Away With Words: A true story of addiction, incoherence and an unforgettable English teacher.
An alcoholic single mom with two rebellious daughters, a dying dog, and a vulnerable son struggling with his sexuality, is enmeshed with a dangerous narcisisst she can't resist. Her life is a mess. Then one day out of the blue, she receives a phone call from her old junior high school English teacher who is in the late stages of Lou Gehrig's Disease. Her dying wish is to see where life had taken her beloved students and to talk with them while she still can.
I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and immigrated to Canada when I was three years old. I grew up to become an unsuccessful wife, mother, television news reporter and triathlete, however—thanks to my Irish roots—I excelled at alcoholism.
On the a shelf in my home is a framed, handwritten message from my mother that reads, “LOVE ALL OF YOU.” She wrote it when she was on life support and could not speak to her grieving family, but managed to grip a felt marker and leave us that message. It’s a comforting reminder of my mom and the power of words.
I've been writing in secret for much of my life and have a stack of journals to prove it. I've also written countless public stories about other people who have amazed, inspired, enlightened, infuriated or galled me to my very bones. Along the way, I came to realize that no amount of words can do justice to a life story. The best we can do is capture moments, not days. To that end, I've been working on a memoir about a small but tragic span of time in my life. It's called Away With Words. Please check out the details below and subscribe to my newsletter for news about the book launch. I promise I won't flood your inbox with junk.
I'm also writing a novel set in Northern Ireland, tentatively called The Returning of Emrick Delaney. That one's a blast.
The Returning of Emrick Delaney
Benevoline, an old soul who has lived 57 lifetimes, has been appointed guardian of a disobedient young soul named Emrick Delaney. He refuses the life the elders have planned for him and plunges into an unscripted mortality of his own foolish making. He is born to the wrong mother at the most wretched place and time: in the glens of Northern Ireland just as the Great Famine begins. If ever a child needed a guardian, Emrick needs Benevoline, but she has been ordered to bring him home and that means allowing this cherished child to die.
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