You Wrote What? – #SoCS

Today is a special day at the bar. The part of Cheryl has been written by Cheryl Pennington, the woman who moonlights as our virtual bartender. Once again, we are abusing the Stream of Consciousness Saturday rules, but this took some coordination. Speaking of those rules, Linda G. Hill has given us the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘tip.’ Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, you would be startled, a little miffed but very happy for me.

“Hi David. You’re early today.”  

“Yes, that’s by design, Cheryl. When I was leaving last week, I thought I heard you say something to Dan about a book. Is he writing a book?”

“You did!  He is. In fact, he’s writing three.”

“Really? When was he going to tell us? I’m surprised he hasn’t asked us to read early versions.”

“Actually, I’m nearly finished with the second book and eager to read the last in the series. This story really pulls you in. Following these characters through the early experiences that shape the course of their lives, in the first book, makes you feel part of their history as the story continues. But Dan can tell you more when he gets here.”

“So, I’m the only one who doesn’t know anything about this?”

“Doesn’t know anything about what, David?”

“Your books, Dan. I’ve come to understand you’ve written three books – why wasn’t I told?”

“Actually, you were, but it was about two years ago.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Not surprising. How about if I buy us a round of drinks and fill you in on the details.”

“John Howell’s Bourbon, David?”

“Yes please, Cheryl. But if we’re celebrating Dan’s accomplishment, perhaps I should be buying.”

“I’d like that, David, but I’d hold off on calling this an accomplishment. I’m only recently shared the first two books with beta readers.”

“Like me! And I’m honored to be one of those readers, Dan.”

“Thank you, Cheryl. It makes me happy to hear that.”

“So, what are these books about, Dan? Are they fiction, or are they the history of cranes and bridges?”

“They’re fiction, but bridges are mentioned more than once.”

“I don’t understand.”

“They’re set in Pittsburgh.”

“That explains the bridges, but I still don’t understand.”

“That’s my fault, and it’s not going to be easy to explain.”

“Well maybe your beer and his bourbon, seltzer, ice and cherries will make it a little easier. I’d like to hear this too.”

“After I retired, I began a writing project. I had been thinking about for years, it’s a story of a man who has lucid dreams and who can interact with those dreams.”

“Dan, you retired in two-thousand nineteen. Has it taken this long to write that book?”

“Yes, and no?”

“Dan don’t answer me in riddles. Cheryl, do you understand what he’s talking about?”

“Yes, and no.”

“Auuuugh, what is it with you two?”

“I only found out about Dan’s books a year ago, once he retired and actually started writing them.”

“So why does Cheryl know this, and I don’t? No offense, Cheryl.”

“Five or six years ago, Damyanti invited me to join a writing group…”

“Damyanti Biswas? I met her when she was here a couple years ago. I just preordered her new book.”

“Yes, the same woman. Anyway, that’s when I met Cheryl. She was a member of the group, and she was so quick to welcome me. She has always been very supportive, so naturally I reached out to her when I had something I wanted someone to read.”

“I was excited to be able to read the first book. When I found out there would be three, I was impressed! It takes time to culminate a book idea and that’s just the beginning. Dan is one of few people who knows about my book project, and I’ve been at it for about ten years.”

“Wait, Cheryl, you’re writing a book, too?”

“I am, but we’ll discuss that at a later time.”

“OK, Dan, so how did one book become three and why haven’t I seen any of them?”

“One book became two. To be more precise, one book ended at a point where a sequel seemed like a logical idea.”

“OK, that explains two books. How did you get to three?”

“I was asking Teagan Geneviene a question about how much of the back story I should introduce in the first book.”

“Wait, Teagan knows about this?”

“Yes. When I explained to her how much information I had about my main characters during their childhood – when their abilities developed – she suggested writing a novella about that part of their lives.”

“Their lives? Their abilities? Who are they?”

“They are Zach and Billy, David. They grew up together. Billy’s special talent – he sees into the future in a limited way – gets him into more trouble than Zach with his dreams. They watch out for each other.”

“How does his ability get him into trouble, Cheryl? It sounds like a cool thing.”

“Billy is a tender-hearted boy who uses his ability to try and help others which backfires. As a kid he doesn’t quite understand what to do with his visions of future events. He tried to stop some things from happening.”

“So, the first book charts the course of their lives as they learn how to use these abilities?”

“Yes, and I love the camaraderie, suspense and humor Dan has woven into the story.”

“So, you have two books and a novella.”

“Well, it turns out I had more than a novella’s worth of back story, it’s more like a short novel. So, three books.”

