you gotta have goals

I’m tired.

Some of my days in College are very long–I didn’t finish until 7.45pm yesterday–and my weekend was a hive of activity.

My graduation was enjoyable, but I didn’t have much time to consider the event. There was the usual blur of Latin, gowns, a long list of names, photographs, and some food. I dropped home briefly before the 2 and 1/2 hour drive to Maynooth for Octocon.

The convention holds a soft spot in my heart because I was involved in running it for four years, and know many of the people who attend the event. It was a pity I missed the entire programme on the Saturday, but I did see a late showing of the Russian horror flick–called Night Watch (Nochnoj dozor)–that has generated a lot of industry buzz. There are some fabulous sequences in the film, which allow you to forgive its moments of incoherentness. I also got to see the penultimate cut of John Vaughan’s new short film called Valour.

John is a director to watch in the future because he doesn’t let other people tell him what is and isn’t possible when making a film. Such as building a World War I trench. Incredibly, John and his girlfriend built the trench, and it’s a fantastic set. He raised his own financing for the project, and put his heart and soul into the movie. I wish John the best on the short film circuit, and hope to see Valour in its finished form during the Irish film festivals next year.

I handed up my short script on Monday, and I’ll get feedback on it, and my film synopsis, from our course instructor in two weeks time. Next week is a “reading week”, but I’ll be busy during that period anyway.

“Who Hears our Cries in Forgotten Tongues?”, has been formatted for Flash Me magazine, and it looks well. It will be going live on October 31, and I’ll post the URL at that time.

At the moment I using the Irish form of my name–Máire NicAodh–for the story. I’m not certain about this decision, because I rarely use the Irish translation of my name in any situation. One of the reasons I decided, initially, to use Máire NicAodh is that there is a well-known and respected sf author called Maureen McHugh. I think our names are too similar.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m any competition for Maureen (she’s an excellent writer–I’ve read most of her books) but I would like to establish my own identity as a writer from the start–no matter how humble. It also changes my last name from starting with an “M” to an “N”. If you ever look at bookshelves you’ll notice that the “M” section is groaning with authors.

Yes, I’m taking a long view on this. I do have goals, and ambition to succeed. Being a writer is not for the faint-hearted, or the wilting flower.


  • brendan

    M?ire Nic Aodh is a perfectly good name of course. It might put some people off, but so what? About time the ******s learned how to pronounce Irish.Alternatively, couldn’t you could just use the ordinary B?arla version of you name, with a middle initial? Or two first initials? That’s always effective on a cover, because it’s short and stands out (P. D. James, for instance, is the first to come to mind.)Alternatively, some euphonious sounding appellation such as Throatwobbler-Mangrove might do the trick. 🙂

  • M?ire

    Hi Brendan,Don’t worry, I’m not ashamed of my Irish name–quite the reverse! I think, to non-Irish eyes, it might appear a bit exotic, which is no bad thing.Unfortunately, my middle name starts with “M” too, so I think MM McHugh looks kinda daft, and Maura M McHugh is rather too “M”y for my liking.Maybe I should just invent some middle name that starts with something like a Q, Y or a Z!

  • Maureen McHugh

    Alas, having the name Maureen McHugh hasn’t done too much for my career, but you’re right that they’d probably want you to distinguish yourself . Nice to find another Maureen McHugh who’s writing fiction, and much luck to you. By the way, my initials are MF McHugh, and I publish as Maureen F. McHugh precisely because it is a bit rude. 🙂 (Signed) The Other Maureen McHugh

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