Which Child Are You?

Lacey Taylor is the star of her own series of books, first introduced in My Husband’s Sin before moving forward in Don’t Call Me Mum. With the Lacey Taylor story due to continue in book three next year, I thought it’d be a fun and enriching experience to explore her character and her backstory in more detail. And so was born Letters From Lacey, online exclusive stories from her past to run alongside the books. I’m delighted to dive deeper into this wonderful character as time goes on! And who knows, if all goes well, I may start expanding other characters from the books too!


Dear Readers,

I hadn’t realised that Lacey was writing to you and that our brother, Robert, has even slipped a note in once, so I thought I would write one too. I’m Sally, one of Lacey’s older sisters.

Lacey is such a strong young woman, she has faced much heartache and still only starting out in her twenties. She adores Robert, her big brother as she calls him. But I being older see it differently, he’s my young brother and I should mind him! Isn’t it amazing how where we come in our family can alter our perception of everything? I wonder what Willow, the eldest of us all thinks? Does she carry a sense of duty to look out for us? Maybe she doesn’t think anything about being the eldest.

But deep down I believe she does and won’t admit to it. I know she had a special relationship with Mum, she wanted to be like her in many ways, yet I wasn’t as drawn to Mum or Dad, I love doing my thing, my way. I like to be me. Is this because I’m not the eldest so I don’t have to forge paths for those to follow? I’m not the son who is expected to step in to Dad’s shoes now he is gone? I’m not the baby so there’s no fuss about me, no minding me?

I’m forgotten, I can slide in and out under the radar, which can be lonely if I’m honest and yet I want to look out for them all. So now to a New Year, we Taylor’s may see things differently but we will all feel the same, loss and grief makes us share the same cloak. I think Lacey will survive this, do you?

Family – a group of people raised together in the same house but so unique.

Where do you fit in your family?

Later,

Love Lacey xxx


If you love Lacey as much as I do, be sure to check out her series and follow for more 😊 I plan to publish each week, alongside the usual writing tips and updates you’d expect. For fans of the series, be sure to share this with your friends and family… It’s more Lacey! And you won’t find these stories in her books…

Not Your Usual HAPPY NEW YEAR Post!

When I sat to write this post, I had no idea what I was going to say. We all know about resolutions and fresh starts and new diets but what kept playing on my mind was the word: time. I pondered on this and asked myself what the word signified for me. 

Time is precious. We do not own it nor can we control it. What we do with it, how we use it, how we let it make us feel, is in our control. Looking back over 2018, I realised I had often thought what a long year, when would it end? Not because of anything in particular, although we did lose family and friends, but what year do we not? It is part of life. We had weddings too in 2018, happy wonderful days shared with family and friends, again, not unusual. 


It is said by many as you get older the years get shorter and yes I have found this true, but 2018 was different, it feels like it has gone on forever and while we roll in to a new year, it is the celebrations and festivities that make it stand out. It is after all only day following night, like every other day following night. I know it’s more than this, but I’m keeping it simple, why complicate life any more than necessary?

Time boxes us in. We must meet this deadline, we must be here, be there, roll on the weekend. By having Time dictate, we can lose our confidence, lose hope, break promises, plans, we doubt ourselves. I never finished it, whatever ‘it’ is, I missed the deadline, I can’t reach that goal, that dream, I didn’t have enough Time, I’m a loser, a failure, I might as well give up. 

Forget about it, let the, ‘if only, I should have,’ behind you. It’s gone, so start again!

I didn’t get to finish my novel, did the world end? Nope. BUT I did make progress on it. I didn’t get to meet all the friends I wanted to meet in person, have they abandoned me? Nope, (true friends will never), BUT I did connect with them in some form. I never got to walk every day for my health, BUT I did when I could, well done, me! 

As sure as day follows night, I will achieve all I want to, in my own good time on my terms. Life will throw a few curve balls but I expect that. 

May 2019 bring many blessings to you all.  

Mary x

What Is Plot?

In this, another of my writing tips page, I share what are my opinions, you may agree or not, but I do hope you find what I have to share helpful. A plot is a casual sequence of events. It draws the reader in to the characters’ lives and so the reader understands the choices the characters make. It is the story, the start, middle and the end.

The opening is a vital component of the story. It must grab the reader and give them a need to know more. Introduce the main character from the outset and pose the story’s conflict or question that needs to be resolved. No plot is without conflict /crisis / change.

