Adventure with us!

I’m not much a reblogger. That’s why I have the tale-telling (Spooky Sagas is our latest edition) and a plethora of links in most of my posts.

Yet I’m an editor at the Community Storyboard, an associate editor at Green Embers Recommends, as well as a contributor at the Rome Construction Crew (a very bad contributor who just likes to talk about how cats killed the internet). I’ve always wanted a different way to share those posts and stories with you, and that’s where Green came in.

I saw Rarasuar’s ‘On the Road‘ graphic and said – yes! That’s how it’s done. So, I commissioned Green (yes, he takes commissions. Yes, he’s awesome. Click on that link; you won’t be sorry) to do a graphic of D and me setting sail for other lands/blogs to tell our tale.

And this is what he came up with:

adventureswithD-final (1)

Isn’t it spectacular?

This was my first email this morning and on top of finally (finally!) getting the first six chapters ‘right’ on Part 2 and making significant headway in the edits for the book, this made my day. And it wasn’t even 9 am! Add to that a Halloween get-together (I am going to rock the Bellatrix Lestrange costume, thank you!) and my day is looking pretty darned fabulous.

Thank you, Green!

You know who else takes commissions? Dean at Deanz Doodlez. He’s also awesome. Check him out! 

Talented Taliesin Tells Tall Tales

By Green Embers

By Green Embers

I’m baaaack – admit it, you missed the troubadour extraordinaire, the bardest with the mostest, the Druid who is fluid (with words)–

D: What are you doing, A?

A: Oh, Hi D. Um, I’m impersonating you?

D: Go to bed, woman, and leave the tale telling to the pros.

A: So you know how you have yet to take corporeal form outside of my head? If I go to bed–

D: You know what I meant.

A: All right, all right – take it away, Taliesin.

D: Taliesin was Welsh.

Rome Construction Crew

Allow me to start with a round of felicitations to Green Embers, proprietor of the Rome Construction Crew. It may be the place that A goes to hide from me, but it is my belief that she comes back stronger and better able to face the magnificence that is yours truly. Don’t look at me like that; I can be benevolent.

Without further ado, here is what you’ve been missing over at the Rome Construction Crew. For encouragement, goal-setting and general fun, there is no place better.

Literary Syndicate

Papi-Z has style, pizzazz and more than a little desire to help promote artists, writers, poets and all sorts of creative people. Check out the Literary Syndicate, in particular his interview with Red Clay and Roses author, SK Nicholls, and his own version of tale-telling, the Syndicate Shout-outs.


Are you at a loss for words? Do you find your mind drawing a blank and need just that edge to help it move again? Me neither, but A insists that prompts are just the thing. As such, here are two prompts to whet your whistle, light your fire and help you spin that tale.

At the community storyboard, they’re talking about angst and longing. In poetic form. Go on, read them all and just in case, bring your tissues, and perhaps something to thrash in your frustration. And if you’ve a mind to, submit your own poem.

The Prompt for the Promptless this week, at The Queen Creative, is lapsus linguae. We’ve all had a slip of the tongue (Keep it clean, D. Erotica week was two weeks ago. . . A, seriously. Tee hee) and this is your opportunity to share it with the world.

A: Could a post on lapsus linguae itself be a slip of the tongue?

D: Do you honestly think these things at this hour?

A: Yes.

D: I knew there was a reason I was in your head. How about impossible things before breakfast?

A: At least 10. But you’re getting off topic. Move on, D.


It seems fitting that the Bayou Bonhomme Serial is continuing into October. Enjoy every deliciously creepy bit of it  over at Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante, especially the latest installment, The Truth Will Out.

The OneRing.Net challenges you – if you like this sort of fan-fiction thing – to re-write Tolkien as Poe. It’s potentially terrifying (in many ways) and equally fitting for October.

Are you not entertained?

When is a cliché a trope, a standard, a time-honored tradition? Charles Yallowitz looks for answers to that question at the Legends of Windemere: One Man’s Cliché is Another Man’s Entertainment.

Speaking of words and entertainment, WordCloud Wednesday is one of A’s favorite things. Check out this week’s offering at wePoets Show It. 

Honorable Mentions

A: Because apparently a week cannot go by without me mentioning The Hobbit, cast your hearts, minds and soul on the latest trailer for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. TC has already declared that sushi and The Hobbit will be acceptable for his birthday celebrations. I can’t think of a better way to turn 13 than with dragons.

