The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 1:15 pm Saturday, April 22, 2023

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An Irish Tale, The Finale

By Julie Terry Cartner

Faster than she could have imagined, Maureen made it to the shore. Too emotional to be stealthy, she burst onto the beach and ran towards the two girls who were chatting as if they were best friends.

When she got close enough to see details, it was clear to Maureen that the girl in the water was her daughter, the one she’d named Meghan. Her breath whooshed out of her lungs as if she’d been hit by a truck. The girl’s features were so similar to Maureen’s, nobody could deny their relationship. Without even slowing down, she ran into the water reaching for the daughter she’d lost so many years ago. Tears ran down her face as she embraced this child, her child, and yet a stranger.

But even as she embraced this Mer-child, her eyes sought out Meggie, standing on the shoreline looking lost and uncertain. Meggie, the child of her heart if not of her body. And immediately, she knew; she could love both these girls, each for who she was. Maureen didn’t have to make a choice. She didn’t have to pick one; pure love didn’t demand such a sacrifice. She had loved both daughters for the past ten years, and she could and would continue to do so. Reaching out for Meggie, she pulled her into the embrace.

Laughing, crying, questioning, and answering, the meeting was more than anyone could have hoped. Maureen learned her daughter’s name was Meara. “Sea, or, of the sea, a perfect name for you,” smiled Maureen, maybe a bit wistfully, but with honesty. “But what of your mother?” she asked Meara. “Where is she?”

And so, Meara continued her tale. “When Mum realized we babies had been switched, she knew immediately that her father, Tadg, was the one to blame. Fear of losing his ancestral land as his vision had shown him, he had sworn no child of Muireann would survive. Mum vowed to keep you safe,” she said, looking at Meghan, “by letting you go. She searched until she found you, then watched over you from a distance, ensuring Tadg would not realize you had lived. She told me the truth as soon as I was old enough to understand and promised one day we’d be reunited. Tadg died last night. Mum needed be sure he was gone, but she’ll be here soon.”

Just as promised, Muireann soon arrived. Before long the joyous reunion of mothers and daughters, and sisters in spirit lit up their corner of the world with a glow rivaling the evening’s sunset. They talked far into the night, each telling her part of the tale while trying to figure out the next steps. With Tadg gone, Muireann’s true child could return to her rightful place beside Muireann.

But exchanging daughters was not as uncomplicated as borrowing and returning a cup of sugar or a pair of shoes. When love is involved, the emotional complexities far outweigh the simple. Muireann, like Maureen, had kept her vow to love her new daughter as well as she loved her birth child. And the girls, Meghan and Meara had forged an immediate bond. Though Muireann could leave the water for periods of time, the sea was her home, and Maureen, as much as she loved the beach, could not live in the water. And so, plans and compromises were made, an agreement reached. Meghan and Meara would spend half the year with Maureen and the other half with Muireann. And the two women, forever linked through their daughters, would grow to love the other in their unique sisterhood.

While the girls were with Maureen, they would learn the ways of the Irish, and, with Muireann, they’d study the depths of the sea. They’d strive to blend their two worlds and find pure goodness in both. Through their example, they hoped to show others how to love those who don’t fit into a designated mold. The four women, united in sisterhood, would work together to make their world a better place.


People say if you look out from the rocky cliffs of Moher when the rich red sun sinks below the horizon and casts fiery rays across the cerulean sea, you might see the figure of a woman staring out into the ocean’s depths, The woman may be Maureen or Muireann, it matters not, for what you will see more clearly than red or chestnut locks is the love, the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters, between sisters of the heart, more powerful than greed, jealousy, or the fickle hand of fate.

Coronations and Marriages

in Westminster Abbey

By Linda H. Barnette

Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every coronation since 1066.  In addition, 16 royal weddings have been held there.  Following is a list of some of the well-known sovereigns who were crowned there:

Elizabeth II-1953

William IV-1831

The Queen Mother Elizabeth-1937

Elizabeth I-1603

Queen Victoria-1838

Henry II-1154

Queen Anne-1702

Charles I-1626

Mary I-1553

William the Conqueror-1066

Sovereigns who were married there:

Elizabeth II-1953

Prince William of Wales and Catherine-2011

Princess Anne-1973

Princess Margaret-1960

The Queen Mother Elizabeth-1923

Prince Andrew-1986

At this time in the process, the Coronation Chair is being prepared for use in the upcoming ceremony on May 6 in which Prince Charles will be crowned King Charles III and Camilla will be crowned the Queen Consort. The Abbey will be closed from April 25 until March 8.

