It’s March and We Truly Need a Saint Now – #readingirelandmonth2020

March! Reading Ireland Month

Guess I wasn’t successful trying to fend off the cold the CE got on the shuttle to the VA Hospital in Chicago in early March. While he’s mostly over his, I’ve just begun. (Yes, it’s just a cold.) The Corona Virus did kill St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this year, including the dying green of the Chicago River as well as the parade. And with the CE’s new vegetarian diet, no corned beef and cabbage for us either. The state lockdown has most restaurants closed, and I couldn’t even go out for a birthday dinner. (grumble grumble) Thinking we’ll have to have a make-up bash in June.

But–it is March and I’m participating in the Reading Ireland Month for 2020. I’ve posted a number of book reviews either by Irish authors or those books with an Irish setting. Last year, I spotlighted Stanley McShane’s book Cocos Island Treasure, a fictionalized story of his sailing trip to a favorite pirate haven (tropic island of the Pacific Ocean) of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in an attempt to find the “Loot of Lima.”

In 2016, “two park rangers (off the coast of Costa Rica) were patrolling a national park* after a recent storm when they uncovered five wooden chests, among other treasures.  This find is one of the most extensive in modern times. The treasure consisted of gold and silver coins, ingots, jewelry, candlesticks and religious items.  Historians believe that the entire collection is worth about 200 million dollars.

The vocal music background on the book trailer for Cocos Island Treasure is provided by Marc Gunn, self-proclaimed Irish and Celtic Music celtfather. In addition to his albums, he offers a delightful podcast which was available for download on iTunes. I think, however, my favorite album is “Happy Songs of Death.” Otherwise, check him out here.

I highlight six of the manuscripts I published for Patrick J Rose on the “Books by Stanley McShane page. This year, I thought I’d include a poem from Sole Survivor published in 2017, an anthology, collection of short story adventures and poems. The book also includes the story of the recovery of the painting the author used to illustrate his retelling of the sinking of the Marguerite. His poems include laments to his years of trading penny stocks (another book, Hot Air Promotions) as well as anguished cries of love lost.

In Friendship’s Name

Must we say farewell dear heart?
Must we part in bitter sorrow?
Time alone shall tell dear heart
Of the anguish on the morrow.

Tho’ memory brings to me regret
My love remains the same
And I through life could ne’er forget
If we part in friendship’s name.

Once my world was full of gladness
Life was full of song.
The only joy I’ve known dear heart
I treasured all day long.

Now my world is full of sadness
Life’s no longer sweet!
The only joy I’ve known dear heart
You banish at my feet.

As friends we met, as friends we part
I would have dearer grown
As hand in hand and heart to heart
I would you were my own.

Tho’ memory brings to me regret
My love remains the same
And I through life could ne’er forget
If we part in friendship’s name.

As we globally continue to fight this horrible biological catastrophe, my wish for you and yours is to stay safe. Sláinte!

©2020 V Williams V Williams

*The park was closed to treasure hunting exploration in the 1970s.

Music Evokes Emotion

Day 18 of the Author Blog Challenge: Which song evokes the feeling/subject of your book? Music evokes memories, emotions, and can instantly transport us to another place.

AH! Transport us to another place–that’s it exactly! While there seems very little romance included in my grandfather’s books, except for hints of attraction, eyes that linger a little too long, hands that accidentally touch, the dialogue that is arrested, he does exude a manner of romance more common of a century ago.

I like to think these were all included in his manuscripts though it’s difficult to think of my grandfather as being a romantic. So I reached through to his proclaimed origins, the mysterious and powerful Celts, as he claimed Irish ancestors.

Talk about a rich history of music!  While the English word “Celt” is fairly modern, and “Celtic” actually refers to a family of languages, the Celts were well established a century before Christ. The music can cover a wide variation of distinctive styles including the melding of Folk, Bluegrass and Country because of the impact of the English-speaking world.

Seeking to find music that would complement the book trailer I created for Cocos Island Treasure, I received license from Marc Gunn, my favorite Celtic musician and self-proclaimed “Celtic geek” and “Celtfather” who produces award-winning free podcasts. His Irish and Celtic Music Podcast is one of the top music downloads on iTunes. In that broad range of accepted Celtic music, he includes Irish drinking songs (you knew that though, I’m sure), bagpipes, and indie musicians from around the world. Irish Celtic Music PodcastI used music licensed under Creative Commons by Kevin MacLeod for the book trailer “Lucky Joe”. Fortunately, Kevin has some great pieces and it is not difficult to find something powerful that is easily included background. While it doesn’t as closely identify the sailing origin as that of Marc Gunn’s music, it does evoke emotion, energy, and the spirit of the book. While “Take A Chance” and “Showdown” are not easily recognizable, it definitely gets the point across.

Music “takes us there” and sets the stage.

Virginia Williams