Living Musically – Scatterbrained Edition

happy music

Happy Listening
Photo courtesy Google Images
Labeled for Commercial Reuse

A: I think my iPod is trying to tell me something.

D: Um. . . you are aware that it is an inanimate object, correct?

A: Says the character in my head.

D: My point still stands.

A: All right, so I know just hitting “shuffle” on all songs is problematic, as it is likely that I will hear the same song twice – but twice in once week?

D: You know the trick, right?

A: Yes, follow Jack Flacco’s suggestion and make a smart playlist that only plays songs I haven’t listened to in over X-amount of days.

D: Oh, I was going to say . . . well, never mind. Jack is right.

A: No, what were you going to say?

D: No, really, it’s okay, A.

A: Tell me.

D: Wow, did you know your eyes get all funny and –

A: D.

D: Fine, I was going to mention something about pipers and a fiddler and (voice gets quieter) maybe some pan pipes

A: . . . Yeah, Jack’s suggestion works better. Be that as it may, I Found a Reason to verily and voraciously vaunt the veracity of vindictiveness.

D: Wow, I was going to taunt you for not making your alliteration make sense . . . but you did it, A.

A: Yeah. I did.

D: I bow down to your greatness.

A: Oh my god, are you dying?

D: No. I don’t even think Bjork is dying during that track A.

A: Maybe not, but it’s pretty.

D: You know what else is pretty?

A: Ponies?

D: No.

A: Butterflies?

D: No, A—

A: How about Pearls?

D: A!

A: (Grins) Yes, D?

D: You are hopeless. And obviously have had too much sugar.

A: Or not enough.

D: Did your iPod ever forgive you for giving it the Blues last week?

A: Sort of. It keeps taunting me though.

D: How so?

A: With this:

D: (Snicker) Oh, that’s not very nice. Anything else?

A: Well, this one made me smile a lot – even if it was wishful thinking.

 

D: Right, because you’re closer to the Heart of the Ocean than you are to summer.

A: But if I were in the ocean, I would have to ask a very pertinent question.

D: What’s that?

A: Where Are We Now?

D: Oh boy, this is getting a little ridiculous, A.

A: You know what that’s called, D?

D: I’m afraid to know.

A: Friday. That’s what it’s called.

D: (Eye roll) Do you have any other music you’d like to incorporate into our dialogue?

A: Only that I intend to go ‘Rock’n Me’ butt off tonight?

D: Really?

A: Does it count if it’s at the YMCA?

D: Are you quite finished?

A: Yes.

D: Finally.

A: I mean no – there are two honorable – or not-so-honorable as the case might be for the second one – mentions for this week.

D: You know, you were supposed to limit these lists to 5 songs, right?

A: Yeah, well, when have I ever followed the rules, even my own?

D: Right. Never. So, these mentions?

A: The Woodland Realm. One, because it is beautiful and two–

D: I know, I know, it came from the Hobbit Soundtrack. You really do need to implement Jack’s suggestion. You listen to that all week long.

A: I know, but when it comes up in “all songs” I have to list it. It’s required.

D: Uh huh. And the other one?

A: Super Freak.

D: There’s no need for that kind of language, A.

A: No, it’s the song.

It came on just as I was pulling into work – that was the biggest grin I’ve had at 7am in a long time!

D: . . . .

A: Don’t give me that look. Helena had Pornographers on her site (and some incredible music that I cannot wait to go home and listen to!)

D: Uh huh.

A: Smile, Druid – you know you want to. Happy Friday everyone. Hope you enjoyed my musical adventure this week – thank you for stopping by, reading and listening! 

Dream-maker

This is *not* from my dream - it is however, a landscape inspired by another dream... one with a Druid, two orphans and the Faerie realm.

This is *not* from my dream (okay, the milk bottle may have been inspired by that beautiful, beautiful apartment, but that’s it. Honest). It is, however, a landscape inspired by another dream. That dream is home to a certain Druid I call D. 

I don’t remember my dreams very often. Those I do are worked into books (thanks, D), pondered because they’re just weird, or immediately discarded because they’re so horrible, I’m afraid of incurring the feeling of them throughout my day.

