Update # 1

Since returning to America I have come to see it as slightly more brilliant (not that Ireland was at all lack luster, I loved it). Looking at America as my actual home though I realize that so much of it has gone unexplored by myself, half because I am a broke college student and half because I have no car, but such is life I’m sure more people haven’t spent the time exploring even their hometowns let alone further. I know that America is all about work… and that is what I’m also trying to work towards… Working hard through school just to work hard the rest of my life. My heart and the shower curtain hanging up in my room tell me that it is constantly “Time for an Adventure!” Yet, day after day I either go from my bed to the couch and possibly to work or a class. Hell even getting groceries is a chore. The only reason that is kinda fun is because you get to treat yourself to childhood goodies (remembering a time when there wasnt so much work in your life). Just a casual reminder that I am thinking all these thoughts and I am only 20. I can only imagine how bad this feeling is for other people, who have been doing the same thing for over 10 years. But, maybe we just need to think smaller for a short time. Ireland was my dream, and I was able to go to ireland and make new friends and have that adventure I always wanted. But now its time to buckle down and get my life together… but that doesnt mean cut out all the fun stuff. Smaller achievable goals. Like, going on a hike, or restarting a blog because it allows my mind to wonder, or actually visiting those friends that I keep telling myself I will. All seem like worthy goals.

Out and About

Before leaving I have heard everyone saying “studying abroad changes you,” which was surprising and after some time while here it hit me that maybe something has changed. I have tried very hard to improve my writing and my public speaking, after a month here I can officially cross that off my list. I can also cross Ireland off my bucket list, but I’m going to need to come back. I’ve learned a lot about the culture and about the people here. I have been brought to tears over their stories and anger because of the divide that is found here. I have thoroughly felt every emotion being here for a month. But, overall Joy because of having great friends and new people around.

International Performance Anxiety

Well, it is over. The performance was a great experience. I think I got through Rockabye Changeling on nerves… Then, just doing my tiny rolls as a minion and gang member it was great just standing there. But, when it was my turn to read my poem… I was shaking so bad before I walked up. Once I started actually saying my name and such I just fell behind how I wanted this poem to be read. That felt great. The Bird was fun, I think I was thinking how close we were to being done and the fact I love the group and it just made being a cocky bandit that much better.

Suspense, Story, and what defines a Crime?

The workshop by Claire McGowan was about Crime Novels, the way to produce them includes a good plot and pacing. If you can’t finish the story, it is probably because the concept wasn’t strong enough. A good story is more about how you can recreate the thrilling and suspenseful feeling in tons of different ways. It was really interesting to talk about the hook of a story and how people have to do different things to keep the reader interested. We also discussed if by “crime” you mean breaking the law, in which case, no… a crime in a Crime Novel is not necessary. But, a moral crime is a different story. I also learned how the best sold genre just happens to be Crime Novels.

Armagh today versus the first day

I definitely think that I am more comfortable here in Armagh. I have learned so much more about Ireland in general and feel like this experience has been one of a life time. Being able to actually use the bus system has been really useful as well as seeing Gaelic Football in person (new favorite sport). I love it here and have been finding more and more stuff out about the area and myself/my writing. Upon first arriving I had no idea what to expect here and now I feel more comfortable here then I ever thought I would.

Nathaniel and his teaching process

My apologies for how late this is! I was pretty sick the day it was due… But here goes. Nathaniel McAuley came to teach a workshop in only three days.

The very first day he improved my poem, which brought something new and fulfilling to my work. His humor and wit combined for a great class.

When it came to characterization it was great to keep building on the story one character at a time and really made for an amazing class. Thank you, Nathaniel, for spending some time with us!

Audience and how they affect everything

Well, it really helps if the audience can actually hear you. But, besides that… whatever you are writing it needs to be understandable to the audience which means keep them in mind when using language. If you are talking to a local group of people you will probably use more slang than if you are talking to a professional committee of some sort. But, furthermore, you have to make sure the context of the poem is actually worth the Audiences attention/can keep the audience’s attention.

Missy Marlow (and growing up)

Missy has befriended a kind old janitor, but when this janitor passes away she is first confronted with the concept of death… Missy falls into her school work rather than falling off the edge. The janitor always said he love the school and education were important. When she was little she took it upon herself to become as educated as possible to figure out why people die… She started going to the library more and more, she could be found at age 13 reading in trees instead of closed off inside with nothing to do. Another reason she wasn’t found indoors was because her mom had lost her job… and fell into a bit of a binge. She had alcohol around the house and still treated Missy like she was an adult. She luckily wasn’t an angry drunk but it was still hard for Missy to deal with not having a functioning parent. When she had already decided on a major in biology and therefore chased after this dream. She graduated high school without going to her prom and applied to scholarships and colleges as much as possible. Around this time, she had convinced her mom to go to AA. But, it is hard for her to handle essays and making sure her mom attends the meeting… When her mom makes a friend at AA, things seem to get much easier. One of her college essay prompts said to write about one person who really influenced you in making your decision to be in your major… Big surprise Missy wrote about the Janitor from her youth. After submitting the essay she was accepted with ease and her professor convinced her to minor in English while majoring in biology. Her mom was really proud of her and saw how hard her daughter worked, that she pulled herself together.

Role of Emotion

My favorite character would be O’Hanlan, he is that true and bold hero of the weak (a small dream of mine). Irish Robin Hood with his crew of bandits also had a root in history which made the entire story even better. Another favorite character is Margret. 1. Jen is beautiful at this role. 2. She has so much emotion behind it. Which really drives it all home for me.


Characters with emotion are probably my favorite in any story or genre.

Belfast and the hills


My favorite thing about Belfast is looking down the road and seeing (not an ambulance, look beyond that) the hills off in the distance. Like rural areas are just a small drive away and you can be surrounded by green. Belfast was such an amazing place for me. It has become my dream location to live. But, I was so impressed by the bus system and the nice people and I cannot believe how easy it is to do everything here. I really will miss Ireland and especially Belfast when I return to Belfast.