Showing posts from 2016

East Bay Feis Review

Hello dear ones! We are deep in the midst of Fall and the changing colors of the leaves add such a nice tinge of color to the world. Life has been very busy for me, but hopefully this holiday season we can relax a little! ;) 

This is also a busy time for Irish Dancing, because the Western Regional Oireachtas is happening near me the weekend before Thanksgiving! I'm dancing in the Adult Traditional Set solos on Nov 20, so I've been working hard and practicing my set a lot! I'll be dancing Job of Journeywork, which I love and enjoy dancing. 

On October 30, I danced at the East Bay Feis and had a great time! I even brought home a crystal vase! It was my first time dancing in Adult Novice (except for my Hornpipe, which is Adult Beginner since I learned it over the summer) and I enjoyed it. The Feis was running behind schedule which was a little stressful and I think it made me feel really tired. When we arrived at the Feis, I stretched, practiced, and snacked until I felt ready …

Two Special Pieces and Great News!

Hi all! 

I haven't had a lot of time to write lately, but I do have some exciting news! 

Remember how I was writing a book? Well, I took a break for it for a while because something wasn't quite right about it. After talking to my dad a few weeks ago, he mentioned writing a series and it was as though lightning struck my brain. I realized that my book works better as two books and the first one is all done! :D It's about 60,000 words right now and I am still in the process of editing and adding some scenes to help the continuity. The second book is about a quarter of the way done and I'm putting that one on the back burner for now so I can focus on revising the first one. :) 

I am so pumped about this and I feel so much better about my book! It makes more sense now and I think it will flow better. I've found a few agents I'd like to send it to, however it won't be ready for a little while. I'm hoping to start sending it out after January, maybe early sprin…

On Changes, Big and Small

Hello all! 

Hope you've all been enjoying the very beginning of Autumn. Today was the chilliest day we've had in ages! I think the high was 72 degrees. Crazy, but I was so grateful. ;) 

Forgive the lack of posts, but my twins started school a few weeks ago and that has been quite a change for all of us. I've got a disgruntled three year old at home with me in the mornings who misses his twins desperately while they are in school. Mornings are so busy now! Trying to get twins ready for school is a little stressful; they aren't used to having a routine like this and since they are young, they don't really understand the urgency. We are taking it day by day. The twins like school and their teacher, so that's good. :) There have been some other things going on, so I haven't been able to work on my writing for a long time. I did apply for a writing grant that is specifically for writers who are parents of young children; that grant would help me so much and aid me…

August is Crazy!

All summer, I've been a bit concerned about August. There are so many events and changes happening this month that I'm a bit overwhelmed! 

First of all, my twins start Transitional Kindergarten in a few weeks and that will be a huge change for our family. Our schedule will change as well as our routine. With three young children, that can be a little worrisome. Not in a bad way, but we will all have to adjust and that could take a little while. 

My youngest is turning three on Sunday, which is crazy because he is my baby!! I am so proud of him and I love watching him grow, but it's still a little bittersweet. He loves his birthday and has been excited about it all week, which is a lot of fun. Sunday will be a big day in our house, so I need to get ready! ;) 

Those are two big milestones happening this month, and there are a lot of smaller things going on as well. We are meeting up with my second cousin and her daughter from Luxembourg in SF the week before the twins start sch…

It's Summmmmmer!!

Hello dears! 

I just saw noticed that I haven't posted anything since the first day of March! Woah! So much has happened since then, which is why I haven't been online that much. We had a busy spring and now it's already summer! 

I haven't had much time for writing, but I was able to revise a few pieces and I have been submitting them. Now, it's that always fun game of "wait for a response." Not always pleasant, but very important if one wants to be published. I just submitted a very special piece this morning about my adult Irish Dancing journey. Fingers crossed that it gets accepted, but even if it doesn't, I'll revise it again and send it somewhere else. It's a piece I strongly believe in. :) 

As for Irish Dancing news, it's been going very well! I have now moved up into Novice adult, which means I can start learning more advanced dances. I am very proud of myself and how much I have progressed as a dancer since January. It's as though…

Grade Exams and Publications!

Happy first day of March everyone! 

I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for Spring! There is a lot going on this month and I need to take care of myself so I feel good! 

February was pretty busy too, especially since I had my Irish Dancing Grade Exams. I did the first two, which comprises of the first four soft shoe dances: reel, light jig, slip jig, and single jig. 

The exams were done at our dance studio with Gary Healy! (Scary Gary, as he is sometimes called :D) It was apparently his first time doing Grade Exams and he was soooo nice! He really took the time to write down lots of comments and when I had to stop my light jig since I was so nervous, he was really kind about it and told me not to be nervous. Looking back, it was a great experience, but I was really anxious and nervous about it! 

