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Tell Your Own Story

On Writing Celtic Road Home by Ann Doolan-Fox

Article by Ann Doolan-Fox ©.
Posted in the Magazine (Tell Your Own Story: , ).
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“A rolling stone gathers no moss!” This was a popular phrase my Dad would often quote during each home visit from living abroad in the mid 1980s. At the mere age of eighteen, I had left behind the only life known amidst a strict upbringing to go explore whatever the big wide world had in store.  Multiple foreign locales would soon become part of an endless yet unforgettable twelve-year journey leading to the writing of this inspirational memoir.

Growing up in Dublin’s fair city in the 1970s, it was a treat to take the number 19 bus into town to browse the shops, for bargains and the like. During this escape, I paid full attention to any nearby tourist and would listen intently to their animated babbling in such exotic tongues. A desire to converse in foreign languages made up the first half of my future Dream; while the second would one day lie in America. On a simple black and white TV, with rabbit ears on top (whenever they decided to work!) I had become a huge fan of all and any TV shows from the other side of the Atlantic. From comedies to cop shows, I was immersed into another world with Mary Tyler Moore as one of my early idols. If she had managed to do it all, then maybe, just maybe I could too..

In the spring of 1993, while working in The Hague, a US Air Force captain called Jimmie Fox swooped in and thus began a Happy Ending in America. A childhood Dream, never abandoned over the years was finally coming true. It just goes to show that you must always believe in yourself and make your goals happen in Life, come what may…

It had always been a goal of mine to recount all of those up and down stories from years spent abroad. When I finally decided to make a start, I began composing notes in a college-ruled notebook. Each of the fourteen cities I had lived in had a section dedicated with names, places and dates of important events.  A memoir is such a heartfelt and personal account; where was I to begin and how would it evolve into something special? Two very prominent Irish ladies would soon help to create the tone, style and essence of Celtic Road Home. Tis Herself was a memoir penned by the late and wonderful Irish actress, Maureen O’Hara. It was beautifully written, mainly on the Golden Age of Hollywood. The other was an Irish columnist by the name of Nuala O’Faolain whose writings I adore.

The easy part was settling comfortably in front of an old laptop, wishing it wouldn’t die an early death before reaching the end of the book. Starting out, with the first hand-written five chapters, they were slowly transcribed into printed work. Such a process soon became tedious, so what now? With each city as a chapter title and basic notes at my elbow, the storyline was set. All of a sudden, I was transported to a place back in time with each memory coming alive onto the screen. It almost felt Divine in the way it took on a life of its own with a lyrical flow in each passing chapter. During this whole process, unedited chapters were emailed to family and friends who would provide valuable feedback. Most important of all, I highly recommend reading out your work out loud as it is crucial hearing how your story unfolds and flows.

With just three book chapters remaining, I suddenly called it quits and tossed the project aside. Self-doubt had crept in with feeling not being good enough to publish. It was thanks to a close friend’s reading request that changed it all. Windy devoured all nine chapters in a week and begged for the remaining ones, which I managed to write in record time. If you happen to be fortunate enough with similar supportive souls in your midst, then please allow them to assist you in any way possible.

However, two of the most difficult processes still lay ahead. One was in the editing and uploading onto Amazon with the last and most trying of all on how to sell your hard work of art. How do you convince a total stranger, while still feeling your own self worth?

Had I believed all negative responses via email or phone during the ongoing process of marketing my book, I would have most likely given up by now. But I am not a quitter, when I know this story is one to be shared and could change the reader’s own life.

Thanks to a story on a local fiction author in The Colorado Springs Gazette, I plucked up enough courage and called the journalist, while pitching my storyline. A week later, to coincide with the book’s release, a front page article appeared in Sunday’s Life edition. From there, a patron made a request at the local library and voila! I even contacted Creative Ireland who forwarded my book details to the senior librarian in Dublin City Libraries who ordered eight copies. The icing on the cake came upon the discovery that my childhood library, Ballymun now carries the book. Full circle or what! You can do it all as long as you always Dream, Believe and Achieve!

(c) Ann Doolan-Fox

About Celtic Road Home:

This is the true story of a young, naïve Irish woman who embarked on a path of “most resistance” and danced/survived her way around seven different countries. Her very descriptive, dramatic and often humorous Celtic Road Home takes you on a journey of constant Life adventures. Despite her many up and down struggles along the way, she never gives up Hope on the very next outcome becoming more successful than the one before. Inspirational and captivating throughout, Ann always strives to maintain a positive outlook while going against the grain. A saga filled with an uplifting spirit and a touch of Irish Laughter that will make your heart smile.

order your copy online here.

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Ann lived and worked all over the world until the age of thirty-one when she realized her Dream by finally coming to live in America permanently. She is extremely proud to have become a US Citizen in 1998. For nearly fifteen years, she taught both English (as a foreign language) and Spanish. Fluent in four of six languages, Ann’s favourite motto is: “Don’t put until tomorrow what you can do today!” This is her first publication and tells the story of her childhood, international travels and life journey up until the present day. She lives in Colorado Springs, CO with her devoted husband Jimmie, son Ryan and two cats Maya & Dexter.