Day 3: Dream

D: This is such a spoiler, A.
A: I know! I know but I can’t help it!
D: You must!
A: But! But it was so perfect and everything made me cry yesterday but this really made me cry. And I just had to share it, because, crying.
D: Who are you, and what have you done with A?
A: I know, right?!
D: You don’t really get all emotional . . .
A: Well, not with you.
D: Gee, thanks, A
A: No seriously – I’m so used to you and your theatrics and dramatics–
D: My what now?
A: Oh, come on. You know what I think of you – you have this . . . this feel to you that’s a little overblown. We all know you lost your true love. You’re pained. You’ve hidden yourself away bla bla bla – but Sean and Maureen. . . They were separate from all that.
D: This is why you don’t like me.
A: Well. . . . yeah. Yeah, that is why I don’t like you. Your story was known to me from the beginning. And seriously, it’s soooooo melodramatic. I mean, I like it, sure, but gods, there was nothing for me to explore there.
D: Or perhaps you’re just exploring it from Maureen and Sean’s point of view.
A: . . . Don’t make points I can’t argue with, Druid.
D: Ha!

Score one for the Druid; he’s not wrong. And weirdly, not upset with me for that whole melodramatic bit.

Whatever. He knew his author when he took up residence in her head.

Some days, writing can suck. It can be lifeless and uninspired, uninteresting and meaningless, and all the other un-and-less words out there.

Last night was not one of those nights.

Until last night, I hadn’t read what I wrote for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo.

This book is a definite challenge for me, and re-reading what I’ve already done either confuses me because it’s not linear, or makes me want to get down to the granular details, which is not in this book’s best interest, yet.

Last night was different. I re-read what I wrote in April and I was surprised – hell, I was moved.

It wasn’t the jumble of words I thought it was – I mean, there was enough of that to last a lifetime, sure, but it wasn’t all bad.

It took me by surprise; it made me cry – for real! And most importantly, it reminded me that there is a story here – it reminded me that I’m completing a story and it’s hard. It hurts. These characters have been hurt and – no pressure – it’s up to this book – it’s up to me, and them, and everything – to address it, to write it out, and complete the story.

There’s something to this week – maybe it’s the new moon, maybe it’s the eclipse, maybe it’s some magic I can’t quite name – but for once, I’ve acknowledged I’m a writer. Or storyteller. Or something.

It only took 6 years.

Dream, Maureen.

Dream.


Day 3 Camp NaNoWriMo Total: So far, 560 (the post above), but I still have a goal of 1,000 WIP words, so those 560 don’t count.
Words To Go: 47,211
Day 3 Brainwave: We need more (spoiler).
Day 3 Reminder: Just because they’re not likely to end up in the final draft, some scenes just need to be written so they’re there. It’s a repeat of Day 2, but honestly – this might just be the standing reminder.


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

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Day 2: Mouldering Detritus

Aunt Margaret collected bits of silver and books, mouldering paper and the detritus of our families’ lives like other people collected coins, or stamps.

Aunt Margaret collected bits of silver and books, mouldering paper and the detritus of our families’ lives like other people collected coins, or stamps.

D: Moulding Detritus? Oh, that’s just a delightful turn of phrase, A.
A: Like it? I thought it was lovely, myself.
D: You would.
A: Whatever – read on, D.

Besides Maureen, my favorite character in the Changelings series is Margaret McAndrew, Sean’s Great-Aunt. Of course, I had no idea who she really was – or rather, the entirety of who she really was – until midway through the redrafting of Rise of Kings. I’ve always liked her though – ever since Margaret tossed a pot of paint at Maureen for entering her art studio unannounced, I knew I finally had a female character who could go toe-to-toe with my very headstrong, determined Changeling.

Grace O’Malley, in Into the Mist, could have been that too, but she was very much concerned with leading her men and staying one step ahead of the Crown – and I was very much concerned with not ascribing too much to an already-known historical figure.

Grace was someone Maureen looked up to – idolized, even. I suspect – and hinted at it in the text – had Maureen and Sean stayed, as Maureen wanted, eventually she and Grace could have had a relationship like the one she shares with Margaret. Of course, Maureen would have become a dyed-in-the-wool pirate and heaven help Queen Elizabeth, the Realm, and everyone else, then!

