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/

Moments to Remember: The Druid himself – An origin narrative

no eyes2

The first appearance of the Druid – I think The Boy did a great job as a stand-in!

A: It’s the final piece of the D/A Dialogues origin stories, written in response to the Weekly Challenge: Reflections.

D: Because we all know that, for A, following the rules and only posting one thing in response to a challenge is boring.

A: Too right, Druid.

D: (Eye roll) Today, it’s my turn to speak about my origins – about the man I am in A’s books.

A: And don’t worry – he’s not blonde.

D: Thank the gods. Anyway, some of this is from the two defunct books that make up my back-story – the tale of my parents and that first-person narrative I mentioned yesterday.

A: Mentioned is a nice word – I would have said blabbed.

D: You say tomato, I say tomahto.

A: Indeed – and without further ado, the Big Tomahto himself, Dubh an Súile. . .

An old woman, a priestess of a goddess now banished from the minds of men, once laid her hands on my mother’s belly.  Long before my small movements could be felt, long before I even looked like the man-child I would become, the old woman felt my spirit, strong and true.  Bidden by this, she uttered words that, on the eve of great tragedy, gave my mother greater calm:  “They will know him as Dubh an Súile, and he will be a great leader of men.”

My origins – my life and its path – can be traced to that prophesy. Whether or not the old woman was correct, it followed me through to the end of my days. It haunted me as much as it bade men to follow me. It was, in turns, used as a curse against me and to rally me from despair of my own making.

The monks of the Christos and the priests of the Druid grove each had a hand in my education, but at seven years of age, it was to the grove I was sent. I was the second son, and while they knew I would not lead the clan upon my father’s death, it was hoped I would lead the grove.

It took me nine years to earn the right to sing at the hearths of my people, counsel kings and delve deep into the heart of men to see their path. I was a Druid true – not a magician but skilled in the Sight and a reader of the stars. I returned home only to have my homecoming interrupted by war. We – the mac Alasdair clan of Craig Ussie – went to aid our brethren against the Kingdom of Northumbria.

We were betrayed; my father and I were captured and held by our enemy for over a year. Our kin thought us dead, but fought on regardless. They said our deaths lead them into victorious battle. Our southern brothers were free once more, but I lost everything that mattered: my father, the woman who had given me her heart and the life we could have led together.

When we returned home, I knew I could not stay – and yet I could not lead the grove, either. I went to Éire – Ireland. I put aside my training as a mystic to earn my keep at whatever hearth could keep me. I roamed the country so long I thought I had escaped the life I once led – I sang tales of my own bravery in battle, and none knew that it was I.

The moment of my becoming – the moment when that old woman’s prophesy claimed my soul – happened as I stumbled upon an old hermit, living atop a sidhe mound. These mounds dotted the land – sacred and feared – and marked the places where once the Milesians led the Tuatha Dé Danann after they conquered the land. That he lived so close to the Fae was a temptation I could not resist.

It was a temptation that would prove the undoing of me – and be the key to my salvation.

D: I can’t actually say more, or A will interrupt me.

A: You know me too well, Druid.

D: Well, it could hardly be helped – you’ve been singing “spoilers” in the background for the last fifteen minutes. Singing off-key, might I add.

A: (Shrug) It’s what I do.

D: . . . I’m not going to suggest just what it is you do, but do you realize, A, that in all of this, we never actually gave the blog’s origin story?

A: I think we’ve been over that more than enough times.

D: Sure, but you know, the short version. . .

A: Okay, the short version is that I used to write notes between us in the marginalia of edits. Or in the back of my head. Or on napkins and notebooks. I’d giggle. I thought others would, too.

D: And . . .

A: Relentless much? And I was faced with the idea that if I wanted any agent/publisher/reader to look at me, I was going to have to learn to promote myself – otherwise known as putting myself out there. For an introvert of massive proportions, it was a big deal. Having a dialogue with you seemed like a great way to get started.

The Dialogues' very first logo - my poor, aching head.

The Dialogues’ very first logo – my poor, aching head.

