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!

Guest Post: D and Billy the Kid

While A is away, the blog still gets to play. Please welcome Briana Vested from When I Became an Author.

D is decked out in all the western finery he could rustle up from his imagination. He’s nearly drowning in fringe and spurs, and he looks a bit like Will Rogers. He looks so pleased with himself however, so it’s hard to be annoyed at the stereotype.

D: Briana! I’m so pleased to see you! A finally let me out of the cage she calls her mind, and I’ve been enjoying the diversity. Please sit and chat with me a while. Tell me of the old west – I wish to see it from your eyes.

Briana: Well hello D! How nice to see you, too! I see you dressed for the occasion, so I’m glad I decided to bring along a friend. D, please meet Billy the Kid from my new western book!

Billy: Howdy D. Glad to meet ya.

D: B-Billy the Kid came to talk to me? Oh this is splendid! I’m honored to make your acquaintance!

Briana: D, would you me to tell you about the longhorn cattle Billy rustled up and down the Pecos River?

D: Oh yes please!

Briana: Okay, well, longhorns are a mighty breed, standing almost five foot tall at the shoulder, with horns as big around as a toddler’s waist and with a spread as wide as seven feet. These animals are wild and don’t really like being around people, but cowboys are ornery critters and they know that longhorns can be sold for large sums of money. Well, Billy and his friends had a plan that they were going to sneak onto this cattle baron’s ranch and steal some of his fine cattle, and then they would drive them to market and sell them.

Billy: Excuse me, but before D gets the wrong idea about me, maybe you should tell him why I was rustling cattle.

Briana: Of course, sorry Billy. Well D, stealing cattle is obviously illegal, but Billy was running away from the law and was out of money. And instead of robbing a bank, Billy figured that taking some cows from a man who had more than enough than he needed would be a better way of putting food on the table for his gang. But, even though he was a skilled cattleman, Billy was no match for this one devilish cow. Billy shook out his lariat and urged his bay horse into a quick gallop after the runaway cow. The cow dodged left and right, around clumps of shaggy oak brush, through stands of mighty pine trees and straight through patches of prickly pear cactus and over mounds of yucca. Billy followed eagerly and once he was close enough, started twirling his lasso. But just as he left the loop sail out of his fingers, a startled bear cub jumped out from behind a rock right in front of Billy’s horse and scared it. The noose had just cinched tight around the cows neck when Billy’s horse screamed with fright and kicked his back legs high into the air. Billy was sent flying out of the saddle, still hanging on to the tail of the rope. The cow, feeling the rope on her neck, threw up her head and started to run even faster. She was running away from Billy, but little did she know that Billy was still right behind her.

D: Oh my! This sound fascinating!

Billy: *chuckled throatily* It wasn’t as fun as it sounds. Briana didn’t mention that my friend had watched the whole thing, and instead of coming to help me, he collapsed with laughter.

Briana: I was getting to that! Don’t get impatient Billy! Remember what happened to Richard! Now, where was I, oh yes, well, Billy let the cow drag him for a while, hoping it would tire her out and he’s have a chance to get back to his feet and wrap the rope around a tree. But that cow was as rambunctious as a new calf, and when Billy saw an oncoming hill covered with barrel cactus, he wisely let go of the rope and rolled to a stop. When he got to his feet, he looked like a dust devil. His hat was gone, his shirtsleeves were shredded to nothingness and one boot was missing. As he limped back to where his horse was standing and waiting for him, he noticed his young friend Tom wiping tears out of his eyes. Billy demanded to know why Tom didn’t come to his aid, and Tom broke down laughing again. Finally when he managed to catch his breath, he told Billy, You should have seen that bear cub, sitting yonder by the tree, watching you get drug along behind that heifer! T’was the funniest thing! He kept on snorting, and I do believe he was laughing at you!

Billy: *smiles* When we finally met back up with the rest of the gang, I made Tom promise not to tell them the story. But that little cuss just couldn’t keep it under his hat. Around the campfire that night, you’d probably been able to hear the laughter all the way to Fort Worth.

D: *laughing* Oh my! What a sight! How I wish I could have been there to see it.

Billy: Well D, since you’re suited up already, why don’t you and I go for a ride? I’ve got an extra horse out back and I know where there’s a spare rope and some free-grazing cows. What do you say? Want to spend the afternoon in the old west with me?

D: Yes, yes, yes! Are you coming Briana?

Briana: I wouldn’t miss this for the world. But hang on a second; I’m going to need my camera. Oh, and Billy, you’d better behave yourself!

Briana Vested

My name is Briana and I’m 20 years old. I’ve been writing for about five years now, and have finally been successful in having one of my stories selected for publication. I mostly write westerns, but I also enjoy adding magic and mystery into my work. Hence the novel I’m writing about modern-day werewolves! I’ve self published two books, of which I’m very proud, and am about to begin editing the third book which is being published through Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC. I live on a ranch in Colorado, and have been helping with the farming part for the last six or seven years. More recently my family gained a cattle permit in the mountains, and because of that, I’ve only just started riding horses for more than “trail rides”. In February 2013 I started writing for the Fence Post magazine as a monthly columnist.

