‘Twas the night before. . .

As I was putting the final touches on Rise of Kings a few weeks ago, a suggestion from one of my beta readers led me down the path of -gasp- prose I’d written as a way of getting inside D’s head. While I don’t consider any of it *good,* it is insightful. None of this made the cut in the book, but I wanted to share it anyway – there were plenty of easter eggs to be had, which I enjoyed and I hope you do, too.

Originally posted on April 17, 2014 as Lives Entwine.

Warning: Prose ahead! The Daily Post’s challenge-of-the-week was to write a post in prose. Now, I know quite a few excellent poets, and I know I am not of their number. However, as my brain steadfastly refuses to leave D’s world, I thought a bit of prose introducing the players in Book 2 might be in order.

As I said, prose ahead – you’ve been warned!

Maureen

I live.

Queen and goddess,

He said, the mother of kings.

Yet, power withers in my hand

And nothing to claim but portents and lies

Out of the way of history I step,

Out of the way of kings.

Let their magic die upon the Plain

I will be their pawn

No more.

*

Sean

I stand.

Stalwart and true

Hers is the gift of whispers

Twisting a song of power

While mine screams loud with terror.

For her I’ll taste the bitter sting of steel

In wars of men and battles of Fae

Yet his fate we will not echo

For our time, I swear,

Will come.

*

Dubh

I fall.

Crippled druid,

A thousand times I die,

A sacrifice, upon the Plain.

Now I move as myth amongst men – a god

Of terrible vengeance,

A father of kings.

At my call, the sleepers shall arise

And his tyranny will be

No more.

*

Niamh

I fight.

Daughter of gods

Weaver of spells, I see far.

Magic withers upon the Plain –

Death and decay mark his reign.

I will call to the heart of my people

And weave their songs once more.

With his champion at my side,

The age of peace

Will come.

*

Nuada

I rule.

Sons of mac Lir we were

And fierce were our battles

‘Till the day he graced my door.

Cloaked in mist and forgotten power,

He won for me my crown.

Lies I twisted, all to tame him

Until the day, he slipped from my side.

My kingdom is myth,

No more.

*

Mairead

I love.

I stand through the centuries,

A guardian and friend.

Mentor and mother,

The lineage of gods in my keeping,

And his word my only salvation.

I know when wars be over,

And kings awakened,

On that day my love

Will come.

***

Get your copy of Changelings: The Rise of Kings (Changelings, Vol. 2) today – ebooks and paperbacks available at Amazon, and signed paperback copies available here

On Tour: Love Aflame by Pamela Beckford

MEET THE POET

Pamela Beckford Introduces Third Poetry Collection

LOVE AFLAME by Pamela BeckfordPamela Beckford publishes her 3rd solo poetry collection. Using various poetic forms she illustrates how love can set the heart on fire but also shows how that same love can turn to ashes. Poetry is an expression from deep within the soul. It can be therapeutic and healing. It can bring out all the best or the worst in life. Her poetry comes from the heart, not the head. It is an outpouring of emotion and she exposes it to the reader in the pages. She leaves a piece of her soul in every poem.

Love Aflame by Pamela Beckford at http://www.amazon.com/Love-Aflame-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00SRRKADA/

Reviewers have said things like:

“Pamela’s poems are refreshing since they are truly written from the heart. She has a gift of writing a poem that speaks to each person’s heart and emotions.”

“Breathtaking. That singular word – breathtaking – is the best one-word description of ‘Dreams of Love’ by Pamela Beckford that kept coming to mind as I lingered within the pages.”

DREAMS OF LOVE by Pamela Beckford

Dreams of Love by Pamela Beckford at http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Love-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00NVDUYQS/
“These are not just words strung together in forms. Somehow she manages to share huge and deep emotions with two words – or one.”

“Pamela’s poetry is diverse and creative. Lyrical without self-conscious fluff. Quiet confidence in her abilities with the various forms.”

LOVE LOST and FOUND by Pamela BeckfordLove: Lost & Found by Pamela Beckford at http://www.amazon.com/Love-Lost-Found-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00LEST9Z4/

Pamela Beckford has been writing poetry for about two years. She began writing with the encouragement of a couple of friends and has found that it has taken over her mind. She is a nonprofit CEO and enjoys reading with children on a regular basis, as well as her own reading. She lives in northern Indiana where she devotes her life to others through her job and her family.

