Thoughts on the wild, the weird, and the romantic from author Joy Nash

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Joy Nash is a USA Today Bestselling Author and RITA Award Finalist applauded by Booklist for her "tart wit, superbly crafted characters, and sexy, magic-steeped plots."

» Friday, March 10, 2006

Give me a house of pain?

I recently decided I should learn some Scottish Gaelic.

The reason is my NEW contract (insert happy dancing here) with Dorchester Publishing, for Book #3 of the 2007 Immortals paranormal continuity series.

It's going to be awesomely cool four-book series! Immortals launches and ends with Jennifer Ashley, who created the concept. Book 2 will be by Robin Popp and Book 3 by yours truly.

The stories are paranormal, erotic, and kick-ass. Four witches call four Immortal Warrior brothers to save the world from a fifth brother (gone insane) who wants to destroy the world. The setting is an alternate contemporary Earth where magical creatures such as vampires, werewolves, demons, and the Sidhe are accepted by humans.

So why should this prompt me to learn Gaelic? Because my book is set in Scotland. My heroine, witch Christine Duncan, is Scots-American. So I think, "Wouldn't it be cool to have Christine casting spells in Gaelic?"

Christine's hero is, Kalen, Immortal Warrior/alpha male/brooding, guilt-ridden loner (gotta love those tortured heroes). Kalen doesn't want anything to do with Christine and her fight to save the world. It's Christine's job to change his mind.

So back to the "house of pain."

No, it's not a downtown Glasgow bondage club. It's my (pitiful) attempt to pronounce Scottish Gaelic.

I wasn't even halfway into the first track on my Teach Yourself Scottish Gaelic CD when I realized how completely insane I am. I mean, this is not a simple language, like, say, Italian, which I CAN speak. Or at least understand. There are some serious obstacles here.

There are only eighteen letters in the Gaelic alphabet, but each letter has about thirteen and a half pronunciations, depending on whether it's on whether it has an accent mark or not, is at the beginning of a word or comes, is before or after a "broad" vowel or a "slender" vowel, has an "h" anywhere near it, is part of some other strange consonant blend, or whether (it seems) the sun is shining or not.

An excerpt from Chapter One:

Speaker: Tormod
Sounds like: "Haramich"
English Translation? "Norman"

Okay, right here is a clue that this is not going to be easy.

So Tormod, smooth player that he is, hits on Iseabail, a girl he just met, saying:

Ciamar a tha sibh fhein? (How are you?)

Phonetically, this sounds like: Gimmer a hashvub bhain?

Which, to my hopeless ears, sounds like: Give me a house of pain?

Kinky, Tormod, kinky.

Iseabail's reply?

Tha gu math, tapadh leibh.

Sounds like: Hog you my top of lathe.

Right. On to Chapter Two!!

Until next Friday...

Joy Nash


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