Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Random musings - mind's all over the place right now

And so the writing crawls on. There's a chance I might actually make the 50k, or damn near it in any case. I've found that if I just write and don't waste time himmin and hawin, I can write about a thousand words in an hour. The quality of the writing done in that hour leaves a lot to be desired, of course, but I'm forcing myself not to think about that just now.

I spent an hour the other night trying to find the right name for a bloody horse, which meant first I had to hunt down our Gaelic dictionary and flick through it for ideas. Stupid Epidii. It's not enough I have to find names for all of you, I have to find names for your precious horses, too.

Speaking of the Epidii, it's something I've been wondering about for a while. They seem to turn up in quite a few novels set in this sort of time period. They feature in Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth, Jules Watson's books, and of course, my own WiP. I wonder what makes them in particular so interesting. It must have something to do with Argyll. I know I first decided on the Epidii for Gairea and Cathal's tribe because I love that part of Scotland. Not to mention the name "Tribe of the Horse" has an appealing "Riders of Rohan" vibe to it. :)

Also wondering about certain names. To accent or not to accent? In purest Gaelic form, the name of Gairea's cousin should properly be written Áedán, which I don't personally have a problem with, but to an eye unused to Gaelic spelling, it may look a bit like acute-overkill. The spelling Aedan, without the acutes, is also perfectly valid, but since I like languages, I prefer putting in accents where they should be. I just wonder which variant of the name is more appealing to a non-Gaelic speaker. Here are different variants I've seen:





Which one do you prefer?

I'm also thinking I might post up an excerpt in the next few days. A snippet I've already written and read over, of course, not something out of the rubbish I've written this month. It's been a while since I've posted one, so watch this space. :P

And it's nine days till I move out! Wow.

See you later!


Crystal said...

Can't wait until you post about moving out!!! The countdown begins!!!

You better hurry up with that there snippet lil missy;o) Can't wait to read it!!!!

I like the first name. I don't know how to type the accents with the name so i'll just say the first one!!! LOL! Yeah, i'm a chicken peckin computer loser! LOL!!!

Kirsten Campbell said...

I know. I'm so excited! :)

So. Áedán, huh? I've no problem with sprinkling on the acutes, but sometimes I worry that a reader who isn't used to Gaelic pronunciation might see that spelling and go, "Well, it looks like Aedan, but what the hell do all the accents mean??"

Ah, don't feel bad for chicken-pecking. I never really learned how to type with both hands. Luckily I learned how to chicken-peck really fast! ;) Apparently there are shortcuts on the keyboard to getting accents, but I don't know them. I just keep the character map up and double-click when it's needed. :)

Gabriele C. said...

Hehe, my German keyboard has the accents. :P

I need a Gaelic dictionary (though I have only vague ideas about the pronounciation). I have the same problem with names, people, horses, that damn dog, and probably a half tamed eagle as well.

I simplified the spelling a bit after some readers complained. After all, whatever they spoke in the 1st or 3rd century AD is not modern Gaelic anyway. ;)

Kirsten Campbell said...

(grins) True, very true. I suppose an historical novelist could get away with taking certain linguistic liberties on that basis.

A Gaelic dictionary is very helpful, though I, too, only have a very rough idea of pronunciation.

Jack Dixon said...

Hi, Kirsten. Hope you're well. Just wanted to weigh in with my opinion.

I like Áedan.

I've gotten good feedback on the pronunciation guide in the front of The Pict, even though I'm sure I got some of the pronunciations wrong myself. It just helped the reader get at least some semblance of the name in their heads.

You're doing the right thing by trying not to edit while you're creating. The editing effort can really put a damper on the creative effort.

Kirsten Campbell said...

I'm good, Jack, thanks. What about you? How are things with you?

Thanks for offering an opinion. I'm still pondering it. :)

I'm thinking about compiling a pronunciation guide as well. After all, I use a lot of older Irish/Welsh names which look quite tricky.

Looking over your pronunciation guide in The Pict, I think you've got most of them about right. Some names and words can sound different between Scottish and Irish Gaelic, and even in different regions, but you're right, as long as you get a proper feel for the name.

Trying not to edit. Really, I am. But occasionally I scroll through what I've written this month and cringe at its ghastliness. ;)

Jack Dixon said...

LOL. You're so funny. It's always ghastly to us, a chuisle, but only 'cause we're the ones what wrote it. We're always our own worst critics. I'm quite sure it's not even close to ghastly.

I'm glad I got the pronunciations close to right. Thanks for letting me know that. Not knowing for sure always bothered me a bit.

Crystal, I can just hear your wonderful Texas accent...

Crystal said...

Jack- LOL!! Yep, i'ma redneck fer sure;o) Have a wonderful day! You too Kirsten!!!!