THE OLD STANDING STONES – FIRST VERSE

THE OLD STANDING STONES (Both Versions)

Last week I sat down and wrote a song that I had originally intended for my Bard (his name is Larmageon and he is Welsh) to sing in one of my novels, the Basilegate. As a sort of a lament, and a dirge. It was supposed to be a rather dark song about a myth of a submerged city off the coast of Ireland that rises every so often at midnight on Samhain and the city is populated by ancient dead warriors. It was a symbolic dirge of a supposedly lost song that the Bard then used to analogously lament what had happened to his friends. That is the first version of the song/poem you see below.

Thereafter I looked at the song and said to myself, “This really is close to an Irish/Welsh real myth and I should rewrite this song as a real world song or poem.” So I did using real Irish/Celt/Welsh place and symbolic names. That version, the second version, came out to be much brighter and more upbeat, but the tempo is changed slightly. By the way after the less well known Gaelic names or terms I included, in parentheses, the more original pronunciations, and their meanings.
I like both versions but the first is a far more generalized version written for an English audience and specifically for my book. The second version is really more of a throwback Irish mythological song.

So that being said, which do you like best?

Or do you think I should keep and use, perhaps for different purposes, both versions? Or does one version strike you as good and the other bad? Let me know what you think and anyone is welcome to comment.
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THE OLD STANDING STONES (version 1)

The old standing stones
Where the ghosts all still roam
Below the Seas of Sarsa
Submerged neath the Mere
They all still come here
To haunt the tides of Current
The walls in the waves
The moon long enslaved
Both shine so like the Danaan
The People long passed
The present now past
Upon the Road of Waters
Formorian chants
Who sings of the chance
That tombs are remade Towers?
The barrows below
The streams that bestowed
The last Great Ship of Showern
To the old standing stones
Still guarding the road
Beneath the flood of Faran

Oh can you still hear
The chants and the cheers
When Chulainn took the Island?
And do you still dance
Or sing the Romance
Of the last men still left standing?

Submerged neath the waves
Deep waters their graves
The Green-men go a’feasting
The blue in their blood
The tides and the flood
Their numbers all decreasing
The stars brightly gleam
The moon often seen
To kiss the Ring of Rona
Yet still can you hear
If the night is all clear
The Lost Hope of Ilona
So tell me of old
Of the place far below
Of the dark halls deeply downing
Where the old standing stones
Still guard the last road
To the Hall of Sorrow’s Drowning…

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THE OLD STANDING STONES (version 2)

The old standing stones
Where the ghosts all still roam
Below the Seas of Saorla (Say-la – the noble queen)
Submerged neath the Mere
They all still come here
To haunt the tides of Cara (meaning, the friend)
The walls in the waves
The moon long enslaved
Both shine so like the Danaan

The People long past
The present now passed
Upon the Road of Una (Oo-nah, or Wony, meaning unity, or lamb)
Formorian chants
Who sings of the chance
That the tombs are to be Towers?

The barrows below
The streams that bestowed
The last Great Ship of Tara (tower, or crag)
To the old standing stones
Still guarding the road
Beneath the flood of Fallan (grandchild, or grandchild of the chieftain)

Oh can you still hear
The chants and the cheers
When Chulainn took the Island?
And do you still dance
Or sing the Romance
Of the last men still left standing?

Submerged neath the seas
Their limbs now at ease
The Gweneth men go feasting (Gweneth – fair or river men)
The blue in their blood
The tides and the flood
Their hall a loudly singing
The stars brightly gleam
The moon often seen
To kiss the Ring of Roise (roh-suh – a rose)
Yet still can you hear
If the night is all clear
The Last Hope of Isleena (Ish-leena – vision, the foretelling)
So tell me of old
Of the place far below
Of the dark halls deeply moaning
Where the old standing stones
Still abide all alone
In the Hall of Sorrow’s Gloaming…

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HARBINGER’S KEY – FIRST VERSE

HARBINGER’S KEY

The Wolf Winds howl on the March to the East
The Blood runs red at the Gathering Feast
The Young Men sing of the Slavering Beast
And the Old Men moan, “Where is our Peace?”

The Monstrous Scale as empty as Death
Measures the Nothing hung over the West
That labors like Murder to steal every Breath
From everything Living, the cursed and the Blessed

High in the Mountains, deep in the Sea
Something is stirring, Horrors set Free
To Harass and to Harrow as if by Decree
The Marrow in Man Bones, Harbinger’s Key

Hid in the Old Dark biding his Time
Lurks the Great Creature stuck in his Limes
His hatred his Quickstone to hasten his Climb
The Day soon approaches, Ruin his Rhyme

But deeper than Old Darks, great in his Weight
Diseased of his own rot, an Absolute Fate
Hatred is small match for his Poisoned Date
Swollen and bloated he waits at the Gates

The Dawns will all soon fall away without Light
The Strong will all tremble even the Night
For Old Dark and Unknown will rise in their Might
To obscure the Pale Earth from even God’s sight

Men think they know Evil but Evil is Young
Of Far Older Powers still songs can be Sung
For These are Approaching, Chieftains Among
The Slayers of Futures that Silence All Tongues…

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An unfinished poem I began for Halloween. It will go into one of my books of poetry.

HE WHO GOES ALONE – FIRST VERSE

HE WHO GOES ALONE

He who goes alone, the solitary man
Through pits as black as hell
Cross even stranger lands,

Does navigate the darker realms
Knows them like his home
He who goes alone – by No Thing overwhelmed,

Though never without cost, to go unchaperoned
Unguided in the doubtful debt
In which such harm is grown,

The bitter hearts of men do swell
With endless, careless wrong, yet he who goes so long alone
Has still his citadel,

There is a wary wilderness, dreadful hard to pass,
A mountain steep, severe to climb
Each measured in an hourglass,

Wastelands wild with weary woe
Cover all the past, yet nothing
Can be lost at last to he who goes alone,

Watching in the listless night, moon and stars all torn
Mourning blood on sterile Earth
By which the damned are bourne,

A window to the waiting soul where torments long
Are sown, and he who ever goes alone,
Where does he now belong?

The ghosts of men make short repair
Facient in their aims, the Ghost of God
Remains aloof and hovers in the air,

Facinorous is the pointless tomb, and everything there shown
No one knows this more in Truth
Than he who goes alone…

 

THE SORCERER’S TONGUE

THE SORCERER’S TONGUE

The Sorcerer’s tongue an adder crawls
To slither through the hearts of men
A viper coiled in roils of lies
Seduces all with poisoned ends,
The Necromancer of the Age
Raising up deceit and death
From tombs and tomes by ruin lost
Has given form and stirred cold breath,
Enchantments webbed and eldritch spun
Like spiders creep across the mind
So even men who seem themselves
Are slaves to him, enthralled like kine,
Hades vast and oceans deep
Are hidden in his crafty art
The conjured word is as he speaks
A servant dim and set apart,
The warlock’s gloom – bespoken like a spell
Has snared the fool and baited traps
To line the road of Truth along which
Even brave men cannot make their maps,
The Waystaff of the Witch’s word
Has charmed the Wise with venoms dark
Bound in blood men sound in every other way
By sound of him fall all unnerved
Their manhood washed away in flood,
The alchemic base of rank and rot
Has made a potent portion of regret
Yet who still speaks of deeds begot
When dread by sorcery yet abets?
The Witch’s teat, the serpent’s tongue
Eidolons frozen in the soul
Glams and dictums (dicins) doom us all
Who should by wit the Witch atone,
We have fallen all and one
Under shrouds envoked by terms of fraud
Cultic does the lie allure
Guile the noose of little gods,
If we will not soon this wrong dispel
Cut out the tongue that binds us so
Then sorcery shall be our gaol
The price of prison be our soul.

