Posted on Leave a comment

Black Rock Castle

Black Rock Castle

The Ruins of Black Rock Castle

The first evidence of human presence in Ireland may date to around 10,500 to 8,000 BC. The receding of the ice after the Younger Dryas cold phase of the Quaternary around 9700 BC, heralds the beginning of Prehistoric Ireland, which includes the archaeological periods known as the Mesolithic, the Neolithic from about 4000 BC, the Copper and Bronze Age from about 2300 BC and Iron Age beginning about 4000 BC, the Copper and Bronze Age from about 2300 BC and Iron Age beginning about 600 BC. Ireland’s bronze age begins with the emergence of “protohistoric” Gaelic Ireland in the 2nd Millennium BC and ends with the arrival of Celtic la Tène culture by central Europe.

The Viking Port Vykyngelo Black Rock
The Norman Castle built on Black Rock

By the late 4th century AD Christianity had begun to gradually subsume or replace the earlier Celtic polytheism. By the end of the 6th century, it had introduced writing along with a predominantly monastic Celtic Christian church, profoundly altering Irish society. Viking raids and settlements from the late 8th century AD resulted in extensive cultural interchange, as well as innovation in military and transport technology. Many of Ireland’s towns were founded at this time as Viking trading posts and coinage made their first appearance.[1] Viking penetration was limited and concentrated along coasts and rivers, and ceased to be a major threat to Gaelic culture after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The Norman invasion in 1169 resulted again in a partial conquest of the island and marked the beginning of more than 800 years of English political and military involvement in Ireland. Initially successful, Norman gains were rolled back over succeeding centuries as a Gaelic resurgence[2] reestablished Gaelic cultural preeminence over most of the country, apart from the walled towns and the area around Dublin known as The Pale.

I took a stroll down the historical lane the other day and visited the Port of Wicklow Town. Judging from the pictures, appearing on the Information Board, it is quite a startling fact that these buildings could have been built so many years back. The area around Wicklow was referred to as Menapia in Ptolemy’s map which itself dates back to 130 AD. The Vikings landed in Ireland in 795 to begin their plundering of the land.

The Anglo Norman Castle Black Rock King Edward 11

Situated on a rocky headland to the South of the estuary of the Vartry River in Wicklow Town, County Wicklow Ireland, stand the lone remains of Black Rock Castle. Said to be built by the Norman Baron  Maurice Fitzgerald in the late 1200s.

The castle was built on the site of the original port occupied by the Vikings and who named it, ‘Vykyngelo’, being an old Viking word that means ‘Meadow of the Vikings’ in the 9th century. In the following years, it was captured successively by local Gaelic clans, the O’ Byrne’s and O’ Toole’s, then taken by the English King Edward 11 in 1311. Retaken once more By the local clans in 1313. Over the years the Viking name evolved to the present Wicklow.

My next visit will be to the Wicklow Gaol, once lockdown lifts and I shall give you a few more Irish History titbits

Text Credits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ireland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicklow. en.wikipedia.org .

Picture Credits: Historical Information Board on Black Castle site.

All rights reserved sirpeterjamesdotcom©2021-01-20

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, writings are meant for people, not for dormant files on our computers, and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

See my Book Review click here:

Posted on Leave a comment

The Lucky Man – An Act of Malice

Recent release by Author, Monika Martyn

A Review by fellow author – Sir Peter James Dotcomé

The Lucky Man – An act of Malice is the work of Monika Martyn and the story is set in Hawaii and surrounds in contemporary times.

Monika says the story was inspired by a ‘beached whale in Mexico.’

About The Author

Monika is a cocktail of dynamic business achiever and an uncluttered free spirit!

In her teens she emigrated from Austria to Canada, where she achieved phenomenal success in the cosmetic industry, allowing her to retire young and now Monika enjoys a nomadic and minimalistic lifestyle with her Husband.

Apart from her life in Canada, Monika has lived in Panama, Colombia, Mexico, and Europe.

It is not difficult to appreciate that Monika would write a book like ‘The Lucky Man…’ given her life experience and especially her travels. There is more to this though. She mentioned in her blog post entitled “Uncomfortable”: “If you want to make anyone uncomfortable, simply tell them that you own nothing. In a second, their eyes roll slightly inward as they compute the idea of what ‘nothing’ could mean and that you must be joking: they’re waiting for the punchline that what you’re saying can’t imply the same nothing that means nothing.”

As Monika has spoken of herself in this way, we would be safe to surmise that she is essentially a ‘Free Spirit.’ One who delights herself in every nuance and essence of the life that surrounds her, and who finds unnecessary baggage stifling.

