The latest novel, Oak Man, has being lying around lethargically for months now, just not going anywhere. On Friday night there was a breakthrough.

The story’s set in the not too distant future, circa 2027, after a massive influenza plague has wiped out 2/3 of the world population. It’s also set in the place where I live which has its own Merlin legend – a character called Dyfrig, who is the Oak Man of the title. I need him to have partially lost his memory and I had real difficulty working up a good reason for this that didn’t feel too “manufactured”. I hate it when I read stories with “clever” reasons that somehow leak and don’t feel right so I hate having to write such :-). Not sure what was going on – except perhaps to keep me focused in the garden growing our food ??? – that stopped me realising this “reason” before, it’s certainly one I’ve known about for a good for years, just didn’t make the connection. There was a terrible plague, called the “Yellow Death” at the end of Arthur’s reign, and the end of Dyfrig’s life. It’s scientifically documented and thought to have been augmented by Earth being hit by a small comet causing endless winter for a couple of years and adding famine to the plague. There’s archaeological evidence for it all over the northern hemisphere of the planet.

I was reading Caitlin Matthews’ “Mabon” – checking up on some reading I need the students to do – and something she said about Merddyn Gwylt led me to the Yellow Plague. a mad Dyfrig, fallen into trance-sleep for some 1400 years, to wake confused and with only half his memory, felt pretty right. And he wakes into a time of the aftermath of plague again. This all fits nicely with my “bad guy” who set up the first plague (in my story, not real history!) and is now involved in the latest one.

There are some twists here – what else? I’m a riddling Celt after all LOL. The Yellow Plague was bad but the latest one has many, many good points. All this helps to add to Dyfrig’s confusion. He’s aided in his quest for his memory by 2 teenagers, Jenni & Art, and hindered by his old adversary from 1400 years back who has also come forward in time.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeee !!! Off to write some more while the muse smiles *g*