Other than writing, I enjoy making candles and cosmetics. I also love to cook and bake, read, watch movies, crochet, make jewelry, decorate and paint my house, and go exploring with my family. I’m also an amateur archeologist and museum curator (my sister and I have our very own museum that is open to our family).

Read more about Briana at her blog, When I Became an Author.

Out of My Head Over You

While A is away, the blog continues to play. Please welcome Andra Watkins of The Accidental Cootchie Mama.

A:  This is all about Katie, isn’t it?

D:  What is?

A:  How horrid you’re being. You’re put out because she’s not here, and you have to deal with me, and I’m a pathetic substitute.

D:  I morph to suit the characters in your head, Andra. This isn’t about Katie. It’s about you.

A:  I don’t have any characters in my head. I am sick of writing. Sick of it. And, I am especially sick of you.

D:  I’ve only been in your head for a year. I’m just now letting you get to know me.

A:  And, I don’t want to know anymore. I don’t know what to do with your craven wishes. Your faulty desires. Why do you have to be so dark?

D:  If you’d just let me have her, I’d go away.

A:  YOU CAN’T HAVE HER! She’s not even ten years old. Grown men do not have little girls. This is not Kentucky in the early 1800s.

D:  Don’t lecture me about the 1800s. I was there, remember?

A:  Sigh. Yes. I know you were there. But now you’re here, and you cannot marry a ten-year-old-girl.

D:  She. Is. My. WIFE!

A:  Oh, don’t start with the hyper-punctuation and delusional melodrama. I think it’s your silly dramatics that agents keep rejecting. I have yet to nail your character, but I know Em isn’t your dead wife. That’s not how things work.

D:  How do you know, Andra? Have you ever died? Like me?

*********************************

Bertie blew me a kiss and left me in Mommy’s office. I crawled into her cushiony chair and made it spin like the merry-go-round at school by pushing off the front of the desk with my hands. If I spun fast enough, maybe I could disappear.

When I started getting dizzy, I sat still and looked at the things spread out on top of her desk. It was a roll top, almost always closed when I came in there. I picked up a black book with “Appointments” on the front and slipped Mommy’s big silver ring with the blue Indian stone on my finger.

And that was when I saw Mommy’s special cards. 

My mommy liked to play rounds of cards with some of her men. Two nights a week, she’d set up tables in her parlor, get several of her ladies, and play her games. Aunt Bertie always put me to bed early, those nights. She had to play, too. Mommy’s rules. 

Mommy had different rules for me. Sometimes, Mommy or Aunt Bertie played Go Fish with me, or Old Maid. Mommy even let me yell when I told her to go fish. I got so excited when I was winning. Like it was my one-and-only way to beat her. She’d smile and draw her card and tell me to never forget what it felt like to be the underdog. Acting like the underdog would get me far in life.

I didn’t understand, but this was Mommy; she didn’t explain. 

One time, I snuck down to her office. Late. I knew she played cards with grown men different from the way she played with me. But, everybody was shut up in the bedrooms by then, playing cards of a different kind, I guess.

Anyway.

That night, I was looking for a deck of cards to play solitaire. I played for hours, sometimes, but Mommy didn’t let me keep cards in my bedroom.

I opened her desk drawer, and I found a deck in a pretty ceramic box with jewels glued on top. When I turned them over, every card had pictures of me on one side with scribblings and notes on the number sides. I was younger in the picture, but I remembered posing for it. Mommy made a big deal out of how I looked that day. I stacked the cards and hid them under my pillow in my room. 

The next morning, I found Aunt Bertie in the kitchen. I spread the cards out on the table and asked her why she and Mommy played with cards that had pictures of me.

She scooped them into her hands and stacked them back together, really neat. “Child, don’t be asking me about these cards again. Ever. I mean what I’m saying. Lawsy mercy. I need a cocktail to go.” Her hands shook when she left me to take them back to Mommy’s desk and put them back just like I found them. 

I never saw those cards again until the day I tore my dress at the zoo. They were magnets I had to pick up and shuffle, more worn around the edges than last time. One by one, I turned them over and read the numbers and words on the backs. Mr Devereaux $100K. Mr Carnell $475K. The Sugar Daddy $500K. The last one had red stars around my face and the words “the winner” written in cursive. When I tilted the chair closer, I almost fell on the floor.

“Emmaline Cagney. Whatever are you doing, pilfering through my private things?”

****************************************

About Andra Watkins

I am a recovering CPA. A product of thirteen years of parochial school. A former abused spouse. An awesome aunt, but never a mother. I wonder whether I will ever be able to call myself a writer, but I am content as the wife of the lover of my soul.

I am The Accidental Cootchie Mama, because my blog reveals more than I ever intended.

http://andrawatkins.com/

Dark Souls and D, A Guest Post

While A is away, the blog still gets to play. Please welcome Hector, from the Adventures and Misfortunes of Hector the Aimless.