Because Smaug is awesome.

D:  What she means is that the voice distorter on Mr. Cumberbatch is awesome, but you know, that’s just me.

A: Jealous.

D: Jealous?! Me? Of a dragon. Voiced by a man. Voiced by a tall, gangly English man.

A: Yeah. Of a dragon.  Of Sherlock. Of Kha-freakin-an. Jealous.

D: And with that, we will end our tale-telling. I hope you visit our dear friends and enjoy what you see. But most importantly, you have my deepest regards for visiting with us here at the D/A Dialogues.

The Rome Construction Crew and the Birth of the Internet

The Rome Construction Crew and the Birth of the Internet

I love cats. I love cat memes. But really, I think “I can Haz a Cheezeburger” killed the internet. Find out how the Rome Construction Crew brought the internet back!

(Go on, click – it has a cute cat picture!)

Adventure calls

This summer’s catch phrase was “I’m going on an Adventure.” I’d like to thank Bilbo and Company, and particularly Mr. Freeman and Mr. Shore, for making the line so charming. Freeman’s delivery, coupled with Shore’s score, was perfect. I have listened to it so many times this summer that they are intrinsically linked in my head and in my heart.

This summer was an adventure.

My son went on vacation with my sister’s family, and had a wonderful time. I cannot thank my sister enough. Then he went to band camp. Within the structure of daily classes and rehearsals, he had a liberating sense of freedom. Again, he had a wonderful time and discovered musical things about himself that he may never have known without it.

As I delivered him to each adventure, we listened to The Hobbit soundtrack, specifically “The Adventure Begins” track. We’d both crow, “I’m going on an adventure” at the appropriate moment and giggle at our nerd-ery.

We even used it to lighten the ill humor of getting lost and driving in a great big circle after my niece’s wedding. There is a lot of big empty nowhere in Wisconsin and I – being one who is easily lost crossing the street – managed to drive us through most of it. But we were on an adventure.

I’ve also spent the last six months on the incredible adventure of writing (or re-writing depending on one’s perspective) a book. I’ve walked the path of this book before, but never with such emotional depth. This adventure has been hair-raising, gut wrenching but most of all, satisfying. Camp NaNoWriMo was another incredible and daunting adventure – one from which I am still recovering.

As we head into the autumn, I will be on another adventure called editing and begging for beta readers. Watch this space for much grousing between D and I. Hopefully I will remember that it’s an adventure, and keep it lighthearted. No one wants to see Druidicide in cyberspace.

D: Least of all, me.

A: Don’t tempt me D. What are you doing here? This is my space!

D: I thought Sundays were your space. It’s Tuesday.

A: Congratulations. You’ve mastered the modern calendar, D.

D: . . .

A: Right. I meant to post this on Sunday. However, I’ve had some busy weekends lately (my real-life adventure) which included a tussle with a swarm of wasps.

D: You mean they had the temerity to bite you? At least I only nibble at your sanity.

A: Nibble at my sanity? If by nibble you mean take giant, slobbering bites. . . Yes, the wasps bit me. And bit me again. The third one that tried it got a great big backhander, but I think that was pure luck on my part.

D: Wait, do I understand you correctly? You’re a warrior, you engage in timey-wimey antics and make mysterious allusions to real-life adventures. . .

A: Yes, D. It’s true. . . . I’ve been around you waaaaaaay too long.

D: (Eye roll) I try being nice . . . Fine. I will leave you to your “personal space” on the blog. Let me know when you’re done, will you, A? You did promise the good people editing, begging and grousing, after all.

A: You almost sound like you’re looking forward to it, D.

D: Anything beats the empty cavern of your mind, A. The echo is creepy.

A: Cheers, D. Here’s to the adventure!

What is your idea of an adventure?



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!

Phoning it in

D: I can’t believe you’re typing this on your phone.

A: I know – watch out for autocorrect fails.

D: Auto-what? A it’s bad enough you didn’t listen to your intuition and do this at lunch. Must you add insult to injury?

A: Yes?

Anyway, this is supposed to be my first-of-the-month, Rome Construction Crew Update. I think, in light of the fact that I’m posting this in 3G, those updates and goals for the month shall be brief.

D: Can you actually manage brief?

