Welcome Willow – SoCS

It’s Saturday, and I thought I was going to have to squeeze a response to the prompt into this introduction, since we have a guest today. But Linda G. Hill saved the day by giving us the perfect, as far as David and I are concerned, Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘happy place.’ Write the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ‘happy place.’ Have fun!”

Our guest today is Willow Willers, of Willowdot21 fame, and she is joining David, Chery and me in our happy place.

If we were having a beer, we’d need to get moving.

“I am glad you picked up on the sense of urgency, Dan. I didn’t come here today to hear you blather on. Where’s Willow?”

“She’s coming, David, in fact I think I see her yacking with Cheryl up by the main entrance.”

“Let’s go girls, while we’re young.”

“Geeze Louise, David calm yourself. I wanted to make sure Willow didn’t end up in the lounge.”

“Sorry, I get excited when we have a guest.”

“Willow, welcome to The Island View Café.”

“Thanks Dan. I’ve been looking forward to this visit.”

“We all have. First things first, an adult beverage to make our happy place a little happier. What would you like to drink, Willow?”

“You wouldn’t by any chance have Jam Shed Shiraz, would you? If not, Cheryl, I’ll have whatever Shiraz you recommend.”

“We just got an order of their wines. I’m pretty sure I saw a Shiraz in there. What about you boys?”

“Is Modelo back on tap?”

“It is, Dan. And David are you up for something different this week?”

“No, I’m having my usual John Howell’s Special.”

“But David. Yesterday was the first day of Old Fashioned Week.”

“Old Fashioned week? Isn’t that an Elijah Craig thing?”

“Yes, but I make a mean Old Fashioned, and I can make it with John Howell’s Bourbon.”

“OK, I’m sold.”

“Great, I’ll be right back.”

“So, Dan. How exactly do you know Willow?”

“That’s an interesting question David. Willow, I’m not sure when I first started following you, but you’re one of the bloggers I knew first from your comments, on my blog and on others’. Your comments always feel genuine. You seem to enjoy supporting the blogging community?”

“I absolutely love the blogging community, Dan. I can honestly say that I have made so many real friends on WordPress.  In all honesty the people I have met blogging, be it virtually or in person at the bloggers bashes that I have attended, have truly helped me through recovery from physical and mental pain of life changing accidents and operations.”

“That’s a remarkable statement.”

“It’s true, David. Then they put up with and supported me through withdrawal from prescription pain killers that I had become addicted to.”

“So the blogging community help save you?”

“Yes, I can honestly say that they have really saved my sanity and my life. It’s not all doom and gloom the community have seen me through good times too and shared their ups and downs with me too. So, I really am so happy to pay back anyway I can. Support here, a kick up the bum there, a review, a visit or even just a virtual hug!”

“Well, you certainly jumped in to help me when I released my second novel, and I’ve read helpful comments and wonderful posts on your blog for many others.”

“I have learned over the years that there are so many beautiful and good people out there.  I am rambling on aren’t I …to sum up the blogging community are mainly what they say on the box and we all do our best to support each other.”

“Here you go. A nice glass of Shiraz – to help you ramble – a John Howell’s Old Fashioned for David and a Modelo draft for Dan. And now I have a question for Willow.”

“Thank you, Cheryl. What would you like to know?”

“I associate you with so many things on your blog, Tanka Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday. I love poetry and I think it took me a while to discover your prose. You write several ongoing stories, and they are all good. Do you have a writing preference?”

“Well thank you so much for that compliment. I started writing poetry, which is my first love, there are so many wonderful poets on WordPress, way too many to mention and I’d hate to miss anyone out! They have all inspired and encouraged me. I even started writing stories and sagas in verse. Then I found my prose voice and the rest they say is history.”

“I know David is only familiar with your poetry, so I want to share something from the beginning of ‘Sofia’ for him.”

Sofia: How it all Began
It was dark not the dark we know but deep pitch eye searing black. It smelt too it flew up your nostrils and burned your throat it made your eyes water. All around there were flames and the sound was indescribable.

Willow Willers

“Yikes, Willow. That’s an incredible opening. I need to start reading that.”

“Sofia, yes, she’s a fallen Angel on a trek through eternity trying to find her way back to heaven. Traveling through the world as it grows and evolves…I know where she is headed and where she will end up…. Funny thing is she has an eternity to get where she is going, me, I don’t have enough time!!”

