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All Things Irish: Rainbows and Unicorns

St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, only 5 days to go!

If you are looking for a fast, sweet, and easy treat to make for this holiday, why don’t you get the help of a leprechaun? You know the one I mean…his treasure consists of a stash of a rainbow’s worth of colorful marshmallows, let me see if I can remember this piece of my childhood: “green clovers, blue diamonds, yellow stars…” I’m stuck (I was that weird kid who didn’t like marshmallows in my cereal…or frosting on my cupcakes for that matter). I do remember at one point they added purple horseshoes to the mix. The treats are a snap to make, just use the same recipe you’d follow if making something involving a cereal promoted by 3 elves named via onomatopoeia.

Lucky charm treats

These treats will give you a killer sugar buzz…you’ll be ready to hop on a unicorn and chase down a rainbow like a little leprechaun yourself in no time.

I’m not sure how well they go with a Guinness, but you’re welcome to try it out and let me know.

Can’t find a unicorn to take you to the end of a rainbow? Do you know the “story” behind why unicorns disappeared from the world? Well, as one famous Irish ditty tells it, the flighty creatures were so busy having fun they forgot to get aboard Noah’s ark.  But don’t worry,  with the help  this item – straight out of WTF-land… unicorns can once again roam the earth. Sorta.

(Sigh) If only we could all be as happy as the dude in the picture. Unfortunately, wearing this item does not seem to have the same jubilant effect on cats—as demonstrated HERE. (But if YOU are in need of a smile, check out some of the customer product reviews).

8Sentence Sunday (6): Only the Truth

Good morning fellow warriors! It’s a sad truth, but today is that nasty day we lose an hour…and there’s never enough hours in the day to write as it is!

Today’s snippet, another from To Catch A Fetch, is all about the truth. Last week you got a peek at the moment our hero, Ronan, explains where he grew up (and our heroine doesn’t believe it).  Before she discovers the truth and prepares to eat some crow, the following is her initial reaction…and his reaction to her  reaction (did you get all that?)

Ronan’s attitude infuriated her. “Look, if you don’t want to tell me about your background, fine, just say so. You don’t need to lie to me.” She pushed back her chair and dumped her cereal in the sink, suddenly not hungry.

She rinsed her dishes out and turned to find Ronan still sitting at the table, watching her. When he spoke, his voice was low, the words dropping into the morning air with heavy finality. “Devyn, I will tell you this only once. Whether or not you choose to believe me is up to you. I never lie—I may not always tell you everything, but whatever I do tell you, rest assured it is the truth.”

Just for fun, I’m including a video for one my favorite songs about lies. (This band also has a very famous song about truth – can you name it?)

 

Thanks for reading! And if you’re not a fellow WeWriWa participant but would like to read more, check out this week’s linky page for other great snippets.

Weekend Writing Warriors label

 

8Sentence Sunday (5): Serendipity

This week’s snippet pays homage to the beginning of March, and my blog’s annual17 Days of Irish series. The hero from today’s book, To Catch A Fetch isn’t Irish – but he’s Welsh, and that’s pretty darn close (I would like to note book 4 in this series, To Bet A Banshee will be set in Ireland…though at the moment it is only in the proposal stage)

Anyways, the oddest thing happened one day while I was working on a scene for TCAF…let’s call it a bit of writing serendipity, if you will. Earlier in the book the heroine Devyn confronts the hero and demands to know more about him – who he is, where he grew up, etc…and when Ronan tells her he was born in a place called Snowdonia, she thinks he is pulling her leg. But no, as Devyn discovers in the scene below, Snowdonia is a very real place – and Ronan has been telling her the truth all along.

Now, the funny thing about this whole bit is I just made the name Snowdonia up. Maybe…probably…at some point in my past I  had read or heard about Snowdonia, Wales and the information got filed away in the recesses of my brain…but I’d like to believe there is also the possibility the muse blessed me with a dash of serendipity. For I  have to tell you, when I first discovered Snowdonia , Wales was a real place…that it actually existed in real life…well, my reaction to the news was pretty much on par with Devyn’s.

