Of Words

For those women who are thinking of writing something sometime in the future, to get their voice heard; now is the time.”


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"The Manuscrtipt" is a short story by Marie Ryan Connolly

While carrying out renovations at The Alhambra, Granada, Spain, a maintenance worker uncovers a casket from the mid-fourteenth century. This is the period of the latter years of what was once the great al-Andalus empire, now modern-day Andalusia in southern Spain.  Historians are excited to find, inside the casket, the journal of al-Jatib, vizier of the young sultan Yusuf I, who is also a renowned poet and medic of his time. The journal is of his visits to the sultan’s ailing grandmother, Fátima, as she lies agonising in the chambers of The Alhambra palace.

The year is 1348. Throughout her long life, Fátima has been witness to no less than the first seven of the sultans of the Nasrid Dynasty, founders of what we know today as The Alhambra Palace, in Granada. The first seven sultans of this dynasty were all close family members to Fátima and historians are delighted to have discovered this document, which has lain under the foundation of the palace for centuries.

Is this document simply an account of the establishment of the Nasrid Dynasty, reigning over the al-Andalus empire, or will the document reveal something that has been thus far concealed to our historians for over six hundred years?

  Do you want to know a little more about one of the most influential women in the history of The Alhambra Palace, and the politics of the Nasrid Dynasty?   Sign up to find out about the fascinating story of Fátima. Sign up today for this free short story: THE MANUSCRIPT.


Inspired by the title of Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”, I have chosen to write words that may resonate with women, mothers and daughters.

I, just like many others, and perhaps even you, have been dreaming of creating my own work of literature someday. Then suddenly I realised that 30 years had passed since I thought someday was in the future. Well, that future is now for me.

They say it’s best to write what you know, so I want to do just that. I want my novel to reflect what I know, about being a woman, a mother and a little of what I don’t really know, but would like to, about being a daughter.

I’d like to share with you the trials and tribulations, together with the excitement and small satisfactions, of dipping my toes into the literary world.

Here’s a place for those women who are thinking of writing something sometime in the future, to get their voices heard; well, now is the time.

Don’t wait for thirty years like I did.  

Just sit down and write.

About the Author

Marie fell in love when she was thirteen years old. Not with the boy next door, not with her literature teacher (although he was quite cool at the time) but with the Spanish language.
After a complicated childhood, she was faced with the loss of some of her closest family members in her early teens. In that fog, she began Spanish classes at school and it literally changed her life. She took on another ‘persona’, changed her name to ‘Maria’, and threw herself into learning Spanish and dreaming about a life in Spain.
She graduated in Spanish Language and Political Science in the UK and moved to the country she had dreamed of so much. Marie qualified as a teacher of Spanish and French and as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. She is also a qualified translator (Spanish-English).
Marie has been living and teaching English, Spanish, translating and writing short stories in Spain for many years.
Her most beloved past time is learning about the culture and history of Spain, especially that of Andalucía, on the southern Mediterranean coast.
Marie is now fulfilling her other dream; that of writing words for women, about women.

Marie Ryan Connolly

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“The Daughter of The Alhambra” is still a Work in Progress!
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