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Welcome! Irish Firebrands: Christine Plouvier, Indie Author, invites you to celebrate my first work of fiction. Here you can enjoy the view from a ringside seat, as I conjure up “The Story of the Story,” through blog Posts and special feature Pages. You don’t need to be a WordPress blogger to read this blog, although membership does confer advantages, when it comes to using some functions.


Main Menu

Home – Here you’ll find the most recent blog posts, with links to related content and older posts in the queue.
About – Read a short synopsis of the book, get links to retailers, read Un-Asked Questions about Irish Firebrands (if you have others, you can use the Guestbook page to ask them), get news about other projects, and find out a bit about the strange life led by the author.
Index – Alphabetical list of blog posts.
Trailer – Links to the Irish Firebrands book trailer videos (external sites).
Sample Chapters – Find Chapter PDF, and Audiobook here, plus back matter from the book. The back matter includes a pronunciation guide, acknowledgments and complete bibliography of works consulted during the writing of the novel.
Lumber Room – Where fun stuff lives after its debut on the home page, or after a blog menu shakeup. Currently includes Audioblog, an experimental work, where selected posts have been recorded as audible files with a text-to-speech generator; and the Ephemera.
Feedback – Contact the author, participate in polls, and rate the blog.
Library – Virtual bookshelf displaying some of the bibliography of Irish Firebrands. (Sorry, images not clickable.)
Shop – Links to purchase Irish Firebrands books.
Learn Irish – Many of the Gaeilge words, phrases, names, proper nouns (and even a song) that appear in Irish Firebrands. Link to an Irish text-to-speech generator.
Downloads – Get printable PDFs of posters, selected blog posts in a newsletter format, and other fun stuff from Irish Firebrands.
The 7 Reasonable Rules of Writing – Are you confused and discouraged because of what the gurus and gatekeepers are telling you about how you “should” write? Get all that sorted out by visiting this page.

Widget Sidebar (location in sidebar may not match position on this list)

Fireplace Tools – Blog search engine.
Torchlight from the Trailer – Slideshow highlights from the book trailer video.
Get it While it’s Hot! – Link to RSS feed.
Embers in Your Email – Click the Ignite! button to set up a relationship with this blog.
Click Image to Shop Irish Firebrands – Click book cover for links to booksellers. Selected retailers in sidebar.
Ask your Library – E-book and paperback sources for public library acquisitions.
Do I Smell Smoke? – Quick link “Table of Contents” for recent blog posts.
Warm Your Hands – Clickable logo links to a sample chapter of Irish Firebrands.
Bonfires! – Avatars take you to meet friends in the blogosphere.
Proud to be an Indie Author – Support Indie Writing & Publishing: Get your blog badges here!
The Plover Pipes Here, Too – Visit other members of the Firebrands family of blogs.
On Curated Lists – Find Irish Firebrands and other works by Indie Authors listed here. Add a new author to your TBR today!:)
Cordwood Monthly archive drop-down menu.
Found in the Ashes – Visit to start your own free blog.


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Time for an Update.

Antique Germania Clock ©1976, 2016 by Christine Plouvier.

Antique Germania Clock from Augsburg, Germany. ©1976, 2016 by Christine Plouvier.

Dear Friends,

It’s been a rough seven weeks, what with beginning treatment for pernicious anemia; the slow, complicated recovery from two surgeries for cancer; and two invasive diagnostic procedures (I had to postpone two others, because I wasn’t up to handling any more).

I have a request. If Irish Firebrands has been on your TBR list, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d pick up a paperback. Getting it direct from CreateSpace will cut out the greedy middleman Major Online Retailer, which likes to double-dip on its profits (because it already owns CS, and then it takes another huge cut when it sells a copy, on top of the share that CS takes when it gets a print order from said Retailer). Even a little bit bigger royalty will help a lot, because I’m disabled, living on a below-poverty-level pension, and some of the drugs I need are not covered by Medicare.

I’ll be starting the first round of chemotherapy on Tuesday, and that will last for 8 weeks. After a 3 to 4 week “rest” to let my blood recover, the second round will begin, lasting 12 weeks. If I feel up to it, I’ll be lurking, and I may leave brief comments at your blogs, but I don’t know how the drugs will affect my ability to write my own blog, so I’ve pre-scheduled some posts here, and book reviews at my Passions of Patriots blog. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Thank you for your encouragement and support.

Yours truly,




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IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

eyes1We’ve looked at the incidence of “noticing” (83 uses) in IrishFirebrands. Now, let’s consider its prevalence.

The novel is just under 200,000 words long. Searching a PDF copy found 508 uses of the verb “to see” (230 see, 163 saw, 80 seen and 35 seeing). The runner-up was forms of “to look” (468). That makes at least 1,059 instances of reported vision, of which the 83 uses of “noticing” make up less than 8%.* Therefore, the amount of “noticing” that happens in IrishFirebrands doesn’t seem to be excessive in proportion to the expression of other notions of sight.

eyes4But I think this issue is part of a bigger picture, one that concerns the value of vocabulary. For some time, now, the trend has been to disparage and discourage the use of most adverbs, many adjectives, and even alternative verbs (especially when writing dialogue attribution tags, with…

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The Eyes Have It!

IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ Christine Plouvier, Indie Author


The last one-third of Irish Firebrands (chapters 23-34) contains a eyepopping 34 instances of “notice.” Should any have been expressed differently?

  1. But after their first Wednesday together, when Lana was headed back to Dillon’s flat, she observed Medb exit a shop – accompanied by some girls she didn’t recognise – and noticed that Medb’s skirt seemed to be shorter than she recalled it to have been, when the girl had changed out of her school uniform that day.
  2. As she passed the bookcases, she noticed the stack of sketchbooks again.
  3. He also noticed links about genealogy – of special interest because that was Lana’s occupation.
  4. Then he noticed John Sweeney seated on a podium at the head of the room.
  5. He didn’t know the barman, but he noticed the man look curiously at him when he placed an order for food and a fizzy drink.
  6. From the corner of his…

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