Sometimes though, the dreams I remember are heralds. Not in a way that is prophetic – there are no lotto numbers rattling around my subconscious, nor are the answers to the universe (besides, I think someone already figured that out and it is 42). The closest I’ve come to prophesy is when my dream life tells me my girlfriends are expecting. This is only useful if said friends are coming to a party, and I need to make sure there is something for them to imbibe.

By heralds, I mean the dream shows me something – something about myself I want to shine brightly, or something I know I can do and want to incorporate into my life. I dreamt one such herald three years ago. It started out with a field trip. I can’t recall if we were students in high school or college, but we were on a bus, heading back to dorms. It quickly shifted to having to return to school. I was given a choice: stay in the city or go back to school.

I stayed.

I said goodbye to all my friends, promised to call and began living my life.

I remember feeling a tremendous relief that I never had to go to school again, that I was never going to be expected to measure up to someone else’s metric, that I could learn for its own sake, do things for their own sake and live how I wanted to. Never mind that I had not been enrolled in school for at least 3 years at that point.

The freedom of not being beholden to anyone was a beautiful feeling. I remember rushing through this delightful city (still don’t know where it was – or whether it is a real place) and made my home in some sort of warehouse or loft. I have no idea how long I stayed – long enough to decorate though, and let me tell you, it was fabulous. It mixed up the best of shabby chic, art nouveau, reclamation and all sorts of wonderfulness in a way that I have only ever – pardon the pun – dreamed about. I still draw pictures of what I remember so I can have the ideas when the time comes to move and redecorate an apartment – which, if the gods are kind, will not suffer Wisconsin winters, and perhaps make use of that EU/Irish passport languishing in my drawer.

So, aside from lusting after the apartment, what made this dream shine in my memory was that I was leaving. Again. I left the apartment, and the leave-taking was done in rather short order. Not only that, but I had with me a single suitcase and box. I was travelling light, and although the apartment was incredible, I wasn’t sad to see the things go.

The box, by the way, was for those items that were not mine. I had the wherewithal to recognize that I had pilfered some of my best friend’s things and would have to send them back to her. See, Christine, you’ll get that purse back. Eventually.

The final leave-taking of the dream was bittersweet – not in the dream, mind, but for me upon waking. It was also the only true herald it contained – so far.  In the process of packing up my life (and that gorgeous apartment), I realized I was leaving my then-boyfriend. It took two years for this part of the dream to become a reality, but even then I knew, in the dusty recesses of my heart, that the relationship wouldn’t last, that it was a thing I would eventually have to grow out of. It wasn’t a bad feeling; it just took a while to acknowledge.

I am not ashamed to admit that I also lied about this part, when I shared with said boyfriend this ‘really awesome’ dream I had (forgetting that I’d dumped him at the end). It’s not really nice to tell your then-paramour that the best part of the dream was the fact that you were leaving him. It’s just not polite. But now, I can admit that the leaving was the best part. I was headed off into god-knows-where, but I was happy. I was relieved. And the world held in it a promise of more.

It’s something I need to remember more often.

For today’s WordPress Daily Prompt, Sweet Dreams.

In the News

A: Green did his own version of the Daily Prompt, here. And thanks to Green for reminding me that these daily prompts exist. Because I had no idea what to put out there today.

D: Of course, that implies that she has an idea of what to put out all the other days she manages to post.

A: Oi – watch it, Druid. There’s all sorts of leave-takings–

D: But never mind the creative genius glaring at me from the corner.

A: Nice save, D.

D: I thought so. In other news, John W. Howell’s new book, My GRL is available in a few new locations. Check them out and tell him the Druid sent you.

A: Because that will make his day. Our favorite Dilettante is going places, too – there’s a new installment of the Jessica B. Bell Bayou serial, and there’s a twisted little tale over at the Community Storyboard.

D: Not only that, but her Kickstarter has reached 55% of its goal – stop by and congratulate her, and while you’re at it, sign up yourself. There’s less than a month to go, and there are some delightful benefits for participating!

A: Also, Scott Navicky, a new-to-me author of the novel, Humboldt, or The Power of Positive Thinking, had an excellent interview with the Chicago Literati. My favorite takeaway: Mr. Navicky considers himself a “magpiethinker.” That word sang in my head for the rest of the interview.

D: And finally, Ms. Marie Ann Bailey had a wonderful interview with Paperbook Collective curator, Jayde-Ashe Thomas. It’s a wonderfully cozy, informative and charming interview. Both Marie and Jayde are lovely, and the interview is a delight to read.

