The Druid Tells the Tale, Again

no eyes2If you’ve been watching this space and following along, you probably know that A is experiencing some angst over the fact that her attitude towards me, and the story I’m telling through her, has changed.

Really, what she’s annoyed at is that I made her cry.

Personally, I think it serves her right. I may be cantankerous. I may have an ego – when you make myth reality and travel between this realm and faerie, try not letting it go to your head. I may even be bossy and domineering. It’s called having a commanding presence; I did lead men into war, after all.

As penance for all of my perceived flaws, I languished in that fevered place she calls a brain for more than 10 years. I’m the one that had to put up with that feeble attempt she called writing my book – the third book in the series. Gods, you have not seen drivel until you have seen that draft. I hope she burns it.

While I was at the mercy of her guest bloggers (very well done, all of you. Truly, it was a pleasure. And no, I don’t bother to damn with faint praise), A had a breakthrough. She allowed me to tell my tale. And she wept.

I celebrated.

Getting A to acknowledge feelings is akin to wrestling with an ornery alligator. It rarely ends well. Perhaps there is hope for her yet. Usually the aftermath is far more gruesome than a week of low word-counts and a post on moping.

I’ll tell you what is truly wrong with her: she let me out of her head and isn’t quite certain how to make me go back in.

She’ll never figure it out, of course; I’m not going back in.

I’ve tasted freedom. She’s felt my story in her gut, and I intend to make her sit up and pay attention, write my bloody story and publish it, too. She’ll write more on this tomorrow, I’m certain. However, just in case she starts trying to hide what’s really going on with flowery language and big words (a sin of which she accuses me, the harpy), here you have it from the Druid himself.

In other notable news, please head over the Community Storyboard and read the delightful work generated for the 30-day Creative Writing Challenge. Day One was a fairy tale retelling. I will say that there are quite a few grand retellings. A submitted Headless, an American Fairy Tale. It’s charming. It isn’t about me, but it is charming.

Finally, it is my pleasure to tell you that the very talented Helen Valentina has published her book, The Seed. Peruse her blog and allow her words to bring different worlds and emotions to life!

Is it Halloween yet?

Spooky

Spooky

D: No, but it is ‘National Talk in an Elevator Day’ . . . and look at this, A – tomorrow is ‘Barbie-in-a-blender Day.’

A: Which is somehow more terrifying than anything Halloween could throw at me, I think. Do you even know what an elevator – or a Barbie – is?

D: A. I’m 1300 years old. I am perhaps old-fashioned, but I am not dead.

A: (Not exactly living, either).

D: (I heard that.)

A: (Bully for you.)

D: (Why are we speaking parenthetically, then?)

A: (Not sure.) Well, that was fun. Now, back to Halloween–

D: Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that you were running recklessly into the sun and burning yourself because you were so happy it was warm and summer for a few blissful seconds?

A: Months, and your point?

D: Have you ever considered savoring your now?

A: Oh, here we go. I know I said not to mope, and that I had to approach our snark-fest differently because I maybe (shudder) like you now, but seriously?

D: I’m confused. Does that mean you think I’m wrong?

A: Didn’t say that. I’m just debating the need for you to point it out in the first place.

Wait, no, this is supposed to be spooky.

Wait, no, this is supposed to be spooky.

D: But that means I’m right, yes?

A: Shut up.

D: Oh, you argue so eloquently, woman.

A: Cheers, D. I’m just going to go over here and maybe dictate my Halloween party plans aloud in the elevator. Go tell your tale.

The Druid Tells the Tale

I tell a mean tale, so does A. But no one has given us the shivers quite like Helena, I mean, Jessica B. Bell. Deliciously horrifying to the very end, The Best Medicine is worthy of you attention, your rapt horror and most importantly, a click of that link. Go. Do it. Now.

A: Anyone else notice D is a little bossier than usual? Yikes.

D: Anyone else notice A would prefer to rescind all responsibility for the monster she thinks I have become?

