Two Weeks to go!

cropped-bookcase.jpgI wrote a recent post somewhere  where I was almost gloating about having cracked this blog thingy and I wrote something just now, destined, I though, for the Book category and then I did something – probably not saved the bloody thing – and it all disappeared.  I know if that happened in Word or something like that, I could probably get it back but here, I am a mere suckling in the wilderness.

Anyway, what I had written about was that this day two weeks from now, my first novel , Raiding Cúailnge, will be published.  Published, is that the right term?.  My novel will be available as an Ebook at all major retailers.

Does that demean, diminish or belittle the work?  Does it open the floodgates to vapid twaddle if everyone has a “licence” to write?  What do the gatekeepers of traditional publishers feel about the inroads being made into the preserves of the privileged few who landed a contract with a publishers?  To tell you the truth, I don’t care.  I couldn’t care less about it but Iam just thrilled to have my novel, my brainchild, out there, available online to God knows how many countless millions if they could only just find it!

Duh!

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CURVES

I feel like an eejit.  I’m just beginning to figure this damn thing out.  It really is easy.  I am appalled at how difficult I must have made it appear in my mind because I genuinely found the whole experience a bit off-putting and whenever I attempted to do anything, it was with a vague and undefined feeling of apprehension.

Does that make sense?

It was almost as if I half believed that this technology, this social media communication stuff, would all be a bit beyond me, which, of course, is nonsense, given my (kind of) earlyish start in computer literacy – that’s what it used to be called then, although I don’t know if that term is still in use nowadays.

Having said that, there is always the possibility that things (i.e. me) can go wrong again and in attempting to do some minor task, like drag the post “realisations” under the blog Curves, I will inadvertently bring disaster down on my head.  See?  There I go again, the vague feeling of … almost trespassing, as it were.

I remember, a couple of years ago, in Hong Kong, well, actually more like a dozen years or so now, some kids wrote in their journals that their parents used email while they used SMS or something that I had never heard of.  I realised then that I was the same age as their parents and that I used only emails, having long abandoned  the former conventions of landline phones and handwritten letters.

So, did I make an active decision then to stop learning new things?  I wouldn’t have thought, so but what then explains my reluctance to embrace  – is it a new technology or a new way of communicating?

 

Ornaments & Jewellery

cropped-img_0322_edited1.jpgOrnaments and Jewellery

By the third Century BCE a distinctive and clearly recognisable Iron Age Celtic society emerged. Known for its widespread use of jewellery and ornaments, its common artistic designs were developed first in central Europe by Celts and became known as the La Tène style from the area on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland, where thousands of objects were discovered in 1857.

3385221167_2d87308566_z The Torc is a twisted metal ring usually worn around the neck and could be of gold, bronze or iron. It was almost certainly a symbol of rank. Gold, pretty much like today, was out of reach of all but the nobility and champions.  Far more common were bracelets and necklaces of bronze and polished stones or pottery beads.

Examples of Celtic art include torcs, or neck rings, with the two open ends ornamented with animal heads; the silver repoussé Gundestorp cauldron (circa 100 bc, National Museum, Copenhagen); a bronze lozenge-shaped shield with circular medallions and small enamel circles (1st century bc-1st century ad); and a bronze mirror with enameled decoration (1st century bc).

Brooches were made from silver and gold studded with amber and pieces of glass, used to hold a cloak in position.

Glass was made from salt, crushed limestone and sand and coloured by adding powdered minerals. Glass was also used as enamel, a thin transparent layer bonded to metal underneath.

Personal ornaments include pins, fibulae, beads, bracelets and neck ornaments. Simple collars of twisted gold strips are known but there is also the sumptuous gold collar found on the seashore at Broighter, Co. Derry.

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterwright/3385221167/”>dad1_</a&gt; via <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>

Celtic Clothes

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Holy-Moly, I’ve been uploading bits of Celtic Trivia into what I though was an on-going bloggy thing on Celtic Trivia but it turns out,I think that it was one post, which I inadvertently opened and edited or added stuff to it and called it, each time, a new name, i.e. Celtic Trivia 2 and then later on Celtic Trivia 3, expecting them to be listed one under the other.  Instead I appear to have a single post.

But what, I’d like would be for each post, under the category of Celtic Trivia, to follow one after the other. So, here goes

This piece of Celtic trivia features Clothes.  Men wore a thigh length tunic (léine) over baggy trousers; brightly coloured. The léine was fastened at the waist with a sash. Wool was often dyed before being woven. The principle dyes were made from flowers, bark, berries, leaves or lichen boiled with salt or stale urine. The wool was first soaked, then boiled. Imported dyes, especially the scarlet from Parthia / Scythia, much favoured for its intensity, or the royal purple, the dye of the Phoenicians (made from the glands of the murex snails), were much sought after but were beyond the reach of most.

