It's the Druid's life for me

Even as a wee lad, the Druid knew his path . . .

The Druid, it seems, has always known his path . . .

A: Hey, D. What did you want to be when you grew up?

D: What did I want to be?

A: Yeah – I mean, even way back then, at the dawn of time, you had to have aspirations, dreams.

D: I take exception to that “dawn of time” comment . . . 670 was not the dawn of time, A.

A: . . .

D: Well, it isn’t.

A: Fine. It’s just slightly after the dawn of time—

D: A—

A: You’re avoiding the question, D: what did you want to be when you grew up?

D: You say that as though it’s something different than what I am, now that I am, ostensibly, grown.

A: Oh, I don’t mean that at all – but did you really know, at the tender age of-of. . . you know, this is why I had such trouble writing that book of your beginnings – you as a cherub-cheeked lad with a halo of dark curls really messes with my vision of you now.

D: . . . Your vision of me now?

A: Did you just learn how to italicize, or something?

D: Maybe. It works though.

A: Maybe.

D: (Eye roll). Regardless of your vision of me now, in my cherub-cheeked days I was made keenly aware of the gifts I possessed, despite my mother’s insistence I have what she called ‘a normal childhood’ away from the machinations of the clans and the druids. Yet, I was the second son of the clan chief, and had a gift that was prophesied before my birth.

A: And then there’s that honor thing – it didn’t let you even challenge that prophesy, did it?

Just looking at this, I can't imagine D as a child . . . it's just not right. (D as imagined by Green Embers)

Imagine, D as a child – all cherub-cheeks and curls. No, I can’t do it, either.
(D as imagined by Green Embers)

D: You call it honor, but I would say it is integrity. It would not have allowed me to challenge my fate, even if I had wanted to. I did not want to, A. The gods touched my soul – it was my privilege to receive the training necessary to use their gifts. I was born with the responsibility to lead, and it was an honor to fight at the side of my brother and father in defense of our people.

Although, I will say that I veered from the path the gods decreed more often than I care to admit – I am human, failingly so. Yet, even my wanderings were necessary to becoming the man gods insist I become.

A: Indeed –  frankly, you left me exhausted after I wrote just a fraction of you story. You’re a little intense, D. But, I have a question.

D: Just one?

A: How do I fit into this path of yours?

D: I’m still fairly certain you’re my punishment for some slight against the gods, although its origins continue to elude me.

A: Nice.

D: I do my best. But enough about me, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: Indiana Jones.

D: . . .

A: Hey, you asked.

D: Indeed I did – and with that, folks, we bid you a fond adieu. It’s A’s birthday today, and I’m sure she’s going to post some of her hijinks on that twittering bird and friendly facebooking – keep a weather eye on the horizon, and it will all be over soon!

A: Cheers, D. And thank you all for reading – have a great weekend!

***

For The Daily Post’s prompt: Futures Past.

Dancing in the Mind of the Beholder

This is for two WordPress Daily Prompts, yesterday’s: Mind Reader, and today’s: Game of Groans

***

I see a lot of people. I work in customer service, and moonlight in reception. It’s a people-palooza.

But this person – this person sparked my imagination.

We’ll call her Joan.

***

Our reception area looks nothing like this - I kind of wish it did, however. Photo courtesy Google images, marked for noncommercial reuse.

Our reception area looks nothing like this – I kind of wish it did, however. Photo courtesy Google images, marked for noncommercial reuse.

Oh my gosh, what am I doing? The door is locked – the door is always locked.

Did she see me yanking on the handle like an idiot? I hope not.

Damn, she’s opening the door. She saw.

I play with the keys in my hand and give the receptionist what I hope is a grateful grin.

“Thanks – I bet you have to do that a lot. Must be kind of fun watching people fumble.”

She gives me a noncommittal shrug. Is she French?

“It’s cruel,” she says. Definitely not French.  “People shouldn’t have to think that hard before they even get into work. By the way, I like what you did to your hair.”

