Jazz Age Wednesdays 14 ― Pip at the Holidays

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s the Jazz Age here at Teagan’s Books.  This time I’m not telling a story.  I’m just imagining what the holidays might have looked like for Pip and her friends during the Roaring Twenties.

Christmas tree hat Modern Pricilla December 1920

I imagined Pip decorating a Christmas tree.  Granny Phanny would have had a few prized glass ornaments to hang from the tree.  The baubles would most likely have been German-made back then.  Granny would have gotten in a lather if one was broken.  However, for the most part, they wouldn’t have had the sophisticated ornaments we have today. 

Pip would doubtless prick her finger many times while stringing popcorn, and that’s no phonus balonus.  She would painstakingly cut little strips of paper to make chains that would decorate the tree as well.  Granny Phanny would have likely been pretty handy with a crochet needle, not to mention deliciously preserved food treats.  She would have passed along those darb handmade gifts. 

Pip,  on the other hand would have needed to shop.  She is a bearcat, but she’s not very handy with crafts, and she’s still learning to cook.   During a few seasons Granny and Pip would have gone up to Atlanta for a special shopping trip at Rich’s department store.

Richs Department Store vintage

Rich’s Department Store

The holiday dinner table would have had a centerpiece made of lemons and oranges.   Granny Phanny would probably have served a baked ham rather than turkey, but I imagine she changed up the main course from time to time.  While her guests were waiting for the meal, Granny would have had Pip pass around some hors d’oeuvres like deviled eggs, roasted nuts, or olives.

Desserts?  There would have been more than one, but some kind of spice cake would have been in the offering.  If you’re looking for a recipe, try this delectable dessert from Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen.

Photo by Suzanne DeBrango

Now Granny Phanny is no Mrs. Grundy.  She might have had some giggle water on hand, and passed around a jorum of skee.  That is, as long as neither the G-man, Marshal Moses Myric, nor the copper, Detective Dabney Daniels, were around.

I’d love to stick around in the Roaring Twenties, but I have to get back to the present now.  

Hopefully it’s copacetic because I have to do the requisite shameless self-promotion.  Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

I appreciate your visit.  You are pos-i-lutely the bee’s knees!

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 15 — Hummers, Hair, and Hanks

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Welcome back to Thistledown, one and all.  We left Bedlam, River, and Rhymer in a fair amount of faery trouble.  I know you want to know what happened to the girls, but this episode switches to the point of view of another character.  I expect you’ll be surprised by which one.

From Episode 14…

Abruptly the heavy volume snapped shut.  The periwinkle muskox hair was still within, like a bookmark.  The room spun wildly.  It was like looking into a kaleidoscope.

Then the world shattered.

Quickly I moved my hands away from the book and caught the hands of River and Rhymer.

Now, Episode 15…

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 15

Hair, Hanks, and Hummers

 

Ruby-topaz_hummingbird_flying in Tobago

A hummingbird with iridescent feathers in the orange hues of a sunset darted along a forest path.  Bob the hummingbird had brought Bedlam Thunder a magical muskox hair.  He had to admit that even with his communication skills, it took some doing, but he finally made her understand that the electrically charged hair would lead her to what she wanted most.

Or at least Bob thought she understood…  It was so hard to tell with girls.  However, Bob had let himself be distracted and he’d left Bedlam the magical muskox hair.  Once he got his priorities back in order Bob started tracking the faery girl.

Finally, he came to a yellow farmhouse with a thatched roof.  A small duplicate stood to one side of the house.  It was an elaborate chicken coop.  A chicken with multi-colored feathers squawked and clucked at Bob.  Clearly something was amiss.  Though they didn’t have nearly the same flying skills, chickens were just as flighty as hummingbirds.  Bob thought they were even more so, as he tried to make sense of the clucks and cackles.

Bob darted beyond the open door of the yellow house.  He knew Bedlam had gone inside.

