My Ideal Writing Space | Guest Post by Caroline Healy

Posted on February 20, 2017 «
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To County Kerry, Ireland. My Ideal Writing Space.

ideal writing space ballinskelligs kerry ireland

I was once fortunate enough to win an award to attend a writing retreat at Cill Rialaig in Ireland. It is a very special place in County Kerry in the townland of Ballinskellig.

Ballinskellig, historically, was a secular settlement for holy men and women who wanted to live a quiet life. They grew food for monks who lived on Skellig Micheal, which is a World Heritage Site and the location where they filmed the most recent Star Wars film.

This place in Ballinskellig consists of eight tiny cottages dating from the medieval period. The cottages are bare and only contain the essentials for visitors. No television, no internet, no distraction, lots of gale force Atlantic wind, sea swell and squawking seagulls.

This place was the most magic of places, a really beautiful setting. I was stranded here for two weeks. At the beginning I thought I was going a bit mad because it was SO quiet but I managed to write a huge amount because there were NO distractions. My ideal writing space.

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The Overview

Synopsis: Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

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About Caroline Healy

headshot caroline healy

Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.

In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice

Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.

She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.

 

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