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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Summer time & the livin' is easy

Hello everyone,

A simple post this time, just a few lines to update you on my life. Well, first off is, I have a new little grandson, Liam James. He is adorable and is now a week old. No photos as his parents do not want him on any social media. Another stage in life as I become a Nana. I've always wanted to be a Nana and now that I am, I love it. Imagine the blessing it is to see the next generation arriving, marvellous!!
I am editing my sequel, which I find slower this time than the time I edited my first novel. Why, I've not got a clue but I shall get there.
As regards my newsletter, well, it's been littered with problems for me. So very sorry for those of you who have signed up and are waiting for it. I am working on it, and I have sought expert help. I attended a social media course run by Sandra Quinn of Quinnsquill Munster News. Hopefully it will get sorted as soon as possible.
Ireland is enjoying some wonderful sunshine at present and everywhere is looking gorgeous, gardens are in full bloom and the scent of flowers is all about us.
Ireland's Own magazine
I've had a few memory pieces in an Irish magazine called, Ireland's Own. This magazine is a staple in most Irish homes and I know it is also posted far and wide to other countries where people have family living. I really feel honoured to be included. To keep my mind ticking over storywise while editing, I've entered a couple of short story competitions too.
Kent Family Grave
Also, I have been out and about with writing friends, looking up Irish history, such as a visit to Thomas Kent's grave, in Castlelyons, Co. Cork. Kent came from a noted nationalist family. He was a volunteer waiting for the call up in the 1916 Irish Easter Rising. My companion for that day was writer Mary Angland and as she is also a history teacher, she brought the day to life with her vast knowledge.
To finish off that educational day out, I went to the GPO Experience of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. This is opened all year and gives a wonderful insight to this important part of our Irish history.

That's it for now. Sit back and enjoy the summer. Life is too short not to pay it some attention. Forget the stress if you can and take some timeout to recharge the batteries. Until next time,
happy writing and stay safe.


http://quinnsquillmunsternews.blogspot.ie/
https://maryangland.wordpress.com/


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Post From A Ghost

Our gorgeous hostess & yours truly!

Although the rain poured down on Saturday, May 27th in Dublin, the sun was shining in the most quaint coffee shop in Books Upstairs on D'Olier Street.
I was attending an event hosted by the International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFD), having received my invitation in the post. It kicked off at eleven, our hostess welcoming us and thanking us for turning up on such a bad wet day.                                         .




How did I get involved? Well, on the ILFD website I spotted a piece that sounded interesting and different. I filled in the details required and waited to receive my letter.
I received my Post from A Ghost during the week and it was exciting seeing a gold envelope with a red wax seal on the back flop on to the mat.
My letter was from the pages of The Bridges of Madison County, a favourite book of mine. I plan to frame this letter as it was beautifully written and has special meaning for me, unknown to the organiser!

During the morning, those of us who were there, wrote our own letters and have now posted them out to the world. It is a lovely idea and one I hope to continue. Whenever a piece of writing resonates with me, I will share it through Post from A Ghost.
To explain what it is all about and if you want to get involved, visit the link below to learn more.
                   
  https://postfromaghost.com/

Monday, 24 April 2017

SILENCE!

"Quiet please"
I am a person that likes to give books as presents at birthdays and Christmas. This all began when I was not long out of my toddler years. I just fell in love with reading at an early age. I joined my local library when 5 years old. 
I loved Saturdays, it was library day. My brown ticket was my passport to so many worlds. I would be allowed two books for two weeks, but I never lasted two weeks. I would be in to Ms. O’Donnell, the librarian, each Saturday morning.
It wasn’t big, about the size of a large sitting-room, maybe a little bigger but not much bigger, say about twelve feet by sixteen feet. In the centre of the room was a tall dividing set of bookshelves, as in shelves on both sides. This is what decided which section you were allowed into.
An anthology launch
The children’s section was to the right and the adult section to the left of this dividing structure as you walked in. Immediately inside on the right of the door was a large counter where you checked your books in and out. Behind this high counter which was much taller than any child, sat our only librarian. She was a low sized woman with glasses and a deep voice. She ran her library with a firm hand. No-one dared whisper in her presence. If you coughed or sneezed and couldn’t stop, it would not be unusual for her to ask you to leave, although you may be the only one in the room! Ah those were the days, simple and carefree.
Nancy Drew Mysteries, anything by Enid Blyton and of course the classics, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and the Bronte sisters. Worlds were opened up to me, my imagination was set as high as I allowed it and that was limitless. The choice of books to read was not extensive as you can imagine, not being a big library. So I went around those shelves in deep thought looking for the one book I had not yet read. There were a few of us that frequented the premises so much, it was almost a competition to see who would discover a valuable gem, a book from new stock which sneaked its way in during the week while we were at school. So having had every book in the children’s section read and re-read, the day came when I was allowed to move on. 
Excitement and butterflies danced in my stomach when that Saturday arrived and I told Ms. O’Donnell that I was now thirteen. Once I became a teenager, I was allowed in to the adult section, just six rows of it, mind you. Still I felt grown up, especially as my library ticket was now upgraded to a green one. Of course, once I read the six rows of books, I was back over in the children’s section looking for new stock. Oh the joys and innocence of growing up then for me.
Launch night of, A Baker's Dozen, 2012 in present day library.
My love for books never died. I still enjoy reading and still encourage anyone who will listen to me, to join their local library. It is a treasure trove for children and adults alike. The old library is now deserted, having outgrown its small room. It is now housed in what was before the protestant church. What a beautiful setting to read and write in. There are the arched windows, two flooring levels and beamed ceilings.  
Long since changed from when it was just a room divided in half, supervised by a lady who sat at the counter. A lady who presided like a judge as us children and I’m sure some adults were so nervous we dare blink in her presence. Her job of maintaining silence well executed. Yet we were all very fond of her and she us. She's long gone to her eternal reward. 
I still use the library, I try to go most mornings where I like to write my books. I've made many friends while writing there. A place so different from that one room long ago, now, computers sit along one wall, stands and stands of books, a colouring corner for the children, a section to go read the daily newspapers, and even a lift! 
I've celebrated receiving my contract from Tirgearr Publishing for my debut novel, My Husband's Sin and I launched my collection of short stories, A Baker's Dozen, both in our local library. Also the launches of two anthologies, that I was involved in, took place there, evenings shared with many friends and family. When I sit at a table there and write my thoughts, I often think of Ms. O’Donnell and wonder what she would make of it all.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