Changelings on Tour: Pamela Beckford

Day three of the Changelings Blog tour has Pamela Beckford, she of The Year ‘Round Thanksgiving Project and Poetry by Pamela, as host.

Pam, and her fabulous new haircut!

Pam, and her fabulous new haircut! was fortunate enough to meet Pam through Green Embers/Building Rome. I was immediately enamored with the premise behind her blog: that the act of giving thanks is not just a one-day event. It is a daily event, a challenge to see the good in the world around us all the time. In reading Pam’s words – her musings and her daily anecdotes – I am reminded to live mindfully and actively look for things that make me happy – no matter how small.

As I read her blog, I began to see that although Pam considered herself a reader first and foremost – and warm sunny afternoons on her deck buried in a book being her idea of heaven (mine too) – she had a way with words. She wrote regularly for the Community Storyboard and eventually released her first volume of poetry, Dreams of Love. Two more have followed, Voices of Nature and Love: Lost and Found, and they are beautiful. If you haven’t picked up your copy of these books, you should.

No, really – you should. Don’t worry. I’ll wait – because whether it is to give life to the beauty of the world around us, or the joy in a lover’s touch, Pam has a keen insight and a remarkable way with words.

And aside from being a very proud mama and grandma (of one of the cutest kids around), Pam is a diligent promoter of other authors and a proponent of early reading initiatives. I have a feeling that if one has Pam in their corner, they have a fierce and steadfast friend – and I am very pleased to be counted among those she encourages. Thank you so much, Pam!

Pam’s Poetry

Reader: The Night Ones Review

Poet: Suns and Moons (Triple Tanaga) 

Promoter: Read Tuesday

Educator: Calling all Children’s Authors


On Sale Now!

On Sale Now!

 

On Tour: Voices of Nature

Stars Above (alouette)

Starry nights shine bright
Thousands of wee lights
Constellations light the sky
Darkness shows contrast
While clouds have gone past
Suspended in time up high

Pisces and Leo
Taurus and Virgo
Constellations light the sky
Sagittarius
Libra, Pegasus
Worlds of tiny lights float by

©2014 Poetry by Pamela, all rights reserved.

This is just a sample of the poetry you will find in Voices of Nature. There are dozens more poems for you to savor.

http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Nature-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00JCRWVJU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396531395&sr=8-1&keywords=voices+of+nature+by+pamela+beckford

You can buy it here for only $.99 for Kindle – it also available in paperback ($7.19) on Amazon.

Poetry gives voice to what the eyes see and the heart hears.

Inspiration exists all around us. Beauty can be found in the laughter of a child or the blooms of a tree. Poems are one person’s interpretation of the world seen through their eyes and felt in their heart. Poetry is soul food – plain and simple.

Voices of Nature is a collection of poems that reflect the inherent splendor of nature all around us. This book utilizes a variety of poetry forms to paint word pictures.

One review said “The sheer variety of styles in this poetry book is amazing. Haiku, triple haiku, acrostic, rondeau, and so many others. Even better is that they explain the poems in the back, which is a great service to the curious reader.

Each poem is clear and paints a perfect picture of nature. Though, I have an odd feeling that both poets were tired of winter since that had the most amount of poems out of the season sections. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I did love the ‘Thunder and Lightning’ acrostic for the imagery and ‘New Day’ for the complicated style and bringing an odd sense of serene closure to the book.

I would highly recommend this poetry book. Even if you’re not into poetry, the pieces for every season will probably have you going ‘I thought the same thing.’

Pamela previously released a collection of love poems titled Dreams of Love with several five star reviews. She has been writing for a short time, but pours her soul into her poetry.
41aaaE1RQvL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Kirsten collaborated on a collection called Hope’s Flight.
51yB5yGKzUL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

This is a collection created by two poets – Pamela B and Kirsten A.
Both women enjoy exploring various topics and poetry forms. Many forms are represented in Voices of Nature (along with a short description of the forms for your convenience). Buy Voices of Nature for only $.99 today and experience the wonders all around us.