Chickens at cottage vintage

“Well hello, little one!” Willow Rainbow greeted the tiny bird.  “My goodness, you surely do seem excited ― even for a hummingbird.  Did you mean to join our crochet circle?” Willow asked.

Her little joke got chuckles from Blossom Stargazer, Crescent Glimmer, Luminous Twinkle, Pepper Stargazer, and Tinder Willowtree.  They all sat amid what must have been a hundred hanks of yarn and almost as many crochet needles.

Bob recognized hanks of blue yarn spun from the hair of Blossom Stargazer’s muskox team.  That hair was not brilliantly magical like the periwinkle colored hair Bob gave Bedlam Thunder, but it was not completely without power.

He expected to find Bedlam inside the farmhouse.  Bob was certain something was wrong.  He fluttered into the room where all the spell books were.

“The hummingbird seems upset about something,” he heard Tinder Willowtree say.

The faeries got up and followed Bob.  The air in the room was heavily charged with static electricity.  It tickled Bob’s feathers uncomfortably.  He saw the hair on the women’s heads lift up.  Their wings rustled and Bob knew they sensed something too.

“I thought the girls would be in here, studying away,” Willow Rainbow murmured in a concerned tone.

“Based on these half-eaten cookies, I think they must have left abruptly,” Luminous Twinkle added.

Then he saw it.  The periwinkle muskox hair dangled like a book mark from an ancient tome.  Bob recognized the volume.  The faeries all saw it too.  They made a collective gasp.

The Etheraris Spiregris.

The End

***

 This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namer.

Blossom Stargazer http://www.eloisedesousa.wordpress.com/

Willow Rainbow http://cerobinsonauthor.com/

Crescent Glimmer  https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Luminous Twinkle  http://www.adelemariepark.com/

Pepper Stargazer  https://anotherfoodieblogger.wordpress.com/

Tinder Willowtree  https://www.etsy.com/shop/MurrayHillGlassArt/

I hope to see you again next time.

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 13 ― Pip and the River Monster

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hey Sheiks and Shebas,  I’m pos-i-lutely happy to see you at Jazz Age Wednesdays again! 

Early Lucille 3 copy

Young Lucille Ball

I started this short story back when I did a collaborative post with author John W. Howell*.  The three things driving that story were “Counterfeiting, Time, and Hollywood.” The ultimate result was In the Pip of Time, which you saw here

Like I was saying, that was when this story started, but not when I finished it.  I was having one of moments when the many characters I’ve written cross the boundaries of their stories.  Cornelis Drebbel (of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers) popped into the short story I was trying to write…  I couldn’t make the story go where the “things” needed to take it — at least not at that time.  (Applesauce! If that sounds like a lot of bushwa to ya’ll, then all I can say is that’s part of how my brain is just wired wrong.)

I’ll stop beating my gums and say that for this post, I went back to that derailed beginning to finish the story.

Pip and the River Monster

Savannah GA Isle of Hope circa 1930

Isle of Hope, Savannah GA circa 1930

Sunlight glittered on the calm Savannah River.  My friend Alastair helped me down from his truck.  The vehicle had a sign proclaiming “You’re always right with Wongs!  Wong’s Chinese Restaurant.” I had been joking when I gave him that as a slogan for his family business.  I shook my head.

Arabella Wong’s birthday was coming up and Alastair planned a party for her.  I remembered the riverside park from childhood when Pops brought me to visit Granny Phanny.  I wanted to see if Alastair liked it as a venue for his mom’s party.

A gust of wind nearly took my pink cloche hat.  I shoved it firmly onto my head.  Maybe it was a blustery day, but it was still beautiful.  We both jumped at a bright flash of light and a crack of thunder.  A fisherman still carrying his rod and reel pushed past us.

Alastair caught the man’s arm, asking him what was wrong.

“River monster!” the fisherman gasped.  “No time to explain.  You kids will beat it, if you know what’s good for you!” the man cried as he pulled free of Alastair’s grip.

