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An ongoing creative project is a Studios endeavor spanning many years. Examples of such projects include The Storybook Home Journal (since 1999), original themed artworks (since 1977), My Father's Captivity (1981-2009), musical compositions (since 2009), The Papers of Seymore Wainscott (since 1979), etc.
The Isles of Rune (since 1978) is a mythopoeic legendary consisting of origin myths, creation myths, epic poetry, fictive linguistics, cosmology, geology, geography, technologies, original artworks and material cultures. Since 2015, stories derived from the Legendary have been published, often serially, in issues of The Storybook Home Journal (since 2015). Work on this project is ongoing, with development of the Legendary and serialized publication of individual myths being the focus for the foreseeable future.
stories from the isles of rune published in issues of the storybook home journal
To date, these are the only published narrative excerpts from the Legendary:
Ostensibly, Seymore Wainscott created The Isles of Rune (both the Legendary and the stories). He did so for his own pleasure and the delight of his children. During Seymore's travels in Scotland in 1761, his adventures included the discovery of very old lytfolc manuscripts and artifacts bearing upon the ancient lytfolc inhabitants of the British Isles. After Seymore returned to his home in colonial Virginia, he began creating a Legendary and stories that became The Isles of Rune. But whether his "creation" was fictional, having been derived from the antiquities he brought back, or whether they were in fact Seymore's translations of excerpts from the ancient lytfolc history of the world, is unknown.
These artworks constitute the portfolio for the Isles of Rune Project. Some of these artworks appear in the Studios' commercial portfolio, consisting of the themed collections presented on this site. Other artworks are featured as illustrations in narrative installments published in issues of The Storybook Home Journal. And yet other original artworks are simply being created for future uses.
setting for the stories includes cosmology, geography, geology, technology
The stories are set in a timelessness prior to the creation of this earth, as well as during its creation, and some of the stories reach toward what might be called the world's prehistory. The timelessness is divided into eras, each of which is provided with a simple chronology of major events either bearing upon the creation of the earth and its skies, or upon major changes in either. While each era is referred to as a day, absolutely no correlation is intended or implied with any account of the creation invoking the same nomenclature.
Some stories occur in a particular era, others occur upon the threshold of an era, and yet others span multiple eras. Nothing like a calendar is involved in any of this, nor is any attempt made or intended to reconcile known or speculated calendars, eras, etc., nor yet to present anything more than whimsical explanations for events, phenomena, and features of the earth and the skies as they exist. The primary objective is not to explain, but to inspire imagination and wonder while having some fun.
Morning Song (Ainamaria) is the language that has been part of my development of the Legendary from the outset. And of all of the spare-time endeavors that have been part of this project, language creation is surely the most extravagant, in terms of return-for-time-invested associated with its use in the Legendary itself. In other words, creating a language is as esoteric as it seems.
I do not consider myself a kielipää ("language head" for the non-Finnish-speaking reader), owing largely to the struggles I experienced with language-learning in my youth. For example, studying Russian for two years in high school simply helped me lay the foundation for losing my part-tuition scholarship during the first semester of my freshman year at university. Then, during the following year, I found myself immersed (drowning, would be more accurate) in training for two years in Finland, where I surely got-by speaking my first fictive language (I thought it was Finnish, I have no idea what the Finns thought it was). After Finland, I was actually hired to teach Finnish grammar to others bound for the North Country, and later moved on from that employment of my own choice (not at the invitation of my employer). My last engagement with Finnish was to muddle through a university literature course and then test successfully for credit hours as part of my college minor, which focused on avoiding as much GE coursework as possible. So, for the past 44 years I have merely read and thought about language (it's hard to be a writer and not do so) and I have simply reveled in playing with language, on my own terms and for my own enjoyment (i.e., purely aesthetic).
Studies have explored not just the polar regions of the earth, but the affect of those regions upon people who visit there. And the conclusion is that the very tenor of the regions stays with those who leave them to live elsewhere, but who ever after miss the polar clime. My own experience attests to such findings, but even while I was there, speaking whatever I was actually speaking, something permanent happened to me because of the music of the language itself. Partly because I was trying to speak it, and part because I could hear it with foreign ears, I was completely smitten with it.
In terms of other influences that have moved me toward language, I came upon the Hobbit in my junior high school library. I read it, then devoured the trilogy, and, over the years, have been as captivated with Tolkien's thinking and his work as with the North Country and Finnish. From my early years, I wanted to do something like Tolkien did. Fortunately, I did not want to do the same thing because the more I came to understand what he had done, the more I marveled that he had been able to do what he did. All I wanted to do was something. Consequently, a great deal of this project has naturally focused on discovering what that something is, and the only way to do that was to begin and continue, as best I might. Like Niggle, I have for many years made leaves, not even knowing whether they belong to a bush or a vine or a tree or, alas, to a houseplant. Even so, after all these years, one of the things from which I derive the most profound enjoyment is simply working on my little language.
As of this writing, the language features forty three sounds—18 vowels and twenty five consonants. Sounds are drawn from Finnish, Russian, and bit of Welsh. As in Finnish, some of the sounds are either elongated vowels or elongated consonants. Emphasis is always (almost) on the first syllable. And, just to please that self of mine that strove so mightily and with such futility to speak Finnish, verb endings and case endings do not (I repeat: DO NOT) precipitate a wilderness of vowel and consonant changes in the word to which they attach! Nouns, as a whole, are presently more developed than verbs. There are twenty six cases, the usual assortment of pronouns in all their functions (personal, relative, interrogative, etc.), usage and precedence, suffixes for word creation, rules about emphasis, even some meaningless sounds with which to clutter the language and confuse foreigners. In short, the nouns possess a sufficiently developed grammar to intimidate and, if given half a chance, rob a person of their scholarship. The verbs, not yet documented to the same extent as the nouns, nevertheless, have two root forms—just to multiply the uncertainty about how a verb stem should march through their moods (indicative, conditional, imperative-obligatory, and potential), four infinitives, negation, and, of course, the universe of the participle. And, in addition to the meaningless sounds, rules are already taking shape about how to shave off various syllables and endings in order to give the language that lived-in feeling. A very modest effort has also been ongoing to formulate syntactical structures particularly for use in poetry. Given the codified rules for word creation and the current state of the glossary (which is only partial), I estimate that the vocabulary is easily at or just above 1000 words. Some etymology is built in to the language so that selected belief structures are also represented. Character sets have also been developed so that people can add being unable to read the language, to their inability to speak it.