Greetings and my apologies. I don’t know why this didn’t publish in between the June and July posts. You are getting these out of order, but it is good to have your company on my writing journey.

Speaking of company, Virginia birthed a new one last month: Tanninim Publishing LLC. Tanninim, Hebrew for dragons, will publish Fire Flight, my collection of five short stories. The final one tells you about Nguni and is a prequel to Shona’s Dragons.

Did you pronounce Nguni correctly? Here’s a pop quiz on a similar name. Ndebele is a trader. Did you say N first? Good. And the rest of it? Did it sound like in-the-belly? But with a d rather than a th? You passed.

Time to move on to Hebrew which offers another challenge. I ended the last newsletter invoking the name Melchaiyim. For those who love the Tanakh, you may be familiar with the name Melchisedec and the title of the Ethiopian man Ebed Melek.

Melek means king. Added to chaiyim, Melchaiyim is the king of life. Ebed Melek means servant of the king. Melchisedec is the king of righteousness. But how do you say Melchaiyim?

Let’s start from the right: ­–im rhymes with seem. It’s a weighted syllable so it gets the second most stress. Although -im­ means more than two, I treat it as an English plural, more than one. Hebrew has a separate ending for 2.

The middle syllable rhymes with sky. Also, the ch sounds like our k, or the Greek letter x. Put a softly spoken y in between and you have the chaiyim.

The first syllable is easy. Rhymes with bell. Mel-chai-yim. Can you pronounce tanninim? Maybe we’ll work on that next month.

I hope to have Fire Flight to the printer when next we meet. Until then, may you live as long as Melchaiyim, even to the end of the age.