Devyn tossed everything on the table and started thumbing through the more colorful of the two books she had pulled on Wales. Images of mountains and valleys and picturesque stone castles flipped by, and she found herself slowing down to take time with each page and absorb the breathtaking Welsh countryside. Her eye caught the word Snowdonia, and she stopped, feeling slightly nauseous.

Snowdonia, Wales—the damn place even had a national park.

She felt like a complete idiot.

Scanning the page, she saw a reference to a website and flipped her laptop open. Devyn logged on to the library browser and typed in the address…yep, there it was, “Welcome to Snowdonia.”

Maybe, if I’m super lucky, I’ll take a trip to Wales one day (and write it off as a business expense, of course).

You can follow Devyn’s trail of research and visit the Snowdonia Wales info page for yourself.

And while you are at it, be sure to stop by the WeWriWa page to read more snippets from this week’s 8Sentence participants.

Weekend Writing Warriors
Weekend Writing Warriors

All Things Irish: Gettin’ Jiggy With It

I have 2 daughters—both red heads—and both Irish Dancers in training. I don’t know about all Irish dance schools, but in the one my children attend, the first dance they learn is the Traditional Irish Jig. The dance has 5 “steps” (which each step breaking down into a series of steps, repeated on both right and left leg). It can take a new dancer (especially if she is very young, like my Lil’ G)  a year or more to master this first dance. I think though, that like riding a bike, once you learn the jig, you’ll know how to do it forever. For more about the Beginner’s Jig, see THIS post from a 2011 day of All Things Irish.

And speaking of Lil’ G,  I think she’s finally catching on…the other day I overheard her teaching her Lalaloopsy doll how to do the first step of the jig. “Jump over, jump lift, jump back, 1-2-3-4.”

And now for some fun,  last year talk show host Ellen hosted an “Irish Dance Dare” and some girls from my daughters’ Irish Dance school decided they were up to the challenge: here they are jigging their way through the aisles of the circle store.

And to shake things up a bit, here’s another video of Miss A’s dance school from a feis (that’s a dance competition, pronounced “fesh”). For more information on what a feis is, check out THIS POST from a previous 17 Days of All Things Irish.

Video Credit: Rick DeSalvo of RCD Media

Still hungry for more jigs? Watch the movie: JIG, a documentary that takes a look at the fierce,  glittery world of competitive Irish Dance. (Bonus! If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can watch it for free!)

It’s March First!

Hooray! February is over! To celebrate, I feel like breaking out my munchkin tights and singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.” (OK, not really.)

March can be crappy in its own moody, slushy, not quite spring kind of way…but the promise of green helps brighten the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m talking about the green of grass and leaves that will (hopefully) be visible by the end of the month, AND of course – the green of St. Patrick’s Day.

And as it’s March 1st, it’s time to begin Drama Mama’s annual 17 Days of All Things Irish.  Today I’m keeping it simple – just a little image I made of my Miss A’s dancing feet a few years back. This is the BIG MONTH for Irish dancers, with performances all over the place, and the sound of fiddles and pipes getting into everyone’s bones. Go, on – find a troupe performing somewhere, order a drink, and do a jig – you know you want to.

Image property of Melonie Jonson. May be used with permission.
Image property of Melonie Jonson. May be used with permission.

8Sentence Sunday (4): A Break in the Clouds

Weekend Writing Warriors label

For this week’s eight, I’m taking you back inside To Catch A Fetch. In this scene Devyn and Ronan are driving through the Pennsylvania countryside on a gray morning. The time spent on the road softens Devyn’s resolve and she begins to ask questions about Ronan’s claim to be a ghost hunter. He uses the scenery around him to help illustrate elements of the paranormal.

Devyn studied the shaft of sunlight slanting through the break in the clouds. “How does the veil—assuming it exists—work?”

