Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Turned the Corner

The novel has turned a critical corner.  Matty, my protagonist, is casting his lot with the Chahta.  As I invent his further challenges and accomplishments, I ponder a title for the work.  The most fitting title, "The Dispossessed" has already been used.  A line from W.B. Yeats' poem, "The Curse of Cromwell", laments, 'Oh, What of That?'  Taken out of context, it has little impact. Other titles considered revealed clues of the outcome of the story, so they didn't make the cut.  The Rowan Tree is an important symbol, and may find its was into the title.  For Irish History buffs, I've considered, "Goslings Too Shall Fly" or "Celtic Diaspora".  Lots of others are on the table.

I find it interesting that as I invent the story, title options are revealed to me. I take on the role of the messenger who must note the story my characters are telling me.  This never  happened while writing poetry.  I am in command of that genre, but the novel has taken on a life of its own, and the characters residing in my brain direct me to get their way. I struggle to still retain some modicum of control.

So as Matty embarks on the final chapters of the book, (or the final part of the final book in the series). The tempo will shift, the maturing process and exposure to a new culture will result in a more contemplative character whose survival skills will change his knowledge and experience to wisdom.  Making wise decisions is critical. . . . .

Live Ireland Reconnect

Just rejoined One of my favorite web sites.  Live Ireland - internet radio  Good music and friendly people


You'll hear current and traditional music, and chat with new friends with common interests.

Check it out.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Pitch

O.K., I 'bit the bullet' and followed the advice in the writer's mags and such, and put my ideas into a business plan.  I cobbled a business plan, identified my market, listed what influenced me and talked about my 'platform'.  I did all of this to clear my mind so I could get to writing what is pitched below.  My novel in a nutshell.

                    What would it take for two farm boys to abandon their simple life and their family and put themselves in harm’s way in an army of rebellion?  This is a  coming of age tale of growing up in 17th century Ireland. The horrors of the rebellion hit home with the return of two uncles, both wounded in a battle in Ulster. The brothers are swept up in the action when they are secretly involved in stealing arms from a Scottish outpost in Sligo.  Though their involvement is not exposed, a family friend is murdered for his part in the raid.
            The boys say nothing at home, but choose to leave rather than give the family guilty knowledge of their crimes.  They intend to join the Irish rebels to avenge their friend and their uncles fighting against the royalists, but the confusing political and religious loyalties of the times find them working as draymen in the confederation army, under the leadership of royalist officers fighting for the King against Cromwell’s ‘New Model Army’.
            In the siege of Drogheda there were few survivors.  Those that did survive were sent to Barbados as slaves.  In Barbados the Irish interact with black Africans bought in Brazil and Choctaws enslaved by the Spanish and sold to the English planters.  The war between English Royalists and Parliamentarians finds its way to Barbados, and forces some planters to leave the island with some of their slaves.  Their escape leads to the American colonies where the Irish go into the forests of Alabama with the Choctaws and are assimilated into the Woodland Indian culture only to discover that the Choctaw are on the same path to destruction that Ireland experienced.

So there it is, with all the trappings of a literary historical work of fiction  Fictional characters  interacting with real people who existed in the period and sharing experiences that really happened.  (Or so it is said in some history books)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Old Writer's Angst or Why Bother?

Accelerating energy trying to corral profusions of ideas to capture in writing life long passions on a collision course of similarities.  Looking around, no one has written about it yet.  Some have skimmed the edges, but have not immersed to the level I have.  I check out the skimmers only to learn their work is of no use to me.  I review to tell them so, only to discover some writers have egos so fragile that to critique them is tantamount  to threatening their first born.
      But the writers who write about writing tell me to interact with other writers.  So, is interacting joining a mutual admiration writer's group?  Tried it a couple of times, most were short lived and died a merciful demise.  Read about writing.  Some good stuff out there.  Easy enough to get swept up in it, even to get enthused when you think you're actually learning something.  Then you notice that while you're reading about writing, guess what?  You're not writing.
       Same goes for the writing mags.  All the dope on the genre du jour that agents are seeking, or how to query, or what absolutely must be in your first pages, gets a little old.  And the new agents seeking someone to represent, to me would be like being represented by my grand kids (all of whom are twenty somethings).   And some of the mags suggest, and not so subtly, that without an MFA in writing, or some time spent in a mountain or island retreat, you need not submit anything because it will go right to the slush pile and maybe be read some day by some intern (aka MFA candidate)
         And then there is the 'platform'.  Writer's Market says I should have one.  So here is the latest post.  But, once again, guess what?  While I writing this post, I am not writing or researching my novel, I am not editing or compiling my poetry collection, and I am not fleshing out ideas for my other writing thoughts.
          So, if you are visiting my blog, thanks for stopping in, and if there are no new posts for a while, just assume that I am off to an island writing retreat, or to some big city writer's conference getting my first pages shredded, or my ego shattered at a pitch session, or away enrolling in an MFA program at an obscure university, or perhaps, just maybe, I am actually WRITING SOMETHING!