The show goes on

Empty-stage-with-spotligh-004D (Enters stage right. Looks around, startled. It’s empty and quite dark): Hello? Hello, A? Where are you?

A: (Offstage, left): You’ll have to go on without me, D!

D: But I can’t – I don’t know how to make it out there on my own. It’s so dark, and and there’s set pieces I have to put out.

A: Welcome to my world, D.

D: Your world is kind of scary.

A: You’re telling me! At least there’s glow tape.

D: Glow tape?

A: Yeah, it’s this tape that glows in the dark. Oh my god, best thing ever in the whole entire world I could marry it.

D: I’m not sure that would be the most fulfilling of relationships, but . . .

A: I was speaking in hyperbole.

D: Ah, so in the midst of all this “play stuff” you do remember your writerly roots.

A: I never – oh forget it. I managed to finish major re-writes and edits this weekend, D. One final read-through and it’s heading into the hands of those who can really read.

D: Writing, working and managing to become a valued member of the backstage crew – how do you find the time?

A: I think I may have given up cooking actual meals, and there hasn’t been a whole lot of sleeping either. Oh, that and I had to give up blogging for a few weeks.

D: At least the post you left as your last was an cover preview for Charles Yallowitz’s new book, Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies. Did you know that it debuted on December 1?

A: I did know that. I was feverishly editing and finalizing props at the time, but I was sending him good thoughts.

D: Well, all the same, you should congratulate Charles.

A&D: Congratulations, Charles!

D: So that’s it then – you’re just going to wander off stage left and leave me here?

A: No, you can come if you want. We’ll just close the curtain until the 16th when the show run is over. Besides, I kind of like hearing your voice when I’m reading. Your snark helps me not want to cry when you’re being your epic but wounded self in the book. Need a little perspective, you know?

D: (Eye-roll) Gee, A.

A: I’m sorry, what was that? You need to enunciate more, D – remember, diction and volume!

D: The 16th can’t come soon enough!

A: You’re telling me – that set has some ridiculously heavy pieces!

So that’s it, folks! My son has the part of “Young George” in a local production of It’s a Wonderful Life. Being the helpful sort, I volunteered for props and ended up ensuring all the set pieces from the left side of the stage go out on cue, in their proper order without killing myself or others. At least I get a headset!

This, plus working in semi-retail in the weeks leading up to the holidays, is why I am a very bad blogger. Yet, I’m not too terribly broken up about it – I’ve rediscovered the ease of a quick post on Facebook, as well as the joys of being completely unavailable for hours at a time during the 3 and 4 hour evening rehearsals! So, I miss you all, but the trade-off of time with my son is priceless. Thank heavens the Mukwonago Village Players are a fabulous group of people. Working with them has been a lot of fun. We did two shows today for local school kids and everyone did a fantastic job. Can’t wait to see what the next two weeks brings!

Now, if you will excuse me, I intend to enjoy my first evening home in several days with some pizza, a glass of wine, a fuzzy blanket and some Torchwood! Good night all – thank you for reading!

 

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Twelve Drummers Drumming

On the twelfth day of NaNo, my true muse gave to me

Twelve drummers drumming,

Eleven snowflakes snowing,

Ten random factoids,

Nine trains a-chugging,

Eight ways of souping,

Seven shows a-sassing,

Six books a-writing,

Five Syllables!

Four pumpkin cakes

Three cough drops

Two cuddly cats

And a family that’s dear to me.

***

I should have known better than to use 12 Days of Christmas as my Non-NaNo anthem – I always get lost around day eight. I suppose it doesn’t help that I also get lost crossing the street – so the two together obviously means I failed to find my way to the computer/blog.

D: But you still managed to haunt Facebook all weekend.

A: Facebook doesn’t require a great deal of thought – just photos, some pithy sayings and cyberstalking – I mean enjoying some of my favorite—

D: Don’t say it. Can we please have a post without Dwarven #majesty?

A: No. The majesty cannot be contained. It must be allowed to flow.

D: You are so strange sometimes.

A: Thank you.

D: So what’s this about souping? Is that even a word?