So, I’m glad it was Margaret who popped up when she did – she’s less an ideal and more a human. She’s eccentric, certainly, but she’s strong, smart, independent – and still shows her scars. Despite everything she’s been through, she’s not afraid to love Sean and Maureen. She doesn’t just protect them as was her task; she guides them, teaches them, and loves them. Their relationship humanizes her as well, as much as it humanizes Maureen (see: pirate).

D: I like Margaret, too.
A: Well, I would hope so, D.
D: No, I mean, of course I do – but I don’t know her as Margaret – I only get to read about her and . . . and . . .
A: And pop in occasionally and cause her a great deal of anguish?
D: I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t causing brooding somewhere, A.
A: (eye roll) No kidding.
D: But that’s what I mean – I do only pop in, as you so eloquently put it. So, seeing her from Maureen’s eyes. . . it’s–it’s gratifying. Thank you, A, for giving me that.
A: I’m not sure how to react to this, so I’m just going to go with it. You’re welcome, D.


Day 2 Camp NaNoWriMo Total: 1,171 (not including the post above)
Words To Go: 47,211
Day 2 Brainwave: Explore Catherine’s childhood. It can be a spoiler if you’re not careful, but that’s ok. Right now, she has no tether, no humanizing influences. It’s needed to understand why she has a certain comfort with where she is.
Day 2 Reminder: Just because they’re not likely to end up in the final draft, some scenes just need to be written so they’re there.


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

Day 1: Kicking off – where I left off

I dreamed we were young again. . .

We were in Grace O’Malley’s stronghold, the first time we traveled in time… We were bright with the belief we were simply biding our time… that winter day, we had no knowledge of what was to come.

And so, Day 1 of Camp Nano begins where I left off – with the dream sequence that put me over the edge for my April goal.

Separated from her best friend, and first love, Maureen lives quite a bit in her head in this book. It’s a change I wasn’t exactly prepared for – she was the driving force of almost all the adventure in the last two books. Her headstrong drive landed her and Sean into quite a few scrapes – as this passage later explores.

It was an interesting experiment, to have her review her memories through the haze of dreams – particularly since I wrote the original scene for an early draft of the first book, but only published it on this site, as the short story, The Race.

Maureen is still the driving force in the narrative – hers is the frame for Catherine’s story – but she really is alone now – and while–

D: Alone? She’s not alone. She has Margaret.
A: Well, yes but it’s not the same thing. And gee – thanks for interrupting me.
D: You weren’t going anywhere with that sentence and you know it. Anyway, Margaret has some of the same memories – some of the same experiences–
A: Margaret is there. You know she’s there. You left her there.
D: Ahem. Spoilers, A.
A: It’s not the same, D. You know that. That’s why you feel guilty.
D: Guilty? Me??
A: . . .
D: Ok, ok point taken. But honestly, where am I in all this?
A: Excuse me?
D: I thought this was my book?
A: It is, but–
D: And you’ve written near-50,000 words to date and I think all I’ve gotten out of it is a pithy ‘I am born’ statement.
A: Are you really calling David Copperfield pithy?
D: No, I’m calling your reinterpretation of it pithy.
A: . . .
D: But I digress – where am I?
A: That’s a good question, D. One Maureen is currently asking.
D: Oh… oh dear.
A: Yup.

Why did Dubh never come to say goodbye – or hello? It was not he who had died that day, and it had been a year – 215 years – and at least a day for him since that horrible morning.

Was he afraid, or ashamed? Or was he still fighting on the Plain?  Would he fight every day, every moment of his life, to try to reclaim the one who’d passed from the realm of men before his time?

The fierce blue eyes shone bright again in my memory. They blazed across the seething battlefield, just as they had when he revealed himself across the sea of flame as a ship was lost, and again through the faerie mists, which boiled red at my command.

Always apart from us – always on his own. Always promising he’d make it right.

But he’d always kept his promises – even as he kept his secrets.
Excerpted from Changelings: The Memory of Myth (c) KM Sullivan/ktirsh


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

Ready. Set. Go. Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo is kind to me – always has been. I’ve attempted the official NaNoWriMo in November three times, and three times, I’ve failed – or rather, allowed a variety of life events take precedence. I even have a category here dedicated entirely to that failure!

I’ve done a camp three times too – and all three have been a success in their own way. While April and July tend to be chock-full of their own particular brands of catastrophe, I’ve always managed.

