Revealed: Memoirs of a Dilettante, Vol. 2

A: D! D! Check it out!

D: What, woman? Good gods, what is the time? I’m aware you keep the hours of owls, but the rest of us do not.

A: Oh, you’ll perk right up for this . . .

D: Is this more of your innuendo talk?

A: My innuendo–you’ve come up with plenty of innuendos yourself, Druid, and the lady we’re about to showcase has had more than a few to say to you as well.

D: Oh. . . OH! You mean Helena! Why didn’t you say so from the first, Mistress A? What news from our favorite Dilettante?

A: Instead of telling you, I think perhaps I’ll do what all writers are admonished to do, and show you!

Cover art by Hastywords

Cover art by Hastywords


Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two is the second collection of reminiscences, following Helena Hann-Basquiat, a self-proclaimed dilettante who will try anything just to say that she has, and her twenty-something niece, who she has dubbed the Countess Penelope of Arcadia.

Speaking of Arcadia, this volume delves into Helena’s childhood, as she revisits what she calls the Arcadia of the mind — that place that keeps us trapped and holds us back from our potential. Some of her most personal stories are included here, interspersed with hilarious stories of misadventure. It’s not a novel, really, and it’s not a memoir, by the strictest definition. But most of what follows, as they say, is true. Sort of. Almost. From a certain point of view.

Discover Helena’s tales for the first time or all over again, with new notes and annotations for the culturally impaired — or for those who just need to know what the hell was going through her mind at the time!

Helena is going to be running a crowdfunding/pre-order campaign at Pubslush, a community focused solely on indie writers, and has set up a profile there to launch Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two.

For more information, and to follow the progress, Become a Fan at

If you just can’t wait and you want a taste of Helena’s writing, follow her blog:

If you just can’t get enough Helena, or you want updates on further goings on, release dates and miscellaneous mayhem, follow Helena on Twitter @hhbasquiat

About the Author

helena-h-bThe enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.

She’s written cookbooks, ten volumes of horrible poetry that she then bound herself in leather she tanned poorly from cows she raised herself and then slaughtered because she was bored with farming.

She has an entire portfolio of macaroni art that she’s never shown anyone, because she doesn’t think that the general populous or, “the great unwashed masses” as she calls them, would understand the statement she was trying to make with them.

Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.

In 2014, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, several e-books which now make up Volume Two, as well as a multimedia collaborative piece of meta-fictional horror entitled JESSICA.

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One is available HERE in e-book for Kindle or HERE in paperback.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell.

Find more of her writing at or or connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat.

Bubbles the Elf

… And we’re back! Combine the holiday season with a theater-kid and the plague, and you have a ghastly soup called: Death or Something Like It.

Because I’m almost certain the last month is pretty close to what Limbo* was like – awareness, but without the ability to do anything, nor take anything but the most cursory pleasure out of being aware.

In short, it sucked, and it sucked all the life out of yours truly and family. Not even a pesky Druid in my head could induce me to do much more than exist through my days. Dumb plague (or flu, as it is more commonly known. I’m a hypochondriac who loves hyperbole). Anyway, I’m back now, and with me is some ridiculousness from my weekend.

(* Before the Catholics decided it no longer existed.)

The following was inspired by Terrible Mind’s “Who the Fuck is my D&D Character” Flash Fiction Challenge from last Friday, which you need to check out, because the challenge itself is awesome.  I’m pretty sure our tale of Bubbles the Elf is not what Chuck Wendig intended! 

Traditional Wassail - which, when drunk with brandy may or may not have had something to do with the story of Bubbles...

Traditional Wassail – which, when drunk with brandy, may or may not have had something to do with the story of Bubbles…

Bubbles the Elf has a storied history.

When Tom was nine, he received a Dungeons and Dragons starter set. His godmother and my best friend, Christine, spent New Year’s Eve with us, and was coerced into playing. She chose to play as the Elf. She named him Bubbles.

The name stuck, and while I think we only played two more times, (D&D is hard… there is all this math. I much prefer computer games that do all that … that … thinking themselves. And yes, this is how the world ends…) the name Bubbles stuck – and in times of need, we reference dear Bubbles to bring a ray of sunshine into our lives.

And that is the history of Bubbles the Elf.

Okay, perhaps his history is not that storied – but he does have an amusing, albeit weird, place in our hearts and this weekend, he finally earned his reward: retirement.

But not just any retirement. He now has a place of honor amongst our latest Clue game: Dungeons and Dragons Clue. And just in case you’re wondering, this is the 8th Clue game we’ve kept – we’ve owned a few more but at least two were given up to the garage sales I keep having in the forlorn hope that I may one day rid myself of clutter. (Yeah, I know. It makes me laugh, too.) We like Clue, and Christine has this amazing ability to ferret out fabulously unique editions each year for Tom’s Birthday/Christmas.

Bubbles' place of honor on the new Clue board.

Bubbles’ place of honor on the new Clue board.