REAL READING AND REAL WRITING from MEMORABLE LITERARY LINES

Real Reading is far more than just mentally decoding terms and words, it is psychologically apprehending and comprehending the very most subtle and sublime ideas and ideals that it is possible for man to ever understand.
Real Writing is far more than just encoding and transcribing phrases, it is transmitting, mind to mind and soul to soul, the very marrow of manhood and the very embodiment of human experience through script, so that it may be read again whenever needed into the design of the future.

My personal take on the true nature of real reading and real writing

HORSE MIGHTY FOR HARM

From the Worm Ouroboros, by E. R. Eddison, which I have recently been re-reading. I love that book and it is, no doubt, one of the greatest books of fantasy/myth ever written. Pure poetry in prose, and often, outright song:

She took the heavy volume with its faded green cover, and read: “He went out on
the night of the Lord’s day, when nine weeks were still to winter; he heard a great
crash, so that he thought both heaven and earth shook. Then he looked into the
west airt, and he thought he saw hereabouts a ring of fiery hue, and within the ring
a man on a gray horse. He passed quickly by him, and rode hard. He had a flaming
firebrand in his hand, and he rode so close to him that he could see him plainly. He
was black as pitch, and he sung this song with a mighty voice–

Here I ride swift steed,
His flank flecked with rime,
Rain from his mane drips,
Horse mighty for harm;
Flames flare at each end,
Gall glows in the midst,
So fares it with Flosi’s redes
As this flaming brand flies;
And so fares it with Flosi’s redes
As this flaming brand flies.

“Then he thought he hurled the firebrand east towards the fells before him, and
such a blaze of fire leapt up to meet it that he could not see the fells for the blaze. It
seemed as though that man rode east among the flames and vanished there…”

THE DAUFIN AND THE EGG?

In my Other World novels the Sidhs use a code word (or the Samarl and his allies do in any case) to describe a being they believe to have existed for a very long period of time using a most unusual method of life extension. (Or possibly it periodically dies and is reborn again.) The Samarl and his allies believe this being to be evil and an enemy.

The word used to describe this being among themselves (so no one else will understand who they are really talking about) is Daufin. The Daufin is typically also identified or represented by a code symbol, as well as a drawing of a mythical beast (which actually exists and is controlled by the code-named Daufin, though few believe it actually exists anymore), and by a code phrase.

The term Daufin is not to be confused with the French term Dauphin though I readily admit that I took the term directly from the French term. And yes, for those who know me well you must be thinking, “French?” As you know I have little interest in modern things French, but in Ancient things and Medieval things French (the Franks for instance, and Charlemagne, and the ancient Romances, and the Gauls) I have great interest.

And I have great interest in the Dauphin, both the one denoting the Medieval prince and the more ancient term I suspect it is derived from, and what that implied. The Dauphin has always fascinated me though I rarely mention it.

In any case before I insinuate the conspiracy surrounding the Samarl and the Daufin too deeply in my novel I have been trying variants on the term, as I actually very much adore the term Dauphin and think it perfect though being French, even if it is early French, it is not linguistically suited to the Sidhs and the other Eldeven peoples of the novels. With that in mind here are a number of variants upon the term Daufin which I might use. If you have a favorite variant or you wish to suggest one of your own that strikes you as particularly pleasing then please leave a comment and let me know. If you want to explain why I’ll be happy to know that as well.

Variants on the term Daufin/Dauphin:

Daughfin

Dolfign/Dalfign

Dalphin

Dahlfin

Dalphang

Dolfang

Daufang (this sounds a bit too Oreintal to me, but given the origins of the Daufin it might serve well)

 

Below is the code phrase (in verse) used to describe the Daufin, and it seems a sort of song, and it is, but it is also a set of codes by which the speaker identifies what he knows about the Daufin. As more is learned more verses are added. It is obviously translated into English from the original Eldeven:

“Arose the Daufin from the seas, as deep and dark as Tântalos
Whose ruin ran the riven world three times round the sunken hosts,
What is this thing, whence did it rise, who sired it or set it loose?
How many times to be reborn, how many mortals yet seduce?
A secret thing crawls in the Egg, the Sun has never seen its face  
When will it hatch next in the world, all other things to then erase?”   

 

The seeming symbol for the Daufin is a mythical beast,  but the symbol for the real Daufin is of a multi-headed sea-serpent hatching from a giant egg along the flooded beach of a sinking island.

 

EĻDEVÅLAËRAŅE – ĦLO’SĶIEŊL

Tome and Tomb

III. Being a Small Section of the Lay of the Myth of the Eldevens – Below is to be found a small section of one of the most ancient versions of the Lay of the Eldeven.

EĻDEVÅLAËRAŅE
THE LAY OF THE ELDEVEN

ĦLO’SĶIEŊL
Before All

Being the Account of the Arrival and of the Old World

Before all there was another Iÿarlðma (another world, another Ghanae). In those days many ancient and wondrous things visited Iÿarlðma from elsewhere, wandering this world and inhabiting it for brief seasons, yet never long lingering. The world in those days was broad, and deep, and untamed, filled with many archaic and dangerous creatures full of strange life. Many things did creep and crawl and did seek out the untrodden secrets of hidden recess which are now long buried beneath the deep mounds of great age. But none with mind and soul, as we think…

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THESAURUS

http://tomeandtomb.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/product-review-the-storytellers-thesaurus-fantasy-history-horror/

THE FLOW OF IMAGINATION AND REALITY

And yet because the brain is a collaborative interconnected network both imagination and reality must both either originate from the same point or at some point pass each other to get where they are going.

Knowing this one should be able to both improve the quality of your observations of the Real World and beneficially intensify the quality of your imaginative and fictional productions.

In other words from the senses (perception) to the mind (for comprehension) goes Reality, and from the mind (projection) to the senses (through comparison) goes Imagination.

 

Imagination, reality flow in opposite directions in the brain

by Scott Gordon
Imagination, reality flow in opposite directions in the brain
Electrical and computer engineering professor Barry Van Veen wears an electrode net used to monitor brain activity via EEG signals. His research with psychiatry professor and neuroscientist Giulio Tononi could help untangle what happens in …more
As real as that daydream may seem, its path through your brain runs opposite reality.Aiming to discern discrete neural circuits, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have tracked electrical activity in the brains of people who alternately imagined scenes or watched videos.”A really important problem in research is understanding how different parts of the brain are functionally connected. What areas are interacting? What is the direction of communication?” says Barry Van Veen, a UW-Madison professor of electrical and computer engineering. “We know that the brain does not function as a set of independent areas, but as a network of specialized areas that collaborate.”

Van Veen, along with Giulio Tononi, a UW-Madison psychiatry professor and neuroscientist, and collaborators from the University of Liege in Belgium, published results recently in the journal NeuroImage. Their work could lead to the development of new tools to help Tononi untangle what happens in the brain during sleep and dreaming, while Van Veen hopes to apply the study’s new methods to understand how the brain uses networks to encode short-term memory.

During imagination, the researchers found an increase in the flow of information from the of the brain to the occipital lobe—from a higher-order region that combines inputs from several of the senses out to a lower-order region.