The ability to adjust one’s goal at camp probably helps – but really, I think it’s the 30-day forced focus combined with the lightheartedness of the ‘camp’ atmosphere that works for me. I mean, I write blog posts with a character in my head – lighthearted is always going to win the day!

Of course, The Memory of Myth – book 3 in the Changelings series – isn’t exactly lighthearted. It’s really kind of a monster. It makes me cry (which is good, but still…). It writes differently than the other two – it’s more a series of vignettes than a book right now. I also never expected to be with these characters at this stage in their lives – Catherine’s story originally had a much different genesis, but here we are.

D: A? A, I have the oddest sense of déjà vu. A: {Sigh} Oh, do you? D: Yes, indeed. It seems as though we were just here... but years ago. Several years. Decades, even. Eons-- A: Two years, D. It has only been two years.  D: Only?! My dear A--  A: You're a time traveler - you of all people should know time is just a construct.  D: . . .  A: Fine. Yes. I've kept you waiting for 2 years. At least it wasn't another 20. D: At least?! Wait, that's a threat, isn't it? A: You do catch on quick, Druid.

The dialogue still lives!

And here – in the July Camp NaNo – I hope to finally put “the end” on the first draft of book 3. And, I’m going to do it with the help of a project that makes use of the several gigabytes of pictures I’ve taken over the last few years while I wasn’t writing. There’s a collection of about 80 photos I’ll be choosing from to inspire scenes, vignettes and whatever else it takes to get into the heads of these irascible characters of mine and finish these books! I’ll be posting them here with some “daily line” and D/A commentary – and on Instagram!

FREE STUFF

In April, I found the calendar on the NaNoWriMo blog really helpful (ok, I found the stickers I rewarded myself with really helpful, but whatever), so I made one of my own for July. There are 2: a blank one to write in your daily goals/daily word count, and one that’s editable in PDF, if you want to be paper-free – it’ll even tally up your goal/daily word count!

CampNano July Calendar – blankCampNano July Calendar – now updatable in the PDF itself!


Welcome to the World of the Changelings. Pick your Poison:

I wanna rock!

A: I need the music loud and big tonight!

D: How about some panpipes? I have a lovely set somewhere over–

A: No, D – not any of your bard-y fireside music. I need big – it needs to be heard over a body of water – music.

D: Ah, pipes, then?

A: And drums.

D: Um, A. . . are we going to war?

A: War? Silly Druid, wars are for politicians. No, we are celebrating. You and TC are in charge of the music and probably the singing too, since I can’t carry a tune.

D: What are we celebrating – and what are you bringing to this hootenanny?

A: Me, of course!

D: Now you’re just being obscure.

A: Says the Druid. First, I’m bringing me to the hootenanny, and possibly potato chips and dip. Second, my word count for Camp NaNoWriMo has been validated.

D: How many words?

53,728

D: And the book?

A: Congratulate me first.

D: . . .That’s stupendous, A. Way to go.

A: With sincerity, and possibly enthusiasm, if you can manage it.

D: I never doubted you for a moment, A.

A: That’s better. The book is well on its way. They’re in 1745, they’re realizing that perhaps they were sent there for a reason, and Bonnie Prince Charlie is about to call the clans. All in all, good times. Word vomit, but good times.

D: I’m proud of you A.

A: Thanks, D. Me too!

D: Okay, that was nice. Get back to work, woman.

A: What about my hootenanny?

D: Don’t you watch TV? That always ends with crazy masks and zombies.

A: Right. How could I forget? No more Netflix for you, D.

A’s Telling the Tale Tonight, Baby!
IMG_0305

Ralph and the cat

The Creative Writing Challenge continues at the Community Storyboard. Today’s prompt: Pick an object in your room, and write a story. I have sleep (or lack thereof) on the brain with “Bed Head.” For the best story that popped up at the Community Storyboard, check out Ionia’s, “Polly wants a what?” Hands down my favorite of the day.

Also, huge congratulations are in order to Charles and Briana – thank *you* for letting us be a part of your respective book promotions. It was a lot of fun. Wishing you both a ridiculous amount of success!

Finally, here’s a little something from Part 3 of The Book, i.e. something I salvaged from the word vomit:

Silence.

It beat at her. Tiny movements bombarded her. Breathing hurt her ears, so complete was the absence of noise.

Maureen opened her eyes, slowly acknowledging that this was no dream – no nightmare to be avoided by deeper dreaming.

