Worked at a Japanese electronics manufacturer’s called TOA where I made their marketing department run smooth as a Lexus.
My dealer lived in Blackheath. Not the posh part.
Ended up back in Dublin for a few years, still working in marketing, and eager to detour into writing, so I did Diploma in Copywriting at the DIT Aungier Street.
I also started writing copy for a new art website run by a tech maverick – a woman so fearless she made Jordan Belfort look shy – where I created lively backstory to the artist’s work. It was a good gig. Probably should have stuck around. I didn’t.
In my late 20s, I moved to the south of Spain. I wanted sunshine and fun. What I got was a front row seat at the main stage of Spanish cannabis culture.
In Marbella, I met a cast of characters that would make a Tarantino movie look tame.
My dealers included a family of gypsies who sold from a corner house on a moody side street 24/7 (they had a ton of kids and used to sit one by the door to keep lookout) and a skittish Colombian (yes, he sold coke too, but not my thang.)
During daylight hours, I ran a property magazine for a spell and worked for a local PR agency, running campaigns for diverse clients, including a Brazilian underwear company; used a lot of Buddha Bar and Gotan Project at their events.
Later, I moved to Tarifa, a port town further southwest in the province of Cadiz, and stayed put for many reasons, but mostly because the supply of cannabis was more consistent that the town water mains.
Due to its rugged coast, Cadiz is a favoured spot on the smuggle route between Morocco and Spain.
Back then, I worked freelance for magazines, writing features on regional attractions, restaurant reviews, that kind of thing.
I also wrote about Morocco, visiting often, making friends with growers in Ketama and dealers in Tangiers along the way.
Drank coffee at Cafe de Paris in central Tangiers, where Burroughs and Ginsberg used to hang out.
Completed a BA in Humanities, History of Art and English Literature.
Launched and ran a part-time business, creative writing holidays called In The Write Light, inviting published authors from Ireland to teach small groups of students; hosted 6 workshops.
Then the Crisis hit, and the real estate industry that supported local media collapsed.
Forcing me to pivot to online writing, spin articles, SEO text, dating site profiles – dark days.
Eventually, landed gigs with various sites in English-Language Education, and wrote cultural and lifestyle content for their online magazines.
I also started writing fiction. Smoked a lot.
In 2013, I went to Manchester for a year to do a Masters in Creative Writing, a mixed experience. Bad cannabis but a lively lit scene.
My professor was Jeanette Winterson, one of Britain’s most controversial authors and a full-on force to be reckoned with. Love this woman.
Wrote, staged and performed an epic poem called The Legend of Tarifa with original score, and small group of talented musicians and dancers as part of a summer lit festival. Packed house. Audience loved it. Awesome albeit nail-biting experience.
The Masters upended my approach to writing. I became a storyteller.
Came back to Tarifa a changed woman.
Joined a gym.
Like I said: changed woman.
Used cannabis to soften the blow of sobriety.
In 2016, a new boyfriend. Shocker. Another stoner. But this one could grow. He taught me how to grow.
In 2017, I met a CBD manufacturer, a Danish company. They wanted a website, needed content. I created it for them.
I began researching cannabis, and read widely, shocked by lack of knowledge. How did I know so little about the substance that had been a part of my life for so long?
Went to Spannabis, twice. Met with cultivators from all over Europe. Hung out in cannabis clubs with an unholy mess of Dutch growers, Swiss bankers and Spanish stoners.
In 2020, I finished a manuscript, pitched it to agents and got positive responses from three of them but it wasn’t good enough to be picked up. (In 2020, more than 95% of published novels sold less than 5,000 copies.) This is a hard nut to crack.
Have since started 2 new book projects, one fiction, one nonfiction; both are cannabis-related. I’ll crack this nut if it kills me. (Probably will, ed., probably will.)
Today, I follow a strict low fodmap diet, and am in training to be a kettlebell trainer.
I regard cannabis as an essential part of my fitness routine.
It’s also become an essential part of my job: I marry my copy skills and insight into cannabis culture to write the buzziest content campaigns in cannabis.
If you’re a cannabis brand that wants to connect with the fastest-growing markets in cannabis, let’s talk about creating a content campaign that gets people buzzing, grows your list and cultivates sales.