Tag Archives: Ireland

A Lighter Shade of Pale (#WordUse Series)

We’ve got exciting times goin’ on here in the good ol’ US of A, with one political party making some pretty interesting claims and the opposing party reacting with outrage. (See how I did that?) My Irish immigrant husband has spent hours watching debates and newscasts and commentaries on the television. He also follows the […]

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#WordUse Series:
May the Blessing of the Rain Be on You

We’ve had a drought here in the American South. It stopped raining in early August and didn’t start again until early December, after the irrigation system had been turned off for some weeks. So it seemed only appropriate to republish this post from 2012—a sort of written rain dance. Let me know how it works […]

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#WordUse Series:
All Their Wars Are Merry and All Their Songs Are Sad*

Words—and the way they are pronounced—can be such funny things. And people are often passionately attached to their own interpretation, even if they’re … well … wrong. (Like the pronunciation of Van Gogh. Look it up; you may be surprised.) The Irishman and I have done some pleasant business with a company called Celtic Marble […]

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Giving Up Your Language

Consider for a moment the effects of being asked to change the language you use. … Brian Friel’s play Translations, written in 1980, depicts this in an Irish setting. The action takes place in County Donegal in 1833: we follow a detachment of English soldiers who are part of an Ordnance Survey team anglicizing Gaelic […]

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Or You Can Be Grateful; The Story You Write, You Live*

I’ve been blogging for more than five years now. Today seemed like a good day to repeat an article I ran on my first Thanksgiving … Most of us labor in obscurity of one type or another. Let’s face it, that star-maker machinery has moved on its rattle-trap tracks right on past. (Thank God.) And […]

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Yeats Comes Home

It was a fine celebration. He had told us that ‘dizzy dreams can spring from the dry bones of the dead,’ but we were not in the mood to speculate thus with him last Friday. There was too much going on; the day was crowded, and sometimes even clangorous with public and private pride. And […]

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The Great Irish Lit Wallow

What is it about the Irish? That they are a nation of storytellers seems to be borne out the minute you get in a cab in Dublin (though it probably helps that you have an American accent), but the fact is, whether it’s a pub culture that encourages the art of the story well told, a […]

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At Play in the Fields of the Language (An Update*)

All summer I’ve been working on blog posts, while you’ve been reading updates to my archives on Thursdays. This week we’re going to talk about words and language. Probably my favorite subject. After my son and the Irishman. And my cats. Oh, and books … ✱ Them versus us. I’ve written a lot about the […]

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Many of us learned the basics of creative narrative writing composing grammar school essays like “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” for Miss Smith in second grade. I know I did. And I’m still talking about my summer (and spring and fall) vacations over on my other blog, using the personal essay skills I developed […]

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Where Do You Get Your Story Ideas? (Part 5)

We’ve talked about those ripped-from-today’s-headlines stories as a source of ideas for fiction: teen bullying and suicide, drug addiction, drug legalization … These are all topics in the news right now, and might well provide a theme upon which to build a compelling novel. But what about those little stories, the ones you might see […]

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