The type of conflict can be social, circumstance or emotional. Conflict is critical to the story as it is this point that change occurs to your main character. Having conflict gives drama or suspense to the story. In a short story there is usually only one crisis as words are limited.

In a novel, you may have many moments of drama as the word count is so large and it is these moments of suspense that makes the reader want to turn the page to find out what happens next. This all happens in the middle of your book.

The end of the story should arrive at a natural conclusion. All threads teased out through your characters actions and the storyline must be neatly sewn up at the end. It does not need to be a happy ending always, but it must be a satisfying end for the reader. The reader must be left feeling good, that justice was served.

SOURCES FOR PLOT IDEAS: 

  • Your personal experience is best
  • Other people’s experiences, hearing stories or conversations.
  • Research
  • Imagination, what if…? why does…? 
  • Observation: newspapers, magazines, sitting in a café, theatre etc.

If writing historical or setting your story in locations you may not have visited then you need to do research. 

You must give the reader a sense of being there with your characters so knowing the historical era is vital to draw your reader in.

As a writer, observation of life needs to be developed. The five senses, taste, touch, hearing, sight and smell all need to be triggered. The most powerful of the senses is smell; it can arouse so many emotions and memories.

The idea for a story is its theme. This could be romance, murder, historical or fantasy etc.  

POV (Point of View) Who is telling the story?

It is usually either written in the first person or third person. When writing in the first person, the sentences have a tendency to be short and snappy. The story is being told from one person’s point of view so can be trickier to deal with. as the main character can only describe what he/she thinks the other characters feel. It is only the narrator’s view we have to believe to tell us the truth. When using the third person, it is more comfortable to write as each character has a voice and the narrator just fills in the background. Writing in the second person can/has been done but is unusual.

Consider the following: It is late on a Saturday night and a crowd are queuing to get into the local nightclub. An argument takes place between two people and a fight erupts. Regarding points of view, there are many. There are the two people who started the argument, there are those who were within earshot, there is the club doorman who is keeping an eye on proceedings and then the Gardaí when they arrive. So you have many points of view so therefore you have many different descriptions of the one event. From whose POV would you tell the story from? You could use it as an exercise and try different POV, see what you are comfortable writing in.

Bear the following in mind when writing your story:

Exposition———-Complication————Climax————–Resolution   

 “When written in Chinese the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity”                  

John F Kennedy, April 12th 1959. 

First Christmas Without Lillian

It’s coming close now, that time of year when carols are sung, traffic is bumper to bumper and shop queues snake all the way around the stores. Yes, it’s Christmas, when family is together and all gathered around the fireside, fed and full and all playing board games or watching a family favourite film on TV. Well, that’s what they want you to believe if the many ads are what we should go by. But the first year, after, Mum, I mean Lillian, died, Christmas was horrendous.

Lacey Taylor is the star of her own series of books, first introduced in My Husband’s Sin before moving forward in Don’t Call Me Mum. With the Lacey Taylor story due to continue in book three next year, I thought it’d be a fun and enriching experience to explore her character and her backstory in more detail. And so was born Letters From Lacey, online exclusive stories from her past to run alongside the books. I’m delighted to dive deeper into this wonderful character as time goes on! And who knows, if all goes well, I may start expanding other characters from the books too!


Dear Readers,

It’s coming close now, that time of year when carols are sung, traffic is bumper to bumper and shop queues snake all the way around the stores. Yes, it’s Christmas, when family is together and all gathered around the fireside, fed and full and all playing board games or watching a family favourite film on TV.

Well, that’s what they want you to believe if the many ads are what we should go by. But the first year, after, Mum, I mean Lillian, died, Christmas was horrendous.

Especially after the revelation. What revelation? I share it all, in My Husband’s Sin. I wanted to hide away, curl up in my pj’s, read a book and have it all pass over but it’s never that simple. Your thoughts remain. So even shutting out the world, won’t let you escape the grief, the sadness, the pain, that some of us can suffer after the death of someone close, because your mind won’t let you forget.
I tried. I joined my brother and sisters for Christmas, that first year of not having either of our parents. It was heart-breaking for me, not because of her death but what it brought me, total destruction. It doesn’t matter that we were all adults, feelings don’t discriminate with age. But to think she could be so cruel, such a bitch basically, Lillian knew so well what she was doing and she did it in a blaze of glory.

