To honor St. Patrick’s Day, Sandra Gisi offers us
Three Irish Creatures Cooler Than Leprechauns
“You’ll be seeing a lot of images of tiny bearded men in green coats and hats,” Gisi writes at Quirk Books. “Known for causing mischief and hiding pots of gold at the ends of rainbows, the leprechaun gets all of the holiday’s attention. This is a bit unfair to the plethora of characters that appear in Irish folklore. Here are a few other mythological creatures that should get some love on St. Patrick’s Day!”
The “Kloo’-ra-kahn” for example is considered to be the “cooler” version of the Leprechaun. So closely related are the two that people often associate them as cousins. Also a fairy, the Clurichaun is said to be always tipsy and loves wine more than gold. If treated with proper respect, they will protect your supply of alcohol, but when offended they will wreak havoc on your home and spoil your wine. They do tend to become a bit surly if they’ve had too much to drink (who doesn’t?). The Clurichaun seems to be the better choice as the poster child for St. Patrick’s Day.
Win a copy of Empress
Empress is my newest book, a historical fantasy inspired by the saga of real-world Byzantine Emperor Justinian and the courtesan Theodora, one of the greatest love stories in world history.
I had a delightful time talking about Empress in particular and worldbuilding in general during an hour-long Skype interview podcast with Beth Barany at her website, Writer’s Fun Zone.
Anonymous writes at The Guardian
“For many library visitors, I’m the only person they’ve talked to all day”
“As austerity creeps further into people’s lives, more are turning to libraries like mine for help with job applications or IT skills, or to stave off loneliness,” Anonymous says.Photograph: Keith Morris/Alamy
“I know many people think we don’t need libraries when there’s Amazon, kids can use Google for their homework, and supermarkets sell paperpacks for £3 and are open 24 hours. But libraries are so much more than books.
“They have ebooks, audio books, academic journals, online resources, online driving tests, genealogy research. They play host to art classes, carpet bowls, tea dances, cafes, dementia support sessions. They provide a space for carers to meet, and people to be part of a community when they may otherwise be socially isolated. I’ve lost count of the number of customers who have told me, ‘You are the only person I have spoken to all day.’
Another story in The Guardian by Mary O’Hara notes that
“Every time I hear of a library closure it hits a nerve”Photograph: Getty Images
“As someone who grew up in a home without books, no spare cash to buy them and no tradition of reading bedtime stories, my local library offered something unique and indispensable. It’s hard to think of anything that brought me more joy as a primary school-aged child than walking back from the Falls Road library in west Belfast with a bundle of books.
“Having a library within walking distance of home was a way for a young girl from a poor background to access the same breadth of reading material as anyone else – at no expense. It stripped away at least some of the disadvantage that came with being from a low-income family. So every time I hear of another library closure…it hits a nerve.”
Quote of the Day
“The loss of libraries is another surefire way to entrench inequality” ~ Mary O’Hara
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