Ordeal by headache

A: Migraine, migraine, go away, and please don’t come another day.

D: You call that poetry, A?

A: Nothing I do is poetry, D – I’m bad at it on a good day, and today is not that day.

D: I tremble to ask if you did anything of worth this day?

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A: Watched the BBC’s new-to-me Agatha Christie’s Marple – which, overall, isn’t bad if I haven’t read the book they’re “re-imaging.” If I have, or if I’ve already watched a version of the story and it included Francesca Annis and James Warwick, then it’s bad beyond measure.

D: I think you should stick to your fictional British spies on days like today – you’re running a risk on that one, A. What about your goals?

A: (Whimper) Ask me again tomorrow – tomorrow is the 1st, i.e. official update day. Let’s just say that round 1 of editing for Part 2 (which may now be Book 2) is complete.

D: Well done, A.

A: . . .

D: I do know when to walk softly.

A: Occasionally. I also put a flash fiction piece up for the Electric Purple Prompt on the Community Storyboard. It’s called A Fairy’s Kiss. And, I’m working on a modern counterpoint to the love letters post I did a few weeks ago.

D: I’m just going to keep walking softly here, A.

A: Smart Druid.

Dame Christie Fan? Thoughts on the new(ish) Marple? Aren’t Tommy and Tuppence — I mean Francesca Annis and James Warwick the best, ever?! 

And the award for the most belated acknowledgement goes to:

D: A!!!!

A: What?!

D: What have you done?!

A: That’s a rather loaded question, D.

D: Don’t play coy with me, woman.

A: Really?

D: What did you do to the blog?

A: I thought you didn’t understand this techy, new-age (to you) blogosphere thing.

D: I don’t, especially when you go changing everything on me.

A: I was feeling cramped with the other page; it felt disorganized somehow. Plus: pretty picture.

English: Screenshot of Humphrey Bogart from th...

English: Screenshot of Humphrey Bogart from the trailer for the film en:Sabrina (1954 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

D: Well, I suppose; it does remind me of home.

A: See, not all change is bad, D.

D: Famous last words, A. Famous last words.

A: No D, famous last words are things like: “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.”

D: . . .

A: I’m not kidding, D. Humphrey Bogart. Look it up. If it’s in Wikipedia, it must be true.

D: . . .

A: I love it when he has no words. Anyway, the title was going to be “You like me, you really like me” however–

D: A, that is so tired.

A: I think what you mean is so tried and true.

D: Nope.

A: Come on, Druid, play along! There is such an outpouring of goodwill in the WordPress Community.  I am so lucky to be a part of it.

D: I will allow that my sensibilities are both surprised and pleased by the welcome we have received.

A: Have you been spending time in the 19th century?

D: It beats the jargon you attempt to pass off as English.

A: And yet the outpouring of goodwill stops with D.

D: You were speaking of awards, A?

A: Indeed. This post – or what should have been a series of posts – is long overdue. And it should surprise no one that I’m going to break the rules.

D: You know, that you are so predictable in breaking the rules eliminates the rebellious aspect of it, A.

A: Being 33 eliminates the rebellious aspect, D. I’m not rebelling; I’m just lazy.

D: Point taken. Proceed.

liebster2A: First, many thanks to John W. Howell at Fiction Favorites , Briana Vested at When I became an Author  and Olivia Socum at the Claymore and the Surcoat  for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Liebster translates to beloved, or dearest from German and I am honored to have such an award. And please, check out John, Briana and Olivia’s pages. They are all talented writers with their own tales to tell. It’s been a pleasure getting to know them.

tag_your_it_xlargeThe second award comes from Mike at The Eye Dancers. If you haven’t checked out his blog or his book, do it now. He weaves such interesting stories into his posts that I am always hooked. Mike nominated the D/A Dialogues for the Tag! You’re It Award.  Now, the only version of tag I’ve played in years is phone tag, so this one was pretty fun! Thank you, Mike!

influentialThe third award comes from Patty at the Petite Maguique. Patty weaves beautiful images and poetry, and she’s a lovely human being to boot. Patty nominated us for the Most influential Blogger Award. I’m honored – thank you, Patty.

John at Fiction Favorites also nominated us for the Always Here if You Need Me Award, because none of us should face any of the trials and tribulations of life alone. This award is given to those who have demonstrated that they are around when needed most.  Thank you, John.

