O is for Osran

Today’s post introduces you to OsranMany of the characters in The Manx have at least a tiny bit of grounding in the real world whether it is the use of a real name, a mythical being, or a historical figure. Osran comes fresh from my imagination.

Her realm is in The BetweenThis is where the past, present, and future meet. Osran is the guardian of The Between making sure no one (magical or human) crosses from their own present into the past or future.

It is also where the energy for magic is generated. Whenever magic is used, the energy from it must be gathered in the Between to be redistributed back into the world. Osran oversees this process to be sure there are no flows that are uneven. Any imbalance will have catastrophic results affecting everything from the beginning of time to the end.

Osran is Kaitlin’s guide, and she will meet her for the first time in The Manx. Kaitlin doesn’t know what to make of Osran initially, but she feels comforted in her presence. Almost like an aunt or grandmother. They will make a formidable team as they fight to save both worlds which are on a collision course.

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This post inspired by – O

P is for Castle Peel

N is for Names

In choosing names for The Manx I used surnames that were listed in the census logs of the Isle of Man. I went as far back as I could find records for so that the names were as authentic as I could make them. Kaitlin Manning is named for the island, Mann (as it is sometimes spelled). Her first name is not of Manx origin, but she was born in America so I leaned toward something that would fit here in the states. Donal Kennaugh’s surname is one of the oldest I could find, plus I just liked it. His first name is of Manx origin and means “world conqueror.”

The book also takes us back into Manx history. King Magnus the Barefoot was king of Norway 1093-1103, during this time he was on the Isle of Man. King Magnus was ruthless in the battles he waged. He dominated much of the coastal area around the Irish sea. He had forts built on Man and he spent much of his time there while he was busy conquering the Irish Sea. His daughters, Ragnhild and Tora (I changed this name to Thora in the book), will play major parts in the past as well, along with a few other characters from his court.

The extent of historical accuracy does end there. I have used the names from the past  and taken a lot of artistic liberty with their characters. I also followed some of the historical narrative to build personalities for them, but that’s about it.

There have been days that I spent hours looking for names getting lost in the histories and the side trips of the internet. I am still building new characters so if you are Manx and know of a few good places, or people, that you think should be included. Leave a comment. I’d love to learn more.

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This post inspired by – N

O is for Osran

M is for Manannan Mac y Leirr

Manannan Beg was son of Leirr,
He was the first the e’er had Mann;
But as it seemeth unto me,
He himself was but a heathen.

‘Twas not with his sword he kept her,
Nor with his arrows, nor his bow;
Bur when he would see ships sailing,
He hid her right round with a fog.

He’d set a man upon a brow,
You’d think there were a hundred there;
And this did wild Manannan guard
That island with all its booty.

The rent each paid out of the land
Was a bundle of green rushes;
And that was on them for a tax
Throughout the county each John’s Eve.

Some went up with the rushes to
The great mountain up at Barrule;
Other would leave the grass below,
With Manannan above Keamool.

In this way, then, they lived, I think
Myself their tribute very small,
Without care or anxiety,
Or labour to cause weariness.

~~Old Manx Ballad

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This post inspired by – M

N is for Names

L is for Little People

The Little People have been a part of Isle of Man’s legends since the beginning. The Little People (Mooinjer Veggey), also known as Themselves, stand a good foot high. Much like gnomes, they dress in green with red caps, yet they are slender, more like a human. They are usually seen hanging out under the “Fairy Bridge”, but are also known to be just about anywhere riding on the back of a corgi. Kaitlin (who I introduced yesterday) will, of course, have an encounter with the Little People. 

For the locals, they know the importance of the Little People and the proper way to greet them. It is well known that if they are not given their due respect you may come down with chicken pox, get robbed, or have bad luck follow you. The TT racers are very careful about giving a kind greeting in hopes of having a bit of good luck in their race.