Ronan suppressed a grin, “Assuming that, I suppose the best way to describe the veil would be to call it a sheet of fog. Imagine that fog getting infused with a charge of energy.”

“Like static electricity?”

“Similar, but this energy current is unique to the paranormal.  I know that word seems to freak you out Devyn, but all paranormal means is not normal, as in something outside the range of normal experience…this definition can cover a lot of things.”

“Yeah, like my Aunt Betty’s choice of hair color.”

I’m hoping for my own break in the clouds soon—To Catch A Fetch is a finalist in the Agent Blind Speed Dating contest hosted by Cupid’s Literary Connection. My entry (#51) is up now, but the contest does not begin until tomorrow. Only agents are allowed to comment on the entries. You can see a list of the agents who are participating and read the rules for the contest HERE.

Thanks for stopping by! I have a very busy Sunday ahead, but am looking forward to reading and commenting on many of my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors tonight while I watch the Oscars.  If you’d like to take a look at some more snippets, visit WeWriWa for a list of this week’s “Eights.”

 

What Gets Me Through February

When I asked what my least favorite month of the year is, I can answer without hesitation – it’s February. I’ve spoken on my distaste for this month before. Lucky for me, there are a few bright spots of warmth in this bitterly cold, dark (and blessedly short) month to help get me through.

Of course there’s Valentine’s Day, and I am not ashamed to admit my significant other and I enjoy this excuse of a holiday to celebrate our love for chocolate each other. We are staunchly opposed to the great pretender (AKA Sweetest Day), but Valentine’s Day is cool with us. We exchange cards and gifts and have a candlelight dinner at home on the rarely used dining room table. Of course, we are dining with our two children, so the atmosphere isn’t very romantic…but love is certainly in the air and our girls really enjoy it too. (Oh, and there’s chocolate).

So, what does a nerdy couple such as ourselves bestow upon one another on this day of love? Why, nerdy stuff we love, of course!

For my retro-videogamer and lover of all things Zelda husband, I got him the recently released book: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia. Funny story about this gift, the week before V-day he showed me a picture of the book on his phone and told me he’d like it for his birthday (still a few months away). I just nodded,  grinned, and told him I hope he knew how awesome his wife was. (You see, I had pre-ordered the book awhile ago and already had it hidden in the house wrapped as his Valentine’s present).

As awesome as I can sometimes be in the gift giving department, the husband is no slouch either. Example: for Christmas, he got me this sweet Harry Potter “Marauder’s Map” necklace:

I love this little ode to mischief.

And on Valentine’s Day he followed up with another piece of Potter bling: a golden Snitch necklace:

Snitch Necklace

 

So to all the other nerdy couples out there, I hope you enjoyed Valentine’s Day with some snuggle time watching re-runs of The X-Files. (OK, so maybe that was just us)

And somebody knew what they were doing when they added the following “holidays” to the calendar: National Drink Wine Day was Monday February 18th and Friday February 22nd was National Margarita Day.

In honor of National Margarita Day I mixed myself a Blue Rita.
In honor of National Margarita Day I mixed myself a frozen Blue Rita.

Did you have a chance to celebrate either of these? If not, you can make up for it on Sunday by drinking lots of wine and ritas while indulging in the only other thing to look forward to in this effing month that has that effing extra R in its name just because it likes to eff with you: Oscar Night. I haven’t seen any of the nominated movies (um, I managed to get to a theatre only 3x in 2012: two of the movies I saw involved girls who liked bows and arrows, and the third was about some vampires (no, not THAT movie – the other one, the animated one about a hotel).

Can you guess the 3 movies I saw? I’ll make a guess of my own (I won’t call it a prediction, that would indicate some thought went into this) – I’m thinking Best Picture will go to Argo. Either way, I know one thing for sure – by next Friday February will be over, and I can’t wait to blow kisses as I  wave it a big movie star good-bye.