D: Also, it lets people know, right from the start, that you are stark raving mad.

A: Well, it helps. It lowers the expectation threshold.

D: Indeed – and with that, I do believe we are going to bid the internet a fond evening.

A: We are at that, D. I have Spartans to watch with The Boy.

D: I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that – those Spartans—

A: D – D in no way is the movie we’re about to watch historically accurate. Just sit back and you know, think of England or something.

D: . . .

A: (Grin) Thanks for reading everyone – have a great weekend!

Part 1: A’s Writerly Origins | Part 1.5: Bookish Origins | Part 2: D’s Character Origins | Part 3: The Druid himself – an origin narrative

Shenanigans

Photo courtesy Google Images, labeled for commercial reuse

Photo courtesy Google Images, labeled for commercial reuse

“So, this Zoroastrian, Jennifer Aniston and a Leprechaun walk into a bar – stop me if you’ve heard this, babe.”

Bored chatter on the other end of the cell phone told him that ‘babe’ – aka Jonathan L.F. Morgan, head of Le Fay, Morgan and Sons – had heard the joke before.

“Johnny, Johnny – kid, baby, come on! It’s great! They’re going to love it.”

More chatter. Morty ignored it.

“But Johnny – kid –“

A hissed intake of breath met this last. Jonathan L.F. Morgan hadn’t been a kid for nigh-on eighty years, if his wrinkled mug was anything to go by, but Morty liked to give him the benefit of the doubt – you know, make him feel younger with the lingo. It didn’t work.

“Johnny? You there?”

Dead air. Morty snarled at the blinking ‘call ended’ on his cell phone.

“Call ended – I’ll show you call ended!” He chucked the phone at the couch.

It missed and skittered along the floor, smashing into the slate corner of the sunken fire pit his last wife had thought would look “so fetching” in their split-level family room.

Last wife – what was she, six? Seven? Whatever. He didn’t know why he kept putting a ring on their fingers. Peggy hadn’t even lasted long enough to see the damn fire pit put in – but she had spent what was left of his last gig hiring the guy to do it. Morty thought for sure she would make off with the meaty hunk of good ol’ boy, but it turned out she had eyes for that good ol’ boy’s wife.

Rodger ended up putting in the slate edging free of charge. Nice fella’ – the two of them met for drinks every other Friday.

Morty leaned down to pick up the phone. Peeking out from between eyelids squeezed tight, he scoped the damage.

Cracked.

No, not cracked. Shattered.

Damnit.

He tossed it on the couch. It made it this time, but its bounce amid the cushions was less than satisfactory.

With a disgusted grunt, Morty turned to the unwieldy bowl Rodger had given him at their last meet-up.

“It’s a cauldron,” Roger had insisted. “It’s got powers.”

“What’re those?” Morty had jerked his thumb at the numerous dents and dings on the silver beast’s surface. “Bludgeoning powers?”

“No, you fool – it’s got real powers. The guy who sold it to me said no one can leave it but be satisfied. You should use it –“

“Hey, I ain’t had no problems satisfying anyone. . . Peggy notwithstanding.”

Roger had laughed. “Yeah, I thought the same with Sue. I’m not talking about women, Mort. I mean your career – you should use it to stage your comeback.”

Morty had been trying to stage a comeback for nearly 10 years. For some reason, his brand of stand-up had gone flat. Fads came and went and yet his “Johnny, baby, kid” never seemed to boomerang the way the others did. Maybe Rodger was on to something. It was worth a go.

So he’d clutched that damn cauldron in his sweaty little hand, called up Jonathan L.F. Morgan and given it his best shot. And what had been his reward?

Nothing. Nothing but the shards of another wrecked phone and dead air.

“Satisfied my Aunt Fanny – what the hell are you good for, anyway?”

Morty was about to reach for his bag of marshmallows – it was the only damn thing that fire pit was good for – when the phone began making a half-hearted attempt to ring. Morty caught it before it launched itself at the glass and chrome ‘post-modern’ masterpiece of a coffee table his second wife had insisted they buy.

