Channelling Maeve Binchy


I don’t know what got into me, but I started writing a novel with the pure intention of emulating Maeve Binchy and her ability to hone in on human emotions while telling what appeared to be a simple story set in Ireland. R.I.P. Maeve, I’m hope you’re tuning in.

Little did I know how difficult it would be to write such a book. I started my novel Where She Belongs in 2010. It was originally called Sally’s New Life but I thought that title was a bit too twee. I can barely believe I’m still trying to perfect it and am beginning to embrace the idea of throwing in the rag, if that’s the right expression. Whatever made me think I could write?

And so now, as I’m doing my final edit (crossing fingers and toes), I’m appealing to the spirit of Maeve Binchy to inspire me and show me how she wove her magic so effortlessly.

The worst thing is, and I hope Maeve will forgive me, that although I read a few of her books, I was not one of her die-hard fans, and yet I certainly admire her ability to tug at the heartstrings. Forgive me if I’m stringing words together that should be separate. My spellcheck is not protesting, but then again I know one cannot always depend on it. Since I’ve lived in Germany for so long, I sometimes get confused. They love to string words together, and I must admit it has a certain appeal. Besides, language is constantly evolving, isn’t’ it?

So, yes. Finding our writing voice is all important. We can become so inundated with writing advice that we lose the ability to cut through the maze of meandering pathways and forget where our own path was.

I find writing fiction to be much harder than writing a blog. Showing and not telling and writing witty dialogue, that doesn’t sound stilted, are just some of the difficulties I encounter. What I don’t find difficult is creating scenes in my mind and transferring them onto the screen. In fact, the scenes are so realistic in my mind that part of me actually is in that fictional place I’ve created in the West of Ireland. I’m wondering what my characters are up to as I’ve neglected them for too long.

Back to channelling Maeve Binchy. Some of us take longer than others to find our niche. I began writing Where She Belongs after abandoning a couple of others half-way through when the going got tough and I got stuck in a quagmire. In order to free my mind, I began telling another story and thought it would be easier to write. Well, it wasn’t as easy as I imagined, but I finished it and am proud of that. I will definitely return to Future Visions when I figure out how to continue with it.

Maybe Maeve will help me with the final edits!

Book Review: Walking Over Eggshells

I’ve just finished Walking Over Eggshells by Lucinda E. Clarke and am happy to post this review and support the author.

Well, what can I say! The full five stars are fully deserved as Lucinda has entertained me for hours with her adventurous life of ups and downs. When I started this book, I initially thought it was going to be a typical poor-ole-me, look how my mother mistreated me kind of book. But now that I’ve finished it, I see how essential the beginning is to the whole story and how our beginnings can impact our entire lives. I’m thinking of the hardy little delicate flowers that thrive in the rocks and show their beautiful selves, fighting their way to the light despite not having a good fertile ground upon which to grow. They battle rough winds and do not have the shelter of strong trees to protect them. Or the pansies and violas that are winter-hardy, fluttering their soft petals and showing us their resilience through the snow and frost. This is how I see the author’s life. In a spiritual sense, she has had such a rich life, pushing through boundaries, even if it was never a conscious decision to do so.

This book will take you on a roller-coaster ride as you follow the author’s story, the countries in which she has lived and the often incredible challenges she has faced and overcome. What a ride. The thread weaving through the entire story is the search for her mother’s approval. And while I read it, cheering her all the way and amazed at all she has achieved, I was horrified at her mother’s behaviour. Lucinda deserves to be proud of herself. Most of us would be thrilled to have achieved as much as she has and to have painted their canvas with such rich colours. The writing flows so easily, and I’ll be surprised if you can put the book down.