Tag Archives: Ireland

What Kate’s Reading…

This week’s One Million Project Blog post is written by John Nedwill and is entitled The Problems with History

John Nedwill is a fabulous short story writer, and I have enjoyed reading his stories for the past two years. In this week’s blog he discusses the problems with writing historical fiction. I’m looking forward to reading his new story dealing with gunrunning in Ireland in 1914.

Check it out!


Vacation Planning: Party or Panic?

A big vacay looms shortly, and I’ve noticed different people face it in a plethora of ways.  My sister and her crew have planning parties in the weeks before that are as much fun as the vacation will be.  But here’s the caveat–my sis and her friends are crazy, party animals who have a party if it’s National Doughnut Day.  Enuf said, right?

Then, there appears to be a segment of the traveling population which I will dub the Terrorized Tourists.  They are scanning the newspapers for any international news which may affect their vacation, getting ready for warfare with bedbugs and practicing their defensive moves.  You’d think they were Liam Neeson planning a weekend getaway.

I’m a different sort of vacationer.  I look through travel books for background on the country and its people.  I gaze at photos of places I’ll be visiting in awe.  Yes, I look at US Customs and State Department websites.  I ‘m aware of the issues journeying to other countries can bring to the traveling public, but I’m unwilling to allow fear to dull my enjoyment of the trip.

My biggest concern is packing–over or under packing, that is.  I’m a woman, albeit I believe myself to be low maintenance, I still want to look put together even if I hiking around in the rain in Ireland.  I wouldn’t worry about taking a checked bag, but I’m thinking about lugging around a big bag for two weeks, and I groan in dismay.

I purchased lovely suitcases last year for a trip and was very pleased with only waltzing through security with my purse after I checked my bag.  My trips last year I had one destination and didn’t have to deal with the bag each day.  So, I bought two small carry-on bags–one for my hubs and one for myself–hoping I could downsize my packing, still have room for my electronics and look good each day.

Four days later,  I have packed, repacked, removed clothing, added clothing, and removed clothing again.  Can’t forget my trench coat or my hiking boots.   I think I have gotten it down to the basics.  Now, I just have to remember my boarding passes and passport!

Discovering Our Ancestral Past

Most everyone has heard about geneology research sites such as Ancestry.com which help us to search records for snippets of information about our families.  Many families pass down stories about their ancestors to younger generations, but my family didn’t.

I was always interested, but when I asked questions of my parents, they had very few answers.  My grandparents had difficult lives, and I doubt it left much time for passing on stories of their youth.  Most of what I’ve been able to find out has been through a couple of stories one of my uncles told me and the web.

Kate McGinn is my alter ego.  When I decided on my pen name, I chose a combination of my own name and my grandmother’s maiden name.  If I was to be known as someone else, I wanted it to be connected to me in some way.  It was important to have a name with meaning.  When I started writing and creating social media sites for promotions, several of my relatives asked my mother “Who in the world is Kate McGinn?”

My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland in the near future.  It will be my first time traveling to the homeland of my ancestors. I really wanted to travel to the town where my grandmother grew up — Carrickmacross in County Monaghan.  In preparation, I contacted some of my family members to see if anyone still had contacts in Ireland.  I was pleased to find out several of my father’s cousins still lived near my grandmother’s hometown.

When my aunt told them how I was using their mothers’ and my grandmother’s family name, they were very pleased.   It was such a special feeling to know I would see the place that my McGinn ancestors called home.

My curiosity has peaked thinking about walking the streets my grandmother traveled as a young girl and woman.  I look forward to seeing if any of our Irish family bear a resemblance to their American cousins.

The story of my family and their past awaits, and Kate McGinn can’t wait to see it unfold.