Insignificance & Inspiration

08 Aug

ireland-mapAs negative as the the first word in the title may sound, this is a positive blog! I returned from vacation this week, having visited Ireland and Scotland. In Ireland, we rented a car and made a circuit from the eastern coast at the capitol city of Dublin and drove clockwise around the country before ending up in Belfast. We visited Waterford, Cobh, Killarney, Galway, Inis Mor (largest of the Aran Islands), Sligo, Donegal, Derry, as well as driving through many smaller towns.

We all know the U.S., as a nation, is young in comparison to other countries. But, I was struck by the scope of the wonders of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher (five miles along the coast) in County Clare rise up from the ocean and take one’s breath away.

The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher

When standing at the top of one, you can look out across the sea and envision earlier times. Early people would use currachs, and those small boats would buck the waves, while the people would look up at the cliffs and hope they wouldn’t be dashed against them in the tides.

photo 4As we headed out of the Republic of Ireland north to the UK part of Ireland in County Antrim, we traveled the Giant’s Causeway. The scientific explanation is a series of huge basalt columns formed from a volcanic eruption. Myth states that the Giant Finn MacCool built a walkway to get to Scotland for a battle. I prefer the myth because to see these “steps” plunges me back to that time. photo 1photo 3 photo 2I can see Finn taking

“giant” steps on each flat surface.

I’ve chosen only two of the natural wonders of Ireland to put into perspective how insignificant one feels when seeing such magnificence for the first time. But, rather than feeling diminished, I feel inspired. What stories these rocks could tell; what things they’ve witnessed over the centuries!

We spoke with locals, dined at pubs, and had an unforgettable journey in so many ways. I came back refreshed and energized, eager to tell stories in my voice.

Oh, and if you can see the tiny L-shaped island at the very top northern part of the map, it is Rathlin Island. Rathlin Island is in the very first book I attempted, a historical set in 1560. My wonderful son and daughter-in-law surprised me with a ferry trip to visit it. The island is only 7 miles total in size, so we took a tour bus around it and I could clearly envision where my hero and heroine would camp, where the outlawed druids had hidden from persecution, and from which coast the h/h could set out to Scotland. So excited, I might go back to that book and rewrite it. Trust me, as the first one I wrote, it sorely needs it!


Posted by on August 8, 2013 in inspiration, travel


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16 responses to “Insignificance & Inspiration

  1. Stephanie Berget

    August 8, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    What a wonderful trip, and the stories it inspires will keep you going for years to come. I’d love to read the book when you’ve rewritten it.

    • Janis McCurry

      August 8, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Okay! It is definitely a different type than my others.

  2. Judith Keim

    August 8, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Janis, I LOVED your blog and the excitement in your voice. So glad you had this opportunity and hope you use it to rewrite the first story. It’s interesting, but most of the first stories, though not usually well-written, have the most heart. Go, girl!

  3. marsharwest

    August 8, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Hey, Janis. Wow! What a great vacation. Two places out of the US, I’d really like to visit someday. The natural wonders inspire me, too. We’ve got tons of pictures of seasides, waves, and giant stone out cropings along the coast of Maine, quaint harbors that look no unlike what they did 100 years ago.
    I’m with Stephanie and Judith, pull out that first book. I bet now having seen the real thing, you infuse that story with life! Good writing.

  4. Lynn Mapp

    August 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Janis, it sounds like you had trip of a lifetime. Can’t wait to get more details.

  5. Janis McCurry

    August 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    I will never forget it!

  6. Jennifer

    August 9, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Your trip sounds amazing! Especially since I just finished reading a great Scottish highland novel – *sigh*.

    • Janis McCurry

      August 9, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      We had a Scot named Richard show us Edinburgh and he was in full kilt dress. So cool. I’ll show you pics!

  7. Corina Mallory

    August 9, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Getting out of our usual routines, seeing new sights, smelling new smells, hearing new voices is wonderfully inspiring. I’m so happy for you!

    • Janis McCurry

      August 9, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Thanks, so many new sights and sounds to remember.

  8. maryvine

    August 9, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Wasn’t it Jennifer Cruise who only used 5,000 words of her first manuscript to make her first book sellable? SO, whatever you do, it is a great premise! One question I ask my students is where would you like to go if you could go anywhere in the world? I always answer Ireland and Scotland to see the castles. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time and with your family, too. Making memories for all of you.

  9. Janis McCurry

    August 9, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    The most special part of the vacation was being w. my son and DIL since they live out of the state and I don’t see them as much as I’d like..

  10. Peggy Staggs

    August 13, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    What a great adventure. I’m a travel junkie–probably genetic–I get so much inspiration from going to a new place and seeing different things. I’m glad you had a great time.


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