An Exercise in Prose: Lives Entwine

freamWarning: Prose ahead! The Daily Post’s challenge-of-the-week was to write a post in prose. Now, I know quite a few excellent poets, and I know I am not of their number. However, as my brain steadfastly refuses to leave D’s world, I thought a bit of prose introducing the players in Book 2 might be in order.

As I said, prose ahead – you’ve been warned!

Maureen

I live.

Queen and goddess,

He said, the mother of kings.

Yet, power withers in my hand

And nothing to claim but portents and lies

Out of the way of history I step,

Out of the way of kings.

Let their magic die upon the Plain

I will be their pawn

No more.

*

Sean

I stand.

Stalwart and true

Hers is the gift of whispers

Twisting a song of power

While mine screams loud with terror.

For her I’ll taste the bitter sting of steel

In wars of men and battles of Fae

Yet his fate we will not echo

For our time, I swear,

Will come.

*

Dubh

I fall.

Crippled druid,

A thousand times I die,

A sacrifice, upon the Plain.

Now I move as myth amongst men – a god

Of terrible vengeance,

A father of kings.

At my call, the sleepers shall arise

And his tyranny will be

No more.

*

Niamh

I fight.

Daughter of gods

Weaver of spells, I see far.

Magic withers upon the Plain –

Death and decay mark his reign.

I will call to the heart of my people

And weave their songs once more.

With his champion at my side,

The age of peace

Will come.

*

Nuada

I rule.

Sons of mac Lir we were

And fierce were our battles

‘Till the day he graced my door.

Cloaked in mist and forgotten power,

He won for me my crown.

Lies I twisted, all to tame him

Until the day, he slipped from my side.

My kingdom is myth,

No more.

*

Mairead

I love.

I stand through the centuries,

A guardian and friend.

Mentor and mother,

The lineage of gods in my keeping,

And his word my only salvation.

I know when wars be over,

And kings awakened,

On that day my love

Will come.

***

D: Liar.

A: Excuse me?

D: This isn’t the Ballad of Dubhshìth—

A: No, but it has elements of an interlaced story that I want to capture with the final song of the Ballad. Besides, I think it would be kind of interesting if the ballad itself had these voices – you know, future—

D: Oi! Spoilers, A.

A: Oh – sorry, D.

D: As you should be – now who’s getting all – how do you say it? Timey Wimey?

A: Oh, my aching head. You must be catching.

D: Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you.

A: Cheers, D.

So, I have been swamped at home. The Boy is in a local production of Godspell. It’s fabulous (no, really – he was in charge of his costume, and with that many sequins, it can only be called fabulous). It has also meant some adjustments to our typically-lax schedule, so  my time is spent mostly on writing D’s narrative, and far less on blogging. Then, it snowed on Tuesday, and I, being the massive klutz I am, fell. Again. Thank heavens for mothers who are also chiropractors, because mine put my shoulder back in its proper spot!

Needless to say, my urge to glean news from the interwebs has been somewhat diminished, but my love for the following folks is not. Check them all out – because I know they have something interesting, fun and entertaining to say!

In no particular order (because I love you all). . .

**Update: Because apparently a sore shoulder means I don’t know how to put in hyperlinks, I’ve fixed the links below. Sorry!

  • Helena Hann-Basquiat, Being the Memoirs of: http://helenahannbasquiat.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/phone-calls-from-cthunchuk-by-jessica-b-bell/
  • Marie Ann Bailey, 1WriteWay: http://1writeway.com/2014/04/15/mid-april-update-on-the-writers-rebel-creed-2014/
  • John W. Howell, Fiction Favorites: http://johnwhowell.com/2014/04/16/wednesday-story-day-2/
  • Bradley, Green Embers: http://greenembers.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/i-ask-you-respond-to-green-embers-well-aint-that-a-kick-in-the-head/
  • Green, Phoebe and Roxie, Green Embers Recommends: http://greenembersrecommends.com/2014/04/15/believe-tv-new-series-impressions/
  • Jack Flacco: http://jackflacco.com/2014/04/16/clementine/
  • Ionia Martin, Readful Things Blog: http://readfulthingsblog.com/2014/04/14/an-interview-and-opportunity-to-win-a-signed-copy-from-francis-guenette/
  • Pam, Year ‘Round Thanksgiving Project: http://pamela984.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/hello-again/ AND http://poetrybypamela.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/how-much-longer/
  • Charles Yallowitz, Legends of Windemere: http://legendsofwindemere.com/2014/04/14/monsters-magic-items-and-thingies-from-ionia-and-john/
  • Sarah M. Cradit, . . . And then there was Sarah: http://sarahcradit.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/amazon-breakthrough-novel-contest-2014-i-made-it-to-the-quarter-finals/
  • Julian Froment’s Blog: http://julianfroment.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/my-love-2/
  • Sue Vincent, Daily Echo: http://scvincent.com/2014/04/17/let-the-star-rise-land-of-the-exiles/
  • Andra Watkins: http://andrawatkins.com/2014/04/17/fight-brain-drain-read-a-novel/
  • Briana Vedsted, When I became an Author: http://whenibecameanauthor.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/book-signing-2/

