Be Our Guest: Dean from Dean’z Doodlez

A: It is our great pleasure to welcome Dean, from Dean’z Doodlez and Wee Bit Wordy to the blog today. D, why don’t you make Dean feel a bit more comfortable?

D: What do you mean, a bit more? He’s very welcome here!

A: I mean, you should put the sword down.

D: But – but, he said he thought it was cool.

A: It is cool It’s also threatening. Put it away, now.

D: Oh, all right.

A: That’s better – and without further ado, here is Dean!

dean cropped-cropped-1836150_orig

Dean’s fabulous blog photo/header from Dean’z Doodlez.

Hello everyone! I’ve been kindly invited by Katie (and hopefully D, too) to share with you guys my intersection of creative writing, and visual creativity: does one help the other, and how?

So, as most people know, I am indeed a creative writer as well as an artist. For a while, when I first began blogging seriously, I ran Dean’z Doodlez solely for my art and my journey with art through college. Then, a few months in, I started a 10-week creative writing course, as I knew I was good at short story writing, but wanted to improve more on what I already knew from school. For this, I set up a second blog to coincide with Dean’z Doodlez, called “Dean’z Wordz”, and there I shared all my non-art related works; my short stories, poetry, and ramblings etc..

Unfortunately, a few months into running Dean’z Wordz, I lost interest in running two separate blogs, and decided to delete it and amalgamate it into Dean’z Doodlez, where I would share my creative writing as well as my art.

This unfortunately didn’t really work out too well, and the blog got a little too messy for my liking–I had art and words all over the place and decided to separate the two once again, and Dean’z Worldz was born! Did that last long? NOPE!

Fast forward to April 2014. A close friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, decided they wanted to try their hand at the blogging world, and asked me would I help set up their very own blog, considering I had quite some experience on my hands in the blogging world. I gladly accepted and together we created Wee Bit Wordy! My friend also asked me to become a co-author of the blog, allowing me to ramble and write on the blog whenever I wanted, which I gladly did so, as it had indeed been a while since I done that!

Fast forward again to the end of May, Mid-June, I received word from my friend that they no longer wished to participate in blogging, and that due to some personal problems, they didn’t feel like sharing their work with the world, let alone be very creative, and informed me that they wished to delete Wee Bit Wordy. That was where I put my foot down! I understood why and where they were coming from and why they no longer wished to blog, and duly accepted that, but I did not in any way accept that Wee Bit Wordy should be deleted. I explained to them how thrilled I was that I had somewhere to go, even if it was only once a week to share my thoughts with the world. I asked for ownership of the blog, which they gladly gave, and after some technical issues, I did eventually manage to transfer Wee Bit Wordy 100% to my WordPress account, and claim it for my own. Now, I try and post 2-3 times a week on Wee Bit Wordy, as well as share my art with you guys 2-3 times a week on Dean’z Doodlez, and I love it, and sometimes the two coincide with each other, but I have been rambling for the past couple hundred words, and now to address the main point.

Does my creative writing coincide with my visual creativity? Yes, it does indeed! I can NOT write a single short story without illustrating either a scene from the story, or maybe just one or two of the characters–I even go so far as to illustrate mock covers for the stories, as if they were actual full novels, and that was its intended cover. I have written a series of short stories last summer and have published one of them on Amazon using KDP. The first story was “Quentin Hide and the Evil Lord Twigton” (which is still available I believe, if you don’t have it yet). I illustrated the cover to that short story myself, and even have the two cover done for the sequel, which is finished, but I decided against publishing, for my own reasons. I have also written a third short story, which ties the first two together nicely and finishes the tale with an answer for everyone.

Visually, whenever I have written a story of any description, regardless of how big or small it is, I have to illustrate an aspect of it, like I mentioned above, but so much so, I have gone to the effort of actually plotting and drafting up an illustrated/comic book version of Quentin Hide and the Evil Lord Twigton. Now, its far from ready–there’s still a whole lot more developing to be done, and my comic book drawing skills aren’t nearly quite as up to snuff as I would like them to be!