A: No, but it fit the syllable requirement. Thanks to a week-plus of nothing but soup, the boy went on a diatribe that sounded remarkably similar to Cohen the Barbarian’s lament in Color of Magic

(particularly at 0:58 onward)

D: I see. So the whole household is crazy then, yes?

A: Perhaps.

D: Good to know. And the nine trains?

A: TrainFest. Had to work. Train Guys are pretty cool.

D: And the 10 random factoids?

A: What I call research others may view as procrastination.

D: I see – still having a hard time getting inside Jenny Mallory’s head?

A: Something like that.

D: Just write the bloody thing, A.

A: (Sigh). Yeah. Moving on . . .

YELLOW FLOWERD: Eleven snowflakes snowing?

A: That’s rather self-explanatory, isn’t it? It snowed, D. On November 11 and at roughly 11:11, it started to snow. I’m going to find out who made that wish and—

D: Careful A, you still haven’t quite gotten your strength back. You may just end up giving whoever it was a hug and that just gives out mixed signals.

A: True.

D: And finally, the twelve drummers?

The boy puts together the snare drum from his early Christmas gift . . . only 4 pieces left and a stool . . .

The boy puts together the snare drum from his early Christmas gift . . . only 4 pieces left and a stool . . .

A: Well, it’s more like one awesome kid, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to make enough noise with his very early Christmas gift to sound like 12 drummers.

D: Ah, he can beat the war drum for me any day.

A: Actually, it’s for Jazz Band, but I’ll let him know.

D: You do that, A. So, is this it?

A: It is. The 12 Days of Non-NaNo are over.

D: And what have you learned?

A: That if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard—

D: I mean from blogging A – not from your journey to the Wonderful Land of Oz.

A: Oh. Well then, how about being able to blog about things other than my writing and my topsy-turvy character-rich inner-world.

D: You’re talking about me in that last bit, right?

A: Yes, D.

D: You aren’t planning on eradicating that part, right?

A: (Eye-roll) No, D.

D: Good. Just so we are both clear on that. You couldn’t live without me, anyway.

A: What are you going to do when your books are finally done and out there for the public to enjoy?
D: Well, I was thinking you should retire to someplace warm. I have these aches in my elbows – I’m thinking it’s from the sword – and really, I could do without the early arrival of winter, you know?

A: You are not retiring in my head.

D: Oh, come on, A! You’d miss me if I were gone.

A: . . .

D: You would. Just think about it, A.

A: And the final thing that I learned during my 12 days of Non-NaNo? D is as irrepressible as ever, and never ceases to surprise me. Hope all the NaNos out there are doing well as they approach the mid-way point, and that everyone else is having their own grand time! ‘Night all!

Related Posts

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

 

The Druid asks the Questions of Jack Flacco

D: It is my pleasure, nay, my grave pleasure—see what I did there A?

A: (eye roll) Yes, D – I see it. Very clever.

D: You don’t sound very impressed.

A: Sorry, I was saving the ticker-tape for a special occasion.

D: What could be more special than this? Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my grave pleasure to welcome Jack Flacco, author of Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse, to the D/A Dialogues.

D: Jack, give us a quick, spoiler-free overview of Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse.

jack flacco - zombieJ: After finding his family had succumbed to the ravages of the zombie apocalypse, Ranger Martin, a shotgun-toting former truck driver, makes a life mission of eradicating as many eaters as he can with the little resources he has at his disposal. Making things complicated are a group of kids tagging along, aiding Ranger on his quest to discovering the truth regarding the zombification of humanity.

D: Why zombies – what is it about them that drove you to write a book?

J: Zombies are fun. They’re Horror’s little Terminators. No matter how much we try to get rid of them, they keep coming. They replicate. They take a beating. They never surrender. Their unrelenting pace brought me to the genre, and I’ve always wanted to read a book where zombies scared me to a cold chill.

D: So many components go into writing and then publishing a book – which was your favorite?

J: I enjoy stepping into the story to experience what the characters are experiencing. The role-playing aspect interests me the most, as it’s a brief opportunity to live someone else’s life. Is there such a thing as method writing?