So, when you cross the Fairy Bridge you must say: “Moghrey mie (Good morning), Fastyr mie (Good afternoon/evening) or Laa mie (Good day) Mooinjer Veggey.” Many visitors write notes and wishes on pieces of paper and attach them to a nearby tree. The Little People are kindly and generous with their luck just as long as you are too.

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This post inspired by – L

M is for Manannan Mac Lir

K is for Kaitlin Manning

I have been anxiously waiting for the letter K to come up so I could introduce you to my main character Kaitlin Manning. She was born outside Denver, Colorado, and grew up in Agate; population….just over 500. School was not her favorite pastime. The kids stayed in town for elementary school, but the upper grades involved a 30 minute commute, one way. She was traveling with her father more than she was in school so she never quite fit in.

When she was five years old, Kaitlin’s mother left without a trace. The few memory snippets Kaitlin has of her mother are all smiles and laughter. She constantly asked her father, why? Why, if her mother was so happy, did she leave? His sad smile was never answer enough for her, but that was all she came to expect. 

We meet up with Kaitlin while she is on summer break from the University of Colorado.  At 20 years old she is ready to get on with her life, and isn’t sure she wants to return to school. This trip is her chance to get away from Colorado and try to find a direction for her future.

Kaitlin and her father are on the Isle of Man to photograph the TT (Tourist Trophy) Motorcycle Races; specifically the sidecar events. They have traveled extensively for his work as an international sports photographer, and she thinks she has seen just about everything the world has to offer until she gets to the island. Kaitlin soon finds out that this trip will not be like any she has experienced before. 

She is down to earth and very curious. She is known to stand at the edge of a cliff just to see what clings to life just over the edge. Her favorite pastimes are reading, photographing sunsets, and riding motorcycles – fast. It’s a good thing she likes the speed, she’ll need when she tries to outrun her future.

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This post inspired by – K

L is for Little People

J is for Jabot

I have really enjoyed doing the A to Z Blog Challenge so far. It has been fun, up until the letter ‘J’. I have been wracking my brain trying to think of a J-something to write about as it might relate to the Isle of Man or The Manx, but no. My mind has been a blank on this letter (I’m having trouble with ‘Y’ too).

For brain food I cracked open my 1934 edition of 20,000 Words (this is a second edition published by The Gregg Publishing Company). Turning to the letter J I found the first word listed, JABOT. I have never heard this word before so the next step was to break out my dictionary. This book is a more modern version called, “the internet”.

The word originates from the French word jabot: a bird’s crop. What is a jabot, you ask? Wiktionary defines it as, “…is a decorative clothing accessory consisting of lace or other fabric falling from the throat, suspended from or attached to a neckband or collar; or simply pinned at the throat.”

Here is a picture of Mozart wearing one.

Is a jabot relevant to my book? Not specifically, but I think I may just throw the word in there somewhere just because it is a great word. I will leave it to you, my reading friends, to find it.

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Today’s post was inspired by — J (and the French)

K is for Kaitlin

I is for Isle of Man

When I was a young learner, I was taught in grade school how islands were formed. In very simplified terms, there is usually a push and shove from deep in the earth and an island is pushed up. Some islands, like the Hawaiian Islands, are built by volcanoes. But, the making of the Isle of Man was not made by Mother Nature, but by giants.

It happened thousands of years ago during a time when, in Ireland, the giants were always battling one another. One giant in particular, Finn MacCooil, was fighting the Red Giant of Scotland. MacCooil bested Big Red who ran to the east and MacCooil chased him. Red was getting far ahead of Finn. Fearing Red would jump into the sea and escape, Finn reached down and grabbed a handful of dirt and flung it at Red.

The fistful of dirt missed its intended target and it landed in the Irish Sea. This formed the Isle of Man. Now, the most amazing part of this story are the first Maxmen. As it turns out there were people on that clump of dirt, and they too were flung out to the sea. Luckily, the people landed safely.

They are The Manx.

Quite a hardy bunch if you ask me.

 

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This post inspired by – I