My hair? She noticed my new haircut? I’ve only been here three days. How does she notice my hair? I bet she’s trying to make me feel better about forgetting the door is locked.

“My advice—“

Holy cow, she’s still talking. I must have really looked like a moron. Oh wait, I was staring at her for noticing my hair. Is my mouth open?

“Carry a lot of bags with you – I always open the door for bag carriers.”

She motions with her handy-dandy door-opener. I don’t even know who it is that’s coming through the door – I haven’t had my tour yet – but he’s got a ton of bags.

Like grocery bags. Like, he must be feeding his entire department from those bags.

I eye the receptionist and she nods at me.

Like magic, the doors open. Bag-holder-guy waltzes in.

I stare. “Bags?”

She nods back solemnly. “Bags.”

Huh. This might be worth pursuing. Go on. Talk to her. Be able to tell your mother you’ve actually made a friend.

“So, how about that “Dancing with the Stars” finale, huh?”

I’m not sure, but I think she’s developed a twitch. “Was it good?” she asks.

Was it good? Was it good?! It was the most spectacular show ever. That team nailed every single one of their routines all season! Was it good??!!

“Don’t you watch?”

“I don’t watch TV – although, I think I’ve seen an episode or two a few years ago.”

“Well, do you like music?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you like dancing?”

“I always wanted to learn ballroom – I’m just not a fan of the confessional, reality TV show side of it.”

“It’s not nearly as bad as “American Idol” – and you can, I don’t know, read a book or do your laundry when they’re telling-all if you want to. You really should watch.”

Her resolve is crumbling. I can tell. She’s an agreeable sort – either that or she just wants to get me out of her face. Ha! Not going to happen. This will teach her to be nice to newbies.

“I mean it. You should watch. I tell you what – if I can remember to swipe my key fob for the rest of the summer, you have to watch a season.”

“But I–”

“You can watch it online.”

Ha. That got her.

”All right. But you can’t take advantage of the bag thing – that’s cheating.”

“Deal.”

Look at that – it’s not even 8:30 and I’ve made a new friend and got a convert to DWTS. Not bad for the new girl.

***

D: None of that actually happened, did it?

A: Not exactly.

D: There’s no Joan, is there?

A: Not really – Joan is an amalgamation of a few people I see from my perch in reception. This was all for the WordPress prompts for yesterday and today – write from a stranger’s point of view, and write a ‘pro’ piece about a bit of popular culture you don’t actually like.

D: You don’t like “Dancing with the Stars?”

A: Not really – The dancing’s okay—

D: Okay? Okay?! A, the dancing is phenomenal – taking stars that might have 2 left feet and turning them into dancing machines is a joy to watch.

A: If you say so – I prefer scripted drama to the reality TV/human variety, however.

D: I don’t think I know who you are anymore, A.

A: Really?

D: Joan was right. You need to watch. And not just when the new season comes on. You need to watch right now.

A: But I – But Joan —

D: Now.

A: Oh boy. Put the salad tongs down, D. We’ve talked about this.

D: Will you watch?

A: You know those aren’t really threatening, don’t you?

D: Will you watch?

A: (Eye roll) Oh for heaven’s sake, yes. I’ll watch. But I’m making no promises that I’ll like it – or continue to watch.

D: That’s okay, then.

A: (Sigh) The things I put up with in order to have an agreeable muse and blog topics. . .

D: Admit it. You’d be bored without me.

A: I’d have salad tongs without you.

D: . . .

A: Whatever I say, it’s just going to go straight to your head, so can we just bid the good people adieu?

D: Ha! You admitted it!

A: Stop looking smug. Thank you all for stopping by, and have a wonderful holiday weekend, everyone!

Not-So-Shocking Adventure: Hugh Knows? The Druid Knows

adventureswithD-final (1)D: Does this pompadour make my head look funny?

A: . . . You know, of all the words I expect to come out of a 1300-year-old Pict’s mouth, those were not them.

D: That’s nice, A. You haven’t answered my question though.

A: What are you doing?

D: Trying out a new hairstyle.

A: And what’s that on your hands?

