Three Ingredients Serial – 3: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Blueberries

Rabbit Flapper mag

Every time I see the photos on Maureen’s blog, kiwissoar, I am completely charmed.  So when she sent three ingredients, I just had to find some kind of video that related an ingredient to New Zealand.  Luck was with me and not only did I find a video about New Zealand and blueberries, but it is partly about an American woman as well.  Now how’s that for pulling things together? It’s at the end of this post.  Thank you Maureen for the ingredients!

Next time, the set of ingredients (episode 4) will be from Alexandra of “A Scholarly Skater.”  So stay tuned for those.  Remember you can do catch up reading at the serial’s homepage.

And now, episode three with ingredients from New Zealand.  Bon appétit!

3  Chocolate, Cinnamon, Blueberries

Rabbit_Shopping-list_Episode 3As I stood up, I wiped chocolate from my mouth — I wasn’t so startled that I couldn’t appreciate that last bite of fudge!  I opened the kitchen door, and darn if Granny (mandolin blade still held threateningly) didn’t get over the threshold ahead of me.  A glance at that blade reminded me to stay on her good side.

The cottage had a wraparound porch that made the little house look a bit larger than it actually was.  I followed Granny out onto the porch.  Beside the kitchen door were two rocking chairs, a small table, and a tall metal cabinet.  Atop the cabinet were several potted herbs.  The rocker nearest the cabinet was overturned.  Underneath the other rocker I saw a set of reddish, furry hindquarters.

Cinnamon Bun!  What have I told you about those herbs?” Granny Fanny admonished, shaking a finger at the fuzzy posterior as it backed out from under the chair.

“Holy Hannah!” I cried.  I had been expecting a dog, but this was a rabbit.  It was as big as a dog; it had to be 30 inches long!  “What…  Where did you get that thing?”

Granny chuckled and hugged the oversized bunny, putting her face against its obviously soft fur.  “You naughty old bun,” she scolded the rabbit.  “The veterinarian gave him to me.  Doc Vale found him one day.  Called him a Flemish Giant Rabbit.  He said he never found out who owned the poor thing.  So Doc fixed him so he wouldn’t go around doing what rabbits do best, you know, making more rabbits.”Carot seed pkt

“And the vet ‘fixed’ it so he couldn’t…?  Applesauce, that sounds horribly painful,” I said.

“Doc says it wasn’t.  Doc Vale has all sorts of unusual training.  Things you don’t hear much about, like chiropractic — what he calls ‘noninvasive techniques.’  And he knows acupuncture.  He says sometimes he can use acupuncture instead of using dangerous things to make the patient sleep.  He said the ole bun didn’t have anything hurt but his pride.”

She fussed at the rabbit some more.  “Naughty bun.  I was afraid I’d never see you again.”  Then she looked over at me and added, “He got out of the fence and I couldn’t find him last night.”

I bent down to peer at the giant rabbit.  He had a bit of green stuck in his whiskers and I cautiously removed it.  “It looks like he’s gotten into your herbs,” I said.  I stood and looked up at the pots on top of the cabinet.  None of them contained what I had plucked from the rabbit — cilantro.  “Granny do you grow cilantro?”

“Not this year,” she answered, and then continued her story without missing a beat.  “I was so taken with Cinnamon Bun that I took him in.  He’s a sweet ole thing, and usually no trouble.  But he’s always trying to get to my herbs.  Thank goodness he hasn’t figured out how to get into the greenhouse.”

Photo credit yesterdish.com; See printed recipe at end of post.

Photo credit yesterdish.com; See printed recipe at end of this post.

“And that’s what you named him?  Cinnamon Bun?” I pondered.  “Okay, I guess his fur is about the color of cinnamon and ‘bun’ because he’s a bunny.”

A man called out to us as he walked around the corner of the cottage.  He wore a badge pinned to his lapel.  “Are you ladies okay?” he asked.  “I heard a commotion as I was coming toward the front door, so I headed on back here.  Oh, I see.  Cinnamon at it again?  I thought I got that fence fixed for you so he couldn’t get loose.”

“Oh you can’t keep a rabbit in a fence if he really decides to get out,” Granny said.  “It’s awful kind of you to help me with that sort of thing, Dabney.  Don’t think it’s not appreciated,” she said, but seemed to realize it was not a social call.  “What brings you, Detective Daniels?  Won’t you come inside?” Granny asked.

A moment later the three of us were sitting at the kitchen table drinking tea.  Granny set a large portion of fudge in front of the detective.  I looked at it mournfully as the copper popped a scrumptious square into his mouth.

The detective had been making a list of everyone who was at the Bijou when the man died.  I thought the guy had been bumped off, but nobody had used the word “murder” yet.  The police were investigating because no one seemed to know who the man was.  Granny asked if it had been a heart attack, since his death was sudden.