Sea Monster man woman Jean-Marc Côté 1900

Jean-Marc Côté circa 1900

My buddy Alastair was more excited than afraid.  His eyes twinkled as he looked expectantly at the Savannah River.  I however, took a step backward.  Alastair gave me an encouraging pat on the shoulder.

“Don’t worry, flapper.  It’s probably a dolphin.  You know this end of the river is close to the ocean.  Hey!  This has been a warm year, and Florida is not that far away.  It might even be a manatee!” Alastair exclaimed.

Alastair looked at the back of the departing fisherman and chuckled.  I looked at him and hoped he wasn’t a whole heap smarter than us!

We turned back to the river.  A faint purplish glow bathed the area at the shore.  I saw something rise from the water that looked like the head of a huge snake.  I slapped my hand over my mouth to hold back a scream.

Something huge slowly rose from the river.  Alastair stopped smiling.

“Horsefeathers!  That’s no manatee,” he muttered.  “What the Sam Hill is it?”

I tilted my head to one side, suddenly more curious than fearful.

“Alastair…  I’ve seen pictures,” I began hesitantly because I was stunned.  “That looks like an old submarine,” I finished as the thing rose higher out of the water.

It moved right up to the pier.  Water poured down as a hatch opened.  A man with unkempt blonde hair and bushy eyebrows stuck his head out from the hatch.  He waved to Alastair and me.  That’s when things really got strange.

Drebbel stamp

Cornelis Drebble, “Pioneers of Sea Transport” stamp, 2008

 

“Ah-ha!  Mr. Wong!  I wondered why I was drawn to this place.  It’s good to see you, old boy!” the strange man called.

Then he levitated up from the submarine’s hatch and over to the pier.  Honest!  That’s really what happened.

I heard a squeak and a gasp.  I wasn’t sure which sound came from Alastair and which came from me.  I grabbed his arm, although I wasn’t sure whether it was to keep him from running, or to anchor myself.

“Wong,” the stranger began as he walked up to us.

He stopped abruptly.  He looked at the shores of the river.  He sniffed the air.

“This is not Hong Kong,” he stated and then looked closely at Alastair.  “And you sir, are not the right Wong.”

With a perplexed expression he turned his gaze to me.  He took in my bobbed hair.  Then he looked at my fashionably short, but still perfectly proper skirt.  In fact, his peepers paused a little too long at my gams.

“And based on your attire, this is far from the correct era,” he added.

However, another look at Alastair seemed to settle his mind.

“I apologize for my lack of manners,” the odd man went on.  “Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Cornelis Drebbel, alchemist.  Young man, your grandfather’s grandfather once was the holder of my skull.”

There was another louder squeak, and that time I’m pretty sure it came from me.

“Sk-k-k skull?” Alastair queried.

The man, Cornelis Drebbel looked at each of us, and then smirked.

“Well now, you didn’t think I was ordinary, did you?  If my arrival in a submarine was not enough, after I levitated out of the vessel, you must have realized something.  Maybe you didn’t,” he finished drolly.

I can’t begin to describe how the conversation progressed from that point.  However, we found ourselves sitting on a blanket and drinking coffee from the thermos I had brought.  Cornelis tried to explain the alchemy that connected him to Alastair’s ancestor, and how it brought him to Savannah, Georgia.  I admit most of that went right over my head, but apparently that family tree drew him to Alastair.

After a while he wanted to know more about us.  I told him how we happened to be at the pier, to see if it would be a good place for a birthday party for Alastair’s mom.

The alchemist’s eyes lit up.  He clapped his hands together and grinned.

“I have the perfect place!” he exclaimed.  “How about a river cruise?”

“A riverboat party would be the cat’s meow, but it would cost more mazuma than I see in a year,” Alastair said regretfully.