Andra has been keeping us entertained with her Orgy of Creative Consumption (Gee D, I think you like these racier posts. Get your mind out of the gutter, A. Never.), describing with her wonderful prose, what it takes to refill the creative tank. I’m fairly certain A either has too much creativity or not enough. I still haven’t determined the answer.

A: Thanks, D.

D: Anytime, A.

A invites the Audience’s participation

Um… anyone else wish it was fall, now? Am I wrong to want crisp apple cider and bonfires?

Moping to the finish line

brooding

This is broody.
Photo courtesy Google Images

D: Are you trying to insinuate that I’m broody?

A: There’s no insinuation about it, D, you are broody.

D: I disagree.

A: . . . Wait, that’s it? ‘I disagree?’ No snark? No, ‘bloody woman’ this, ‘intolerable’ that? Who are you and what have you done with my Druid?

D: It’s a simple statement of fact. I disagree with you. Feeding you insults only encourages you, I find.

A: And I’m not to be encouraged?

D: Not on this.

A: Well.

D: (Ha! Finally got her to –)

A: Oi, I heard that!

D: Drat. It was worth a try. Look here, I am not broody. I’m emotional. I’m magnificent. I am passionate. I do not brood and I don’t lurk.

A: Fine. You don’t lurk . . . anymore. Now that Sean and Maureen know who you are in the story, the need to lurk is less. However! A tendency to succumb to deep thoughts and a touch of anxiety is not alien to your nature, D. You brood.

D: . . .

A: On occasion.

D: . . . .

A: Case in point, you’re brooding now, which brings me back to my original point: Moping.

D: I’m not—

This is broody too, but not what I meant. Photo courtesy Google Images

This is broody too, but not what I meant.
Photo courtesy Google Images

A: Yes you are. And to be fair, I think I might be too. For the first time this month, it’s been like pulling teeth to write more than 500 words a night. Once I sit down and make myself do it, 2k words stumble out , but by that time I’m wooing sleep deprivation with a desperation that is just not becoming. I’m starting to look like Jack’s zombies over here and that could be a problem (and as in Charles’ post, both the Zombie and I could use a vacation)!

D: Are you done plugging everyone’s blogs See, there you go again, stealing the tale-telling . . . intolerable bloody woman.

A: Really?

D: You started it.

A: (Deep cleansing breaths…). See, this is called moping, D. While I was away, and everyone was writing with you, I had the privilege of seeing you through different lenses. It was incredible. Plus, we were still working together, but in a different way: I wasn’t writing with you here, but I was writing with you there. You are Part 3. Now that I’m 40 pages into Part 4 with nary a word from you except in the past tense, I’m beginning to notice the lack of you – not on the page so much as in my mind.

D: I think you are mistaking an empty head–

A: D.

D: Sorry. Please, continue.

A: Somewhere in writing all this, you fled my mind and became your own person. It’s my own fault – I gave you a blog, after all – but your silence is making it difficult for my ideas and words to find focus. Please, don’t be silent. We have 7 days left to write 12k words. I can do it, but I need your help. Stick with me, and I promise your conclusion in this story will be better than anything I cooked up writing the outline. It always is.

D: Go on, say it.

A: Say what? Weren’t you listening?

D: Say it!

A: Fine. I miss you, D. Please liven up my brain. We need you in that gloppy mess.

D: Ha!! Victory is mine.

A: You knew that’s where this was going, didn’t you?

D: I’m not 1300 years old for nuthin’ A.

A: I am so going to love writing the parts of your book where you get your arse kicked.

The Druid Tells the Tale
Sexy.

Sexy.

If you’ve managed to follow us this far, please take a quick jaunt over to Ionia’s blog, where she asks a very interesting question on the nature of allure and (must I use the word, A? Yes, D. You want to tell the tale, call it by the name Ionia gave it. Fine.) What Makes Someone Sexy? It generated some delightful and thought-provoking responses (mine included, of course. A responded too, but she is as frivolous as always . . . Oi, Druid! Stay on task.)

Then there is an incredible piece of Charles’ writing over at the Community Storyboard, a sneak peek at two of his characters, Luke and Nyx. That’s how magic ought to be done.

