The Druid Dazzles with Daring-do

By Green Embers

By Green Embers

A: What exactly are you doing daringly that dazzles so much, D?

D: Wouldn’t you like to know.

A: Well, that was the point of asking the question.

D: . . .

A: I mean, you have something back up all that hype, right? Or you just a flimflam man?

D: Flimflam man? Are you calling me a sham?

A: With yams.

D: You are ridiculous.

A: Yes, I am. And see, I have proof, right here. In writing. Back it up, D!

D: Could I just get on with the tale-telling?

A: Certainly, my dazzling drivel-meister.

D: There is something wrong with you.

Celebrate it

D: John W. Howell, he of Fiction Favorites fame, has been published in The Paperbook Collective. Congratulations, John! Hey, A – do you think he’ll forgive me for mistaking him for that other guy?

A: That other guy?

D: Yeah, you know, that other John guy – John Milton?

A: Maybe if you ask real nice and offer to do a real interview with him, he’ll consider it.

Promote it

D: The Literary Syndicate, your resource for all things helpful in our literary world, has established a “Features” section on his blog. Want to showcase your work – look no further, as Features are Wanted!

A: And check out Papi’s first feature, Angie Skelhorn.

D: I have it on great authority – if one considers A’s assertion a fact (and I’m not sure I do, as she once insisted that fuzzy socks were a requirement for breathing. Her authority on anything has been mighty suspect after that), it can be more than a little nerve-wracking for writers to go beyond the borders of their heads, but Twitter at least allows one to do it while still in your bathrobe–

A: And fuzzy socks.

D: (Sigh) Legends of Windemere scribe, Charles Yallowitz offers up these tips to de-beak the Twitter-beast and instead, utilize the tool as an effective weapon in your promotional armory. Enjoy.

A: With fuzzy socks.

D: Seriously?

A: It’s cold.

D: Moving on.

A: Kill joy. You don’t know what you’re missing. And neither do you, out there in the blogosphere, if you haven’t, check out Green Embers. Green is this week’s Blogger of the Week at Readful Things, and frankly, there is no one more deserving.

Read it

D: there are more than a few talented wordsmiths here on the blogosphere – talented and prolific. One is Jessica Bell, who writes at the behest of Helena Hann-Basquiat. Check out the latest installment of the Bayou Bonhomme serial, In the Shadows.

A: And once you’ve shaken off the shivers and anticipation, check out Charles Yallowitz’s poem, Yesterday, She Was, at the Community Storyboard. It is beautiful and touching.

D: In other words, break out the hanky.

A: Finally, Sue Vincent has some great news – you can download The Initiate, adventures in sacred chromatography, to celebrate the upcoming launch of her books, The Living One and The Osiriad. Find out more on her blog, Daily Echo.

Debate it

A: Helena Hann-Basquiat has a thought-provoking and entertaining piece at the Outlier Collective, Euthanasia is Sexy

D: Did you just use the words Euthanasia and entertaining in the same sentence?

A: Yep. And don’t just think it’s for real people, D. . . characters can—

D: Don’t say it, A. Don’t even think it.

A: Then you know what you have to do, don’t you?

D: Take over the world and ensure that you are slave to my power for all time.

A: . . . .

D: Yep, thought so.

Write it

A: Only 14 days until NaNoWriMo!

D: I think there should be care and feeding tips for owners of writers embarking on the NaNoWriMo gauntlet.

A: Really? Aside from the pejorative terminology, that almost sounds like you care, D.

D: You think I want you going off the rails? I’m all for you trying to write series 2 in 30 days, but I’m afraid if you aren’t kept well, part of it might happen from a hermit cave or worse, a jail cell.

A: . . . your concern is touching. I think.

D: Don’t say I never did anything for you, A.

A: Never would I ever, D. . . .(Insanity is doing something, right?)

D: (You bet your aunt fanny it is.)

A: (eye roll.) Speaking of writing (and not from a jail cell or otherwise) Catherine Ryan Howard, from Catherine Caffeinated, asks, How Much Time Do You Need to Write?

D: And while you’re writing, here are some words to avoid like the plague

A: Do cliché’s count?

D: Maybe…

A: You’re hopeless.

D: Thank you. Keep in mind this list doesn’t apply to all but it is a helpful guide.

Publish it

A: Every once in a while, we do aim to educate.

D: Every once in a while? A! I educate all the time.

A: Pray tell…

D: I’m a time travelling Druid. My very being is educational.

A: The scary thing is, you believe that. But since you don’t know anything about the publishing industry (and I know precious little myself), check out this 2-part series from Critical Margins:

D: If you like your publishing tips a little on the funny side, check out Fiction Favorites and 1WriteWay’s simu-published “Top 10 Things Not To Do When Trying To Get Published.”

