Dancing to an Irish Reel

I spent ten days on the west coast of Ireland last October. It was during that slip of time where the days grow dark by seven P.M. as the season inches towards winter. It was temperate weather in that tourist off-season, for Ireland is subject to the North Atlantic Drift which keeps the air on a surprising even keel save for the unpredictable episodes of rain which can appear without warning to add a hint of dramatic effect that rarely lasts long. What I like about Ireland’s west coast is that it is basically untouched, especially in the area known as the Gaeltacht, which refers to the predominately Irish speaking area of Ireland where the old ways are still kept. Once upon a time, I spent a year living in the rural region of Inverin while I worked thirteen miles down the coast in Galway. Inverin is a land separated into geometric prisms by grey-stone walls leading down to the rock encrusted shores of the Atlantic on one side of the coast road and bog-land that stretches out forever on the other. Between the time I arrived in Ireland and the time I left, I managed to ingratiate myself into the rhythm of a land that has more soul and character than any place I’d ever imagined.
So, I took the experience and wrote a novel about a single American female who leaves the record business in Los Angeles and relocates to rural Ireland where she meets an Irish traditional musician who won’t come closer nor completely go away. The novel was released on March 17, 2015 and is entitled, “Dancing to an Irish Reel.” I went out of my way not to patronize anything about Ireland, particularly its people. I wanted to refrain from bringing an American frame of reference to the book because I felt it had been done before and somehow cheated what I wanted to be the point of the story, which concerns the ambiguity of a budding love relationship with its attendant excitement, hope and doubt. On the one hand, this story could have happened anywhere (I know of very few people who haven’t been thrown into confusion as they navigate the minefield of new found attraction) but because this story takes place in Ireland, I had the opportunity to highlight a setting in possession of unfathomable beauty with a history of cultural nuances worth the singing of deep praise.
I have a curious mixture of humility and pride at the thought of sharing this novel. It may sound trite to say it’s my love letter to Ireland but in many ways, it is. When I was in Ireland, I took photographs of many of the places I put in the story so people can have a visual image while they read the book. They're available on my FB author page and Pinterest.https://www.facebook.com/clairefuller...
In writing “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” I did what all writers do: tell about how they find the world through the vehicle of one painstakingly crafted, poignant case in point.

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Published on September 21, 2014 11:00 Tags: dancing-to-an-irish-reel, ireland, irish-love
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message 1: by D.k. (new)

D.k. If the writing in the book is as captivating as this simple blog post, it will be a delight to read. The "turn of the word" in a brief blog like this is also "crafted" with care. Imagine the novel!


message 2: by Helen (new)

Helen I shall be looking forward to it appearing.....with bated breath. It will be great to see the land through an American filter!


message 3: by Claire (last edited Mar 27, 2015 12:53PM) (new)

Claire Fullerton And I await your review with an equally bated breath! Many thanks, Helen!


message 4: by Roisin (new)

Roisin Black Claire - I'm so glad you fell in love with the west of Ireland - there is nowhere quite like it.


message 5: by Claire (new)

Claire Fullerton Yes, exactly, Roisin! If any place is magic, it's the west of Ireland!


message 6: by Billy (new)

Billy O'Connor I'm Cork born and a writer. Your words do us proud.


message 7: by Claire (new)

Claire Fullerton At word from you, Billy, I couldn't be more chuffed!Slainte!


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A Writing Life

Claire Fullerton
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