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

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

D is for Donal Kennaugh

I would like to introduce you to Donal Kennaugh, one of the main characters in The Manx. I have enjoyed writing Donal’s character because there are  many secrets behind him. Throughout the story these secrets will come to light as he is forced to face  his past.

He lives in Ramsey with his mother, Brigid. He and his father were a sidecar team in the motorcycle racing circuit. During the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race (also known as the TT), the bike went out of control. His father was killed, and Donal has not raced since, but still loves to ride on the rare days the sun shines on the island.

The main character of The Manx is Kaitlin Manning. She and Donal are first maternal cousins and spent childhood summers together adventuring around the Isle of Man. Donal took her to all of his secret places and they made up wild tales of kings and queens, knights and princesses. He slew dragons for her, spoke with the fairies, and wrestled bugganes. He was Kaitlin’s hero.

After his father’s death, the games suddenly stopped. It has been ten years since Kaitlin and her father visited the island, and they have returned to photograph the TT.

Donal and Kaitlin will once again take up their childhood adventures, but they will no longer be a games of pretend.

Note: Today calls for two blog posts in order to satisfy two blog writing challenges. A to Z Challenge’s daily post plus the Insecure Writers Support Group’s monthly post. 

This post inspired by – D

E is for Eclipse