“Oh, dear boy, tsk-tsk.  I don’t mean a riverboat.  I meant my submarine!” he chortled.  “I’d love to meet your immediate family and give you a tour.  It’s not often I get to meet the descendants of one of the keepers of my skull.”

Unfortunately, Alastair and I couldn’t talk much about it later.  We had to pass it off to Alastair’s family as Hollywood type special effects.  Yet it was pos-i-lutely the most memorable birthday party I ever attended.

The End

***

After the amazingly talented Adele Marie Park asked to know more about my Cornelis Drebbel character, I decided to share a link to the old serial where he was “born” so to speak.  Here is episode one of that “three things” style steampunk series: https://teagansbooks.com/2015/01/17/new-interactive-serial-episode-1/ 

Thanks for visiting.  You really are the cat’s pajamas!

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 14 — The Etheraris Spiregris

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Welcome all.  At last we are back in Thistledown!  It thrills my heart that this serial was warmly embraced by so many.  

Writing Process

With that in mind, I should probably keep this to myself, but because of several… “non writing” or maybe “personal issues” — I can’t find the right words, but I just haven’t been able to enjoy writing it as much as I have the other serials.  However, now that National Novel Writing Month is over, I am here to finish this faery tale. Even so, it will take several more episodes.

I feel this part of the story could stand alone, without the previous episodes. 

Yet, it has been about six weeks since we were in Thistledown… so here are some blurbs to remind you.  If you need more, click on the left-pointing arrow at the bottom of the post. The previous post has a link to every episode.

Featured Image -- 21891

Previously in Thistledown…

Episode 12

“Bedlam, you never mention anything from when you were small.  I don’t think you remember that part of your life.  Haven’t you ever wondered why you don’t remember anything from when you were very small?” River asked……

River Mindshadow gazed at me doubtfully.  I remembered Lavender Cozy, the healer, saying that my friend would be able to “follow the shadows within the mind.”

“Then Fallow Blackmoon came here, and told you that she was a seer.  And she has no double here!…..  Fleur let me look through the images at the Trumpet office, but I didn’t find anything that looked like the strange seer.  I want to know if people have ever disappeared from Thistledown.”

With a gasp I told my friend, “Field Yewwasp said she looked familiar!  Do you think Fallow Blackmoon actually came from Thistledown, yet somehow became part of the colorless faery-verse?”…..

Fleur Thistle came upon Bedlam and River as they speculated.  “That’s too magical of a message to be ignored.  Besides, a hummingbird brought it to you!  You have to listen to it.  I’ll dig up the Trumpet archives.

While Fleur was digging through the newspaper archives,  River and Bedlam ran into Rhymer Rainbow and her aunt Willow.

Episode 13

“Rhymer once told me that her aunt has a ton of spell books,” River suggested with an eager flutter of her wings.  

And indeed Willow Rainbow had spell books aplenty — and cookies.  She helpfully said, “But I’ll have to leave you on your own.  My crochet circle is meeting, or I’d be glad to delve into the books with you.  You girls take some cookies and help yourselves to the books.  Rhymer will you show them to the library?”

Here begins Act 2.  Now… Episode 14. 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam

Act 2, Episode 14

Old books Annie Spratt unsplash

Annie Spratt, Unsplash

The Etheraris Spiregris

“Oh, just one thing.  Use any of the books you please,” Willow Rainbow had told us.  “But not the Etheraris Spiregris.  It’s far too dangerous.  I really should get rid of it, but it seems so wrong to do away with any book!” she added.

Then Willow left River, Rhymer, and me alone with her marvelous collection of books, including the Etheraris Spiregris.

Well, of course we went straight to the forbidden book.  You knew that was coming!

River Mindshadow glanced from me to Rhymer Rainbow.  I knew she must wonder how Rhymer would feel about disobeying her aunt Willow.  However, Rhymer was the first to touch the forbidden book.