What’s That Smell?

By David R Moore

If you live in a rural or suburban area, you may have been affronted with an unfavorable odor, especially in February and March, and ask, “What is that awful smell?”  The smell is probably from a skunk.  Skunk spray odor is due to thiol (sulfur-containing) compounds that the human nose can detect at concentrations as low as 11 parts per billion.  Skunks use their spray only as a defensive weapon.

Skunks come out of their dens in February and March and roam more than usual in search of a mate.  Most predators, except dogs and Great Horned Owls, avoid skunks out of fear of being sprayed.  Automobiles sometimes kill skunks, and their odor may linger at the site for days, reminding all others who drive by of the incident.  If a dog is sprayed, the Humane Society recommends treating it with a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing soap.  Also, the dog may not be welcomed back into the house for a long time.

Skunks are the size of a cat or small dog.  Although its appearance varies, the traditional image of a skunk is black with a white stripe on its back.  They shelter during the day and feed at night.  Being omnivorous, their diet changes with the seasons, but they typically feed on insects, worms, larvae, frogs, berries, roots, nuts, and grasses.  As with most animals, they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.  If you get too close, they may raise their tail as a warning.  If you ignore the sign, you will not be welcomed back into the house.


  By:  E. Bishop

     Recently, an anchorman presented news regarding young people resisting the need to obtain their driver’s license.  From what I’ve read, this is nothing new, but the trend continues with the Gen Z shunning the need for a car or license and citing many reasons for doing so.  They say, “I’ll just call an Uber or 911.”

     There is no single reason for not wanting to drive or worry about a license; understandably, several make good economic sense.  These include costs of cars and the maintenance involved, gas, insurance, and the continued urbanization of cities and suburbs with access to public mass transit.  With cities developing transit hubs and bike lanes, there is a shift away from private cars, fewer emissions, fewer roadway deaths and less need for more roads.  This should be welcomed.  But, I doubt the Gen Z will fully embrace car-free living for the long-term.

    Let’s don’t force them to learn to drive but do remind them it’s good to have options; they may need to be a designated driver or be able to drive if a friend or family member isn’t capable of driving for some reason.  That Uber or 911 may not be immediately available.

     In large cities, the need for a driver’s license may not be that necessary and Gen Z may not consider it a crucial life milestone, but out in rural America, it was and still is a ticket to freedom and a sign of independence, especially for this old Baby Boomer.

     It’s good to have older siblings to get hand me downs from, be it clothes or cars.  My oldest sister was gracious enough to buy an old 1961 Plymouth Valiant for us younger girls.  It was white, blue interior, straight shift 3-speed in the floor and yes, it had that unforgettable “continental kit” spare tire look on the trunk.  Ugly, but grand in our eyes at the time with some equally unforgettable stories to go with it.

     One quickly comes to mind every time I think of that car.  My sister was flying down the road toward home with me as a passenger flailing my arms, screaming for the kids to get out of the way; the brakes had failed.  Initially, neither one of us knew what to do because we were so scared.  Somehow, sis got that car stopped right in front of the house without killing anybody.

     After getting the “hump on the trunk” car handed down to me (with brakes fixed), my journey of freedom began.  But, not before I could master changing those gears.  My daddy had taken me to get my license, which I did pass on the first try, thank you. However, coming back home, turning up our road with that big hill looming, I kept stalling out; couldn’t quite get the clutch, foot, gas and gear in sync.  Mind you, I was the youngest child and by that time, daddy probably already had enough trying times teaching us all to drive.  I remember feeling like he might have a heart attack at any moment.  We did make it up that hill though.

     For all the younger folks out there that don’t want the responsibility of a car, that makes sense.  But, at least get a license and learn to drive.  You don’t know what kind of fun you’re missing, especially it it’s a stick shift.