Tag Archives: Ireland

Ireland: Home to 4 winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature

23 Dec

For such a small island, Ireland is packed with a slew of noteworthy writers & poets. As I’m on my way to the Emerald Isle in only a few days, I wanted to share with you a beautiful Irish poem, the #1 Irish Christmas song video and some New Years blessings for 2012…Enjoy!

THE ROSE OF TRALEE

by William Pembroke Mulchinock

The pale moon was rising above the green mountains,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea,
When I stray’d with my love to the pure crystal fountain
That stands in the beautiful vale of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me,
Oh, no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever beaming
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.
The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading,
And Mary, all smiling, was list’ning to me.
The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.

Tho’ lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me,
Oh, no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever beaming
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

Irish Toasts for the New Year:

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to make friends.

&

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want. 

 

The Pogues “Fairytale of New York” is played every year in Ireland at Christmastime and even though I was more distracted by his horrid teeth at first, I’ve learned to really like this song:

The Pogues – Fairy-tale of New York

 

Info on the 4 Irish Nobel Prize winners in Literature & Other Resources:

William Butler Yeats

George Bernard Shaw

Samuel Beckett

Seamus Heaney

http://www.irelandnow.com/authors.html

Advertisements

Location, location, location…

1 Sep

Sometimes a story, poem, rant can take shape without a single character in mind and you just start writing about a place or a time that inspires your imagination. Yesterday, in a bit of a lull, I had this sudden urge to write and the only thing that took shape was a setting: Irish hilly countryside. No characters, just a long description filled with my memories and my imagination of what this bit of place looked, felt, sounded, even smelled like.

Using as many of your 5 senses as possible…and the 6th, too,  if you’ve got it handy…try and imagine a single place. No people. Just take in every ounce of information you can from the place you are or that you are imagining. Even if you’re in a crowded subway car or coffee shop, sit still and imagine what it would be like if you were a fly on the wall really taking in every element of the space you inhabit. Let the place be its own character. Give it personality or take it from the elements you observe.

Here are some exercises I think are useful:

1) Dig up an old picture of a place you have been. A scene from the canals in Amsterdam, a lake in rural Minnesota where you & your family used to go, a mountain range, even a shot of your backyard. What are those places like when there is no one around? Does the grass sigh with relief when it finally rains, giving off that earthly smell? Do the empty streets in the summer sizzle under the sun? What animals appear when no people are present and take shape to the landscape?

2) Think of one location in particular and use your five senses to describe it during all four seasons: a view of it in summer, fall, winter and spring. Then, take a look at it during those weeks in the year that cradle two seasons. Are the leaves teetering on the verge of falling, but they wait an extra week to deny winter is really coming? Do the cacti soak up as much water as they can from the last rain of the year, bracing for the 10 months of drought to come?

3) Describe a place that does not exist…to your knowledge. If writing fantasy or sci fi interests you, write about a mythical or made up place. Are there plants? What does it smell like? Do animals inhibit the area? Is the air thick with humidity or thin/non existent because of the atmosphere? Take it to the next level and try not to pull from the places you’ve seen/read about in sci fi or fantasy shows/books. Create your own, unique mythical setting.

Perhaps with the setting in front of you and tackled in depth, this exercise can lead to the development of characters for your novel/short story. Once you have a clear vision of the place they inhabit (permanently or temporarily) in your story, you can build your characters’ personalities, expressions, vernacular, etc.

Here’s one of my own pictures in case you need some inspiration:

%d bloggers like this: