Love and Loss is the latest addition to the Timeless Wisdom series from Exisle Publishing which amplifies the voices and life-experiences of mature writers from across the globe, from Ireland to South Africa. Maria Nolan’s story of finding a fairy godmother as a young girl growing up in rural Ireland is one that is moving yet optimistic. Here is Maria in her own words:

Love and Loss

Love and Loss

From the time I learned to read I wanted to write. The twelve-year-old me dreamt about being another Jo March from the novel, and currently popular movie, Little Women, and I suppose in many ways that dream has come true. Jo wrote articles for local newspapers – for many years I wrote my own page titled Out and About with Maria Nolan in the weekly Enniscorthy Guardian exploring and reporting on all the positive happenings and events in my town and environs.

I am presently a feature writer and photographer with local monthly publication, The Slaneynews, where I cover interesting events, do book reviews and feature articles. Jo wrote short stories – some of my short stories have been published in Ireland`s Own, From Wexford With Love, Stop Waiting For Friday, Love and Loss and other Anthologies. However, unlike Jo, I have yet to write the grand novel but hopefully at 62 there is still lots of time for that!

I love to travel and write about the places I visit and I self-published a travel log a couple of years ago with a work colleague titled Over the Sea and Far Away and have another one ready to go to print titled Up, Up and Away. I also write a blog titled Out and About with Maria Nolan on Wordpress.

I am a full-time civil servant and an extremely busy community activist. I write introductions, festival brochures, minutes, press releases, programmes for drama, programmes for Gaelic Games, citations and much more in my capacity as secretary and PRO of the many organisations I am involved with. Hence the real reason why I haven’t gotten around to writing that novel – life has just taken over and I am writing every single day!

But I do love my life, busy, active and exciting as it is, so perhaps the short story is the perfect genre for me and that`s why I was delighted to find Exisle Publishing and the Timeless Wisdom Writing Challenge giving me the wonderful opportunity to see my work in print – and what a feeling that is.

My story of love and loss was also a story about fairy godmothers and how they could be there one minute and seemingly vanish the next. Being from Ireland, fairies and the little people have always been a strong possibility for me, now I never actually met any myself but I would be loathe to deny their existence altogether and fairy godmothers? Well, they would be at the very top of the fairy pyramid, or should that be mound?

A fairy godmother is peculiar to you and in 1966 Ireland being one of five children there was nothing peculiar to me. I was simply one of five, five to be fed, five to be clothed and five to be educated, four others to always have to share everything with, especially your parent’s attention. Then a beautiful vision floats into your monotonous world and treats you as someone special sprinkling magic dust on your unsophisticated rural life, well hell, that was naturally going to leave an indelible mark on my nine-year-old mind and imagination forever.