Category Archives: 2014 The Keepers of Éire Trip

Reluctant Paladin is nearing publication

One final pass of editing on my middle-grade novel, Reluctant Paladin while awaiting cover art. This novel is a spin-off from my first fantasy novel, The Keepers of Éire. Reluctant Paladin is a coming of age story that blends modern-day fantasy/adventure with the emotional upheaval of dealing with bullies. Here is my back cover blurb, as of now:
 
All Niall wants is to stay out of trouble at his new school, but Thorin, the school bully, has other ideas. When Niall comes home sporting bruises and asking for money, his grandfather’s suspicions grow, but Niall won’t open up about his troubles. To gain Niall’s trust, his grandfather recruits him to help care for Grayson, a newborn, wingless dragonet—himself a victim of cruelty and prejudice. Niall bonds with the dragonet and swears his allegiance to the Tuatha Dragon Clan. Now he must keep the dragon clan a secret.
 
Thorin struggles to care for his six younger siblings while dealing with the death of his mother and the fallout brought on by his father’s grief. Too young to shoulder the burden, he grows more desperate as his father’s destructive behavior puts the family in jeopardy.
 
Niall endures the taunts and physical harassment until Thorin discovers Niall’s unique pendant. Then he is forced to do what is right: stand up to his fears and confront the bully in order to protect a centuries old secret—dragons really do exist!
 
What do you think? Does this make you want to read the book?
Here I am with my muse, Grayson:20140730-232510-84310383.jpg
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 2014 The Keepers of Éire Trip, Writing

Writing Update

I’m terrible at consistently updating my blog, but that’s mostly because I want to have something of interest to write about, not the some ol’ boring “I’m writing today”, or “I haven’t had a chance to write today”.

But just over two weeks ago, I once again took the NaNoWriMo challenge. NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, is where writers from around the globe challenge themselves to write 50,000 words (in some coherent sense) in the month of November. That’s 1,667 words per day, every day—come rain or come shine. La, la, la, la, la. I hear music playing.NaNoWriMo-shield-and-spelled-out

Anyway, I’m not as concerned with writing the 50,000 words, so much as I am getting back to writing everyday (or most days). I am still battling with elbow tendon repair surgery and being the president of Tri-Valley Writers (which takes some time away from my writing). But enough of the whining.

More than halfway through the month, and I have written just over 12,000 words (nowhere near where I should be). But those 12,000 words are solid. What I mean is: they are the first seven chapters of the middle-grade novel I’m writing. Of course, they will need to be edited, but not completely rewritten. Hurrah!

And, more importantly, the story is flowing well and I’m writing most days (still not everyday as I am having some major pain in my arm).

So there you have it, my writing update. I’m off to see what Niall is up to. He should be making Grayson’s (my wingless dragon from The Keepers of Éire) acquaintance in the next day or so. (check out Grayson atop Lia Fail, hanging with me in Ireland).

20140730-232510-84310383.jpg

 

7 Comments

Filed under 2014 The Keepers of Éire Trip, Writing

Edinburgh-last day

For my last full day in Scotland, I hung out with velociraptors, thistles and needle pointers, dragons at a palace and Grayfriars Bobby. I started the day finding a real gem of a sgian dubh (dagger). Then I learned about how Scotland (and Earth) was formed and changed since the Big Bang at Our Dynamic Earth.

20140730-230056-82856165.jpg
Then I checked out the Scottish Parliment. A major vote is coming up in September for Scotland, yet I went to view the 160 panel Great Tapestry of Scotland-fabulous! I even added some stitching to a panel that will be presented to Parliment.

20140730-230520-83120450.jpg

20140730-230518-83118200.jpg
Next, I visited the Palace of Holyroodhouse -where the royal family resides when they come to Edinburgh. And, I found dragons.

20140730-230741-83261950.jpg

20140730-230739-83259334.jpg

20140730-230814-83294126.jpg

20140730-230817-83297008.jpg
I touched Grayfriars Bobby’s nose (it is rumored that the Skye Terrier lay by his human’s gravesite for 14 years until he himself died in 1872 -now that’s loyalty).

20140730-231053-83453199.jpg

20140730-231050-83450575.jpg
And I wrapped up my day with dessert and a pint, or two, of St. Andrews Smooth at the Balmoral Hotel. Wow, what fun I’ve had.

