Navan Fort, Co. Armagh (image Google maps). Another large hilltop enclosure, Navan Fort (Eamhain Mhacha) was the traditional abode of the Kings of Ulster. Again the monument is defined by a large circular ditch with an outer bank, which radiocarbon dating indicates was probably erected in the Iron Age. Archaeological excavations at the site revealed a series of circular wooden structures, some of which were nearly identical to the buildings found at Dún Ailline. Remarkably the skull of a Barbary ape, an animal native to North Africa, was recovered inside one of these prehistoric buildings. The enormous quarry pit visible in the photo was largely excavated between the 1960s and early 1980s. Work finally stopped on the site in 1987 due to protests coordinated by the ‘Friends of Navan’ group.
Dún Ailinne, Co. Kildare (image Bing maps) This large hilltop enclosure is associated with the Kings of Leinster. Approximately 13 hectares in size, the monument is defined by a deep ditch which lies inside an outer bank. This layout is impractical from a defensive point of view and suggests that the site was ceremonial in nature rather than a fort. Some archaeological excavations have taken place inside the enclosure and these revealed the presence of a number of large timber-built circular structures, as well as extensive evidence for feasting activities (more info). According to radiocarbon analysis the majority of this activity occurred in the Iron Age.
THE KING OF KOREA HAS A DAUGHTER CALLED RYUWAH. SHE’S SO FUCKING HOT THAT SHE HAS TO BE KEPT INSIDE TO STOP ALL OF THE NATURAL FORCES FROM HITTING ON HER. IT’S KIND OF FUCKED UP.
ONE DAY, SHE SNEAKS OUT OF HER ROOM AND GOES FOR A WALK OUTSIDE. BAD FUCKING IDEA. THE SUN SEES HER AND THINKS SHE’S SO FUCKING HOT THAT IT GETS HER MAGICALLY GOD-PREGNANT. NINE MONTHS LATER, SHE LAYS A FUCKING MASSIVE EGG, AND HER FATHER BEGINS TO SUSPECT FOWL PLAY. PEOPLE DO NOT USUALLY LAY EGGS, SO SOMETHING MUST BE PRETTY FUCKING WRONG. AS IT HAPPENS, HE’S COMPLETELY FUCKING WRONG AND SHE HASN’T FUCKED A BIRD, BUT HE’S STILL PRETTY FUCKING PISSED OFF.
THE KING TRIES TO COOK THE EGG, BUT IT WON’T FUCKING BREAK, SO INSTEAD HE THROWS IT OUT INTO THE WILDERNESS TO DIE. FORTUNATELY, THE EGG IS FOUND BY A BUNCH OF SMALL FLUFFY ANIMALS AND IS LOOKED AFTER BY ALL THE SPARKLY FLUFFY WOODLAND CREATURES UNTIL IT HATCHES. IT’S CHILD-FRIENDLY AND IDYLLIC AS FUCK.
THE EGG HATCHES INTO A KID CALLED CUMONG. HE’S FUCKING SEXY AS HELL, AND ALSO COMPLETELY BATSHIT INSANE, BUT WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM A KID RAISED BY ADORABLE FUZZY WOODLAND ANIMALS? BADGERS AND HEDGEHOGS ARE FUCKING GREAT, BUT THEY AREN’T REALLY CAPABLE OF TEACHING HIM ANYTHING MORE USEFUL THAN HOW TO WRINKLE HIS NOSE AND LOOK HELLA FUCKING CUTE.
CUMONG GROWS UP WITHOUT BELIEVING HIMSELF TO BE A HEDGEHOG, AND THEN HE SETS OUT TO MURDER HIS EVIL GRANDFATHER. IN ORDER TO DO THAT, THOUGH, HE HAS TO LEARN ALL THE CRAZY AS FUCK MAGIC POWERS. IN THE SPACE OF A FEW YEARS, HE LEARNS HOW TO DRY UP WATER WITH A WHIP, HOW TO MOVE BETWEEN DIMENSIONS, HOW TO FLY, HOW TO KILL EVIL KINGS (CONVENIENTLY), AND ALSO HOW TO PLAY THE DRUMS REALLY FUCKING WELL. THEN HE GOES HOME AND BEATS THE SHIT OUT OF HIS EVIL GRANDFATHER, AND EVERYONE IS HAPPY AS FUCK. EXCEPT THE KING, BECAUSE HE’S FUCKING DEAD.
Though it mostly relates to the TTRPG Scion, here is a post from John and Anne Ruthven, the inestimably excellent duo, about Celtic Otherworlds. I’ll sum up for those who don’t want to get confused: Tir n nOg is the Land of the Young, a place without illness or pain or suffering, where the Tuatha de Danaan retreated after leaving Ireland. Mag Mell is a similar paradise, reserved as a paradise for dead heroes by Mananan Mac Lir. Tech nDuinn is a drearier afterlife, ruled by Donn (the first person to die in Ireland, drowned after insulting the personification of the land). Faerie, or Underhill, is under the sidhe or burial mounds of Ireland, and it is from Faerie that the various sprites and fair folk come on out. Of course, they’re not always so clearly separated; some have Faerie and Tir na nOg be the same place, for example.
The “Tuatha de Danaan” means children of Danu, primordial embodiment of Ireland (among other things). When they got to Ireland, it had already been conquered by several waves, but the one they encountered was the Fir Bolg and their king Sreng. Nuada, who was kind of the Tuatha de Danaan at the time, negotiated with him for a portion of the island, but was refused, so they had to take it by force. Unfortunately, Nuada’s hand was cut off in the battle, rendering him unable to rule (the king had to be perfectly fit physically, mentally and spiritually). Only later on did Dian Cecht the physician (I think, it might have been his son) make him a silver prosthetic, earning him the title Nuada Airgetlam, of the Silver Hand.