D: Oh, these? These are claws.

claw

Claw Salad Tongs – Rarely used, because The Boy is often using them as Wolverine claws.

A: No, I think those are my salad tongs.

D: Okay, they’re salad tongs – I just wanted to see what it would look like.

A: Just wanted to see what ‘what’ would look like, D?

D: Claws.

A: Just when I think I understand you. . .

D: You could never understand my excellence fully, A. It would take more lifetimes than you have to live.

A: Really?

D: Indeed. Besides, I’m not sure how you can cast stones. Who is the one running around talking on the interwebs, and coining such charming phrases as “madcap recap?” You are ridiculous, woman.

A: Thank you (and click the link to the 6th installment of the Not-So-Shocking News Dialogues at Green Embers Recommends to find out just what D is talking about). I take it this is yet another attempt to discover the actor to match your, ah, excellence?

D: Indeed.

A: So, men with claws and pompadours? While you can be beastly in temperament–

I'm really not going to argue with this choice...

Um, okay. This can be the voice of D.

D: Funny, A. The claws are not a requirement, however I think the man that wore them for the silver screen might capture my wounded warrior spirit quite beautifully. He’s not just any beast – he’s a Hugh Jackman beast.

A: Hm. . . I really don’t want to argue with that one, but you do realize that it’s the actor’s job to give life to your voice, not your job to look like the actor, right?

D: Oh, well, uh . . .

A: Unless of course, you’ve taken up moonlighting as an impersonator. In which case . . .

D: Yes?

A: Lose the salad tongs.

Living Musically: On the Willows Edition

The Boy in all his sparkly glory. There are even black sequins running down the side of his trousers.

The Boy in all his Godspell (or is that Godsparkle?) glory on opening night. It’s the only photo he’ll let me post yet – everything else is embargoed!

A: I’m not a particularly religious person–

D: No kidding, A. Heathens are more religious than you.

A: Ahem. . .

D: Sorry.

A: Of course, Godspell isn’t what I consider religious.

D: You mean, aside from the parable-base storytelling, the crucifixion and the whole, you know, Jesus-thing?

A: (Eye roll) Yes, D, despite all that. I do think it has a wonderful message, and I especially like that it tells that message without all the other trappings that can to get in the way.

D: Are you really going to ruminate on religion and Godspell. . . .again?

A: No on the first part – this is so not that kind of blog.

D: And the second?

A: Oh come on, D! Godspell is the only thing The Boy currently allows on the iPod when we’re together.

D: The only thing? Really?

A: Okay, he may have also discovered Commentary!, the musical soundtrack to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog:

(Thank you, oh-so-much, Jesus, for introducing that to him. Of course, since The Boy insists on being Jesus’ mini-me, and since Jesus played Jean Valjean once, I may finally be able to watch Le Misérables – as trade-offs go, I’m good with it).

D: I’ve just realized why you need me around.

A: . . . This is going to be interesting. Pray tell, why is that, D?

D: You speak in parentheticals. Confusing parentheticals. All the time! Even your music choices this week are disjointed and not appropriately, nor punningly, set-up.

A: Is punningly a word?

D: No. But it works all the same.

A: Indeed. So, what’s your point, Druid?

D: I am obviously here, in part, to present your words in something resembling logical order.

A: This from the time traveler, for whom logical order—

D: A . . .

A: Okay, okay, I can accept that. What’s the other part?

D: Brilliance. Sheer and utter brilliance. In fact, you can’t stop this brilliance.

A: Oh yeah? Well . . . um . . .

D: Yeah, what have you got, A?

A: I don’t have anything—

D: Ha!

A: –Except majesty!

D: I think that’s cheating.

A: How is that cheating?

D: I’m not certain, but give me a few moments, and I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

A: I wouldn’t bother. Majesty always wins, and we have got to go – I have to find some waterproof eye makeup, so I can prepare myself to weep-I mean watch the last three shows this weekend!

This one gets me every single time. The last show on Sunday is going to be a killer.

D: You big softie.

