Blogging Experiment: The Results!

A: The results are in, D!

D: And the doctors have decided that commitment is the best option for you, I presume.

A: Not those kind of results, D. Seán Cooke posted the results of the mystery blogging experiment he conducted.

D: Wonderful. I still think they’re going to commit you.

A: If they do, they’ll probably give me drugs to make you go away.

D: But I never will; you underestimate my resolve.

A: No, I don’t, D; that’s why we’re here. Enjoy the results of the mystery blogging experiment, everyone – and many thanks to Seán for corralling us all together and conducting it!

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.

Fickle Friday

A: So D, are you feeling better?

D: Better than what, A?

A: You had a few sniffles the other day; I’m just asking after your wellbeing.

D: I thought we agreed never to speak of that.

A: Admit it; you have a soft spot for Claude.

D: Despite that he is not a warrior’s hound, I may.

A: That is the best image ever.

D: What?

A: A Druid warrior with a pocket pet. That just made my Friday.

D: Do you want to know what would make my Friday?

A: No.

D: Oh, come on A, play along.

A: Fine, what would make your Friday, D?

D: You to get over your hang-ups with the 1916 Rising, give Maureen her head, and fill in the rest of Part 2.

A: I’m working on it – I’ve outlined, story-boarded and drafted as much of the ending to that part as I can.

D: Good girl, A.

A: Don’t congratulate me until it’s complete. Besides, I know the real reason why you want me to get on to Part 3.

D: I’m breathless with anticipation.

A: You get a starring role – or at the very least a strong supporting role.

D: And I don’t have to change my name!!!

A: (To protect the oblivious).

D: I heard that.

A: Don’t you have a tale to tell?

The Druid Tells the Tale

D: Head on over to Kira’s My Pen, My Sword for “Add a line Poetry.” A and I would participate, but she’s deplorable and it is difficult for me to carry her and translate my own prose from my native Pict.

A: He’s not wrong. . .for once. And in that vein, Charles at Legends of Windemere has a lovely poem about friendships and Melissa Janda – The Buzz on Writing has a very fun Dr. Seuss-inspired piece of prose . I may not be able to craft a line, but I do love those who can. Even those who can only do it in Pict.

D: It’s not that I can’t—

A: Just accept the compliment, D.

D: Fine. Ms. Briana Vested at When I Became an Author, who is a time-traveler in her own right (D has a soft spot for cowboys. . . She’s not wrong. They’re American Druids, A. With Cows. And horses. Um, sure, D.), is looking to sell 100 books by July 1. Check out her post.  

Claude, Part 3: A Choice

A: D – are you OK, D?

D: (Sniff). Fine, A. Why do you ask?

A: Well, the tissues are a dead giveaway. Gotta cold?

D: (Sniff, Snerf, Blooowwww). No-I mean, yes, A, I do.

A: I always wondered how you deal with modern germs.

D: A, this is not the time for your ponderings on my general health – another post, perhaps? I’m reading about Claude. Go away.

A: You’re reading—Oh, D! I’m sorry, were you crying?

D: I’m not going to dignify that with a response. Move over; you’re blocking my view.

A: Oh, give me the damn tissues; I’m going to read it too. Blankie?

D: And the chocolate too, please.

Double, double, toil and trouble

. . . Sean stood in the doorway, watching them, hating them. He didn’t want to care – their fight, their belief – he wanted it to mean nothing to him.

“You would hate them for their love of country?”

“Pardon?” Sean tried to turn around, but something in that deep voice forbade it.

“Your face, it speaks volumes. You don’t like them. You don’t even respect their fight. They are prepared to die and you despise them. Is there nothing in your life worth that sacrifice? You don’t have to help them, you don’t have to share their belief, but save your contempt for yourself.”

The voice faded and Sean spun, angry words on his lips. The voice and its owner were gone however, and there was no evidence that anyone had been in the hall. Sean swallowed, his words stuck in his throat. He thought back to Maureen, facing Mrs. Mallory and the leaders of the Irish Volunteers by herself.

She was probably having the time of her life, even if she was terrified.

The voice and its message slid from his memory. With one last glance at the men who would soon make history, Sean made his way back to the drawing room. . .

D: What was that, A? Who is chatting up Sean’s mind?

A: I’m not sure. It just sort of happened.

D: A, you may be taking this ‘inspired’ thing a little too far.

A: Perhaps. Are you sure that’s not you?

D: Uh, no. Now, I’m not usually the one to tell you this, but I think what we have is an attack of the darlings.

A: I know.

D: You know what you have to do, don’t you?

