphael

Willow Willers
Willowdot21

Mary Smith

Erika Kind

Steve
Steve Says

Mick Canning
My Writing

Elouise de Souza
Thoughts by Mell0-Elo

Annika Perry’s Writing Blog

Constantina Kaponi
LondonHealthMum

Olga Nunez
Just Olga

Judith Barrow

Luca Sartoni

Sacha Black

Geoff Le Pard
TanGental

Hugh Roberts
Hugh’s Views and News

Me (Ali Isaac)
Aliisaacstoryteller


So that’s everyone! Hope I haven’t missed anyone off the list. Have fun getting to know one another before the big day, if you don’t already, and see you all there very soon. Any questions? Check out the FAQ on Sacha’s blog. Geoff will be posting directions to the venue on Thursday 2nd June, and if you still haven’t voted for your favourite bloggers, you have until Thursday 9th June.

Have T-Shirt, Will Travel #BloggersBash2016 Here I come!

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I may have a strangely deformed arm and messy hair, but just look at that GREAT T-SHIRT!

Can anyone guess where I’m going? I just got my super-duper, brand spanking new #Bloggersbash tee-shirt, and I’m so excited, because the moment I put it on, it suddenly felt REAL! The Bloggers Bash is really happening, people, and it’s less than two and a half months away. It’s already nearly a year since the last one. This year, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. Watch out, London, here we come!


www.cavantees.ieI’d like to say a very special thank you to George and Margy of Cavan Tees for printing my lovely Bloggers Bash Tee-shirt… you all want one of your own now, don’t you? Make sure to stop by their blog; not only do they print and sell tee-shirts, but they feature the most beautiful photography of our beloved Co Cavan too.


ABBA 2016

If you want to know more about the Bloggers Bash, have a look at Sacha’s Blog.

And get ready, bloggers, it’s very nearly time to begin the vote for the ABBA’s

If you want your very own Bloggers Bash Tee-shirt, you can get shirty with Geoff.

SATURDAY 11TH JUNE 2016 – See you there!

Have you confirmed your attendance yet? Places are filling up fast. Email us on

Annualbloggersbash(AT)yahoo(DOT)co(DOT)uk

#Bloggersbash | What I learned about Bloggers and Blogging

I know you’re probably fed up of hearing about it, and I promise this will be the last you see of it on this blog… until next year, that is!

The #BloggersBash 2015 is over. We had a great time. We honoured our favourite bloggers with awards. We ate, drank, and chatted. And it was quite an amazing experience.

On Friday, as I drove to Dublin airport, I began to wonder what I had let myself in for. There was no turning back now. I was boarding a plane for the UK capital, being picked up by Sacha Black, who I had never met before, who was kindly taking me into her home and making me dinner, before going on to my hotel in a town I’d never visited before.

The next morning, I was meeting twenty or so other bloggers, none of whom I had met beyond communicating via our blogs, and with Geoffle, Hugh and Sacha, we were going to stage the first  ever Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. To say I was nervous is an understatement.

I’ve never been good in a crowd, one to one is more my thing. To draw attention to myself by presenting an award, well, the thought of it turned my knees to jelly. So it was with some degree of trepidation that I took my selfie in the airport and dutifully posted it on Twitter. Can you see the terror in my eyes?

Of course, I needn’t have worried. Sacha put me at my ease immediately. By the way we gabbed non stop all the way home, you would think we had known each other all our lives!

The next morning, we met Geoffle and Hugh slightly ahead of everyone else so we could get everything straight. Again, it was like meeting old friends. And then, onto the statue of Newton outside the British Library, where a circle of Bloggers had already assembled… this was it!

We stood nervously around for about two minutes, but by the time we had introduced ourselves, posed for pictures, and horror of horrors! said our piece on video at Hugh’s request, we had already begun to relax and form little knots of like-minded bloggers.

As the day passed (way too quickly!), I realised a few things;

Bloggers are shy. There’s no getting away from it. That’s why we blog, rather than star on the stage, radio, or in movies. We don’t like being the centre of attention. This was nowhere more apparent than when winning bloggers stood to accept their award.