“Yeah?”

It was Le Fay Morgan and Son’s competitor.

“You did? Really? Wait – you bug his phones?”

Must be the way they snatch talent.

“How soon can I – are you serious Mr. Pen—yeah, sure, I’ll call you Arthur.”

Arthur wouldn’t let him get a word in edgewise, and that was just fine with Morty. He’d start at the man’s latest and hippest nightclub, Myriad, on Friday night. He even wrangled the best seats in the house for his very best friend, Rodger. It was the least he could do.

As he turned placed the phone gently on wife #2’s coffee table, he failed to notice the cauldron glowing. From within was the faintest hint of laughter.

“It’s the leprechaun” whispered a tiny voice, just beyond the range of hearing. “It gets them every time!”

For Papi Z’s prompt “Jennifer Aniston and a Leprechaun walk into a bar.” 

* * *

D: You are twisted, A.

A: What do you mean?

D: I just heard The Boy, A. He’s calling this the Godspell of Pre-Christian Celts . . . . without, you know, the music.

A: Yeah. And?

D: You’re just weird, that’s all.

A: Thank you, D. I consider that a rousing endorsement. But personally, instead of castigating me, I think we should throw our efforts behind some congratulations.

D: Anything to avoid the Druid’s opinion, is that it?

A: Right on the money, babe! So, without further ado. . .

Yesterday

D: First we want to offer a belated but well-meant congratulations to Charles Yallowitz for the release of his fourth Windemere book: Family of the Tri-Rune, which is on sale now!

A: Congratulations, Charles! Also happening “yesterday” – Veronica Mars Fans rejoiced with the release of the Veronica Mars movie. Loukeshan at Green Embers Recommends has a review!

Today

D: Speaking of Green Embers Recommends, today is the weekly ‘read-of-the-week’ roundup for Editor Ionia, from Readful Things.

A: Today is also a lovely day for a walk – and Andra, author of To Live Forever, An Afterlife Journey of Merriweather Lewis, is walking the Natchez Trace to promote her book’s release. Yesterday she reached the halfway-mark, and today . . . well today was a gas, to say the least!

Tomorrow

D: Briana Vedsted, author of my very favorite western, Me and Billy the Kid, has a new novella coming out TOMORROW!

A: That’s right, folks, The Home Fire will be released on March 20. Check out this sneak peek at Briana’s site.

D: And finally, check out the latest installments of the Bayou Bonhomme serial written by Helena Hann-Basquiat’s dark-hearted counterpart, alter ego and possible muse, Jessica B. Bell.

A: But be warned, if you have no idea what the Bayou is, you must click here. It will bring you all the way back to the beginning.

D: Why is this in “tomorrow” when all the other ongoing promotions are in “today?”

A: Because with Helena’s story, there is – at this point – always a tomorrow. Until, of course, there isn’t.

D: And because you wanted balance for your categories.

A: Yeah, well, I like symmetry.

D: Well, since I began the dialogue, symmetrically speaking, I should end it.

A: Indeed.

D: (Takes a bow) And so good people, we bid you adieu. Thank you ever so much for joining us this evening. We hope you have enjoyed the show. And as a final treat, I leave you with this, A’s very favorite Irish song, which she failed to share on St. Patrick’s Day. Goodnight!

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?

Life in the fast lane

“Why didn’t you stop her?”

The words touched the dread clawing at Sean’s throat. He couldn’t stop the tide of angry, panicky words. “I couldn’t! She clubbed Sir Nathan in the head! She’s helping them and she’s refusing to leave – she’s so deeply enmeshed in this that there is no talking to her, no reasoning with her.”

“Because you insist on using reason.” Dubh grabbed him by the shoulders. “This is not a reasonable war. These men and women are full of emotion and passion. They sing about martyrs and blood sacrifice. This is danger and love and Maureen is throwing all that she has at it. Use it; speak to her. You are stronger than this, boy.”

Sean spread his hands out in front of him, wishing they held some answer. Emotion? He had that, but Maureen was past listening. He’d lost his chance.

