Turning Emerald Dreams into Reality
Fate or chance
The sun smiled down over the Pasadena Library that afternoon in July. Its dark
wood decor, not unlike any of the pubs we had visited in Ireland only a couple
weeks before, seemed perfect for a day of reminiscing.
How did a school teacher from Newhall and a school photographer from Long Beach
end up here, suddenly pouring over page after page of photographs from this
remarkable vacation, each one sparking a friendly memory of a land nearly a
quarter-world away? This journey of ours, that turned two complete strangers into
authors and friends, began several months beforehand when we agreed to
accompany our mothers on The Grand Tour of Ireland, a two-week long motor-coach
excursion around the entire island.
Maybe it's the vibrant tapestry of colors-- from gold to green to azure--or the ancient
stone relics, each a monument now to a generation nearly forgotten. Perhaps it's
the temporary escape from reality found along wind-swept shores, where twilight
lingers just a little longer than you think it should. Of course it could just be the
fabled leprechaun...or the Guinness. Whatever the case, Ireland's spirit sparks
imagination and fascination with every bend in the road and every click of the
camera. From cathedrals and castles, to the forests at Killarney and Glenveagh, the
opportunities are endless for finding your own sources of inspiration.
Somewhere there in between the indiscernible line of the gray-green skies, water,
and land; our own spirits met that of Ireland, and from this journey began another.
While perusing our photographs there at the library, we were suddenly struck with
the need to capture the essence or feeling that our trip had left with each of us, and
then find a way to share that with others.
Since leaving the Emerald Isle, little bits of poetry had been seeping out of our pens
and onto our computer screens, and emails between us soon became as regular as
the rising sun. We agreed that talent being shared with only each other needed a
larger outlet, and research began into finding a way to publish our first book. This
would not only be a personal accomplishment for both of us, but a great idea for a
Christmas gift for our families. Wait. Authors? Neither one of us consciously
thought we'd ever become published authors, though obviously something in the air
of Eire know this was meant to happen. The dream had suddenly awoken inside each
After some research, instantpublisher.com, an online self-publishing company was
found, where we would retain the copyright of our work, and instantpublisher.com
would retain the printing rights.
We met again in October at a newly found Irish pub in Long Beach, the Auld Dubliner,
at a time when all things Irish seemed to take on a significantly new meaning. The
book materialized over a pint or two, as we set the order of poetry for the book, in
addition to choosing a picture to compliment each poem. A word document together
with a title page, table of contents, poetry and photographs was assembled. After a
few revisions the book was uploaded to the site and ordered for printing.
We were able to open the final shipment with as much giddiness and glee as
wonder-filled children on Christmas morning. Emerald Dreams was now a reality.
Emerald Dreams, a title befitting such a magical book, came as a surprise to all who
received a copy for Christmas, as we had kept this a secret. As word spread among
family members the request for additional books required a second printing for sale.
We continue to write and look forward to a second collaboration. Emerald Dreams is
truly a treasure worth discovering.
Arlene and Christopher