A: Find out who that is and thread it better through the story?

D: . . . You could . . .

A: Or I could beat my head against a wall and hope it doesn’t leave a mark.

D: Also an option.

A: I suppose I could just delete it, too.

D: Save it in that overstuffed outtakes file you have. At least until you figure out who it is. And in the meantime, A?

A: Yes?

D: Please figure out where all the home-staging points were for the leaders of the rebellion. If I see the (SOMEWHERE) tag one more time because you have no idea where they might have been, I’m going to take over your hands and start typing for you, too. Take a tip from TerribleMinds and Google Street View the location. There’s no shame in admitting that you’ve forgotten what the city looks like.

A: I have not! I just didn’t have time to put in the descriptions.

D: Right . . .

A: Fine, it’s a good point. Oh, and D?

D: Yes?

A: Who are you and what have you done with my Druid? You’re so . . . so . . . helpful!

D: It’s early yet, A. By the time you get to the breakdown of the rebellion tonight you’re going to be wishing for your fortress of solitude all over again.

A: Gee, can’t wait, D.

The Druid Tells the Tale

D: This is wild, and fantastic and good ol’ Liz would probably have had a fit. A and I love Michael Bradley – Time Traveler’s blog, and between the Conspiracy Theory that Queen Elizabeth I was really a man in drag and the pictures of an abandoned Wizard of Oz theme park, we’re both hooked.

A: And Charles over at the Legends of Windemere has some excellent advice on how not to force the reader to suspend belief about your characters’ ability to take a hit: Don’t ‘Black Knight’ Your Characters (Yeah, A: take notes. Bugger off, D.).

D: She’s just so charming. I don’t know how I survived all 1300 years before being cast into the pit that is her mind. For those out there with manuscripts ready for submission (hint, hint, A . . . . ignoring you, D . . . ) Fight for your Write has found some publishers seeking manuscripts. Since not all of you can be wandering Druid/Bards with every hearth eager to hear the tale you tell, it’s a resource worth checking out!

A: I think he’s up to something – he’s being too nice. Anyway, check out The MisAdventures of Vanilla – there’s a new character in town and he gives me the willies: Stan: The Man Comes to Town.

Thank the bead it's over

D: A, I think you spelled “Bede” wrong.

A: What? No, I didn’t.

D: You mean you weren’t giving thanks to the Venerable Bede even though he has nothing to do with this particular book?

A: That is really random, D. You’re giving me more credit than I deserve.

D: Oh, wait, I know what this is – bad pun in reference to your sparkle-tastic (see what I did there? Very nice, D.) work extravaganza.

A: Yup.

D: It’s over?

A: Yup.

D: Thank the Bede.

A: Well done, D.

D: Wait, don’t go yet!

A: Pardon?

D: If I’m man enough to wear a kilt when the occasion/century calls for it, I’m man enough to admit that maybe it was a little boring around here without our . . . banter.

A:  . . .

D: And I was just wondering if you were going to get back at it, you know, with the story.

A: Get back . . . D, I didn’t stop writing, I just did it locked up in a room for nearly 24 hours so no one could disturb me. Part 2 is drafted and awaiting some in-fill – I think I have at least two pages worth of “GET DESCRIPTION” “FILL IN HERE” “FIND OUT WHAT THE HECK YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT” tags.

D: Wait, but I – but you! A! How could you!?

A: Sometimes, silence is golden, D.

D:. . . .

A: There’s still a lot of work to do. You can help. You’ll like it, I promise.

D: Promises, promises. Bead there, done that.

A: I’ve created a monster.

Telling the tale

Aside from Green Embers’ epic song dedication for TC (the child)’s last day of school on Friday, we have no tale to tell today – mostly because there are 200+ emails waiting to be read. We don’t know which tale to tell! Locking oneself up in a room for a day and then working all day the next is great for writing and overtime pay, but not so much for communication with wider world!

There is, however, a guest post pickling in my brain, and something for the RCC running around my head, and they’ll be done this week – along with another entry into the life of Claude. In the meantime, there’s this (one of the few bits that doesn’t have a “I have no clue what I’m doing” tag… yet).

“. . . Gerry mentioned in his note to me that you might have more information than you were letting on, that I might find you useful. Prove it, be useful.”

Sean glared at Mrs. Mallory. He didn’t let go of Maureen’s arm and when she made to speak, he squeezed. “I told you–”

“And I told you that I could find many to do for me. Remember Master Sean, I know quality when I see it. You two are, I don’t deny it, but I need more than that right now. Those are the conditions for staying with me. Help me, help the cause and I’ll clothe and feed you. You may even be able to earn a bob or two of your own – pay your way out of my service, if you will, since it is so distasteful to you.”

