The Celts believed water had magical properties. One reason might have to do with how the water got here. Though there are many myths about the beginning of civilization, one theory is that the world was covered in water, flooded so to speak, and when the waters receded, the most holy of it was left behind, perhaps seen as a passage between the earth and the Otherworld. The most holy and the largest of the waters, ( in Ireland at least) the River Boyne and the River Shannon. The water of sacred wells was also seen as a regenerative life-force, perhaps to grow back severed limbs, make a woman conceive or give great wisdom when drunk or bathed in it. Continue reading
Read. Read. Read. But also think outside the box. Watch popular movies. The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorites and one of the few screenplays that was written before the book was ever created, which I am told is really about the making of the movie so that makes sense. If you haven’t seen the Princess Bride, you owe it to yourself to watch this great film which is a fairy tale love story, if for no other reason than to hear some of the most quotable long-lasting lines of all time. The movie aired for the first time 25 years ago. Lines that if you or I had in our books, would be remembered and cherished. Now what author wouldn’t dream of that? Incidentally, the movie was not an immediate success, something that should make all of the authors reading this take heart. I, myself watch movies for some of the reasons I read books, not only to be entertained, but to learn more about generating believable and entertaining fiction. Things like how actors portray emotion and dialogue for instance.In The Princess Bride some of the best lines are about love. “As you wish” spoken by the hero each and every time the woman he loves asks him to do something for her. He doesn’t just speak the words though, they are accompanied by an intense gaze of utter devotion that even the worst cynic will recognize. What he really means is “I love you.” In fiction this would be called subtext. Spoken by the same character over and over could be labeled as his or her catch phrase, a handy technique to indicate who is talking without using tags.
My favorite line and catch phrase was “Inconceivable!” spoken by Wallace Shawn, an evil bad guy who is so humorous in his dealings with his enemies, it is hard to hate him completely. He tries to outwit his enemies and one has to wonder if he is more business man or villain. Other famous lines are as follows…..
1. “I’m not a witch. I’m your wife,” by Carol Kane to Billy Crystal.
2. “Have fun storming the castle!” by Billy Crystal as the hero rides away to save his love.
4. “Please consider me as an alternative to suicide,” by Prince Humperdinck the villain.
5. And one of my personal favorites which seems to get less credit is the grandson in the beginning of the book. You see, The Princess Bride is a fairy tale and the grandfather is reading a book to his grandson to which the grandson objects, “Wait a minute. Is this a kissing story?”
So what doe this have to do with Irish History? Remember ‘Gone With the Wind?‘ the most famous movie of all time. Margaret Mitchell.wrote the book about her Irish relatives. Bet you didn’t know that. What was it that Rhett Butler said to Scarlet? “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Funny thing is we really did give a damn about Scarlet .. and Rhett too. We cared a lot.
For more fiction ideas click on the tab ‘On Writing‘
Is there a memorable line in a book you’ve read? Do you have a favorite line or quote you would like to share? Please leave it in the comments.
Everyone wants to fall in love and its been that way since the beginning of time. Nothing has changed about the desire but what has changed is how we go about it or how often we try and try again only to be disappointed. Ever wish there was an easier way to meet a man or woman? For centuries, people had arranged marriages. They married for status, wealth, security or to secure peace between two separate countries. Some of those marriages actually lasted and some were very happy ones. Continue reading
Pope Francis is my hero. For years. Catholicism ruled much of Ireland and there are those who believe it still does. Ar least, 80% of Irish schools are still Catholic and even with history dug up from the Magalene laundries .. to priest pedophiles .. to the power the church had to take children away from single mothers and fathers .. Catholicism still thrives today. In fact, according to the viewpoints and actions of Pope Francis, the church has more responsibility than just making an atonement for her sins. Continue reading
The Celts measured time not by days but by nights. beginning at dusk instead of dawn. With Samhain when the crops were waning. Beginning on Oct. 31st. Not Jan 1st. One of the reasons for beginning with evening, is the Celts’ reverence for the moon and certainly they followed the stars, were great astrologers in fact. Take Newgrange in Ireland. Newgrange is a 5000 year old passage grave and is situated so that the only drop of light shines through a tiny window on the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21st, remarkably close to Christmas and not a coincidence for sure, as the way of the Catholic church was to replace what pagan ideas they could with their own Christian teachings. See other posts on this blog for more information about early Christianity in Ireland. Continue reading
The picture above is a tree in Dublin, Ireland. Spectacular isn’t it? And below may be Grafton St, also in Dublin. Continue reading
A sixth-century monk named Brendan, who would later become known as St. Brendan the Navigator, set out in his tiny seal skin boat with his fellow abbots to a far away land called Hibernia, the name given to Ireland by the Greeks. They voyaged across the cold Atlantic shores toward a wild, mostly untamed territory. They were looking for grace or a way to come closer to God.They came from Britannia (England), Germania (Germany), and Rome as well as all over Western Europe. They wrote Latin and poetry, spoke different languages and came from the highest social ranks. After blending with the Irish, they became the record keepers of genealogies and stories. They became known as the most learned men of Europe. Whether they learned from the Celts or the Celts learned from them is inconsequential. The first Irish monks in Ireland were born .. and Ireland would be changed forever by their arrival.. Continue reading
One way the Christian faith overcame Paganism in Ireland was to adopt the idea, ‘if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.’ Halloween is a perfect example. In the Catholic faith, Halloween has been transformed into All Saint’s Day. Not a bad conversion. Still honoring the dead. Not burning people at the stake as in the time of the Spanish inquisition. No boiling a priest’s feet in oil like poor Durmot O’Hurley in the sixteenth century. That one was during the unforgivable reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Halloween or All Hallows Eve is not a Christian holiday at all. It is a Pagan festival time and referred to as Samhain. Continue reading
Book Cover Design by:Laura@LLPix.com
The Sun Palace by Brighid O’Sullivan
West Coast of Eire/ AD 520
She never heard the splash.
The world went black but soon she surfaced to the light, when an angry black wave smashed over her frail body, slapping her as if she were a stubborn child. Gripping her between its teeth, the sea engulfed her, regurgitating her between cusps and swallowed her as if she were nothing. She couldn’t tell which way was up and reached out in all directions, desperate and alone. Continue reading
My father was extremely proud of being Irish, though I would learn later, our family was also part Polish with a smattering of Russian in the pot. See my post on the Polish Jews in Ireland. Polish is one of the most popular languages in Ireland right now, with many traffic signs in both English and Polish. Though my father would never admit to being anything but Irish, it wasn’t our Irishness that he instilled in me but something more valuable: that one is worthy, no mater what anyone tells you. Though the Irish disease consumed my father in the end, he was an intelligent proud man. He could answer every trivia question on Jeopardy, something I find, even now, astonishing. I’m lucky to get one answer right on this highly competitive game show, where only the most brilliant are allowed to participate.
My father was also in the army, during the Korean Conflict; it was a war not categorized as important but many of his friends unfortunately met their doom, most having no knowledge of why they were in Korea in the first place. Politics! The Vietnam Conflict was more of the same. Continue reading