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Struggling Through the Sniffles by Audrey Mac Cready

Writing.ie | Member Blog

Audrey MacCready

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I have a rotten cold and feel miserable. An antigen test was clear, so this is a reminder that the ‘normal’ illnesses are still out there. My only consolations are binge-watching ‘Poldark’ (Aidan Turner – stop my beating heart!) on Netflix and binge-listening to books on Audible. Otherwise, I’m grumpy and resentful. Happy New Year, how are ye!

Before I was laid low, I was brushing up on the auld mythology. Along with Enid Blyton and fairy tales, they were my earliest stories, and reading. ‘The Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary Vol 3.’ Dog-eared. Artemis and Zeus will feature in my novel. A-Z, don’t you know?

One of my Desert Island books is ‘The Seven Basic plots’, by Christopher Booker. I must have a look at it again to see which plot my current novel is. I find it both bizarre and reassuring that humanity has taken comfort and inspiration from the same cluster of stories since ancient times to the present day. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just find satisfying ways to keep it turning.

I’ve started to share my novel with my writing group, my cherished beta readers. We meet weekly via Zoom, which is marvellous as we are five nationalities spread across three continents. We read and critique each other’s work and have the craic. It’s always amazing what others will see or notice in one’s writing which is not obvious to the author. Wood, trees.

Time to drag myself off the sofa and into the shower. I don’t feel remotely like doing this but I know I’ll feel better after it. Then back to Poldark. I’m in Season Five, the last one. It has been interesting to read up on Winston Graham, the author who wrote the books in the 1940s and 1950s, and then later in the 1970s and 1980s. He wrote strong women characters, always a good sign!

My next rabbit-hole will be Debbie Horsfield, the writer of the BBC TV series 2015-2019. Adapting the books must have been a fascinating experience.

Audrey Mac Cready

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