A: Says the cat-man warrior.

D: Oi!

A: And on that note, we bid you all a fond good-day – have a great Friday and an excellent weekend everyone!

Zoned: A Setting

weed

A weed right outside my door. . . bloody things will survive the apocalypse, I guarantee it!

Weeds.

Nothing but weeds.

They choked the life out of anything else that might have grown. Not that anything else could have grown. The earth in the Zone was contaminated – abused by man and trained to hate all that walked across it.

He squatted in the dirt and fingered a hoary leaf. It stabbed back at him.

Worthless. It wouldn’t even give up moisture. Or, if it did, the nectar would be corrupted with poison.

The sun was high and the sky blazed a merciless copper. The air was breathless with heat. He draped his head and passed through the desolation man had wrought. He was a lone figure, a ready target, as he made his way back to the City.

The Zone was a land made bare, stripped of all that was good and clean. Stripped of anything a man might use to survive, outside the City.

It wasn’t enough that they’d poisoned the sky. No. The Greys – the people of the stars – had helped them clear that many years ago. It was the earth, they said. Even the Greys could only help them make the City livable.

It was a lie.

They had salted the earth long after the skies cleared – long after the Greys departed the world. All of it – as far as the eye could travel from their glittering towers, and as far as a man could run in a day – had been destroyed by man, after.

And a day was all a man had before the dreadnoughts caught up with him. Before the poisoned wasteland crippled his insides, made his bowels burn and turn to water. Few made it to Beyond, to the wild green that lay hidden, just outside the borders of the Zone.

Beyond the beyond

Beyond the beyond… also, the summertime view outside my house.

Those that did reach Beyond were loath to return. He was the only one to make the trip twice, and here he was, returning for a third time to the wasteland of modern marvels.

He had not been born there, amid its glittering towers. He was not an oligarch’s son, nor plebian drone. Nor was he one branded a Contaminate – a man who suffered to return to the City after escaping to the Zone.

No, he had been born in the Beyond, amid the green and growing things. He had been born, free to breathe and thrive in sunlight. He had stood on sturdy legs beside his mother as she did the washing, and skulked among the trees with his father as he did the hunting.

And he had left it behind to go to the City. He had followed a prophesy – attempted to claim what was his and free a people who had no idea they were slaves. He had failed.

No, he was not an oligarch’s son, nor a nameless drone. He was Samuel, and he was going to the City take back what was his.

***

A setting, a preamble, an introduction – whatever you want to call it, it’s all in the name of the WordPress Challenge of the Week: The Setting’s the Thing . Samuel’s intro is also part of The Heresy of Before universe, established here and here.

If you want even more Heresy of Before, check out Spirit Keeper, a Heresy of Before mystery serial debuting right here on the blog: Part 1 | Part 2

He Pleads . . . Fireworks?

Guess who this guilty pleasure belongs to...

Guess who this guilty pleasure belongs to…

A: Come on, D. Spill it. What are your guilty pleasures?

D: A, I’m as close to an ascetic as one can be.

A: That is a load of malarkey – you’ve taken ‘warrior-priest’ to a whole new extreme. Besides, I happen to know your heart still beats in double-time whenever Mairead sidles by.

D: Perhaps – but that is not something for which I feel guilty. Besides, it is not yet our time – and I shall not be some faithless cad–

A: Okay, okay – God, you are so pedantic. What about other things?

D: Other things?

A: You know, food. TV shows. Books. Your love of cats, even though you keep decrying the lack of war hounds in my home?

D: I never—

A: I didn’t say those were true – except for the last one. Ha!

D: One can love cats and hounds, A. I appreciate cats for their mystery.

A: Right. And not for their fluffy bellies, and their ecstatic chasing of the little red dot.

D: Oh. You heard that, did you?

A: You are in my head. I hear everything.

D: Oh.

A: Yeah. Okay, so we have cats on the list. Anything else?

D: I didn’t say—

A: Anything else?

D: You are relentless.

A: You aren’t answering the question.

D: Fine. Katy Perry songs.

