Thursday, March 12, 2009

for your delectation and delight: Hild

I spent a chunk of the last couple of days putting together a grant application. I had to talk a lot about Hild. So now I want to share something of her with you. But I hate sharing fiction before it's finished. So I made this Wordle:

The day before yesterday I went to, uploaded the first 20 pages of Hild, hit Enter and sat back expectantly. Phht, nothing. My security levels were set too high. I fixed them. Tried again. Phht. And again. Phht. At this point, I *really* wanted that knife. Then Kelley (saint Kelley, pretty Kelley, nicekind Kelley) took pity on me and touched 3 keys and mended some Java crap or other. So I put down the chair I was about to throw through the window and gave her a neck rub and now everybody is happy.

If you click on the pic you can get a bigger version. Note all the short words. That's my aim: simplicity. I feel smug.

Info about some of the names: Hereswith is Hild's sister. Onnen is the woman who is more mother to Hild than her actual mother, Breguswith. Hild and her family are Anglisc (the 'sc' is pronounced 'sh'). Onnen is British (or wealh, as the Anglisc would say--a slave; wealh is the word 'Welsh' comes from). Cian is Onnen's son, about the same age as Hereswith: three and a half years older than Hild. Hild and Cian grow up together. They speak British when they're alone (a filthy language, the Anglisc think) and Anglisc at other times. They have very different paths but fate, being fate, takes a hand. Oh, and Ceredig is the king of Elmet, who, through an act of kindness, changes Cian's life utterly. A gesith is a full-time warrior, much given to boasting, drinking, and killing people. (Note the prominence of the word 'sword'.) Cian becomes a gesith, even though technically he begins as a slave.

I am having fun.

Perhaps I'll taunt tantalise you with more Wordles in the future.

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