A: With you? Not bloody likely! If you could refrain–

D: From being me?

A: I’d consider it a favor.

D: I suppose, under the circumstances–

A: Cheers, D. So, progress:

  • Part 2, first draft, is complete, as is the first read-through. I have some structural edits to make, but it’s decent.
  • Also have an outline for part 3 and wrote the first 500 words… The outline is on my google drive, and thus unavailable to me, but im pretty sure I haven’t trashed it.

D: Yet.

A: D!!

D: Sorry.

A: No you’re not.

D: Who’s wasting 3G bandwidth now??

A: You don’t even know what that is – but good point.

  • On a personal note, I’m doing better at the whole low-sugar, grain-free thing (paleo/primal), and resurrected my exercise regime. Weight is, for now, steady – higher, but steady.
  • Garden is in and flourishing. Late spring / early summer sucked weather-wise, but the potatoes are practically gleeful.

D: Can potatoes even be–

A: (Glare)

D: Right – oh look, a blue box.

A: Madman.

  • Finally, I’m waiting for the Part 1 beta readers’ feedback, but I think each “Book” in the Out of Time (working title) series, will a self-contained series. It feels more appropriate to Book 1 anyway, and means interesting things for Books 2 & 3.

Goals for July

  • Signed up for the July Camp (insert abbreviation jumble that means I’m writing 50k words in a month here). That will take care of Parts 2 and 3. 2013-Participant-Lantern-Circle-Badge
  • Develop and prep food/recipe cleanup project, which I hope to debut by month-end. D will not feature.
  • Start researching potential agents/markets. After much research, I know I haven’t the personal resources to self-publish in a way that would please my hidden perfectionist soul. Or impress enough people to at least make it pay for itself.
  • Complete my beta reading assignment – it has a deadline, so it’s a given (gotta have a few of those, right?!).
  • Set up all the delightful guest posts for my two-week child-free writing hermitage. All of you are fantastic. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
  • Read a book – preferably a frivolous, delightful book. I’m open to suggestions.
  • Also, I’m thinking of adding something along the lines of “The Story So Far” to this blog. It would be a road-map/synopsis of where I am in the Out of Time/Sean & Maureen journey and would introduce the players and the events a little better to give D and I a bit more context.

D:Make people feel a bit more welcome, perhaps? Help them understand the crazy universe that you reference willy-nilly as though we all had access to your head?

A: Says the character in my head.

D: Precisely. Are you done yet?

A: One more! I want to outline one longer piece of fiction and write two other short pieces that aren’t related to the Out of Time universe, and submit a piece I’ve been working on for the RCC.

D: Always have to have the last word, hm?

A: I learned from the Master, D.

Final last word (I promise): The time may be nigh (ok, in a year or so) for an adventure. If you could go anywhere, if things like Visas and Passports weren’t an issue, where would you go? How long would you stay? What would you do?

Ordeal by headache

A: Migraine, migraine, go away, and please don’t come another day.

D: You call that poetry, A?

A: Nothing I do is poetry, D – I’m bad at it on a good day, and today is not that day.

D: I tremble to ask if you did anything of worth this day?

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A: Watched the BBC’s new-to-me Agatha Christie’s Marple – which, overall, isn’t bad if I haven’t read the book they’re “re-imaging.” If I have, or if I’ve already watched a version of the story and it included Francesca Annis and James Warwick, then it’s bad beyond measure.

D: I think you should stick to your fictional British spies on days like today – you’re running a risk on that one, A. What about your goals?

A: (Whimper) Ask me again tomorrow – tomorrow is the 1st, i.e. official update day. Let’s just say that round 1 of editing for Part 2 (which may now be Book 2) is complete.

D: Well done, A.

A: . . .

D: I do know when to walk softly.

A: Occasionally. I also put a flash fiction piece up for the Electric Purple Prompt on the Community Storyboard. It’s called A Fairy’s Kiss. And, I’m working on a modern counterpoint to the love letters post I did a few weeks ago.

D: I’m just going to keep walking softly here, A.

A: Smart Druid.

Dame Christie Fan? Thoughts on the new(ish) Marple? Aren’t Tommy and Tuppence — I mean Francesca Annis and James Warwick the best, ever?! 

Sunday . . . bloody Sunday

D: Do we have a problem with Sundays?

A: Yes, they’re always followed by a Monday.