Nothing met her gaze. The darkness absolute. Her shriek rose from deep within her gut.

“Sean!”

To the very last

2013-Participant-Lantern-Circle-BadgeA: Only 1,339 words left!

D: Think you’ll make it, A?

A: You bet your mother-goddess worshiping Druid arse!

D: Is this a thing with you?

A: (Snicker). Just wait. It gets better.

D: You terrify me sometimes, you know that?

A: Only sometimes? Hm. Need to work on that.

D: Lovely. Did you have any other wisdom to impart beyond your Camp NaNoWriMo status?

A: Um, no.

D: Are you certain? I think you may be experiencing temporary memory loss. Is that grey matter leaking out of your ears? Oh dear.

A: If I have grey matter trickling out my ears, then you better take charge (for the moment, not for always…. Just so we are very clear on this!)

D: (Oh, certainly, A.)

A: (Good.)

D: (Of course, when done parenthetically, my promise means—

A: Oi, Druid!

D: Fine. I understand there’s a … what do you call it, blog blitz? I haven’t seen a blitz since WWII, A. Tell me there aren’t Nazis.

A: (Face palm) No, D. No Nazis, just book releases. Charles and Briana’s book releases. Those posts will be up very soon – stay tuned!

D: And the lovely Sarah M. Cradit, in honor of her Birthday (A&D: Happy Birthday, Sarah!), has her books for sale for .99 for 5 days – it’s a birthday sale, and it is what A likes to call, a steal for these wonderful books!

A: The Community Storyboard Creative Writing Challenge, Day 4 debuted with a bang–

D: I thought that was a twang.

A: Where were you at 7 in the morning when I was trying to write my poem?! Seriously? Now you come out with that?

D: What? I’m not your on-command muse, A.

A: (Grr…arg!) Moving on. I’d just like to point out an inspirational post at Jack Flacco’s site about how it is totally possible for a zombie apocalypse to fail.

D: Inspirational? Really, A?

A: I thought it was lovely. You know, we go on about how it would be an apocalypse, but really, we could take ‘em out. It might be messy, but it would probably be less an apocalypse and more a zombie raid.

D: Please, no one encourage her. She’s obviously up way past her bedtime.

A: Cheers, D!

D Meets Yet Another Guest Blogger

While A is away, the blog still gets to play. Please welcome Marie Ann Bailey, from 1WriteWay.

Brittany woke to the sharp odor of damp soil and something else, something familiar, something sweet.  She tried to stretch out her legs.  Her feet touched a solid barrier before her legs were fully straight.  She was lying on her right side, in a fetal position.  She tried to lift up but, again, she met with a barrier.  She opened her eyes wide but it was dark all around her.  Her throat tightened and she felt a rising hot bubble of panic coming up from her stomach.  She was in a box of some kind.  Soil beneath her, wood on the sides and above her.  She stretched out her hands and felt around the small, close space.  The smell of the soil and the “something else” was adding to her panic.  She clenched her jaw to try and keep the acrid fluid down in her stomach.  She wanted to cry out, but was stilled by the thought that he might be there.  He might be outside the box, waiting for her to cry out, waiting for her to give him another reason to beat her.  

D:  Oh, lovely.  A goes off with barely a goodbye and now I’m stuck with … well, all these “friends” of hers, mucking around her blog, smelling it up with things familiar and sweet.  I need a drink, a pint of mead … where did she put the mead?!

1:  Ahem.

D:  What?  Who are you?  What are you?  A number, the number “1”?  Good lord, A has some strange friends.  I never …

1:  Ahem.  Mind if I speak?

D:  Oh, sorry, I’m just a little rattled without A around.

1:  Uh huh, your mouth runneth over.

D:  Oh, a cheeky little lass, are you?

1:  Hmmm, cheeky, yes; little, no;  lass, not anymore.

D:  Do you always speak in semi-colons?

1: … ; ?

D (silently weeping):  …

1:  Oh, D, please don’t cry.  I can’t stand to see grown … Druids … cry.  A will be back before you know it.  And I’m really harmless.  I write about bad things but I’m not a bad person.

D (sniff):  Can I borrow a handkerchief?

1:  Ah, yes, but just keep it.

D:  Thank you  (sniff).  I feel better now.  So, what’s this little ditty you have up here?

1:  It’s the beginning of my first novel in a series that I’m tentatively calling The Widow’s Club.