Finally – I think?always-here-if-you-need-me

D: Yes, A. Your cup overfloweth, but I believe you may be on the last one.

A: Cheers, D. Maire Anne Bailey at 1 Write Way has awarded us with the Shine On Award. Thank you, Marie!

shine-onNow, there is a bevy of questions to answer in conjunction with these awards, but I’m going to pick my favorite question from all the different options and answer them with you, D. Is that acceptable?

D: That is actually the most sensible thing you’ve done all day.

A: Don’t hurt yourself, D.

D: I believe the appropriate response is “thank you.”

A: Thank you, D!

D: Oh, go answer your questions, woman.

From Mike from the Tag! You’re It Award: What is your favorite season of the year?

A: Early Summer and Fall – both are beautiful in their own way, the temperatures are usually great, and there’s a better chance it will be dry.

D: The Autumn: it was a time of the harvest, and festivals, and for us, magic.

From Patty for the Most Influential Blogger Award: Have you ever taken a long distance train trip? 

A: Yes – I took a train from Wisconsin to Arizona. It was wonderful and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

D: Across Europe during the glory days of train travel. That is truly the way to travel. Plus, murder and mayhem are so much more fun on a train.

From John for the Always Here if You Need Me Award: List something that makes you happy.

A: Music

D: A sweet smile on a loved-ones face

From John for the Liebster Award:What is the most indulgent gift you ever received or given

A: A trip to Ireland when I was 16, which was then followed by me moving to Ireland when I was 18. My parents indulged my more political whims and my desire to have an adventure.

D: When we fought against the Northumbrians, to regain control of southern Pictland, my father and I were captured by a squad of native Selgovae mercenaries. My life was their indulgent gift to me.

A: Gee, D – way to be a downer.

D: Well, we didn’t do indulgent gifts. A bit of a sweet was an indulgence!

A: I suppose. Moving on, so…

From Olivia for the Liebster Award: Where do you see yourself in 10 years.

A: On an adventure. TC will be in college – heck, TC may be out of college by then, depending on what and where he studies.

D: Um, in print, I hope. And out of her head, laid to rest but enlivening the imaginations of all those who read about me!

From Briana, for the Liebster Award: How many books are in the room you’re in right now?

A: More than I can count – two bookshelves and every single flat surface has a book on it.

D: This is A’s imagination: there are library castles in here with more tomes than a man can count in his lifetime, even a man as infinitely creative as a time-travelling Druid.

From Marie, for the Shine On Award – technically we’re supposed to say seven things about us, but we’ll stick with just one.

A: TC and I are dual citizens to the US and Ireland.

D: My time travel beats your puny passport.

A: It’s not a competition, D.

D: It’s always a competition, A.

A: Okay, D. You win. Time travel trumps dual passports every single time.

As for nominations, this is where I really trash the rules. Anyone who reads this, anyone who wants one of these delightful pictures, can have it. If you do, feel free to answer the questions we answered above as well as one additional question: Why do you blog?

Of course, as D and I love to tell the tale, there are a few people, in addition to those mentioned above, that I’d like to acknowledge, for their support, their general incredibleness and the excellent stories they’ve told. It is such a wonderful community here in WordPress, and I cannot express how grateful I am to be here. What was a daydream about what would happen if anyone discovered the D/A doodles in the margins of my edited manuscript has turned into a delightful adventure!

Andra has an incredibly humorous and poignant outlook on life and I love her prose.  Ionia is a star, plain and simple and her posts always make me smile, learn or feel. Helena is witty and fresh and captures her readers for a delightful ride into her world. Charles weaves such a world in Windemere (and others) that is inspiring, fun and completely engaging. Bradley is so supportive of all of us, and his drawings, his music and the stories he tells always make me smile. The Rome Construction Crew is the same and I’m blessed I found them.  Tammy Salyer has a brain that I covet and a flair that I admire. Jack Flacco writes books about zombies. Need I say more?! Okay, how about the fact that he shares his thoughts on a variety of other things in a way that is both cozy and intelligent. Sarah is incredible and I can’t wait for more of her series to come out. Kevin at Critical Margins makes me think, makes me want to do more and be more. And the Community Storyboard? That place made me realize I have more than D in my head!