20140730-231312-83592049.jpg
Tomorrow I head back to Dublin for one last afternoon and evening, then I fly back home. The time has gone quickly, but I’ve reconnected with some wonderful people and made new friends along the way.
I am blessed to be able to experience some parts of the lands of my ancestors. Slainte.

20140730-232510-84310383.jpg

3 Comments

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

Edinburgh

I spent the day in Edinburgh visiting the Castle (which is getting ready for the Military Tattoo).

20140729-213539-77739507.jpg

20140729-213542-77742196.jpg

20140729-213720-77840952.jpg

20140729-213718-77838215.jpg
Here I am at the line of cannons.

20140729-213929-77969357.jpg

20140729-213926-77966485.jpg
And some dragons.

20140729-214204-78124037.jpg

20140729-214201-78121338.jpg
The castle is built on top of an extinct volcano, and easy to see why it was built here. The castle is solid rock fortress.

20140729-214412-78252412.jpg

20140729-214408-78248909.jpg
I finished the day with an early supper at the Witchery. Also, check out the street I’m staying.

20140729-214703-78423095.jpg

20140729-214728-78448937.jpg
I’m going to visit the Palace at Holyroodhouse tomorrow.

1 Comment

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

Inverness, Culloden, Clava Cairns, Ruthven Barracks, Pitlochry, & Edinburgh

The morning started with a book giveaway and send off from my Inverness lodging- the Atherstone Guesthouse.

20140728-221144-79904080.jpg
We headed out to Culloden Battlefield where in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobites lost their battle.

20140728-221751-80271210.jpg

20140728-221748-80268092.jpg
Next, the Clava Cairns (this will be one of the locations the Caledonian dragons will harness the earth magic in book 2 of my Keeper series). Grayson came along to show the way into the cairns.

20140728-222346-80626552.jpg

20140728-222349-80629785.jpg

20140728-222511-80711470.jpg

20140728-222514-80714242.jpg

20140728-222610-80770326.jpg

20140728-222927-80967041.jpg
Ruthven Barracks rounded out our morning.

20140728-223201-81121365.jpg

20140728-223204-81124203.jpg

20140728-223316-81196643.jpg

20140728-223313-81193928.jpg
We stopped in Pitlochry for lunch and whisky tasting. Guess where I ate lunch?

20140728-223601-81361384.jpg

20140728-223604-81364329.jpg
I’ll close out this post with our tour guide Bill (also my guide 3 years ago) from Real Scottish Journeys. He was quite supportive of my writing endeavor when last I was here, so…look for Bill in the next book.

20140728-223959-81599181.jpg

3 Comments

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

Eilean Donan, Loch Ness, and Inverness

We left the Isle of Skye and crossed the bridge to the most photographed castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan. And no wonder, it may be small, but quite beautiful.

20140728-072049-26449083.jpg

20140728-072043-26443251.jpg

20140728-072046-26446471.jpg
We had a wee tour.

20140728-072240-26560255.jpg

20140728-072243-26563193.jpg

20140728-072356-26636550.jpg

20140728-072353-26633696.jpg
I found dragons!

20140728-072518-26718534.jpg

20140728-072515-26715786.jpg

20140728-072616-26776267.jpg

20140728-072613-26773782.jpg
Then we were off to find Nessie in Loch Ness.

20140728-081406-29646236.jpg

20140728-081409-29649014.jpg

20140728-081517-29717610.jpg

20140728-081521-29721151.jpg
And a quick stop to see Urquhart Castle before stopping for the night in Inverness.

20140728-082053-30053371.jpg

20140728-082050-30050628.jpg

20140728-082224-30144619.jpg

5 Comments

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

Lost Fairy Glen photos

The Fairies invaded my last post and stole the photos (snaps) of their glen. Here they are.

20140727-083916-31156431.jpg

20140727-083919-31159669.jpg

20140727-084032-31232387.jpg

20140727-084035-31235574.jpg
Even Grayson climbed to the top of the fairy castle with me after we traversed the wishing spiral and left a token.

20140727-084315-31395379.jpg

20140727-084318-31398095.jpg
Here are some snaps of the mystical landscape along with our rainy weather.

20140727-084655-31615155.jpg

20140727-084658-31618086.jpg

20140727-084822-31702267.jpg

20140727-084819-31699615.jpg
Our last stop of the day was a hike to the lighthouse that stood at the farthest westerly point in Scotland.

20140727-085058-31858015.jpg

20140727-085100-31860557.jpg
The sun is peaking through the clouds this morning as the tour leaves Skye.

1 Comment

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