A: Katy Perry?

D: Yes.

A: . . . Forgive me, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one. I mean, I enjoy her songs and all, but um, it just doesn’t jive with my vision of—

D: Did you know you’re a firework, A?

A: Wow.

D: And, A. You’re original, cannot be replaced.

A: Okay, you can stop now. I can see why maybe you’d consider that a guilty–

D: Hey – you know what, A? I’m not ashamed. I’m proud. You hear that world? Proud!

A: . . . Okay then. Well, on that note—

D: Not so fast, A – what is your guilty pleasure?

A: Mine? Oh, well. I don’t–

D: Come on, spill it.

A: Fine. Potatoes.

D: Potatoes?

Yep. Potatoes. I even go so far as to grow them!

Yep. Potatoes. I even go so far as to grow them!

A: Yeah. Potato in all its delicious, carby forms: chips, crisps, fries. Baked, mashed, twice-baked breaded and deep-fried. Scalloped and creamed, boiled alive—

D: Okay, okay, I get it – please stop waxing lyrical about potatoes.

A: Oh come on, D – I think I feel a poem coming on!

D: And on that note, we are definitely going to bid you all a fond farewell!

A: Do you have a guilty pleasure? Drop a line in comments. Thank you for stopping by and reading!

* * *

For the Daily Post challenge: No Apologies

Light of the World

The shiny kid on the far right: that's The Boy.

Photo of the Mukwonago Chief’s article on the show. The shiny kid on the far right: that’s The Boy.

D: So what, you’re just going to throw a couple pictures and a video up here and call it a post?

A: Yeah, that was pretty much the plan.

D: . . .

A: Don’t give me that look, Druid – I know I’ve been lax in blogging, and writing, and editing (not to mention cleaning – yikes!)–

D: Lax! What is this lax malarkey? Lax is kind – you’ve been downright negligent. Wait, why are you smirking?

A: You used the word ‘malarkey.’ I love that word, and it makes it impossible for me to take your scolding seriously.

D: *You* are impossible.

A: I do my best. So, lax or negligent, I think I have a good excuse: it’s a lot of work being The Boy’s roadie.

D: I think that’s groupie.

A: Do you even know what that means?

D: . . . No.

A: Thought not. Of course, I suppose I’m both roadie, and groupie. I am his mother, after all. It’s kind of my job.

D: And I can see that big smile on your face, A. Admit it: you love it.

A: Of course I do! So, here’s the song he’s going to be singing, starting this very evening:

Mom-pride aside, the entire cast is spectacular, and I can’t wait to see the full show. I’ve hovered in the background of a few of this week’s dress rehearsals, ostensibly under the guise of helping out with a few props —

D: Sneaky, A. That’s just sneaky.

A: Well, I had to make sure The Boy’s sword was sparkly enough. . .

D: (Sigh) The two of you are so strange.

A: Yes, we are. And we’re having a blast with our strangeness. Believe me, D. This is all in the name of recharging my creative batteries. After the show, I’ll have a better perspective for editing. You wouldn’t want me to do anything rash, like cutting out a whole swath of your scenes in World War 2–

D: Goodness, look at the time. You need to be getting going, A – or you’ll be late! A? A! Put the pen down, A. Stop editing!

A: Ha! Crazy writer logic wins again! Thanks for stopping by everyone, and have a wonderful weekend!

Godspell-at-the-Long-Center

Because I’ve become quite fond of this image.

A Not-So-Shocking Adventure – A Regal Fortnight

adventureswithD-final (1)D: What do “Schindler’s List,” “Gandhi,” “Ender’s Game” and “Troilus and Cressida” all have in common?

A: Um . . . do I want to know?

D: Come on, A – play along.

A: Okay, fine. They all tread tremendously lyrical and exemplify the extraordinary tenacity of the human spirit.

D: I was going to say Ben Kingsley, but that works, too.

A: Really? Because I made that up—wait, what’s this about Ben Kingsley?

D: He’s my voice actor. I’ve decided.

A: Voice actor. . . again?

