In Louisiana, they use the phonetically pleasing word lagniappe to denote a little something extra. Typically, a lagniappe is a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure as a way of saying thank you. I’ve been so enamored with this word that it’s found its way into my psyche and influenced my behavior, where it prompts me to go the extra mile, when in deep gratitude. And deep gratitude I have for those generous souls who have posted reviews, written me, and recommended my second novel, Dancing to an Irish Reel. Some have done as I suspected; they’ve written me to ask how much of the book is true, for I made no secret in sharing that I actually lived on the western coast of Ireland, where the book is set, and most readers know that writers pull from their own life to one degree or another.
I’m a fan of the first-person essay. I consider it the art of brevity whose aspiration is to create a whole world around a case in point. I could wax loquacious on how the pursuit thrills me, how the challenge ignites the deep-seated, smoldering embers of why I write in the first place, which is to say I experience life as a witness and write to decipher its nuances in a manner that seeks to compare notes.
Sometimes life itself will hand you a lagniappe when you’re not looking. This was the case for me when I came across the Irish on-line community, The Wild Geese. There lies a compatible fraternity of like-minded souls, who can never get enough of their favorite subject, which is themselves. Proudly, I say, I am one of them; I am one of the island folk by lineage, and I flew into formation the second I found the flock. I brought much of who I am to this union: a writer, a shanachie, a child of Eire. I started writing the stories behind the stories that were my inspiration in the crafting of Dancing to an Irish Reel and as time stretched on, I realized I’d created my own lagniappe to give to those who read my book.
On my website http://www.clairefullerton.com/, there are three tabs on the homepage titled “Dancing Companion,” where a collection of my first-person Irish essays can be found along with attended photographs.
Please accept them as my lagniappe!
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Admin Comment by Fran Reddy on July 6, 2016 at 9:54am
Thank you Claire for your kind words about the 'family' here at The Wild Geese.. You are an essential part of this family flock and we thank you so much for your friendship as well as your excellent and entertaining contributions. Please keep them coming!! And thank you also for the mention of The Wild Geese on your awesome blog page! You are equal to being our top daughter! ; )
My cup of gratitude runneth over, Fran! Slainte, my compatriot!
Heritage Partner Comment by That's Just How It Was on July 6, 2016 at 10:39am
What a wonderful gift the wild geese have bestowed on you Clare...... You deserve it for all of your wonderful stories .
Thank you so much! For all of us who post here, it's the ultimate symbiotic relationship.
Aye, the craic is ninety with this flock as well as it should be. Claire, the writer of words, actually after reading some of your work you should be known as " the holder of the mirror" You reflect "us" (the Irish family) so that we recognize ourselves as we are; with all the stuff that makes us Irish. Keep reflecting colleen so a new generation will know themselves as children of Eire. Slainte
Richard: This is as lyrical and poetic of a comment as any writer will ever receive in their lifetime. You wax eloquent, and I thank you.
Hi Claire, Your photo interested me. I also have a photo I took in a cemetery in Ballyvaugh, County Clare. I has always fantasied me. I was told it is a Killeen. Do you know if this is so. I have been to Ireland twice and my heart and soul lingers there.
Hi Vicki: The photograph was taken in a churchyard somewhere between Kinvara and Ballyvaughn. My understanding( though, for the life of me, I cannot recall where I heard this) is that the circle was constructed as an art project by an American student. It's haunting elegance, to me, is evocative of so much: the arms reaching heavenward suggests a certain spiritual reverence, and history tells us the ancient Irish were especially enamored of the shape of a perfect circle. I've never heard of a killeen, but would bet my bottom dollar Ger, Fran, or Joe would know. Or perhaps our fellow, John Brennan, would know; he seems to know everything! And lastly, I hear you on your heart and soul lingering in Ireland. My thinking is this is a feeling common to all the children of Eire.