“No, you haven’t. You haven’t even begun to fight for her. I can’t do this, Sean. None of us belong here.”

Sean felt a finger of foreboding slide down his neck. All the questions he wanted to ask, like where Dubh had been the last two months, dried in his throat. Dubh was scared; even amidst Bingham’s men, Dubh had not shown fear.

D: 2 months? You let 2 months go by?

A: I let? You’re the one calling the shots, D.

D: I know, but 2 months?! No wonder.

A: They’re 15 – well, Sean is 16 now, but still, what did you expect?

D: (Bloody teenagers). Okay, so I may have allowed things to get out of hand, but how do you reckon it was 2 months?

A: Simple math that made my head kind of hurt because I took it too far. Did you know that because you spent a generation away from the hill that you spent 60 days in Tír na nÓg?

D: Wait, A. Slow down. You used math?

A: Yes. It hurt.

D: I can see that. Back to the two months . . . ?

A: Oh, yeah. 24 hours in Tír na nÓg equals about 6 months for us. I’d say you spent about six hours chatting and travelling when you visited Niamh. That puts you at 1.5 months, but then you still had to integrate yourself with the uprising and get your bearings. It’s an approximation.

D: I did not spend that much time chatting.

A: Then what were you up to, D?

D: You’ll find out.

A: I am not going to like this at all, am I?

D: You might. You seem to have an appreciation for the epic. You may even enjoy yourself.

A: That’s pushing it, Druid, and you know it.

D: Yes, but I can always hope, A.

A: You keep hoping and I’ll keep writing, how about that?

D: Can’t argue with you.

A&D: For once.
A’s telling the tale today, baby!

Slow down a little with Kate Shrewsday and vote for her to be a Penguin Wayfarer – then she gets to wander on foot across Britain. I recently discovered Kate’s page, thanks to Andra at the Accidental Cootchie Mama. Kate’s musings on her world make me smile. In order to help her realize her dream, click on the following link and vote for Kate (the only Kate on the page): http://www.ajourneyonfoot.com/  (Can we come, too? Not our journey, D. But I—I’m working on it, D. Between you and TC, if we don’t get over there eventually, I’m toast!).

D: Thunder stealer.

A: Do you have anything better, Druid?

D: No. I’m going to go mope in my corner.

A: You could always lurk back to your corner.

D: I refuse to dignify that with a response.

A: Cheer up, D. There’s always tomorrow.

Double, double, toil and trouble

. . . Sean stood in the doorway, watching them, hating them. He didn’t want to care – their fight, their belief – he wanted it to mean nothing to him.

“You would hate them for their love of country?”

“Pardon?” Sean tried to turn around, but something in that deep voice forbade it.

“Your face, it speaks volumes. You don’t like them. You don’t even respect their fight. They are prepared to die and you despise them. Is there nothing in your life worth that sacrifice? You don’t have to help them, you don’t have to share their belief, but save your contempt for yourself.”

The voice faded and Sean spun, angry words on his lips. The voice and its owner were gone however, and there was no evidence that anyone had been in the hall. Sean swallowed, his words stuck in his throat. He thought back to Maureen, facing Mrs. Mallory and the leaders of the Irish Volunteers by herself.

She was probably having the time of her life, even if she was terrified.

The voice and its message slid from his memory. With one last glance at the men who would soon make history, Sean made his way back to the drawing room. . .

D: What was that, A? Who is chatting up Sean’s mind?

A: I’m not sure. It just sort of happened.

D: A, you may be taking this ‘inspired’ thing a little too far.

A: Perhaps. Are you sure that’s not you?

D: Uh, no. Now, I’m not usually the one to tell you this, but I think what we have is an attack of the darlings.

A: I know.

D: You know what you have to do, don’t you?

A: Find out who that is and thread it better through the story?

D: . . . You could . . .

A: Or I could beat my head against a wall and hope it doesn’t leave a mark.

D: Also an option.

A: I suppose I could just delete it, too.