I love art and drawing, but I love writing just as much, but because I love the two nearly as equally, the two almost always conflict with each other! I write a story, and I think to myself, would this be better as an illustrated tale? Or if I start drawing an illustrated tale, it will suddenly dawn on me, “hmm… this might be better written in prose…” That’s just how my brain works, and because of that, I sometimes feel that I will never finish any project I set for myself. If I was commissioned to write a story, or commissioned to illustrate a tale, I would 100% be able to finish it in whatever format asked of me, but as soon as my brain realises that it’s a personal project, and I could do this in any way that I want, I become Mr. Indecisive!

… And there you have it! That is my experience with creative writing and visual creativity, and how they intersect into my life, being both a writer and an artist!

Thank-you again to Katie (and D) for having me!

–DEAN is the author of two blogs; Dean’z Doodlez where he shares his life through art and doodles, and Wee Bit Wordy, where he shares his life through words, books, and Building Rome!

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Frabjous Friday

Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky (Photo credit: Moochy)

D: Oh, A. That’s not even a word.

A: You sound so disappointed, D. It is a word. It’s on the internet.

D: . . .

A: I saw it in the Urban Dictionary. That means it’s a word.* Plus, it’s awesome and it means Johnny Depp dances in a kilt. There is little else better than that.

D: I . . . I have nothing for you on that. I suppose I simply feel that it isn’t up to par with your other words.

A: It isn’t? I think that perhaps it is. It’s frabjous after all.

D: You are ridiculous.

A: It’s Friday, and it’s fra-

D: You can stop that now.

A: Fine. What would you rather I have as a word for today?

D: Must we even have a word for the day? It’s a day – using some sort of spectacular and nonsensical word to describe it isn’t going to elevate it. That’s up to you.

A: Humor me, Druid.

D: I’ve spent years humoring you.

A: And another fifteen minutes won’t kill you.

D: (grumble . . . mutter . . .  grumble)

A: What was that?

D: Bloody woman. Fine. I have a word for you.

A: I’m breathless with anticipation.

D: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

A: But what about–? But you–? You know what? Forget it. Feeling old-school today, D?

D: You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, lady.

A: . . .

D: Don’t you like my modern parlance, A?

A: I – I’m speechless, D.

D: Well, then it is a Frabjous Friday after all.

* I don’t really believe that, but sometimes I have to take one for the team, just to rile the druid.

The Druid Tells the Tale
d as imaged by Green Embers

D, by Green Embers

D: So much has been happening on the blogosphere since A decided to indulge herself in a little bit of ‘slow-blogging’ as she calls it. Lazy is more like.

A: Oi! I’ve been busy. And you know, writing.

D: Hardly.

A: Are you going to tell the tale or tell tales on me?

D: Fair enough. Stop by Green Embers for a Blogging Birthday Serial in honor of Ionia’s Birthday. The journey starts Deep within the forest . . .

Give Green a round of applause, not only for the inspired serial, but for his incredible rendering of yours truly. It almost makes me blush.

A: Almost.

D: I’m not burdened with too much modesty, Miss A.

A: I can see that – I can also see that Green did a fantastic job. While you’re reading Green’s serial, please give Ionia a virtual hug, pray, send healing energy or sacrifice a chicken, if that’s your style. She may throw a squirrel or a cupcake at you, but we still want her to know she’s in our thoughts.

D: I’m hoping for cupcakes, myself. Finally, If chills are more your style, take a gander at the latest entry in the Jessica Bell Bayou Bonhomme series.

A: So much creativity; it truly is frapjous (don’t look at me like that D). If you are looking for a place to put your own creative wordling (as I have), look no further. The Community Storyboard wants YOU! Submit to us now.

D: A really, that is so. . . .

A: You have a dirty mind, D.

D: 13 years in your head, A. 13 years.

Don’t forget about wePoets Show It: The collaborative artistic community developed by poets Zoe and Kira – they have a schedule of posts, including spoken word Mondays. Stop by, submit and enjoy!

A: Kori Miller, over at Kori Miller Writes, is also looking for the creatively-minded to submit work on her blog so she can spread the word!

Check it out.

D: And finally, take a moment to read and vote onPatti Hall’s story on love, laughter and loss. It’s beautiful and shows a strong heart.