On Tour: Dreams of Love by Pamela Beckford

dreamsoflovecover

Description: Poetry is an expression from deep within the soul. It can be therapeutic and healing. It can bring out all the best or the worst in life. Her poetry comes from the heart, not the head. It is an outpouring of emotion and she exposes it to reader in the pages.

Various poetry forms are explored: free verse, tanka (5-7-5-7-7), doidotsu (7-7-7-5) and etheree (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10).

Dreams of Love

Dreams of you and me

Together in ev’ry way

Your lips pressed to mine

Assuring me of your love

Dreams of love eternally

Purchase here!

pamelaPamela began writing poetry in just the last year. She is a nonprofit executive by day and spends her hours trying to be sure that everyone has a chance for a good life. Pamela is passionate about her job and it spills over into her writing. Dreams of Love is her debut poetry collection. Pamela feels that poetry can be very personal but invites you into her soul as you read her poems.

 

Visit the Author!

Poetry by Pamela

Year ‘Round Thanksgiving Project

Bloody Bard Bares . . .

cowboy-hatA: He rode a blazing saddle…!

D: . . .

A: Come on, D. Aren’t you going to fill in the next line? Hint: He wore a shining–

D: I would think wearing a blazing saddle would be enough mental imagery for the folks reading. As you’ve been reminding me all day, it is a Monday, after all.

A: That’s not the point. The point is that TC has been going over our Mel Brooks catalogue of films (for which I have World War Z to thank . . . because the book it is oh-so-incredibly-loosely-are-you-sure-you-can-call-it-“based”-I-think-they-may-have-used-the-word-“inspired”-and-that-is-pushing-it was written by his son, Max).

D: . . . I just don’t know where to begin.

A: You know, I’m almost with you on that one. Shh. Don’t tell.

D: Don’t tell. . . who, A?

A: And, it’s gone. Anyhoodles, not a bad movie – the Israeli soldier is my new hero. She was incredible. Plus: the new Who.

D: And yet . . .

A: And yet, I’m pretty sure one of the vignettes in the book was referencing Brad Pitt, in which case, the movie is more than a little self-referential. I could be wrong, but that is neither here, nor there.

D: But is it everywhere?

A: . . . Oh, you have spent way too much time in my head. I think I may need to put out a call for a character-awareness meeting, or a play date, or something. Yikes.

D: (Sob) I know!

A: (Eye-roll) We love Mel Brooks – TC was brought up on his movies because he didn’t know how to tell a joke when he was nine, and I’m a horrible mother.

D: There is so much right with that sentence—

A: Oi, Druid. Moving on… I need to make this snappy. Blazing Saddles is tonight’s feature presentation. I cannot be late.

D: What’s he going to do? Send you to bed without supper?

A: The Kid is taller than me, D. Taller, smarter and thanks to Mr. Brooks, funnier. I miss the curtain at my own risk. Besides, my creative torrents need refilling.

D: Well, then – let us hit it!

A: Okay, Mongo.

D: . . . I’ll get you for this, my pretty.

A: Wrong movie, D.

D: There are times when I dearly wish . . .  A would focus on other things – other stories, perhaps. If there’s a short story, or a piece of fiction you’ve been wanting to find a home for, pop on over to The Literary Syndicate – Papi Z has put out a call for submissions.

A: Papi is also featuring a weekly prompt. Last week was awesome (Papi did one, and so did we) and this week looks to be even better: A 500-word bit of flash fiction, in which the following phrase is used: “Pandas are known for their ruthlessness.”

