Itchy Fingers and Family History by Audrey Mac Cready

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A research trip to Killybegs for my next novel is now postponed until the Spring. An old friend (old as in we know each other since primary school) has offered to drive me there and spend a few days chauffeuring me about. That will make it a convivial and easy trip. Meantime, I’m cogitating on what the book will actually be about. Not just plot and character, PoV etc but what its core message will be. It won’t be proselytising or didactic – boring! – but shall capture, in as unspoken a way as possible, some kernel of wisdom, I hope. Some reflection on the human condition, at least. Hope I’m not setting the bar too high!

My itchy fingers can’t wait until next year to be writing something so I’m going to write an article on part of my family history, to submit for publication to a genealogical journal. Recently, I gave a Zoom talk on the Mac Creadys who I’ve located in Dublin since 1674. Since I seriously began my research in 1994, I’ve accumulated a random collection of material, essentially every mention I came across of the family name in Dublin. There aren’t / weren’t that many, thank goodness but I don’t claim to have listed every Mac Cready who ever lived here. Just most of them!

Preparing the talk was a great opportunity to spread my papers on the floor, sort everything out and file them in some logical fashion. Most of these people are not part of my own family, whose line I can trace directly – with documentary proof – to 1798. I’m still hoping to link to one of the few Mac Cready families who lived here then. We’ll see. That’s one of the many wonderful things about doing genealogy – you have a project for life.

In addition, I’m writing blogs for my website (3 in October) and another short biography, of my maternal grandmother. My quest to highlight my female ancestors means I try to keep a gender (cisgender?) balance in the biographies I write. So far, I have 18 women and 19 men, plus 6 group stories. One of these is on the 6 nuns in my family, so that tilts the balance a little! http://maccready.eu/

On the publishing front, I have had one more rejection, so to remain active with my novel, I’ve submitted it to two competitions – the Women’s’ Prize for Fiction Discoveries 2024 and the Caledonia Novel Award 2024. It’s always good to give yourself hope! I also need to chase up the other agents whom I approached, and to look at another twenty or so. Think I’ll try the USA market…

(c) Audrey Mac Cready

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