I know I’m missing someone, or some blog, but those are some of those I’ve gotten to know the best. There’s always the tale-telling to acknowledge the bits and pieces we find in our day, but until then, thank you, all of you!


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?

Attention My Beautiful Guest Bloggers!


Please allow me to put D in a box so this can be short, simple and one hopes, distraction-free (good luck – oi!) . . .

First, thank you to all who volunteered to be guest bloggers while I attempt to cram as much writing in as possible while my dear child is away at his various camps.

Now, to the point: because I want all of you to get the credit for adding your creativity to my site while I’m off-line, I’m going to invite you to be “contributors” for the blog, using the public emails you’ve made available.

In this way, your gravitar/about me information will be at the end of your posts and you’ll know when the gracious public sends gives you the accolades you so deserve.

Of course, there is no requirement that you accept the invitation. If you would rather not, please send your post to ksully1111@gmail.com. If all the posts could be sent/posted on the dashboard by July 6, I will throw ticker-tape parades in your honor and sing your praises to all those who will listen to me screech.

If you would like to guest-blog at the DA Dialogues (and no, you don’t have to converse with D – that’s just how I deal with the chaos that is my brain), drop me a line in the comments or at my email address – I’d love to have you!

~ Katie, also known as A.





The House of Carrick Close

old home irish-welshThis old house is broken and sad/weary with years/it sits low on the land.

Kate rolled her eyes and tuned out her mother’s atrocious poetry.  Bare trees reached up to the heavy February sky. It looked as dreary as she felt.

No one cared what she thought; no one ever paid attention to the teenager, the middle child, the girl.

But honestly, why should she be excited about moving half-way across the world to live in some ramshackle sea-side town so her mother could be inspired?!

Her little brother Charlie was practically peeing his pants he was so excited, but what did a six-year-old know about a dilapidated old – what did the estate agent call it? Oh, right, a fixer-upper.

A disaster was more like.

And her older brother Matthew didn’t even have to live with them full time – he was still in the States, at college. What right did he have to give the tumble-down rat motel his stamp of approval?!

A sloppy splat of snow and rain slapped the window.

Oh, that’s just great. Kate slumped lower in her seat and closed her eyes.

“Katy-Batey, we’re here!” Charlie sang out, rocking her back and forth until her forehead hit the window.

“Ow! Don’t call me that, Charlie.”

“Sorry! We’re here, Mom says to wake up! We’re here!”

Kate resisted the urge to snarl and let her little brother drag her from the car. There it was. Her nightmare. She stood in the drive and stared at it.

Something winked at her from the window.

“What’s that? Is there someone in there? Mom!”

“What, Honey? In there? It’s been boarded up for years – no one has been in there except the estate agent.”

Oh, that’s right, because Mother-Dear bought the place sight-unseen. God, so many things . . .

“But I saw someone in there.”

“Just a trick of the light, Kate. Now, come on, help me unload the car. Charlie!”

Kate trailed behind as Charlie raced her mother into the house. She stared at the window, daring whatever was inside to show itself again.


That flutter.

Kate knew she wasn’t imagining things. Maybe this house – this move – wasn’t going to be so bad after all.


D: Do you call this editing, A?

A: No, I call it writing, D. I couldn’t help myself. Ionia issued the writing prompt “This Old House” at the Community Storyboard and I had to get involved. I like old houses.

D: Do you have any idea where Carrick Close is?

A: No, but I suspect it may be in Northern Ireland. That wasn’t my intention, but it was a quick write-up.

D: Shoddy shoddy shoddy.

A: Thanks, D. I’ll be sure to do extensive historical research the next time I respond to a writing prompt.

D: As well you should. Meanwhile, I sense a preoccupation with ghosts . . .

A: I grew up with ghosts, D. Couple that with a fertile imagination and you have some fun stories.

D: I’ll not quibble with your use of the word ‘fun,’ but I am wondering about the ‘Kate’ in the story?

A: She’s not autobiographical, D – my mother’s not a poet and I’m the one who did the trans-Atlantic move because I was inspired. Kate is my vision of what my reaction would be if I had me as a parent.

D: That is the most convoluted sentence I’ve had the misfortune to read, A. Also, I weep for TC.

A: You and TC both!