In contrast, visual information taken in by the eyes tends to flow from the occipital lobe—which makes up much of the brain’s visual cortex—”up” to the parietal lobe.

“There seems to be a lot in our brains and animal brains that is directional, that neural signals move in a particular direction, then stop, and start somewhere else,” says. “I think this is really a new theme that had not been explored.”

The researchers approached the study as an opportunity to test the power of electroencephalography (EEG)—which uses sensors on the scalp to measure underlying electrical activity—to discriminate between different parts of the brain’s network.

Brains are rarely quiet, though, and EEG tends to record plenty of activity not necessarily related to a particular process researchers want to study.

To zero in on a set of target circuits, the researchers asked their subjects to watch short video clips before trying to replay the action from memory in their heads. Others were asked to imagine traveling on a magic bicycle—focusing on the details of shapes, colors and textures—before watching a short video of silent nature scenes.

Using an algorithm Van Veen developed to parse the detailed EEG data, the researchers were able to compile strong evidence of the directional flow of information.

“We were very interested in seeing if our signal-processing methods were sensitive enough to discriminate between these conditions,” says Van Veen, whose work is supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. “These types of demonstrations are important for gaining confidence in new tools.”

THREE PINTS OF MUSTARD

Now you’re probably wonderin why I’d do something like that. Well, let me tell you a little story.

See, long about wintertime, when the sun gets short and the shadows get long, a mocking bird drops by my place and screeches real loud. Up pops the handyman and asks what it’s all about but nobody but me can tell that kind of thing from a hole in the ground. So while the mock is high mocking and the handyman handy I thought it might be a very good occasion. For you know, doing what needs to be done.

Well after getting a flight from the bird and right around nightfall it all got too dark to follow. So I decided to lead. Now where should my lead wander than out by the old stump which is better than beating a dead horse to the barn. And iffin I listened I thought I could hear em but no such luck floated where I searched the town. So for about thirty minutes or so I just sat there and waited, but the good part of that is about twenty or less.

Which brings up a point about something I’ll mention when passing is better than going along. When covering old ground, which is like swimming up river, don’t ever be surprised by what you will find. For finding is easy but difficult hardly if you happen upon losing without even a thought. Can you see where I’m going – just imagine it’s real dark, then re-imagine it all done and illumined by tricks. Now personally I like that kinda thing, but don’t try to rub it in, cause that only works in real life with people around.

So let’s get back to the story. I’m three steps ahead but seven or eight sideways which still puts me eighteen or thereabouts behind where I am. That may seem somewhat simple but believe me it might be if not for the fact that simple is three red shades of green. I just threw that in there for some background color. I figured since this story is all black and white so far, what most people need is some shade of the truth. And blood is the new black.

But don’t let that throw you or even hold it against me cause what I’m saying to ya is don’t be that way. Any old cusser can sway with the best men but it takes a real kinda courage to admit that you know.

Anywho, the man that I’m tracking has led me to a place by the rathole which can smell kinda funny when covered with cheese. Now that’s pretty rotten if you cotton to cotton but cloth gets expensive when sold by the foot. He’s rolling a bedroll but who can believe him when all that he’s told me has been up and up? That’s a question for felony fellas and if never comes never then it’s better than nothing and silly that way. As for my take of this all, well, my cut is free. And you can’t beat that for keeping your costs low.

But I’ve still got a big job and with no one left hanging why can’t we just say that when talking is pass time for what we left out? I got nothing but egghead while he roams with the birdbrains and so what can I figure but he likes it that way? You see as most people age they start to wonder what it’s really all about. And by that I mean all the things they don’t when they’re not trying to know any better. I guess that’s why when they ask me about something they nod when I’m silent and talk when they’re not. I feel bad when that happens and keep trying to tell them but semaphore signals don’t sell well these days. I guess this guy is just one a them, which means that while he ain’t looking to see me I’m still tuning away. Go figure, but try all your fingers, cause multiples breed plenty when push comes to shove. And there tain’t a adding machine for that kinda racket.

So with all cards on the table and money a swilling round the slop buckets that’s my call sign to action, and springing up backwards, I turn to my left. He sees what I’m doing and feigns right of center but nobody’s judging cause the court date ain’t set. Which is fine by me, you never know when a judgment might lead to a fashion and fools just love fashion when the runaway is lit. You know the old saying, “a fool is soon separated from his Mahoney.” Once that happens some Mick’s bound to start squealing, then backstabs are a flying like jigs in the air.

I laugh when I see that, but watch through my binocs, cause Micks in a nightfight make holes in the wall. They’re not very good marksmen and that’s bad when you’re close up, but best when you’re downtown a’ biding your time. It all happened kinda fast after that but the upshot of the downside is that a man is soon done by the company he keeps. Especially if he’s worn out his welcome by going outside of the inside he’s made. It’s a shame when your bridge is burnt under but that happens quite often when the tide rolls back out. If you take my advice you’ll avoid that kinda thing or at least prepare for the fact that your skull might just crack. Better safe than Charlie.

So if you ever come across three pints of mustard where you ought to find mayonnaise, then drop what you’re doing, and toss what you find. That’s what I did, the same day it happened, and look where it got me so who can complain?

Now you know the rest of the story.

Spread it around…

THE MASTER OF HIS BETTER CRAFT (A LOOKING GLASS WILL DO)

I used to practice all the time before I learned to do it
Then I practiced even more to help myself accrue it
I wrote and wrestled, scribed and scored
A thousand lines a day,
I exercised with great accord
If even I do say,
By practice trained I forged my mind
Repetition’s Child,
Drill and Duty, Craftsman’s Kiln
A Master will beguile;
The modern man thinks everything
Is only thin technique, but
Training born and bred in blood
Into the Real Man seeps
If you would be the Great Maestro
Then you must toil long
The road is hard, the trail discards
Those who don’t belong;
And who does not, you might ask
Not deserve to be
The Master of his Better Craft,
The Lord of High Degree?
You need not track with Spying Glass
A Looking Glass will do,
That man who will not sharpen skills
Will soon be bid “adieu.”

(the same, of course, applies to the mastery of all things…)

 

What New Research on the Brain Says Every Writer Should Do

German brain researchers studied the brain activity of people who were actively writing, and they discovered one thing that every person should do to become a better writer. Ellen Hendriksen, the Savvy Psychologist, explains how the study worked and reveals the secret.

By

Mignon Fogarty,

Grammar Girl

August 22, 2014

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[Note: If you’re listening along with the audio in the player on this page, you can follow along with the text of the first segment by opening the Money, Monies, and Moneys page in a new window.]

Sponsor: Thanks to Audible for supporting our channel.  Get a free audiobook of your choice at AudiblePodcast.com/GG.

 

Ellen Hendriksen is the host of the Savvy Psychologist podcast, and she recently sent me an article about researchers in Germany who studied people’s brains while they were actively writing. They looked at both professional writers and novices, and they found differences. The professional writers showed brain activity similar to what researchers see in people who are good at music and sports.

Mignon: Before we get into the findings, they used something called an fMRI scanner. What does that actually measure?

Ellen: This is a great question—there are so many fMRI studies in the news these days, but much like “gluten” or “Obamacare,” most of us don’t know what fMRI really is, even though the term gets thrown around a lot.  So this is a perfect opportunity for a quick primer!

fMRI stands for functional magnetic resonance imaging.  When an area of the brain is used to think thoughts or perform a task, it requires more oxygen, so blood flow to that area increases to meet the demand.