D: Of course – if you insist on speaking to the internet, I am going to insist on finding a man impressive enough to be my voice as well.

A:  And before D launches into the argument on why exactly Ben Kingsley is his perfect voice actor, why don’t you all head over to Green Embers’ Recommends and check out Episode 5 of the Not-So-Shocking-News Dialogues: Once Upon a Fortnightly.

D: Well, that was lovely.

A: Indeed it was – Happy May Fourth, D.

D: Considering that other great man, Sir Alec Guinness, was a part of that space opera, I shall allow your ridiculousness, this time.

A: Oh, how very gracious of you – I take it then, that peerage is now a requirement for a voice actor?

D: Not necessarily – but it does help. I was once a prince and a warrior, before you consigned me to the ones and zeros that make up this digital world of yours.

A: Uh huh. And?

D: And?

Is *this* the voice of D?

Is *this* the voice of D?

D: As if you needed more convincing. Admit it, A. He has my gravitas, my humility and my heart-breaking heroism down pat.

A: Oh good lord. Seriously?

D: Do you deny it?

A: (Sigh) No, and yet, how do you intend on convincing him, D?

D: I need to convince him? Send him a transcript, A – I command it.

A: Oh, no. No, that settles it.

D: What?

A: You, and the pointing, and the imperiousness. No. There will be no entitled voice actors for you.

D: But – but—

A: No.

D: Not even if I say, please?

A: Oh, stop making puppy dog eyes at me, Druid. . . I’ll think about it.

D: Of course you will, A. And I suppose in the meantime, everyone should really check out that podcast, hm?

A: Indeed – I hope you all enjoy it – and thank you for stopping by!

Revealed: Midnight Dynasty by Sarah M. Cradit

For most, death is a fact of life. If you are a Deschanel, it’s a way of life.

Midnight Dynasty, Book 3 in The House of Crimson & Clover, will be released in three dramatic acts over the 2014 Summer. Click here to read the Press Release.

 

ACT I: MALEDICTION

June Release

The Deschanel Curse is back. They’ve never been able to stop it before, but as it threatens the lives of those closest to them, the desire to put an end to the tragedy has never been stronger.

MidnightDynasty_Malediction

 

ACT II: CONVOCATION

July Release

The Curse has claimed its first victim. The Deschanel Magi Collective must bring the whole family together, to fight this as one.

MidnightDynasty_Convocation

 

ACT III: OMEGA

August Release

The Deschanels continue to say goodbye to those they love, just as a new and unexpected hope dawns. Will it be enough to save them?

MidnightDynasty_Omega

Acts I, II, and III will be released as ebooks only, across all major online retailers. Then, in fall, a paperback (and electronic) version combining all the acts will be available.

MidnightDynasty_fullcover

The question is: will you be able to wait that long?

 

Dive into the secretive, ancient, powerful world of the Deschanels and Sullivans…

SERIES PREQUEL:
St. Charles at Dusk
Set amidst the lush and vibrant backdrop of New Orleans, this is the story of Oz and Adrienne. Of forbidden love, and startling heartbreak.
BOOK 0.5:
Beyond Dusk: Anne
Anne’s entire life has been a lie. She must find the courage to discover who she is, including this terrifying, inexplicable ability she was born with.
BOOK 1:
The Storm and the Darkness
Ana is about to discover a startling truth: there exists no greater darkness than the one which lives inside of us.
BOOK 1.5:
Beyond Darkness: Shattered
Think you know the story of Ana, Finn, and Jon? Guess again.
BOOK 2:
The Illusions of Eventide
Nicolas spent 30 years under his flawed set of principles. Mercy, three millennia under hers. Both are bound by these chosen illusions, until their paths unexpectedly cross.
BOOK 2.5:
Beyond Eventide: Bound
Beyond Eventide: Bound- Ana, Finn, and Aidrik are forever bound. By love, promises, and the undeniable threads of fate.
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1htTHjb
Diesel:
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4750224

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1ea6bLW

 

Connect with Author Sarah M. Cradit

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