Maureen shook off Sean’s grip. “Would you mind leaving us to discuss it, Mrs. Mallory?” Maureen’s voice echoed Mrs. Mallory’s mouth – hard and cool.

 Jenny Mallory nodded silently and left the drawing room, closing the door behind her.

Sean turned on Maureen. “Maureen, you promised . . .”

Dark moon rising 6.6.13

D: A I don’t feel very good about this.

A: Superstitious? You?

D: Um, A – I traveled through time; discovered that the Tuatha Dé Danann were real, lived actual myths and created a few of my own. You have to ask?

A: I know, but it really isn’t anything – it’s not a full 666 and I don’t think 13 is unlucky. It has a 3! We like 3s.

D: And the dark face of the moon this week? That means nothing to you?

A: I like new moons. It’s a good time to shed your skin.

D: You defy reason, A. That is a whole lot of little things piling up into one great big thing. And you have a black cat.

A: Isis is about as threatening as a teddy bear, unless you don’t feed her. Then she’s likely to gnaw your face off in the night.

D: Did you feed her?

A: Um…

D: Ohmygodsweareallgoingtodie!

A: Hahahahahahahaha!

D: That is not funny, A.

A: Oh, yes it is, D.

A’s telling the tale today, Baby!

While D hides in the corner (I resent that!), I’m taking over the tale-telling. Don’t tell D, but I just made all that up. It was fun, too!

Here is some numerology on today for you, courtesy Matrix/Astrologyland; I think it’s’ lovely:

Today is a “9”.  A day to see the larger picture, think deeply and freely. Play in the realms of philosophy and spirit. It’s also a good day for travel and learning. It is a good day to enjoy poetry, music and the arts. Be tolerant of others.

D: You are a dirty, rotten liar, A. I’ll get you for this. (And my little dog too? You’re mocking me. Yup.) Congratulations are in order! A Room of His Own, A True Story of One Cat, on The Community Storyboard, has been Freshly Pressed. This is wonderful news. The story is touching and a beautiful example of the lengths we will go for our animals.

A: It’s Thursday! That means another installment of Harry Steinman’s Marketing/Self-Publishing Series at Readful Things Blog. Today, he discusses Kickstarter.

“If you want to protect them, protect what is left of that timeline. Make sure they are safe; hide them if you must. He will take action, and there are still some who will support him.”

She was giving him leave to go, but Dubh hesitated. He stood before the door and gazed back at her. Underneath her warnings, she was talking about revolution. Nuada was king, emperor, god of Tir na nOg, and there had been peace for a thousand years. There were rules governing the travelers, rules that had once been just. However, if what Niamh was saying was true, then perhaps it was time. If Nuada had sent Sean and Maureen to 1916 . . . well, then it was time.

Claude, Part 2: Escape

A: Here it is, Part 2!

D: Cute pup. My hounds would have had him for breakfast.

A: Not so fast, D. Claude is on his way to being an angel. I have a feeling he would have stuck in your hounds’ throat.

D: Possibly. Although, I impersonated a god and that never stopped people from trying to kill me on the battlefield.

A: There must just be something about you, D.

D: Gee, thanks, A.

A: That wasn’t a compliment, D.

Just click your heels three times

Dorothy Gale

Dorothy Gale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

D: Oh please, A, not a post about your obsession with that girl and her sparkly red shoes.

A: They’re really silver, but Ms. Garland did make the red ones iconic. I have a few pairs myself. Did you know, when I was little, I thought I was Dorothy?

D: I wondered why there was a little dog up here.

A: And I made my mother glitter a pair of my mary-janes.

D: That does not surprise me at all.

A: It really shouldn’t. There’s a reason I found a home at Kalmbach.

D: I thought it was because it was a publishing house.

A: Well, yeah, that’s what I tell people. But really, it’s the sparkle. It reaches down to us in customer service – they can hear it in our voices. (Unless you’re a train enthusiast, and then it’s the steam engines/diesels/something or another/insert your favorite here.)

D: So the show is going well, then.

A: Fan-sparkle-tastic.

D: I have no purpose here.

A: What, you don’t like a little razzle-dazzle? What do you call all those facial and arm adornments, the clasp on your cloak and the embroidery on that flashy tunic you wear while you tell the tale? Hm?

D: They don’t sparkle, A.

A: Same idea, D. If I recall, you seemed to like Niamh’s sparkle.