D: I think so – my presence on this blog may be a side effect of such a phenomena. So, do you have any traditions or rituals you invoke when you complete a draft?

J: Without fail, I’ll take the family out for dinner. It’s a tradition I’ve kept since the very beginning. Funny thing about it, the draft doesn’t come up in conversation. I guess we’re too busy enjoying the sushi to talk about it.

D: Which of your characters character were you rooting for the most?

J: Randy. Here’s a kid who’s stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time with very little to live for and dream. Yet, hooking up with Ranger may have been the best choice of his life—even if at times Ranger dances on the threshold of insanity.

D: The threshold of insanity seems to be a thing with writers. Ranger and A have a lot in common. Speaking of, which of your characters did you enjoy torturing?

J: If you consider zombies as a character, then I think every zombie kill was my idea of fun. I kept track of the kills so I wouldn’t do the same thing twice.

D: Sometimes writers go into a novel with one idea/favorite and come out the other side with a completely different idea or favorite character – did this happen to you, or were you able to remain true to your initial vision?

J: I wrote it with the idea that not everything we see is what it seems. As humans, we have a tendency to make up our mind about things before getting all the facts. It happens to me all the time. For instance, the line at checkout has five shoppers, so I switch to the other line with the two shoppers thinking I’ll get out of the store faster. But I didn’t see the shopper ahead of me having an item needing a price check. Next thing I know, I’m stuck waiting longer than the original line I had stood in. Perception makes for an interesting bedfellow.

D: What’s next for Jack Flacco?

J: I have two other books I’m currently writing at the same time.

D: What is your favorite genre to read?

jack flaccoJ: I’m reading John Grisham’s full bibliography in chronological order based on date of publication. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but put it off for a reason or other. I suppose for now, the legal thriller is my favorite genre.

D: You discus movies quite a bit on your blog – do movies play into your creative process at all?

J: I grew up on a staple of Spielberg, Lucas and Cameron movies. As much as I try to avoid adding references to these film titans, something manages to slip in. It then becomes a game for me to find the references. I suppose it happens as my own version of a subconscious homage to these great directors.

D: Provided it’s not a spoiler, what is your favorite name for a zombie – either in your own work or in other works out there?

J: Eaters. I’ve heard this term used before and it describes the zombies perfectly. The undead do nothing other than hunt and eat. If I had my way, though, I’d call them sharks. Then again, confusion would arise whenever a story took place in shark-infested waters. Isn’t there a movie about that?

D: What has been your favorite visual interpretation of the zombie genre?

J: The ability to survive a catastrophic event such as the annihilation of humanity can come in different flavors. By far, AMC’s The Walking Dead is as close to a zombie apocalypse as anyone can get for now. I can’t seem to let go of Season 1’s imagery from my mind. Zombieland is another one of my favorites, even though the electricity still works in that universe. Then again, with so many automated backup systems in place nowadays, who’s to say the lights would go out in an end-of-the-world scenario?

D: Who would you pick to play Ranger Martin in the movie version of your book?

J: I draw a blank whenever asked this question. I left Ranger’s description vague on purpose in order for readers to imagine their own interpretation. I’ll say this though, if Ranger Martin does get optioned for a movie, the actor playing him would have to be strong enough to lift a soldier off his feet.

D: What do you think the odds would be on a time-travelling druid vs. a zombie hoard?

J: I fear for the zombies’ safety.

D: Hear that, A?

A: Of course, with the right equipment, a three-year old could destroy a zombie.

D: A zombie maybe, but we’re talking zombie hoards, A. A swarm, a multitude a veritable throng of zombies.

A: . . .

D: A mob, A.

A: No more reading the thesaurus for you, D. If you want to see if you could pit your wits against Jack’s zombies, pick up his book, Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse at Amazon.com, tomorrow, October 22 (Wait, that’s TODAY – Buy your copy now)! You can also stalk him on his blog, and on Facebook.

D: Also, check out A’s review of Ranger Martin. . . even if it is Druid Free.

A: Ha, Druid Free. I like that – kinda like Gluten Free, but for my sanity instead of my stomach.

