When we left Ireland, part of what was so painful about it all was feeling like we’d lost our tribe. The Irish are an amazingly warm, welcoming lot, and our friendships there were some of the best, deepest, most gratifying of our entire lives. So, to have to leave that behind was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had.
When we moved back to Arizona, I sort of tried to forget Ireland for awhile. It was just too painful to let the memories come. But slowly, bit by bit, my walls cracked. I just couldn’t keep Ireland out anymore. I finished my book–which is set in Ireland near where we first lived. And I reconnected with the Irish Cultural Center here in Phoenix.
I attended their first ever Women’s Conference with a friend, and immendiatley felt like I’d found a second (or fifth LOL) home. I was surrounded by Irish ladies (and lads) who had moved to Arizona–as well as those who are more Irish-at-heart. The lilting voices and the proper tea sucked me in hook, line, and sinker.
The Irish Cultural Center is a place of community, education, and connection for the massive Irish (and wannabe Irish) here in Arizona. So many share stories of how the ICC gave them a foundation–a support system–when they came to this new, very, very dry place.
And since the Irish did that very thing for me when we moved to that new, very, very damp place across the pond, I was excited to be offered the chance to participate in the first ever Rose of the I.C.C. contest as a fundraiser to support the center.
Inspired by the famous Rose of Tralee Festival (which would be going on as I type this, if it weren’t for the ‘Ronas), the I.C.C. tweaked the rules and several Arizona ladies with celtic roots are in the running to be crowned the first ever Rose of the I.C.C.!
Below is the link to watch my video (this is where it gets really fun). For my “party piece,” I’m reading an excerpt from my debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, which doesn’t release until February! You can watch my video for free, and then if you feel so moved, I’d love for you to consider casting a vote. Votes are $2 each, or $10 for 6, and all the money goes to keep the I.C.C. running so they can continue to serve our community.