D: That’s magic, and it’s different. Are you insinuating–

A: It is not different: sparkle is the mortal way of having magic, D. You should know that. You need to go back to Druid School.

D: Druid School?

A: Druid School. Cheer up, D. Have a cookie.

The Druid Tells the Tale:

Razzle-Dazzle indeed. I pretend not to understand the crazy world A inhabits, but Amazon would really like to downgrade both your intelligence and your common sense. Read Green Embers’ opinion piece and visit the Legends of Windemere for a real-life example of this ridiculous practice.

A: And for a little more sparkle in your world, read Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquait, Dilettante. Her unique take on nursery rhymes were a particular delight!

(And, to tease D about Niamh’s sparkle, read on! A!! It wasn’t like that! Muah-hahahaha, payback is mine!)

. . . Colorful hangings, woven by Niamh’s mother, graced the walls. A few, Dubh noted, were newer. These were Niamh’s own, then.

“You’ve gotten better,” he remarked, pointing at one, its tones of rose, yellow and blue twisting a pattern that shifted as he watched. It trapped him in its weave, telling a story. Dubh tore his eyes from it. He didn’t have time for the tales it could tell.

“Sit, Dubh, please. Glowering at the tapestry will not help you find Sean and Maureen any faster.”

“So you know?”

“I know, and I’m not the only one. We felt it, your waking. It has been so long. We thought them all gone from your world, thought you were the last one. It was powerful, Dubh.”

He turned and regarded Niamh closely. Her golden hair was twisted in tight braids and within the intricate weave were glimmering stones. Bits of magic that looked like flowers, but sparkled as she moved, crowned the head that barely came to his chest. She was a woman grown, and she knew power.

“Then you know what happened? You know what I did . . .”

On with the show

A: No, D. Don’t do it.

D: What?

A: Don’t make me choose between you.

D: A?

A: I mean it, D. This is work.

D: But I—

A: No, I mean, they pay me. I have to.

D: But–

A: It’s the Show, D. I have to go; I’m scheduled.

D: A, you can find time.

A: You don’t understand, D. It’s. The. Show.

D: . . .

A: Bead&Button. The Show.

D: I don’t think—

A: The Bead Show, D. The Bead&Button Show, the biggest in the world.

D: But why?

A: I’m in customer service, D. It’s expected. There’s a registration desk with my name on it. It is my duty.

D: Oh, duty! Well, then A, forgive me. I didn’t understand. Under the circumstances, I grant you dispensation.

A: You’re not the pope, D.

D: And you’re a heathen, A.

A: . . .

D: . . .

D: Enjoy the night off, A. I expect two times the words and effort out of you tomorrow, however.

A: Um, about that. . .

D: Tomorrow, too? All right then, fine. On Thursday–

A: Yes, well. . .

D: And Thursday?

A: How do you think I keep myself in flash drives and bandwidth, D?

D: Flash drives and what? I will never understand you. Fine, abscond from your duties. I’ll just go hunt down some unsuspecting—

A: D, behave yourself. No unsuspecting anything while I’m gone.

D: Impossible woman.

Good, she’s gone. If you are a beader, this show is very . . . well, I’m not a beader. I’m not even sure what a beader does. Does it involve a loom? My mother did beautiful loom-work. Well, hello, A. What are you doing back so soon? Forget something?

A: Yes, you apparently. Don’t bore the good people, D. Tell the tale and be done with it.

D: Task-master. I feel honored that anyone deigns to read these words, and now it is your turn to honor the special people in your life: Green Embers now features song dedications, and Petite Magquie has something she calls Poetrics, which are lovely.

A: In that vein, visit Andra at the Accidental Cootchie Mama and read her series honoring her journey back to see her Grandmother’s home. It is beautifully written and poignant.

D: Say, A. Do you know how to do anything poignant or artsy?

A: Um, I can sew a button or, you know, write. But beyond that? Bead? Loom? What?

D: Maureen makes so much more sense now.

“. . . Grania has enough to do without playing nursemaid to a lass who doesn’t need one. She did try to teach me spinning once, but that was a miserable failure.”

Sean laughed. “Spinning? You mean, spinning wool? You?”

“It was a bit of a disaster.” Maureen made a face, remembering. “I felt a little bad that I was so awful at it. I think spinning is the one domestic thing she really enjoys. The sound is soothing enough, I suppose. She did hint that if I wanted a life after seafaring, I might want to learn something domestic.” She looked up, meeting Sean’s eyes. “I think I’d rather take my chances convincing Grandfather about University . . .”