It's the Druid's life for me

Even as a wee lad, the Druid knew his path . . .

The Druid, it seems, has always known his path . . .

A: Hey, D. What did you want to be when you grew up?

D: What did I want to be?

A: Yeah – I mean, even way back then, at the dawn of time, you had to have aspirations, dreams.

D: I take exception to that “dawn of time” comment . . . 670 was not the dawn of time, A.

A: . . .

D: Well, it isn’t.

A: Fine. It’s just slightly after the dawn of time—

D: A—

A: You’re avoiding the question, D: what did you want to be when you grew up?

D: You say that as though it’s something different than what I am, now that I am, ostensibly, grown.

A: Oh, I don’t mean that at all – but did you really know, at the tender age of-of. . . you know, this is why I had such trouble writing that book of your beginnings – you as a cherub-cheeked lad with a halo of dark curls really messes with my vision of you now.

D: . . . Your vision of me now?

A: Did you just learn how to italicize, or something?

D: Maybe. It works though.

A: Maybe.

D: (Eye roll). Regardless of your vision of me now, in my cherub-cheeked days I was made keenly aware of the gifts I possessed, despite my mother’s insistence I have what she called ‘a normal childhood’ away from the machinations of the clans and the druids. Yet, I was the second son of the clan chief, and had a gift that was prophesied before my birth.

A: And then there’s that honor thing – it didn’t let you even challenge that prophesy, did it?

Just looking at this, I can't imagine D as a child . . . it's just not right. (D as imagined by Green Embers)

Imagine, D as a child – all cherub-cheeks and curls. No, I can’t do it, either.
(D as imagined by Green Embers)

D: You call it honor, but I would say it is integrity. It would not have allowed me to challenge my fate, even if I had wanted to. I did not want to, A. The gods touched my soul – it was my privilege to receive the training necessary to use their gifts. I was born with the responsibility to lead, and it was an honor to fight at the side of my brother and father in defense of our people.

Although, I will say that I veered from the path the gods decreed more often than I care to admit – I am human, failingly so. Yet, even my wanderings were necessary to becoming the man gods insist I become.

A: Indeed –  frankly, you left me exhausted after I wrote just a fraction of you story. You’re a little intense, D. But, I have a question.

D: Just one?

A: How do I fit into this path of yours?

D: I’m still fairly certain you’re my punishment for some slight against the gods, although its origins continue to elude me.

A: Nice.

D: I do my best. But enough about me, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: Indiana Jones.

D: . . .

A: Hey, you asked.

D: Indeed I did – and with that, folks, we bid you a fond adieu. It’s A’s birthday today, and I’m sure she’s going to post some of her hijinks on that twittering bird and friendly facebooking – keep a weather eye on the horizon, and it will all be over soon!

A: Cheers, D. And thank you all for reading – have a great weekend!

***

For The Daily Post’s prompt: Futures Past.

He Pleads . . . Fireworks?

Guess who this guilty pleasure belongs to...

Guess who this guilty pleasure belongs to…

A: Come on, D. Spill it. What are your guilty pleasures?

D: A, I’m as close to an ascetic as one can be.

A: That is a load of malarkey – you’ve taken ‘warrior-priest’ to a whole new extreme. Besides, I happen to know your heart still beats in double-time whenever Mairead sidles by.

D: Perhaps – but that is not something for which I feel guilty. Besides, it is not yet our time – and I shall not be some faithless cad–

A: Okay, okay – God, you are so pedantic. What about other things?

D: Other things?

A: You know, food. TV shows. Books. Your love of cats, even though you keep decrying the lack of war hounds in my home?

D: I never—

A: I didn’t say those were true – except for the last one. Ha!

D: One can love cats and hounds, A. I appreciate cats for their mystery.

A: Right. And not for their fluffy bellies, and their ecstatic chasing of the little red dot.

D: Oh. You heard that, did you?

A: You are in my head. I hear everything.

D: Oh.

A: Yeah. Okay, so we have cats on the list. Anything else?

D: I didn’t say—

A: Anything else?

D: You are relentless.

A: You aren’t answering the question.

D: Fine. Katy Perry songs.

A: Katy Perry?

D: Yes.

A: . . . Forgive me, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one. I mean, I enjoy her songs and all, but um, it just doesn’t jive with my vision of—

D: Did you know you’re a firework, A?

A: Wow.

D: And, A. You’re original, cannot be replaced.

A: Okay, you can stop now. I can see why maybe you’d consider that a guilty–

D: Hey – you know what, A? I’m not ashamed. I’m proud. You hear that world? Proud!

A: . . . Okay then. Well, on that note—

D: Not so fast, A – what is your guilty pleasure?

A: Mine? Oh, well. I don’t–

D: Come on, spill it.

A: Fine. Potatoes.

D: Potatoes?

Yep. Potatoes. I even go so far as to grow them!

Yep. Potatoes. I even go so far as to grow them!

A: Yeah. Potato in all its delicious, carby forms: chips, crisps, fries. Baked, mashed, twice-baked breaded and deep-fried. Scalloped and creamed, boiled alive—

D: Okay, okay, I get it – please stop waxing lyrical about potatoes.

A: Oh come on, D – I think I feel a poem coming on!

D: And on that note, we are definitely going to bid you all a fond farewell!

A: Do you have a guilty pleasure? Drop a line in comments. Thank you for stopping by and reading!

* * *

For the Daily Post challenge: No Apologies

Exacting Expectations

These orchids have defied my expectations - mostly because they thrive on my neglect!

These orchids have defied my expectations. They bloom every year – mostly because they thrive on my neglect!

A: The WordPress challenge-of-the-week is all about expectations. What they are, how we achieve them, and how they can sometimes go terribly, horribly wrong.

