Thursday, November 20, 2008

Literary Treasures from Dublin, Ireland

I recently arrived back from a working vacation on the Emerald Isle, where, as I mentioned before, my Mom - by the grace of God - is valiantly recovering from a stroke.

But I did manage to squeeze in a fun and info-packed morning at the wonderful Dublin Writers’ Museum, which is housed in an awesome eighteenth century Georgian house, decorated with stained glass windows. I braved the pouring rain, but it was worth every drop, to experience a wealth of treasures in Irish literature.

The atmosphere beckons you to tiptoe back in time, and read about the legacy of talent left by Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Nobel prize winners - George Bernard Shaw and W.B.Yeats, James Joyce, J.M. Synge, Brahm Stoker, Brendan Behan etc. I saw with my own smiling Irish eyes, a signed copy of James Joyce’s "Ulysses" and also his piano, (I guess James and I have something in common); a first edition of Brahm Stoker’s Dracula; the actual typewriter which Brendan Behan threw out the window of a pub (presumably due to frustration in his writing efforts); some original programmes from the earliest plays in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, which Yeats and Synge were instrumental in establishing. The Abbey opened in 1904, and remains active to the present day. The story of its evolution is very interesting.

Much later, but still too soon for me, as I emerged into the continuously pelting rain, I began planning the itinerary for my return trip! It definitely must include a visit to the Victorian house, which is the birthplace of G.B. Shaw, and also the1804 Martello Tower in Sandycove, where James Joyce had a brief but dramatic stay. The tower is famous as the setting for the opening of "Ulysses", and is now a museum devoted to Joyce’s life and works.

And hopefully, someday, I’ll have a PERSONAL reason to enter the building next door to the Writers’ Museum - the Irish Writers’Centre, which handles the business and promotion of contemporary Irish writers!
Such a long and illustrious list of authors has emanated from my homeland - "the Island of Saints and Scholars" - that I guess there’s no excuse for me...
So stay tuned - I ’m on a roll ...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Welcome to Cora’s Column

Welcome to Cora’s Column.
I am a writer and part-time music teacher, but mainly I am a "transatlantic wife, mom, sister and daughter!" Born in Dublin , Ireland, I married an amazing U.S. Air Force guy, emigrated to the U.S, and now have four wonderful almost grown up children, and a twenty-nine year old marriage. Lately I have been traveling between Ireland and the U.S., helping my sisters in the round-the-clock care of my ninety-four year old Mom, who recently suffered a stroke.

I have loved writing since childhood. About a year ago, my mother was sorting through some memory boxes when she came across one of my earliest illustrated stories - graphic novel style - written as a ten year old!

Once we got married and God blessed us with our first precious baby, I assumed my writing days were over, since I was determined to be a 24/7 stay-at-home Mom. But, God still kept pouring ideas into my mind and poetry into my heart. Even with three or four children under my wing, I often sensed God inspiring me with words, really late at night, as I mopped the floor alone in the kitchen.

My family and I have had a very eventful life, so far, traveling military style, as far north as Marquette, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Superior, and as far East as Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, where our only baby girl was born. We have now settled like the dust, in the desert of Arizona.

I have written some romantic stories, but mostly I write non fiction, including poetry, devotionals and memoirs. I recently had an devotional published on the Internet (check out: and also have a contribution to a book. I am now working towards writing my own book. About four years ago, I joined a writers critiquing group here in the Valley of the Sun, which I have found extremely encouraging and inspiring.

And now that we have sent our youngest child off to College, I feel more compelled to write more than ever. I am convinced that God has given me this time...
I write because of I Thessalonians 5:11. - "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..."