Given the above, Monika was more than qualified to write this exciting story.

Genre

The story is fiction, thriller, and has healthy helpings of action and adventure.

Story Flow

I read an e-manuscript of The lucky Man and found the story easy reading. If it were not for time constraints, I would have got through reading in a day. Through eighty per cent of the reading it was brisk and found me excited and intrigued. The other twenty percent, where Monika was dealing with describing the lesser important issues of story, it was slow, but never boring.

In Part Four “One Down,” the flow takes an abrupt ‘detour’ and I went through the next few chapters feeling cheated that I never found out what happened to Jack languishing in his canoe! However, “One Down” is very interesting in itself; introducing a new location and four additional characters, who at the time, were floating on a self-made raft and then returning to an Island where they had been shipwrecked for many years. They found an unconscious Jack in his canoe and I felt happy that I was connected to the main story once more.

Part four moved briskly with a brief interlude of sex in the ranks and a little under-radar planning by two of the characters, Rose, and Mark. The only link missing in Mark’s plan was a lack of suitable transport to affect it.

Jack’s arrival on the island saved his life and solved Mark’s transport issue.

With Marks’s departure and safe arrival in Mexico, he was able to initiate the rescue of the group on the island and this culminated in an assumed happy ending. I say assumed, because there is no detail provided about a joyous reunion with Jack and family, especially his distraught mother, or for that matter, the return of Kai’s beloved canoe, ‘Kilo.’(Boo-hoo, I’m such an emotional sucker.)

I was never on the ‘edge of my seat,’ but was hooked and had, by choice,  to keep reading.

The Plot

The plot was well thought out, but lacked sufficient tight twists, which might have savored the story with little more mystery. The characters were suitably chosen each fitting well into their parts. Sequence of events was seamless.

Characters

From my viewpoint there are, three primary characters: the Protagonist, Jack, Myra, Jack’s Mother and Kai The security Boss. A solid support cast consisting of: John, Jack’s Father, brother Michael, Brody, (Jack’s best buddy), Wayne, and Bruce, two thugs. Finally Mark, Ron and Rosie, the shipwrecked islanders, followed by a host of others in bit parts.

Monika gets kudos from me for her character portrayals.

Jack is a super athletic type, tall, handsome, raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. A strong personality whose exceptional looks caused him to magnetize all women. He struck me as well-meaning and generous, but typical of those to whom all things come easily, he treated the women in his life with a relational indifference, focusing only sexual conquests. Jack gives the expression, ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’ new meaning. His exploits, especially cheating on Brody, led him on a slow spiral downwards, until, when his life was severely endangered, he repented to the winds of his wicked ways; all the while promising to make good to ‘someone up there.’

Myra is a typical besotted mother, having favored Jack, over Michael, her younger son. Yet she is a strong determined woman who never stops believing her son is still alive.

Kai, the young security boss, is a simple, dedicated, loving husband and Father, caring for his Father, over and above the costly support of his own family. He is dedicated to his job and a man of integrity, who is also compassionate toward Myra and the loss of her son. Considering the inclusion of the shipwrecked Islanders, there is a fair list of characters, but the reader is never confused as to who is who in the milieu.

General

Monika is a master of the English language and pays attention to detail, sometimes lingering a little too long in this area. Her ability to make her description so effective is such, that it forms a canvas in one’s mind; this is a delightful experience, as it makes the tale live. Her technical knowledge of ‘adrift in the ocean’ with its see-saw of terrors and gentle calms; the fish and the ability to secure them in the scene of desperation left me feeling as if she was writing her autobiography. Jack’s shifting mind games, as he fights for survival, caused me to mouth alternately, “Your Karma has come to visit Jack,” to “Hang in there man, you gonna make it!”

Read it or skip it?

I read the e-book version but would have loved to read the book instead. Read it? Yes, yes, yes! My prayer is for it to hit the Best-Seller lists, not just for Monika’s sake, but for the many that would be gifted by its read.

As a writer, I not only loved the read, but learned much from Monika’s inimitable style.

Well done, go ahead now and reap your pot-o-gold Monika!

Buy now available on Amazon

All rights reserved sirpeterjamesdotcom©2021-01-20

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, writings are meant for people, not for dormant files on our computers, and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

See my Book Review click here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Don’t Die Too Soon – continued

 

Continued from previous publication. (click for link)

One grey rainy morning at the age of seventy one (I had just been retired from my job of twelve years with no more than handshake and thirty days’ notice pay!) gazing out of the window, I wondered, fearfully what was going to become of me. I had the promise of nine months of UIF pay and then state pension. But after that???