I don't feel great about my reel and light jig, but after I relaxed and got in the flow of things my slip jig and single jig were much better. We still haven't gotten back any results ye…

Why It's Awesome Being An Adult Irish Dancer

I am proud to say that, along with being a mom, wife, and writer, I am also an adult Irish Dancer! 
One of my goals is to spread the word and hopefully inspire other adults to try Irish Dancing. I danced as a child and teenager, and I have to say that I am having so much more fun dancing as an adult. There are so many benefits to being an adult Irish Dancer. I've made friends, gained confidence, lost weight, gained muscle, improved my stamina, and it's made me a happier person! 
Here is a list of reasons why it's awesome being an adult Irish Dancer for people interested in Irish Dancing. It's not as daunting as you might think! ;)
It's a great way to exercise! Your body will feel really sore when you start. It takes a little while for your muscles and limbs to get used to it, but when they do, you feel great! You build muscles and slim down; at least, I have. Your stamina always grows and I've noticed that when jogging or walking with my kids. It's a good outl…

My Name is Ophelia and I am a Notebook Hoarder!

My name is Ophelia and I am a notebook hoarder. 
I admit it. I love beautiful notebooks with colorful covers and creamy smooth pages. I usually don't even write in them; I just love having them for their beauty and their infinite possibilities.
On top of one of my (many) bookshelves, I stacked up my notebooks to take a picture. The crazy thing is, I actually have more then just those, but for some reason they didn't make it into this picture. I've received some as gifts and others I bought myself, entranced by their loveliness. Notebooks can be glorious, and for a writer they represent so much. The empty pages are aching for ideas, scraps of poetry, names for characters, bits of dialogue that won't leave your mind. 
Some of my favorite notebooks are ones I've bought from Japanese bookstores or stationery stores. The pages are so silky and the covers are always fun to look at. I also love notebooks featuring art from artists I admire, such as Tove Jansson or Melissa Re…

New Projects and New Publications

Dear readers, how is this week treating you? The fact that we've been having sunshine and warm days over here has been quite nice after all the rain and cold temps we've had! Now that my kiddos aren't sick, their energy levels seem higher than usual. I think spring fever is starting to blaze! ;) 
I am working on a couple new projects. I still want to finish my fantasy novel WIP as soon as possible, but I haven't been able to get in the zone for it lately. It might be because I need to find the time to settle back into my world and characters. Hopefully that can happen soon. When my kids were napping, I used to work on my WIP during that time, but now that they don't nap anymore, it's so much harder to work on things. 
But, I've been having fun with a new fantasy piece that I'd like to turn into either a super long story or novella. I love the characters so far and really like how I wrote the beginning. I'm definitely excited to see where this one goes…

John Whelan Kennelly Memorial Feis 2016

Hello everyone! 
So far, we (kids and I) have gotten sick twice in 2016! In other words, I've been so busy taking care of my kids, myself, and my home that I haven't had much time or energy to update this blog or even work on some writing. Now that we are all feeling better, I'm hoping to change that! ;) 

The John Kennelly Memorial Feis was on Sunday January 17 in Sacramento, CA. The weather was AWFUL, especially on the drive home, but my husband drove carefully and safely, so we were fine. It was really special to have the kids at the Feis with me this time; I think they enjoyed it and they behaved really well, so we were proud of them. :) The Feis itself, however, I didn't care for! The adults had to dance on the weird high stage against a black backdrop, so since we were all mostly in black, we blended in! My husband took some videos, but you can't really see me dancing because my whole outfit, tights and all, was all black! It was so dumb, really. It was literall…

A Mini-Update!

I love Sunday nights in January because that usually means DOWNTON ABBEY! 

I'm getting ready to watch the second episode of the new season tonight and I'm already in bed. 

How, you ask? 

Well, I woke up this morning with a sore throat, a stuffy nose, and a fuzzy head. My wonderful hubby has been helping me with the kids and took care of them all after dinner. He's putting them to bed as I write and it's lovely just to lay down in bed and rest. I've even been able to send emails, reply to comments, and work on a new short story all from my warm bed! Thank you, dear husband!! 

But, seriously, why did I have to get sick a week before my next Feis?? Ugh! I wanted to practice and prepare all week, but I think it's more important to rest and try to get better. I'm still planning to go to dance class on Tuesday, so if I'm still feeling sick by then I'll be taking some Tylenol and dancing away!  I worked hard on my Hard Jig and my Blackbird set last week and I&…

Here's to Big Things in 2016!

Today was the day I had set aside to do all the important things, such as paying bills, phone calls, cleaning, giving the kiddos a bath (they were incensed that I washed their hair!), and trimming their nails. Luckily, I was able to get all that plus a few more things done, however I really want to try and practice some Irish Dancing today too. So we shall see! 

2015 was a great year for accomplishments, both as a family and personally. My husband and I are excited about 2016 and are going to keep moving forward and working hard. Just as 2015 was ending, I had two poems published, one of which won a holiday poetry contest! :) 

My poem, "Christmas With Little Ones," won Mothers Always Write's Holiday poetry contest and I am so excited about it! That was the first time I'd ever won a writing contest and it means so much to me. That poem came straight from my life and my heart. Check it out here: Christmas With Little Ones-Winner

My poem, "autumn," was published …