This month, I was fortunate to visit Cymru/Wales for a short time and gather images for possible use as covers for my upcoming series, Pendyffryn: The Inheritors, the first book of which is scheduled for publication in October (release date to be announced shortly). The cover for Justice is now ready but before the “Cover Reveal” I will tell you a little about this new series.
As you may know, the first series, Pendyffryn: The Conquerors consisted of five books: Invasion, Salvation, Betrayal, Revival and Reconciliation. Reconciliation is the only one that is set primarily in a country other than Cymru, although it begins and ends on the Cwmdu Ystad (estate) where Christophe Maides has defeated all his enemies but the one that has made him the Devil he believes he has become.
From the beginning of The Conquerors, the children of Jehan-Emíl deFreveille and those of Caryl Gernant are essential characters in the story. Jehan-Emíl’s purpose for invading the Gaer is to find a home for his three children after years of deprivation. Caryl Gernant has a home but her children are under constant threat from the wicked ambitions of Morgan Cwmdu.
Leaving Jehan-Batiste, Marshal, Cecilé and the soon to be born Guidry Emyr and Elan Cerith without a place to live or to leave Susanna, Heilyn and Christophe’s unborn child with no respite from their aunt’s cruelty, or the orphaned Jac with no future seemed unreasonable. Though each child will not have her/his own book, the future of each will be revealed to the, I hope, satisfaction of readers of the first series who have wondered…
The first book in The Inheritors series is Justice, the story of Marshal deFreveille and the apothecary’s assistant, Tanglwys Meinor, who are forced to endure each other’s company when Gwennan Pendyffryn determines that Marshal needs taming. Eilir Meinor, Tanglwys’s older brother, is Marshal’s nemesis and the two young men clash with violent animosity whenever they are in close proximity. Set during the turbulent times of the final decades of the 9th Century in Cymru, hatred, intolerance, war and desire play their part.
Justice is hard won and easily lost.
I’m sure you won’t be surprised that someone who is immersed in historical research doesn’t know how to use the vacuum cleaner we have owned since moving back to the US.
I was repotting some seedling lemon trees early this morning. One slipped out of my hands and the potting soil went all over the kitchen floor. I didn’t want to leave a mess, so I scooped up what I could and pulled the Bissell out of the closet. Just finding the switch to turn it on took me five minutes.
My DH and I have an arrangement, a 50-50 split. One of his jobs is the floors, wet and dry cleaning. He doesn’t know how to use a washing machine and, for very good reason, I won’t let him. He, I’m sure, has his reasons for keeping me away from the dishwasher.
Similarly, I don’t mess with his music and he doesn’t mess with my writing. He’s macro and I’m micro. He’s order, I’m chaos. I leave my toys out, he puts all his away. He outlines, I am a pantser. I’ve tried working his way and failed. For certain, he could not work without a framework.
Despite all these differences, we have learned to laugh about our individual foibles and get on with our efforts. The floor is clean, the plants are back on the balcony, and all my toys are … right where I left them. After this moment of indulgence, I have other efforts to pursue.
One of those is taking a manuscript that flowed from my brain through my hand to lined paper with ink from a fountain pen and is now giving me the great pleasure of mapping the scenes in each chapter to construct the real story from all the words I’ve written.
That’s me. Make a mess and clean it up. I think they call it hands-on (kinetic) learning. Some of us are like that.
Mae’r “cwn Ebrill”* yn galw. (The “hounds of April” are calling.)
Writers are language lovers. Words and phrases are our tools, our tubes of paint and brushes, our clay and chisels. After my first visit to Cymru(Wales), I had a new dilemma and a new story to tell. The dilemma is the language I had heard in this Celtic country and the story is the history of its oppression and triumph.
As I mentioned in my post about emigrating to Cymru, I could not be one of those who move to a country and demand that the people, culture and language change to accommodate me. I moved to Cymru to become a participant in the success of the Cymry to withstand the onslaught of the dominant language and culture of the island that four distinct cultures share. In my post, Potted Brythonic, I outlined the linguistic history of the British Isles and the early strength of the Brythonic Celtic language, Cymraeg(Welsh), from Llydaw(Brittany) and Kernyw(Cornwall) to Yr Alban(Scotland).
All through the first year I lived in the capital city, I met folks who hated, loathed and despised the native language of their own country. This attitude confounded me.
Some of these people were not Welsh and had no real love of the country they lived in—they were English immigrants who truly believed that Wales did not exist except in a fantasy world of a few old codgers intent on keeping a dead language alive.
A few of the non-Welsh-speaking Welsh also wanted to see the language disappear—more out of a sense of longing for access to a culture and way of life they had been denied. If they couldn’t have it, no one else should either. Both of these attitudes are prevalent throughout the world, no matter where or who. We are a naturally envious lot and often want what we are least likely to get without great effort.
I am not a natural linguist, nor especially good with languages, my own or foreign. A great help was my love of language as an instrument and as an art form in itself. I had studied enough Spanish and French in school, as well as the structure and form of English to be aware of the interconnection between all Indo-European languages which have a Latin component.
Since Cymru was once a Roman colony, many of its official institutions (schools, the law, church, government etc.) have a Latin-based name. This is true of all European countries that were colonized by the Romans, hence the term Romance Language for every tongue spoken in Europe from Romanian to Italian, French, Spanish and Welsh.
Although the Brythonic Celtic languages are less recognizable as Romance languages, their official institutions and some common words such as ffenest/fenêtre/finestra/fenestra=window and pont/pont/ponte/pons=bridge, show this connection to their common Latin root. A word such as eglwys doesn’t seem to equate, however its Latin root, ecclesia clearly shows the link to iglesia and église.
But, as you can see from my half-shelf of books (above) on many languages, both Welsh and English are absent. A misguided assumption of familiarity? Nid ddylai rhywun fod mor sicr o’i allu. (One should not be so sure of one’s ability.)
But what is writing without knowledge and the seeking of it?
I am still a learner.