Want to learn a little Irish?

Happy St. Paddy’s week!

As you well know, later this week, everybody’s about to be Irish for a day! So I thought I’d share a few fun phrases for you to whip out to prove you’re the real deal!

If you’ve read my Hearts Out of Water series, you’ve probably noticed the chapter titles in Irish. They were translated by two of my friends who are native Irish speakers.

The parts of Ireland where the language is still spoken is called the Gaeltacht. Learning the language is also part of the school curriculum for Irish kids all over the country, but most of my Irish friends are about as proficient as I was in high-school Spanish. 😉

Irish is a beautiful language, and many of us have Irish roots, so let’s spread it a little farther, shall we?

Irish language

What do you think? Confusing, huh? Especially those pronunciations!

I better get back to writing now. Slán go fóill! Goodbye for now!

Annie Cosby





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Would you do this Leap Day tradition?

Irish Leap Day tradition

Have you heard of the Irish Leap Year tradition? The tradition says that on February 29 women can propose to men instead of the traditional reverse. (You may have heard about it in a terrible 2010 movie called Leap Year.)

The (dubious) legend says the tradition was negotiated by St. Brigid, who was annoyed by convention and begged St. Patrick to let women take the wheel every once in a while.

The tradition even jumped over to Scotland, where a law was established and men had to pay fines for each woman they rejected on Leap Day. In some European places, this fine was a gift of gloves for the woman—to hide her ring-less finger, of course.

Thankfully, it’s the 21st century and women can propose any day they want. (And only wear gloves when it’s cold out.) You can read more about the bizarre tradition here, or you can celebrate modernity with a little freebie:

Learning to Swim by Annie Cosby

Learning to Swim will be free until tomorrow! Tell your friends and ask them to leave a review!

By the way, have I mentioned that the last book in the Hearts Out of Water series will be out this summer?!

Talk soon!

Annie Cosby




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A Lesson in Simple Living & an Adult-Size Lion Onesie with Tail

I’ve lived in Ireland on and off for the past several years, and between my frequent visits home to the U.S. and trips to new cities in Europe, people often wonder how I afford it.

After all, I’m a struggling twenty-something author/editor paying off a regrettably expensive college education, aren’t I?

Why, yes. Yes, I am. But I’m going to let you in on my secret:


It’s really that simple. Let me give you some examples:

1. I drink like a cactus. Translation: I don’t drink much. That’s easy because, in my rapidly aging body, the hangovers are about as brutal as I can imagine childbirth must be.

2. I’m not allowed to shop. True story. It had been about 4 months since I visited a clothing store before last weekend, when I popped in to Penneys (the Irish version of Target) because my favorite boots are falling apart.

I came home with one purchase that day. No, no. Not a pair of boots.


Deceptively difficult to sleep in.

That, dear internet, is an adult-size lion onesie. Complete with mane and tail. And it is precisely why I’m not allowed to go shopping.

3. I’m accident-prone in the kitchen. So I eat a lot of pasta. It’s cheap, reliably delicious, and remarkably difficult to set on fire. Just ask my former roommates about the tea towel that fell victim to my 2012 attempt at baking cookies.

4. My phone is an iPhone 3Gs. You read that correctly. The phone I use in Ireland was bought (refurbished) 4 years  & 2 months ago.

And guess what? Despite it being 73 in cell phone years, it still let’s me Snapchat. Albeit, a little slowly, but…

Pumpkin Face

All joking aside, my point is exactly what I said before: It doesn’t take all that much to be happy, and as soon as you take off your lion onesie, you figure it out pretty quickly.

To some people, clothes and gadgets and drunken nights are important. But, to me, experiencing life in another country and traveling and still seeing my family regularly is more important. When I’m too old for travel…

…then I’ll probably settle down with my iPhone 16 and wait for time travel to be commercially viable.

So, to everyone wondering how I afford my shabby chic (mostly shabby) European lifestyle, that’s it. No glamour here!

Annie Cosby

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Mini Lessons in the Irish language

My upcoming YA Learning to Swim incorporates magical Celtic mythology via some Irish characters, so I figured, why not give you guys a little taste of the Irish language?

Now there are different dialects in Irish as well as variations between regions and even cities. Not to mention the different accents!

But I have friends in high places, specifically Connemara, where they still speak Irish as a first language.

So: below I’ve provided the approximate translation of some choice phrases (I went for direct meaning instead of direct translations – you know, things someone speaking Irish might actually say) and the nearest pronunciation my American ears could handle . [Read more…]

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8 Tips for Visiting the Great Blasket Island

The terrible beauty of the Blasket Islands is a must-see. But it also requires a bit of preparation.

When I visited with my parents and my brother, it was by chance that it all worked out. But it could have easily gone wrong. Here are my tips for a smooth sailing to the Great Blasket (literally).

1. Read up. Part of the mystique of the islands is the life that was lived there – and the tragic way it ended. So before you go, do some Googling.


And make sure to look up the weather forecast and ferry times before going. You have to be flexible, because ferry times are subject to change (or be cancelled) due to weather.

The boatman told us that the previous August, they’d only been able to make the crossing 9 of the 31 days due to dangerous weather. So be prepared to reschedule if need be!


[Read more…]

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