“That doesn’t surprise me, Dan, I mean the part about you having more to say when telling a story.”

“This might be why I shared the books with Cheryl.”

“Does the original book, I should say the second book, begin after these abilities developed? I mean does it start when the main character is in his teens or twenties?”

“No, it starts much later in his life. After Zach retires, his ability is discovered by a corrupt FBI agent who then forces Zach to work with him. There is also a fear that the agent will discover Billy.”

“So how does the first book tie in with the second, and I guess the third?”

“It’s complicated, David. If you read the first book…”

“Something that hasn’t been offered.”

“If you read the first book, you might understand the second and third book, better, but you could read just the second and third book.”

“Cheryl, you’re sure this makes sense to you?”

“Have a sip of bourbon, David. There is enough backstory in the second book that it can stand alone. It is suspenseful, imaginative and you still get to know Billy and Zach. If you read the first book first, you already know them, and it is more of a reacquaintance. For me, I like knowing their history and background from the beginning.”

“OK. I think I get it, but why didn’t you release the first book earlier? I mean, since it was done.”

“That’s also complicated. As I was writing the second and third book, things changed. That is to say, I realized it would be better if things had developed differently.”

“Wow. I almost understand that. So, you tweaked the first two books to better align with the third.”


“When will I have the opportunity to buy these books, Dan? You are going to sell them, right?”

“I am planning to release the first and second book sometime this spring. The third book will follow in late summer.”

“If I understand – and that’s a big if – you said the first and second book aren’t really book and sequel or book and prequel. Why release them together?”


“Cheryl, I’m going to need more bourbon. Precisely what, Dan?”

“I’ll take care of that for you. Bourbon always helps you understand complex issues, or forget why you thought they were complex.”

“Since it doesn’t matter which book someone starts with, I’m going to leave it up to the potential readers. Some beta readers prefer the ‘adult story’ some prefer to proceed chronologically.”

“OK, Dan, let’s say I buy one, might you give me the other one for free?”

“No, but once I figure out how pricing works, I might make you a sweetheart deal on both.”

“Cheryl, you’ve read both, what would you suggest?”

“If I didn’t know there was a first book, I would read and enjoy the second. But, as I said, for me, having read the first book made moving on to the next book more exciting. I was ready to find out what happened to those special kids when they grew up. Whatever you do, David, make sure you read them all. We both know Dan is great at spinning a tale and he did a wonderful job with this one…I mean, these two.”

“Thanks for the tip, Cheryl. If you give me the check, I’ll see if I can’t return the favor. Cheers, Dan.”

“Cheers, David and thanks for the beers.”


  1. Congrats on juggling a few books at the same time – and it is a unique way to release books but every author has their own style
    And cool that joining a writing group was a catalyst for the books
    Albright Dan, for some reason I wood have expected you to write a few non-fiction books first – but one must follow their muse – especially if it involves Pittsburg !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Damyanti! I hope you enjoy the book. Travel remains sketchy here, although I think more and more people are throwing caution to the wind. I hope you have a nice weekend.


  2. Writing all three books before publishing any of them sounds like a really sensible plan, as it lets you tweak everything in the trilogy to fit together more perfectly before anyone knows anything about it – well done Dan, very impressive! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ruth. Several people suggested that if I published the first one right away, I would regret it. I thought, “but I have the perfect plan.” Still, I was making changes to the first book during the last few chapters of the last one. Now they are bunched up and ready to go, but I’m not in a huge hurry.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This all sounds great to me and definitely in my preferred genre. Looking forward to hearing more and reading these books! Way to Cheryl have to check your book out too. David keep up 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pam. Explaining how these abilities evolved over time is what made me want to write the first book. It was too much to share in the book (when the characters are adults) but I had so much to say about it. I was scared, at first when Teagan suggested writing that as a first book, but I enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve pulled off quite an accomplishment, Dan! I envy your ability.
    I love the flag image. I thought a good title for the picture would be, Our two flags!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now I need some bourbon! I am totally confused and totally impressed! Congratulations on accomplishing every writer’s dream — and times three! I hope that those great photos of reflections of blue skies are an omen of good things ahead. I had to look up beta reader — we certainly learn a lot from fellow bloggers!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. And now you add the hat of author to your collection! Congratulations!

    Love the fog and reflection photos. The flag reflection is the best. Of course, MuMu is adorable as is Maddie.

    Have a great weekend. More rain and wind coming. Sigh…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. I do like wearing hats, so…

      Maddie was getting impatient with me (something that doesn’t take long) as I was trying to get the flag and reflection. The flag itself was hard to see, and the reflection was a little too bright at times. This is the best of six shots.