A: That’s it everyone. Have a Frabjous Friday!

What are your favorite nonsense words?

Saved by the box

A: You’ve been saved, D.

D: Pray tell, how.

A: Well, I was just going to reblog my post from the Community Storyboard, from Day 10 of the Creative Writing Challenge.

D: You mean that bit of writing I see at the bottom, here?

A: Uh huh.

D: And how have you saved me, really?

A: I was inspired.

D: No, I know you better than this. You haven’t written a word of my book. You are less than inspired, woman. You’re stalling.

A: Okay, busted. I am just stalling. But, watch this space, as the story below actually has an ending, thanks to Green Embers inquiring about the contents of the box.

D: Uh huh.

A: And I’ll get to your story D – we’re heading into the grand finale of Book 1. It’s tough stuff. You want me to do this well, right?

D: After 10 years, I’d settle for a hack job if it meant it was done.

A: The first go was a hack job, remember?

D: Hm. Fine, you’ve made your point. Get inspired. Have fun writing. Leave me to wither and die.

A: And on that note, enjoy “McMurphy’s Little Box!”

The Druid Tells the tale

Because obviously, A is to busy writing things that aren’t my book to do it.

A:  Chill pill, D.

D: Quiet, woman, I’m telling the tale! Stop by Ionia & the Readful Things for some sweet singing of praises–

A: I think that’s some twittering tweets, D.

D: I like my way better.

A: You always like your way better.

D: And . . . ? Ionia has a few tweets (happy, A?) for some fellow scribes and their work. Stop by, and sing like a bird!

For the writers out there, Writers in the Storm has come across tools that highlight how many times you use certain words or phrases. It’s a fascinating article and one I think A should read, with interest. Her overuse of the words ‘eyes’ alone is embarrassing.

A: Cheers, D. By the way, we found the blog (which is fabulous) and the article by way of Melissa Janda, the Buzz on Writing (who is also fabulous).

Finally, both D and I would like to thank the lovely Briana Vedsted, of When I Became an Author, for making us her Blogger Spotlight. Thank you, Briana – we are so pleased to have you as part of our world! You make it a brighter place.

A invites the audience’s participation

I have a confession to make: the story below was inspired, in part, by McMurphy’s Mansion, an old DOS game. It’s a bit of a sideways look, but I think I’m going to have fun with the conclusion. So, question for the crowd – ever play McMurphy’s Mansion, or have another DOS-based game that was your pride and joy?

McMurphy’s Little Box

o1v2rQcN2XENQ7tXvDsQHw“She touched the little box in her pocket and smiled, Mom, I know it.”

Megan waited for her mother to respond, but Jenny Ballard was too engrossed in her novel to do more than nod.

“Mom! Mom, you aren’t even listening to me!”

“Meghan darling, how do you know Mrs. Gregory even had a box in her pocket?” Her mother didn’t look up from the book.

“She wears tight pants, Mom. It was hard to miss.”

Jenny suppressed a sigh.

Meghan grinned. She knew that would get her mother’s attention. She tried not to grin too much as her mother slid a piece of paper between the pages of her book.

“Alright, so there’s a box. But how do you know she was smiling? And what were you doing spying on the neighbors, again?”

“I wasn’t spying! It’s not my fault that I happened to be washing the front windows while she happened to be leaving Mrs. McMurphy’s house!”

Her mother arched a single eyebrow in her direction. “And so the binoculars are. . . ?”

“Dad’s,” Meghan said, glib. “He’s taken up birding.”

Jenny rolled her eyes. “So Mrs. Gregory was with Mrs. McMurphy. She’s her caretaker, honey. I’m not sure how this translates into a tale of mystery and intrigue.”

“Well, she’s either robbing Mrs. McMurphy blind, or they’re setting it up so that the kids get nothing when the old broad dies.”

“Meghan Ballard! What in heaven’s name have you been reading?! You don’t go around calling Mrs. McMurphy an old broad?”

“Dad does.”

“Your father–“

“You know Mrs. McMurphy is wealthier than anyone in town. John Townsend says she has gold bricks hiding in that mansion of hers.”

Jenny sighed. “John Townsend doesn’t know anything about the McMurphys. That family is just sour grapes because they used to work for Old Mr. McMurphy.”

