Last Call at Casa de Hann-Basquiat

Hey you – yeah, you with the glasses – have you pre-ordered your copy of Memoirs of a Dilettante, Vol. One? And you madam, with the fluffy little dog – have you? And excuse me, sir – could you put the doughnut down? That’s a good man. Have you pre-ordered your copy of Memoirs of a Dilettante, Vol. One? Have you got on board the best train in town (or in this case Mexican cantina with only the most excellent tequila and salsa around –darn it Helena, now I’m hungry, too)?

No? What are you waiting for? Check out the successful Kickstarter campaign for your last chance to get your hands on a personalized copy – or any of the other spectacular goodies you get for backing the campaign! As if that weren’t enough, there is fun to be had with Helena’s words. With characters like the Accidental Plagiarist and Cumberbund Bandersnach, could you possibly go wrong?

No. The answer is no.

Now go!

We the People do Declare

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettante

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone’s favorite dilettante

Have you ever met someone who made you nod your head and say, yes? Or, who phrased the jumble of letters and words that form our language in such a way that you could not help but grin and smile?

Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone’s favorite dilettante, made me nod, grin and laugh from the moment I met her. Remarkably, she met my nerdy persistence with enthusiasm. Though she may be right in that I simply decided we were going to be friends, what made me stick around her site was the way she made words come to life.

Since meeting her, her words have made me smile. They have made me cringe with trepidation, and flip electronic pages as fast as my mouse could click them in anticipation. Her words have frightened me, and they have made me cry.

And these are just the fictions she’s written since I’ve been a regular reader. When she turns her attention to the world around her, her words often leave me breathless – amused, heartbroken and breathless.

You want these words for yourself. Believe me, you do. You want to preorder her book, Memoirs of a Dilettante, Vol. One at Kickstarter.  Hers is a reachable goal, and dropping $5 to get the Memoirs e-pub AND two fantastic scary stories, will bring her that much closer.

Of course, if you are anything like me, and want a copy you can hold in your hands – or, better yet, have the scribbling of a Dilettante personalize that copy for you – then preordering through her Kickstarter campaign is the only way to do that.

Click here

kickstarter-copyJust do it. Support an indie author and click that link. Read what her Kickstarter has to say. You won’t regret it. Ever since I clicked that link on her Gravatar, I have not.

With a few strokes of a pen (or clacks of the keyboard), she paints characters so lifelike, so fragilely human, and so familiar, it’s easy to see yourself in them. I want them to succeed (or fail, as the case may be), and, as my ultimate test for a character, I want them to stick around my head so we can have a chat, maybe a drink or two.

Through her words, I see her world. She and Penny are as familiar to me as people I’ve known my entire life, because that’s how Helena invites you into her world. Some of the things you’ll witness there are raw. Some of them are painfully but beautifully honest and still others are downright silly and fantastic. And all of it will keep you captivated. Every last second. You’ll devour her words and in turn, they will devour you, spit you out and leave you satisfied they did.

As a final note, today on Twitter I recommended her to a new follower. I told him that Helena was an excellent, hilarious and terrifying writer. What did I mean by that? Why is Helena terrifying?

Memoirs of a Dilettante, The E-Book

Memoirs of a Dilettante, The E-Book

She creates people. She gives them flesh, and then, in some of her scarier work, as Jessica B. Bell, she rips that flesh from them and leaves them as ghosts to linger in our minds. Some are mournful deaths, some are justified but always the ghosts of her words remain. And this isn’t me being maudlin and Irish, folks, this is simply the truth as I see it. Helena’s work will haunt you in the best possible way.

Support her Kickstarter. Preorder the e-pub, the personalize package, the hard-copy – whatever you choose, you will help this dilettante, this indie author, get these beautiful , haunting, fabulous stories the attention they deserve.

PS: If all of that wasn’t enough to convince you, she has excellent – and I mean excellent – taste in music. Go on, click the Kickstarter link. You know you want to!

In other News

Quickly, head over to Marie Ann Bailey, blogger at 1WriteWay and a dear friend, and read her touching tribute to her beautiful tortie-tabby, Luisa. While you’re there, stick around. Marie is a wonderful person and a great writer.