The fMRI scanner uses a strong magnetic field combined with radio waves to create images of this contrast in blood flow—the oxygen-enhanced blood in the active part of the brain reacts differently to the magnetic field and therefore stands out against the less oxygenated blood in the quieter parts of the brain.

The images allow neuroscientists to pinpoint what parts of the brain are in use during a given task, plus there’s no exposure to radiation like in an X-ray or CT scan.

Mignon: What did you think was most interesting about this study? Is it ground-breaking or does it build on things researchers already knew?  

Ellen: I’d say both.  It is groundbreaking because this is the first time neuroscientists have looked at the brains of experienced writers writing fiction in real time.  Two previous studies have had participants make up stories in their heads while in the scanner, but this is the first time we’ve been able to catch the brain in the act of writing.

What’s the useful takeaway message for writers? Practice.

Logistically, this was hard to pull off.  You can’t have a computer in the same room as the scanner because of the magnetic field, so the researchers asked writers to write longhand.  But, you have to lie down in the scanner, so they couldn’t have the writers sit normally to write.  Finally, you have to be absolutely still in the scanner—just like with a regular camera.  If your subject moves, you end up with a blurry picture.  So the researchers had the triple whammy of figuring out how to get people to lie down with their heads perfectly still, but still write longhand.  So through a set of double mirrors and a custom-built writing desk, they jury-rigged a system.  You’ll find a picture on the QDT website.

This study was also important because the next frontier of creativity research is identifying neural mechanisms—in other words, this is the first study to nail down how the semi-mystical qualities of creativity and expertise in professional writers manifest as neurons and blood flow.  It’s a little bit like pulling back the curtain on the wizard to reveal his gears and levers.

It’s also important to say that creativity and expertise are very difficult to study.  There’s so much that goes into it: originality, intelligence, talent, practice effects, motivation, culture.  So while this study is a nice shovelful towards the excavation of creativity, there’s a lot more to uncover before we can get a definite picture of what we’re even unearthing.

– See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/what-new-research-on-the-brain-says-every-writer-should-do#sthash.knnnXVbB.dpuf

THE TOLKIENIC RINGS

He’d have been crusty and stodgy in some ways, but it would have been hard not to like the guy.

Actually though I did know most of these things. Recently I finished reading Sigurd and Gudrun which was indeed, quite excellent. Not as good as The Fall of Arthur but very, very good.

10 Things You Might Not Know About J.R.R. Tolkien

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Image credit:
Open Culture
There are plenty of things even the most ardent fans don’t know about John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

1. He had a flair for the dramatic.

As a linguist and expert on Old English and Old Norse literature, Tolkien was a professor at Oxford University from 1925 until 1959. He was also a tireless instructor, teaching between 70 and 136 lectures a year (his contract only called for 36). But the best part is the way he taught those classes. Although quiet and unassuming in public, Tolkien wasn’t the typical stodgy, reserved stereotype of an Oxford don in the classroom. He went to parties dressed as a polar bear, chased a neighbor dressed as an axe wielding Anglo-Saxon warrior and was known to hand shopkeepers his false teeth as payment. As one of his students put it, “He could turn a lecture room into a mead hall.”

2. He felt many of his fans were “lunatics.”

Tolkien saw himself as a scholar first and a writer second. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were largely Tolkien’s attempt to construct a body of myth, and their success caught him largely unaware. In fact, he spent years rejecting, criticizing and shredding adaptations of his work that he didn’t believe captured its epic scope and noble purpose! He was also utterly skeptical of most LOTR fans, who he thought incapable of really appreciating the work, and he probably would have been horrified by movie fandom dressing up like Legolas.

3. He loved his day job.

To Tolkien, writing fantasy fiction was simply a hobby. The works he considered most important were his scholarly works, which included Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics, a modern translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and A Middle English Vocabulary.

4. He was quite the romantic (and he’s got the nerdy gravestone to prove it).

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At age 16, Tolkien fell in love with Edith Bratt, three years his senior. His guardian, a Catholic priest, was horrified that his ward was seeing a Protestant and ordered the boy to have no contact with Edith until he turned 21. Tolkien obeyed, pining after Edith for years until that fateful birthday, when he met with her under a railroad viaduct. She broke off her engagement to another man, converted to Catholicism, and the two were married for the rest of their lives. At Tolkien’s instructions, their shared gravestone has the names “Beren” and “Luthien” engraved on it, a reference to a famous pair of star-crossed lovers from the fictional world he created.

5. His relationship with C.S. Lewis was not all it’s cracked up to be.

Tolkien’s fellow Oxford don C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia) is often identified as his best friend and closest confidant. But the truth is, the pair had a much more troubled relationship. At first, the two authors were very close. In fact, Tolkien’s wife Edith was reportedly jealous of their friendship. And it was Tolkien who convinced Lewis to return to Christianity. But their relationship cooled over what Tolkien perceived as Lewis’s anti-Catholic leanings and scandalous personal life (he had been romancing an American divorcee at the time). Although they would never be as close as they were before, Tolkien regretted the separation. After CS Lewis died, Tolkien wrote in a letter to his daughter that “So far I have felt . . . like an old tree that is losing all its leaves one by one: this feels like an axe-blow near the roots.”

6. He enjoyed clubbing.

Well, the extra-curricular, after-school sort. Wherever Tolkien went, he was intimately involved in the formation of literary and scholarly clubs. As a professor at Leeds University, for example, he formed the Viking Club. And during his stint at Oxford, he formed the Inklings—a literary discussion group.

7. He wasn’t blowing smoke about those war scenes.

Tolkien was a veteran of the First World War, and served as a second lieutenant in the 11th (Service) Battalion of the British Expeditionary Force in France. He was also present for some of the most bloody trench fighting of the war, including the Battle of the Somme. The deprivations of Frodo and Sam on their road to Mordor may have had their origins in Tolkien’s time in the trenches, during which he contracted a chronic fever from the lice that infested him that forced him to return home. He would later say that all but one of his close friends died in the war, giving him a keen awareness of its tragedy that shines through in his writing.

8. He invented languages for fun.

A philologist by trade, Tolkien kept his mind exercised by inventing new languages, many of which (like the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin) he used extensively in his writing. He even wrote songs and poems in his fictional languages. In addition, Tolkien worked to reconstruct and write in extinct languages like Medieval Welsh and Lombardic. His poem “BagmÄ“ Blomā” (“Flower of the Trees”) might be the first original work written in the Gothic language in over a millennium.

9. He’s been published almost as prolifically posthumously as alive.

Most authors have to be content with the works they produce during their lifetime, but not Tolkien. His scribblings and random notes, along with manuscripts he never bothered to publish, have been edited, revised, compiled, redacted, and published in dozens of volumes after his death, most of them produced by his son Christopher. While Tolkien’s most famous posthumous publication is Silmarillion, other works include The History of Middle Earth, Unfinished Tales, The Children of Hurin, and The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun.

10. He wasn’t nearly as fond of Nazis as they were of him.

Tolkien’s academic writings on Old Norse and Germanic history, language and culture were extremely popular among the Nazi elite, who were obsessed with recreating ancient Germanic civilization. But Tolkien was disgusted by Hitler and the Nazi party, and made no secret of the fact. He considered forbidding a German translation of The Hobbit after the German publisher, in accordance with Nazi law, asked him to certify that he was an “Aryan.” Instead, he wrote a scathing letter asserting, among other things, his regret that he had no Jewish ancestors. His feelings are also evidenced in a letter he wrote to his son: “I have in this War a burning private grudge—which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler … Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.”

