One of the most difficult things about writing fiction is deciding on a genre, particularly when your work hits several of them tangentially. I’m writing a series of novels that feature a family of Irish immigrants who settle in America after the Great Potato Famine of 1845-1852, each with a central romance and a dash … Continue reading DEFINING GENRE (or when is Western not a Western?)
Review by Mary Anne Yarde, The Coffee Pot Book Club. I'm thrilled to announce that WHISPERS IN THE CANYON has received a 5-star review from the Coffee Pot Book Club. "I didn't want to kill him..." But Russell Travers had already shot one man while he attempted to rob The White's Station Bank, how … Continue reading WHISPERS IN THE CANYON: Editorial Review
Source: an Gorta Mor (or The Great Irish Famine, 1845-1852)
Reposting this today in honor of Mick Mulvaney, who stood in his green tie and shamrock pin yesterday to assure us all that feeding the hungry was an unnecessary luxury.
Most of the time I find history boring. But every once in awhile, I stumble over something fascinating. And usually, that something makes me cry.
I’d heard quite a bit about the Irish Famine at different places along the way, like in English class in high school when we read Jonathan Swift’s essay A Modest Proposal (if you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend it. It gives an incredible satiric look at the British government’s feelings on “the Irish problem.” The problem, in short, was that there was such a thing as “the Irish”.)
At any rate, the subject cropped up now and again. But it wasn’t until I started writing my Donovan series that I realized how closely related I was to it. My father’s family emigrated from Ireland in the early 20th century, chased out by the British Army (or so the story goes). As I started…
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One of the best of the rebel songs, O'Donnell Abu! was written by Michael Joseph McCann in 1843. "Abu!", as I understand it, is similar to "Hurrah!" I recognized this song on the bagpipes long before I knew the words (or even knew it had words!) I subsequently have asked many Irish singers for the … Continue reading O’Donnell Abu!
#irishmusic #irishhistory #amwriting Stemming from an incident in Gortagleanna during the War of Indepence (1921), there are several versions of this song extant. These lyrics are based on a poem by Bryan MacMahon, which in turn is based on oral histories and older poems, some of which are lost today. A haunting version of this … Continue reading The Valley of Knockanure
This post first appeared on giffordmacshane.com on 3/17/15
Read any biography of Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and you’ll find that he was born in the late 4th century somewhere on the island of Britain. Patrick was kidnapped while still in his teens, and sold as a slave in Ireland. Some histories place the blame on Irish pirates, while others blame the Romans who had conquered the island centuries earlier. Whoever was responsible, for six years Patrick was a slave, and then he escaped back to Britain.
Twelve years after his escape, having studied at a monastery and being ordained, Patrick returned to the Emerald Isle as a bishop and missionary. After twenty years, he left behind an organized church under the authority of the See of Armagh, and an island that was nearly completely converted to Catholicism.
Little did Patrick know that, over a thousand years later, those conversions would be the justification for a new…
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My second attempt at a photo prompt. Since it worked so well last time, I decided to write another vignette that can easily be converted into a scene in my WIP, The Winds of Morning. Kills two birds ... (on the other hand, why kill them at all?) Enjoy! As the small ship sailed into … Continue reading NWW Photo Prompt: Palm Fronds
It's been awhile since I talked about where I stand in terms of my manuscripts. My first completed novel, WHISPERS IN THE CANYON, is being queried, and the second, THE WOODSMAN'S ROSE, has gone through my edits and is now with my extremely helpful critique partners. I'm also just finishing up my final edit of … Continue reading UPDATE: Part 1 is Done!
In the mid-19th Century, most transatlantic crossings were still done by sailing ship, although steamship passage was available for those who could afford it, primarily through the Cunard Line of Britain and the Inman line of the US. A steamship would routinely make the voyage in 11 to 13 days, but until 1860, most steamships … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: The Transatlantic Crossing