Women’s clothes were long and loose, made of linen or wool.- a sleeveless tunic over a long dress with a lightweight shift underneath. A shawl or cloak (brat) fastened at the shoulders with a brooch or pin completed the outfit.

Cloaks could have a small hood (cochall) with bands of decorative weaving and tasseled fringes round the lower edge but most were simple and unadorned.

Realisations

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CURVES

Looking back at my first post ever on March 22 I have only now just begun to understand what I didn’t know then.In this sally at communication in cyber space, I have been thinking of it like a concrete word document upon which I pound away for a while and then save / post it. And then, the next time, I open the same document again and add to it, rather than starting a new one / post.

I suppose that makes sense.

Celtic Trivia – Who and When

cropped-img_0322_edited1.jpgCeltic Trivia  – when & who

Here’s a snippet of info about the Celtic Way of Life. I suppose I had better clarify what I mean by Celtic or rather when and who I refer to.

Late Bronze Age C1300 – 800 BCE (before the current era)
Iron Age 800 – 600 BCE (Hallstatt Iron Age C)
Late Iron Age 600 – 475 BCE (Halstatt iron Age D)

Now I am certainly not an expert or even particularly knowedable about much of these periods but, because of the novel I was writing, Raiding Cúailnge, I found my self adapting background details for my setting of the North East of Ireland circa 400 BCE and while much of the information and backropund information I collected was to do with the widely varying tribes of Celtic people roaming Europe, my tale is firmly set in Ireland during what is known among the manuscripts as the Ulster Cycle, which describe some episodes from the life of my main character, Setanta, aka Cú Chulainn.

Anyway, these are the original documents on which all the known translations  are based.

None of the manuscripts contain a complete account of the period so I hope my stitching together of events in my novel will be acceptable, even to the purists.

The Book of the Dun Cow Written in the 11th century. Thought to have been based on texts from the 9th century which in turn were based on texts from 7th century (texts no long extant)
The Yellow Book of Lecan Circa 14th century. Ditto re earlier texts
The Book of Lenister Late 12th century

That’s probably enough for now.

 

Book News

cropped-bookcase.jpgIn addition to attempting to promote my soon to be published Ebook, Raiding Cúalinge, available from 20 April from all ebook retailers – and free for the first month if you get one of my freeby coupons – I thought I would mention some of the books I am currently reading – I often read several books ath the same time one in the living room, another beside my bed, another in the back room overlooking the garden, another in the … oops TMI there, you don’t need to know that.

OK, let me get my book junk out of the way right here here’s a link to it

 https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Serkeen

OK, enough said about that for the moment – although later I will maybe do a reading of a chapter, or include some photos of the locale where the story takes place, that sort of thing  And of course I will provide my freeby book coupon later on – whenever I get a chance to work out how to do it.

Anyway, despite having said somewhere that I really like historical novels and so on, I still read fairly widely in a whole load of different areas.

I just finished a book called The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols that I really enkoyed when I first read it more than, I think, 30 years ago.  I think it has stood up pretty well to the tests of time – a wetback Latino (I hope that is not seen as an offensive term, I’m not 100% actually sure what it means other than a Mexican migrant into the US, but if it is racist, please let me know and I will apologise and withdraw it – farmer illegally irrigates his pathetic beanfield, thereby using water reserved for a high flying golf/dude ranch planned development for the area.  Funny, great characters and an endless supply of them, a bit like one of those S.American novels or even, dare I say it, a Dickensian array of characters.

I followed that up with Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.  I loved the movie with Alan Bates, Irene Papas  and whatshisname – it’ll come to me in a minute. Anyway, what I think I really enjoyed then was the music by Theodorakis  – I think that is the right spelling – and of course, Zorba’s dance.  I remember actually buying a vinyl  LP of the sound track I was so impressed with it.

That said, this time around, I was less than impressed with the book.  Maybe I shouldn’t go back and reread stuff that I so much enjoyed when I read them 20, 30 40, 50 years and more ago (beginning to give my age away here, I suppose) but this time around there was something about the style and the dialogue between the two main characters, -the intellectual and the rough diamond, salt of the earth guy – ahh, played by Anthony Quinn in the movie – that just didn’t seem to ride easily.  Bit of an effort to plough my way through it this time around, I have to admit although there were some great scenes  zorba cursing and sneering at the old widow woman, yet still being drawn to her faded charms.

Incidentally, now that I think of it, I subconsciously stole a line from Zorba when I was writing Raiding Cúailnge but I won’t say what it was right nopw.  Read the two books yourself and see if you can fine the one adapted line!  Good luck to you.