D: Save it in that overstuffed outtakes file you have. At least until you figure out who it is. And in the meantime, A?

A: Yes?

D: Please figure out where all the home-staging points were for the leaders of the rebellion. If I see the (SOMEWHERE) tag one more time because you have no idea where they might have been, I’m going to take over your hands and start typing for you, too. Take a tip from TerribleMinds and Google Street View the location. There’s no shame in admitting that you’ve forgotten what the city looks like.

A: I have not! I just didn’t have time to put in the descriptions.

D: Right . . .

A: Fine, it’s a good point. Oh, and D?

D: Yes?

A: Who are you and what have you done with my Druid? You’re so . . . so . . . helpful!

D: It’s early yet, A. By the time you get to the breakdown of the rebellion tonight you’re going to be wishing for your fortress of solitude all over again.

A: Gee, can’t wait, D.

The Druid Tells the Tale

D: This is wild, and fantastic and good ol’ Liz would probably have had a fit. A and I love Michael Bradley – Time Traveler’s blog, and between the Conspiracy Theory that Queen Elizabeth I was really a man in drag and the pictures of an abandoned Wizard of Oz theme park, we’re both hooked.

A: And Charles over at the Legends of Windemere has some excellent advice on how not to force the reader to suspend belief about your characters’ ability to take a hit: Don’t ‘Black Knight’ Your Characters (Yeah, A: take notes. Bugger off, D.).

D: She’s just so charming. I don’t know how I survived all 1300 years before being cast into the pit that is her mind. For those out there with manuscripts ready for submission (hint, hint, A . . . . ignoring you, D . . . ) Fight for your Write has found some publishers seeking manuscripts. Since not all of you can be wandering Druid/Bards with every hearth eager to hear the tale you tell, it’s a resource worth checking out!

A: I think he’s up to something – he’s being too nice. Anyway, check out The MisAdventures of Vanilla – there’s a new character in town and he gives me the willies: Stan: The Man Comes to Town.

Dark moon rising 6.6.13

D: A I don’t feel very good about this.

A: Superstitious? You?

D: Um, A – I traveled through time; discovered that the Tuatha Dé Danann were real, lived actual myths and created a few of my own. You have to ask?

A: I know, but it really isn’t anything – it’s not a full 666 and I don’t think 13 is unlucky. It has a 3! We like 3s.

D: And the dark face of the moon this week? That means nothing to you?

A: I like new moons. It’s a good time to shed your skin.

D: You defy reason, A. That is a whole lot of little things piling up into one great big thing. And you have a black cat.

A: Isis is about as threatening as a teddy bear, unless you don’t feed her. Then she’s likely to gnaw your face off in the night.

D: Did you feed her?

A: Um…

D: Ohmygodsweareallgoingtodie!

A: Hahahahahahahaha!

D: That is not funny, A.

A: Oh, yes it is, D.

A’s telling the tale today, Baby!

While D hides in the corner (I resent that!), I’m taking over the tale-telling. Don’t tell D, but I just made all that up. It was fun, too!

Here is some numerology on today for you, courtesy Matrix/Astrologyland; I think it’s’ lovely:

Today is a “9”.  A day to see the larger picture, think deeply and freely. Play in the realms of philosophy and spirit. It’s also a good day for travel and learning. It is a good day to enjoy poetry, music and the arts. Be tolerant of others.

D: You are a dirty, rotten liar, A. I’ll get you for this. (And my little dog too? You’re mocking me. Yup.) Congratulations are in order! A Room of His Own, A True Story of One Cat, on The Community Storyboard, has been Freshly Pressed. This is wonderful news. The story is touching and a beautiful example of the lengths we will go for our animals.

A: It’s Thursday! That means another installment of Harry Steinman’s Marketing/Self-Publishing Series at Readful Things Blog. Today, he discusses Kickstarter.

“If you want to protect them, protect what is left of that timeline. Make sure they are safe; hide them if you must. He will take action, and there are still some who will support him.”