I hear ya Tolkien. It would have been the same for me…

THE RACES OF EARTH AND IŸARLÐMA – THE OTHER WORLD

Some background on the various folk, people, and races inhabiting my novel series The Other World (the Kithariãd) and how they relate to one another.

 

Human Race – divided into normal human sub-racial groupings. Human beings live on Terra or the Kosmos (Earth) and only by accident (or some would say misfortune or fate) ever visit other worlds, such as Iÿarlðma.

Eldeven Race(s) – divided into several separate sub-racial groupings. These include the Sidèhl, Jükaŗn, Lorahń, Ghêriel, and some say the Avafał and Maştur of Iÿarlðma. Also called the Telwé-Iÿarlðmayn or “Free Peoples of Iÿarlðma.”

Sidèhl or Sidhel also named by men the Caer – Similar in many ways to the Western concept of Elves, but not so much the Tolkien-type elves as mythological elves, the Sidh being an extremely cunning and dangerous group of beings. The Sidh are a noble people but are extremely inscrutable and severe. Highly organized (and some say ruthless) they are considered the de facto leaders and political force among the Eldevens. The Sidh are the natural organizers of the Eldevens. As a result they are the most powerful political and military force among the Eldevens. They are said to be a diplomatic race but are swift to anger and lethal when agitated. In addition it is said that the Sidh are the most naturally gifted of all users of Elturgy (magic) among the Eldeven, yet many of them also are instinctively wary and distrustful of Elturgy. The Sidhel possess extremely sensitive eyesight and can see at great distances. It is also said that some Sidh can see the invisible and some even possess “foresight.” Outsiders often refer to them as the “Wyrd Folk,” or the “Folk of High Dooms.”

Jükaŗn also named by men the Dwelvar – Similar in many ways to Nordic Dwarves, also an extremely dangerous and fearsome people if properly provoked. They also hold generation’s long grudges and occasionally feud violently and bloodily among themselves. The Jukarn are slow to breed and often attempt to hide or segregate their females, who are said to be extraordinarily beautiful and shapely, even if small and fiery, from the rest of the world. Male Jukarn are, however, notorious womanizers of their own females and of the females of other races and many fights and wars have started among them for this reason. The Jukarn are excellent engineers and builders of massive siege engines. They rarely prefer to personally engage in war (for political or non-personal reasons) but are renown as excellent armorers and builders of war-engines. Jukarn tend to be highly intelligent, yet often guileful. The Jukarn are well known for two things, their ability to detect vibrations in their very bones, often providing them with forewarning of approaching disaster or danger, and their extremely keen sense of hearing. Therefore they are often called the “Listeners.” They are also sometimes called the “Blood Folk” for their habit of smearing themselves with a blood red dye for adornment.

Lorahń also named by men the Sylf or Sylvar – a sub-group of the Sidhel and distantly related to them. The Sidh tend to be urbanized and civilized. The Lorahn disdain cities and settlements preferring to live in loose tribal associations (like American Indians once did) and to live off the land, preferring a naturalistic existence. They much favor Elturgy (and naturalistic Elturgy at that) to technology and craft as the Sidhel and Jukarnians do, and distrust collectivism, urbanization, and a reliance upon groups. They value individualism above all else. They are natural Frontiersmen and of all the Eldevens they breed the fastest, live the hardest, and die the youngest, often by misadventure or sheer love of danger. They are however almost totally immune to most diseases. Of all Eldevens they are the most xenophobic, especially towards Men and Sidh. The Lorahn are possessed of two extremely discriminating senses, the sense of smell and the ability to hear. They can often smell faint odors for leagues, having a sense of smell like a bear. Their hearing is so keen that it rivals or even exceeds that of a wolf. Perhaps because of this the Lorahn find themselves most naturally aligned with the Jukarn when it comes to other Eldevens. Many call them the “Green Folk.” Both because of their naturalistic lifestyle and because they can actually cause their flesh to assume a bluish or tan or greenish hue in order to blend into their environments.

Ghêriel also named by men the Gnössom, or Gnömso – a subrace distantly related to the Sidh but much smaller in physical size. Like the Lorahn they prefer to keep to themselves but they are also master craftsmen and builders of small and complicated artifacts. Known for their enormously sensitive and discerning sense of touch. They are also known for being crafty, cunning, hidden, and secretive by nature. The Gheriel folk often produce geniuses of various types. These geniuses however tend to be loners who prefer to work by themselves. A small percentage of Gheriel are born blind yet nevertheless their skin and other senses become so sensitive that they naturally possess a gnosense which gives them an uncanny ability to both understand how things work and to perceive things others cannot. The Gheriel are said by some (although they keep such things secrets among themselves) to be the longest lived of all the Eldeven peoples with some living to be over 1500 years old. Many call them the “Sharp Folk,” or the “Secret Folk.” Some name them the “Gold Folk,” because as they age their skin takes on a peculiar golden hue. It is said by some that right before a Gheriel dies he will turn the color of purified gold.

Avafał also named by men the Eladruin – a Race (the New Ones or the Fallen Ones) or sub-race (depending upon your point of view) that occurs when some member of the Eldeven Race mates and produces an off-spring with some member of a Human Race. Extremely rare as most such matings produce no offspring and even when such a mating is successful the child often does not survive into adulthood. Those that do survive often become extremely wise and trusted advisors and explorers possessing keen senses and a deep curiosity, an active mind, and a restless and searching spirit. They also tend to be a good and noble mixture of the more positive traits of their parents. They are sometimes called the “Gray Folk,” or the “Twilight Folk.” However some Avafal become Balkar or Fallen Ones, bitter outcasts and wanderers, hating and eschewing one parent or another, or both, with a tendency towards lifelong hatred and a desire for vengeance against the people of one parent or another for what they perceive as the supposed injustice of their birth and life.

Maştur – known as the “Black Eldevens,” or the Dark-Haired Elds” even though their skin tends to be very pale to almost albino white or sun-burned reddish in color. Their hair however is usually as jet black as their eyes, the tips of their ears, and the palms of their hands. Unlike the Sidh who tend to usually be near man-sized, or the Jukarn who tend to be short, the Mastur appear in a wide range of heights and sizes, from almost seven feet tall near giants to short four to five foot tall individuals. The Mastur long ago separated themselves from the other Eldeven peoples of their world, taking to the Sea, hence their other nickname, “The Sea-Farers.” Eventually they settled in a single large colony (with nearby smaller colonies) near the North Pole. Some actually live in hollowed out glaciers as hermits and it is also said that the Mastur either discovered a long abandoned and dead city in the arctic that had been built by a vanished race (possibly the Orasta) or that they built their own Capital city and port deep beneath a huge ice-sheet in the Frozen Sea of Ilkfriģ. It is not known whether or not either story is true or merely legend. It is also said that in the arctic that the Mastur discovered a strange form of magic or a weird artefact which gave them control over a weird form of magic they call Ylturgy, or Ulturgy. It is also not known whether or not this rumor has any basis in fact.