She has robbed me of so much, so many past Christmases, so many other memories that were all based I know now on lies. But she’s not going to win, I will rise above it all and once more enjoy what was once a happy family occasion,

So, ho, ho, ho, wherever or however you celebrate,

Love Lacey xxx


If you love Lacey as much as I do, be sure to check out her series and follow for more 😊 I plan to publish each week, alongside the usual writing tips and updates you’d expect. For fans of the series, be sure to share this with your friends and family… It’s more Lacey! And you won’t find these stories in her books…

Men Hurt Too

Dear Readers,

Lacey is resting this week, she’s not coping very well with life at the moment, so it falls to me, her brother to write a few lines. I’m Robert, her older brother but you probably know that. She’s my baby sister, sorry, you probably know that too. At the moment all our lives are up in a heap after my mother died. Gosh how I miss her. I thought losing Dad was difficult but for some reason I thought Mum was going to last forever. Stupid, I know, I just didn’t want to lose another parent.

Today we have a letter from Lacey’s older brother, Robert.

Lacey Taylor is the star of her own series of books, first introduced in My Husband’s Sin before moving forward in Don’t Call Me Mum. With the Lacey Taylor story due to continue in book three next year, I thought it’d be a fun and enriching experience to explore her character and her backstory in more detail. And so was born Letters From Lacey, online exclusive stories from her past to run alongside the books. I’m delighted to dive deeper into this wonderful character as time goes on! And who knows, if all goes well, I may start expanding other characters from the books too!


Dear Readers,

Lacey is resting this week, she’s not coping very well with life at the moment, so it falls to me, her brother to write a few lines. I’m Robert, her older brother but you probably know that. She’s my baby sister, sorry, you probably know that too. At the moment all our lives are up in a heap after my mother died. Gosh how I miss her. I thought losing Dad was difficult but for some reason I thought Mum was going to last forever. Stupid, I know, I just didn’t want to lose another parent.

Being an only son, I guess it was seen that I step up to the table and be man of the house. No problem, was happy to do that, but God, it was hard. I had my moments too when I wanted to hide away and cry, in fact, I did. I hid my tears from others, silly now I know since there’s nothing wrong with grieving but I was young and saw it as important to man up.

Did Lacey tell you about Mum’s great revelation? Well she floored us. I mean we never saw it coming. Not a clue. I don’t know who to be more angry at, Dad or Mum. Both are to blame, both lied to us all. I can’t get my head around it so God knows what Lacey is feeling.

Look I do my best and guys it’s more than okay to show your hurt and grief, every tear you shed, is a tribute to the love you shared with the person lost. I have my days, but time helps to heal not that you forget, you never forget.

Thanks for reading, and remember no matter how bad life gets, it can and does get better. Watch out for my little sis, she deserves happiness, but sshh don’t tell her I said that, she’ll say I’m getting soft,

Robert Taylor


If you love Lacey as much as I do, be sure to check out her series and follow for more 😊 I plan to publish each week, alongside the usual writing tips and updates you’d expect. For fans of the series, be sure to share this with your friends and family… It’s more Lacey! And you won’t find these stories in her books…

Finding Mum

Dear Readers,

When I lost my father, my world exploded into tiny fragments that I could never gather up again. But with time comes healing. I really thought nothing so awful in life would strike twice, but I was wrong. I found mum that day, slumped over the chair. Seeing her slouched, still, she looked so small, like she was sleeping I suppose.

Lacey Taylor is the star of her own series of books, first introduced in My Husband’s Sin before moving forward in Don’t Call Me Mum. With the Lacey Taylor story due to continue in book three next year, I thought it’d be a fun and enriching experience to explore her character and her backstory in more detail. And so was born Letters From Lacey, online exclusive stories from her past to run alongside the books. I’m delighted to dive deeper into this wonderful character as time goes on! And who knows, if all goes well, I may start expanding other characters from the books too!


Dear Readers,

When I lost my father, my world exploded into tiny fragments that I could never gather up again. But with time comes healing. I really thought nothing so awful in life would strike twice, but I was wrong. I found mum that day, slumped over the chair. Seeing her slouched, still, she looked so small, like she was sleeping I suppose.

I know I screamed, but I’m sure I made no sound, do you know that feeling? Like it’s happening to someone else and not you.

The paramedics were amazing, so kind, so calm, so in control. A heart attack, it was, she went out like a candle. I remember thinking in the following days what was I going to do? Both parents gone and I was only twenty four. No dad to walk me down the aisle, no mam to go wedding dress shopping with, if it ever should happen for me. Oh if only I knew then what was yet to come, then I guess I would have not wasted a second grieving for her, not losing a heart beat in thought of how she died alone.