D: Well. Moving on. The witty-but-assuredly mad Chuck Wendig, at Terrible Minds, does a prompted feature as well. Check out the one that went live last Friday – A may or may not participate, provided she can find something in that overheated brain of hers to go along with a ‘psychic android,’ a ‘mad botanist greenhouse’ and ‘left for dead, out for revenge.’

A: I can and I will.

D: Gods help us.

A:Muahahahha! Writers Untie! I mean unite. . . wait, no untying may be more fun . . .

D: A. Focus.

A: Another prompted feature, in which we don’t partake – because reading Helena’s contribution is just that much more entertaining – is the Friday Fictioneers.

D: We also really liked reading Wanderer’s contribution – especially as it was such a contrast to Helena’s – two wonderful writers, two entirely different ideas, from one picture.

A: Which is, of course, the point. Check them, and everyone they link to, out. You won’t regret it.

D: Congratulations are in order, A.

A: I know. John W. Howell’s book, My GRL, is out.

D: I can no longer mistake him for that other fellow.

A: That other fellow?

D: See, John is so much more important, he’s eclipsed ideas of that other John-bloke from my head.

A: Nice save.

D: 1300 years are not to trifled with, A.

A: Indeed. So are you going to Congratulate Mr. John W. Howell?

D: I am – Congratulations, John, on your accomplishment, and many—

A: Many—

D: Great wishes for its success. It looks spectacular!

A: Helena – she of the Dilettante fame – has also been published! Her latest venture, in Dagda Publishing’s anthology “All Hail the New Flesh,” features the mistress of the creepy, Jessica B. Bell. Congratulations, Helena!

D: Don’t forget: if you are – as A likes to say – blog hopping, check out GE Recommends. Green has been putting in a lot of midnight hours with that mystical language HTML and CSS to make it look fantastic.

A: And Green – as well as the regular reviewing editors – have been doing a wonderful job keeping up with all the great entertainment out there to tell us what is good, and that which has been found wanting. Green has compiled a great list of last week’s offerings, here.

D: And the lovely Marie Ann Bailey – she who brought the lovely Mary into my life – has pledged to be a part of the Rebel Writers Creed for 2014. Why don’t you ever sign up for a creed or a resolution, A?

A: I solemnly swore that I would not feed you to the beasts of hell when you inspire my ire. Would you prefer I distract myself from that?

D: Nope. That’s just fine, A.

A: Thought so.

D: So, have you been taking notes, A? Sarah M. Cradit’s author website is now live, and it is chock-full of  all sorts of goodies for fans of her House of Crimson and Clover series.

A: I love genealogies.

D: Yes, yes, I know you do.

A: Don’t roll your eyes at me, Druid. The fact that your family has such a twisty one is one of the reasons I keep to my resolution.

D: And on that testy note, I think we are going to end this with a “New to Us–”

A: But probably not new to you–

D: Featurette.

A: This week, the creators of this blog are not new to us—

D: Indeed, they are dear to us, but this concept is beyond brilliant.

A: It is a story, written one line at a time, by you, the audience. Check it out. Please.

D: And the other is a gentlemen that A just started to follow.

A: And one of his latest poems simply caught my fancy.

D: She is fickle that way.

A: And on that note,

D: We shall adieu.

A: Or otherwise, say good night.

D&A: Thanks for reading!

Song of the Lonely Maiden

D: Really A?

A: Best. Song. Ever.

(not sure what assasin’s creed has to do with this, but it was the best version… go with it!)

D: You know just how to turn my anguish into a joke. I’m not ready for this A.

A: What’s the matter, D? It’s just a poem. And not the easiest poem that’s ever crawled its way out of my brain.

D: If that’s how it felt for you, imagine what it’s doing to me, woman.

A: I know it needs work, D but it’s for your book – you could try to be nice.

D: Nice? A! This isn’t about you or your questionable prose – this is about me!

A: (eye roll) Big surprise there.

D: I mean, this is about Mairead and me. I think she’s still pissed.

A: Do you blame her? I mean, centuries of waiting, D.

D: I’m not the one who went and got married.

A: She thought you were dead.

D: Sure, that’s what she says.

A: D! God I am so glad I have time before I have to write your story with her.