What you see is what you get. Every blogger I met was exactly as they portrayed themselves to be on their blog. No airs and graces, no hard frontage, no act. Just genuine.

Bloggers have something to say. They may not choose to get on a soapbox to say it, or wish to debate and argue, but you would do well to listen, because it took a lot of thought before it went up on their blog. It’s why they started a blog in the first place. And it comes from personal experience.

Blogs are addictive. Bloggers love blogging. Once they start, they just can’t stop. Why? Because they get instant feedback on whatever they post; because by blogging they have entered into a unique community of like-minded people; because it is such freedom to be able to say exactly what you want, without interruptions, to other people who ‘get’ you.

Blogs are not a selling tool. Which is contrary to everything we have ever been told. Experience shows us this. Other bloggers confirm it. Who cares? That’s not what it’s about any more, anyway. Besides, it’s such FUN!

Bloggers are not anti-social. This is what non-bloggers think, because we are often up blogging in the middle of the night, spending our time with ‘virtual’ friends from all around the world, rather than with our local flesh and blood friends. It’s not true. Bloggers like eating, drinking, going to pubs and parties, etc, and chatting just as much as anyone, and Saturday was proof of this.

Bloggers are easy to talk to. Yes, we are. Bloggers are not aloof, hiding behind the specialised knowledge on their blogs. They are open, honest, and welcoming. They share information, experiences and expertise. And feedback will generally be constructive at the very least.

Bloggers look like their bio pics! They really do… except for Sue, who has ditched the beautiful red locks to return to her softer, natural colour, and very lovely she looked too! Personally, I have acquired a few more lines since my bio pic was taken, but generally, it was easy to identify each other.

Blogging takes up too much time. Blog posts take research, and header images, before you even start writing. It all takes time. Time you should be spending on finishing that novel, editing, cooking dinner, playing with the kids, going on dates with your partner, walking the dog, doing your day job. It has to be managed and scheduled, but that’s easier said than done. Whatever you do, you feel guilty about what you’re not doing.

Blogging unites people around the world. It makes the world a smaller place, a global community. Bringing people together like this can have quite a positive impact. Think of 1000 voices speak for compassionor helping a fellow blogger going through difficult times, or aiding a courageous individual in his support of a worthy cause.

I could go on, but luckily for you, I won’t, as midnight has already been and gone. As Sacha says, bloggers ‘burn the candle at both ends, and in the middle’. Suffice it to say that it is looking very likely that there will be another #BloggersBash with associated ABBA’s next year, and that it is going to be bigger and better than ever! Hope to see you there.

#BloggersBash | How Geoffle Saved the Day OR How the ABBA’s Nearly Never Were

airship2

“You!” a voice commands imperiously, a purple talon pointing in my face. “You will help me.”

I gulp. We get a lot of weirdos in this joint. You know the type; pale and pasty from inhabiting the dark watches of the night, hunched over their computers, spewing their innards into Ebooks which they sell for the price of a hamburger on some wretched E-retailer site called Leprachaun, or Amazon, or some such.

But despite their technology and dislike of publishers and agents, they can’t keep away from real books. Faded ink printed on yellowed paper. Musty, dusty, intoxicating, addictive.

“What are you looking for?” I sigh, booting up the old library desktop. Some obscure volume of love charms and youth potions, from the looks of her.

She takes off her aviator goggles, and fixes me in a piercing stare. “I’m looking for a man.”

She’s weirder than I thought. “You can try the Irish bar down the road. We only stock books here.”

She arches a mesmerising, perfectly pencilled brow at me. “That’s not the way I roll.”

Judging by her customised Tee and the jingling Victoriana jewellery, I don’t doubt it. I pick up the phone and dial security.

“Toby here,” says a comforting voice.

“Help me,” I beg. “I’ve a right one here. Says she’s lost her husband.”

“He’s not my husband,” she snaps. “He’s a very rare Geoffle of dubious age who is predisposed to being somewhat tangental, and he’s done a runner with the awards. What am I going to give the winners now?”