A: And that is it for today, folks. Thank you for stopping by and reading and have a fantastic day!

A Not-So-Shocking Adventure

adventureswithD-final (1)D: Ever want to hear A’s actual voice?

Me neither, but apparently, Green thought otherwise, and the two of them have ventured into Podcast Land to bring you The Not So Shocking News Dialogues at Green Embers’ Recommends.

Personally, I think A needs to hire a voice actor for me. I have a short list of those I think would be suitable.

A: Um, D . . .

D: Yes?

A: There is no way any of those men are a) interested b) remotely affordable in terms of “hiring” and c) I don’t think that one is alive.

D: Kill joy.

A: Indeed. Head on over to Green Embers’ Recommends, everyone, and enjoy the podcast. It’s 20 minutes of harmless nonsense, and we had a lot of fun putting it together. Plus, there’s links. And a raccoon with rocket launchers. It can’t get much better than that!

Deeper

snow3

The winter that started it all (and the view from my window).
February 2014

He whistled to his comrades to run – the humans were at it again.

It had all started in the winter of ’14 – the winter that never truly ended. So many had died; so many younglings that never woke up.

Now, life rarely managed to struggle through the dry, crusted ice that covered the world. Those with the biggest teeth, fiercest claws and toughest hide snatched at it first, anyway. Bark, snails and grubs weren’t plentiful, but at least they could still be found.

Cold and starving, the winter burrow became their only burrow. Each year it went deeper and deeper, as the frost line chased them into the earth. Other things chased them into the earth, too – things that had claws and teeth to gnash and tear, but not the hides to protect them from the raw winds.

Humans.

Man had begun to dig. Their holes made the earth tremble. They brought fire down below and choked out what was left of the life there. He and his people moved beyond their reach, but they kept coming, ever deeper to escape the cold.

Their cities withered and died up top, but what was left of man no longer remembered what life was like in the sun. They were wrinkled and pale under their coating of dirt. With fingers crabbed and backs stooped, their lives had become fierce and bloody.

He knew because when they first descended into the ground, they brought what was left of their learning with them. But even as the humans forgot, he and his kin began to remember.

It was a bitter trade.

He whistled again. The younglings were too far behind. He scampered back, tried to rally them.

So tired. So tired of running.

Every Full Snow Moon, it was the same thing. What was left of man begged the gods to let the ice recede.

No, he shrilled. We have to survive – you have to survive, to teach the next generation.

Maybe if the younglings lived, one day things would change. Maybe they would reclaim the sky.

The earthen wall behind him crumbled. They had come. The younglings scampered and he snatched and bit at the reaching hands. They swiped at his fur and their claws dug in his skin. He wanted desperately to flee, but they would just keep chasing him.

No. He would run no more. He would make his stand here, and give his kin the chance to flee to deeper, warmer, lands.

The humans were armed with more than their hands and jagged claws, but he didn’t see it until it was too late. The club came down and all went black.

When he woke, the whispers of lost lore surrounded him. They filled his ears and made his heart ache.

“Will it be spring?”

“Will the snows recede?”

“Will the sun shine on us again?”

They didn’t even know what the words meant anymore. It was all part of the play. So many of his kin had given their lives for this charade and now it was his turn, too. At least the younglings would live to see tomorrow. It was enough.

The groundhog never stood a chance. The knife flashed in the weak firelight, and the remnants of humanity cackled and cried over his blood.

For Papi Z’s flash fiction prompt: “The Ground Hog never stood a chance,” in honor of the never-ending winter of 2014.

In other News

D: Congratulations, A.

A: Um. . . pardon?

D: Congratulations. It’s your 200th post.

A: Oh yeah, it is. Good lord, how did that happen?

D: I’m not sure. For a scribe who spent 10 years not writing, 200 posts in less than a year isn’t bad.

A: I’d say – and considering Ragnarok is nigh, I made the milestone just in time!

D: So, how do you think that’s going to pan out?

A: Loki. Loki wins.

D: That’s not even – it wasn’t a question of who–

A: Doesn’t matter. Loki wins.

Courtesy Giphy

Courtesy Giphy

D: (Eye Roll) Odin help us.

A: Ha! Not bloody likely.

