Hill of Tara and back to Dublin for my birthday

What a spectacular day in Ireland. I spent the morning with the Lia Fail (the Stone of Destiny). The sun was shining and at the Hill of Tara I could see not quite all of Ireland.

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Here are some Celtic Crosses at the church that is part of the hill.

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Look who joined me at Lia Fail

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And I’ll leave you with one more-a worthy quote for all writers.

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July 22, 2014 · 11:49 am

Titanic Experience, saying goodbye to Northern Ireland, and Bru na Boinne

Wow, what can I say about the Titanic Experience! Very moving. Of course, I like my friend and fellow critique mate, Marlene Dotterer’s version of the story in her SF/F Shipbuilder: The Time Travel Journals better as Thomas Andrews, the principle architect manages to implement more safety features, and he lives!

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Had beautiful, sunny skies leaving Northern Ireland.

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Then i was on my way to Bru na Bionne (also known as Newgrange and Knowth)- in The Keepers of Eire , my killer places the bodies of his victims at the Entrance Stone

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I lodged in Trim, near Trim Castle. Here is an artist’s rendering of the castle.

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July 22, 2014 · 10:45 am

Beaghmore Stone Circles and Belfast

After a late dinner at Bushmills Hotel and Restaurant (due to a Saturday evening crowd and several festivals in the area), I made it back to the Causeway B&B to rest up for my venture into Belfast. First, though, I found the Beaghmore Stone Circles -this is the location for the northern dragon compound for the Tuatha Dragon Clan in The Keepers of Eire.
This is also where Grayson was hatched, and…

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And check out this sign as I was leaving my lodging in Bushmills

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Finally made it into Belfast and my hotel-got all turned around, but a fella at the petrol station sorted me out.
I’ll try to see the Titanic Experience tomorrow before I head back into the Republic of Ireland.
I’ll just leave you with one more photo of the stone circles.

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July 20, 2014 · 9:29 am

Yeats, Northern Ireland: Coleraine, Carrick-a-rede Bridge, & Giant’s Causeway

With the storms yesterday, I had a fabulous sunset from my lodging.

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In Sligo for a quick shot of W.B. Yeats, then I stopped at his gravesite. Grayson paid his respects as well.

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Here is Benbulben, one of the mountain ranges here in Sligo.

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Now into Northern Ireland. I stopped in Coleraine and gave a book to the Waterstones bookshop, then headed toward Bushmills. Here is the scenery around the Carrick-a-rede Bridge.

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And the Giant’s Causeway.

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July 19, 2014 · 12:27 pm

Dan O’Hara’s Heritage Center, the storm, and Sligo

Got to see Martin and Paula again at Dan O’Hara’s. Martin is another favorite of mine from my previous trip, he is a wonderful storyteller (I put him in the book, as himself-he was thrilled to learn this). Of course I gave a personalized copy of The Keepers of Eire to him, and I left 2 signed copies in the gift shop.
Then I retraced part of my drive to take these photos of Grace O’Malley’s castle on Ballynahinch Lake (same castle the cannon is pointing to from my walk yesterday). These were taken in the early evening. Check out the cool reflection.

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A sign in the pub in Clifden: and my Galway Hooker;

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The next day, the weather changed from showers with sunny spells to a major rain storm that I tried to outrace on my way to Sligo. Got caught several times in very heavy rainfall (wish I could lasso the clouds and bring them back to drought-starved California).

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Finally found my night’s lodging in Sligo, only to find that I had no Internet at all. Oh well. Here are a few shots of Sligo Town and a cool sign in the Harp Pub.

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I’m heading into Northern Ireland today via Ballyshannon and Donegal.

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Filed under 2014 Ireland /Scotland Trip, 2014 The Keepers of Éire Trip, Writing

Ballynahinch Castle, Glenlo Abbey, and Clifden

I walked out to the site of the 3rd murder in The Keepers of Eire. Grayson kept me company. I even had a thought on how I wanted to write one of the scenes in book 2 while on this peaceful stroll.

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Here is the back of Ballynahinch Castle and some lovely flowers.

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Next I meet Lisa Chalfa, a marketing, publicity, & training wonder for coffee and biscuits at Glenlo Abbey Hotel just outside Galway City.

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At Glenlo Abbey: the Orient Express…and a dragon

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July 17, 2014 · 3:34 pm

The Burren and Connemara -End of Week 1

Today I backtracked just a bit and dropped off a copy of The Keepers of Eire to Lehinch’s sister shop in Ennis. Then I headed to The Burren, and Poulnabrone, where the second dragon and rider murder takes place.

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Here is more unique limestone formations found in The Burren (guess who wanted to tag along?)

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I met Thomas, who crafts unique Ogham script jewelry and other pieces. He is an artist in many forms including poetry. We exchanged a necklace that says Jordan in the ancient glyph for my book.

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Next up, one of my favorite places-Ballynahinch Castle. But first, I needed to stop into O’Dalaigh Jewellers in Clifden to see Jonathan (he’s in the novel). The shop was quite busy, but I managed to purchase a couple things and chat with him. Forgot to get a photo though, perhaps tomorrow.
Here is the view from my room at Ballynahinch Castle-I have a river-level terrace.

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Dinner in the bar was fabulous with a ribeye cooked to perfection, and for dessert-three samples of crime brûlée and a wee dram of oh-so-smooth Connemara whiskey. More from the lovely grounds here tomorrow. (The site of the third murder). The sun has set about an hour ago (9:30).

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July 16, 2014 · 2:10 pm