D (yawn):  How fascinating.

1:  It has three widows in it.  Young, lovely widows.

D:  Oh!  Lovely young wenches … well, you should have said so at the outset.  Do tell me more!

1:  You may be old, but you’re not dead, I guess …

D:  ?

1:  Never mind.  These three widows are cousins who were all born on the same day in the same year:  Mary, Melissa, and Maggie. They were very close growing up, but they each married and started going their separate ways.  Then each of their husbands die, in very different circumstances, but in close temporal proximity.  This first novel begins with all three of the cousins living together, trying to survive on the meager finances left to them.  Mary is the extrovert and most headstrong of the three, and it’s her idea that they form a private investigation firm.  Their first case will involve Brittany.  What do you think?

D:  ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

1:  D!

D:  zzz…What?  Oh, sorry, I was just resting my eyes.  Continue, please.

1:  I’m done.

D:  That’s it?  That’s all you woke … I mean, that’s all you want to tell me?

1:  Well, like I said, that’s one novel.  I wrote a second one for the April Camp NaNoWriMo, and I plan to write the third for July …

D:  Correction.  You are writing the third.

1:  I stand corrected.  I am in the process of writing the third.

D:  Any place for a Druid in your series, perhaps as a love interest.  I rather like the sound of Mary …

1:  Ah, no, there’s no time traveling.  All the action is contemporary.

D: I can do contemporary.  I’m here, aren’t I?

1:  Good point.  Maybe I should consult with A about that …

D:  Consult with A?!  Whatever for?  The silly woman doesn’t own me!

1:  D, please calm down.

D:  I mean, really, I’ve just about had it with …

1:  D, please.  This is my first time as a guest.  Don’t blow it for me.

D:  I think you’re blowing it just fine on your own …

1:  @#$%

D:  Please stop using punctuation to express yourself.  It’s so childish.

1:  Sorry …. (not really)

D:  I heard that.  Really, 1, I don’t mean to be hard on you.  Please accept my apologies and don’t tell A that I fell asleep while you …

1:  AHA!  You admit it!

D:  Whatever.

1:  Hmmm … I guess you could do contemporary.  But Mary already has a love interest.

D:  The harlot.  Her husband is barely in the grave and she’s already taking up with another man!

1:  No, no!  She’s been widowed for a while and this new love interest is an old friend.  Don’t get your pantaloons in a wad.

D:  I don’t wear pantaloons!

1:  Whatever.

D:  #$%

1:  Same to you.  Well, I think I’m done here …

D:  (in more ways than one)

1:  I heard that!  D, let’s part as friends.  Really, isn’t it better to have some guests while A is away rather than just rattling your bones by your lonesome?

D:  Well, when you put it that way …

1:  And you are kind of cute for a Druid.

D:  You’re too old for me.  Just look at all that gray hair!

1:  one … two … three … four …

D:  What are you doing?

1:  Counting to ten in the hope that I won’t still want to murder you when I’m done.

D:  Oh, dear.  Well, what I meant was, you have lovely silver hair and it’s been a true joy to have you here.

1:  That’s better.

D:  Please, come again soon.

1:  I’m not holding my breath.

D:  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

1:  $%&

OK, so D and I didn’t exactly hit it off.  In fairness to him, I just think he misses A, more than he would ever want to admit.  And I can see how he might grow on A.  There is something appealing about the old sod.  They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, so watch out, A!  I suspect D will be beside himself when you return 😉

Marie Ann Bailey

I am a writer, living with three cats, more yarn than I can knit up in a lifetime, and a dear husband who doubles as my best friend.  I started this blog a few years ago when I was toying with the idea of becoming a freelance editor.  I wanted 1WriteWay.com to be a serious resource of all things related to writing and editing.  But then life happened, I got distracted, and went offline for awhile.  Now I’m back but with a different purpose for my blog.  I just want to write.  I’m old enough to be looking forward to retirement (as opposed to what my next career move should be), and the more writing I can do now, the better shape I’ll be in to make writing my primary focus when I’m no longer at the office 40 hours a week.  I enjoy my current job and my coworkers and that actually has made it more difficult to be disciplined with my writing.  I do derive intrinsic satisfaction from what I do at the daily grind, but the urge to write hasn’t left.  In fact, the more I think about retirement, the more I want to write. . .

Read more about the wonderful Marie and her blog, 1WriteWay.