Farmarhlýan – Long before the Skëma (the Great Sundering that led to the various races of the Eldeven Folk) there was another group of the Eldeven peoples. The Sire and leader of these Eldevens, Farmarhl, one day stood before all of the gathered Eldeven peoples and said that he had received a Vision and a Dream that told him he must journey East with his people, to follow a Giant Silvered Stag to some new and unknown land. Few believed him until three days later when a giant silvered stag actually did appear and presented itself before Farmarhl. The stag was wild and would allow no one else to touch it except Farmarhl. Farmarhl named it the Yärnalaös, or Yärn (Stag) of the Dawn, and within a week he and his people were following it into the East. For seven years Farmarhl sent riders and messages back to the other Eldevens regarding his people’s progress but in eighth year all messages stopped and no more messengers appeared. The Farmarhlyan have never been heard from again, not in thousands and thousands of years, and no trace of them has since been discovered. They are now only remembered in song and lore and in a few brief and ancient copies of some of their early messages. Some call them the “Lost Folk,” and the “People of the Unseen Dawn.”

Adhařma Race also named by men the Anakös or Yettin – A race of powerful demi-giants who are excellent engineers and architects. These giants are known as the greatest builders on their world and the Eldevens (especially the Sidhel and the Jukarn) often contract with them to build their cities. The Adharmenes are highly intelligent but rather short lived compared to the Eldevens. This race may live to 75 or 80 years before succumbing to death. They also tend to suffer many health problems throughout life (probably due to their size) though they also tend to be enormously tough and immensely strong. However they are often susceptible to disease and injury, taking longer than most other peoples to heal. For this reason the Adharma invented the Harmindir (the Healing Hall) and have become expert healers and physicians. The Adharma practically built the Capital (and many say greatest) City of the Sidh, Samarkand. The Adharma also seem to share an odd an affectionate bond with the Gheriel, despite their enormous differences in size and longevity. They are sometimes called the Keldthŗengs (Walking Towers).

Gabraen Race – also known as the Ekronëv or Renown Ones. This race is a half-brother race to the Adharmenes and although only slightly taller and more bulky than humans they also seem to possess enormous and almost preternatural strength similar to that of the Adharma. Hairy and muscular many consider them coarse in appearance and ungainly in nature. Especially compared to the Sidh and the Lorahn who are considered attractive in appearance and graceful in motion. They are most renowned though for being physically fearless, incredibly tough, and enormously skillful hunters. They are not particularly susceptible to disease and injury but they are a violent and aggressive and forthright race and often die young and in combat. They are however master and spellbinding storytellers and well versed in song and music. Generally though they are disliked by the Eldeven peoples, whereas the Adharma are often admired by and friendly with the Sidh and Jukarn and Gheriel. The Gabraen typically tend to live only to be about 50 years old, and will tolerate the company only of the Adharma, the Lorahn, and some men. The Gabraen as a whole seem to be an outcast race, and to consider themselves as such.

Orasta (the Dawn People) Race – A lost race about whom not much is known except for the ruins of their high and bloody and brutal culture. They were said to have at one time been great explorers and colonizers having explored much of “the Old World,” before the Great Remaking or High Reforging of Iÿarlðma. What eventually happened to them or how they may have been destroyed no one is really sure and even the oldest legends and myths fail to mention their final fate. But not a single body or tomb of their dead has ever been uncovered. Many among the Sidh believe that the Orasta were the nascent forebears of the Eldeven races or that they never actually vanished, but opinions on the matter are hotly debated and disputed. The Jukarn say they were a wholly evil race and the Adharma greatly fear the ruins of the Orasta but will not say why. The Orasta are also called the Meilorein Race (Lost or Invisible Ones) by the Sidh.

 

There are also other obscure and vanished races of Iÿarlðma but little to nothing is actually known of their true natures and cultures by the Eldevens or by Men.

 

 

WELL SPOKEN

Superb Linguistic Chart!

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When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages, they use a tree metaphor. An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, North Germanic), which feed into specific languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian). Lessons on language families are often illustrated with a simple tree diagram that has all the information but lacks imagination. There’s no reason linguistics has to be so visually uninspiring. Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, a story set in a lushly imagined post-apocalyptic Nordic world, has drawn the antidote to the boring linguistic tree diagram.

Also worth checking out is the page before the tree, where she gives a comparison chart of words in the Nordic languages, and illustrates what an outlier Finnish is with the concept of “meow.”

Read Stand Still. Stay Silent here. Also see Sundberg’s previous work, A Redtail’s Dream, here.

THE LEXICON OF IŸARLÐMA (THE OTHER WORLD)

Because the plot, story, and terminology of my novel series (The Other World – the Kithariãd) has become so complicated and involved over time I have begun the construction of a Lexicon so that I and my readers may track all of the various languages, neologisms, and terms I have invented for the novels.

It will eventually include all of the arcane and neologistic and specialty terms I use or have invented in Latin and Greek and Hebrew and English as well, but for now I am only compiling those terms I have invented for the various Eldeven languages used in the book.

At this point it runs to 20 pages or so, but I expect it to grow significantly over time and I have yet to alphabetize the lexicon for ease of use. A hard chore but a necessary one.

Eventually I expect this Lexicon to be to my mythopoeiac works something like Alfred the Great’s lexiconographical works were to the Real World.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

No, but I am always looking for great names for my historical fiction and even my other fictional works. So there ya go…


Ten Great Anglo-Saxon Girls’ Names

Elisabeth Okasha’s book Women’s Names in Old English details close to 300 female names from Anglo-Saxon England. Most names were chosen from two words, such as bregu (ruler), wif (woman) and cynn (family).We’ve come up with our ten favourite girls’ names – if you are considering a different type of baby name, perhaps you will pick one of these!

SEE NAMES HERE

HAUBERK AND MAEL – A DREAM IN VERSE

I woke this morning with these lines running through my head. Don’t ask me why, I’ve never understood how this crap really works. This kinda thing just happens to me from time to time.

HAUBERK AND MAEL

Jerkin and wainscoat, both fitted well
Shield trimmed with cold steel, hauberk and mael

Bodkin and longbow, employed at range
Pierced through at angles, hauberk and mael

Gorgelet and gauntlets, painted with shells
Baldric beseasoned, hauberk and mael

 

Also there were a bunch of other words and terms in my head (I wrote them all down) some of them archaic, or archaic or foreign versions of better known terms (such as mael for mail) which are also plays on words (mael also meaning bald, shaven, defenseless, blunt, hornless, the Welsh saint Mael, a Keltic name for Ireland and Wales and Brittany, and of course a variation on the armor – mail – yeah, I looked it all up), and weird forms of other words such as wainscoat.

(Which I suppose to probably be related to waistcoat, though perhaps my mind had created a different neologism altogether – wanescoat – a faded or shrinking coat, or coating. It was hard to tell. I didn’t see the verses or words, just heard them as I woke, so I used wainscoat. Maybe it was supposed to be “wanescoat.” Don’t really know at this point what was meant.)

Gorgelet also seems a strange (though poetic) variation on the term gorget (the plated neck armor of a knight) but the word also seems to me to imply something woven over or covering the gorget, like a piece of painted silk or cloth. Maybe a piece of decorated heraldry. Just a working theory.

My “verse dreams” are weird in that way, the way they alter terms and languages and definitions. Oftentimes I create new words in my dreams, and then later on have to figure out what they probably mean, or how to relate them to other or more established terms.

Finally there were also some stand-alone lines that I woke up with, such as, “Great gloppen and gore” but they were not part of stanzas and I don’t yet have any idea of where to put them.

It’s all sominpathy to me at this point.

I have a feeling though that this one is gonna be like pulling teeth. For some reason it wants to be written, but I don’t know why or how to proceed right now.

So I’m gonna let it sit and set awhile in my mind and see where it all goes. And what it might mean.

