Calliope took charge, and turned my recliner chair into her command post. She was partial to handwritten manuscripts (the briefcases she’d brought were full of scrolls and quills), so she let me keep scribbling for about six weeks, but then she told me to start typing. It turned out that I’d written about 45,000 words: all beginnings, middles, and ends of scenes.
Because Erato had arrived first, she got to decree that the story should be a romance. I didn’t read romance novels, but under Rati’s tutelage, I reinvented every romantic trope that’s ever been used, from the boy with blue eyes and the girl with green eyes, to the nice guy who finishes last.
Then Clio, the Muse of History, arrived, stately and serious, and she gave me an assignment: to remedy my 32,595-square-mile knowledge deficit, from the mists of Celtic mythology to the melodrama of the modern era. My homeschooled kids had never had it so hard.
I committed to memory the names of every Irish county (South and North), and practiced writing them in the correct places on a blank outline map of the island until I could do it in less than three minutes. I made a two-week field trip to Ireland that took me from Dublin to the shores of Connemara. I bought Irish cookbooks and cooked Irish recipes. I wrote arrangements for lap harp of tunes by Turlough O’Carolan. I acquired a collection of books, music, video discs and Gaeilge lesson recordings which rivaled that of the local public library.
To the dismay of my friends and relations, Clio transformed me into a Hiberno-anorak: I came to know more about Irish history, culture, geography, wildlife, weather, agriculture, politics, psychology, language, religion and whatever you’re having yourself, than I ever imagined knowing – and in some cases, it was more than I wanted to know.
To be continued….
©2014 – 2016 Christine Plouvier. All Rights Reserved.
You can find the artist of the Daughters of Zeus here.