Southwestern Social Studies Lesson Plans

Social Studies Lesson Plans

Druids and Christians

I stood in front of the stone shafts of Clonmacnoise. Carved into the stone of this 6th century monastic site are images of possibly, pagan gods. The carvings in stone were a symbiosis of druid and Christian, the old and the new. A relatively peaceful transition occurred in Ireland. I began to question this transition – how did it happen? Was it all a result of St. Patrick’s missionary work? Or did Pallidius lay the groundwork? What was the role of Pelagius, if any?

These questions prompted me into research mode. These were broad questions, all over the map, so I ended up gaining bits and pieces about Patrick,and eventually Brigid. What piqued my interest even more, were the connections between Patrick and Brigid.

Though the stories are wrapped in the shroud of myth, dimmed through layers of legend, I believe it is possible that Patrick and Brigid were contemporaries. It is said that as a child, Brigid heard Patrick preach. Later, it is believed that she sewed his burial shroud. Could it be proven historically (putting religion and faith aside)?

I became fascinated with Patrick’s story of kidnapping and slavery, and how he came to know God while in bondage. Even more, I was amazed at his return to Ireland, going back to the land that had once enslaved him. I wanted to know what drew him back to the isle.

Even more intriguing was Brigid as the tripartite goddess, Danann, druid, and Saint. I examined her history, her possible co-existence with Patrick, the founding of Kildare.

The research I began at Clonmacnoise turned into a passion for writing, and developed into my manuscripts, Once A Goddess, Fiery Arrow, and The Church of the Oak. Though I fictionalized many of these myths, I believe there is a grain of truth in them all.

Bay To Ocean Writer’s Conference

Looking forward to the Bay to Ocean Writer’s Conference this weekend!

Please don’t snow.


We’ve been snowed under here in the DC area. Snoverkill, Snowmegeddon, kaisersnowze, Snowtastic, Snoprah…

We have about 30 inches in my backyard and its snowing again now, blizzard conditions expected this evening.

People out west and our northern neighbors make fun of the DC area’s inability to deal with heavy snow. However, in our defense, this rarely happens. Take a look at the historic records and the seven year pattern — and then read what Laura Ingalls Wilder had to say about the seven year snowstorm pattern in “The Long Winter.”

This article describes the DC area records for heavy snowfall about every 7 years…

“The chart also shows that in the past two decades, we have been getting our big seasons every seven years (not the case in the 1980s and 1970s).”

From Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter:

“What was that about seven big snows?” Almanzo asked. Pa told him. The Indian meant that every seventh winter was a hard winter and at the end of three times seven years came the hardest winter of all. He had come to tell the white men that this coming winter was a twenty-first winter, that there would be seven months of blizzards.” (Wilder, p. 62).

Hmmm…Similarities? Of course, she was in Dakota territory, not the east coast (or Arizona). And this particular chapter, “Indian Warning,” is probably fictionalized. Still, I wonder if it is all a coincidence or if there is a seven year pattern?

What’s Your Sign?

Log line, pitch line, the ultimate one-liner for your manuscript… A pick up line for your work.

Just as a pick up line in a bar needs to be rehearsed so that it doesn’t * sound* like a pick up line (not that I’d know anything about this), your manuscript one liner needs to roll off the tongue, be conversational, as well as short, sweet, and concise.

You need to be able to explain the plot to someone who has absolutely no idea what it’s about, who your characters are, or the far away setting. You and probably your critique group know all of this inside and out – but can you tell it without getting into all the nitty-gritty details?

Can you pitch it? Can you hook a new reader in one sentence or less?

It’s taken me several months of mulling over to it down to the following one-liner’s below. Let’s see if it works!

Feedback welcome. Just please don’t throw a drink in my face 🙂

Once A Goddess:

In ancient Ireland, Brigid risks her life and sacrifices her secret love to save her people from Bres, her enemy and her husband.

Fiery Arrow:

When Brigid, a druid priestess, and Patrick, a Christian priest meet in Celtic Ireland, they are torn between their opposing missions and their desire for each other.

Recommended websites that helped me:

Hilari Bell on

Writer’s Digest

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