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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.

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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.
Audioblog – A work in progress, where selected posts have been recorded as audible files, using a text-to-speech generator.
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.
Flying Sparks – Special offers, subject to availability or expiration dates.
Ask your Library
 – E-book and paperback sources for public library acquisitions.
Do I Smell Smoke? – Quick link “Table of Contents” for 50 recent blog posts.
Warm Your Hands – Clickable logo links to a sample chapter of Irish Firebrands.
Smoke Signals – Special opportunities for readers.
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!
Wildfire! Hot new features!
The Plover Pipes Here, Too
 – Visit other members of the Firebrands family of blogs.
Click Logo to Visit – Bags, mugs and more, featuring Irish Firebrands artwork, at the Firebrands Gift Shop.
Found in the Ashes – Meta stuff. Visit WordPress.com to start your own free blog.

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Filed under Blogging, How I write, What I write about, Where I write about, Who I am

Inconvenient Facts: Reading Current Events

christineplouvier:

One of the main characters in Irish Firebrands is a political journalist, who writes newspaper columns, and reports on television, too. The story doesn’t go into his writing, but the Muses left hints about his career that make me wonder about their plans for yet another book in the saga. I guess the Muses want job security, too! Knowing how to read current events may help novelists to write plausibly about fictional reporters on their beats….

Originally posted on The Passions of Patriots: A Novel ~ Christine Plouvier, Indie Author:

2005_Spanish_Levantine_warfare_in_Parker-Pearson 3 Click on the page image to read article.

“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story” has been variously attributed (Twain? Hemingway?), but it accurately describes the dilemma of reading about current events, especially during wartime. Apparently artists have been among army camp followers ever since cave walls served as the Neolithic hunter-gatherer’s news feed, pictured at left.

Napoleon’s motives for carrying a printing press on campaign may have included not only a need to control scuttlebutt amongst the troops, but also to help manage the spin that local rags might have put on his image.

Battle of Waterloo A contemporary sketch of the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.

The American Civil War was documented extensively in battlefield reporting art, but it was also the conflict during which photojournalism got its start: even the battlefield artist had his picture taken. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Pennsylvania,_Gettysburg._The_Home_of_a_Rebel_Sharpshooter_-_NARA_-_533315.tif

The advent of battlefield…

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Filed under books, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing

Robert Louis Stevenson: A 19th-Century Mind on a 21st-Century Matter

Robert-louis-stevensonBy happy coincidence, research recently led me to discover Stevenson’s Essays in the Art of Writing, opening the mind of a favorite author as never before. Quoted below is his first argument in this essay, as he weighs in on a topic that seems to be just as relevant today, when Indie Authors struggle to keep their coracles of written Art afloat and headed in the right direction on the high seas of publishing.

THE MORALITY OF THE PROFESSION OF LETTERS

The profession of letters has been lately debated in the public prints; and it has been debated, to put the matter mildly, from a point of view that was calculated to surprise high-minded men, and bring a general contempt on books and reading. Some time ago, in particular, a lively, pleasant, popular writer devoted an essay, lively and pleasant like himself, to a very encouraging view of the profession. We may be glad that his experience is so cheering, and we may hope that all others, who deserve it, shall be as handsomely rewarded; but I do not think we need be at all glad to have this question, so important to the public and ourselves, debated solely on the ground of money. The salary in any business under heaven is not the only, nor indeed the first, question. That you should continue to exist is a matter for your own consideration; but that your business should be first honest, and second useful, are points in which honour and morality are concerned. If the writer to whom I refer succeeds in persuading a number of young persons to adopt this way of life with an eye set singly on the livelihood, we must expect them in their works to follow profit only, and we must expect in consequence, if he will pardon me the epithets, a slovenly, base, untrue, and empty literature. Of that writer himself I am not speaking: he is diligent, clean, and pleasing; we all owe him periods of entertainment, and he has achieved an amiable popularity which he has adequately deserved. But the truth is, he does not, or did not when he first embraced it, regard his profession from this purely mercenary side. He went into it, I shall venture to say, if not with any noble design, at least in the ardour of a first love; and he enjoyed its practice long before he paused to calculate the wage. The other day an author was complimented on a piece of work, good in itself and exceptionally good for him, and replied, in terms unworthy of a commercial traveller that as the book was not briskly selling he did not give a copper farthing for its merit. It must not be supposed that the person to whom this answer was addressed received it as a profession of faith; he knew, on the other hand, that it was only a whiff of irritation; just as we know, when a respectable writer talks of literature as a way of life, like shoemaking, but not so useful, that he is only debating one aspect of a question, and is still clearly conscious of a dozen others more important in themselves and more central to the matter in hand. But while those who treat literature in this penny-wise and virtue-foolish spirit are themselves truly in possession of a better light, it does not follow that the treatment is decent or improving, whether for themselves or others. To treat all subjects in the highest, the most honourable, and the pluckiest spirit, consistent with the fact, is the first duty of a writer. If he be well paid, as I am glad to hear he is, this duty becomes the more urgent, the neglect of it the more disgraceful. And perhaps there is no subject on which a man should speak so gravely as that industry, whatever it may be, which is the occupation or delight of his life; which is his tool to earn or serve with; and which, if it be unworthy, stamps himself as a mere incubus of dumb and greedy bowels on the shoulders of labouring humanity. On that subject alone even to force the note might lean to virtue’s side. It is to be hoped that a numerous and enterprising generation of writers will follow and surpass the present one; but it would be better if the stream were stayed, and the roll of our old, honest English books were closed, than that esurient book-makers should continue and debase a brave tradition, and lower, in their own eyes, a famous race. Better that our serene temples were deserted than filled with trafficking and juggling priests.

You can finish reading the essay by clicking here, for a PDF copy.

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Filed under Art, books, Literature, Uncategorized, Writing