Meghan avoided her mother’s eyes. “So, Mrs. McMurphy isn’t giving all her jewels to Mrs. Gregory now so the kids won’t find ‘em, and Mrs. Gregory won’t have to pay the taxes on ‘em?”

Jenny laughed. “If that’s what she’s doing, then more power to her. Her children are a heartless lot. Mrs. Gregory is the only one who spends any time with her – tight pants or no, young lady.”

“I suppose. But Mom, my story was more fun.”

“Perhaps – perhaps not. Maybe you should ask Mrs. Gregory to invite you to tea with her and Mrs. McMurphy. I think the two of them have some stories of drama and intrigue that really happened. Those may be better than anything you can cook up.”

Meghan scowled. How had her gossip turned into a morality tale? There was no getting around it now, though.

“Besides,” her mother picked up the book and looked at her over the edge. She was smiling. “Now I want to know what was in the little box, too!”

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!

Oddments and triflings

D: A, you are an oddment and a trifling.

A: Gee, D. With compliments like that it’s a wonder you spent your life alone!

D: Oi!

A: See, two play at the insult game. It’s not just yours to monopolize!

D: (Grumble).

A: Exactly.

D: If not you, then what are our oddments and triflings?

A: They are a highlight of some of the lovely posts I read today, that made a typical Monday a delight, when I had a chance to breathe, that is.

D: I see. A joint tale-telling, so?

A: Indeed.

First, at We Drink Because We’re Poets

D: Uh, A, Excuse me, but you’re not a poet.

A: And?

D: What’s your excuse?

kombuchaA: This isn’t a drink as such, D. It’s Kombucha.

D: It’s fermented, though.

A: Sure, but only a little. It’s good for you. All sorts of pro-biotic goodness for the gut to heal it from all those delightfully-inflammatory potatoes I ate over the weekend.

D: I think you’re some sort of witch.

A: Thank you, D. Moving on:

The prolific Charles and the delightful Rara go head to head with some incredible poetry. Stop by We Drink Because We’re Poets to vote in Round 1 of the Championship For The Ages Final!

Also at We Drink Because We’re Poets–

D: I think you just like saying the name.

A: And?

D: . . .

A: As I thought. There’s a new exercise/prompt debuting on August 11. Read more about it, mark your calendars, and participate, because it looks to be great fun!

D: This means we’re taking part, correct?

A: You bet your Pictish, Time-Traveling arse.

D: It’s such a pity she uses her words for things like that. It could be so much more. (Sigh.) Regardless, the Community Storyboard Creative Writing Challenge continues with this day 3 Prompt: Write a story set before 1950. A of course cheated and used a chapter opener that she wrote last night, which she’s titled, “Where do we go from here?”

A: What, is it my fault I rarely write anything set after 1950? No, I think not. Finally, Charles did a guest-post on Green Embers’ blog about character classes in Dungeon and Dragons. D, I’d like you to take notes on the Druid part.

D: I’m not that kind of Druid.

A: I know, but –

D: You’re mocking me.

A: Yes, I am, but –

D: I am a teller of tales; I hold the clan’s record of births and deaths within my soul, I gaze at the stars and interpret their patters, I have the magic of the ancients in my veins, and you’re telling me that all it amounts to is having antlers in my hair—

A: D, chill. I like the antlers.

D: . . . I give up.

A: Ha! I win. Good night, folks!!

The Druid Tells the Tale, Again

no eyes2If you’ve been watching this space and following along, you probably know that A is experiencing some angst over the fact that her attitude towards me, and the story I’m telling through her, has changed.

Really, what she’s annoyed at is that I made her cry.

Personally, I think it serves her right. I may be cantankerous. I may have an ego – when you make myth reality and travel between this realm and faerie, try not letting it go to your head. I may even be bossy and domineering. It’s called having a commanding presence; I did lead men into war, after all.

As penance for all of my perceived flaws, I languished in that fevered place she calls a brain for more than 10 years. I’m the one that had to put up with that feeble attempt she called writing my book – the third book in the series. Gods, you have not seen drivel until you have seen that draft. I hope she burns it.

