I wrote a book.  Yes, I wrote a book!  Still can’t believe it myself.  It is semi-biographical historical fiction, loosely based on the life of my great-grandfather, Charlie McMullen.  He was born in Belfast in 1873 and died just short of 50 years later in 1922, when he was shot, sitting in his armchair, by the ‘B’ Specials.  His story has been told in our family for generations and I thought it was time to write it, in the form of a novel so that future generations might have an insight into the lives of ordinary people living in those quite extraordinary times.

And last night my family and friends threw a book launch for me, a surprise book launch.  I knew there was something up but nothing prepared me for the warmth and support I received when I walked in that door last night.


me deirdre dad launch








My heartfelt thanks to my husband Gerry, my sons Kevin, Paul and Gearoid and to my brothers and sisters.  A special word of thanks to my sister Deirdre who was the chief organiser.  My heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended and to everyone who couldn’t attend but sent messages of support.

I was speechless and gobsmacked, still am actually!

So, I want to shout out a massive THANK YOU to everyone.   THANK YOU to all my family and friends.  Last night meant so much to me.

‘Charlie Mac’ is available for Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.

Here is the link:


The Year of Possibilities

As the old year draws to a close, we find ourselves thinking about the possibilities the new year can bring.  Will it be a good year filled with joy and happiness or will the coming year bring only pain and sorrow?  Most likely a combination but who knows?  The possibilities are endless.  We make our new year’s resolutions to quit something which is bad for us or to take up something which is good for us.  Our resolutions are usually made on the last day of the old year and are totally abandoned by the end of January.

This year I won’t be making my new year resolutions until 2018 is at least a week old.  And this year I will be writing down my resolutions and reminding myself on a regular basis so that I do have a focus, a goal to work towards and I don’t end up one year later wondering what last year’s resolutions were.   This coming year, those resolutions will be positive, life-affirming goals.   I haven’t decided on exactly what those goals will be yet, but I will not be quitting anything or starting anything new.  I have a few ideas.  Like picking a positive affirmation and keeping a copy of it on my bedside locker so that the first words my brain registers every morning is positive and uplifting.  Like setting achievable goals such as,

1) spending more time with my father just enjoying his company,

2) expanding my culinary skills to include one new recipe per month,

3) reading at least two new novels per month,

4) taking the sea air at least once per month,

5) learning a new language,

6) eating healthier,

7) drinking less,

8) establishing a writing schedule,

9) keeping a diary.

My virgin diary sits in front of me waiting for my first note.  That’s the beauty of the New Year.  The possibility that this coming year is going to be the best year ever.  The year that you find yourself.  That you find happiness and joy.  But you won’t find joy unless you open your heart to it.  It is found in the most unusual places.  In the smile of a loved one as you listen to them attentively, in the taste of good food lovingly prepared, in losing yourself in the imagination of others, in the taste and smell of sea air as it blows the cobwebs from your brain and energises your soul, in the satisfaction of a job well done.

Negativity banishes joy so my New Year list will contain tools to help banish negativity, replacing it with positive affirmations.  So that even in the months I do not achieve the goals I have set, I will not despair and just give up, I will try harder the following month.  The old scouting motto springs to mind ‘be prepared’.  It is a good resolution, to be prepared for whatever life throws at you in the year ahead, prepare yourself to roll with the punches, prepare yourself to enjoy the here and now and above all to look for the positive aspects in life.

Happy New Year.