I was never one for St. Patrick's Day although I love Ireland. I guess the day itself conjures up frat parties and the less savoury images of a culture as seen through the eyes of expats, descendants and wannabes.
The Ireland I like is gritty, green and gorgeous. It is place where writers are supported by the government and which therefore produces some of the best literature one can hope for.
These photos are from my favorite part of Ireland - the Dingle Peninsula. If you've never been - go - and if you have been, save your pennies to go back. Take one place and get to know the folks there - if you're young and you can afford it - live in Dublin for awhile - it is a town made for youth.
The first novel I wrote, Feckless, is set in Canada, the Dingle and Cuba - I get to visit Ireland and Cuba whenever I work on it - just talked with my sister about getting Feckless out and working a major revision on it - now that I know how. Ten years ago this fall I went to Ireland and it is lodged permanently in my heart.
I won't be drinking green beer or roaring around downtown, but I might lift a jar of Jameson and think of how green those hills really are.