“Ah… she’s here for the BOSCARS,” says Toby, sauntering through the door and leaning on the desk. He flicks a speck of purple glitter from his lapel. “Hey, do you like my new uniform?” He strikes an alluring pose, but I’m not in the mood.

“Not now, Toby. Can’t you see we’ve got a crisis on our hands?”

“BOSCARS?” Weirdo-woman suddenly looks faint. “I think I’m gonna puke.”

Always at the weekend when there are no cleaners, I think to myself in disgust.

Toby sniffs. “Yeah, you know. Like the OSCARS but for Bloggers.”

At this, she lets out a blood-curdling shriek and drops to the floor.

“You’ve bloody killed her, Toby,” I gasp, racing around the desk to check her pulse. “Call an ambulance. Get the supervisor.”

Toby folds his arms across his chest and pouts. “Why do you keep calling me that? My name’s Hugh, got it? Hugh.”

“You were Toby yesterday.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

“What does it say on your badge?”

“It says Robert.”

“Then your name’s Robert, Robert.”

“Robert Robert? I suppose I do have rather a lot of monikers. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track. And passwords, don’t get me started-“

“Monica?” I shake my head, confused. “Never mind… Look, she’s coming round. Get her some water, Toby-Hugh-Robert-Monica… oh, whoever.”

“I don’t want any sodding water, I want wine. Rosé, and lots of it,” she croaks as I help her up. “What am I going to do?”

“We have a great self-help section where you might find some answers,” I suggest, then shrivel under her withering stare.

“If I want help, I’ll ask my useless excuse for a committee,” she retorts, consulting the intricate mechanical timepiece hanging on a chain around her neck. “Where are they all? We were supposed to meet by some statue. Perhaps I’ve got my time zones confused.”

“It’s your airship.” Robert-Toby-Hugh-Monica hands her a paper cup of water, which she sniffs at suspiciously. “It’s completely blocking our view of poor old Newton. You can’t park it there. I’m afraid you’re going to have to move it.”

I glance out the window. The airship has gathered quite a crowd, but they don’t look happy.  Old Newton sits alone on his cold stone throne, looking on with ill-disguised contempt .

“You’re going to have to sort them out,” I tell Toby-Monica-Robert-Hugh. “Looks like they’re going to riot. And if old Newton starts firing off his apples, there’s no telling what could happen.”

“I’m on it.” He slips out the door, wielding his pink brolly with relish.

Witch-face turns a few shades paler. “They’ve tricked me. It’s a plot. They’re going to take over the #Bloggersbash and rule without me.”

“Who are ‘they’?” I ask, bewildered.

“The blogging bloggers, of course!” She shakes her head at my stupidity.

Suddenly, Hugh-Robert-Monica-Toby bursts through the door. “It’s getting quite ugly out there,” he squeaks excitedly.

Weirdo-woman rolls her eyes. “That’s why we blog,” she says, voice laden with scorn. “So no one can see us. We don’t do face-to-face. I knew this was a bad idea, but Geoffle made me do it.”

“They’re demanding some 70s Swedish pop group. They said if they don’t get them, they’re revolting!”

I gasp. “ABBA is here for the BOSCARS? Aren’t they dead? Or doing panto?”

Witchy gives another little strangled cry and faints.  Monica-Robert-Toby-Hugh meets my gaze. “Call security,” he demands.

“You are security,” I yell at him.

“Oh.”

“They want their ABBA’s,” mutters Weirdo-woman into the polished tile floor.

Wondering exactly how much rosé she’s already had, I help her to her feet for the second time. “I thought they were here for the B-“

“Don’t say that word,” she screeches warningly, and I clamp my mouth firmly shut.

“That’s torn it,” said Toby-Hugh-Robert-Whoever. We both glare at him. He points outside. “The airship. Hope you’ve got insurance on that thing, love, cos someone just ripped a big gash in its side with a fountain pen.”

