When looking back, reflect with a friend

As the sun sets on another year, we all start to think where we are in our lives, work, relationships, health, and even financial. In some ways the year, 2019 has flown by and then in others I found it to be a long year. I sat the other day reading different reviews of the months gone by in magazines and such and on TV, they were reviewing the past decade, this all got me thinking. In fact it highlighted how I can’t think back to what happened last week never mind the start of the year. So to ease my weakness to recall stuff I went to visit a friend that I’d not met since August last or was it September? This friend, Maggie Doolin, is a writing friend. In fact she is a close friend, (put aside the first fact I’d not seen her in about four months) and beause we are close friends, we don’t keep track of when we meet, we just pick up from where we left off.

I was also suffering from cabin fever, I had not left my house in over a week and she had not left hers in a day, so we joyously met, hugged, drank tea, ate chicken sandwiches and lots of chocolate Mikados and talked. We chatted for eight hours and it was glorious. Laughter and more laughter echoed around us as we recalled the year gone by. It wasn’t all plain sailing, we grieved for loved ones lost, health issues that tried to better us but thankfully failed and some that have lingered, staying well beyond their welcome date.

We each reminded the other of our successes in our writing lives, little ones and big ones, the rejections too and the dreams we shared at the start of the year. Our goals were discussed with affection and then the despair when we hadn’t reached one or two. But throwing the kettle on again for another cup of tea and a log on the fire, we huddled down with notebooks and planned for the future 2020.

When it was time for me to hit the road for home, I felt refreshed, recharged and relief.

Why did we not meet for four months you may ask, well I started at University of Limerick studying for my Masters of English in Creative Writing, and she, Maggie has a novel to promote, yep, she signed a publishing contract for her first novel and is busy with all that brings. I shall have more news on that in Spring. Such exciting times ahead.

Looking back over the year wasn’t so hard after all, when done in the company of a true friend.

Happy New Year, and may it be a healthy, happy, filled with blessings one.

Mary xx

Published by marytbradford

Family is important to Mary and her writing reflects the ups and downs of it all, and what people go through daily. She has been writing short stories for several years and enjoys success with her fiction in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies both in Ireland and abroad, namely Germany, India, and the US. Her stories have been both short/long listed in various competitions. It was because of this success, Mary took the plunge and self-published her first collection of stories titled, A Baker’s Dozen (2012). When one of her stories kept growing she ended up with her first published novel, My Husband's Sin. This novel turned into a trilogy, with book 2, Don't Call Me Mum, and book 3, No More Secrets following it. Her latest novel, To Live With A Stranger, is based on her Grandmother's country cottage and is a firm favourite with readers. Mary continues to write novels, novellas, and short stories, dabbling too in playwrighting. In 2019, Mary attended the University of Limerick and studied for a MA in Creative Writing, receiving First Class Honours. When taking a break from writing and reading Mary loves to crochet. Living in County Cork, Ireland, she is married and is a mother of four children. Having overcome open heart surgery in 2008, Mary made the decision to dedicate more time to her writing. With her children raised and starting to spread their wings, this became possible. Now, Mary is also a Nana, a role that brings her happiness and lots of love.

4 thoughts on “When looking back, reflect with a friend

  1. Vert interesting! Thanks for sharing. Indeed, having a friend to reflect with helps. I am curious about why you decided to go for a Masters in Creative Writing after having several books published. I have toyed with the idea too, but not too sure…Is it low residency? Have a wonderful 2020!


    1. Thank you, Teresa for reading my post. I decided to go for a Masters because I wanted to further learn more about writing. My full-time taught course covers many modules from the craft of poetry, storytelling, the literature of migration, modernism in literature, memoir, utopia etc. So so much to discover and strengthen my own writing and open up new writers and aspects to writing. I am loving it. I travel in every day. I would urge anyone who is in two minds about it, to do it. Have a wonderful 2020 and keep in touch.


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