There are other stories, of course: how Lugh came to be champion of the Tuatha de Danaan, how Setanta became Cu Chulainn and his various exploits thereafter, the battles of Magh Tuireadh (pronounced similar to moy tura), or stories of the various fairies, Aes Sidhe, and other folk that populate the Celtic supernatural landscape. Really, any book of mythology should be able to provide you plenty of information, so long as it goes into any detail about the British Isles. (Note: While a lot of Celtic mythology spills out of Ireland, hence my generalizing to the whole Isles, Welsh mythology particularly stands as more distinct. Honestly, I should tag them separately, but my tagging system right now is a mess that I’ll get around to organizing someday.)
In honor of Autumn coming soon, here are some happy dogs that love the fall weather are aren’t afraid to show it. Have a great day everyone.
The god Lugh was worshiped in Ireland as a deity of the sun. This connection with the sun may explain his name (it means “shining one”), and it also may account for the attributes that he displayed: he was handsome, perpetually youthful, and had a tremendous energy and vitality. This energy manifests itself especially in the number of skills he had, according to legend, mastered. In fact, there was a tale that related Lugh’s myriad abilities at arts and crafts.
As told in the Battle of Magh Tuiredh, the god traveled to Tara, and arrived during a tremendous feast for the royal court. Lugh was greeted at the door by the keeper of the gate, and was immediately asked what talent he had - for it was a tradition there that only those who had a special or unique ability could enter the palace. The god offered his reply: “I am a wright”. In response, the gate keeper said: “We already have a wright. Your services are not needed here”. Still, Lugh, not to be so easily dismissed, continued: “I am a smith”. Again, the guard retorted that the court had a smith that was quite adequate; but the god was not to be dissuaded. In short order, he noted that he was also a champion, a harper, a hero, a poet, an historian, a sorcerer, and a craftsman. To this list, the gate keeper merely nodded his head, and stated matter of factly that all of these various trades were represented in the court by other members of the Tuatha de Danaan. “Ah, but you do have an individual who possesses all of these skills simultaneously?”, was Lugh’s clever and inspired reply. The guard was forced to admit his defeat, and so Lugh was allowed to enter and join the festivities.
According to Celtic mythology, Lugh was the son of Cian and Ethlinn. After the god Nuada was killed in the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh, Lugh became the leader of the Tuatha De Danaan (the term for the gods and goddesses who descended from the goddess Danu).
It’s time again! For another first page giveaway! Yay!
The first page critiques have been fairly popular, so I’ll keep doing them as long as people keep entering. :)
For those who missed it the first time and second and third and fourth time, the Fixing the First Page features is a public first 250 word critique. Using the lovely rafflecopter widget in this linked post, anyone interested in winning a PUBLIC (as in, featured in a post on this blog) first page critique can enter.
For an example of what this critique will look like, here’s the last Fixing the First Page post (and the one before that and the one before that and the one before that).
- ONLY the first 250 words will be critiqued (up to finishing the sentence). If you win and send me more, I will crop it myself. No exceptions.
- ONLY the first page. I don’t want 250 random words from your manuscript, or from chapter 3. If you win the critique and send me anything other than the first 250 words of your manuscript, I will choose someone else.
- I will actually critique it. Here. On the blog. I will say things as nicely as I can, but I do tend to be a little blunt. If you’re not sure you can handle a public critique, then you may want to take some time to think about it before you enter.
- Genre restrictions. I am most experienced with YA & NA, but I will still accept MG and Adult. HOWEVER. If your first page has any erotic content on it, I ask that you don’t enter. I want to be able to post the critique and the first 250 in its entirety without making anyone uncomfortable, and if you win and you enter a page with erotic content, I will choose someone else.
- You must have your first page ready. Should you win, you need to be able to submit your first page within 48 hours of my contacting you to let you know you won. If 48 hours pass and I haven’t heard from you, again, I will choose someone else.
- You’ll get the most out of this if it isn’t a first draft. Obviously, I have no way of knowing if you’re handing me a first draft (though I will probably suspect because it’s usually not that difficult to tell). I won’t refuse your page if it’s a first draft, but you should know that this critique will likely be of more use if you’ve already had your betas/CPs look over it. Why? Because if you don’t, the critique I give you will probably contain a lot of notes that your betas & CPs could have/would have told you
- There will not be a round 2 (unless you win again in a future contest). I hate to have to say this, but if you win a critique, it’s NOT an invitation to send me a bunch of your revisions. I wish I had the time available to be able to look at revisions, but sadly, I don’t. If you try to break this rule, I will nicely say no, and also remember to choose someone else should you win a second contest. Which would make me sad. :(
So that’s it! If you’re okay with all of the above and would like to enter to be the fifth public critique on Writability, do the thing with the rafflecopter widget in this linked post. You have until Wednesday, October 22 at 11:59 EST to enter!
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
- Everyone in Ireland calls it Irish.
- Irish is in the Gaelic language family. Calling Irish ‘Gaelic’ would be like calling English ‘West Germanic’.Makes it very difficult to distinguish from other languages of the same family.
- Now here’s the kicker. Whether intentional or not, calling Irish ‘Gaelic’ promotes the idea that it is an ancient language and that it isn’t or that it shouldn’t be used today. It suggests that it is the language of the ancient Gaelic people, not of modern Irish people; as if it should be resigned to history. This is not true. Irish is most certainly a modern language.
Mar sin, stad ar an bpointe boise le bhur dtoil.