How are you all? Having a great summer? I’ve been a bit neglectful of my blog I know, hands up! But in my defence I’ve been busy with my three babies. Yes I did say three and no, I haven’t snuck off and had another baby without telling you all, of course I mean Amelia, Nate and The Life You Left! Between the three of them, I’ve not had a minute, but to be fair, they each have me happy dancing all the time too, so all is good.
Have you ever heard the expression that there are no accidents in life? I truly believe this to be true. Everything happens for a reason. We might not learn what that reason is for some time, but eventually the universe will fill us in on its big plan.
I’ve found that whenever someone new comes into my life, whilst at first I may not understand the size of the impact they will eventually make, all in good time the universe fills me in and I have an ‘aha’ moment and it all becomes clear.
A few months back, a woman contacted me late one night on twitter and asked me to read her blog, which is an emotional tribute to honour her daughter Victoria, who tragically got her angel wings as a tiny baby.
When I read through Sharon’s beautiful account of her daughters short life, I was moved to tears and vowed that I would do anything I could to help, should I get the opportunity to do so. Just thinking about their loss, makes me want to cry right now, because I cannot imagine the pain that Sharon and Brian have endured.
But despite their indescribable heartache, I’ve learnt that while Victoria’s time on this earth was short, her impact and legacy lives on triumphantly through her parents Sharon and Brian Thompson’s tireless efforts to raise funds for children’s hospice care in Ireland – both the Laura Lynn and N.I. Children’s Hospice. They also have vowed to live their lives to their fullest, not to sweat the small stuff and in doing this very thing every day, they honour their beautiful daughter in abundance.
I got my opportunity to help earlier this year when Sharon told me about a charity ball that was taking place to raise much needed funds for Ireland’s two children’s hospices.
At this ball, donated ‘lots’ would be auctioned to raise money. I put my thinking cap on, determined to do something to help and came up with a plan to donate an ‘Irish authors auction lot’ for the ball.
I spoke to my writer friends and very quickly had promises of signed books from bestselling authors, Louise Phillips, Clodagh Murphy, Abby Green, Jennifer Burke, Louise Hall, Jennifer Barrett, Hazel Gaynor, Lorna Sixsmith, Janet E Cameron, Niamh Boyce, Ruth Frances Long and Caroline Finnerty. One of the joys of this whole writing journey of mine, has been meeting these wonderful ladies and getting to know them and our little sisterhood is a lot of fun.
Hazel Gaynor, also organised tickets for two, to Titanic Belfast! Thank you to Hazel and Titanic Belfast for this.
To add to the large bundle of books I now had, the charming and generous Nick Munier came on board, so that we could include lunch for the winning bid with myself in the fabulous Pichet’s.
On the night of the charity ball, over £16,000 was raised and Sharon’s husband Brian, surprised her, by securing the winning bid for my Irish Authors lot.
By this stage, I had discovered that Sharon was an aspiring writer herself and she joined my online Imagine, Write, Inspire creative writing group. When she confessed to me that she loved Irish crime novelist Louise Philips, I knew exactly what I could do to make her lunch date in Pichet’s even more memorable.
I organised an invitation to Louise Phillips book launch for her new novel Last Kiss and then to the after party in Harry’s.
Yesterday, was the big day, so I took myself off to Dublin, where I had the pleasure to spend the afternoon and evening with Sharon and Brian. They are great company and with ease the hours flew in, as we chatted, laughed, swapped life stories and dined in the sumptuous and divine Pichet.
I cannot recommend this restaurant highly enough, every mouthful was a delight and set my tastebuds on fire and once again, thank you Nick for your generosity. Look at the guinea fowl and mango cheese cake! Mouth watering right?
I presented Sharon with her haul of autographed books, safe to say that she is now sorted for her upcoming holidays!
Then we had a quick drink before we made our way to Stephens Green for Louise Phillips book launch of the Last Kiss.
It was wonderful because I got to introduce Sharon to some of the writers who had kindly donated their books to the lot. Look at us all posing! L-R Louise Hall, Sharon Thompson, me, Clodagh Murphy, Jennifer Burke, Louise Phillips and her adorable granddaughter, Hazel Gaynor and Caroline Finnerty.
I also got the opportunity to introduce Sharon to the vivacious Vanessa O’Loughlin, of Writing.ie, who is so instrumental to so many aspiring writers in their journeys to getting published.
Sharon, is currently working on her own crime novel and I have no doubt that we will hear more from her in the future. Watch this space! As I told her, one day, we will all be attending her own book launch.
She incidentally is one of the contributing authors in the amazon bestselling eBook anthology, Stop Waiting For Friday, written by the IWI’ers. Her story, is both inspirational and an emotional, heartfelt read, you can one-click here to buy!
It wouldn’t be a day out, without an obligatory selfie, so I’ve leave you with one of Sharon and me, the smiles on our faces a true depiction of the fun we had yesterday. I have a very strong feeling that there will be many more Gin and tonic’s supped between the Harringtons and Thompsons in the future.