Tag Archives: Celtic Cross

One Year Ago

One year ago I boarded a United Airlines / Aer Lingus flight from San Francisco to Dublin, Ireland via Boston. Over the course of the next three weeks (2 weeks in Ireland, 4 days in Scotland, 4 days in England) I fell in love. Well, I fell MORE in love. Having spent the previous two years researching as much as I could about Ireland for my novel, The Keepers of Éire, I had already fallen in love with the lands of some of my ancestors. Specifically, my Irish ancestors: the Crowley’s and my Scottish ancestors: the McKay’s.

Someday I’d like to visit more of Europe, to see my mother’s side—the Holland’s and Stickney’s. And, of course, Spain for the Bernal’s. But that is for later.

I’ve learned so much this past year: about Ireland, the places my characters travel to, the writing process (write, write, write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite), and my own writing habits. I’ve learned that I’m not just a fantasy writer, but a Writer. I write whatever I am inspired to write, including personal narrative and poetry. I’ve learned that sharing my love of my story with others and my travels inspires me to work harder, to write more. I’ve learned to let go when my characters divert from my idea of the storyline and allow them to tell their story. This is hard for me—the organized, outline following, meticulous planner. Okay, anal.

I loved Ireland. The spectacular and historical places I visited, the mystical stone dances and ruins, the vibrant cities, the festive pubs with their soul-touching music, and the incredibly wonderful people. The images are forever imprinted in my memory. Along with my computer’s (over 3500 photos and video clips). I do have the DVD I compiled, though only a few have seen it. I promise, I have it and hope to have viewings at some point. I only hope I do justice to the land and people of my ancestry with The Keepers of Éire.

One year age: the airplane doors closed. I sat anxiously in my seat by the window, and wondered what the next few weeks would reveal to me. My heart beat with excitement and wonder.

My life changed when I started writing this story.

And, I fell in love.

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Filed under England 2011, Ireland 2011, Scotland 2011

May 12 to 14, 2011

As you guessed, I have been without Internet access for several days. Here’s a rundown.

May 12: I left Ballynahinch Lake and County Galway, passed through County Mayo and stopped in County Sligo. The setting for the fourth murder, Mary and her dragon, is here in Carrowmore-a bronze age cemetery. This is a cairn-the only one in the cemetary, inside is a dolmen.

The cemetary also has a stone circle. This is the location on Mary’s murder, within the circle, near the Whitethorn-or-Hawthorne tree.

Since Sligotown was hours away from County Meath and my final few locations, I decided to push onward and made it into Kells for the night. Yes, Kells, where the monks wrote the Book of Kells (currently on display in Trinity College, Dublin).

May 13: Today I toured Newgrange-where all my murder victims’ bodies have been placed. This site and Knowth and Dowth are along the River Boyne and are over 5000 years old. That’s 500 years older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt and 1000 years older than Stonehenge in Great Britain (which I will see next week).

Entrance Stone

I drove back north somewhat to Loughcrew Cairn. The general area here is another Tuatha Dragon Clan compound in the book. This cairn is at the top of a hill (don’t know the height, but it’s quite a hike) overlooking many valleys with farms and forests.

Cairn at Loughcrew, County Meath

May 14: Today is my last day touring with the car. I toured the Hill of Tara, the legendary seat of Irish Kings. In ‘The Keepers of Eire’, the Tuatha Dragon Clan celebrate Beltaine here and hopefully the partnering of Devan and Christian with their respective dragons. But will the ceremony proceed, or will the murderer be victorious?

The Stone of Destiny is prominately featured on the mound next to the Mound of the Hostages. On a clear day (which I did not have) you can see more than half of Ireland from atop the Mound of the Hostages.

Back into Dublin and I finally got to tour the Guinness Storehouse (remember on 4 May I tried, but was thwarted due to a bomb threat). The tour was interesting and I sat with my pint in the Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse. There guests have a 360 degree view of Dublin. This view shows maybe 1/10 of the room.

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Filed under Ireland 2011