So, that’s all for today, folks – thank you so much for stopping by the D/A Dialogues. We’ve had a lot of fun these last 200 posts. Here’s to 200 more!

Living Musically – Yesterdays Edition

Worrisome Heart Image courtesy Google Images, marked for commercial reuse

Worrisome Heart
Image courtesy Google Images, marked for commercial reuse

D: I know what you did, A.

A:Um, pardon?

D: I know you cheated on your iPod.

A: Snitch.

D: You did, don’t deny it.

A: Okay, so the whole muttering “snitch” thing was more a surly acceptance of my guilt than a denial. Yes, I did it. I cheated.

D: Well, that takes the fun out of castigating you.

A: I know. You’ll find other ways, I’m sure. So I cheated, but I had good reason: Out of this whole, horrible winter, this week has been the worst, driving wise. Mostly because I think the plows have just given up in despair, and frankly, I don’t blame them.

D: How does this excuse your worrisome heart?

A: I think that might be cheating ears, D. I still love my iPod, it’s just sometimes I like my playlist better than its playlist. When I’m white-knuckling the steering wheel, there is nothing more jarring to the senses than to have a Mr. White Keys start blaring after a lovely sojourn with Beethoven’s 7th.

D: I suppose. . . Tramp.

A: That’s enough, now.

D: Hussy.

A: Oi, Druid.

D: Fine. I’m done. Did your iPod have anything to say about your horrid behavior?

A: It threw the only Fleetwood Mack song I own (Tusk) at my head.

D: Hahahahaha!

A: Yeah, and then we played Learnin’ the Blues.

D: Even better.

A: And then the Beatles reminded us of better times with Yesterday.

D: All of this was in order?

A: No, but it should have been. Then we had a bit of a chat over The Coffee Song.

D: Oh, see – there’s hope for reconciliation, yet.

A: And then, today, as I pulled into the parking lot at work, Rock-a-Hula came on.

D: Payback.

A: Uh huh. I’m sure we’ll get back on track. . .

D: Nice, A.

A: I thought so.

In the News

Reading

Drab, dreary and cold... this is what greeted me as Rock-a-Hula came on.  Maybe in six months or so, Mr. Presley

Drab, dreary and cold… this is what greeted me as Rock-a-Hula came on. Maybe in six months or so, Mr. Presley

A: Check out Ionia’s Reading Corner at Green Embers Recommends, for a spotlight of Ionia’s latest reviews from Readful Things Blog. While you’re there, you should also take a gander at all the other great editor spotlights and recommendations, including an excellent review of RoboCop.

D: For your mindless weekend pleasure, right?

A: That’s what I thought too, but Green had some great insights into the movie.

D: I’ll take your word for it.

A: No you won’t, but that’s okay. Green doesn’t mind. Elsewhere in reading, if you haven’t checked out the Legends of Windemere series, now is your chance – starting tomorrow, the first book in the series, Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero, will be free.

D: Indeed – stop by Charles’ site, wish Luke and his friends a very happy first birthday, and then get yourself a copy of the book!

Writing

A: As anyone who has spent any time here will know, I love writing prompts. I try to do at least one weekly – it keeps the creative juices flowing when normally all I can think about is how – just how – am I going to explain the linear function of time doesn’t work the same way in Faerie as it does here.

D: Oh stop whining. You figured it out.

A: Yeah, but I haven’t written it yet – theoretical and practical are two different things, D.

D: Your point?

A: Even the most dedicated writer needs a break to fuel the muse. To the rescue? The Community Storyboard – the current theme is “From the Eyes of a Little One.”

D: And Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds has a challenge that seems most appropriate for this “Living Musically” day – a flash fiction challenge using a random song on your player as the title of a story.

A: And then there’s Papi’ prompt, which I am going to do this week (honest), about how the Groundhog didn’t stand a chance.

‘Rithmatic?

D: No.  How about Rhythmic?

A: Yeah, that works. For more music fun, head over to our favorite Dilettante for her B-Side challenge/game/all-around splendid musical foray. She has better taste than my iPod this week.

D: And stick around for the fiction, ladies and gentlemen, because it is fabulous (PS: In case you haven’t heard, she has a Kickstarter for her Memoirs. Check it out!).

A: And that is it – happy Friday everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a little time with D & A.