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

F is for Fairy Bridge

On the Isle of Man there is a bridge that belongs to The Little People. It is called the Fairy Bridge. The Little People (also called Themselves) are NOT fairies. They do not associate themselves with fairies and find it quite insulting to be called fairies. They are Themselves or Little People (Little Fellows), period. As I have done research into the folktales on the Isle Of Man, I have not come across the reason they detest being called fairies.

I can only imagine how much the Little People laugh at the humans who pass over the bridge. It might be that fairies do live under the bridge, but beware. They are tricksters. If you cross over the bridge be sure to say thank you for allowing you to cross.

Most people don’t realize that this well known bridge is only there for the tourists. There is another bridge, more difficult to get to, that is the true bridge of the Little People. This is the bridge I have in my book. Kaitlin’s first encounter with the magical world on the Isle of Man is under this bridge. Her life will change in ways she never dreamed of.

If you should find your way to this bridge, remember to give a kind nod of thanks. You are the guest of the Little People. They only ask for your respect. If you don’t, watch out. Your life could change in ways you never dreamed of just like Kaitlin’s does.

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This post inspired by – F

G is for Geography

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

A is for April Fools

Today, there will be many posts about April Fools Day. Where did it start? What are the most outlandish pranks? Who likes the pranks and who detests them? I will let someone else write about those questions. I am here to tell you about one great prank that actually made it into a book.

First, let me remind you that many of the posts during April will be about the Isle of Man and my first novel, The Manx. In case you didn’t know, the Isle of Man is a tiny place that sits in the middle of the Irish Sea. It is only 221 square miles (32 miles long and 14 miles wide), and home to over 82,000 people. Half the population are Manx who are native born to the Isle of Man.

The April Fools joke? It was about a bridge and the Handbook of International Bridge Engineering. In 2008 the Liverpool Echo announced that a bridge would span the Irish Sea from Liverpool to Isle of Man’s capital city, Douglas.  According to the HIBE, The Alf Priolo bridge would be 432,960 feet long and the third longest in the world.

bridge-april-fools

The 82 mile expanse would be named after a well known 19th Century Manx engineer by the name of Alf Priolo. However, the engineer did not exist, and the name is actually an anagram for April Fool.

I have it on reliable authority the bridge was recently completed. The Little People, also referred to as Themselves, completed construction just a few weeks ago. My source explained that the Little People were tired of the small bridge they had been relegated for so many centuries. Besides, they wanted to get out and see the rest of the world so only they can use it.  It spans from somewhere near Peel Castle, Isle of Man, to Ballyhornan, Northern Ireland. Don’t bother trying to find it. It’s invisible.

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This post inspired by: “A”

A-for-a-to-z

B — Buggane

What Do I Love Most About My Genre?

What’s not to love? I do write in multiple genres (historical fiction, non-fiction, and fantasy), but my favorite is fantasy. Ever since a young age I loved tails about witches, vampires (Bela Lugosi was the best), fairies, and all the rest. I read the tame versions of the Brothers Gimm along with marathons of the old black and white Frankenstein-esque films.

My writing is on the tamer side of witchcraft and fairy tales. My first book (yes, I’m working furiously to get it out!) is based on the fairy tales and legends on the Isle of Man. They are pretty quirky stories that I still scratch my head about. One story is about St. Trinian’s Church and the monster haunting it. The monster, called a Buggane, hates all the noise the church builders are making during the day, so he rips off the roof every night. This goes on and on. The roof is on, the roof is off, night after night. Then a boy named Timothy makes a wager with the church that he can make a pair of pants inside the church before the Buggane can rip off the roof. They take him up on the wager just so the roof might stay on a single night. Timothy not only gets his breeches made, but he also angers the Buggane so much that it rips it’s own head off and vanishes. The church still stands today.

This is what I love about what I write. A tale of legendary monsters, a brave boy, and a building that still stands. One day, I will visit St. Trinian’s and touch the walls of history. Until that day I will write my own tales of the Buggane of St. Trinian’s.

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Today’s post is inspired by the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group). Our awesome co-hosts for the February 7 posting of the IWSG are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

Click here to read some other great blogs

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell


★★★★☆
This hefty novel opens in 1806 with the meeting of the Great Magic Society. Theoretical magicians meet to discuss their discoveries while reading about, but not practicing, magic. A gentleman does not, after all, practice magic.

Ms. Clarke weaves a wonderful tale filled with shadows lurking in dark corners and chilled breezes that sneak through the window cracks. Magic is coming back to England after a 300-year absence, and Mr. Norrell and Jonathan Strange are in the middle of it all as they fumble through dusty spell books.

The reader spends the first third of the book with Mr. Norrell and his fussy approach to magic. His counterpart, Jonathan Strange doesn’t make his first appearance until well into the story.  The two characters are the opposite of one another in every respect. Mr. Norrell is small, mousey, and reserve in personality and magic. On the opposite side, Jonathan Strange is tall, handsome, and bold.

Their lives become deeply intertwined and neither Johnathan Strange nor Mr. Norrell understand the depth until the last chapters and pages.

I loved the writing style of Ms. Clarke, which is reminiscent of the time-period in which the book takes place. The humor is dry, and hidden among the words. If you are not an English major, you may miss many of the jokes that are drizzled throughout the book. The writing style is colorful and the reader will be treated to smelling the acrid air and feeling the rough textures.

The use of end-notes gives the reader some backstory of side characters and events. They are a fun diversion away from a long story, but they were a little disruptive at times. I skipped a few just to continue with my reading.

Overall, this is a great book to lose yourself in.

Beastkeeper

BeastkeeperBeastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
★★★★☆

I LOVED the writing style that carried me through this quaint story. The plot was not earth shattering so my rating of a four instead of five stars. I still really enjoyed reading this and recommend it to adults as well as young adults.

From Goodreads: Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

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