My introduction to conlanging

I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings in my first year of high school in 2008. We were reading The Hobbit in English class, and the teacher ended up showing us some of the Lord of the Rings films. I was hooked instantly, bought the books, and convinced my parents to buy the extended editions of the movies. My sister and I watched them frequently.

2008 was the year I first participated in NaNoWriMo. I decided to write a fantasy novel of my own called Runes. This is the original summary:

A race from the Otherworld, the Divine, came to Lochlann and Éirinn. Ten thousand years after that, Zoë Austran is training to become a soldier and a cartographer so she can map little-known areas and discover new lands. However, all of that changes when she meets a half-elf named Cross Éremon. Her little brother, Leon, and “family demon”, Azaré, go missing. She, Cross, Allen and Malcolm (brother and cousin, respectively) go across Éirinn in search of them.

I was super into Irish mythology at the time. Can you tell?

At some point in 2008, I decided that the Divine people needed their own language. This was after I’d started creating and naming the gods and heroes of the world. Their names were a mishmash of Old Irish and Old English, modified to seem like they were part of the same language. This is how the Divine language started.

This language eventually became to be known as “Visanan”. I decided that the word order was Object-Subject-Verb (later changed to Subject-Object-Verb), that nouns had no cases and verbs had very little inflection, and that it had originally been spoken in the four cities of Falias, Murias, Findias, and Gorias. Yes, more Irish mythological references! I changed the names of those cities to Visanan versions later on: Sé Halanivethéas, Sé Leothéas, Sé Garsethéas, and Sé Aelewithéas.

Here is part of a “poem” I wrote describing each city:

Sé gion céasteal ieldanlin sa sé Visanan Mú norinma le.

(The four ancestral cities of the Visanan are located in Mú)

Ionie, Sé Halanivethéas, Céaste sa Halanivesin.

(The first is Sé Halanivethéas, the City of Serendipity)

Gerinél Grennirvisanan sindon, norin nodon sindon.

(Its color is Visanan green, and its location is North)

Sé Halanivethéas céaste sa halanivesin así miurea sindon.

(Sé Halanivethéas is the city of serendipity and innovation)

Vionie, Sé Léothéas, Céaste sa Léo.

(The second is Sé Léothéas, the City of Light)

Gerinél gilden sindon, norin sidon sindon.

(Its color is gold, and its location is East)

Sé Léothéas céaste sa léo así aethesos sindon.

(Sé Léothéas is the city of light and understanding)

Vivionie, Sé Garsethéas, Céaste sa Garsewer.

(The third id Sé Garsethéas, the City of the Sea)

Gerinél maelvisanan sindon, norin desidon sindon.

(Its color is Visanan blue, and its location is South)

Sé Garsethéas céaste sa wires así gares sindon.

(Sé Garsethéas is the city of hardiness and endurance)

Gionie, Sé Aelewithéas, Céaste sa Aelenwini.

(Te fourth is Sé Aelewithéas, the City of White Flame)

Gerinél wini sindon, norin vedon sindon.

(Its color is white, and its location is West)

Sé Aelewithéas céaste sa friuwe así libowe sindon.

(Sé Aelewithéas is the city of truth and fact)

After I did all this work, I realized it would be more interesting if each of the four cities had their own dialects, and that Visanan needed to be reworked as a proto-language. I never actually succeeded at doing this. The above poem shows the general aesthetic I wanted to keep in one of the daughter languages, but I was never able to derive a language from the proto-language that I found satisfactory.

I finished writing Runes (all 168,305 words of it) in March 2011 and set it aside. I originally intended to edit it, but there were too many changes I’d made during the middle of the story. In March 2011, I was 16 and did not have the discipline to edit a novel. I didn’t want to do it, so I didn’t. There were other stories in the Runes universe to write, and I moved onto those. And so I continued working on Visanan.

By mid-2016, Old Visanan was more of a conlang than any of the previous versions of Visanan, with a regular orthography, a phonology that made sense, and a fairly decent, sensible grammar for a largely analytic language. However, I’d either finished writing or scrapped every single story in the Runes universe years earlier. There was no need for me to continue working on the language, so I didn’t.

I worked on this language on-and-off for almost eight years. I’ve never spent so much time on any conlang in my life. It’s honestly incredible that one thing managed to occupy so much of my free time for so long! And I don’t know why I kept working on this language for so long. Maybe because it was my first conlang and I didn’t want to abandon it?

Has anyone here ever made a conlang, or been interested in constructed languages?

Blog Update: February 2021

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts! I think the last time I made a post specifically relating to the blog itself was when I bought a domain name in early 2019.

I’ve update the About page. The “About the Website” section has been updated with all the categories used, as well as a brief description of each category.

Added “Nostalgia Time” and “Novels” as categories. The Book of Immortality & The Land of Two Moons, which were formerly categorized under “Writing”, have been moved to the “Novels” category. All the Nostalgia Time posts, also formerly categorized under “Writing”, have been moved to their own category. “Writing” now exists as a category for posts solely related to writing.

All categories & tags on blog posts are updated. Aside from The Book of Immortality, The Land of Two Moons, and Nostalgia Time, quite a few of my early posts weren’t tagged or categorized properly. That’s fixed now.

Removed the “Blog Update” category and turned it into a tag. This really didn’t need to be a category on its own.

I’ve started drafting a “Recommendations” post for January & February. I’ll probably end up doing one of these per month: posts about the things I came across during the month that I liked. I don’t plan on it to be limited to things I read or watched – I might end up recommending entire websites, or blogs, or communities, etc.

Nostalgia Time: Oekaki, Deviantart, & Old Internet Friends

For those of you who don’t know (which is probably everyone reading this blog post), an oekaki is a browser-based drawing application. You draw directly on the website and post your images to an imageboard, where other people could comment on them. I remember some oekakis (perhaps all?) recorded all the brushstrokes you made, so you could play back the recording like a speedpainting and see how someone drew their pieces.

I spent a lot of time on oekaki boards in 2006 & 2007, then started growing out of it in 2008. The very last image I drew on an oekaki was actually in 2010. By that time, I’d primarily switched to drawing in GIMP, and the main oekaki board I used, Neoartists.org, was fairly dead. There’s very little evidence of the website ever existing on the internet nowadays.

All of my artwork was posted to Deviantart from early 2007 to mid-2016. I actually found out about Deviantart through Neopets, and ended up friends with the same people on both websites. I don’t think any of them have actually been on either website since 2012.

I genuinely haven’t been able to find most of the people I used to talk to on Deviantart, or Neopets, or any oekaki board. Either they’ve distanced themselves from their old usernames and teenage/young adult social media accounts (which is understandable, as I did the same thing) or they’ve flat-out stopped using any kind of social media entirely.

Wherever those people are, I hope they’re doing well.