She was giving him leave to go, but Dubh hesitated. He stood before the door and gazed back at her. Underneath her warnings, she was talking about revolution. Nuada was king, emperor, god of Tir na nOg, and there had been peace for a thousand years. There were rules governing the travelers, rules that had once been just. However, if what Niamh was saying was true, then perhaps it was time. If Nuada had sent Sean and Maureen to 1916 . . . well, then it was time.

Just click your heels three times

Dorothy Gale

Dorothy Gale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

D: Oh please, A, not a post about your obsession with that girl and her sparkly red shoes.

A: They’re really silver, but Ms. Garland did make the red ones iconic. I have a few pairs myself. Did you know, when I was little, I thought I was Dorothy?

D: I wondered why there was a little dog up here.

A: And I made my mother glitter a pair of my mary-janes.

D: That does not surprise me at all.

A: It really shouldn’t. There’s a reason I found a home at Kalmbach.

D: I thought it was because it was a publishing house.

A: Well, yeah, that’s what I tell people. But really, it’s the sparkle. It reaches down to us in customer service – they can hear it in our voices. (Unless you’re a train enthusiast, and then it’s the steam engines/diesels/something or another/insert your favorite here.)

D: So the show is going well, then.

A: Fan-sparkle-tastic.

D: I have no purpose here.

A: What, you don’t like a little razzle-dazzle? What do you call all those facial and arm adornments, the clasp on your cloak and the embroidery on that flashy tunic you wear while you tell the tale? Hm?

D: They don’t sparkle, A.

A: Same idea, D. If I recall, you seemed to like Niamh’s sparkle.

D: That’s magic, and it’s different. Are you insinuating–

A: It is not different: sparkle is the mortal way of having magic, D. You should know that. You need to go back to Druid School.

D: Druid School?

A: Druid School. Cheer up, D. Have a cookie.

The Druid Tells the Tale:

Razzle-Dazzle indeed. I pretend not to understand the crazy world A inhabits, but Amazon would really like to downgrade both your intelligence and your common sense. Read Green Embers’ opinion piece and visit the Legends of Windemere for a real-life example of this ridiculous practice.

A: And for a little more sparkle in your world, read Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquait, Dilettante. Her unique take on nursery rhymes were a particular delight!

(And, to tease D about Niamh’s sparkle, read on! A!! It wasn’t like that! Muah-hahahaha, payback is mine!)

. . . Colorful hangings, woven by Niamh’s mother, graced the walls. A few, Dubh noted, were newer. These were Niamh’s own, then.

“You’ve gotten better,” he remarked, pointing at one, its tones of rose, yellow and blue twisting a pattern that shifted as he watched. It trapped him in its weave, telling a story. Dubh tore his eyes from it. He didn’t have time for the tales it could tell.

“Sit, Dubh, please. Glowering at the tapestry will not help you find Sean and Maureen any faster.”

“So you know?”

“I know, and I’m not the only one. We felt it, your waking. It has been so long. We thought them all gone from your world, thought you were the last one. It was powerful, Dubh.”

He turned and regarded Niamh closely. Her golden hair was twisted in tight braids and within the intricate weave were glimmering stones. Bits of magic that looked like flowers, but sparkled as she moved, crowned the head that barely came to his chest. She was a woman grown, and she knew power.

“Then you know what happened? You know what I did . . .”

Stealing the spotlight

. . . There was no moon, no sun, no point of reference. Only the mist was alive with light and movement, revealing his way even as it sought to disorient him.

Dubh walked faster, slicing a path through the haze. Although more than five hundred years had gone since he had passed this way, he remembered. He remembered the hut – a mere speck on the horizon – and he remembered the girl.

She was waiting. Niamh had grown to womanhood in his absence and she was waiting for him.

“Dubh an Súile,” she announced lightly. At the chime of her voice, the mists – the all-pervading mists that shrouded this world, that softened that which was not soft – bloomed with color. Golden yellow, blue and green danced within the current . . .

D: Oh, A. I knew you could do it!

A: Do what? Wait, do I want to know?

D: That scene – it’s new! I like it.

A: Gee, thanks, D. I think.