Also, Charles E. Yallowitz, author of the Legends of Windemere Series is having a Twubs chat on Saturday, March 16 from 8-10, Eastern Standard Time. Head over to his site for more information, but just in case  you can’t, Just follow these instructions to join in the fun:

      1. Go to Twubs Chat.
      2. Log In through Twitter or Sign Up with Twubs Chat.
      3. Search for the #windemerespeaks hashtag.
      4. Join in the conversation.

Three Below

“Wouldn’t it be funny if the ‘Three Little Pigs’ story got it wrong?”


“Yeah, like what if the wolf was the victim?”

“And those pigs were what, rival gangsters who had it in for each other?”

“Yeah, and the wolf was the hired gun. At the very end, the surviving pig in his big brick house – Vito Bacone – boiled him alive. “

“You are so weird.”

“Yeah . . . yeah, I am. Cheers, Andie.”

Rick lifted his glass and eyed me over the rim. The lager winked amber in the dim light. I wasn’t sure if he was going to salute me or throw it at me.

We live in the sun – that’s what he always told me. We live in the sun, and nothing can touch us. With a a few brews in the bucket, flowers dancing in the breeze and a lawn made for parties, what can go wrong?

Yeah. We used to live in the sun, but it wasn’t summer anymore. It hadn’t been summer for a very long time. And the sun – well, the sun was a piss-poor version of itself. It was an imposter.

The party bucket was frozen. The flowers were crusted with ice and reaching in vain for the sun. And that lawn? I hadn’t seen that lawn in three years.

When the news came down about the freeze, no one ever thought the islands would get too cold. Too wet maybe – with bugs so big you’d be afraid to let your dog out at night, lest the beasties eat him – but never too cold.

Rick was a helo pilot – gave tours, or used to. No one came to the islands to see snow. I tried to supplement our income with art from the volcanoes – they still smoldered, even under the sheets of ice that crept ever closer to the tops. The meeting of fire and ice had been novel at first, but it was a dwindling trade.

At least they still had brews – and if we wanted them really cold, we could still keep them in the tin bucket. There weren’t any parties anymore, though. We had tried – even had an igloo building contest one year – but as the sun died, the joy just seemed to drain out of them, like so many drips from a spent icicle.

He was still looking at me over the edge of the glass.

“What is it, Rick?”

“You didn’t laugh.”

“I didn’t – laugh? About what?”

“Vito Balcone. I thought it was pretty good.”

He put down the glass. That manic look was gone from his eyes and I patted his hand. It wouldn’t have been the first lager tossed around the squalid little hole in the ground – probably wouldn’t be the last, either – but at least we wouldn’t be scrubbing the floors tonight. There were better ways to keep warm.

“It was good, babe – real good.” I gave that hand a squeeze. “Why don’t you put down that glass and show me just how good you are – but leave out the pigs this time, yeah?”

* * *

D: Nice, A.

A: Okay, frankly, I was hoping something beautiful, stark and lyrical would come flowing from my fingertips in response to WordPress’ weekly challenge. All the same, I’m pretty fond of this mashup between Papi Z’s Three Little Pigs prompt and the ‘Threes’ writing challenge.

D: You would be. But that isn’t important.

A: It isn’t?

D: No, it really is not. Yesterday you had a post, inviting our readers to become part of The People’s Republic of Helena by supporting her Kickstarter campaign.

A: I did.

Book Cover.pdf-page-001 (1)D: You failed to mention that THE ONLY WAY to get a personalized copy of the beloved Dilettante’s  book, Memoirs of A Dilettante, Vol. One (pictured at right), is to support the campaign.


D: I just said that.

A: I was reiterating.

D: Indeed. So, beloved readers, go forth, support and come away with your very own piece of Helena.

A: That sounds dirty.

D: You’re the one who actually had to specify for her characters that pigs were not allowed in the bedroom.

A: Look, Rick was really pleased with his ‘Bacone’ joke – Andie needed to make sure boundaries were set.

D: Weirdo.

A: Thanks, D. That is all for tonight, folks – thank you for reading and have a lovely evening!