D: And are you not ready for Monday?

A: D, no one is ever ready for Monday.

D: Are you getting a little existential on me, A? Do we need to go back and have a little chat with Camus?

A: Loved that book, said that Meursault was Christ in my paper on it, and no.

D: Moving right along. Is this the only reason you’re cursing out Sunday?

A: Um, how about my vicious sunburn?

D: Oh boy . . . you do know that the scientists of this world have a lovely invention called sunscreen.

A: You sound like TC. Stop it.

D: And yet it still stands.

A: I wanted a bit of color.

D: A, you’re Irish. Flesh tone is color for you.

A: Says the Pict.

D: I know from pale, A.

A: Point taken.

D: So, you’re sunburned and you r weekend is nearly over – any more invectives to throw at Sunday’s head?

A: No, not really. It was just a long slog of a day, but it had great rewards. I accomplished three out of four goals I set for myself last week.

D: Do tell, A – I’m breathless with anticipation.

A: Snark will get you anywhere, D! I dusted off the treadmill (and used it!). I filled in and was able to erase all those (Figure out what you’re talking about, lady) tags in part 2, which clocked in at 26,199 words –

D: So we’re already over 50,000?

A: Yes, but Parts 3 and 4 shouldn’t be more than 30k combined. There’s always the editing rounds to get rid of fluff, too D.

D: I know, and forgive me if I feel that you’d need no less than 100,000 words to do justice to my greatness.

A: Really?

D: It’s one hell of a story, A.

A: Uh huh.

D: Honest.

A: I think I just heard my fingers scream in agony.

D: I think that’s your sunburn. Speaking of Part 3 . . .

A: That’s the other goal I managed to accomplish – Part 3 has it’s first outline.

D: Dare I ask?

A: Ah, go on.

D: What does this outline say, A? I peeked over your shoulder and I’m a bit concerned.

A: Why? I was kinda proud of it myself:

  1.  Captured – Dubh gone, Maureen spastic, Sean slaps her
  2. Breakout –Dubh is rescued, Sean and Maureen are SOL
  3. The Interview – Nuada grandstands; remember monologues are cliche.
  4. Revolution
  5. Revelation
  6. Big Boom
  7. Even Bigger Problems

D: That’s it, keywords?

A: And the start of everyone’s emotional state for each section – I found that very helpful in making sure the arguing from Part 2 didn’t get out of hand. Besides I thought you’d be happy – there are at least two opportunities for you to indulge your love of smoke bombs.

D: I did see that. Thank you, A.

A: I do what I can. Oh, and before you ask: editing.

D: Editing?

A: This week’s goal: Editing.

D: That’s it?

A: I think chocolate might find its way on there, too

D: In conjunction with the treadmill?

A: Maybe.

The Druid Tells the Tale
A has yet to make any changes to this site because she is a lazy, no good—

A: Oi, Druid! Knock it off!

D: Killjoy.

Fine; she’s a busy lady and getting her to sit still long enough to complete a thought is a marvel. She hasn’t acknowledged any awards yet, so I’m going to do it for her. John W. Howell at Fiction Favorites has nominated us for the Always Here if you Need Me Award. In addition, Olivia Stocum  and Briana Vested  have nominated us for the Liebster Award. There are others, but A was lax in recording what they were, the horrible wench. There will be a full post presently, in which everyone will be lauded in full. In the meantime, however, thank you most kindly for reading, nominating and sharing the … what is this called (blogosphere) ah, yes, the blogosphere love.

. . . And Introducing: A invites Audience Participation

D: Really A?

A: Do I bug you during your Tale-telling?

D: Yes.

A: . . . Fine. Regardless, I would like to engage people a little and get some feedback. I have been blessed with some very astute, knowledgeable and charming readers and I’d like to know what you think of serializing a novel.

If Part 3 defies my expectations (and everything about my return to the writing world has defied them), I’m looking at a nearly 100,000 word young adult novel. It needs some paring (try a butcher knife – can it, D), but ever since I wrapped up Part 1, I’ve been thinking about serializing the first book. Each part comes in at a fairly respectable 25K words, and are complete stories in of themselves. It was initially written this way – to be published as independent novellas that could form a nice little collection. I abandoned that idea when I realized that it had a second and then third story (you’re welcome).

So, those who know, what do you think of a sterilized novel in today’s market, and today’s technology?