“Please!  Aunt is such a tease.  Nothing else she could have told would have made us so bold,” Rhymer said as with both hands she tilted up the large volume.

“Bedlam, do you think maybe that magic periwinkle colored muskox hair will point to the right spell?” River asked as she fluttered to Rhymer’s side and carefully turned the ancient pages of the book.

Blustering_March_MT Ross 1914

Blustering March, MT Ross 1914

As I moved nearer the book the muskox hair once again started to sizzle and point.  While Rhymer held the book tilted so we all could see, River continued to slowly turn its pages.  She slowed her hand when the hair seemed to pause at one page.

Rain of the Arcane?  That’s a good name,” Rhymer commented in typical rhyming fashion.

However, the hair drew away from the book.  River turned to the next page and the hair sparked, giving me yet another shock.

“Do you think this is the one?” River asked excitedly.  “A Perversion of Phantoms,” she read aloud the title at the top of the timeworn page. 

At River’s words the long muskox hair fell limp against the page.  My hand dropped, resting against the page as Rhymer and I echoed River in stating the name of the spell.  All three of us were touching the pages of the incantation as we spoke.

“The name of the spell reminds me of how we were talking about learning whether people had disappeared from Thistledown.  Missing faeries being like phantoms,” River continued.

The three of us exchanged a look.  It was spontaneous, a coincidence.  We didn’t mean to speak in chorus but as one we gasped.

“A Perversion of Phantoms!”

Abruptly the heavy volume snapped shut.  The periwinkle muskox hair was still within, like a bookmark.  The room spun wildly.  It was like looking into a kaleidoscope.  

Then the world shattered. 

The farmhouse floor beneath my feet seemed to heave and twist.  I winced as my wing, still only partially healed, reflexively unfurled to keep my balance.  Quickly I moved my hands away from the book and caught the hands of River and Rhymer.

The End

***

A Special Note

Months ago, when all the faery naming fun began, River Mindshadow was named in honor of Olga Núñez Miret.  She has just released a new inspirational book.  It’s in both English and Spanish, on one volume!  Click over and check it out. 

Thanks for flying in to visit.  I hope to see you next time when we’ll see where the girls landed after the Etheraris Spiregris snapped shut.

 

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namer.

Rhymer Rainbow  https://whenwomeninspire.com/

Willow Rainbow http://cerobinsonauthor.com/

River Mindshadow  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam, The Return!

On Saturday, December 2, 2017, Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam will return!

Featured Image -- 21891

Bedlam Thunder and her faery friends will be back with Episode 14.  Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here are links to all the past episodes.

Where it all began

https://teagansbooks.com/2017/07/07/thistledown-midsummer-bedlam/

HERE In the Kitchen, EPISODE 2

HERE Another Vision, EPISODE 3

HERE A Finder, EPISODE 4

HERE Pucker Up, EPISODE 5

HERE Powderpuff Sheep and Cranes, EPISODE 6

HERE Doors and Doors, EPISODE 7

HERE Shadows of Body and Mind, EPISODE 8

HERE Gone to the Dogs EPISODE 9

HERE Fire and Furry, EPISODE 10

HERE Ashes and Hummingbirds, EPISODE 11

HERE Hear See Speak No EPISODE 12

HERE Afoul of a Fowl EPISODE 13

Stay tuned for The Etheraris Spiregris!

See you this weekend.  Hugs on the wing!

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from public domain or free sites.

Jazz Age Wednesdays 12 ― Characters of the Three Things Serial Story

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hello everyone, it’s pos-i-lutely divine to see you here at Jazz Age Wednesdays!  This time I thought a change of pace might be in order.  I’m going back to the novella of the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story.

For those of you who are new to Teagan’s Books, this post is an introduction to the characters in that novella.  Some of them come back for Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.  If you’ve been following all along, then I hope this will be a fun visit with your old friends.

