Part Three of an Interview with Thea Kelly, and a chance to win some cash!

One of these men is my Uncle Martin Regan.

One of these men is my Uncle Martin Regan in Enniscrone, Ireland, 1955.

Ireland has long fascinated me. The sheer rich history of the place and my connection to it through my mother have always caused me to seek out stories, music and conversations with those lucky enough to be from there.

This is part three of my interview with Thea Kelly, from Cape Clear Island in Ireland. Parts one & two are available through the previous posts.

You mentioned travelling. Have you been to any other countries?

I’ve only ever been to Germany to visit my grandmother. It’s a bit of a yearly tradition to be honest! I’m going there at the end of July again to see her. Because I’ve only ever been there, that bites in big time into my craving to travel! I want to go everywhere!!

My other ambition is to travel the world! I keep a diary of all the places I discover and plan to visit them when I am older. Places such as Dinant in Belgium, or Tropea in the south of Italy. My number one destination is the U.S though. Ever since wanting to work for NASA, and having a unusual interest in WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) I gained a bit of an accent and a strong desire to travel there. Someday I will! 🙂

Do you have any questions for me?

Thea: Do you or did you have an American Dream? 
It’s funny that you should ask about the American Dream. We don’t really call it that–it’s just usually mentioned in terms of goals, or ambitions. I was actually listening to a fellow Kelly’s music (Ryan Kelly of Celtic Thunder, from Northern Ireland) and he has a great song he wrote called “American Dream.” I think that’s something people from outside the US call it.
For me, when I was about your age, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, get married and have seven kids. (I’m the middle of seven, myself). But my dreams changed. I became an American Sign Language interpreter, and worked in schools for nearly twenty years.

The Martin Family, waaay back when.

The Martin Family, waaay back when.

And I only have one daughter. 🙂
My gorgeous daughter

My gorgeous daughter

I guess my dream now is to become successful enough at my writing to support myself with that income, and continue to try to entertain people with my books. By the way, I’m honored that my little translation project was your strangest assignment. 🙂 I love languages, and am always interested in learning more.
What’s high school like? I’ve always wanted to experience it! 
The education system sounds a bit different than yours. Education is free here until the age of 18, or 19, unless the student has special needs o disabilities. Then they can stay until they are 21. High school is either for grades 9-12, or 10-12, which translates to ages 15-18. Students have six classes per semester, and are allowed to choose which teachers and which hour (we call them periods) they would like to take, but have to satisfy requirements of the state for which classes. English, Math, Science, World Languages, Fine Arts, Shop, Physical Education, and History are all required, but most students satisfy the requirements by the time they become a senior and can choose their electives then. Classes are about an hour long, with occasional short days for school-wide assemblies, or teacher training.
College, then, for us is after graduation, and students must pay or earn scholarships or grants to attend, as well as passing the required tests and applying to the college/university of their choice.
Do many natural disasters happen where you are from? Like volcanoes or earthquakes? 
We do have some natural disasters here. We’ve had several earthquakes; the biggest one was in 2000, I think, on Ash Wednesday. It caused lots of damage. We’re supposedly due for another one soon. Our quakes are different than the kind that occur in California, because of the way the plates are stacked under the earth.
We’ve also had a few small tornadoes, which has only just occurred recently. We often have impressive thunder & lightning storms, and we flood often.
And, oh yeah, Mt. St. Helens blew up on May 18, 1980. That mountain, as well as Mt. Rainier and several others in the Cascades and Olympics are active volcanoes, but had been quiet until Mt. St Helens blew her top. I remember watching the huge ash cloud rise into the sky and come our way. We were lucky, though. We only got traces of the ash from the eruption. The people living on the other side of the mountain were pretty much buried in it.

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens

Would you ever come to visit Ireland, and if so which area?
I would love to visit Ireland! That’s one of my dreams, for sure. My mother’s family is from County Mayo. Her parents moved to England, where my mom was born and raised, and then she emigrated to New York, when she was just sixteen. So I would love to visit. I feel a connection to the land, and the people there. County Mayo would probably be my first stop, but I’d really like to spend several months exploring everywhere. I hear Bray is a particularly nice area, and I’d love to try some of the trails that Ireland is famous for.
The rain definitely wouldn’t bother me. 🙂 In fact, my mom and dad decided to settle here because our weather, and all our green, reminded her of her home, and of Ireland, where she visited each summer.
From the previous answer regarding slang used in Ireland:
What does “throwing shade” mean?
“Throwing shade” is a term they use here for giving someone a hard time, and not usually in a good way. It might be a snide remark, especially one made under one’s breath, or an eyeroll,rolling eyes something like that. It can be combined into other terms; for example, my colleague here said “such shady boots” when another employee mentioned the schedule in a negative way (which is something we create).
I often misuse it, so I’m probably not the best judge. And my daughter (she’s 21) won’t let me use it at all. 🙂
I want to thank Thea for graciously agreeing to answer my nosy questions. I love her enthusiasm! This, then, is an open invitation to Thea and her mom to visit. We’d love to host you here, my daughter and I.
*************************
Calling all musicians!
In my previous post, I included the song that “Molly” wrote for “Cáel” for The Celtic Captive. Here’s the challenge:  Create the melody for the song and perform it in any style. Shoot me the video on either my facebook page @https://www.facebook.com/jmartinstories or send it to me by email: jmartinstories@gmail.com, or just post it in the comments below.
The winning two entries will win a $100 movie prize package, and two weeks of dedicated tweets/publicity for the video.
Be sure to leave your contact info so I can get in touch with you!
Good luck! I’m looking forward to hearing your music!
Jeanie
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An Irish teen’s view on American tourists, the “health” of the Irish Language, and sloths…