D: Why’s that –

A: Because if it were up to me now, she’d slap you across the face and empty a tankard of mead on your head.

D: Oh, I think she did that . . . of course, it was after I—

A: I don’t want to know. I really really don’t want to know.

D: Suit yourself.

Mairead’s Song

In whispers, you come to me.

Faceless phantom.

Without words you beg me,

Wait.

I’ve loved you forever,

And my heart you kept close to your own.

Hands we did clasp, and promises make.

But war and deceit reached out to claim you,

Others had claws that did rend your heart.

Soul gift with magic, you belonged to Another

And with brothers in arms, you did march.

Storms on the horizon scream out in anguish

Mourning the sons who lay dead on the plain

Ravens whispered you lay among them,

Torn and bloody upon the plain.

A choice I made then,

To save us all.

My hand for his army.

Bring them home my only command.

Not dead, yet not alive

Only lost and sore and beaten

Your name on the wind does haunt my waking hours

Damning my days

For misguided honor.

To other lands you wandered

With destiny to fulfill –

The maker of kings,

Who would wake Those Who Sleep,

You fight and die and live again.

Peddlers and bards

Each with a tale to tell

Do sing so sweet with tales of glory.

They do not know they speak of you –

They cannot hear you call my name –

But I know and I hear you truly,

I hear you tell me,

Wait.

Beyond me, away,

So far from me you roam.

Yet I utter words I know you’ll hear

And I reach for you, calling,

I wait.

Why all the poetry? A’s on a mission to complete a compendium of source material for “The Ballad of Dubhshith and Mairead” Read about it – and “The Warrior’s Lament,” the first in the poetry series – here.

Lamenting Warrior seeks lyrically-minded storyteller, details within

D: A . . . A, I don’t quite know what to say.

A: Oh boy, here we go –

D: It’s just that you complained so bitterly. And really you just don’t have a poetic soul. How I ever landed in your mind is a mystery. I mean, sure you’re Irish, but you’re not even maudlin about it. Must be these warm Midwestern summers.

A: Is this you not knowing what to say? Really?

D: The words I’m looking for don’t come easy, A. I’m talking about the poem you wrote for the Community Storyboard, the one for this week’s prompt on angst and longing. I . . . I knew you could do it.

A: You did? Um . . . . Well – thank you, D. Of course, I think you had something to do with it. Angst and longing are rather your department.

D: And here I was trying to be complimentary.

A: And I’m not being disparaging – you have to admit that an epic life comes with some angst. Longing. Pain.

D: All right, you can stop now. I get it.

A: So you really liked it?

D: Don’t fish, woman.

A: Well, it was worth a try. Thanks, D. Stay tuned for Mairead’s version.

D: Mairead?! Wait, A – I don’t think this is such a good idea! I’m not ready!

A: I’m sorry D, I think you’re cutting out. I must be entering a canyon or something – see ya, D!

D: A! We are not on cell phones. I’m right here! A? A? Where’d you go?!

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Warrior’s Lament

(Originally posted on The Community Storyboard)

Mists of time creep by

Filling my senses

And dulling my pain.

I hope.

Once you did love me

A promise you gave

For your kiss, I longed.

I dream.

The burden of honor

The call of my clan

Did tear us apart.

I fight.

Brothers surround me

But always alone

Mired in treachery.

I rage.

Though victory was ours

Too few did return

I was lost to you then.

I weep.

I left to wander

To court jealous gods

History, myth and legend.

I live.

One day I’ll return

Old hurts forgotten

I will hold you and whisper,

My love.

 A Explains the Tale

In writing the draft of Book 1, I “discovered” that there was a very old ballad (or rather, a lyrical oral story) that told the story of a warrior prince and his lost-love. It’s referenced throughout the last half and parts of it are even recited (although, at the moment it looks more like “put pretty words here”). Essentially, “The Ballad of Dubhshíth and Mairead” is a hand-me-down historical clue to D’s life.

Since I have no idea how to write a ballad, let alone compose lyrically-pleasing prose in Irish/Pict/Scot oral storytelling form, I was concerned. Concerned, but really determined to twist my brain around something resembling poetry. I did a small amount of research – more of which is needed – but really, the “Angst and Longing” prompt at the CSB came at the perfect moment.

