The Stone of Kings · Writing

Meet the Characters of The Stone of Kings – Bresal

Long lost cousins, maybe? ūüôā Image attributed to “GANDALF” by Nidoart – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GANDALF.jpg#mediaviewer/File:GANDALF.jpg

What He Looks Like

I’ve got a blending of Gandalf and Dumbledore in my head when I think of Bresal. Definitely a long, white beard. But it’s the eyes and clothes that make Bresal different from the two wizards. Bresal’s guise is of a simple 1715 Irish farmer. But it’s his eyes – if one was to question the pale blue color of his eyes, they might discover a taste of what makes Bresal so extraordinary.

His Part to Play

Bresal is an immortal druid. In The Stone of Kings, the Irish druids are given magic by the faeries for the purpose of keeping mankind distracted from a desire to worship the faeries. It is the knowledge of the magic gives their eyes such an extreme color. By 1715, Christianity is firmly rooted in the Irish culture, so that druids, like Bresal, had little purpose but to keep faeries safe from mankind and vice versa. Most of the druids are hermit-like, but Bresal has preferred to raise and educate foundlings – hence his fatherly relationship with Ardan. Even more disturbing to the druid community is Bresal’s love of written words – hence his creation of the illegally written book of faerie spells. *wiggles fingers mysteriously* Whooo! ūüėČ

What He Means to the Story

Bresal’s name means “pain” or “war.” Well, there’s a big clue. By creating the book of spells, he inadvertently creates the conflict for the plot. Little does he know that his book will help highlight the war that mars the beauty of the Irish people and their history. As for the pain, well, Bresal himself knows that losing his little red book means certain death. Yet he is determined to compel the druid council to rescue Ardan and Thomas before the pain starts. He just doesn’t quite know how he will accomplish it.

His Failing

He breaks druid tradition and falls in love with the written word. Historically, druids never wrote anything down, which is why we don’t really know much about them. But Bresal can’t seem to stop himself from breaking this druid law, even though he knows he would be put to death if the council finds out about it. He also breaks tradition by fostering orphans. This habit isn’t illegal, but it is frowned on by most of the council and puts him in an unfavorable position within their ranks.

His Strength

He breaks druid tradition and falls in love with the written word. Yes, I said that was his failing. But it’s also his strength. Bresal recognizes that the changing world requires knowledge and that some traditions should be challenged. His ability to adapt and change allows him to acquire allies – even allies of different creeds and backgrounds. They unite for a common purpose, and unity = strength. But is it strong enough?

Have you ever broken a tradition? Did it make your situation better or worse? Did you ever find yourself writing or doing something even though you knew it could cause trouble?

Next week, meet Thomas!

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Books I Love · Writing

The Beach – A Review

Can we vacation here instead? Image attributed to Jeff Hitchcock via Wikimedia Commons.

In the moment my family suggests that we go to the beach, we have all transformed. Hubby has become Gandalf, the one who organizes and has all the answers to succeed in such a quest. The boys become Fili and Kili, ready for fun not caring a fig for the inconveniences. I have become Bilbo Baggins, and am entirely too reluctant to give up my creature comforts at home to brave the perils of a beach adventure.

But I know they love the beach, so for their benefit, I tag along, hoping I don’t dampen their experience.

So¬†we pack everything up, all the towels, blankets, toys, sunblock, hats… you get the picture. In my case, we stop somewhere along the way so that I can pick up a satisfying gluten-free meal, because the boys haven’t yet¬†figured out that they shouldn’t cross mommy when she’s hungry.

Because it’s a holiday weekend, we wait for an hour before getting up to the gate to pay, but at least we’re in the air-conditioned car. I have it on as full a blast as my family can stand, relishing¬†the cool¬†as much as possible,¬†because I know what’s coming.

All too soon, I’m huddled under my beach umbrella, greasy from sunblock cream, trying to read my Kindle and thinking that I ought to be writing instead. The intense sensations however, will probably get in the way. My legs are blotchy and stinging from the salty air, my rings threaten to cut the circulation in my swollen fingers, and the sand sticks to my greasy, sweaty¬†skin.

Note: Trying to brush sand off cream coated skin is as pointless as trying to brush crumbs off a sugar cookie.

But, I look at my boys.

They are having such a great time playing in the water¬†with Daddy. They’re so¬†cute and so¬†small against the¬†expansiveness of the Gulf of Mexico.¬†Charlie, who’s three, wanders over to a group of girls and flirts with them. It makes me giggle.

But then William, who’s four, has grown tired of the water and wants to join me under the shade of the umbrella. So now I’ve got a dripping sandy kid getting my blanket wet. And, being a kid, he is not content to sit in the shade and enjoy the view. Nope, he has brought his bucket of water and is busy scooping clumps of sand¬†(“sand rocks”)¬†into it to make his “soup.” Every other handful results in him shaking his hands, effectively flinging it all over me. I’m relieved that I thought to put my Kindle in¬†its clear plastic sleeve.

After a few hours, they have finally decided that they have had enough. So we put shoes on gritty feet because the sand might as well be hot coals. As we are trudging through the sand, I’m wondering if any Florida sports shops sell snow shoes. But I suppose that wouldn’t be attractive beach attire. Why must people insist on suffering for beauty?

All in all,¬†it wasn’t¬†a¬†horrendous day. I was able to bite my tongue against my complaints and got some reading in. But by the time we get home, I have a headache so intense, I think a blood vessel¬†might burst. At 9:30 pm on a Saturday night, I’ve fallen asleep on the couch before the pain reliever even kicks in.

Now I’m feeling guilty. It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this, and I’ve had a breakdown.¬†I’m so tired and drained from the Florida sun every little annoyance pushes me to tears. I feel like a toddler in need of a nap. Charlie won’t take one, but I think I will anyway. After having spent the morning in church service, my behavior this afternoon¬†is especially¬†abhorrent. So, night-night!

Update: Charlie did end up napping, which was fortunate, because I ended up running a fever… lol

What “vacation” spot annoys you most?¬†Why?¬†Where would you rather be? (Give me the mountains any day!)