She deserved it, she did not love me, ha, how stupid and silly I was. What did she do? Oh you would not believe what she thought of me, read it all in My Husband’s Sin.

 

Not everyone is who they appear to be.

Lacey xxx


If you love Lacey as much as I do, be sure to check out her series and follow for more 😊 I plan to publish each week, alongside the usual writing tips and updates you’d expect. For fans of the series, be sure to share this with your friends and family… It’s more Lacey! And you won’t find these stories in her books…

My Siblings

Dear Readers,

Sitting in the garden at my parent’s house recently, I was thinking about all the fun I had as a child playing there. I have three siblings, Willow, Sally and Robert. Being the youngest in the family, they did spoil me. My brother is closest to me in age. We really had fun times, I even know the off-side rule in soccer because of him.

Lacey Taylor is the star of her own series of books, first introduced in My Husband’s Sin before moving forward in Don’t Call Me Mum. With the Lacey Taylor story due to continue in book three next year, I thought it’d be a fun and enriching experience to explore her character and her backstory in more detail. And so was born Letters From Lacey, online exclusive stories from her past to run alongside the books. I’m delighted to dive deeper into this wonderful character as time goes on! And who knows, if all goes well, I may start expanding other characters from the books too!


Dear Readers,

Sitting in the garden at my parent’s house recently, I was thinking about all the fun I had as a child playing there. I have three siblings, Willow, Sally and Robert. Being the youngest in the family, they did spoil me. My brother is closest to me in age. We really had fun times, I even know the off-side rule in soccer because of him.

He was amazing when our Dad died suddenly. It was a heart-breaking time for all and Rob, he stepped up. He made sure those horribly tough days of the funeral passed without a hitch. He has always been a listening ear for me while growing up, but more so after he saw himself as head of the Taylor family. He took it on to protect the family, to try and be what Dad was, our rock.

My sisters and I always teased him about being mum’s favourite, her little boy, he would laugh at us, saying we were just jealous, all harmless banter. Dad would be so proud of him, the way he has made a great success of his life, the caring way he watches out for us.

Having a big brother is wonderful, I feel safe and loved and I’ve always someone to watch the rugby and soccer with at the weekend. Have you got a sibling you are close to? I hope so, we all need someone. Must go now, some tidying up to do, the house doesn’t clean itself my mum always said.

Later,

Lacey xxx


If you love Lacey as much as I do, be sure to check out her series and follow for more 😊 I plan to publish each week, alongside the usual writing tips and updates you’d expect. For fans of the series, be sure to share this with your friends and family… It’s more Lacey! And you won’t find these stories in her books…

Where to start with Character

In this post I share basic and simple ways to create your characters, whether for short stories/novels. I’ve included also a basic CV that you can use while working on who will be in the story.

TIPS ON CREATING A CHARACTER

  • Introduce your main character in the opening of your story.
  • My notebook with details of the characters of my first novel, My Husband’s Sin

    Characters through their dialogue move the story forward and gives an insight into their personalities. Their slang, tone, vocabulary, all is unique to that person.

  • Write someone who the reader will identify with, then give that character a crisis to overcome and so your story begins.
  • Naming your character, put thought into it. Make sure the names you choose suit the era of the story (make sure it’s in existence for the time set, modern may not have been heard of historically)
  • When thinking about the characters in your story, it helps to make a CV, so you can refer to it when moments of recall escape you, be it the simple colour of their eyes to which leg was their tattoo on.

CHARACTER’S CV:  A character’s CV is a list of their features, likes, dislikes family status etc. 

  • Eye colour, Hair, Height, Age
  • Temperament
  • Date of birth
  • Moral/ethical/religious beliefs
  • Political stance
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Habits good or bad, (biting nails,)
  • Quirks or eccentricities
  • Likes/Dislikes
  • Fears/Phobias
  • Short or long-term goals in life
  • Hope and dreams
  • Look at people around you, what are they wearing? How do they behave?
  • Look in magazines, cut out photos that resemble your character (See accompanying image for mine)
  • Where does your character live?
  • What is his/her family relationship like? With friends, work colleagues?
  • What does he/she work at?
  • Where did they go to school/university?

When Dad Died

Losing a loved one is never easy and remembering them is constant, especially as their anniversary comes round. That’s what I’m facing shortly, Dad was taken quickly from us. He was young, not that it’s ever a good age to lose someone who is your world or otherwise.

