Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I've been to these places and now feel comfortable writing about them

Millmount - Drogheda

Creevelea Abbey - Dromahair 

Parke's Castle - Leitrim


A while back I posted a question on this blog, asking, 'Why Not Me?'

Well, since then, two important things have transpired.

 #1, my DNA suggests that I am 38% Irish.

#2, Marilyn and I spent a month in Ireland in 2016, and I validated many of the things in my novel by visiting places I wrote about.  Drogheda, Creevelea Abbey, Rivers Shannon, and Boyne and many others.  So the research dictated a few minor adjustments in my descriptions of the landscape.  Overall, I am satisfied that I have met my goal to minimize the misappropriation in the book.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Progress Report

Looking at publishing options (particularly with publishers that welcome first-time authors who are unrepresented by an agent.  Some ask for a query in "Writers' Market 2016", but their websites say something different.  It's a crazy business.  Any published author out there with some advice to share or suggestions, I'd appreciate your input. I'm torn between sending mss or just a query to the publishers mentioned above or sending a query to agents who invite my genre.  I'm resisting just settling to pay to 'self-publish'.

WIP (work in progress)
Finished a copy editing venture on draft #2, and embarking on draft #3 to compress some of the shorter chapters.  Decided to declare that my novel is a literary historical, multicultural novel that is targeted to readers whose interests include coming of age in tumultuous time. Add a spin of military history and 17th-century politics with a dash of social justice issues.  This mix is likely to interest young men or Irish and Choctaw history buffs of either gender.

I characterize my novel as a well researched, well-written adventure story with plot twists and ongoing tension and release episodes. And a book that deals with some little known historical information from the period.

One overarching theme is the similarities of these two cultures in those times.

I welcome questions you might have about this or other works of mine.  I will soon resume posting some of my poetry as part of my reenergizing my blog

Stay tuned


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Prologue to "The Saints Lost Their Way"

Prologue - Ireland - A Bit of History
Ireland has known little peace.  In truth, legend, and myth, it has been a land of battles, invasions, treachery and war for eons.  From the time the British Isles separated from the European continent to the retraction of the ice age glaciers, to the countless invasion, conquests, assimilations, and plantations, Ireland has been in turmoil.
                From the Caspian and Galacia, they came with strange names like Firbolg and Tuatha De Dannan. From Scandinavia came the name Eriu which morphed to Eire, √Čireann, Erin, and Ireland.  The Norse pillaged but started commerce in an agrarian land.  From Gaul came a language, the Gaelic which became Irish.  The Romans avoided Ireland since they were spread too thin and rebellion in Rome called them home.  The origin of the Celts is still disputed.
            The invaders brought culture, spirituality, and fierce competition which evolved into myths and magic. Over time, English royalty brought the influence of the Saxons, the Normans, the Parliamentarians, and the Dutch.  Infighting among the Irish clans gave an advantage to the invaders; some of whom assimilated into the Irish culture.

            And into this land of shifting alliances, Mathe O’Doole was born and came of age.

Can a blog respond to CPR?

Can a blog respond to CPR?  I'd like to breathe life into this seemingly dead document.  I'm inspired by Neolithic Irish art and Choctaw art.  I see representations of the 'circle of life'.  I have discovered many parallels between the two cultures.  Some have been posted in the past.  I've discovered many more while this blog fell under the curse of a wicked bean si.

Finally finished the first draft of my novel and done a comprehensive copy editing of draft # 2.  Searching the tedious world of publishing, sorting through the many variations.  Got some leads of publishers who welcome first time authors, but their turn around time to give a response to an mss submission may take longer than I'm alive.  I'd hate to have a posthumous best-seller.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Saint Patrick's Music

Looking forward to doing some picking and singing on March 17th.  Will be playing for our community along with friend Herb on banjo.

Planned some toasts and fun games for the celebration.  Have to explain "craic" to my neighbors


Monday, February 29, 2016

Rights? Whose?

What are 'rights' anyway?  Webster takes a crack at an answer with; "Conforming with or conformable to law, justice, or morality.  Being in accord with fact, reason or truth."  So one might assume that those who purport to be Christians might have some sense of morality, justice and truth.  History suggests otherwise.

My major work in progress, a historical novel set in the late 17th century in Ireland, the Caribbean, and America, revisits the denial of rights to the native born people of those lands. From the endless schism between Catholic and Protestant in England and Ireland, to the impact of European invaders to the western hemisphere, denial of rights to the indigenous has been rampant. 

From even before Strongbow and the Norman invasion, through Oliver Cromwell and his new model army to continuing strife in modern Ulster, Irish Catholics have been denied rights.  Early laws set by invaders denied Irish ownership of land that was already theirs for generations, or even the right to sell a horse for a fair price. They could neither govern nor vote for or against those who did govern. The planting of Scottish protestants in Ulster started rebellions, civil wars and diaspora of Irish Catholic population.  'Adventurers', as they were called, financed many of the wars of the English Kings, (and 'Lord Protectors if you include Cromwell), were repaid with grants of Irish land and dwellings.  Rightful owners were evicted.  Resistors were imprisoned.

Cromwell demanded the eviction of all Irish Catholics to the rocky land west of the Shannon River.  Refusal led to enslavement.  The Irish had no rights in their own land.

Concurrently across the sea in the Americas, similar tyranny was happening.  Land generously given to white settlers was never enough.  Indigenous people were ultimately driven from their lands.  some times by force and sometimes with empty promises disguised in treaties that were usually broken. Native people lost control of their own existence as more white invaders flooded into America to escape tyranny in Europe.  And true to form, Andrew Jackson followed Cromwell's lead, ignored all previous treaty promises and banished Southeastern woodland tribes to west of the Mississippi.

Again, indigenous people had no control of their futures.  And the inequities continue even today.  Some tribal people are to this day struggling to gain even the basic rights that we who call ourselves 'Americans' take as a given.  Native people were not even considered citizen of the country until well into the 20th century.   The rights granted by treaties have been violated again and again.  Poverty stricken Reservation communities still campaign for donations to keep their families fed.     Basic human rights should not be denied to anyone, but particularly the people we invaded, stole land from, and lied to over and over.

America should be ashamed.