California Dreaming 2017

State flag & Old Glory
I have been quiet on social media recently as I took myself off to California, USA. I had never travelled to the States before so this was an exciting trip for me, in more ways than one. I was also meeting up with some authors for some chat and sharing, all connected to writing of course!
I stayed in Hotel Huntington Beach, which proved to be a lovely hotel with friendly staff and good food.

So who did I get to meet?

First off, I met with writers, Earl Chessher and Mary Ann Osness, both living in the area and members of Fiction Writers Group (FWG). Earl is an accomplished writer with many titles under his belt https://www.amazon.com/Earl-Chessher/e/B011XZY0NS . Mary Ann is starting out and enjoying success with her debut book, Lost https://www.amazon.com/Lost-M-Osness-ebook/dp/B018EYG052


Aleigha & myself with Strider. 
Next up was a lunch with a fellow Tirgearr Publishing author, Aleigha Siron. I was thrilled to meet Aleigha. She and I enjoyed lunch at Rubies, at the end of Huntington Pier.
http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Siron_Aleigha/index.htm
It was a pleasure to also meet her husband, Bob and her dog, Strider.







Earl, Mary Ann, Myself & Justin 
On the Friday, again it was time to meet with Mary Ann and Earl, but also joining us was another FWG writer, Justin Ames.

A lively discussion took place on all things publishing, inspiration and projects that were ongoing.
Travelling from Ireland, (11 hour direct flight with Aer Lingus) I really appreciated the hospitality and friendship shown to me by so many. It was a wonderful experience and one I intend to repeat. Now to get working on all I decided to do, motivated by all I met.


Monday, 13 February 2017

Steaming Hot to Cool & Calm for this Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day is upon us and romance is in the air. Shops are full of lovehearts and all things chocolate and roses. But if shelves of red plastic lips, edible panties, and 'I Love You' balloons don't do it for you, if you prefer to curl up in your PJ's and read a good book, then I can give you a choice. As a writer, I've approached the relationships of two couples in totally different ways.
If you like your reading Hot, Steamy, Sizzling and Detailed, then One Night in Barcelona is for you. A novella that is part of the Hot City Night Series from Tirgearr Publishing http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Bradford_MaryT/. Each book is a stand-alone story, giving you a chance to visit many different cities in a sexy read.

In One Night in Barcelona, Natasha & Carlos meet and sparks fly. What can happen in 24 hours will leaving you wanting more. Grab your book here.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Barcelona-City-Nights-book-ebook/dp/B00YHSM1LM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1434995400&sr=1-1&keywords=One+night+in+Barcelona+by+Mary+T+Bradford











BUT, if you like your romance Soft and Gentle, where a kiss sets you on a trip of passion in your own mind and your heart flutters at the suggestion of love, then Destiny is for you. Set in 1800's America, Charlie and Ahyoka, two people from different cultures, thrown together by fate. Their story has you asking will they ever be together or are they doomed from the start?

If you too wish to be charmed by Charlie, then follow the link below to buy your copy. Destiny is available in both eBook and print format.


https://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Mary-T-Bradford-ebook/dp/B01I5GAKHI/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468171470&sr=1-2&keywords=destiny+by+mary+t+bradford










Whatever your choice of romance, enjoy this Valentine's Day.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

CLOSING DATE, FEB. 19th, HAVE YOU ENTERED?


