N is for Nancy

Nancy –  from ‘Girl Power’
I think Nancy is the kid I wished I was. I was bullied in school and anyone who has known that experience knows how powerless you can feel in the presence of certain people.
I suppose this story is a ‘hat tip’ to all who have been bullied. Those who’ve been brave enough to stand up, like Nancy; and those who are more like me… who wish they’d had the gumption to do what Nancy did.
It’s possible that her reaction wasn’t actually the most appropriate one. I would never advocate lashing out or hitting back. It’s far better to go to someone you trust and tell them what’s happeneing, so that together you can find help. But Nancy hadn’t done that (unless you count her brother who gave her the ‘chin-up’ response), and so a build up of anger and frustration brought things to a head.
Like I say, maybe not No.1 one on the list of ways to respond – but if you’ve read the story I bet you gave a cheer when she did… 🙂
Oh btw I gave a couple of interviews for a radio series called ‘Freedom from Bullying’ if you’d like to listen to it.

M is for Marty

Marty – from ‘The Revolving Door’ 
Marty was inspired by Albert Brennaman, the character played by Kevin James in the movie ‘Hitch’. I love Kevin James and though he is a little typecast at times (the vulnerable, chubby, good guy), he always makes me ‘lol’ and ‘naawwwwhhh’ at the same time.
Marty has that same vulnerability and desire to get the girl that he feels is way out of his reach.
He lives in the house he was brought up in. His mother died when he was a small boy and he and his father looked after each other until his father died. Until that point Marty had no idea that he could have a life outside of work and home.
He had wanted to apply for the Garda Siochana (the Irish police force) but it would have meant 6 weeks initial training in Templemore and he could not bring himself to leave his Dad for that long. He lied to his Dad and told him that his application was refused and his father questioned that decision by ‘those bloody gards’ til his dying day. The lie was hard for Marty, but leaving his dad would have been impossible.
It was just a couple of months after Marty’s dad died that Marsha joined the team of receptionists at Bailey, Biscombe & Carlisle. Marty worked security in the big open plan lobby which afforded him the best view in the world; that of Marsha behind the large reception desk she shared with Janice and Georgia.
But in this story, his happiness is about to be squashed by some news about Marsha.
Marty is left with little time to make his feelings known.
Click here to read my ‘A’ post and find out all about my AtoZ

L is for Lizzy

Lizzy – from ‘The Life and Times of Lizzy Redmond’

If you’ve read my ‘A’ post, you’ll know that last year’s AtoZ was all about Lizzy Redmond. These days she’s a regular feature in a local newspaper in Dublin and she has her own blog here on this site.

She prefers to speak for herself so click here for an introduction to her 🙂

Why not sign up to the mailing list and as a thank you I’ll send you two FREE stories today! 

Simply go to the homepage and pop your address in 🙂

K is for Kev

Kev – from ‘Singing the Blues’

To be ‘Kev the Karaoke King’ was not Kevin Doyle’s ultimate dream. What he really wanted was to host a game show on British TV; because let’s face it, it doesn’t get any bigger than that. His dream was to present Family Fortunes and in time, Celebrity Family Fortunes; but sadly it was not to be.

In his early 20s he did a few years on the cabaret scene in Blackpool. He made it once Granada Television, but just as an audience member in a recording of the ‘Criss Cross Quiz’.

He eventually ran out of work and money, and so he came home to Ireland. But his timing was good and it was just when Karaoke was starting to take off here. He got into it quickly. He borrowed (more) money from his mother and went from strength to strength. Even now when Karaoke is a bit ‘last season’, Kev manages to keep busy and gets most of what little Karaoke work there is out there.

He has even managed to pay his mother back in full.

Kev takes karaoke very seriously; problem is, in this story he’s about the only one who does.

You’ll find Kev in ‘Singing the Blues’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’

J is for John

John – from The Disappearance of Bernie Francis

John Francis was always spotlessly clean. It was what his wife liked about him first when she met him. The guys he hung out with were a bit scruffy. In the pub after the football match they’d look like they hadn’t bothered to shower or even brush their hair. John Francis always looked like he was ready to go to a wedding.

Maybe that’s all there was between them. She loved his clean nails and he loved the attention; but after they married and had their first child, that attention turned solely to her children. Over the years John just faded into the background and he put up no argument to that.

He noticed that the child who gave most trouble was the child who received most attention from his wife. He knew he should do something about it but he buried his head and ignored the guilt.

When I thought of him as a character first I had a modern day Mr Bennett (Pride & Prejudice) in mind.

When John’s daughter Bernie goes missing, his wife’s devotion to her turns to obsession and soon there is no one else in the world other than Bernie Francis; to his wife at least. At first to John, the absence of Bernie is a relief and he secretly hopes she is gone for good. Another weight of guilt he pushes aside.

He is glad that no one in the family knows what happened between him and Bernie when they fought. Not because he is ashamed of himself, but because he is embarrassed that he did not prevail.

When the story ends there is grief mixed with relief. But John Francis will always be pushing guilt around his heart and head like heavy luggage moved from hand to hand in the hope that, even for a moment it will feel lighter.

You’ll find John in ‘The Disappearance of Bernie Francis’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’