Tag Archives: The Burren

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

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 9

Could not connect yesterday, so I’ll comment twice. On May 9th I visited the second murder site, Poulnabrone Dolmen in The Burren. This dolmen is about 5 feet tall and the opening faces east.

This dolmen is well known and sits among the limestone landscape. In ‘The Keepers of Eire’ Shannon and her dragon Tara are murdered here.

I tried to lodge in Galway City, but had no luck and headeed to Clifden (about 1 1/2 hours northwest) instead. Stayed at a lovely place: Ben Breen House B & B just on the outskirts of Clifden and went to Cleggan (a tiny fishing village 7km away) for dinner. I had a open faced crab meat sandwich and a Guinness. Talked with several blokes from England here on holiday to fish. We joked about how one of the guys went flying across the cabin during a particularily nasty swell (one bloke even had a short video on his mobile phone-all you could see was the guy’s red jacket fly from one side of the cabin to the other).

Yes, I finally stopped on the road to photograph sheep.

Stopping on the roads is extremely dangerous. First, the roads are very narrow, some can barely contain one car at a time widthwise. Second, the speed at which drivers traverse these roads- 80-100km/hr. Many times when two cars pass, these are only inches separating the mirrors. Thus the reason for extra car insurance.

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Filed under Ireland 2011