Time is stealing away and if you have not yet entered this competition, I suggest you get to it now. The closing date will be fast upon us, February 19th to be exact. This is an opportunity to try Flash Fiction, if you have not done so before. A challenging form of story-telling as every word counts. It only takes an email to enter or a postage stamp, (plus your story of course) and there is NO entry fee, that's right, NO entry fee. I wish you all the best of luck and look forward to reading your stories. Oh did I mention, I am judging? 
Kanturk Arts Festival is delighted to announce details of its inaugural Flash Fiction Competition which is being held as part of the town's ninth annual arts festival.Kanturk Arts Festival is taking place from March 16th to March 19th 2017.
READ MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO TAKE YOU THERE.

https://www.facebook.com/347366428711953/photos/a.347400812041848.77812.347366428711953/1198231876958733/?type=3

Monday, 30 January 2017

Mixing it up a little!


Although I've posted about my writing, it has mainly to do with my books or short stories, so this time I have decided to share another aspect to my writing life, play-writing.
Often through the years, I have written short stories that lent themselves to being a good plot for a play. I didn't know how to go about planning and scripting a play, but that didn't stop me, I shared my views with some writing friends and hey presto, I was soon writing plays.
My first play, a short 15 minute story was my introduction to seeing my work on stage. It was titled Something about Her and I entered it in to the Claremorris Fringe Festival for short work. To my delight it was chosen and it got shown along with others in the festival. I was thrilled to say the least. I got the bug for seeing my words come alive on stage and it was addictive to say the least.
Blessed is he among women!!
Then an opportunity came up to be mentored for a year by director and playwright, John Sheehy of CallBack Theatre, (http://callbacktheatre.com/ ). A chance not to be missed, I signed up along with Marie O'Halloran (http://marieohalloran.blogspot.co.uk/ )  and Mary Anne Bartlett and Mary Angland  (https://maryangland.wordpress.com/ ) 
We had a ball, meeting monthly at first and then weekly as our years mentoring came close to finishing. Each of us worked on our own individual plays. By sharing and reading each others work and listening to John's advice, we enjoyed the experience no end. The year ended on our four plays having a two night rehearsed readings open to the public at Friars Gate Theatre in Co. Limerick. My play was titled Forgive Me Father. The other plays being Coffee Break, Who won the War, and All Grown Up. Both nights had full houses, once more the buzz of seeing your words alive was thrilling.
The following year, under John's mentor-ship, we decided to tackle the task of writing one play by the four of us. Not an easy thing to make work as we had such individual styles in writing. It was time consuming but we were comitted to the project. A lot of editing, rewriting, talking, cups of tea and coffee, laughter, and misunderstandings. But all worth it as our play, Catching The Train, was performed in Friars Gate Theatre, directed by Mandy Donworth. It played to a full house for two nights.
I have since gone on to see The Bench, a 15 min play, be a part of the Kanturk Arts Festival theatre night. I hope to see another, Too Late, be read in the same arts festival in March of this year.
I would strongly encourage you to try other writing projects, even if they are outside your comfort zone. It opens up your mind and self to new ways of thinking when new characters and plots come knocking at the usual 2 or 3 in the morning, while you try to sleep.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

WELCOME 2017. ( Being Positive )



So far it has been a crazy start to the New Year but not because I made resolutions, I never do, but with planning some writing strategies. You see, I always have great ideas/intentions. Meeting with fellow writer and playwright, Mary Angland (https://maryangland.wordpress.com/ ) to share and toss around these ideas and listen to hers was the first thing, to kick-start the year.
I don't think strategies is the right word. Anyway, we sat and got out our diaries for 2017 and listed, short story competitions, magazines, and something else that we wanted to be part of. Plays! We are hopeing to have our plays performed again this year. Keep our Blog's up to date too, of course!
Mary A & Mary B
We have the names of the competitions and the closing dates, all the guidelines too for the places we want to submit. Now we just need to write the stories!
Mary and I also took note of the magazines that we must pen articles for. We are taking it, that the editors will want our work, its all about being positive and sending it out to the universe. Not worked for the lotto yet though. Plus I want to aim for two blog posts a month.
In between all of the above, we are writing our novels at present and also we both have a play each to write by February for an Arts Festival. Honestly us ladies don't do things by halves!
It shall be interesting to see if we can stick to our plans. If by some miracle we do, look at the wealth of writing we shall accomplish.
Entering competitions can be expensive so we set a budget for ourselves, €50 for the year. Usually it is €10 per entry, so allowing us 5 competitions. Which means we will be choosy about where we send our work. There are also a lot of free competitions which we hope to take part in too. Plus of course when our articles are published, the payment received will make us back our €50 plus profit. All about positivity, people.
I got off to a good start over the last two weeks. I've entered 3 story competitions, 2 of which are short stories up to 2000 words and 1 a flash fiction piece of 404 words. One comp. was free, the other two cost me €13. This is my blog post. My magazine articles are memory style pieces, so I have been thinking about those.
There you have it, part of my good intentions. Yes, part, because there are loads of other ideas rattling in my head that I need to attend to. Will share more in future posts. It will be interesting to read my last blog post of this year next December and see if my plans worked out.
What have you planned for the year? Let me know, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy writing
🎭