THE RUIN OF WROTHCHOLIRE a fragmentary extract from THE WRATH OF WROTHCHOLIRE

“What portend you in deceit
Why such pretense of pendent peace
Oaths unmade, and omens deep
Ring howling in my blade!
You by craft and cunning guile
Sought my seething blood
While I by will and self-resolve
Did seek your honest love
The Whore of Heaven – by means unknown
Has made your counsels clear
My murder in the night to come
You hope to commandeer
Token not that you mean well
In Fury he says no,
One of us will drown in blood
To Death you must now go!
I took you in, played faithful host
Broke my bread, gave rest to you
Sheltered hard your outlawed past
By signs and favor did forecast
To all who knew me you my friend
Were brother-blood and constant kin
At table honored you were bade
To make your vows for pled-ged aid
I by right proclaimed them true
But in your heart I knew not you
For now, I darkly find, your
Oaths unmade and omens deep
Are broken hard, their worth unreaped
Doom does howl, my blade unleashed
One of us will die in vain
To Death you must now go!”

SCHLEICHER’S FABLE – IN INDO-EUROPEAN

Being an amateur linguist and philologist this kind of thing fascinates me. Also I have long studied Indo-European root terms and words. As a poet and song-writer, as a writer, as a man who loves languages, and simply for my own enjoyment.

Enjoy this Archaeology article.

Be sure to listen to and read the Fable on the main site. I’ve listened to it three times already.

Fascinating.

Sheep

(iStockphoto)

By the 19th century, linguists knew that all modern Indo-European languages descended from a single tongue. Called Proto-Indo-European, or PIE, it was spoken by a people who lived from roughly 4500 to 2500 B.C., and left no written texts. The question became, what did PIE sound like? In 1868, German linguist August Schleicher used reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary to create a fable in order to hear some approximation of PIE.

Called “The Sheep and the Horses,” and also known today as Schleicher’s Fable, the short parable tells the story of a shorn sheep who encounters a group of unpleasant horses. As linguists have continued to discover more about PIE (and archaeologists have learned more about the Bronze Age cultures that would have spoken it), this sonic experiment continues and the fable is periodically updated to reflect the most current understanding of how this extinct language would have sounded when it was spoken some six thousand years ago. Since there is considerable disagreement among scholars about PIE, no one version can be considered definitive. Here, University of Kentucky linguist Andrew Byrd recites his version of the fable, as well as a second story, called “The King and the God,” using pronunciation informed by the latest insights into reconstructed PIE…

THE WRATH OF WROTHCHOLIRE

Two nights ago I wrote a poem (As We Age) and then started working on the fragments for The Wrath of Wrothcholire. Wrothcholire is an indestructible sword that appears in my high fantasy writings comparable to Gram and Durandal and Caliburn (Excalibur) in myth and legend.

It was forged of dark red (blood red) meteoritic rock but when finished the blade came out to be black and scored with an odd pattern and design. As far as is known the blade cannot be broken but will bend and flex. It is easy to sharpen and will hold an edge for many combats. Wrothcholire goes all the way back to my teenage years and was my imagined embodiment of the “perfect sword” and “ideal personal weapon.”

Wrothcholire is said (by those who have wielded him, and many famous heroes over several ages have wielded him) to possess a will or intelligence of his own, not that it can speak but rather that it will impel it’s bearer to great anger and fury if it desires the destruction of an enemy.

Wrothcholire (and this is the English name for the Sword, it has many different Eldeven names and names in other tongues) means wroth, or wrath, and choleric, and iresome. It also means, from the root terms, twisted (because of the pattern in the metal), to writhe (because of it’s seeming to writhe like a serpent when angered), and riven.

Wrothcholire is never said to be owned, but rather borne or that it’s user “bears the wrath of Wrothcholire upon and within himself.”

This goes back to when I was a young man and would become intensely angry and dangerous and do things I later deeply regretted. So also is Wrothcholire. Wrothcholire often pushes its bearer to fearsome and even horrible deeds, and sometimes even close to murderous deeds. Wrothcholire is really my own personified Fury, both a source of great strength for me, and probably my greatest lifelong vice. It took me a long time to conquer my own Wrothcholire, and a few bearers over time do tame the blade and they become lifelong friends. Many others Wrothcholire uses as much as they use him.

I have over time written many shorts stories involving Wrothcholire, in which the weapon appears either overtly as itself, or covertly and in disguise, but recently the idea has occurred to me to write some poetic fragments about the blade that I will eventually combine into either recited Skaldic verse or a Bardic song, maybe both. In either case his Lay shall be called, “The Wrath of Wrothcholire.”

So last night I began that. Here is what I first devised:

No voice of life could he (Wrothcholire) engender
Yet Fury burned, a shining beacon
Within his wrath, a terror vengeanced
Yearned to make of his foe’s ending…”

Another stanza,

He writhed, he bled, the foeman fled
An ancient anger soon caught flame
The Whore of Heaven made a bed (or dug a grave)
Of endless night, and brutal shame…

Another set of verses

He brake the Drake
Did slay the Würm
An endless wound that would not heal
Far better had they perished both
Than in such anger ruthless killed…”

The last I composed,

The End of All Illness comes to he
Who in such fury burns so bright
This blade of death, so distant sent
Has pierced my heart, and now I’m spent (or, variantly, my soul is rent)

Wrothcholire is said to be the Blade of Nine Names.

As far as those who know of him he has had Nine Names over time, and I have translated them all into English.

The Nine Names of Wrothcholire:

Wrothcholire (Eternal Fury or Writhing Fury)

The Fell-Black Sword (from its color and twisted pattern)

The Sword of Starless Night (because when it kills it is said to “blanket the foe in a starless night.”)

The Blade of Fury (self-explanatory)

The Brand of Vengeance (also self-explanatory)

Battle’s Beacon (said because it forewarns the bearer that another soon intends to attack, even if the other pretends peace)

The Wound Eternal (said because it typically leaves a wound that will not heal in the foe, or it leaves a wound of anger in the bearer that will not pass)

The Serpent’s Snare (because it is a Würm-killer, or dragon and monster-slayer)

The Whore of Heaven (this is actually an English mistranslation of a Sidhelic name – the Sidhels call Wrothcholire the “Blood-Ore of Heaven” because of the meteoritic fragment from which it was forged, but this was later mistranslated into English as the Whore of Heaven, sometimes the Whorl of Heaven, because of its writhing, and the name stuck by repetition)

The Sword will figure prominently in some of my fictional works, such as my High Fantasy novels and myths.

TIME RUNS BACKWARD – unfinished poem with neologisms

Time runs backwards as I age to taunt the pretense I presage
A quiet evening gathers force against the efforts I endorse

I build, I dream, I recreate, alluring hope I’m not too late
I treasure up those goods I keep yet still comes on that endless sleep

Protean made, a crown of gain, is nothing more than shadows slain
For time runs backward like that dawn that shall soon cease to carry on

A starless night, a moonless sky, an Earth devoid of my reply
This versive current of the clock has made of me a thing to mock *

Awkward does my every care seem amplified – a blind man’s snare
Bound within me I’m unknit, my ledgers lost, my tack unfit

Nostic lies the length of me, consumed in doubt and dread defeat *
For time speeds backward like the flight of birds of prey who track my plight

What matter if I shape the world so tightly is my soul so whorl’d
That I can never free myself from ravage, ruin, or dispel

The loss I suffer while I decay, my aims in life all led astray
I raise, I reach, my fall is great, the night comes on, I woke too late

Drommund grows the darkened eve, when will not this soon relieve *
For time bleeds backward like the wound that to cure is all immune…

 

versive *to be both poetically metered and twisted or torsioned into an aversive design or subversive shape

nostic * to be physically exhausted and unable to continue yet fully aware and sensate

drommund *to race through the world in a reckless and violent or suicidal manner

ASWERMIC

I’ve been having this dream lately about the word “aswermic.” Actually I’ve been hearing the word aswermic a lot lately being spoken in my dreams.