Prompt it

D: that doesn’t make sense, A.

A: People can infer, D. I’m pretty confident that the intelligence level around here is capable of that. . . well, maybe not you.

D: I will fong you.

A: . . . .

D: You aren’t the only one who can make tv and movie references, woman.

A: Fine. Fong away. Meanwhile, at the Community Storyboard, the prompt of the week is Yesterday. Check out the offerings, including mine, and submit your own!

D: And The Queen Creative’s Prompts for the Promptless this week is Kintsukuroi. A wrote a lovely piece here.

A: You thought it was lovely?

D: Of course I did. You thanked me at the end. I can hold that over your head for the rest of your days. It’s beautiful.

A: I will fong you!

D: And with that, we wish you good night, ladies and gentlemen – thank you for catching up with us here at the D/A Dialogues.

Tale Telling

d as imaged by Green Embers

By Green Embers

Have I told you? My name is D.

Go on. Click on the link. Read that masterpiece I inspired A to write. It’s posted on the wePoets Show It community blog, and you are going to love it. I do.

A says she’s going to write a rejoinder, but nothing can be as awesome as “My Name is D.”

As is our habit of late, this will be brief. I simply wanted to showcase what our dear friends and acquaintances are up to on the blogosphere. One day, A will do things, I know it. Don’t tell her I said so – it might go to her head – but I have high hopes for her. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have spent all this time knocking around her imagination. It’s not like I didn’t have options. I am a great and powerful druid, after all.

A: You know, D, Oz was a fake.

D: I wasn’t –

A: You were.

D: But you—

A: You interrupt me all the time.

D: Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain! I have a tale to tell.

Publishing Bliss

Not only was creator of worlds, scribe of Windemere, Charles Yallowitz, interviewed by Indie Author News, he’s also concluding a insightful Women of Windemere series with illustrations, poems, excerpts and videos. The series starts with Headmistress and ex-mercenary, Selenia Hamilton.

Did you enjoy my chats with Billy the Kid? Well, the author behind Billy’s genius, Briana Vedsted, has a delightful tale to tell with A Girl Named Cord, which is on sale this weekend for .99. If you haven’t had a chance, pick up your copy.

Anne Rice’s assistant, Becket, has likened a Ms. Sarah M Cradit to Anne herself. I couldn’t agree more. Read more about Sarah’s second book in the Crimson and Clover Serise, The Storm and the Darkness on the Girls Heart Books Tour.

Sarah also has a new novelette, Beyond Dusk: Anne. A hasn’t had a chance to read it (surprise, surprise), however there is every indication that it will be as powerful as Sarah’s other works. Can A and I just say (yes, we do agree at times), Sarah’s works are on our list of most-anticipated. We wouldn’t mention her here if we didn’t want to read.

Another author with a flair for the Southern Gothic is… Jessica Bell. Helena Hann-Basquiat, you have created–I mean found an incredible treasure-trove in Jessica. Read the latest installment in the Bayou Bonhomme Serial.

Artists

Looking for a prompt? Check out Dean’z Wordz at the Community Storyboard. The 30-Day challenge may have ended (Pity A didn’t have the chops to do all 30 days. Watch it, Druid. I control the passwords for the blog. Right. Sorry. Ish.). This week is the cheeky meerkat.

The Community Storyboard also has a new Twitter account. That’s truly splendid.

A: Whatever happened to Twitter being “pointless ridiculousness

D: I said your twittering tweets were pointless and ridiculous. Calling the entire Twitterverse pointless and ridiculous is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, don’t you think?

A: Who does that? Who would throw a baby out with the bathwater? Who throws out bathwater, anyway? And who is this baby? Why haven’t social services been called? What—

D: A.

A: Sorry.

D: Finally, the hard-not-to-adore Rarasaur joined forces with the Community Storyboard to bring you a wonderful series of poems. They are all wonderful, but A has a soft spot for the first, “To the Guardian of My Muses.”

Dread things

The Query Letter. A tells me it’s a hideous thing, worthy of sleepless nights, mania, fits, and all sorts of other things that would have piqued the interest of ancient demonologists interested in one for all the wrong reasons.

Luckily, Ionia at Readful Things says A is wrong.

Well, maybe not. But at the very least, she breaks the query letter down into manageable increments for those who are like A. Oh. That’s all of you? Well, then what are you waiting for? Read Ionia’s post!

Good luck

Helen Midgley, contributing author at the Community Storyboard has entered herself into some contests. Helen writes with a keen eye, feel, ear, and touch (and maybe even smell) for atmosphere. A and I know she’ll have a better chance than she thinks! Good luck, Helen.

