Creativity

In Honor of St. Patrick’s Day — My Trip to Ancient Ireland

Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be fun to revisit a story collection I wrote about ten years ago with my wonderful and talented friends, Pamela Griffin, Vickie McDonough, and Linda Windsor. Brides o’ the Emerald Isle was a lot of fun to write, and an enjoyable change for me since my story, A Legend of Light, takes place in 500 AD.

Inexplicably, the volume of stories is available for a penny, here.

And again for $35.47 here.

The more expensive book has a story not written by Tamela Hancock Murray, but by Tamela Hanc. Obviously Tamela Hanc is by far the better writer.

To celebrate writing my story, I bought Celtic Barbie. While not a pure representation of my heroine, Sorcha, Celtic Barbie reminds me how much I enjoyed writing books. Oh, and how did I choose Sorcha as a name? Well, I had to choose something today’s reader could easily identify, and one I could type with some sort of accuracy – not an easy challenge when consulting a name book including the time period of 500 AD. How about Hyge, or Aelfflaed or Eormenthryth? Sexburg is listed as a female name, a feather in my cap in case I ever decide to write a steamy story taking place in ancient Ireland – NOT.

By the way, the book I used, Names Through the Ages by Teresa Norman, is still available and a great reference. And it’s an engrossing read for anyone interested in history, or just names.

So now you have two books to read, and they are both so old I doubt any of the authors will make even an, ahem, penny from your purchase. But have fun anyway.

I leave you with this Irish blessing:

May you always have…
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.

Your turn:

Have you ever written a story set in Ireland?

What is your favorite book set in Ireland?

What is your favorite time of history to read about?

What time in history would be the most challenging for you to write?

 

 

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Share Your Irish Blessings!

I think there’s a touch o’ the Irish—or at least a touch o’ the Blarney Stone—in every writer. So what more appropriate way to celebrate tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day than to write your own, original Irish Blessing? Irish blessings are can be: Long or Short May the Lord be between …

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What An Editor Does –Phase 1

As we saw from the comments last week, editors have many tasks. As do copyeditors and proofreaders, but for the next few blogs we’re focusing on editors. I’ve been an editor for over 35 years, both in-house and freelance. And I’ve worked with all categories of books except Children’s books …

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Leap into Word Play

February 29th comes every U.S. Presidential election year. It is called Leap Year day. I pondered what we could do to celebrate this reaccuring phenomenon. Should we sing along with Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” when Frederic discovers that he was born on February 29th and the whole story turns …

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The Sound of Words

One of the things I love most about working with words is that I will never reach the point where I can say, “There, now. I’ve learned it all.” Love, love learning new things. Especially when it’s something I can share with all of you. So, have you ever heard …

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The Grand Canyon is a Market Reality

Some Christian authors desire to one day write books for general market publishers rather than for those who focus only on Christian-themed books. The thought, which is well-intentioned, is publishers focusing on the broader market will reach unbelieving readers, piquing their interest in spiritual things, leading to further investigation and …

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Give Yourself a Break

George Bernard Shaw said it best: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” Sometimes you just need a break from it all. A few minutes to distract your brain, or even—dare I say it?–have a bit of flat-out fun. For some that …

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Still Wanted: Writing that Sings! (What Karen Ball is Looking For)

Anyone who has jumped into the waters of agenting knows they’ll be asked one question, over and over and over:  “What are you looking for?” Well, now that I’ve got a couple of years of this amazing work under my belt, let me build on what I said when I started. Back then, I said I was looking, first and foremost, for books that glorify God, then for writing that sings, that speaks to the heart and spirit, that uplifts and challenges. Well, that’s all the same! But there are a few clarifications I want to make.  First, here’s the not so good news:

What I’m Not Looking For

Children’s & Middle Grade Books: As much as I enjoy reading these books (that’s one of the only perks to never having had children—I get all the kid’s books!), I am not representing them. It’s not that I don’t see the need. It’s simply that I’m not experienced with these kinds of books. My work lo, these many years in publishing, has been with adult books. Now, I have worked with Young Adult fiction and nonfiction, but I already have some great clients in that category and am not, at present, looking for more.

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Bring the Books (What Steve Laube is Looking For)

“Bring the books, especially the parchments,” is a sentence in 2 Timothy 4:13 that has teased readers for 2,000 years. What books did the Apostle Paul want to read while waiting for trial? Theology? History? How-to? (Maybe a little escape reading? Pun intended.)

Another writer chimed in a while ago by saying “Of making many books there is no end.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12) And if we read the statistics he wasn’t kidding. 300,000+ published in the United States alone last year.

And yet there is an allure to the stories of great novelists and a fascination in the brilliance of deep thinkers. It is what drew me to the book industry in the first place having been a lifelong reader and a burgeoning collector of my own library.

I can safely say that the allure and fascination remains unabated. I’ve had and continue to have the honor and privilege of working with some of the finest minds and talented writers in our industry. The photo above is from my office showing every book represented by our agency. Hundreds of amazing books by amazing authors.

Meanwhile I am still searching for the next great story, the next great concept, the next great writer. So, to answer the question, “What are you looking for?” I will attempt to clarify a few things.

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