      We were out earlier in the wind, which the dog just has to sniiiiiiiiiffffffffffffffff but now rain yet.

      I hope you have a nice weekend.


  7. Dan, I’m excited for you to be a published author. What a great community to be part of in retirement or any time of life. Looking forward to book release day…you know I’ll be one of your first customers. 🙂

    Happy Saturday and enjoy the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻Full steam ahead, Dan. (That’s a steamboat reference…in case you didn’t know.) 😂😂couldn’t think of a riverboat reference. Except for Mark Twain, and that actually fits as well. You know I’m wishing you all the best with your books and have enjoyed the privilege of being a beta reader. I knew you would be great at this when you started this regular post series.. I love If We Were Having A Beer days. And my weekend job. 😉 🥃🍻

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Cheryl. I remember when you offered to be the bartender along with suggesting a drink for that day. Those were the early days of the bar, when my writing was, well, let’s just say it needed some help. I was encouraged by the fact that you were willing to stand behind the bar and add to the dialog. I am so glad you’ve been reading these books. I appreciate your insight and suggestions more than I can express. I have been privileged to be reading your work-in-progress, and you know when you are ready to go live with your project, I will stick Skippy behind the bar and the drinks will be on the house.


  9. Dan, what a great accomplishment! Congratulations. I look forward to the release of your books and I will certainly be standing in line to buy them. The concept is so interesting. The big problem I have, though, is who will be interviewing you at the bar once you are published and famous?

    We had frost warnings last night which caused a bit of a rush to cover our plants. All for o thankfully. We also noticed a black bear and quite a few deer on the trailcam so I think spring has finally arrived here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – Thanks so much, Maggie. Published will happen, I’m not sure about famous. Maybe I could talk David and Cheryl into going on the road. Like a food truck version of the bar. For now, I’m going to focus on handling the feedback from the folks that have agreed to read advance copies. Then I’ll work on getting them to market.

      I planted a few bushes yesterday – they were on sale. But we don’t plant any veggies until May, usually late May. The plants always do well, and within a few weeks, they catch up to the people’s plants who start them early. The warm soil is a big help.

      How close to your yard do the bears get? Do they eat anything from your garden?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations, Dan. It’s good to see how far you’ve come with this project. I’m glad you went forward with the novella for the early years of the characters. To me that works much better than using the flashbacks you originally had. I’m glad you’ve had Cheryl and the others supporting you throughout the writing and prep for publishing. Good of you to credit Cheryl for her part at the beginning of the post. Lovely gallery. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can’t wait to read your series, Dan. Last week I listened to author D.Wallace Peach talk about how she writes series. She does as you do and is quite successful. I know you will be as well. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, Dan! I retired and am still working on finalizing a kitchen remodel. You retire and write three books. 🙄 Just let me know the best order to read them and I am ready. This is so exciting! I am waiting for you to walk into the bar and have Skippy and David interview you. Oh, yeah—so ready for that! Congratulations to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. How exciting, Dan! New books coming down the pike. Can’t wait to read them! I like the idea of introducing backstory in a novella. Then if that sucks the reader in, you’ve got an instant reader for the first book. Congrats and best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. TAKE MY MONEY! I want all three! I’ve already pre-ordered Damyanti’s new book, and I ain’t afraid to pre-order all of yours. I’m so excited! Will you come on my blog and boost them when they’re out or available for pre-order? Pleeeeeeeeease?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jennie. I knew I had to break that word limit again but I wanted to have Cheryl join me.

      I will say that I worked hard to get that flag photo. You almost can’t see the flag and it took me a few snaps to realize I needed to focus on the puddle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was perfect how you did it with Cheryl. And David asked all the right questions. Well done, Dan!

        Your flag reflection photo reminds me of the line in The Star-Spangled Banner, “In full glory reflected now shines in the stream.” Of course I have Peter Spier’s book which brilliantly illustrates every line. Your photo was terrific.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I think I remember you mentioning writing a book back in 2019. Congratulations on getting to the point of beta readers! I’m so excited for you. Way to go!!! PS – I love the fog and the reflection photos as always. Happy writing to you, Dan, your books will be great successes!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is good news Dan. Really wish you well with this writing project. The way you apply yourself, I’m sure it’s going to be a success. May the words flow!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Dan, huge congratulations on this magnificent accomplishment. Writing three books in a such a short period is impressive. Are you talking about spring as in now? It is spring in the US. I look forward to seeing more and am happy to help you with a book launch when you are ready.

    Liked by 1 person

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