D: . . . Ignore the woman behind the curtain. She’ll offer you sawdust and call it brains!

A: Mmmmm . . . Brains. . .

D: And with that, we bid you all good day. Thank you for stopping by the D/A Dialogues.

Running Amuck

Best mental image of my night @BrianaBvedsted: Character on the loose! Warning! Look out for a druid in a cowboy hat!

cowboy-hatD: I cannot believe you.

A: What?

D: How many of your brain cells died in the exchange?

A: Oh, lighten up, D. It’s funny!

D: . . .

A: I tell you what – how about we give you a fez instead of a cowboy hat?

D: Now you’re mocking me.

A: Yes, but only gently.

D: But you put it on Facebook and Twitter. And you dragged poor Briana into it! You are a danger to society, A!

A: You don’t even know what Twitter is.

D: I do so; a whole bunch of your pointless ridiculousness is right there along the side of the blog.

A: And . . . ?

D: You’d forgo an English Degree to watch Disney movies? Misty Mountains Cold? With Minions? Really A? That is hardly worthy—

A: You leave Misty Mountains out of it, D.

D: Oh, oh wait! I forgot. That’s your inspiration.

A: Oi, Druid!

D: Two can play at this game, A.fez

A: All right, all right. Behave yourself and I won’t tell people that the conversation devolved into you streaking through town with just a cowboy hat!

D: A!!!

A: Are you sure about not wanting the fez?

That was the most fun I’ve had on Twitter (or with D) ever. And I can’t thank Briana enough for indulging me!  Similar to the post I reblogged from 1WriteWay, the sheer variety of digital communications can be overwhelming. When I first signed on to Twitter, it was with a great deal of trepidation. I don’t think Dante would be too put out if I put it somewhere between the third and fourth Circle of Hell. However, it has grown on me – I’m slowly (really slowly – cold molasses move faster than me) learning how to converse in the Twitterverse. Likely, it will never be my go-to format, but I do notice that the interaction is just that – interaction. It’s almost like comments here on WordPress.

Do you Twitter/Tweeter/Sing like a bird? Which social media platform do you like the best for interaction?

Happy Anniversary

A: Happy Anniversary, D – join me in a toast!

D: Pardon?

A: We’ve been official for 30 days.

D: Official.

A: Yup, I even announced it on Facebook, which totally means it’s real.

D: A, your abuse of your language continues to hurt my sensibilities. Could you not speak in jargon for a moment, and put this into terms I can understand, please?

A: Pedant. Fine. I have been writing and posting our conversations on the internet for 30 days – it’s called blogging, D. A whole 30 days have passed since I announced to the world that I talk to you in my head while I’m writing.

D: Just when you’re writing, A?

A: Shut up.

D: Oh yes, this relationship is going so well. I can see why you want to celebrate.

A: I could just go back to ignoring you . . .

D: . . .

A: Alright then. Would you believe that people, who are in no way related to me, know me at all, or have any connection to me beyond the fact that we share the blog-o-sphere actually follow me? Do you know how incredible that is?**

D: I do – and I fear for our planet.

A: Cheers D . . . hey, are you going to drink that?

**I really would like to send out a big ol’ thank you to those who follow this blog. The fact that anyone clicks on that little button makes me ridiculously happy – giddy, actually. So, thank you. I hope that D and I will continue to amuse as we share our journey. Also, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms (in whatever guise) out there.

I’ve posted this before, but it’s D’s words, the first germ of him that’s made me keep going: 

I sat in the grove of my own creation and stared out at a world and a people descended of mine own. As I watched, trees gave way to stone and the many lost their claim to the priests of the One.

Then the wheel turned. The sacred trees grew around this effigy of stone and the many came out of hiding. I sat in my grove and watched a world outside my imagination, willing it to see.

She saw. She, my kin only by remote design, saw me. She saw me with uncanny green eyes, the green eyes of my mother and her mother before her: witch’s eyes.

A joy rose in me. It was time; time to join the world after years of solitude, time to act after centuries of stillness.

I closed my eyes and reached across the barrier, to touch my future and my past.