For those of you who like to support and promote your favorite wordsmiths, Both Briana and Charles are looking for bloggers to help promote their upcoming books. A and I are looking forward to taking part in the blog-love-fest, as A likes to call it.

Finally, this articulate gentleman, Nicholas Conley, discusses that vicious inner voice, which he deems the Self-Cannibalistic Creative Monster. It’s a wonderfully insightful post. A likes it because there is Mark Twain and fun pictures, but I like it for its honesty and truth. And no, I’m not A’s inner voice externalized. I’m pretty sure she ignores that voice just as much as she ignores me most of the time. It would explain so much.

Good night, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for being a part of my tale.

A invites the audience’s participation

I think I just outgrew my “D’s a snarky so-and-so” crutch. Not that he isn’t a snarky so-and-so, it’s simply that I can’t use that as my impetus to get his story onto the page. Now I just love his story!

What do you do when you realize that you (or your character) have outgrown a particular way of relating and creating?

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?

Scum and Villainy

. . . Sean sighed and shook his head. “No Maureen, fighting here – it won’t mean anything.” He stared down at his shoes; he couldn’t face the surety of her idealism. It was stark and absolute and it made her green eyes too bright. Within its grip, she saw and heard nothing else. He was losing her.

He tried again: “Our lives will mean something, in our time, when we get back there.”

Maureen inhaled sharply. “If we get back there, Sean. When are you going to accept that we might be stuck here? When are you going to give up this ridiculous belief that we’re going to be saved from this?!”

She was shouting. Sean just looked at her, impassive. He could see her fingers twitch and he wondered if she was going to slap him.

“We were safe with Grace, Sean. We had lives there, respect. And then we left. You are chasing after a phantom hoping that he’ll find us. I think that if he were going to fetch us from this nightmare, he would have done it already.”

“Maureen, you said yourself you felt something in the mist, some sort of danger. What if it has him? What if he can’t reach us?”

“Why are you defending him, Sean? He isn’t here. He isn’t going to help us. We have to fend for ourselves. I’ve found a way for us to do that and be part of something important. . .”

D: I don’t think she likes me.

A: No.

D: I don’t think you like me, either.

Photo Courtesy Google Images.

Photo Courtesy Google Images.

A: Either you’re throwing inverted Star Wars quotes at me, or you are actually concerned. I can’t quite tell which.

D: Perhaps it’s both.

A: You are that diabolical.

D: That’s just what I’m talking about!

A: Well . . .

D: I knew it.

A: Wait, D. It isn’t that I dislike you so much as that whole familiarity breeding contempt thing . . .

D: You just watch yourself A. I could be a wanted man. I could have the death sentence on twelve systems. . .

A: I give up.

A’s telling the {background} tale tonight, Baby!

When Sean and Maureen left pirate Grace O’Malley in the 16th Century, they thought they were going home to 1958. Instead, they are stranded in 1916, on the eve of the 1916 Uprising in Dublin. While Maureen wants to help the leaders of the 1916 plan a successful revolution, Sean wants nothing to do with it – he would prefer to stay safe until Dubh can find them.

This is preliminary to a “The Tale So Far” addition to the blog. I also thought it might help with the book’s synopsis. We’ll see!

The Druid is stealing the tale back because A’s hogging the blog.

D: Blog hog.

A: Really?

D: You weren’t even going to give me a chance to congratulate Charles and to remind everyone that he’s having a blog blitz for Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, second in the Legends of Windemere series.

A: I was going to—

D: No – no use now, woman. I know what happened; you let all the ‘welcome back’ comments go to your head.

A: . . .

D: And, you also forgot to mention that Briana has a new author website for her book, Me and Billy the Kid.

A: But–

D: And then Helena survived the twister of the century and saw Oz everywhere she went. You should be ashamed, A – you used to think you were Dorothy! How could you not mention Helena’s brilliant post?

A: Um—

D: Not to mention that the lovely Ionia is getting back on her feet after a few trying experiences. Which is wonderful, because I think everyone is missing her dearly.

A: D, would you–

D: Yes, A? I’m waiting.

A: Are you really tapping your foot at me? What are you, my mother? My mother doesn’t even do that to me.

D: Now you’re just stalling.

A: And you’re taking up space. Go on then, congratulate the good people – tell your tale!

D: I just did, A – you were too busy protesting your innocence.

A: Wow. Just . . . wow. I have no words.

D: Finally.

Hope

Photo courtesy Flickr Commons

Photo courtesy Flickr Commons

Other fiction I write has found a home on The Community Storyboard, and my trials and conquests with Paleo have found—wait, no that’s a spoiler – and D has his own outlet here when he takes the blog for a day to tell his tale. I decided that Sundays, instead of being a weekly update from me, are going to be a day for A – otherwise known as Katie. I may be a heathen, but it seems fitting.

I read a letter from my 13-year-old self today. I was supposed to read it 10 years ago, but misplaced it or, more likely, just avoided it. I was afraid it would be maudlin. Who isn’t maudlin at 13?

In it, I was concerned – and rightly so – with the status of my love life. I didn’t have the heart to tell 13 year-old me that we were 10-years divorced, and just settling into singledom after a lengthy relationship that had ceased to serve its purpose. Poor kid; she wanted more than that.

She asked after our daughters. It never occurred to us at that age that we would have a boy. Wow, and what a boy he is. Conan O’Brien and David Tennant met in a dark alley and TC burst into being.

Despite having written her first novel (that I also found… oh, dear!), 13-year-old me wanted to be an actress. She had no talent, so I’m really glad that wasn’t pursued, but I do see where TC gets some of his flair. Luckily, in TC, it has also found a more gifted outlet!

For all her questions and grand visions of the future, 13-year-old me demanded to know if I still believed in my dreams. What she wanted for us was hope. I wasn’t maudlin at 13. I was perhaps a little overly concerned with fame and power, but I wasn’t maudlin.

It’s no wonder D and I don’t have an easy working relationship. I have hopes and dreams, and they are, for the most part, lighthearted. D is not exactly maudlin, but he is a little like the ocean. He is deep, at times unfathomable and cold, furious in his passions and dangerous, too. I am the stone that skims the top of the waves, and he would like to swallow that stone and turn it into sand.

For all that I have been alone, these last two weeks have been the most emotionally intense that I have endured while writing. Part 3 was all about D and the world he’s trying to protect Sean and Maureen from – a world they belong to just as much as he does. In telling the much-abbreviated version of his story, D made me cry. I wept with sorrow for him and all that he’s lost. I raged at him for being so damned ornery. He also gave me shivers and a glimpse at a world I have yet to fully understand. And, at the end of it all, I had hope.

So 13-year old me, thank you. You did well and I’m going to make you proud.

Ever write a letter to yourself? Did you actually read it? 

And so it goes

Where TC spent his summer vacation . . .

Where TC spent his summer vacation . . .

D: Admit it, A. You missed me.

A: That was supposed to be my line.

D: Perhaps – and perhaps I may yet answer it – but you missed the snark.

A: Maybe. You aren’t nearly as fun in the book.

D: I’m a Druid fighting for his life and the life of his charges in the book. I have responsibilities there. How much witty repartee would you like?

A: Well, a smile wouldn’t kill you!

D: . . .

A: Then again. . . so maybe I did miss you, a little. I had plenty to read though, D. You kept the banter going with quite a few people.

D: They did well to keep me amused.

A: Excuse me? What are you, King of the Blog, now?

D: It’s good to be the king.

A: (Eye-roll) No more Mel Brooks for you, Laddie.

D: I promise nothing. I tremble to ask, but how did you manage during your two-week hermitage?

A: I think I did fairly well. Part 3 is complete and I have Part 4 outlined and begun. There are 11 days left in July. I may not reach 50k words for Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m sure as hell going to try. I want this book done. I’m already thinking of ways to re-block the story for Book 2 into a format that will work with the series idea.

. . . and where I spent the last 2 weeks.

And where I spent the last 2 weeks.

D: So have you discovered how you’re going to work my character in there yet?

A: Oi! How did you know about that, D? That was supposed to be a surprise.

D: A, I live in your head. (Whispers:) I know everything!!

A: That is terrifying.

D: I do what I can, woman.

A: You do indeed, Druid.

A’s telling the tale today, Baby!
The turkey that guards the employee entrance at work. Not kidding.

The turkey that guards the employee entrance at work. Not kidding.

Because I’ve been gone so long, and I have so many wonderful people to thank.

I am humbled by the talent and insight I’ve read on these pages over the last two weeks. Whether it was a conversation with D, a reflection on writing or a merging of D into a writer’s world, talent, wisdom, humor and beauty has graced this page.

Each guest author and their piece gave me a side to D that I recognized but hadn’t experienced. To see D through your eyes was incredible and priceless. I cannot thank you enough for that gift, but I will try: Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

To recap the last two weeks:

It started out with Charles of the Legends of Windemere as he demonstrated just how an author’s interaction with characters affects writing and story.  Helena , of Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquait, Dilettante (and yes, she is our favorite Dilettante) caught D being. . . well, D. Sparks flew with Helena’s sharp wit and D’s penchant for crotchety autocratic behavior. I think D has a crush. Next came John W. Howell from Fiction Favorites. D was a little confused and apparently thought he was John Milton (and tried to blame me, the rascal), but the interview was still full of John’s dry wit and self-deprecation. He has to come back, and this time, D will be on slightly better behavior.

Ionia from the Readful Things Blog stole the show then with her question about perspective – who are we when we write? D is a cad on the blog, but in the book he is almost likeable – no really, he is (the lady doth protest too much. D, you are not helping). Marie Ann Bailey at 1WriteWay and D had a delightful conversation in which D tried to prove he could do modern (when he wasn’t falling asleep). While Marie thinks D may have missed me, I think he was having more fun being King of the Blog (Well, maybe a little. What was that, D? You heard me. And that’s all I’m likely to get!).

A sneak peek at a project I hope to debut in August.

A sneak peek at a project I hope to debut in August.

Craig, the Old Hand from A View From the Wheelhouse completed a two-part post (Pt 1 & Pt 2) that delved into D’s mystical side as well as the beauty and pain of Ireland that once spoke to me enough to seed D’s story. It is a haunting piece and D loved doing his enigmatic bit for the blog (I don’t let him wear that hat very often out here). Andra, from The Accidental Cootchie Mama, tapped into D’s darker side and gave us a glimpse at her work. It was rich, complex faintly disturbing and wonderful. I can’t wait until it’s available to read in its entirety, Andra!

TC contributed a post from his blog, the Adventures and Misfortunes of Hector the Aimless. Remarkably, D works very well in the world of Dark Souls. Of course that really should not come as a surprise (I’m not sure if that is a compliment or not, A. Keep guessing, D!). And finally, Briana Vedsted from When I Became An Author, treated D to a trip to the Old West. Briana is the one among us who tames D’s ornery ways and allows his more-innocent enthusiasm to shine. Thank you, Briana.

Check out the posts, if you missed them, and stop by the authors’ pages. They did a tremendous job keeping this blog afloat.

D: A, you aren’t done.

A: What do you mean?

D: I know you went ahead and did other fiction while you were supposed to be writing my story, you faithless–

A: Watch it, Druid! Your story is heady and intense at times, D. I needed a break. But, since it all counts towards the word-count in my world, here it goes:

There have been quite a few entertaining prompts at The Community Storyboard of late. Check out Sweet Dreams, my fantasy entry for the “fire and ice” prompt. Then there’s Being There, for the “You just had to be there” prompt, and finally, Squirrel Commandant Rodrigo does his best to save the world by saving the Princess, in get-well tribute to Ionia. Get well soon, lady!

Save Ionia, Save the World

D: Rodrigo?

A: That’s what you have to complain about, D? The name of the Squirrel Commandant?

D: It’s just that there’s so much, A.

A: . . .

D: Fine, it’s a lovely tribute, A. We all love Ionia and honestly I can’t imagine anything better than a war fought with cupcakes. There. Are you happy?

A: Ha! I win.

D: And here I was just getting used to the silence. . .