Hi, I’m Oonagh – story-telling and story-seeking from the heart of Scotland.
I’m inspired by folklore, mythology, fantasy literature & film, ghost stories and the Gaelic landscape that surrounds me. This blog is a place to share my creativity, inspirations and stories.
I make sense of the world with words. Writing is my passion and over the years I’ve filled hundreds of notebooks with thoughts, stories and the worlds in my head. This blog is a digital version of my writer’s notebook, a place to share my words, creative process and thoughts on writing.
A crumbling castle shrouded in mist. The gloomy North Sea in October. A barren moor haunted by deer. Eerie coffin roads through deserted glens and ghostly townships spattered with rain and memory. The dramatic Gaelic landscape and legends of my home provide the basis for much of my writing, and will feature often on my blog.
I like to fill my life with art, books, music and creativity. Books have changed the direction of my life, and I am continually inspired by the lives and work of other writers and artists. For me, there is nothing more exciting than finding a story, song or artwork that speaks to me, and I try to share as many of my discoveries as I can.
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For updates on my current writing projects, exclusive peeks into my writers notebook and an insight into my creative process sign up to my monthly newsletter. All subscribers will receive my prose-poem Song of the Deer, which I do not share anywhere else.
Recently, I noticed I only take photos that fit my blog or Instagram theme. While we’ve all levelled up from daily snaps of our breakfast - and sometimes it’s nice to experience things in the moment without the pressure to record - there’s still a part of me that misses capturing daily details.
I’ve been longing to share this post with you all! Since returning from holiday three weeks ago a barrage of birthdays, weddings and novel edits have kept me from collecting my thoughts on my recent island adventure. I planned to write a post for each island but decided to compile everything into one, long post instead. A hectic summer does not a regular blogger make.
Grab a cup of tea (it’s a long one) and let me tell you a tale of three Scottish islands…
What better way to end April than with a round-up of what’s inspired me lately?
As you read this, I’m driving north-west to the Isle of Rum. After a few nights on Rum we’re heading to Skye and Raasay. The car is full of food, my phone is stocked up on podcasts and questionable CDs have been found in the glove compartment. I love the nostalgia of road trips and how an old song I’ve heard a thousand times becomes imbued with sudden meaning when traveling someplace new. It’s as though a change of scene unlocks a new layer to whatever I’m listening to or reading.
Online advice mostly arrives at the same conclusions: schedule your writing sessions, work in short bursts and above all – cut out distractions. In other words: make time. Deep down, we know what to do. Yet we resist. Why? Since no one asked, here’s my two pence on the subject…
Hi folks – due to laptop issues I’ve shared less of my Artist’s Way journey than I wanted to. I’m currently on Week 7 of 12 – over half way! – so feel it’s time for an update. Today I want to take you back to Week Four, the most difficult yet game-changing week so far.
I’d like to start a regular update here where I share books, music, podcasts and anything that inspires me month to month. I enjoy reading these kinds of updates on others’ blogs – it often leads me to discover a new favourite author, blog or band. And I’m always curious to see where folk get their inspiration from!
So, without further ado, here’s what’s been inspiring me this month.
Last week I took a deep breath and started The Artist’s Way.
It’s a 12-week programme by Julia Cameron (herself a prolific artist), designed to help ‘discover and recover your creative self.’ I’ve been curious about the process for years after hearing many artists describe it as life-changing. A discovery of true purpose, sustained creativity and sense of control over one’s life and art are the most commonly reported benefits.
Reading is my love, but writing is my obsession. I’ve devoured the advice of famous authors, consumed countless writing blogs and podcasts, and recently discovered the world of ‘authortube’. This year I’m giving myself permission to delve even deeper into my obsession and spend on some author memoirs I’ve always wanted to read. On Writing by Stephen King and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott are two I’ve had my eye on for a while.
As the 10 year challenge swept Instagram I, at first, refused to look back. My 19 year-old self was someone I would rather forget. But last week, when the challenge showed no signs of abating, curiosity got the better of me and I hunted out my old diaries. Maybe I was doing a disservice to the young woman I used to be, underestimating her now as she underestimated herself then? If I could write a letter to her, I wondered what I would say...
It’s time. The snow is falling. Stars twinkle cold in the icy sky. I am frozen to the bone from trudging in the drifts. Frozen but content, shaking meltwater from my hair. Getting home, pulling boots off. It’s time. The arrival of a quiet, December moment. I brew a cup of tea, balance some biscuits on the arm of the chair and settle into a wintry read…
On November 30th I’m releasing my novelette The Bone-Men into the world.
It feels exciting and scary all at once. Perhaps that’s to be expected sharing creative endeavours – a little bit of our soul is in everything we create. Overall, I feel joy that I can share this first step in my author journey with you.
I shared a daydream of mine on Instagram recently.
I am entertaining visitors with tea and spiced apple cake at my future cottage. Because I am intensely homely that cottage will likely be nestled among the leafy hills of Perthshire. Of course, it’s autumn, because I want my visitors to experience this corner of Scotland at its best – burnished, fire-hued and wreathed in mist.