D: No, I really do. Finally!

A: You seem rather more excited than I would have expected. What’s up?

D: The sky. Birds. Is that a plane?

A: Helicopter. They’ve finally found me.

D: What?

A: You get to be obtuse and I get to be random. It’s a thing.

D: I thank the gods that you write better than you speak.

A:  You and me both! I repeat, what has you so excited, D?

D:  It’s a scene. About me. I mean, being a “god impersonator” is all well and good, but I’m looking for a little depth, A. Some substance. Gravitas!

A: Does personality count?

D: . . . Not as much as you’d like it to.

A: Believe me, D. You have gravitas. Even a little panache. But this scene is to introduce a smidge of background. I couldn’t have you showing up as Commander Declan—

D: Still hate that name.

A: You don’t have it for long; Maureen will recognize you.

D: Thank heaven for small mercies.

A: Can I continue? I couldn’t have you showing up as Commander Declan without a little bit of history – not real history, your history. You were a bit too mysterious to me, so you were an enigma to the story.

D: Well, enigma no more, I have a back-story!

A: Oh, that was bad, D. Even for you. It’s not funny, and I don’t think it makes sense.

D: I know; I picked it out of your brain. You’re welcome.

A: That’s just swell.

“. . . But first you must find them,” Niamh repeated, taking her hand away and rising. Her insistence struck a deep chord in Dubh’s belly. “You must bring them home, before–”

“Niamh, since when are you concerned with the fate of mortals? I know my duty, and I will do it, but this urgency . . .”

“They must be tucked up in their little convent school before he acts. They are a risk – your history is not safe with them blundering about out there. You led them through, Dubh; it is your duty to finish it.”

“You know where they are, don’t you?”

“I do, and I wonder at how they got there. . .” 

Every day is a holiday

D: I see you’d rather look at Brownielocks’ Official Holidays than write today, hm?

A: Uh huh . . .

D: A . . . ? Come back, A . . .

A: At least I’m not lost on Go Fug Yourself. There’s a chance I might come back from all the interesting daily holidays . . .

D: A . . .

A: Did you know that today is Blah! Blah! Blah! Day?

D: No, I wasn’t aware.

A: D! It’s a day devoted to you when you get on your high horse! You should feel honored.

D: . . .

A: Just kidding, D! Oh, look – it’s also National Bookmobile Day and Nothing Like a Dame Day.

D: What does that even mean? My god, has civilization has become so complacent as to make up daily holidays? Your lives are obviously far too easy. I think I need to go back to the Renaissance. (Sigh) Those were good times.

A: Welcome to progress, D. . . oh, hey, tomorrow is National wear your PJs to Work Day – yes!

D: I give up.

“. . . Did you know that the church had been built on a fairy hill?” Sean asked absently as they walked in a rut of the narrow path.

Maureen glanced at her friend, his hands shoved in his pockets and shoulders hunched. “I didn’t know that, no. Are you telling me you think fairies grabbed us and sent us hurtling through time, Sean?”

“No… although it’s as good a theory as any, at the moment.” Sean looked up and winked at Maureen, who was rolling her eyes at him. “I was reading that book – you know, the one you smuggled in with the rest of your packages last weekend?”

Sean grinned. Maureen acquired information – usually the forbidden kind – with an almost avaricious glee. “That book on the old religions? It had something about the Tuatha dé Danann, and how the Celts, having defeated them, led them into the earth through the sidhe mounds – fairy hills.”

“So, the Celts, being the invaders in this scenario, took over and assigned their own meaning to already-sacred sites?” Maureen had read the book, too. Suddenly Sean’s meaning became clear.

“And the Anglo-Irish priests completed the circle by sealing the deamons inside forever with their church,” she finished, triumphant. “Just like Patrick trying to drive the snakes out of Ireland!”

Sean rubbed the bridge of his nose, not sure whether he felt shocked or amused. “I wasn’t going to go that far, but it is the general idea. Why do you think the oaks were being cut? Lucky for us they were, though; it gives me an idea of when we might be. . .