Ring of Kerry

DSC_0511When we visited the Ring of Kerry, our CIE Tour Guide pointed out the hill in this photo. The greenery is lovely to see, but if you look closely it is like thick molasses poured over a dark bowl. It slowly slips into the Atlantic ocean. According to Nutty Birdwatcher, trees used to cover Ireland from shore-to-shore.

Balancing economics and industry with protecting Ireland’s geological jewels becomes more challenging with each passing year.

Can anybody or provide the name or geological coordinates for this photograph?

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Leaving Killarney

A quick update for those that follow Toss the Typewriter. Please don’t give up on me.  I’ll be back soon. Balancing a full-time job with writing has been a challenge.

DSC_0437I’m mid-way through my first draft of my second novel. It’s a love story set in Ireland. While I won’t reveal the plot, here’s where my protagonist has traveled:

  • November: Software engineer, Carly Blake, works in New York City near Bryant Park. We meet her in May as she finishes off a project and gets ready for a long anticipated vacation with her soon-to-be fiance. It is with great disappointment that my Bryant Park scene is one of ‘my darlings’ I’ve had to cut. Maybe I can fit it in somehow…
  • December: The only snowflakes we’ve had in our area are the ones associated with the Snowflake Method, which I used to outline Carly’s story and for character development. Plus, I wrote a the pivotal scene (a romance within a romance) that happens about two-thirds through, which upends Carly’s plans.
DSC_0215

Dublin, Ireland

  • January: It’s touring day one for Carly. She flies to Dublin and joins her tour. She visits Trinity College, sees the Book of Kells, the Famine Memorial, and orders tea (really? tea?) at a Dublin Pub.
  • February: On her second day in Ireland, Carly travels to Glendelough, New Ross and Waterford. She misses the New Ross tour to spend her time up the hill at the newly refurbished New Ross library.
  • March: It’s the third day in Ireland. Carly travels to Cobh and finishes the day with night fishing in Killarney. Again she skips out on the regular attractions to follow her own path. The other tourists wonder why she never joins them.
  • April’s goals: Carly’s fourth and fifth days will be spent in Killarney visiting the Ring of Kerry, Shannon, and Galway. Let’s see whether I can get through two days in one month.

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Distraction Gratitude

Across the earth, folks are feverishly adding words to their novels in order to meet the 50,000 word goal of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). There are many that will make the goal, and others that will go on to sell their novels, hoping that you and I will buy a copy and write a great review on Good Reads.

Then there are the people like me. I entered the month with barely an outline, exhausted from a commitment-crazy October. But I set my NaNoWriMo goals anyway, and am pleased to say, I have met all but one goal.

I wrote short stories from my graduate program, including two, which might be publishable. I exercised (until I sprained my ankle last week), I tweeted daily encouragement for other WriMos, and worked full-time on my critical project at work. Most important, I hung out with my family. I visited with new friends (though I miss my long-time friends), I’ve hung curtains, pictures, transferred old VHS movies to DVDs, watched river otters swim, and turkeys fly.

Turkeys

And I’ve written 28,848 words. Perhaps my words will grow to 30,000 by tomorrow. If they don’t, it’s because I’m spending my day today with my daughter, and my son and I talked on the phone, and I walked in my yard (a feat in itself as I heal from that sprain). If my words don’t grow, it’s because I’ve called a friend, ordered Christmas gifts for my husband, played with my dogs.

Dogs

Whatever it is that distracts me today and tomorrow; whatever it is that keeps me from making this last 50,000 word NaNoWriMo goal, I am grateful.

For it is the distractions: the people, nature, pets, world events–both wonderful and sad–that enrich a writer’s work.

So today, thank you all for being my distraction!

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Fluid Beauty

Sun behind tree highlights raindrops

Three weeks ago, my NaNoWriMo goals were set in a post called, From NYC to Temple Bar.  Since then, Syrian refugees, Beirut, Paris, more refugees, and helpless sorrow. Often my goals seem naive and superficial, but never so much as now.

My wish to write isn’t lofty. It’s a need, buried long under layers of responsibility, and like a dormant tulip bulb, finally flowering in a small pocket of soil set free of its layers of leaves.

I’m a genre writer; my words are of love and friendship; of loneliness’s pain and of healing relationships. I am not a journalist or historian, reporting and righting the wrongs of the world. My words do not cut ahead of me as my sword. I’m don’t have courage to fight dragons and demons.

Though I wish I did. I think.

Last week, amid the world’s chaos, I worked from home, my laptop set up at my kitchen table. It had been raining. Soft sounds of raindrops tiptoed on roof and windows, and my keyboard kept time. Sometime between my last cup of coffee and noon, the beat slowed and stopped and the white sun burned through the gray sky.

Outside my window, a barren tree, moments before black and foreboding, grabbed hold of light. Each minuscule drop of water absorbed, refracted and reflected, until pinpricks of pink, purple, green, lit the tree with tiny, distinct, separate and beautiful, points of color.

And all I can do is pray. I think.

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Wkly Brief – It’s May in Bryant Park

bryant parkFor Carly Blake, its spring in NYC and she’s at Bryant Park getting some bad news from her beau. Looks like she’s might be going to Ireland alone. Bummer.

Despite her set-backs, Carly should be flying to Ireland by the end of the week. In the meantime, here’s my National Novel Writing month progress report.

5,000 words toward NaNoWriMo Goal

Currently on target to reach the goal of 50,000 words by November 30th.

Are any of my readers familiar with LaGuardia airport?  If so, would it be possible for somebody flying to Ohio (domestic flight) to have drinks and a burger in LaGuardia’s terminal with somebody flying to the Cayman Islands (international flight)?  If so, where would they meet? If you know the answer, please comment below.  If I use your answer in my book, I’ll mention you in the credits.  wink

Thanks!

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Posted in Fiction, Travel, Weekly Brief | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments