It Lives!

D: Picture it, if you will – a bent figure emerges from a nest of blankets and coffee cups. It stumbles. Its legs are weak and it is nearly overcome by the debris that surrounds it.

It is A.

She went into the weekend an uncertain warrior, and has emerged. . .

Victorious!

5 signs you’ve taken writerly hibernation too far:

Exhibit A: Coffee Cups and Cat Toys

Exhibit A: Coffee Cups and Cat Toys

1. You’ve been sitting at your desk so long, the cats start to think of it as sacred space, and start sacrificing their mouse-toys to your benevolence.

2. The furnace dies, lights start winking out throughout the house and you’re pretty sure it may be the end of days in glacier form outside your door, but damn, this is a good bit and you just can’t stop now.

3. You shun email and any other form of communication for so long that you’re thinking a ‘scorched earth’ policy might not be so bad – that can work in cyberspace, right? Right?!

4. You realize it’s a good thing you made a casserole or two before you closed the door on human interaction, otherwise your child might have been SOL when it came to dinner.

D: True story. TC came wandering by at some hour past dark declaring himself hungry. His mother’s reaction (which, remarkably was not to tell him to invade turkey)? Mumbling something resembling: Yeah, food. Just a sec. Five hours later he’s had dinner, desert and whatever else he could rustle up in the fridge, and A is still buried beneath her blankets clacking away at the laptop.

A: I was at a good part.

D: The beauty of this list is that the entire weekend was a ‘good part.’

A: I know. I’m excited.

D: Aside from the fact that I think you killed me –

A: Oi! Spoilers, Druid. And I did not. I’m still editing that bit.

5. A song that is not harmonious with the predominantly soundtrack-like playlist you’ve developed for your writing somehow pops up. Under normal circumstances, you love this song. However, during witerly hibernation, your reaction is to break into tears because you were so close, and jab at the iPod until something far more pleasing appears.

D:This may be accompanied by muttering and swearing, and it may cause your child to raise his eyebrows and back slowly out of the room.

A: He did not – only when he started singing along with one of the songs, which may or may not have induced me to snarl at him, was there any attempt to tiptoe around the writer.

D: And then someone accused you of listening to a dirge.

A: Well, it was a bit intense.

D: A bit?

A: Okay, so OD-ing on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug soundtrack, and Florence + The Machines for three days straight may have been overkill (if you aren’t me and you don’t have a penchant for dirge-like music to begin with).

D: And then you went and added the Henry V soundtrack to the mix.

A: At least I left Braveheart out.

D: Thank the gods for small mercies – I’m not sure smearing yourself with woad and shouting “Freedom” would be all that conducive to your efforts.

A: Actually…

D: That’s an experiment for a different list, A.

A: Killjoy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to Thorin wax deeply lyrical about misty mountains cold and figure out just which Irish ‘otherworld’ D has managed to lose himself in! Good night, folks and thank you so much for reading!

On Tour: My GRL by John W. Howell

Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller

By John W. Howell

Now available on Amazon a new Fiction Thriller published by Martin Sisters Publishing

my grl

5star-shiny-web

My GRL by John W. Howell is fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. . . It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page.” Readers’ Favorite Five Stars – Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi. See the entire review HERE

Visit Amazon

Blurb:

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Author Bio:

Photo by Tim Burdick

Photo by Tim Burdick

John W. Howell’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a three times weekly blog at Fiction Favorites .

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author Contact:

E-mail: johnwhowell.wave@gmail.com

Twitter: @HowellWave

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Working for the weekend

My favorite of the Polar Vortex memes.

My favorite of the Polar Vortex memes.

A: I’m singing in the rain, I’m singing in the rain!

D: Either you’re delusional or you are mocking the weather.  It rains in Scotland. It rains in England. It rains in Ireland. This. This is not rain.

A: Sorry, wishful thinking. One day my spring will come…

D: My irrational hatred for your weather allows me to overlook your off-key singing. How do you live like this? It’s not a fit night out for man or beast.

A: . . . You really liked that Rudolph movie, didn’t you?

D: I’d take that fog as thick as pea soup—

A: More like peanut butter—

D: Over this thing you call ‘wind chill.’

A: I agree. On the plus side, however, I have a few days off and thus will not have to brave our second bout with the Polar Vortex.

D: And what will you be doing with those few days off?

A: Well, there’s TC’s first forensics meet. He will be regaling us with “To Be or Not To Be.” And then there’s the viewing party for the play – I’ll finally get to see it from the front this time. And then there’s our second viewing of the Hobb

D: I did not mean ply us with your actual plans for the weekend, A. I was hoping more to lead you to acknowledge that you’ll be, you know, working.

A: (Sigh). Yes. That’s right. I lead such an exciting, glamorous life that I take time off work, to work. I will be writing for the majority of the next five days. I’ll be putting the final polish – and by that I mean changing the ending – of Into the Mist and hopefully (hopefully!) writing your half of The Coming Storm. And as much as I would, at this point, rather experience the UK’s somewhat dreary version of winter over ours, the Polar Vortex is enabling my intended hibernation.

D: You hear that sound, A?

A: Um, unless it’s your self-satisfied sighing, no.

D: That sigh is the sound of contentment, A. It is the sound of a happy—

A: Aggravating–

D: Character with purpose.

A: Well, I’m so glad. Just do me a favor.

D: Depends—

A: Let me sleep til 8. Can you do that for me, D? Please.

D: . . . .

A: For the love of the heavens, please?

D: For you, and for my book? Of course I’ll let you sleep.

A: Thank—

D: Of course, whether or not you allow yourself—

A: Don’t even say it, Druid. Don’t even say it.

D: Okay, A. May the gods give speed to your pen… or your typing.

A: So long as they give substance to my wit, I’ll be happy!

Ruthless

D: Tonight’s blog post has been postponed due to . . . traffic.

You see, our regularly scheduled performance was hindered by A’s inability to find a yellow apartment block. On Grayden. Numbers, unknown.

Because TC is a boy. And boys give funny directions.

A is a girl. Girls also give funny directions.

A also gets lost crossing the street.

TC therefore, rests his case.

I, Dubh an Súile mac Alasdair, the not-so-impartial judge, think we should adjourn and begin a Wednesday tradition: Story Time. Before you is exhibit A:

Ruthless

P.A.N.D.A.S. Jason Bruges Panda Army Courtesy Google Images

P.A.N.D.A.S.
Jason Bruges Panda Army
Courtesy Google Images

Precise

Autonomic

Neurological

Design

Attack

Sequencer

P.A.N.D.A.S.

“Pandas are known for their ruthlessness, Luke.”

“Heddy, you know that’s not what this was.”

Dr. Heddy Lamar’s aversion to the PANDAS unit was well known in Z Group. I hated to contradict her – she’s a brilliant investigative scientist – but the slaughter before us just did not carry the hallmarks of the famous man-made assassin.

“Oh? I do? How do I know that, Doctor?”

Oh boy. Doctor. She was mad. I had heard that tone before.

Of course, before it just meant I wasn’t getting laid. Now, it meant that a man’s murder might go unsolved.

“Look at his hands, Heddy—I mean Dr. Lamar.” Damn, that glare had not gotten any less vicious. But, she did look good.

“That’s blood under his nails. Unless Lepetomane Corp has developed PANDAS that bleed, we’re looking for a human.”

“That could be Newman’s blood, Luke.”

“It could, but I’m willing to bet a million space bucks that it’s not.”

Heddy just rolled her eyes at me. “Frank—“

“That’s Fraunk, Dr. Lamar. It’s an old family name,” Heddy’s young assistant managed to squeak, despite the furious stare she turned on him.

Good for him.

“Fraunk. Take charge of the clean up, and make sure that Mr. Bialystock is on ice before noon. He’s starting to stink.”

Starting? I’m pretty sure Bialystock had stunk well before someone had taken the broken chair leg to his skull. The final insult had been the blue blanket tied around what was left of his neck.

Yikes.

“Dr. Lamar, look at this!”

“Frank—

“Fraunk, Ma’am. It’s the news. They’re saying a homicidal panda from Lepetomane Corp got loose.”

“See, I told you.

“No, Ma’am. A real panda.”

“But those – those haven’t been seen for nearly one hundred years.”

“I guess they had one in bowels of the research division. It got loose – went on a killing spree, they say.”

I looked again at the mangled body of the famous producer. “But . . . but this is rather, I don’t know, specific, Fraunk.”

“Just listen, Dr. Lonester.”

Perhaps for the first time in the bespeckled boy’s life, the entire room obeyed his command.

“Representatives from Lepetomane Corp say that the panda had been forced to watch movie after movie – comedy after comedy.”

The announcer looked up at her cameraman. “Really?” she muttered. “Genome sequencing? With Comedy? Fine, I’ll read it, but they have got to up my pay-grade for this.”

I turned back to Heddy. Her face was crimson.

“Well, sweet-cheeks, you were right.”

“Sweet cheeks! Why you—“

“What? It was a panda, darlin.’ Now, what do you say, we head over to the End of the Universe and grab ourselves the Special?”

There was the edge of a smile at her lips.

“Go on, Dr. Lamar. I’ve got it here.”

I silently blessed young Dr. Fraunk. Heddy’s smile still made my insides weak. Who cared if the Special was guaranteed heartburn – sometimes, it was more than worth it.

***

At 500 words exactly, D and I present our response to Papi Z’s Prompt: “Pandas are known for their ruthlessness.”

Trivia Time:

How many Mel Brooks films has Dom De Louise had a credited roll in?

Bloody Bard Bares . . .

cowboy-hatA: He rode a blazing saddle…!

D: . . .

A: Come on, D. Aren’t you going to fill in the next line? Hint: He wore a shining–

D: I would think wearing a blazing saddle would be enough mental imagery for the folks reading. As you’ve been reminding me all day, it is a Monday, after all.

A: That’s not the point. The point is that TC has been going over our Mel Brooks catalogue of films (for which I have World War Z to thank . . . because the book it is oh-so-incredibly-loosely-are-you-sure-you-can-call-it-“based”-I-think-they-may-have-used-the-word-“inspired”-and-that-is-pushing-it was written by his son, Max).

D: . . . I just don’t know where to begin.

A: You know, I’m almost with you on that one. Shh. Don’t tell.

D: Don’t tell. . . who, A?

A: And, it’s gone. Anyhoodles, not a bad movie – the Israeli soldier is my new hero. She was incredible. Plus: the new Who.

D: And yet . . .

A: And yet, I’m pretty sure one of the vignettes in the book was referencing Brad Pitt, in which case, the movie is more than a little self-referential. I could be wrong, but that is neither here, nor there.

D: But is it everywhere?

A: . . . Oh, you have spent way too much time in my head. I think I may need to put out a call for a character-awareness meeting, or a play date, or something. Yikes.

D: (Sob) I know!

A: (Eye-roll) We love Mel Brooks – TC was brought up on his movies because he didn’t know how to tell a joke when he was nine, and I’m a horrible mother.

D: There is so much right with that sentence—

A: Oi, Druid. Moving on… I need to make this snappy. Blazing Saddles is tonight’s feature presentation. I cannot be late.

D: What’s he going to do? Send you to bed without supper?

A: The Kid is taller than me, D. Taller, smarter and thanks to Mr. Brooks, funnier. I miss the curtain at my own risk. Besides, my creative torrents need refilling.

D: Well, then – let us hit it!

A: Okay, Mongo.

D: . . . I’ll get you for this, my pretty.

A: Wrong movie, D.

D: There are times when I dearly wish . . .  A would focus on other things – other stories, perhaps. If there’s a short story, or a piece of fiction you’ve been wanting to find a home for, pop on over to The Literary Syndicate – Papi Z has put out a call for submissions.

A: Papi is also featuring a weekly prompt. Last week was awesome (Papi did one, and so did we) and this week looks to be even better: A 500-word bit of flash fiction, in which the following phrase is used: “Pandas are known for their ruthlessness.”

D: Well. Moving on. The witty-but-assuredly mad Chuck Wendig, at Terrible Minds, does a prompted feature as well. Check out the one that went live last Friday – A may or may not participate, provided she can find something in that overheated brain of hers to go along with a ‘psychic android,’ a ‘mad botanist greenhouse’ and ‘left for dead, out for revenge.’

A: I can and I will.

D: Gods help us.

A:Muahahahha! Writers Untie! I mean unite. . . wait, no untying may be more fun . . .

D: A. Focus.

A: Another prompted feature, in which we don’t partake – because reading Helena’s contribution is just that much more entertaining – is the Friday Fictioneers.

D: We also really liked reading Wanderer’s contribution – especially as it was such a contrast to Helena’s – two wonderful writers, two entirely different ideas, from one picture.

A: Which is, of course, the point. Check them, and everyone they link to, out. You won’t regret it.

D: Congratulations are in order, A.

A: I know. John W. Howell’s book, My GRL, is out.

D: I can no longer mistake him for that other fellow.

A: That other fellow?

D: See, John is so much more important, he’s eclipsed ideas of that other John-bloke from my head.

A: Nice save.

D: 1300 years are not to trifled with, A.

A: Indeed. So are you going to Congratulate Mr. John W. Howell?

D: I am – Congratulations, John, on your accomplishment, and many—

A: Many—

D: Great wishes for its success. It looks spectacular!

A: Helena – she of the Dilettante fame – has also been published! Her latest venture, in Dagda Publishing’s anthology “All Hail the New Flesh,” features the mistress of the creepy, Jessica B. Bell. Congratulations, Helena!

D: Don’t forget: if you are – as A likes to say – blog hopping, check out GE Recommends. Green has been putting in a lot of midnight hours with that mystical language HTML and CSS to make it look fantastic.

A: And Green – as well as the regular reviewing editors – have been doing a wonderful job keeping up with all the great entertainment out there to tell us what is good, and that which has been found wanting. Green has compiled a great list of last week’s offerings, here.

D: And the lovely Marie Ann Bailey – she who brought the lovely Mary into my life – has pledged to be a part of the Rebel Writers Creed for 2014. Why don’t you ever sign up for a creed or a resolution, A?

A: I solemnly swore that I would not feed you to the beasts of hell when you inspire my ire. Would you prefer I distract myself from that?

D: Nope. That’s just fine, A.

A: Thought so.

D: So, have you been taking notes, A? Sarah M. Cradit’s author website is now live, and it is chock-full of  all sorts of goodies for fans of her House of Crimson and Clover series.

A: I love genealogies.

D: Yes, yes, I know you do.

A: Don’t roll your eyes at me, Druid. The fact that your family has such a twisty one is one of the reasons I keep to my resolution.

D: And on that testy note, I think we are going to end this with a “New to Us–”

A: But probably not new to you–

D: Featurette.

A: This week, the creators of this blog are not new to us—

D: Indeed, they are dear to us, but this concept is beyond brilliant.

A: It is a story, written one line at a time, by you, the audience. Check it out. Please.

D: And the other is a gentlemen that A just started to follow.

A: And one of his latest poems simply caught my fancy.

D: She is fickle that way.

A: And on that note,

D: We shall adieu.

A: Or otherwise, say good night.

D&A: Thanks for reading!

Revealed: Falling For You by Danielle Taylor

Julia Burns can’t remember a day in her life when she didn’t have to work. So the ad in the paper sounds perfect to her – even if she does have to marry a complete stranger.

Nicholas Steele isn’t used to being around people since the accident that left him disfigured. Having a permanent house guest isn’t his idea of fun, however, the press would have a field day if they found he and his new wife weren’t residing together.

On paper, their ‘fake’ marriage fits both their needs, giving Nicholas a wife and Julia the security she’s always dreamed of having. In reality, every moment Nicholas and Julia spend together brings them closer to falling for each other.

Falling For You by Danielle Taylor
Falling For You by Danielle Taylor

About the Author

Danielle Taylor is the author of the Captive Hearts Series and the WattPad sensation Falling for You, which broke 100,000 reads in less than a week.

 You can find Danielle on:

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Hunted

I heard this wild cry of terror, as though hounds howled against the night.

Photo Courtesy Google Images, labeled for commercial reuse.

Photo Courtesy Google Images, labeled for commercial reuse.

The plain, Mag Mell, was empty – stripped of all lore, all magic and life – and Niamh Golden Hair’s curses rang in my ears.

I would rue the day I had turned from her cause, she had said.

As the sound caused dread to prickle my skin, a part of me laughed. There is a reason Mistress Niamh is Tír na nÓg’s greatest spell weaver and seer, though not many risk the King’s ire to say so.

The mists pressed down upon me. They started to dance. So wrapped up in my own misery – my own hot denial of her visions – was I that I did not see their grasping fingers twine ‘round my legs.

And then that cry. That hideous, desperate cry.

The King. It had to be.

I carry no weapon in the lands of the Tuatha. There would be no use – nothing man has made can harm them now. Once upon a time it was said they could be killed – that the Fae feared man’s iron and the cold touch of steel.

Fairy tales, I say. They were not driven to their hills. They did not retreat. These are bedtime stories to sooth the frightened Celtic heart, told reassure them that the Fae would trouble them no more.

Would that they had known that Fae had little interest in the world of man. Unless, of course, man came stumbling through the veils. Blundering, as I had, so many years ago.

The cry that rent the air told me I was hunted. It is always so for those who can travel between the worlds. Why did I think I would be any different?

Did it matter that I had won for him a war?

No.

Did it matter that donning the name of one I had heard since my days in swaddling – a man-god who saved his king – that I became the myth?

No.

All that mattered now was that I was a man outside of time, beyond the help of kindred, and I had just turned my back on the last of those who cared.

A haunting wail pierced the air, adding anguish to that wild cry of terror. We sang in tune, my hunter and I, and when he ripped the world from beneath my feet, I nearly wept with relief.

***

“What do you remember?”

Dubh an Suíle mac Alasdair lifted his eyes to the red-haired man before him. He looked smart in his uniform, and he was young, yet, his green eyes spoke of many battles.

Every day it was the same question. What did he remember?

Everything.

And nothing.

***

For Papi Z’s prompt: “I heard this wild cry of terror…”

Also, the 450ish words  above are a slightly different version of the opening page of Changelings: The Coming Storm, the sequel to Into the Mist.

Sometimes, giving over to D’s voice is the only way to jump start a new scene, or, in this case, a new book. Don’t get me wrong, the core of this book has already been written – it’s the second part of Maureen and Sean’s journey. Yet, this part here – with D and the red-haired man – this is new territory. And as much as I have enjoyed researching it, it was not something I had anticipated writing… yet. It has not been easy to get into the flow of the relationships forged over a very brief span of time – relationships that are key to understanding why D risks life, limb and time to keep Maureen and Sean safe.

It makes me wonder, for anyone, when you’re shifting gears in a project at work, in the home or in your writing, is there a trick you use, or a method you employ, to help you find that ‘sweet’ spot so you can move forward with it? Or do you just ‘keep on truckin’ in the hopes that it will find itself? Is this where planning comes in?

Warning: Here be Splinters

Castle Hill House Image: Google Images

Castle Hill House, 8 Group HQ
Image: Google Images

A: Did you know that the De Havilland Mosquito was made of wood – plywood, balsa and birch?

D: I do recall something of that nature. If I remember correctly, that is why I had no interest in flying in one of them.

A: So, the immediacy of the war, death, danger and the fact that you never saw a plane before you were exiled from Faerie and sent to 1944 wasn’t part of that reason?

D: And the plane was made of wood.

A: You sailed to Ireland in a boat, didn’t you?

D: Yes, but I can swim, A. I cannot fly if the aeroplane disintegrates.

A: Point taken. See, this is why I don’t use you as a research source.

D: Not that you use your research, anyway.

A: What’s that supposed to mean? I did! I found this great book, Pathfinder, by DCT Bennet (head of 8 Group) that I’m seriously thinking of getting. Then there is the name, location and pictures of a convenient convalescent military hospital for the Druid/soldier with no memory. I saw where the Path Finder Force’s headquarters were in 1944 and I know which squadron of 8 Group flew the Mosquito. I even have a suspicion that the mission on March 30 was pretty much a cluster. It could be suggested, in fiction, anyway, that someone on the German side knew what was going on that night. All in all, it is a perfect backdrop for an interlude.

D: An interlude?

A: It’s kind of like a flashback, but with dips and music, so it’s more fun.

D: I think that is a shindig vs a gathering, A. And stop comparing me to Buffy.

A: Yes, but you lurk.

D: You defy reason.

A: I know. Your patience and forbearance are appreciated, D. Really. They are. No, seriously. Stop looking at me like that.

D: I am not looking at you, I am looking at your name on the menu – what did you do to the blog, woman? And wait! Why is it so clean in here?

A: You’re just noticing this, now?

D: I was distracted by plywood planes and interludes.

A: (Eye roll) I cleaned up the blog, and my name is up there because this blog just got a baby sister.

D: I’m not changing diapers.

A: . . . um, okay. By baby sister, I meant I created an author site.

D: And what does one do with an author site?

A: List credentials–

D: Wait, you have credentials?

A: Stop laughing.

D: (Guffaws)

A: No, seriously D. Stop.

D: (Snickers).

A: Any time now.

D: (Giggles into his sleeve. Snorts).

A: Oh, that’s just disgusting. Here’s a tissue. Blow. Gross.

Perhaps credentials wasn’t the right word, but a quick overview of my work, where else I can be found and how to connect with me on the interwebs. It has a blog component that will sum up where I’ve been on the blogosphere, as well as a recap of our thrice-weekly posts here. Nothing fancy, just another way to promote myself.

D: You mean, when you would rather people not know that you talk to imaginary characters.

A: I’m a writer, that’s pretty much a given, D. Plus, I link directly to the blog here, so hiding you is out.

D: You could never hide me, A.

A: (Sigh) Oh, don’t I know it!

D: Speaking of authors with real credentials–

A: Oi—

D: John W. Howell, Marie Ann Bailey and Pamela Beckford have been published in Issue Six of the Paperbook Collective!

A: Congratulations, you three – that’s wonderful news!

D: And Briana is celebrating her blog’s one-year anniversary with a sale on A Girl Named Cord.

A: We should also mention that Charles completed the draft of another Legends of Windemere novel.  Head over there and congratulate him, and then stay for the song in the post (what, I’m feeling nostalgic for the Verve!). That heady feeling of being done never gets old!

D: And should you feel the need to be inspired, Papi Z has a prompt over at the Literary Syndicate.

A: I feel inspired.

D: Oh, do tell!

A: I feel inspired to have a cup of tea, write 500 words and then go to bed.

D: Don’t tell me this post counts towards that number.

A: It does not, D. You may actually get to Tír na nÓg when I’m done this evening.

D: Wonders never cease. No time to waste then – good night folks! A has to sign off before she gets distracted again!

A: Cheers, D. Goodnight everyone – thank you for reading1

Go Our Way for a Movie Review

adventureswithD-final (1)D: What is this “our” thing? You wrote the Going My Way review for Green Embers Recommends all by yourself.

A: Don’t pretend that you weren’t there vamping in the background of my head, adding a deeper bass to Mr. Crosby’s crooning.

D: I take exception to the term ‘vamping.’

A: That’s what I thought. Between your singing and the sniffling–

D: I did not sniffle.

A: Would you prefer I showcase the balled up tissues and sopping hanky?

D: Sniffling will do, A. Sniffling will do.

A: Cheers, D. So everyone, stop by Green Embers Recommends, check out my review of Going My Way, not to mention Green’s Helix review (so excited) and the most-excellent, first-podcast-ever with Sarah M. Cradit on the Hobbit movies!

I solemnly swear. . .

De Havilland Mosquito Yorkshire Air Museum Image Courtesy Google Images

De Havilland Mosquito
Yorkshire Air Museum
Image Courtesy Google Images

D: You are never up to any good.

A: Yes, I am. I’m up to researching-good.

D: Researching-good? Never mind your abhorrent abuse of words, I thought this was going to be about resolutions.

A: Yeah, that ship could have docked last week. If it had, I was going to mention something about organization, staying tuned because the blog is about to have a baby sister called “author website,” please don’t mind our dust as we reorganize, and that whole thing about only posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (I mean it this time). As it was, that ship found incredibly cold waters, had to take a detour around the Rock of Hibernation and has since sailed.

D: You are taking that metaphor much further than it ever needed to go.

A: Yep, where no man, woman –

D: Or character –

A: Has gone before.

D: Hyperbole, too.

A: I aim to please.

D: Or distract.

A: Don’t look at the man behind the curtain, D.

D: You are a man?

A: (Eye-roll). No. No, I’m not, but thank you, D. That, again, was a figure of speech.

D: Pardon me for being a seventh-century Pict (you know that is not what we called ourselves, right?)

A: (Yes, but no one has determined what exactly it was you called yourselves, so I’m going with Pict for the mo, ‘k?)

D: (Was that English?)

A: (Nope). Anyway, writing Book 2 to completion and drafting all of the Catherine books is my first resolution of the year, and organization is my second. My third is research. Hence, researching-good.

D: Any research in particular?

A: At the moment, anything on Pathfinder Group 8, Squadron 109 and the Battle of Berlin, specifically the attack on Nuremberg on March 30, 1944. I took one look at the Mosquito planes and knew that was the plane Patrick O’Malley and James McAndrew flew.

D: Oh, you’re going there. Oh, joy. I thought you were waiting until my story to tell that part of the tale.

A: Try to contain your excitement, D. I was going to wait, and then I realized I needed to know why you were kicked out of Faerie. The readers will need to know, too. They need to know what the kids are up against. It eases the transition between the first book and the second book. I’m excited.

D: Or you just thought the Mosquito plane looked ‘really cool’ and you wanted to write about it.

A: . . .

D: Don’t deny it. I heard you.

A: Okay, fine. I’m not denying it. But, considering I know nothing about planes (besides wanting to fly one), or WWII (beyond the basics) I was actually hoping to postpone the research, but I just can’t. So, off to the library I go!

D: Can I make one request?

A: Yes?

D: Don’t turn me into Captain Jack. I know you have been watching an awful lot of Torchwood lately, and I’m a bit concerned . . .

A: I would never!

D: . . .

A: His name starts with a J, and your alias’ all start with a D. Any other similarities between you are coincidence.

D: (Mutter, grumble) Bloody woman.

A: Cheers, D!

With that, I’m off to the library – tomorrow, when it’s not below 0° Fahrenheit! Wish me luck! Good night, folks!