I hope the characters in this 1920’s serial have wiggled into your mind so comfortably that you have your own ideas of how they would look or sound.  However, I thought it might be fun to show you how I imagine them. So in no particular order, please meet the cast of The Three Things Serial.

Paisley Idelle Peabody

lucille-ball-1937-stage-door

Better known to you as Pip

The moment I saw a picture of a teen-aged Lucille Ball she became my Pip. In my imagination the voice of a grown-up Lucy narrates The Three Things Serial, as she looks back on the adventures of her youth.

Pip might be a tad conservative, naive, or innocent as flappers go, but that allows her to take people as they are, without judgement.  Time and “things” will tell if that open hearted naïveté gets her into a pickle — or maybe a barrel of them!

The heart of a true flapper beats in Pip, and she is determined to be what she thinks of as a modern woman.

*

Pops

John Forsythe 1958

John Forsythe 1958

Pip’s Unseen Dad

Thus far I’ve done three incarnations of this “interactive” serial.  Pip’s father has been mentioned many times, and he’s made a phone call or two. However, he has never actually made an appearance. It started to remind me of the 1970’s television series, Charlie’s Angels, with John Forsythe phoning in as the never-seen Charlie.

*

Mona the Movie Star

Clara Bow
Clara Bow

Pip enjoyed giving everyone nicknames, usually based on their occupations or their aspirations.  Her friend and neighbor, Mona, had big dreams of being an actress, but little chance of seeing them come to fruition. Mona is something of a flirt, but you won’t see her “lead anyone on.” It’s just that people (particularly men) jump to do things for her.

 In my imagination, the original “It Girl” — Clara Bow plays Mona.

*

Andy the Astronaute-man

Willie Garson

Willie Garson

Andy Avis

The “things” for Episode-2 required me to write about a ballerina, a fireman, a movie star, and an astronaut.  Have I mentioned that I’m a research geek? I had to make sure the word “astronaut” was actually used in the 1920’s. I got conflicting information, but the greater consensus said “no.” However, I learned the term Astronaute was used in France at the time. So Andy Avis is also of French lineage.

Andy is a science fiction writer, hence Pip’s nickname for him Andy the Astronaute-man.  Despite the heroic stories he writes, Andy is not the bravest bean in the bunch. Discretion is pos-i-lute-ly the better part of valor with him. To his credit, sometimes Andy overcomes his big fears and takes action. Doesn’t it take a lot more courage to do something when you’re afraid than if you are just naturally brave?

Right away I saw a younger Willie Garson as my Andy.  (You might know him from “White Collar” or Sex and the City.) I could see the friendship between him and Mona. Although unlike Stanford, Andy hopes the friendship will become a romance. 

*

Ca’ d’Zan

The Ringling Mansion

Although it is not truly a character the Ca’d’Zan mansion is an important part of this story. Learning about this amazing place was so much fun that I had to include it here. I hope you’ll do some research of your own about the home of John and Mabel Ringling.

Ca'd'Zan Mansion

Ca’d’Zan Mansion

*

John and Mabel Ringling

Mabel and John Ringling

Mabel and John Ringling

The fictional characters I created of the Ringlings don’t play huge roles in the story, but they were important nonetheless.  Pip and company are invited onboard a yacht that they don’t at first realize belongs to John Ringling. Countess Bepa is old friends with Mabel Ringling.  The entire gang ends up at fabulous Ca’d’Zan where the mystery concludes.

*

The Fabros

1920s 4 Look-alike Guys

Frankie Fabro and His Cousins

Frankie the Fireman and his cousins Flavio, Fedel, and Frediano. First we meet Frankie. He’s taller and a little bigger than his cousins, but all four of the young men look a lot alike. Elder brother Flavio looks out for twins, Fred and Fedel. Pip has a crush on Frankie. Flavio, like most men, seems to think Mona is the berries.

Oddly enough I never had an image in my mind of Frankie the Fireman. So he is included here with his look alike cousins.