So, in honor of Bubbles’ retirement (and the Clue game, because honestly – how can you not love D&D Clue?), I resurrected a silly but fun game/pastime/thing we used to do as teenagers: stories in the round. Below is the fruit of our nerdy (and juvenilely-perverted – you’ve been warned) efforts. Those of us sitting around the Clue board all contributed at least one section – even D got in on the game – and it has been edited only minimally for grammar.  It’s probably not suitable for work. Or the serious-minded. Or those who enjoy fine literature. Enjoy.

The Story of Boobs and Bubbles

It all started when Boobs wanted to visit the dragon.

“It’ll be great! With my Boobs of Fire Resist, we can’t lose!”

“Oh, we can lose something,” Bubbles muttered.

Boobs McGee rolled her eyes, strapped on her breastplate and tossed the Elven Wizard his gear.

Bubbles the Elven Wizard was notorious for his sexually harassing comments, as most Elven Wizards of the Eladrin School are, of course. But Boobs ignored him. All she wanted to do was see that dragon and get her hands on his gold.

They were nearing the dragon’s lair when all of a sudden, Boobs vanished, leaving Bubbles alone and confused.

In his confusion, Bubbles managed to stumble into a Vorpol Sword-wielding Redgar the Barbarian, Bubbles’ worst enemy. The Elven Wizard fell to the floor, headless.

D&D Clue... The nerdening is strong in my house.

D&D Clue… The elf now named Boobs is in red. . . the one year I chose *not* to be the Ms. Scarlet character. . . 

Boobs, on the other hand, was in the chambers of the great Dragon Lord.

The Great Dragon Lord took the form of a muscular, musky man. She was immediately disarmed by the mere appearance of the beast.

“My dear Boobs McGee,” the Dragon Lord-turned hunky warrior prince crooned. “How lucky for me you decided to drop in.”

Boobs curtseyed.

(And picked up her staff in the process.)

(Oi! No interrupting!)

(Says who? She picked up her staff. Deal with it, Druid.)

(Fine… bloody woman) Boobs trailed her red fingernails over the oaken staff and hugged it close as she stared into the Dragon Lord’s blazing eyes.

“You were expecting me, my lord?”

“I am always expecting you, my lovely Boobs.”

“It’s been a while.” She shimmied along the back wall of the stone cavern. The gold behind the Dragon Lord gleamed with an internal fire, and its glow was reflected in her ravenous amber eyes.

The Dragon Lord rubbed his hands together.

“Too long,” he whispered.

There are a few things people don’t seem to know about dragons. While dragons can transform into hunky humans, they can only do so for a limited number of sexual innuendos, and the Dragon Lord was one too many innuendos over his limit, so back into a dragon he turned.

This was unfortunate for Redgar the Barbarian, whose dirty mind had bade him to enter the dragon’s chamber to peep at the reunited lovers. The dragon transformed back into himself and Redgar’s position left him inside the dragon’s stomach, where he was slowly dissolved into stomach goop.

Boobs, named not for her ample chest, but because of her Brilliant Ornithological Observations Based on science, was slightly miffed at the Dragon Lord’s transformation, but was used to it. In fact, he so frequently blew all of his innuendos at the start of their conversation that it had been several years since he was able to express his affections.

Boobs left the saddened but surprisingly full Dragon Lord, and walked out of his chamber. As she left, she found a decapitated Bubbles. Much to her surprise, Bubbles’ head began to reattach, for as we all know, Vorpol Swords can kill gnomes, humans and especially Jabberwock, but are terrible at killing Elven Wizards. Boobs, sick of the abuse others gave her because of her figure, left him, mostly because his hands had started to grab towards her breasts as she went to help him.

As she walked into the sunset, her eye caught a rare Phoenix and she took out her magical notebook to do what she did best. And she observed it so well, she walked off the cliff.

The End

I'm really hoping the Dragon Lord was better looking than this.

I’m really hoping the Dragon Lord was better looking than this.

A: So, can you figure out who wrote each part?

D: That’s hardly fair – you interrupted my part – and called me Druid in the process.

A: Yeah, I had to. At the rate you were going, Ms. McGee – who is a fierce wizard warrior, by the way – would have been riding the damn dragon – and not like they did in Harry Potter 7, either.

D: (Salacious grin).

A: Oh, ew – stop that!

D: Stop what?

A: You know – smiling – lewdly. It’s gross, D. What would Mairead think?

D: Oh dear – you won’t tell her, will you? Promise me, A. She’s still not talking to me for that whole time-travel/abandonment thing.

A: Gee, go figure. Just stop slobbering all over the idea of Ms. McGee and I’ll think about it.

Happy Monday, folks – thanks for reading and I hope this tiny bit of ridiculousness made you smile, even if at just how bad it is! We’ll be back with some fun (and better, I hope) fiction soon, I promise!

Upcoming posts

An exciting reveal on Wednesday

A special Sneak Peek series, beginning Friday

Three Ghosts, a (belated) Christmas tale beginning Monday, January 19