While I was at the mercy of her guest bloggers (very well done, all of you. Truly, it was a pleasure. And no, I don’t bother to damn with faint praise), A had a breakthrough. She allowed me to tell my tale. And she wept.

I celebrated.

Getting A to acknowledge feelings is akin to wrestling with an ornery alligator. It rarely ends well. Perhaps there is hope for her yet. Usually the aftermath is far more gruesome than a week of low word-counts and a post on moping.

I’ll tell you what is truly wrong with her: she let me out of her head and isn’t quite certain how to make me go back in.

She’ll never figure it out, of course; I’m not going back in.

I’ve tasted freedom. She’s felt my story in her gut, and I intend to make her sit up and pay attention, write my bloody story and publish it, too. She’ll write more on this tomorrow, I’m certain. However, just in case she starts trying to hide what’s really going on with flowery language and big words (a sin of which she accuses me, the harpy), here you have it from the Druid himself.

In other notable news, please head over the Community Storyboard and read the delightful work generated for the 30-day Creative Writing Challenge. Day One was a fairy tale retelling. I will say that there are quite a few grand retellings. A submitted Headless, an American Fairy Tale. It’s charming. It isn’t about me, but it is charming.

Finally, it is my pleasure to tell you that the very talented Helen Valentina has published her book, The Seed. Peruse her blog and allow her words to bring different worlds and emotions to life!

One does not simply

D: A? A, are you ok?

A: Grumph!

D: I’m afraid I didn’t quite catch that.

A: Harumph garumph!

D: Are you attempting to learn a new language? I know it may or may not be a Pre- Indo-European language, but Pict doesn’t sound like that.

A: Gah!

D: Uh. . . A?

A: Sorry – too much peanut butter.

D: (Starting already?)

A: (Cooking failed today. Cooking failed miserably.)

D: (I see.)

This has no reason to be here, except that Captain Jack is my third favorite immortal, after 10 and River. Oh, wait, I know… walking into Mordor is how I felt about reading my own stuff wholesale. Yeah. That’s it.

This has no reason to be here, except that Captain Jack is my third favorite immortal, after 10 and River. Oh, wait, I know… walking into Mordor is how I felt about reading my own stuff wholesale. Yeah. That’s it.

A: Do you have any idea how difficult it is to read 100 pages (Times New Roman 12pt, double spaced) of your own writing . . . without touching a single word?!?!?!

D: Um, I’m a Pict, remember? We didn’t write down our epic greatness.

A: I’m beginning to see why. I read a great post over at Creative Writing with the Crimson League, and it struck me that I had never read any first, second or even third draft of my work without attacking it with my pen or cursor, or whatever was handy to make edits.

D: Never?

A: Never ever.

D: I’m afraid to ask, but how did you do?

A: okay, ish.

D: Ish? It’s late, A. Could you please spare me from . . . you?

A: Cheers, D. It was tolerable. I didn’t hate what I read, and while there are about ten million pages of edits to attempt, it was worth it. It was excruciating, but it was worth it.

D: What doesn’t kill you, A–

A: Might end up killing you, D.

D: Right, no platitudes. Well then, shall we get to it?

A: Be my guest!

The Druid Tells the Tale

Charles of that fantastic world of Windemere has a cover art update – check out the Prodigy of Rainbow Tower. It looks stunning – my kind of story, as well.

A: You only wish you could shoot flames out of your hands, D.

D: And what makes you think I cannot?

A: You only shoot fire out of your hands if rainbow sparkles also come out your–

D: Moving right along! A, don’t you have a tale to tell?

A: Well, isn’t that tempting. . . I mean, yes!! I do. Head over to Ionia’s Readful Things Blog to catch the last (boo) installment Harry Steinman’s series on Marketing and Publishing. This post covered cracking Amazon’s Top 100 Paid in Kindle store. The entire series has been excellent; I can’t say enough about how helpful it’s been to me as a newbie.

D: (no comment.)

A: (shut up, D.)

A Invites the Audience’s Participation

What is the hardest part about editing for you (aside from the editing itself)? Do you have to sit on your hands and banish pens from your sight in order to read what you’ve written without making any edits the first time around?