Monday, January 24, 2011


Saturday was busy. I spent a couple of hours finishing chapter 7 - at least, I *think* it's finished - and then dove into preparations for the CWS St. Dwynwyn's celebration that night. Because St. Dwynwyn is the Welsh patron of lovers, I needed something less grim than my usual Celtic fare, and had settled on the story of Pwyll and Rhiannon from the first branch of the Mabinogi. The only drawback was that I'd never told that story before... First I read through that section in three different English tranlations - Ford, Davies, and Jones & Jones. Then I started walking around the house paraphrasing and revising. A straight reading of any of the English versions would have been too long, and also there's a certain amount of repeated material (the section where Rhiannon tells Pwyll how to defeat Gwawl) which slows things down and diminishes the impact. Cutting most of that helped with the time problem. I worked through the story three or four times, trying to get all the important bits in the right order, but not worrying about exact wording. In between, I ran through my poem "Blodeuwedd", which I also planned to perform. After we arrived at the site (early, to help set up) I found time to go into an empty room and practice the story twice more. In the event, aside from one minor bobble, it went very well, and the audience clearly enjoyed it. I'll have to keep that in my repertoire for the future.

Yesterday was gray and cold, and I pretty much took the day off. Today I've been back at work on the book. No actual writing so far today, but a good bit of map work and planning, making up my mind about the locations for some of the key incidents and making sure they're consistent with things Gwernin's told us in past books. Just about set now. I'm aiming right now at one chapter per week, but hopefully this will speed up as I get into the swing of things again. We'll see!

References so far this week: Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland and The Life of Colum Cille.

Now back to work!


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