Irish whistleA few weeks ago, I had the chance to interview the lovely young lady from Ireland, Thea Kelly, who has helped me with some translation work for my second book, The Celtic Captive.

This is part two of that interview.

Tell me a little about yourself–your favorite activities, movies, books, etc.

I enjoy running and swimming. Considering I am surrounded by water (at home and at school) swimming wasn’t a hobby by choice. I’m training to become a qualified lifeguard and soon enough I will be! I’ve been swimming since I could remember, whereas I only started running when I was 15. During my stressful exam year, I found relief in running. I enjoyed the fact that I could just run and run and keep going to burn away all my stresses and worries! Since starting, I’ve already competed in two mini marathons, and I have another one coming up soon!
Cape Clear Island, Ireland

Cape Clear Island, Ireland

I enjoy reading and watching movies and tv too! I would read any typical soppy romance novel any day, but then again I also love crime/thrillers, so it’s a very weird combination! My favourite novel would have to be Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. They actually made a movie recently! My favourite movie is “A Cinderella Story” set in California. It’s a beautiful romantic movie for your typical teenage girl 🙂

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Three things an Irish teen thinks you should know before you visit Ireland–an interview with Thea Kelly

In my second book, The Celtic Captive, my protagonist Cáel Moore’s first language is Irish, having grown up in a Gaeltacht (an Irish speaking community). Though fluent at both Irish and English, whenever he is disoriented, feeling ill, or is in the, um, romantic way, Irish is his go-to language. When Molly Evans first meets him, he is feeling all three of those things.

The only two Irish phrases my mom, an Irish girl from County Mayo, by way of Maltby, England, taught me are “go raibh maith agat” which means “thank you,” and another phrase I can’t mention here. 🙂 So, I needed an expert to help me ensure Cáel’s language was correct.

That person is Thea Ní Cheallaigh (Kelly) from Oileán ChlĂ©ire or Cape Clear Island in the southwest corner of Ireland. Thea, and Thea’s mother Dorothee Uí Cheallaigh, have a translation business called Ionad Foghlama ChlĂ©ire. “Cape” as Thea calls it, is a Gaeltacht. It is also a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland.

Thea Kelly and her friends, SĂ­le and Lucy

Thea Kelly and her friends, SĂ­le and Lucy

Thea was kind enough to answer my many questions regarding her life as an Irish teen, and her view of Americans, in particular.

Here is part one of the interview. Part two will be posted next week, on July 8th.

So what’s it like to grow up in a Gaeltacht?

Growing up in a Gaeltacht isn’t much different from growing up anywhere else in Ireland to be honest. I think the real special aspect about where I live however is that fact that it is an island! One really has to adjust to coping with this certain lifestyle, I was born into it so I know nothing else. Continue reading

Royalties, Seattle Writer’s Workshop, and The Celtic Cradle

Hey, how’s everyone doing? First off, my apologies for taking so long between posts—it’s been a hectic few months. Second, here’s an update on my last post. My son from another mother (and father), Kaleb, is doing great! His recent check-ups have all gone very well, and he’s back to playing his guitar and viola. His plans include heading back to school in the near future to focus on his music, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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December lists, Resolutions and The Dance

December always seems to prompt list-making and introspection.

There are lists that celebrate the Top 100 songs/albums/music videos/memes/political screw-ups and selfies of the year.

 

Almost a selfie!

Neil Byrne, Toni DePoister (bf), me, and Ryan Kelly

There are to-do lists for the Holidays (yes, I capitalized that—Christmas is a Holy Day for me) and gifting lists and winterizing your car/home/work space lists. There are “I want…” lists, usually disguised as cute letters to the jolly sweet man in the North. No, I’m not talking about Colin Mochrie, though he is pretty sweet. Continue reading

The chicken’s hostage and punishment (mine, that is)

As promised, the end of the story is below. But this website wouldn’t allow me to show the video I threatened dangled in front of you, so please go check it out on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/jmartinstories.

Here it is… The end of Charlie and the Chicken.

Charlie’s knees began to shake. Oh man, she thought, I need a new job. Continue reading