Good luck . . . and good night!

A note from A: I love you all. I am desperately behind in my reading of blogs and interacting. I’m not sorry. See first statement: I love you all.

I set a goal to complete Book 1 in the Dubh Súile Series by this weekend, the symbolic end of summer. I’m doing my d*mndest to make that happen. Expect a rousing post on Tuesday. Or a ridiculously morose one. Either way, I’ll be back! For the Americans, have a great and safe Labor Day weekend. For everyone else, try to fit as much fun into 2 days as we Americans do in 3! 

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?

Celebrate good times

Sean thought he understood. Maureen – proud, fearless and free – had been captive to a crazed, driven man. She’d been unharmed, but alone and afraid in the dark. Now, she was bareheaded in the sun, a pistol at her hip, fighting back. Nothing he could say would ever change her mind, but he couldn’t participate.

“You know if you do this, the army will round you up with the rest of them – if you aren’t killed first.”

“No, I’ll get out before they do.”

“Where will you go? Jenny’s won’t be safe.”

“No, but other places will be, Sean. What about you?”

She was saying goodbye.

“I’m getting out, Maureen. I can’t stay here – I doubt I’d be welcome at Jenny’s anyway. The army is going to lock this city down and I don’t want to be trapped here when they do. I’ll telegraph Gerry when I get to Kildare, see if he can put me up for a bit. I’ll wait for you there.”

Maureen didn’t say anything to that, she just nodded and slipped her arms around him for a quick hug. And then she was gone, her message – her mission – clutched in her hand.

D: What does that have to do with celebrating, or good times?

A: Nothing, I just liked it.

D: I see . . . then what are we celebrating, exactly?

A: 100 follows for the blog, 98 of which are not related to me.

D: And the tweeting twitter bird, how many on there?

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A: 125, and only 2 of those know me from the outside world. Plus, we’ve been doing this pretty regularly for two months now.

D: And you haven’t stopped writing in six months. That’s a record for you, A.  I might have to do an epic poem in your honor. In the original Pict, of course.

A: And I haven’t killed you yet, which is remarkable, all things considered.

D: I admire your restraint.

A: You should. I started this whole thing as a way to productively procrastinate, and begin learning and developing a platform for the book. I think that goal is doing pretty well – it’s a perpetual goal, of course, but I’m happy with the progress. It’s also Father’s Day – for a whole two hours yet here – so I wan’ted to send out Father’s Day greetings to all the Dads, Step-Dads, Grand-Dads, Moms-who-are-Dads: everyone. Even you get in on that love-fest, D.

D: How so, A? I was more the child’s sire, not the man who reared him. Circumstances.

A: Still, I think eventually you did well by him – or at least his many-times-great grandson.

D: That is a spoiler, A.

A: Indeed it is, but Happy Father’s Day, anyway, D. Now, if you–

D: Not so fast, A – speaking of goals?

A: Outline part 3. Add some pages to the blog and acknowledge some award nominations. Oh, and drag out the treadmill. We declared a truce over my birthday weekend, but it’s time to enter the fray again, I’m afraid.

D: Is there a war against the treadmill of which I am not aware?

A: No, the war is against my sagging–

D: I’m sorry I asked; I don’t want to know this. Go to bed, A – it’s well past time!

A: Cheers, D!

The Druid Tells the Tale

D: Head over to that virtual marketplace (the wonders of this modern world) and buy Charles’ book, Beginnings of a Hero, now for .99 cents.  It is a suitably epic read.

A: In honor of Father’s Day, I present to you a riff on the role of women in Star Wars: The Smurfette of Star Wars.

D: You have odd ideas about tributes, A.

A: I know, but it was funny and thought-provoking. Plus, I love Star Wars.

D: Fair enough.

When in Rome

female-writer-sepD: What is this, A? Why am I in a box? Is this your idea of a joke – mad man in a box? I find your Dr. Who references to be very inappropriate. . . . A? A, where are you?

A: It’s just for a moment, D. I need to get something off my chest. I need to explain why I took to the blogosphere to exorcise – I mean celebrate – our wonderful relationship.

D: A? I don’t think I like where this is going, A.

A: Tough, Druid. Buck it up.

D: . . .

A: D is a figment of the imagination. I know this. The only problem: it’s not my imagination.

I gave him a place to play, yes. I’ve encouraged his growth, gave flourish to his ego, and even (gasp) appreciated his finer points and smoothed some of his rough edges. But he is not mine.