To add to this medley I was still suffering from the effects of an unexpected divorce, caring for a drug addicted son, and many other domestic issues.

Thankfully my brother rescued me, by offering me a commission only sales position in his business.

My mind was being bombarded with all manner of thoughts and I began to bitterly regret the many poor choices made in my past life, when I was young, healthy and making a fortune of money – wasting it as fast as I made it.

Browsing in a bookstore I picked up a book called, “Artists Way.” I was unaware as I stood in the store, that I faced a fork in the road ahead of me. IArtists Way opted for the ‘left fork’ and armed with Artists Way I hit the road. The story from there is a long, but interesting one. For sake of time, I will tell you about it at some other stage.

Save it to say, from the left fork, I gobbled up self-help and motivational books, whilst  scouring the internet. I tried to see myself breaking the barriers of low self-worth, old age, rejection, and finally succeeding in my life once more.

Daily, I faced thoughts in my mind telling me it was too late, I was too old, who would take notice of an old man anyway. Besides what could I do to set myself back on my feet?

Employment at my brother’s business worked well for both of us and this proved to be a Godsend. I took up affordable residence in a clean, well maintained ‘retirement residence’, which in reality was an old age home! Filled with precious older folks (many younger than me!) sitting on the verandah, gazing into outer space, and waiting for someone to visit. (My heart broke for them.)

I knew this was not the life for me. I might be seventy two, but not ‘old’ and certainly far away from dying. My body was in prime condition (I’ve always been and exerciser and watched my diet.) but my mind…..that was another story!

I cannot describe to you the battle that raged in my mind, day, and night.

My mind was poisoned with fear, loneliness, fear of rejection, no self-confidence.

One day, after reading some Earl Nightingale material and a book called, ‘Portable Coach’ I set about some deep soul searching.Portable Coach

Ultimately, I concluded that what I really wanted to do, and in fact, what had been a dream of mine for many years was to ‘write a book.’

My mind tore me to shreds on this one! What are you going to write about? You are too old; you don’t know how to write! I made several attempts to write about my life but the scorn from my mind defeated me.

At this point, in a most miraculous way, I met a lady who ran a tailor’s shop and we began to date. Suddenly my mind was consumed by thoughts about her, day, and night.

We dined out, laughed a great deal (I could not remember ever laughing so much in my life.) and had a tremendous amount of fun.

She had a delightful apartment in a secure complex and invited me to move in with her. At this juncture I could say that I moved in with her and ‘the rest is history.’ But no, it wasn’t, the rest is our future and the complete revitalization of my mind. We married and have been together for five years.

Neelie, encouraged me to start a blog site and write short articles each week. I was so in love that I wrote poems about her, setting up a fictional character, ‘The Bold Knight Sir Peter James and his Lady Scarlett.’ At her urging I began writing a paranormal romance novel and was nothing short of amazed at how the words simply flowed  off my keys, with no apparent effort on my part. With much research into how to write a book, plots, genres, and the many free writing tools available on the internet, I started my journey into serious writing. I also joined a writer’s group.

I am by nature a disciplined person, I set about allocating a time in my busy day to writing for a fixed period of time; a certain amount of days each week. I have always been a goal-setter, but I found with a creative art such as writing, it was better for me not to set goals, rather to ensure I met with my disciplined writing times and let the words take care of themselves.

I was 60 thousand words into my estimated finished work of 90 thousand words, when I realized that it might be more advantageous for me to write a short story book. After all, I had loads of material after blogging (by then) for two years and publishing an article each week. This way I could publish sooner and pave the way for my completed novel.

I aimed at 45 thousand words and was finished in three months. After much searching I found a publisher who offered an affordable turnkey package at what I thought was an all-round beneficial deal.

I prayed for a sponsor, as I did not have much money in my account. I witnessed a miracle – the sponsor arrived and I was able to make a down payment and the monthly installments.

During this period of time I learned a great deal about design, editing, layout and plenty more.

Two weeks ago my publishers, true to their promise, loaded my e-book onto Amazon, Kindle and Smashwords. A few days later my six free printed books were ready to be delivered!

Me & My Book
Me and My Book

My family arranged for my books to be couriered to me and last night, for the first time Neelie and I held our dream in our hands!

Neelie is in her early seventies and I’m a couple of years off 80.

Now we are going to learn how to market our book in Europe; to achieve this we sold up home and fitted it into four suitcases……..

Don’t die too soon, there’s too much living to do!

All rights reserved sirpeterjamesdotcom©2020-10-20

Need encouragement? Read my book, “Eerie Silence and Other Short Stories”:

Click on Amazon or Smashwords for link to store.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; www.adcrucemchristi.com

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).