“Are your stories written, ‘as you go?’ I guess the word is Pantser. I thought I read that you have a plan for one of your characters, but I also read in a comment that sometimes you don’t know where the story is going until the next prompt. Can you fill us in on the process?”

“It depends on which story I am writing, David.  Definitely stream of consciousness is my preferred style though with some of my stories I have definite story lines , a goal, start, middle and finish but I still let my mind wander and go with the flow.”

“I’ve been reading ‘Merlin, Morgarna and Morgause’ but I think I came in midstream. Can you tell us a little bit about the background of this story? Is it driven by K.L.Caleys writephoto prompt?”

“It is most definitely driven by K.L. Caley’s #writephoto which she valiantly took over from our sorely missed Sue Vincent.  I have a definite character basis for the main protagonists of this series and the recurring goodies and baddies but it’s also written, stream of consciousnessly as until the prompt photo arrives I have no idea where the story is going next! I wrote a preface to set the characters up then went from there. Morgarna and Merlin are my favourite characters they are always bombard me with ideas and vying for attention…. Morgarna usually wins in their love hate relationship!”

“I like the things bloggers come up with in response to that prompt. Were you doing that prompt when Sue was running it?”

“Yes, Chery. I wrote the Vampire the Werewolf and the Witch the same way when Sue was running #writephoto. It certainly makes for twist and turns in the plot!  Mind you, Sofia, Four Maids, The Vlad Stories, Little Mae and Polar Bear, were all written to a plan and marked out plot!”

“I have to ask, your profile says, and you’ve mentioned in comments and posts, that you’re ‘the mum of three boys.’ I grew up with one brother, but my mom always said she was ‘raising three boys’ as she included my dad in the mix. Do you feel outnumbered?”

“Lol I do rather.. three sons, a husband and two grandsons…there is only my daughter-in-law myself and our wonderful dog Ruby who are female! But I am used to it and I would not have it any other way.”

“I had boys as well, Willow. I prefer the company of males – less drama.”

“My hubby worked away a great deal and often at short notice, so I had to be quick on the uptake and be boss and not bossed in the nicest possible way!”

“That’s kind of like the way I manage these two.”

“OK, if we’re done male bashing, I have another question for Willow. I clicked on one of your poems on SoundCloud while getting ready for your visit, and I enjoyed it very much. I listened to Diamond – (Diamonds in the dust).”

“Ah! Really you chose that poem, Dan. That’s strange because it really is about the value of true friends. After both my accidents I discovered how a lot of so-called friends suddenly disappeared when the going gets tough… you really find out who your interest real friends are…who your real diamonds are and how much your diamonds in the dust are worth.”

“Listening to a poet reading their poetry is always a treat. Are the poems on SoundCloud your favorites? Are the readings something you might add to? I imagine it takes a lot of time to support that, and blogging takes enough time as it is.”

“I would like to read more poems and stories but it is very time consuming and I have not done a spoken blog for years… plus I am not keen on hearing my own voice. I would not say those spoken poems are my favourite ones more that they are important to me and have special meaning.”

“You are an excellent storyteller. Whether I am reading a few lines of a short poem, or one of your longer stories, I feel like I am part of the scene. I feel like I know the characters shortly after meeting them…”

“Um, Dan, there’s really not a question there.”

“I know, David. I guess I’m back on that plotter/pantser thing. How well do you know these characters and places? Do they evolve as you write?”

“I am definitely a pantser even when I plan something out! I am delighted to hear you feel as if you know my characters and the settings because to me it’s all real, I have to be honest I am right in there with them.”

“When Dan told me you were coming to visit, and that you didn’t only write poetry, I began reading ‘An Arthurian Tale‘ This is another tale that has made it to the top of the page (the menu) and this one you say is completely from your imagination. That must be a wild place. Can you place this tale in time for me? I’m just curious.”

“It is a wild place, David. That tale starts with the story of Boudica who led the uprising against the conquering forces of the Roman Empire in AD sixty-sixty-one. I mixed her with stories about King Arthur who became popular before the eleventh century. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae, written between eleven thirty-five and eleven thirty-nine. So I was mixing eras and taking folklore and legends and mixing it all up! There is all sorts mixed up in that tale. I wrote that circa two thousand thirteen and it needs a lot of polishing.”

“Well, I am enjoying it.”

“You appear to be enjoying that Old Fashioned, too. I brough everyone another round. Willow, you recently had a very busy time when you were away from writing. You’re back now. Do you miss writing when other things in life take over?”

