The Eyes Have It!


The last one-third of Irish Firebrands (chapters 23-34) contains an eye-popping 34 instances of “notice.” Whether having to do with sight, smell, touch, taste or hearing – should any of them 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 eye, he noticed a slender ginger-haired woman take the seat he’d vacated beside her.
  7. More than half of the ceilidhe passed unnoticed, in his jealous preoccupation with their whispered tête-à-tête.
  8. She slid out of the vehicle onto grass that crunched with frost, and she noticed a few snowflakes dancing in the beam of the headlights.
  9. Lena didn’t notice him at first, because he was assigned to travel in the rear of the wagon train, and his camp duties were with the other single men. [NB: “Lena” is correct, here. Lana is telling a story about one of her ancestors.)
  10. He’d been out with the scouting party, and it was evening before he noticed it was gone.
  11. She didn’t notice at first that every day after that, the wagon he drove crept forward in the wagon train, until he was driving behind her – not in his assigned place.
  12. Even as good-looking as he was, she still might not have noticed him, except that he started doing her chores, like putting the oxen on their picket pins.
  13. As he reached for the light switch he cast a parting glance round the flat – and noticed the Book of Mormon, lying amidst the bunched up blankets on the bed.
  14. When she picked it up, she noticed it was unmarked, but she just took it to the kitchen and put it with the other letters.
  15. It was near dawn, but still shadowy in the room, and she didn’t notice the rainwater on the floor until she stepped in it.
  16. She’d never noticed how long his eyelashes were, perhaps because his spectacles hid them.
  17. She glanced down at it – noticed bits of branches scattered in the bed, and dents in the tops of the side walls – and then it sped away from the lumbering bus–
  18. He noticed the smoothness of the ball on the newel post and the stair railing – as smooth as Lana’s hands….
  19. Briefly flipping the pages, he noticed entries dated during the last years of their marriage – the final one being a few weeks before Mo’s death.
  20. Then he noticed that Mo’s handwriting appeared in the end leaves, in a list of entries such as a person might make in a family Bible:
  21. Then he noticed that the parting of the ascending pilgrims began to occur a bit farther down the curving footpath, where they overtook a person who moved slowly with the assistance of a wheeled walking frame.
  22. Nobody else seemed to notice, but he felt uneasy, and he struggled to keep his mind on the meeting.
  23. But how could he admit that he’d been so wrapped up in his personal problems, he hadn’t even noticed that his style had changed?
  24. This time, Dillon noticed the figure at the top of the tallest spire – a golden trumpeter, standing upon an orb.
  25. Then he noticed the bemused expression of a man who was watching them from his seat on the podium.
  26. Rereading Mo’s obituary had the same startling effect as the discovery of her death certificate – for now Lana noticed that she’d broken into Drumcarroll on the anniversary of Mo’s death.
  27. First, did you ever notice how Paul distinguishes between when he’s just giving advice – and not giving revelation from the Lord?
  28. Then he noticed that she was watching him through half-closed eyes.
  29. “For years I didn’t even notice other women, until–”
  30. The life of a man is as the leaf of a tree. Born in ignorance of the span of its days, often working unknown and unnoticed … until a storm might untimely tear it from its bough … or until slowly fading life revealed its true character in brilliant colours that briefly crowned it with glory–
  31. Stunned by his subdued behaviour, her excited expectations ebbed away, and she drooped in dazed disappointment. Dillon noticed.
  32. When he took his seat he looked out upon the vast congregation, but he seemed not to notice Lana.
  33. Her gaze travelled irresistibly to the window above Conlon’s shop. Paula noticed her glance. “I see. Does Frank know this?” Her voice was hard.
  34. He only seemed to notice her twice –

©2012-2014 by Christine Plouvier


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