“My lovely airship,” Weirdo-lady yelps, and rushes to the window. “It was only delivered by Amazon yesterday. The delivery van wrote off my car trying to back it up the drive…”

She gazes mournfully at the rioting bloggers as her deflating airship zips crazily in the sky above them. It drapes like a giant soggy handkerchief over the angry crowd, and they wriggle like fish caught in a net.

“Well, that’s them all wrapped up,” says Robby-Nobby-Barney-McGrew with obvious relief. “I’ll have them carted off to the dungeon, erm, I mean, the café for some English tea and scones.”

“It’s all that Geoffle’s fault,” Weirdo-woman says ominously. “I gave him too much power. He’s obviously gone over to the Black side.”

“What’s a Geoffle?” Bert-Rob-Monica-Moon chews on the unfamiliar word, looking puzzled.

Bloody Indie authors; they think they can re-create the English language to suit themselves. And the rules of grammar… and spelling… My reverie is interrupted by Weirdo’s gusty sigh.

“He’s the man I’ve been looking for.” Her face darkens. “And if he thinks he’s taking over and stealing my thunder, he’s got a battle on his hands.”

Just then, the door is thrust open and a tiny woman no taller than my knees marches in, dressed all in green with red hair and a beard to match, tugging someone along behind her.

“Look who I found down the Irish bar, to be sure,” she announces, prodding her prisoner gleefully with a lethal-looking curved stick.

“Ow! Stop poking me with that hurl,” her prisoner squeals indignantly.

“Ali,” exclaims Witch-face in surprise.

“Aye, tis I, meself, to be sure.” The Irish caricature grins manically.

“Geoffle,” she hisses, eyes narrowing to dangerous slits as she glares at him.

“I was just partaking of a G-G-Guinness. Purely for medicinal purposes,” Geoffle protests.

“But I thought you were a tea-totaller.”

Geoffle grimaced. “I needed it after what I’ve just been through.”

This time, Weirdo-woman raises both mesmerising, perfectly pencilled brows. “And the reason for the pair of you being in the pub instead of meet-and-greeting our Bloggers is…”

Ali smiles, confident that her Irish blarney won’t fail her. “Sure, I’m here for the craic now, aren’t I? You English just don’t understand; today is August 1st.”

Weirdo-Black snorts. “Trust the Irish to state the obvious. So?”

“So it’s Lughnasa, ancient festival of the Irish, a time when the veil between this world and the Otherworld thins, allowing all manner of ghosts and ghoulies to escape. I was protecting you.”

“In the pub?”

“To be sure. What other portal would the Irish use?”

“I thought you were a vampire-slayer not a ghost-buster.”

“That I am.” Ali brandishes her hurl. “I whack ‘em with this. Works every time.”

Witch-face looks doubtful. “I thought you needed pointy stakes to kill vampires.”

“Nah, hurls are much more dangerous. Have you never seen a hurling match?”

Weirdo-woman takes a deep breath, nearly bursting her corset, which she was wearing over her customised Tee. “So Geoffle, you’re not challenging me to a duel?”

Geoffle blinks. “What? No. Cricket’s my game.”

“Monopoly’s mine,” interrupts Hugh-Robert-Monica-Toby excitedly. “I’ve got properties everywhere. I’m a property tycoon, I am!” He shakes glitter from his hair, and it scatters all over the foyer.

I eye it in despair. I’m leaving it for Monday’s cleaning staff, I decide.

For the first time, Witchy-woman smiles. “Right then, let’s get this show on the road. I believe we have some awards to give out. Talking of which, where are they, Geoffle?”

“That’s why I needed the Guinness. The Irish fairies didn’t like us hi-jacking their festival with our Special Event; they read all about it on Facebook. So they attacked me. It was terrible…” he sobs. “They… they tickled me into submission, and stole the awards.”

“Oh no! What will we do? We have to give the winners something.”

Geoffle wipes his eyes on the vintage lace fingerless glove Witchy-Black hands him, and takes a deep breath. “It’s Ok. Ali took me bog-diving to the Fairy-king’s castle, and I won them back by telling bad jokes. I think he’d have given me his crown and his daughter if it would have made me stop.”