“Yes, I do indeed as writing is my safety valve, the one thing in my life that is truly mine. …Also, I miss everyone in blogland, I love to read and comment on everyone’s posts.”

“I read on your About page how you started blogging. Was the passion for writing always there, or did you discover it after your accident?”

“I always had a passion for writing but as a young and busy mum I found it too difficult to find enough me time to write. As a child I was always making up stories and writing them down…I was always in trouble at school for being away with the fairies!”

“One last question, Willow. You and I are almost the same age. While everyone is shaped by the era in which they grew up, do you feel that there was something special about the fifties and sixties?”

“You know Dan I think the fifties was a gentler time than now. The news good or bad took time to travel, childhood then was a less complicated time of playing out and learning on the hoof. We were all healthier and more free!  Family values were different then. Don’t get me wrong there was much about those times that were bad, attitudes, racism, wars, cruelty and child abuse it was all there but no so in our faces. Well, that’s how it feels or is that just nostalgia?

“The sixties bought such change…music, freedom, I left school started working, I’d met my husband and I was married by nineteen seventy-one. Yes, again the changes came with the sixties but still… nothing really changed…in a way Dan, I feel it never does. That’s where your Trilogy is reading so true.”

“Thank you for that. I think it’s more than nostalgia. I think we were more contained in our world. But I think you’re right, things and people haven’t really changed. Now, I think Cheryl wants to know if we’re having anything to eat. This place makes amazing pizzas. You’re the guest, what would you like on our pizza?”

“Oh! Pizza sounds lovely, but nothing too spicy, chicken and mushroom or sin of sins mushroom, ham and pineapple!”

“Ham and pineapple. I think I dealt with that in that book you just reviewed, but you’re the guest. And this has been a delightful visit. Thank you for joining us today, Willow.”

“Thank you, Dan. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since you invited me. It has been fun meeting all of you.”

If you like speculative fiction with a bit of family sarcasm, you will enjoy these books:

Knuckleheads

The Evil You Choose

132 comments

  1. Good morning Dan and thank you for this great visit. You all have been great, it was lovely to meet you, Cheryl and of course David you are all such lovely people and you made me feel so welcome.

    Thank you again for having me to visit.
    Looking around at your photos and before I left for home I can see Autumn has definitely arrived mist, beautiful reds, golds and russets on the trees and those leaves on the ground with their long shadows so beautiful. Also the sleeping bunnies, black squirrels and is that a chipmunk sharing peanuts? As always your favourite…the flag .
    Have a great week Dan! and thank you! 💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

    • Did you physically or virtually visit the bar, Willow? That was a really good interview! I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much, but you’re right, the blogging community it amazing and helpful! I’m glad you’re better now!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for joining us, Willow, and thank you for all you do for the blogging community. Yes, Chippy (there are several) is sharing, rather stealing a peanut. The squirrels pick up one peanut and either take it or sit and eat it. Chippy shoves two in his mouth and scampers off to stash them. Everyone is getting ready for a long winter’s nap. Well, except David and Cheryl. We’ll continue to meet on Saturdays, but this was a very good one.

      I hope you have a great weekend.

      Like

    • Behind all these interesting, fun and thoughtful pages is a member of a community of writers. They write, they read, they help others and are helped by others. Willow is one of the great examples. I am so glad she agreed to visit today.

      I feel bad for the families of the two police officers who were killed, and the one who was wounded in a totally senseless and selfish act. I’ll never understand how these things happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful interview at the bar, Dan and Willow. I loved Willow’s description of the blogging community. Unlike other social media, it feels chock full of genuine kindness and friendship. And what a great overview/introduction to Willow’s writing. Congrats to you both on a fun post. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was such a wonderful visit with Willow today. And I learned a new word today–Pantser. I had no idea. I don’t think I have ever heard David get so excited about a visitor before–“Let’s go girls, while we’re young.” That made me laugh!
    I would absolutely agree with Willow about our great blogging community. It is the best. I hope you had a lovely time here, Willow. I enjoyed your visit tremendously. Happy weekend to you and Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed reading along with us, Lois. I wasn’t sure if it was ‘pantser’ or ‘panster’ as I’m normally anchored in the plotter world. Recently, I have been writing a (future) story somewhat by the seat of my pants. Willow shows that you can do both, as she does both, very well. This community is the best, and while I usually have authors at the bar around a book event, I like to highlight the diamonds in the community, too. I hope you have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ” I prefer the company of males – less drama.” When my husband and I were dating, we decided we’d like to have 4 boys–I’d had what I considered a difficult childhood and didn’t want to go through that with girls! LOL Well, after the second son, I said, “Enough!” And so it was. My only other thought is “The leaves–they are a’changin” Great fall foliage. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Willow, I am happy to hear you are back to blogging, although I have been a bit lenient in this area as well. I always enjoy your poetry, so keep on going. The WordPress community is awesome and it’s wonderful to know that blogging got you through some very difficult times. I think we’re all here to support one another, in the best way we can. Thanks for sharing a part of you at the bar.