So this morning I looked it up and could not find it in any English dictionary, ancient or modern.

I’ve tried variants as well, different constructions and possible conjugations (if that is the case) such as aswarmic, aswirmic, aswormic, aswurmic, and aswyrmic. Or aswerma, aswormae, aswarmos, etc.

From looking at the variants I thought possibly that the world might be a root term which is possibly Sanskrit in origin, but I can’t find anything so far on it or any of the variants.

If I can’t find anything then I guess it will be up to me to define it and I’ll consider it a neologism.

Why I keep hearing it in my dreams or what it defines or might possibly imply I do not yet know. Maybe it is related to the novel I’m writing, to the languages I am inventing (though it doesn’t seem related to those languages, as aswermic seems Latin in origin, but isn’t, and aswurmic seems almost Sanskrit, but doesn’t appear to be), but so far I have no answer and no joy.

I guess I’ll just have to keep working at it and assume there is some meaning behind the term I’ve yet to discover. In the meantime I’ll work it as a neologism and see where that might lead.

If any of you guys have ever encountered the term, or a term like it, in whatever language, please let me know as I’d be curious as to what it means and from where it originates.

A MAN’S WORD-HORDE

Last night, while studying the single best book on Tolkien I have ever read, I discovered that the term Word-Hoard was originally, in some uses, Word-Horde. (Derived from ancient Czech, “hord” or Polish “horda.”)

Now Word-Hoard is one of my very favorite Anglo-Saxon/Olde English terms and to me the implication here is that not only was a man’s Word Hoard an innumerable treasure by which he cunningly manipulated the world (buying favors and gains and influence with his word-hoard), it was also (at least by implication with the word Horde) a vast and unstoppable army or a “huge swarm” (of people).

This adds an incredible layer of meaning and metaphor. For it means that a man’s Word-Hoard is not just a static treasure that he accumluates and “hoards” over time, but that it is actually an active and living force, a Horde that he sends out into the world, like a swarm or an army, to conquer the world.

CONAN AND ME, PART ONE: LANGUAGE, PULP, RACE, AND FICTION

Lately I’ve been re-reading (actually listening to on CD) some of R.E. Howard’s later stories on Conan, such as The Conquering Sword of Conan.

Now every year, usually in the Fall (but at other times as well) or as the weather changes I get a desire to read or listen to Conan, or Solomon Kane, or the stories of HP Lovecraft. Adventure and horror stories. Don’t know why, I just do, it’s sort of a recurring literary theme with me. I associate Autumn and early Winter with adventure, and patrolling, and exploring, and the coming dark.

(I also at this time of year like to read or listen to the radio plays of Jack Flanders or the Green Hornet or John Carter of Mars or Doc Savage or other types of things like that I used to listen to as a kid.)

Now I’ve always liked the stories of Conan (though I have much more in common personally with the character Solomon Kane) as I enjoy a lot of pulp fiction. It’s adventurous, and that’s what I like about it. Adventure stories and pulp fiction tend to roam widely in space and time, and this very much appeals to the explorer and Vadder in me. As well as to the historian in me, as pulp stories are often pseudo-historical and often contain historical and archaeological allusions and references. I wish far more modern writers wrote really good adventure stories, especially for young men and boys, but also even for girls, such as my daughters. Alas, aside from children stories adventure yarns seem a dying or dead art. More is the shame.

But a couple of things have always bothered me about Conan and his adventure stories. One is Howard’s sometimes ridiculous use of inappropriate language, mixing antique, antiquated, and outmoded terms all in the same paragraph or sentence and doing so without a broader context. The same can be said for his general world building tendencies as well, he sometimes mixes wholly inappropriate matters and allusions and settings and events and places and personages together haphazardly and without any logical framework. I know this is part of his Sword and Sorcery Shtick but it can detract heavily from the appeal of the story. As a writer I certainly understand that every writer is at least to some extent a product of his times, and of what is known in his time. As well as a victim of his own his ideas, and a bondsman of his ideas about writing. Finally he is in at least in some sense a slave of his own language, real or invented, and his use of that language. But Howard’s language often descends into “pulp-speech” in a way that is almost an obvious caricature of pulp. In other words his writings become the very caricature of the pulp genre to such an obvious degree that it becomes impossible to read some of his phrasing without saying to yourself, “this story is pulp.” Instead of, “this story is a great adventure.”

True, sometimes his phrasing and language use is clever, even inspired, at other times though it is both simultaneously banal and overwrought. At times like that you easily remember within your own mind, “this is fiction,” and that’s precisely what you want to avoid in fiction writing.

The second thing that bothers me about Conan is Conan’s obsession (in some of his stories at least) with race and tribalism and ethnicities and “groups.”

to be continued…

A DAY IN THE KIFE – UPDATE

Update: So last night I went out for waffles and a ding-dong. While sitting and waiting for my coffee brunch this old lady wanders by and makes like a cat caught under a washing machine. You could hear the fur fly but nobody said nothing cause it was after closing time already. Still that kinda racket really piques my pin-cushion whenever I’m within quadruple earshot. So I got up and floated outside, but upside down so nobody would notice. Once the roof was beneath my head I called out, “Hey Method Man, take out for sixteen.” But nobody came to listen. It’s like that old analogy, “if a tree falls, then what’s the best direction to be upright?” I’ve never caught that saying in the middle of nothing, so en media res is all satellite radio to me.

But seeing as that is neither here nor there, I decided it would be best to climb back down to street level, to see what all the fuss was about. No sooner had I toed up my twinkles and caught wicked pavement than the old lady shot by me like a post modern possum. “Hooray,” I said. “How long you been screaming?”

“The whole time it took me, but nobody cares.” She said without speaking. I touched my nose and she laughed in the other direction.

With that kinda market-clout I could feel what she peddled, but no closer to home, away I did run. Three good blocks later, or half a loaf will do ya, I finally hit paydirt and rang up the bill.

“Is Pink here,” I asked. “Cause I wish he was here

“Don’t we all, and whatcha mean?” asked the Russians, but pulling pushed harder, so centrifugal tickled and I had to laugh. 2 cute for Harlem, we all know the story, and I was no farther than farther along. Well, what’s a guy to do when he’s tried nothing and everything worked, but not like he figured, so he’s back to the end? That kinda thing really gets to some guys, but not me, I just kept a pluggin and hoped not to spit. More holes though went a’poppin than I could’a covered so whenever that happens I shake my stick. Now good sticks are expensive, or that’s what they tell me, but far worse than belt loops when you buy one for free.

Now as luck would have it, or maybe on purpose, I lost the old lady, but found a new boot. Since my old one was still under warranty, I ditched it in Chelsea and wore on the gum-fingers till the treading felt right. It was good that I did so, or maybe just dancing, cause ten minutes later I was early to bed. More on this last week.

But not right now. Somebody ain’t watching, and it’s already past ten…

https://wyrdwend.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/a-day-in-the-fike/