D: Pessimist. They can also be exceeded.

A: Indeed, they can. But when I saw the challenge, my first thought immediately went to my expectations for the blog. What do I expect with each post? Something humorous, usually. But what do I get?

D: Bunnies?

A: (Sigh) Something humorous, but not always in the way I had intended. My conversations with D are, more often than not, off-the-cuff. When I started, I scripted a few, and I still have bits and bobs tacked all over my Google Drive, but for the most part, what you see is what I wrote 10 minutes before posting. Because they’re a conversation–

D: Are you quite done chatting up the internet? This is boring.

A: See what I mean? I wasn’t even done with the thought before he interrupted. Now, it could be argued that because I’m the one typing, he really shouldn’t be allowed to interrupt, but when I get the snark, I have to type, for fear I’ll lose it.

D: You already lost it, woman.

A: Oi! Watch it, Druid! This is about expectations, and frankly, you match up to my expectation of you almost all the time.

D: In that I’m wonderfully dashing?

A: Nope.

D: What about a sparkling conversationalist?

A: Uh, no.

D: Fine, what about my stunning sense of the epic?

A: . . . D, we’re talking about my expectations… not your over inflated sense of self.

D: Well, obviously there is no accounting for taste.

A: (Eye roll) This is, of course, exactly what I mean – I expect you to be exasperating and somewhat arrogant. And you deliver every time.

D: Every time? What about that time I made you cry?

A: Time? Don’t you mean times? And are we talking about sad crying or the weeping of abject frustration?

D: . . . both.

A: Point taken. Every once in a while, you exceed and even alter my expectations–

D: But of course I do – what else could you expect from a warrior – nay, a mastermind – of my caliber?

A: Briefly alter. Oh, so very briefly.

You know what else exceeds my expectations every single time? The following recipe. It is my father’s Easter casserole, which we make but once a year. It’s Italian in origin, but given that we’re Irish, I call it the …

Sullivan Family Italian Easter Egg Bake

The Sullivan Family Italian Easter Egg Bake in all its glory.

The Sullivan Family Italian Easter Egg Bake in all its glory.

Italian Cooking with Irish Flair

Preheat oven to 350F

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 4 c. mozzarella cheese
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 12 oz parmesan cheeses
  • 1.5 lbs sweet Italian sausage – crumbled and cooked
  • 1 stick pepperoni, sliced

Whip eggs until frothy. Add cheeses and mix gently until incorporated. Add cooked and crumbled Italian sausage and mix to combine. Pour ingredients into a greased baking dish (9×13) and dot with pepperoni to own satisfaction.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes at a 350F oven, or until the top is set.

Enjoy – I hope it meets with your expectations, too!

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 the first day of NaNo . . .

On the first day of NaNo, my true muse gave to me. . .

A family that’s dear to me.

It came to me, yesterday, how I could blog and NaNo at the same time (because NaNo is a verb, now). The reviled and/or beloved holiday song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, was to become The Thirty Days of NaNo.

That was, until I had an unfortunate flash of prescience. Or perhaps it was foreshadowing. That, or it was simple, dumb luck (to be said with Dame Maggie Smith’s accent and intonation when she admonishes Harry and Ron in Harry Potter).

The circumstances around the prescience are mundane. Needless to say, never should I utter the words, even in type, ‘barring catastrophe.’ It is like saying ‘bring it’ to the Universe.

Three days later, and my family has made two trips to the Emergency Room. My father remains in intensive care. It is not the stomach flu, as we had thought. My son, luckily, is home, now – only a little worse for wear in his tussle with the car that hit him this morning on his way to school. I bless every damn deity in the heavens above that he can be macho, and twelve, and brag to his friends on the Xbox that he was hit by a car and walked out of the hospital three hours later, because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

On the first day of NaNo, I realized that my family needs me more than I need NaNo. I still have a goal of 15,000 (which is my standard 500/day), but 50,000 words and the insanity that those words can bring . . . well, the world doesn’t need my novel that much. I will write it – I’ve already written what amounts to two books already this year. Books 3, 4, 5 and 6 will come in their good time.

In other news . . .

D’s taking the night off, so it’s up to me to be your valiantly verbose victor.

Ghosts Prompt Roundup

Check out the responses to this week’s “ghostly” prompt at the Community Storyboard

Not-so-newbie in town:

Have you met Dean? He draws, he writes, he blogs. You can find out about Dean at his new blog, Dean’z Worldz: http://deanzworldz.wordpress.com/about/.

He also has a new book, Quentin Hide and the Evil Lord Twigton. Check him out!

For the NaNoNites

Chuck Wending is Hilarious. His NaNoWriMo dialogue is even funnier, if such a thing were possible.

Support your local author

Because the internet community is the new local.

Good reading

There’s so much good reading around the web, but here were some I was able to check out this week:

Jessica B. Bell

She deserves her own section, why? Because she’s Jessica B. Bell, that’s why.

And Finally . . .

adventureswithD-final (1)

Adventure with us to Green Embers Recommends and my weekly Entertainment News installment with D. And this time, D’s status as a time-travelling Druid actually pays off!

 

Blogging Experiment: The Results!

A: The results are in, D!

D: And the doctors have decided that commitment is the best option for you, I presume.

A: Not those kind of results, D. Seán Cooke posted the results of the mystery blogging experiment he conducted.

D: Wonderful. I still think they’re going to commit you.

A: If they do, they’ll probably give me drugs to make you go away.

D: But I never will; you underestimate my resolve.

A: No, I don’t, D; that’s why we’re here. Enjoy the results of the mystery blogging experiment, everyone – and many thanks to Seán for corralling us all together and conducting it!