    Dan, Dan, Dan…it’s Old Fashioned Week and I didn’t get an invitation to the bar? Hmmmpppfff. Well, nevermind. Natasha and I will take care of adult refreshment business on Sunday, while watching the Packer game. Old fashioned’s all around, at least twice. ;-p

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan, thank you so much for inviting Willow. It was great to get to know her better. She is truly a diamond in the dust. My wish and prayer is that the dust has settled and blows away from you, Willow. I love your name, your grace, and how you represent the best about this community – the support. I’m looking forward to reading more or your writing. Sophia sounds intriguing. Dan, I enjoyed the photos, especially the leaves. Yes, the first one looks like a cat.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It was so nice to serve you today, Willow. All your writing endeavors sound intriguing. Good luck with everything and wishing you long good health as well. I never thought of doing live poetry readings on Youtube. I did do a Poetry Slam event once and read two poems. I was never so nervous. Thank goodness it was in a bar with some ‘nerve settling’ drinks before hand. 😉 I love poetry so much and hope to get that book going after this never ending novel is complete. Who knew when I titled it Forever Never it would seem like a foreboding to its completion. 🤦‍♀️Thanks, Dan, for the intro to Willow’s fine work. Oh, David, next time you’re feeling adventurous, please allow me to make you a Sazerac. An Old Fashioned with attitude. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well Dweezer/ Cheryl it was great to meet you.
      Poetry is fascinating isn’t it so many disPlines! And your writing an epic book too that’s amazing …the title is brilliant …thoughi hope it takes a little less than forever never to finish , I’d like to read it!
      It’s been really a blast meeting you all 💜💜

      Liked by 2 people

    • Old Fashioned Week continues through next Sunday (gotta love marketing) so maybe you can fix one of those fancy drinks for David. Although, I think he has enough attitude. I’m glad you liked visiting with Willow. Two of my favorite poets. I didn’t think about the name of your novel in those terms – it is a bit interesting.

      I hope you both have great futures writing whatever makes you happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Dan Hi Willow, what a lovely interview. I have also known Willow as a blogger for a long time as I met her through Sue Vincent quite early on in my blogging career. I also enjoy the blogging community and it is people like Willow and you, Dan, who make it worthwhile and so enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan. I was happy to learn more about Willow. Her stories are very interesting, and her poetry can range from whimsical to powerful. Sorry about the pizza-before-lunch thing, I’m never hungry when I write these posts, but I forget that I will be when I read them. Everyone is getting ready for winter, even though it’s months away (he says, hoping Mother Nature will hear). Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, so much shared imagination rolling throughout the interview with Willow. The highs of blogging and writing from the heart are accentuated. This interview is inspiring for bloggers who may be struggling to find their path here in the blogosphere. Nice interview, thank you for sharing! Willow and I have crossed paths a few times. As you said, Dan, her comments are so encouraging and genuine. I appreciate that about her, as well as her ability to stream thoughts so eloquently. Happy Blogging to all of you! PS – love the cat leaf, that’s what I saw too. Do you ever wonder if those black squirrels will become a nuisance in your buildings come winter?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved, loved this post! Willow is the best, and I recently started to follow her. What took me so long?? Her reflection on the 50’s and 60’s was terrific. Thanks Dan, and thanks Willow.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a brilliant interview. It felt very much like we were all in the room with you whilst reading it. Willow? I was so sorry to hear of Willow’s troubles, but she’s right, the blogging community is fantastic and I’ve met so many kind, supportive, people – Willow most definitely included! Thank you very much for the #writephoto promotion too. Much appreciated. Sue was a kind and inspiring soul and it’s been an honour to keep #writephoto going in her memory. Much Love. KL <3

    Liked by 1 person

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