Weirdy-woman claps her hands. “Well done, Geoffle! My hero!”

This time, I feel my own less-than-immaculate brows arch. From villain to hero in a couple of sentences; it could only be Indie fiction.

 “I’m afraid they’re a bit worse for wear.” Geoffle rummages in his purple flowery man-bag (he likes a bit of horticulture), and produces a sodden mass of mud-stained fabric.

“Luckily, I brought my trusty upcycling kit,” says Witchy-woman brightly, and cackles. “I’ll turn ‘em all into tanks and fix ‘em up with a few sequins. No one’ll notice.”

“Grand,” says Ali.

“Okey-Dokey,” says Geoffle.

“Group hug,” cries Toby-Robby-Monica-Hubert.


The Annual Bloggers Bash Annual Awards

Don’t forget, you have until 12pm Thursday (UK time) to vote for your fave bloggers in the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.

The social event of the year, the Annual #Bloggersbash takes place this Saturday 1st August 2015 at 11.00am outside the British Library, meeting by the Newton statue.

If you can’t be there, you can keep in touch on Twitter via our hashtag #BloggersBashand also on our facebook event page, where we will be posting photos and up to date information on the day live as it happens. Sounds like fun!

Find out more here. Only 4 more sleeps to go!

 

I live in Ireland and I’m a Mythology Addict!

Illustration depicting a computer screen capture with a detox concept.

There. I’ve admitted it. I’m addicted to Irish Mythology.

There is no organisation out there, like the AA, which can help people like me. We are left to skulk around the internet, trawling libraries and stalking librarians, to get our hands and eyes on ancient books and archaic documents to feed our addiction.

We pore over old maps, identifying possible mythology related sites, then traipse through rain and fog over bog, hill and farmers fields, even braving the fierce protectors (cows and bulls) of said monuments, often finding little but a pile of stones to prove our theories.

It doesn’t matter what we find. It’s the thrill of the chase. It’s the excitement of discovery. It’s standing in that place where those characters lived and died, looking over the landscape they looked on, standing under the same sun and stars they slept beneath. It’s the connection which matters.

You will already know all this, if you have ever read any of my posts, because here is where I share it with you. I know you feel the same way, at least to some extent, because you keep coming back for more, and that means a lot to me.

Very soon, something quite momentous is going to happen (for me anyway) and I’ll blog about it when it does.

But for now, I make an apology; there is no Monday Mythology today. You have no idea how I am suffering from the pain of that! It’s not because I have run out of things to write… oh nonononono! Quite the contrary!

The trouble is, I haven’t even looked at the manuscript of the third and final book in the Conor Kelly series SINCE NOVEMBER!

I have become too distracted with research, trying out new writing formats like short stories and even shorter microfiction, book reviewing, article writing, etc. I have loved it all, but my book has suffered. And I can’t give 100% to it all, as well as my book, my blog, and my family.

So there will be less blogging (booo! I’m going to miss it!) from me over the next couple of months, and hopefully more novel writing (yaaaay! Conor’s story needs to be told and finished!).

I hope you’ll bear with me, and not suffer too much from the pain of Monday Mythology withdrawal. I personally will be turning to my other many addictions to help me get by… coffee, chocolate, Prosecco, Bloody Mary’s…

In the mean-time, just to get you in the mood, Jane Dougherty tagged me on FB last night to share the first seven lines of my current WIP, and I thought I’d post it here too, so you could see what I’m working on. I tag Sacha Black, Craig Boyack and Chris Deards to do the same.

Conor awoke with a start. The deep, impenetrable shadows of night pressed their velvet drapes heavily against his skin, forcing the breath from compressed lungs as he fought to control his fear.

For months now, his nights had been full of dreams, and his dreams were all of Ruairi.

Ruairi, his brother. His twin. His only living relative, so far as he knew. Ruairi, who was High King of the Sidhe, and who wanted to kill him.