After the crow brought me to Lordran, I had a strange encounter.  I was resting at an old shrine when everything around me started to fade away in a hazy vortex of crimson. A man stood in front of me. He approached me, and before he left, we had an insightful conversation. It was this very conversation that made me record my adventures in this journal.

H: Who… Who are you?

D: I have many names, but you may refer to me as D.

H: So, D, how did you come across this accursed land of Lordran?

D: This land is called Lordran, eh? I have no idea what’s going on. While A has locked me out of her mind, I decided that I would do a bit of traveling in time. A distortion in time like I have never seen drove me to this Lordran.

H: I don’t understand. What is a time distortion?

D: The time seems as though it loops back on itself at a certain point. Do you have any experiences of déjà vu?

H: No, I barely remember who I was before I ended up in the asylum.

D: Asylum? You seem sane to me. Believe me, I should know.

H: In our world, there is a curse, called “The Curse of the Undead.” Anyone who is branded by this sign is thrown out of their lands and corralled to the North to rot in the Undead Asylum.

D: That’s awful! How many survive?

H: Apparently, I am the only one from the asylum to make it to Lordran. Something about being chosen to succeed Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight. Details are a bit…

D: Sketchy?

H: Sketchy.

D: I live inside the head of an insane woman from the 21st century. It’s not important now. I feel my connection to this world slip. Do yourself a favor. Record a journal of everything that has happened on your adventure to succeed this Lord Gwyn. Seeing as how the time keeps looping, if you keep a record, you could end up breaking any endless loops that may occur. My appearance alone may have an effect on the time distortion. Stay alive.

H: I won’t have any problem with that.

Before I could say anything else, D disappeared.

A note from A: Hector the Aimless/Commander T’soni  is a brand new blogger, telling the tale of his adventures in Lordran (Dark Souls). Visit his journal, drop him a line and most importantly, tell him his mother sent you. He’ll love that. Bloody kid – insane woman, indeed!

Perspective: Who are you when you write?

While A is away the blog still gets to play. Please welcome Ionia Martin from Readful Things Blog!

When you write, whether it is books, articles, etc., do you feel that you write from “you” perspective, or do you alter your personality somewhat to please the audience you are writing for? Do you write from your own perspective when you write fiction, or do you write from that of the character you have created?

For me, the answer is: It depends on what I am writing. When I am blogging, I am myself. The good, the bad and the UGLY all tend to come out (along with furry rodents.) I don’t censor much of what I am thinking and I tend to be very honest about life, the mood I am in and how I feel about things.

It is much different when I write a novel or a short story. The characters may be nothing like me. Sometimes they exude qualities I wish I possessed. Other times they are built of the parts of other people that I find offensive or off-putting. In many instances they do or say things I would not even think of if I was in my normal frame of mind. (Not that I ever really am.)They begin to take on a life of their own.

I feel this disconnect between one’s everyday self and who they become when they pick up the golden pen of writerly wisdom is important, if not absolutely necessary. If you can step outside of yourself and look through the eyes of your characters, I feel the audience can not only sense that, but get to know the characters as if they were real people. I can’t stand it when I read a book and feel like I can’t care about anyone in it because they just fall flat. I need to feel that the characters are real people, with real issues that have a heart, a soul and a mind of their own.

How do draw the line when writing fiction? How much of yourself should you allow to seep into your characters? I believe the answer to this lies with the individual. There are so many different forms of literature and so many different personalities that I don’t think there could ever be an exact science.

So I pose this question, on Katie’s lovely blog and to the woman herself. Do you control your characters or do they control you? How much of your own personality goes into what you write?

Ionia Martin

My name is a Ionia Martin. I am a writer, a reader, a musician, a photographer and a mother. I am also a book reviewer/blogger and love to read books of many genres/styles and varieties. I love discovering new voices in literature and spend almost every minute of my spare time with a book of one sort or another in front of me.

Read more about Ionia, her book reviews and her wonderful thoughts and ideas at Readful Things Blog

Guest Post: A D/A Dialogue Roundtable Discussion

Hey, look at what we did! Thank you so much, Charles, for hosting D, Sean, and Maureen!

Legends of Windemere

(This is a guest post from the D/A Dialogues.  Thank you to Katie for writing this post and I hope everyone goes to follow her site.  Her posts are always informative and entertaining.)

A: Welcome to the D/A Dialogue Roundtable. First, I would like to thank our host, Charles Yallowitz for inviting us to be guest posters on his blog, the Legends of Windemere. This is an honor and I am really excited. So are the characters in my head! So thank you, Charles – this is wonderful!

We’ve been asked to discuss what it’s like handling multiple characters at once, especially when one has a strong, overpowering personality.

D: Who would that be?

A: (Eye roll) Gee, D. I don’t know.

D: Oh, you mean me? Thank you.

A: I’m not sure it was a compliment.

Sean & Maureen: Um, excuse us, but I think we’re supposed to be…

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