“The medical examiner said he choked.  They took a couple of blueberries from his windpipe,” Daniels said, but he sounded doubtful.

English: First blueberries of the season.

English: First blueberries of the season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Dabney,” Granny began in an apologetic tone.  “I don’t think he would have died from choking on a blueberry.”

“Miss Fanny, to be honest I don’t think so either,” the detective said as he took a sip of tea.  He made an appreciative sound as he set the cup of Darjeeling on the table.  “But they can’t find anything wrong with him.  Except of course for being dead.”

I kept thinking about the cilantro on the man’s shoes.  It still made me feel foolish, but there was just something hinky about it.  Since I already felt like a sap for wondering, I asked in a roundabout way.  “Was there anything… strange about him?  I mean odd things on his body or in his pockets, or maybe his shoes?”

Dabney Daniels, Savannah Police detective had the nerve to laugh at me!  I glared at him.  “Well, was there?” I demanded, my cheeks heating.

He chuckled again and looked at Granny.  “She’s definitely your granddaughter.”  Then he turned to me and apologized.  “No ma’am.  I wasn’t at the scene, but I haven’t been told of any odd circumstances.”1920s flapper thinking

I was silent for a moment, trying to decide whether or not he was being condescending.  He eyed me closely and then looked down at a list on a sheet of paper.  “You were there, weren’t you, young lady?  I gather you saw something that didn’t seem right to you.”

He was going to think I was silly, I knew.  With a sigh I placed the cilantro I took from Cinnamon Bun’s whiskers on the table and pointed.  “There were bits of cilantro all over his shoes.  He must have been some place where somebody was using a lot of cilantro right before he came to the theatre.  Right before he died.”

I got the patronizing reaction I expected…

***

Blueberry farming video

Recipe from a 1920 edition of the Swayzee (Indiana) Press, advertising Royal Baking Powder.

Fanny’s Royal Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients

2 ¼ cup flour

4 t Royal Baking Powder

1 t salt

2 T shortening

1 egg

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

2 T cinnamon

4 T seeded raisins

Sift 2 tablespoons of measured sugar with flour, salt, and baking powder. Rub shortening in lightly. Add beaten egg to water and add slowly. Roll out 1/3rd inch thick on floured board. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. Roll as for jelly roll; cut into 1 ½ inch pieces. Place with cut edges up on well greased pan. Sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon  Bake in moderate oven 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from pan at once.

***

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, 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, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

To Me — From Me, a Limited Release

veil_of_sky_open_1 copy

Atonement, Tennessee – Now Available

Tah-dah!  I finally self-published “Atonement, Tennessee,” which I wrote last year for National Novel Writing Month.

Publishing this novel is a gift to myself.  gift boxTwo other times this year I planned to release this book, and then I got so discouraged that I did not.  I know that working full time, and spending at least 20 hours a week on other essential personal endeavors, that I don’t have time to do “indie publishing” right.  It’s really a full time job with the promotional stuff.

However, I realize that I’m not self-publishing for the same reasons as other people.  So I’m just going to do what little I can, and for my own reasons.

After I did all the exhausting work…  I have to tell you that I was as thrilled as any kid on Christmas morning to see my book for sale at Barnes & Noble [online only of course]!  That’s when my mood changed from exhausted to kind of excited!  Shortly afterward Amazon/Kindle finished whatever it is they do for “approvals” behind their great Oz-like curtain.

Anyhow, I even have an “author page” at Amazon. No, that’s only a fraction of what other indie authors would be doing — I know that.  All those other things are part of what discouraged me out of doing this in March, and again in October.  This “limited release” is what I’m able to do, so I hope you’ll share my joy in the fact that I accomplished that much.

So here’s my Amazon author page.  I hope you’ll check it out:   http://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Wishing you every blessing of any holiday you hold dear,

teagan

Three Ingredients Serial – 2: Mandolin, Chinoiserie, Wimberries

1928 green kitchen adToday I feel like we’re getting to sneak a peek inside a Christmas package, because my friend Joye shared with us her semi-secret recipe for Fabulous Five Minute Fudge!  You’ll find the recipe at the end of this episode.  I wish I had been able to make WordPress fancy-up formatting do the recipe justice… but all I could manage was something plain.  Well, there’s nothing plain about Joye’s fudge, so enjoy!

The “ingredients” for episode 2 came from Lord David Prosser of the Barsetshire Diaries. These three took my mind to things that added to the character of Granny and the setting of her kitchen.  I hope you’ll enjoy this second episode of our new “interactive” serial.

You can do catch up reading at the story’s homepage.

