The Space Between | Writing Update

Hello, it’s been a while!

If you’ve been around a little while you may have seen me mention a project called Mouse. Mouse was a verse novel I started working on around this time last year when my agoraphobia and depression were at their worst. Well, we’re now only 25 days away from the official publication day of Mouse, now called The Space Between!

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It’s been months but I still can’t quite believe it’s being published, especially by a publisher I adore so much. Little Island Books were my very first choice, my dream publisher, so even the fact that they liked my manuscript still baffles me!

I filled this book with everything that I had. It got me through being housebound with agoraphobia, anxiety and depression. It gave me somewhere to go when I disassociated. It gave me the words to open up to the people in my life about what was happening. Writing this story, Beth’s story, helped me work my way through my own and I am so, so proud of it.

It is also very gay, which makes me very happy.

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I’m so excited, so nervous and so happy that my little book baby will be out in the world soon.

If you’d like to pre-order The Space Between you can do so here or here.

If you want to add it on goodreads, here you go!

Meg

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A Bookish Day in Derry

I love where I live more than I ever thought possible. Moving here was a desperate sleep deprived at 5am decision but remains one of the best we’ve ever made. So much has improved so drastically and the things that couldn’t be fixed so easily now actually have a chance. There’s only one problem with this beautiful little town…a devastating lack of bookshops.

We have two small and under-stocked newsagent type book shops that I’m super grateful for but I miss that bookshop feel. The smell, the quiet and the comfort. I could spend all day in a bookshop, which is saying a lot considering how little I leave the house!

Recently our very best bestie bean Weezy came to visit for the weekend and we went on an adventure to Derry. Derry is only 20 or so minutes from my town but I’d never been before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Turns out Derry is pretty great, it’s a lovely city with an absolute ton of cool antique and vintage shops, gorgeous architecture and bookshops so cute you’d move in if they’d let you. My anxiety makes new places difficult and I get very stressed very easily but the little city had such a friendly feeling and warm atmosphere that I was able to really enjoy myself.

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The first bookshop we visited was called Foyle Books and was in the cuter-than-you-can-even-imagine craft village. Every inch of every wall was covered in books and the floor was scattered with boxes that held even more. The shelves were so high that the tops shelves were just a blur to tiny 5-foot-nothing me!

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The next bookshop was called Little Acorns and it might be the most adorable one I’ve ever set foot in. It takes up one big corner of The Yellow Yard, a shop that has everything you never knew you needed like eclectic old records, bright yellow type-writers and old fur coats. It was full to the brim, practically overflowing with new and old books, bookish gifts and art. The kids section was covered in twinkling fairy lights and so full of colour I imagine one glance would brighten even the grumpiest of grumps.

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We popped into the gigantic Easons and Primark too and I picked up a couple of books I didn’t need and a pair of very sparkly shoes I definitely didn’t need.

If you want to see more of our bookish day in Derry it’s all in my new video!

Meg

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Two Perfect Days | Books, Hailstones and Toasties

 

4 years and 3 apartments ago my girlfriend and I had a perfect day. We’d been living together a few months and were relaxing into our new world of college, life in the city and co-habitating for the very first time. It was a Saturday, it was raining and we were broke. Broke, but in that instantly recognisable and uncontrollable book-buying mood. So we tore our bookshelves apart and made a pile of books we could live without, lugged them into town and exchanged them all for store-credit. We bought all the books we’d had our eyes on for ages, all of the ones we’d sent each other Goodreads links for and carried around the store lovingly before hiding them at the very back of a corner shelf just so no one else could have them.

We carted our haul home in the rain, changed into the comfiest clothes we could find, made a stack of cheese toasties and buckets of tea and fell back into bed.

We spent the rest of the day in bed reading, listening to the torrential Irish rain and arguing over who’s turn it was to go make tea. It was perfect. When we realised it had turned dark around us we ordered pizza and told each other all about what we’d been reading. It felt special, it felt like a day I would think about a lot. So I took some pictures.

Yesterday we woke up in desperate need of coffee and a day of being total slobs together. I made fancy coffee (it’s just chocolaty coffee shh) and we snuggled up with our books. It rained, we were together and every bit as in love as all those years ago when so much had changed around us.

That day came flying into my mind with so much detail. I remembered every minute and every thought and feeling that filled it with that odd, heavy sense of importance that only makes sense when you’re right there in the middle of it. Yesterday felt like that and it was amazing.

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We read all day. She read a World of Warcraft novel and cried when a particularly noble orc died. I read the Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern and teared up when a not so noble sibling died. We read each other particularly gross or funny lines, listened to the hailstones bouncing off the roof and argued over who’s turn it was to take the dog out to pee. We even got pizza and ate it in bed, talking about that day and every day since.beanybae

On that first perfect day there was a Hemmingway quote running through my mind;

“We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright.”

When I told her she teased me and my 20-year-old pretentious brand of cheesy-ness mercilessly. I’m pretty sure I blushed and called her a jerk. When I repeated the quote this time around-as a slightly less pretentious but every bit as cheesy 24 year old- she had the exact same reaction and I swear I felt my heart grow a little bigger in my chest. She’s such a jerk and I love her so much.

I hope the next four years bring another perfect day in our own little world where it always rains and the blankets never tangle around our feet. I have no idea who or where we’ll be by then but I know without even the tiniest hint of doubt that she’ll tease me and my corny little quote again and I can’t wait.

Meg

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Irish Tales of Mystery and Magic

If there’s anything I love as much as reading, it’s coffee. It’s a recent addiction but oh my gosh has it taken over. After having a terrible anxiety day yesterday I was determined to take control of today and enjoy the hell out of it. So I got up, got dressed and got out. I ignored every hint of panic with a stubbornness only an intense need for caffeine can inspire, plopped myself in a corner seat across from my (equally caffeine deprived) girlfriend and we read. And it was great.

While she read Clean Room (which I mentioned here and here, you should read it its so gross) and freaked out a little over the icky-ness of it all I read a beautiful book she gifted me recently, Irish Tales of Mystery and Magic.

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As a kid I loved the Irish stories we heard daily at primary school and believed every word of every single one. The Salmon of Knowledge? Yep, makes sense. The Children of Lir? Perfectly plausible. But at some point I lost love for them and replaced it with eye-rolls and dramatic sighs. Since moving to Donegal my love has made a great big sparkly comeback and I’m so, so happy to be reunited with those weird old stories that made me so happy (and confused) as a kid.

The book itself is written by Eddie Lenihan and illustrated by Alan Clarke and is total eye-candy. Every single page is beautiful, full of incredible illustrations and tiny touches. The stories are well told despite not all of them exactly aging very well (we have a way with words, us Irish). It has stories like The Strange Case of Sean na Sul and Taoscán Mac Liath and the Magic Bees and a veritable butt-load of Fionn Mac Cumhaill. I do wish it had more of the stories about badass Irish women, because trust me they exist and they’re the best, but its hard not to enjoy our magical little tales. Especially when they make up such a stunning book.

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I got home exhausted but proud of myself, ridiculously happy and so grateful for my cute-as-a-bean girlfriend who held my hand all day and only stole one sip of my mocha latte. Now I’m going to get cracking on the next book while she (finally) starts Nimona and our puppy snores between us. He’s a total cuddle block but too damn sweet to move.

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Are you taking part in TBR Takedown? Let me know how you’re getting on. Or if you’ve read any old Irish stories please tell me your favourites!

Oíche mhaith!

Meg

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