D was given to me over 13 years ago. The Irishman who would one day have the distinction of becoming my ex-husband read my book and said, “Sure, it’s great. (Liar.) But I see someone else in it.” He told me about D. He was a blond then, a Celt and a Druid. His eyes were still blue but he was actually far more taciturn and far more forbidding. He couldn’t stay in my head for 13 years and stay that way, though.

Hearing his description of D, I agreed. He had a place in the story and I went about writing it in. It wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t great, and I couldn’t read it without cringing in places. The story didn’t sit well with me, so I went to write another one.

It wasn’t until I was half-way through the outline that I realized that D had a place there, too; it was the tale of his beginning. I knew too that if this was his beginning, then he had his own story to tell, and lucky me, I was the one to tell it.

There was a problem, however: I didn’t like him much.

Worse than that. I couldn’t see him.

I’m a visual person. I watch a movie in my head when I read and I’m fascinated by the visual interpretations of books on screen, even if they are often semi-comic/tragic interpretations.  For me not to be able to see D was a big problem. His story is actually one I enjoy (even if he drives me crazy), and I felt like I let him and the story down.

Then, life got in my way. Not only that, but the world changed.

Facebook, twitter, ebooks – it exploded!

I had a website – 3 actually – back in the Angelfire days. One, as I mentioned in our “award” dialogue, was connected to NBC for a brief time. I chatted with Irish, Scots and Basque Nationalists and will never look at the Blue Bunny the same way again.

There are many similarities between that world and our own, but when you’ve been gone – working, raising a child, paying too much attention to the mundane details of life – getting back in the game is daunting.

But I knew I had to do it. I now work at a magazine publishing house. I know how this goes. I know I need to make myself marketable. But I’ve struggled with how. For over a year I’ve been exploring my own brain (scary place) and wondering just how to market myself when asking an avid train enthusiast to buy the latest “Railroad Maps” special issue makes me cringe.

How can I do that when the foundation for my books ticks me off and remains elusive?

So, ten years passed without a word written. Rather, I wrote, but on conservation subdivisions, water gardens and the economics of land conservation. I blocked D off. I ignored him. Friends called, said they were dreaming about D, and could I please write something, maybe?

I tried. I had inspiration. I blocked out the new outlines for a revised Book 1 & 2 that made sense, outlines that seemed right.

But I couldn’t write them.

I didn’t understand, but I knew that one day, I would. I let the frustration go, and just let it be.

Then, it was TC’s birthday. We celebrated his birthday and the world not ending by going to a movie. It was lovely; I still listen to the soundtrack. Every day. My nearly-teen son teases me. I still listen.

This is not D, but TC and I still had fun shooting the pictures anyway!

This is not D, but TC and I still had fun shooting the pictures anyway!

After the movie, I had my celebratory glass of wine (or rather my I-survived-20-hrs-of-labor-and-100-extra-pounds glass of wine). I started thinking about D and the story (because not a day went by in 10 years that I didn’t think about D and the story), and the movie.

And there he was.

In all his glory. It slapped me across the face, gave me goose bumps and made me pay attention.  He had a face. He had a voice. He had a presence that I could see and understand. He was mine. He had marinated in the morass that is my mind long enough, and he was mine.

And so I wrote. I wrote and I blew through the 3-chapter barrier. As we neared the end of part 1, re-writing the entire thing as we went, I realized that the camaraderie I had built with D was something ‘else.’

It might even be something others might enjoy.

Something marketable.

Something that wasn’t me exactly, but was the story, was D, and was faintly entertaining in its own right.

So I blogged. And amazingly, I loved it! I still think Twitter may be Dante’s 8th circle, but it’s kind of fun. I even think I could have another blog (more on that later. . . I might also be crazy!).

My trouble is staying on task, focusing. I need to maintain a healthy disregard for D, otherwise these posts may become a bit of a love-fest, and that’s no fun! I also need to write Part 2, which is hard because I’m not a rabid nationalist anymore. I’ve switched sides, become Sean and I think I might have to OD on Braveheart in order to do Maureen’s idealism justice. The rest of the story is lovely and it’s spinning itself together in a way I had never before considered. I can’t wait to get there.

And then there is D. We do chat. He has a nice baritone, so conversing is lovely. It’s not that I dislike him anymore – I have a very healthy respect for him – but honestly, try living with an overbearing Scot with an ego as big as he is old. Respect, entertainment – it all goes flying out the window eventually.

This is why I’m in Rome. This is bigger – so much bigger – than I had anticipated. But I want to do it. I want to tell the tale and I want to be marketable. D is my brand. Having the support of like-minded people is incredible. And I am so thankful to be a part of the Rome Construction Crew.

D: So, if I’m your brand, does that mean you’re going to stop talking soon?

A: Yes, D – get ready to shine!

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.