My brain, and maybe a bit of D’s heart, tossed enough words on the page to make four poems that will make up a compendium of sources for the ballad.The ballad itself will tell the tale of D’s first life – his very own historical record. Realistically, I only need a few lines lifted from the ballad itself and the tone of “Mairead’s Song” (debuting later this week . . . maybe) to make Book 1 work, but I want it all. I want it to function almost as though it were one of the many research books I keep on my desk. I like to think of it as another way to gain insight into a temperament and personality that, 9 times out of 10, remains a mystery to me.

D: So you admit that you don’t give me my due.

A: I didn’t say—

D: Admit it.

A: No.

D: A!

A: Fine. I’ll admit it, if you admit that my head isn’t an empty wasteland compared to what Your Magnificence has come to expect.

D: So we’re agreeing to disagree then, hm? All right. I can work with that.

A: (Sigh). Cheers, D.

Gods do swear

Gods do swear,

I had years,

Of stolen breath.

Living trouble?

Wrong.

Living god.

D: A, A, why are you doing this to me?

A: Doing what?

D: Torturing me!

A: Thanks for the support, D.

D: You are the first person to admit you’re not really made for this sort of thing. I mean, there’s that up there and then there was the response to Dean’s September 1 prompt at the Community Storyboard. It really must end.

A: I know D, but I’m trying to learn.

D: . . .

A: Fine. Put it this way, you are made for this sort of thing and you fail, on many occasions, to impart your wisdom. What is the point of having a centuries-old Druid camped out in your brain if he won’t teach you how to turn a bit of prose now and again?

D: Job security?

A: D! You are a Druid – you are a born tale-teller, a master at words, an orator and mystic. I can do an okay limerick.

D: Sometimes.

A: Exactly.

D: I still don’t get it.

A: (Sigh) You’re a 7th century Pict. They had a written language, but much of their histories and stories were told through song and oratorical extravaganzas. Since the next two books spend a fair chunk of time in the 7th century, it would behoove me to at least be able to give a few lines here and there of your mastery.

D: Ha, you said I had mastery.

A: D, pay attention.

D: (snicker) I have mastery!

A: D!!

D: Okay, fine. Do I understand you correctly in that you would like to learn how to write a stylized oratory extravaganza in order to do my mastery justice?

A: I don’t know why I even try talking to you some days.

D: Because I have mastery.

A: (Eye roll) Fine. Yes. I want to learn. You’re the one who plopped the Ballad of Dubhshìth and Mairead in my lap at the last minute (name changer!) and I want to do it justice. At least, I want to fake well enough so you sound marginally eloquent.

D: Oh! So now I’m eloquent and masterful.

A: Someone shoot me.

The Druid Tells the Tale

D: Because I’m masterful.

A: I take that back – can someone shoot the Druid?

D: Oi, I’m talking here!

I criticize A all the time. Of course, it is rare that she listens to me, which is why you have this blog. If you have an eagle-eye for detail and would like to be told the truth of your own work, check out Diamonds or Dust, an unbiased critique group for serious writers.

A: There is so much fun at the Community Storyboard, but please check out the first-ever, CSB chain-story event, Squirrels: This Time Its Personal. Each episode just gets better and better.

D: In case you didn’t see it the first time, Ionia Martin, Queen of Readful Things and all of us, her minions, beat cancer. Can we give the lady the biggest hug the blogosphere has ever seen? Please? Tell her the Druid sent you.

A: D – I think Ionia might like this:

D: . . .

A: She said something about a pole dancing, and I’m just wondering if this is what happened after.

D: You mock me, but I am sill masterful.

A: I’ve created a monster.

Speaking of Ionia and Queenlieness, Part 2 of the Query Letter Series is now available. This post series is helpful, to the point, and takes a lot of the fear out of creating something an editor or an agent – or rather, their hapless assistants – might want to read and (gasp!) respond to in a positive fashion!

D: Speaking of which. . .

A: Editing, D. Editing.

D: So you say . . .

Since A is editing, take your fill from a published writer, a one Charles Yallowitz, Scribe of Windemere, whose work “Sari Fairy Tale” is available for view at wePoets Show It.

What was the wackiest thing (to you) that you learned to do in order to write a story, get a job, or do that thing that you’ve wanted to do so learning to walk on your hands backwards really didn’t seem so wacky after all??