Latest Rambles

Telling Nonbinary Stories With My Feet

Telling Nonbinary Stories With My Feet

It’s been a bit over a year since I returned to Irish dance, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about my relationship with it and how that’s changed. Irish dance is, at its core, a competitive art form. It’s a sport. It’s notorious for the pageantry that goes along with these competitions: the bedazzled dresses and curly wigs and far too much makeup. The trophies are large and usually tasteless, and the whole thing is completely bizarre to…

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20 Questions I’m Asking Myself

20 Questions I’m Asking Myself

How are you going to stop yourself obsessively refreshing your inbox every day after the Pitch Wars submission window closes? No, obsessing over your Instagram stats isn’t a good answer; that wouldn’t stop you. So what else are you going to do? Oh, you’re going to write something new? That sounds like a good idea. If you get picked for Pitch Wars, you’ll just be revising Butterfly of Night for the rest of the year. It might be nice to…

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The Perfect Novel Synopsis

The Perfect Novel Synopsis

I’m entering Pitch Wars at the end of this month (next week, yikes), so of course I’m working on my synopsis. Trying to nail that balance of summary and style. How do I convey the emotions of the book while keeping it to one page in length? Which characters are REALLY the most important ones here? Is Comma, when used as the name of a guild of assassins, singular or plural?* *This particular grammar question is, for the record, killing…

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General Purpose University Advice

General Purpose University Advice

This week was A-Level results week for students in England and Wales — the time when students find out whether they got into their first choice university. I remember it being hellishly nerve-wracking (I barely slept at all the night before my results), but even once it was over, the anxiety is only just beginning. Because preparing for university can be stressful. In the lead up to university, I read everything I could find. I read student newspapers. I researched…

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The Productivity Trap

The Productivity Trap

Working three days a week means that technically speaking, I have more days off work than days at work. Despite this, I still feel an enormous sense of pressure to get things done on those days off — to hit writing targets, take photos for instagram, write blog posts, run errands, do dance practice… All the things I don’t have the time or energy to do on work days. This is not inherently a problem. I’m pretty sure this kind…

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I’m Just Not Pinteresting

I’m Just Not Pinteresting

As you may have noticed, I’ve made a fairly sudden return to the blogosphere. My book blog has been completely inactive since March and this blog little better, but now that I’m finally living in one place, not trying to do a degree, and reasonably settled, I thought it was time to fix that. My stats, however, have suffered from this extended break, and while the numbers aren’t why I do this, it’s still fairly discouraging to write a post…

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Five Things I’ve Learned Line-Editing “Butterfly of Night”

Five Things I’ve Learned Line-Editing “Butterfly of Night”

I’m currently line-editing Butterfly of Night, a novel about a screwed-up teenage assassin and her poor life choices. In June and July, I did a major plot rewrite with some big changes, and this month I’m rewriting the whole thing again for style, continuity, and because it’s too long and I need to cut as many words as possible. (I’ve cut 2411 words so far. I’m aiming for 5k overall, but I’m not sure how I’m going to get there.)…

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Part-Time Adulting

Part-Time Adulting

At the start of my final year of university, people often asked me about my plans for life after graduation. At that point, my answer was that I intended to work part-time and live at home, saving money if I could, with a somewhat nebulous idea of what was going to follow after that. My intention to work part time was mostly born of the realisation that my pain and fatigue making working full time difficult if not impossible. During…

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Moral Ambiguity and Straight-Up Murder

Moral Ambiguity and Straight-Up Murder

I’ve met a few authors now, but the first one I ever met, way back in 2005, was Caroline Lawrence, author of the Roman Mysteries series. I was a big fan of these books — my brother used to borrow them from his secondary school library on my behalf while I was still in primary school — and she was doing an event at a local library, so my mum took me along. I only owned a few of the…

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By App and Ear

By App and Ear

One of the things I did while I was in Limerick was go to as many sessions as I could. This did not turn out to be a huge number — I think I went to four or five, and mostly didn’t stay too long — but it was a learning experience nonetheless, and one that made me realise I need to take a different approach to my tin whistle playing. Last year, in Co. Donegal, I went to a…

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