Lacey Taylor is the star of her own series of books, first introduced in My Husband’s Sin before moving forward in Don’t Call Me Mum. With the Lacey Taylor story due to continue in book three next year, I thought it’d be a fun and enriching experience to explore her character and her backstory in more detail. And so was born Letters From Lacey, online exclusive stories from her past to run alongside the books. I’m delighted to dive deeper into this wonderful character as time goes on! And who knows, if all goes well, I may start expanding other characters from the books too!


Dear Readers,

Losing a loved one is never easy and remembering them is constant, especially as their anniversary comes round. That’s what I’m facing shortly, Dad was taken quickly from us. He was young, not that it’s ever a good age to lose someone who is your world or otherwise.

I was very close to him, he hugged me each day, and never a night went by that he didn’t say how much he loved me. At times it seemed like he was compelled to say it. That reassuring me was important to him.

Guess I was a Daddy’s girl really. Mum never cuddled me or showed affection. I wonder did I remind her of something or someone, was my birth such a terrible memory?

I hated dressing in black for the funeral, the serious ceremony, the emptiness in our home. Willow and Sally, my sisters cried their eyes out for days upon days. Robert, my darling brother tried to act the man of the house and take control but failed. His heart too was broken.

You see we all adored our father, now he was gone without warning. Snuffed out like a candle.

Life with mum was always a puzzle for me but with dad out of the picture, she grew more cold and distant towards me and I could not understand why. If I asked her for a hug, she would shrug and say she was busy.

How do you handle it? The loss of the most important person in your universe, (Dad was mine) and the rejection of another (my mother) whose role it is to sprinkle you with unconditional love?

Have you suffered loss? The pain, the physical pain never leaves, it subsides but always there lurking, splintering your heart, your life for evermore.

I send hugs, thousands of hugs to you dear, Readers, who know the pain of loss, and to you who have yet to endure it, wrap my hug around you and know life will be cheerful once more.

Lacey xx

 


If you love Lacey as much as I do, be sure to check out her series and follow for more 😊 I plan to publish on a Monday and Friday, alongside the usual writing tips and updates you’d expect on a Wednesday. For fans of the series, be sure to share this with your friends and family… It’s more Lacey! And you won’t find these stories in her books…

The Street I Grew Up On

Lacey Taylor is the star of her own series of books, first introduced in My Husband’s Sin before moving forward in Don’t Call Me Mum. With the Lacey Taylor story due to continue in book three next year, I thought it’d be a fun and enriching experience to explore her character and her backstory in more detail. And so was born Letters From Lacey, online exclusive stories from her past to run alongside the books. I’m delighted to dive deeper into this wonderful character as time goes on! And who knows, if all goes well, I may start expanding other characters from the books too!


Dear Readers,

The street where I grew up on was once filled with the noise of laughing children. We would be in and out of each other’s houses, playing in the back gardens, eating dinner in which ever friend’s house we were at rather than break the fun and go home.

Sounds so idyllic and it was for my older sisters and brother. Not so much for me. I did have friends, lovely friends, people I was in school with. But mum never liked it when they came to my house. She would discourage it not by saying anything but by the frosty cold air that followed us as we would venture out to the garden or into the sitting room. I was never allowed bring them upstairs. So after a while my friends stopped calling over to mine. It was better if I went to theirs.

Willow, Sally and Robert, my siblings were always enjoying their friends over, even up in their bedrooms listening to music, but not me.

Our house was built in the late fifties early sixties, I heard Dad talking about it one time. It’s in south Dublin, a sought after area my mum kept saying. It is red brick front and detached, has a garage too. We were considered posh because of that, having a detached house. Flower beds that winded around the two cherry blossom trees in the front garden filled it with colour.

There’s a gravel driveway and I remember listening out for Dad’s car as he returned from work. He was wonderful, full of fun and hugs. Always telling me he loved me.
Later when we were older, the bus service put a bus stop close to our house and my mum went berserk, how dare they! The traffic became heavier too, we no longer had the quiet residential street of my siblings’ youth. Lots of things were different when I was growing up from their time. Guess that’s what comes from being the baby of the family.

Keep in touch and let me know if you have any questions from my story in My Husband’s Sin or Don’t Call Me Mum.

I so enjoy writing to you on here.

Lacey x


If you love Lacey as much as I do, be sure to check out her series and follow for more 😊 I plan to publish at least a couple of these letters each week, alongside the usual writing tips and updates you’d expect 🙂 For fans of the series, be sure to share this with your friends and family… It’s more Lacey! And you won’t find these stories in her books…