And now — episode two…  Happy reading, and bon appétit!

2.  Mandolin, Chinoiserie, Wimberries

“Now you just calm down, Sweet Pea.  I know it was a terrible thing to behold, but it’s going to be all right,” Granny said as she sat me at the kitchen table.  “Why you’re shakin’ like a leaf, Pip!”

When I got back to her cottage, she had already brewed tea and produced some lovely fudge as if by magic.  Somehow Granny had already heard about what happened at the Bijou.  She dusted an imaginary speck from the green and white gingham table cloth, and then placed a Chinoiserie tea set on the table in front of me.  The dishes were done in a shade of sea green a little darker than the checks of the table cloth, and they were decorated with blue chrysanthemums.Grannys teacup

I gazed absently at steam rising from the cup of Darjeeling tea while Granny pulled out a white ladder back chair and sat down next to me.  My grandfather had made those cane bottom chairs himself.  My Pops had a set of them too, except those were stained wood rather than painted white.

Tracing my finger around the rim of the teacup, I spoke without looking up.  “I remember this tea set.  Have you always had it?”

Granny gave me a downright wicked, mischievous smile and even wriggled her eyebrows.  Then her expression turned fond and she chuckled.  “Almost always.  They were a gift — when I was a very young woman.  They were actually from Mrs. Wong’s grandfather,” my grandmother told me.

Surprised, I looked a question at her.  “He was a widower.  Yes, he was interested in me.  Oh Pip, are you surprised that a man besides Grandpa was interested in your Granny?” she said with a smile.  “If ever I was going to be attracted to an older man, it would have been Photoplay teacupAlastair Wong the elder.  He was a fine man.”

Now that surprised me.  But the unexpected was to be expected with Granny Fanny.  She was full of surprises.  I bit into one of the delicious pieces of fudge on my plate.  Granny’s fudge was enough to make me forget anything upsetting.  While it melted in my mouth I looked at a jar on the table.  Unfamiliar handwriting proclaimed it contained wimberry preserves, with Crickhowell Cottage printed at the top of the label.  I remembered Granny had a pen pal in Wales and thought it must be from her.

“So that would have been Alastair’s great-grandfather,” I said, trying to make an effort at conversation.  Granny nodded with an expression of reminiscence in her light blue eyes.

She poured more tea.  “Do you want to talk about it?” she asked gently, and I knew she meant the killing at the Bijou.

“I don’t know who the man was.  It just seemed so strange and out of place that he had bits of cilantro all on his shoes.  And I feel like there must be something wrong with me for being stuck on that thought,” I confided.

“Oh Sweet Pea,” she began.  “It’s normal to get focused on some odd thing or other when something awful happens.”  She paused and pursed her lower lip while she thought.  My Pops said I did the same thing.  “I do admit it seems odd though,” Granny said while she poured more tea into my cup.

Ma Kettle Ax2Granny moved to the counter and began tidying up.  I noticed she had dismantled her mandolin.  The whetting stone was beside the newly sharpened blade.  Granny always said you were more likely to cut yourself on a dull knife than with a sharp one.

Abruptly a huge thudding noise made me jump from my chair.  Granny suddenly had a dishtowel in her hand with the sharpened mandolin blade held like a weapon.

***

Fanny’s Fabulous Five-Minute Fudge

Ingredients

  • · 1 – 12  ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces (2 cups)
  • · 2/3  cup sweetened condensed milk (one-half of a 14-ounce can)
  • · 1  tablespoon water
  • · 3/4  cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired
  • · 1  teaspoon  vanilla

Directions

1.  Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, and water.

2.  Microwave, uncovered, on 100% power (high) for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 1 minute more, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and spread it into a 9×6-inch rectangle, or drop mixture by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet.

3.  Chill fudge about 30 minutes or until firm. Cut fudge into 1-1/2-inch squares. Makes 24 pieces

Yield 24 pieces

Prep 5 minutes; chill 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts (Fabulous Five-Minute Fudge)
Servings Per Recipe 24,
cal. (kcal) 112, Fat, total (g) 7, chol. (mg) 3, sat. fat (g) 3, carb. (g) 14, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 2, vit. A (IU) 49, sodium (mg) 11, calcium (mg) 30, iron (mg) 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

***

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, 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, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Three Ingredients Serial – 1: Geoduck, Cilantro, Red Wine

It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to episode-1 of our new “interactive” story, The Three Ingredients Serial.  Remember that you, the reader, are driving the story by sending three ingredients that I will include in the episodes.

When we did the Three Things Serial, the things you sent inspired the characters and the setting.  I decided to keep one Cat-menu Episode-1character from that story — Pip, the narrator.  With this new sort of culinary mystery, who knows what Pip will get into?  Only the “ingredients” can say.

