Another year

Boy that last post is super cranky. Most of the time I like to keep a somewhat even keel about my opinions. Obviously, they are there and are easily found in the subject matter of what and who I write about but they’re not usually so cranky and bold. Sorry about that – it seems that my frustration about the US election and all the other bad decisions in the world spilled into my writing for a bit.

So today is a different kind of post – a positive, somewhat self-indulgent one. One year ago my first (error-filled) copy of my first book, Petticoats, Patriots, and Partition, arrived in the mail. Three corrected editions and one year later it’s available everywhere which is a big deal to someone who used to work in a bookstore and now gets to see her own on some of those shelves. The book was a labor of love and it will never be perfect but it was the fulfillment of a life-long dream. It will never make any real money because I don’t have a publisher behind me and I don’t get to quit my two other jobs to write (unfortunately) but it does make me very happy.

I know some of my friends bought a copy – in fact, they’re probably the only people who did. Not many have talked to me about it and while some have read it, most have not. They bought a copy as a support mechanism, not because they’re into Irish history. But last night something really cool, slightly uncomfortable, and very emotional happened that I can’t get out of my head and heart today.

Yesterday we had a party at a friend’s house to welcome baby Fionn and his mother back from Ireland for a visit. When it was time, I took Fionn into another room to try to get him to sleep. There was a fire blazing in the fireplace and as I rocked him I noticed my own book on prominent display in my friend’s beautiful living room. It is there all the time and wasn’t put out just because I would be there. It’s there because the owner is proud of her friends that are authors and she has all of our books in the open for visitors. It was the first time that had ever happened to me and I didn’t know whether to hide it on a shelf, cheer or cry. I settled for singing Irish lullabies to the baby and staring at it for a while.

I don’t know why I’m really telling this story except that it is a positive to balance out the negative which I need right now. It was a potent moment in my journey to spread my love for Ireland to other people. It was the first time I felt like a “real” writer and I was humbled and grateful for that quiet moment in front of the fireplace where it happened. And going into ‘Thanksgiving’ week, I feel like I should be thankful, so I wanted to say thanks to all my readers (both here and in bookland)  for putting up with me and making me feel sappy and wonderful. Your support means the world to me and I can’t thank you enough for it. Go raibh maith agaibh

(We now return to our regularly scheduled program)

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