*

Countess Bepa Babikov

Johanna Loisinger; the Countess Von Hartenau

Johanna Loisinger; the Countess Von Hartenau

The mysterious white-haired woman… turns out to be not only the grand mother of Boris the Ballerina, but a real life countess. It was after Bepa Babikov came along that I saw a photo of Countess Von Hartenau that was simply the vision of Bepa’s elegance, as well as her fierce determination.  She instantly replaced any other image I had of Bepa.

*

Boris Babikov

Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire

Boris the Ballerina

Retired from the Ballets Russes after a career-ending injury, Boris gives the occasional dance lesson to earn a living. Mona is infatuated with Boris, but also conflicted. She has some ways of thinking to outgrow.  Boris is the strong silent type. His friends have to work at it to get to know him. When I saw a photo of Fred Astaire, in a rather sulky pose, it made me think of Boris Babikov.

Would you like a tidbit from the novella?  This snippet is from pretty far into the story. Let’s get a wiggle on!

Kitten, Fake, Comfort

My eyes strayed to the Art Deco pottery jug into which Ringling had casually dropped the bent key. 1920s  Ben Key Had he been a little too offhanded when he did that?  What if his nonchalance was fake?  I shifted my gaze to the circus millionaire and found him looking at me.  I knew it might be foolish of me, but I couldn’t stop myself from blurting out my thoughts.

“That’s no ordinary key,” I said.  “It might be to Ca’d’Zan, but it’s no door key.”

Everyone became silent, except for Pear the hedgehog, scrabbling inside his lunch pail carrier.  I turned to Countess Babikov.  By the expression on her face, I knew the direction of my words didn’t give her any comfort.  It was obviously meant to be a distraction when she turned to Mona and indicated the tin lunch pail.

“Dear!  What have you in that box?  I hear a tiny creature moving around.  Is it a kitten?” she asked Mona.

It was a feeble attempt at diverting me and the white-haired woman must have realized that, because she blushed and glanced over at me.  However, I was not diverted.  My mind went to that very eventful night when the countess was abducted, and later the group of us returned home to find Boris’ place being burglarized.  I remembered the broken vase and speculating that a key might have been hidden inside.  At the time I wondered if Boris had a key to match the bent one that was dropped from the getaway car.  Once again I considered the same idea — and I voiced the thought.

Ringling and the countess looked at each other in a silent exchange.  She drew an unsteady breath and looked up at him from her spot on the beautifully upholstered sofa.  “John, I am more worried than ever for my grandson’s safety.  If these young people can tell us where to find him…  Can you bring him here?  Please?”

I couldn’t imagine anyone refusing the tortured look in the woman’s eyes.  The circus magnate was not immune to her gaze.  Frankie shifted his feet in a nervous way.  Mona sat in silence.  She licked her lips and looked from the fireman to me.  After all, these people were strangers to us.  Boris kept us at arm’s length, but he was our neighbor and a friend, if not a really close one.  We had already concluded that he was in some kind of trouble.  But did these people have his best interest at heart?  And why did my friends seem to want me to make that decision, I wondered in dismay.

***

 

Of course I must engage in the requisite shameless self-promotion…  Here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

 

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story

 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees!

 

Copyright © 2014 and 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Thistledown Hiatus 6 ― on a Mattress

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thistledown is still on hiatus for National Novel Writing Month. So I’m leaving you with a vintage story.

Not all faery (fairy) tales are sugarcoated as we think of them today.  Most of you probably know that the originals from the Brothers Grim were far from sweet.  Many current TV series and movies with a dark take on those tales have been popular. I guess we should call them grownup fairy tales.  Here’s one of my favorite grownup versions… although I wouldn’t exactly call it dark.  But then again… 

Episode 6 of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam gave shout-outs to Sally Georgina Cronin of Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life and Dan Antion of No Facilities.  Please visit their blogs and say hello.

If you missed that episode or you want to review…  Click here for episode 6.

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.