Blog Navigation.

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 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 and Boutique products.
Irish Vocabulary – 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.
Ephemera – Where fun stuff lives after its debut on the home page.
Downloads – Get printable PDFs of posters, selected blog posts in a newsletter format, and other fun stuff from Irish Firebrands.

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

Fireplace Tools – Monthly archive drop-down menu, and the search engine for contents of this blog.
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– Click book cover for links to booksellers and boutique. 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 20 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.
Visit FIREBRANDS – Bags, mugs and more, featuring Irish Firebrands artwork, at the Firebrands Gift Shop.
Found in the Ashes – Meta stuff. Visit to start your own free blog.
On Curated Lists – Find Irish Firebrands and other works by Indie Authors listed here. Add a new author to your TBR today! :)


Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized

New Year Reading Resolutions


Today is the first day of the rest of your life, and that’s as good as a New Year, so why not give some thought to your reading?

Originally posted on Meath County Library:

January is traditionally a time of change, of resolutions, of giving up one thing and taking up another. This New Year, why not resolve to read differently?

  • Read outside your usual choice; we’ve all got particular tastes, subject areas and genres that we know we enjoy. But some of our best reading experiences can come from stepping away from the norm and trying something different for a change. So for every book you read this year within your comfort zone pick one from outside it.
  • Read alphabetically; begin by picking a book by an author whose surname begins with A (Austen, Amis) continue until you reach Z (Zola, Zimmer). Using this method will equate to one book a fortnight and can result in all sorts of reading surprises.
  • Keeping a reading diary allows you to look back at everything you have read, plan to read, want to recommend or wish…

View original 176 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Should You Write an Outline? |

Source: Should You Write an Outline? | by Jo Robinson

My answer? No. Outlining is taught to readers during their childhood, by schoolteachers who use it to analyze completed and edited fiction (which probably wasn’t written from an outline), as a way to explain story structure. The true use of outlining is in non-fiction, which relies on facts organized to fulfill a specific purpose.

Outlining fiction in advance causes frustration in many who try to adhere to the practice. How many times have you read blog posts by writers who are suffering from “writer’s block,” or who complain that their characters are “running off” with the story? I’ll bet an advance outline was usually involved. If used at all for fiction, outlining properly belongs at the end, when writing is completed, to be used as a tool to evaluate the continuity of a story, in case developmental editing is needed, in addition to copy editing and proofreading.

Jo’s post is also an interesting look at Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I guess I’m a King-Koontz hybrid; possibly more at the Koontz end, because I revise as I write. I think King said Kurt Vonnegut worked that way, too. (Of course, our genres don’t match – I’ve never read any fiction by any of them, and only King’s how-to book. But I digress.) The success enjoyed by these famous pantsers shows that because Writing is a Fine Art (not a craft), any rules about it should serve the purposes of communication and creativity, and not attempt to control them.

National Novel Writing Month operates on hell-bent-for-leather pantsing, to get to the 50K word goal. The only reason to create an outline during NaNoWriMo is because it can be legitimately added to your word count. After that’s done, however, to pay attention to an outline is to invite writer’s block, and what NNWM calls “your inner editor” to wreak havoc with your writing momentum.

Outlining can help non-fiction writing, but my impression (based on reading individual writers’ blogs, and NaNoWriMo forum discussions) is that it’s of poor utility to creative writers. Instead of the fiction writing process being a 50/50 pantser/planner proposition, its distribution may be skewed. Spontaneous, organic writing may be how most of us really write fiction, but even if outlining doesn’t work very well for writing stories, the habit, mistakenly applied to fiction since childhood, is strong enough to be self-perpetuating. For many, it spoils the writing experience.

pantser planner

Do you suffer from writer’s block? Are you upset because your characters are misbehaving? Are you outlining because it’s said to be the right way to write, or that it’s the only way to produce good writing? Is your outline growing in detail and complexity, but your novel isn’t progressing? Are you reluctant to let go of the outline, because that could mean you have no discipline? Have you ever felt guilty of quitting, because you couldn’t finish writing a story you had outlined? In the past, did you dutifully produce outlines, but didn’t follow them, after all? When a teacher required an advance outline as part of a writing assignment, did you quickly write the assignment first, and then outline it? (The last experience is mine, and I’ve seen the others in writers’ blogs.)

Are you looking for commonsense suggestions to help make your writing life less stressful and more enjoyable? Try The 7 Reasonable Rules of Writing:

Excellent spelling.
Good grammar.
Sufficient correct punctuation for signage on the path to meaning.
Thorough research.
Understanding of literary conventions.
Love for language and loyalty to its complete lexicon.
Writing by inspiration, rather than controlling the performance of the tale.

We must all follow our own writing process, but we must make sure it honestly feels good to do it that way. If we don’t enjoy writing, we’re not doing it right.


Filed under Fiction, Uncategorized

The Siege Continues….

Battle_of_Vicksburg,_Kurz_and_AllisonJust a brief personal status update. Diagnostic tests done during a couple of recent visits to the Emergency department revealed both fair and foul news. The fight to find a way out of the corner I’m in has had a modest success and a disconcerting setback. For the time being, much of the battlefield is still in decent shape, and the acute condition that sent me to the hospital was remedied by a few hours of emergency treatment. Some other problems now have identified reasons that are not so easily overcome, and a planned healthcare procedure was postponed (a big disappointment, because I had looked forward to getting it over with last month), pending consultation with other practitioners – which in two cases won’t happen until mid-November, and in another won’t happen until mid-February. When I was studying for my Master’s degree in healthcare administration, I learned that there are much more efficient ways to schedule people to get the help they need, in a timely manner. (Don’t let anyone tell you there isn’t healthcare rationing in the USA. It just goes by a different name.)

As always, your positive thoughts and prayers are deeply appreciated.


Filed under Uncategorized