Our first three ingredients were sent by Mary J. McCoy-Dressel, romance writer extraordinaire.  The very first ingredient had me doing research — but that’s part of the fun.  Would you know what to do with a geoduck?  Here’s what I did with it.

Enjoy the ride, and bon appétit!

The Three Ingredients

A culinary mystery with “ingredients” sent from readers everywhere.

1:  Geoduck, Cilantro, Red Wine

Biju theatreSeveral cars were already parked in front of Binghamton’s Bijou Theatre for the big local premiere.  I spotted an empty parking space and hit the gas to pull my grandmother’s Model-T up to the curb.  The car was old as could be, but Granny babied it like a child.  It looked brand new, all the way to the brightly painted yellow spokes at the wheels.  As I got out I made sure the sign she tied to the car door was straight.  It read Granny Fanny’s Goodies.

My grandmother had become insistent that I mend my flapper ways and at least learn to cook.  Pops wasn’t about to refuse her when she decided I should leave Florida and move up to Savannah, Georgia to live with her.  “Until you become a passable cook,” my father said, and it had sounded like a prison sentence.  However, Savannah was a bigger city than I realized, and “Jazz Age” business was flourishing.  I secretly liked the town, but it wouldn’t do to let Granny or Pops know that just yet.

As I carefully stacked containers of fortune cookies I heard someone with a faintly British accent call my name.  “Over here Pip!” Alastair Wong called and waved cheerfully.

The Wongs immigrated to the United States from England.  Neither he nor his parents had ever been to China, though they dreamed of visiting and faithfully passed down family recipes, like the one for the enormous clams, the geoducks.  Alastair had helped the filmmaker locate an ancient and huge one that had been used in the making of the movie.  Though I couldn’t imagine how they made it look so gigantic, the things were certainly ugly enough to star in a monster movie.yoengs-chinese-restaurant

Alastair’s family owned the local Chinese restaurant, simply called Wong’s.  His slogan proclaimed “You’re always right with Wong’s.”  I hoped he was right to invest in so much advertising for this movie.  The chefs at the restaurant were so busy making geoduck dishes that he’d asked Granny to handle the fortune cookies.  I chuckled to myself when I thought about the “fortunes” she wrote for them.

I helped Alastair and his mother arrange the fortune cookies and the geoduck items.  It actually looked inviting the way they’d prepared it.  But I still couldn’t make myself take a bite…  Mrs. Wong giggled at the expression on my face.  At least she wasn’t offended.  Soon we had the food ready for the guests of the premiere of “Night of the Killer Clam.”

People gathered around the food tables as soon as we were ready.  As they chose hors d’oeuvres they joked about eating the movie’s monster villain.  Then they started opening their fortune cookies and reading the carefully printed messages inside.

“Neither a whistling woman nor a crowing hen ever come to a very good end.”  (Be yourself.)

“Every dog should have a few fleas.”  (No one is perfect.)

“You’ll be happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.”  (Don’t worry about what’s happening.)

I blushed when Alastair Wong looked askance at me.  All I could do was shrug helplessly.  Granny Fanny insisted on writing what she thought of as proper fortunes, though they weren’t exactly … traditionally Chinese.

Mrs. Wong, Arabella, laughed out loud, startling me.  She usually had a sweet girlish giggle.  Alastair rolled his eyes heavenward.  At least they had a sense of humor about it.

Arabella poured goblets of red wine for us and we toasted the movie and good food.  We would miss most of the film’s premiere, but Mr. Binghamton gave all of us several free passes each, so knew I could come back.

crab monsters 2Posters of swooning a woman in the embrace of a shocked but dashing man decorated the Bijou’s entrance.  A little girl looked quietly at a poster of the monster clam.  Then she suddenly shrieked, pulled away from the woman who held her hand, and ran.  “Flannery!  Come back!  Wait,” the woman called and ran after the child.

The music began inside the theatre and everyone cheered.  I heard muffled dialogue, but I couldn’t make out the words.  I started helping the Mrs. Wong and her son cleanup and gathered Granny’s empty cookie containers.  Then I jumped when I heard loud screaming emanate from the Bijou.

“Wow!  That must be some scary movie!” Alastair commented.  Then a woman and a man ran from the theatre.  The Wongs and I looked at one another, puzzled.

Something was clearly wrong.  As I walked toward the entrance, I saw the door to the ticket booth was open.  I noticed a flashlight and picked it up, as I hurried toward the commotion.  Inside the theatre the screen showed what appeared to be a fifty feet tall clam, with a hundred feet long…  Applesauce, I didn’t know what to call it!  Something like an elephant’s trunk was slowly attacking a building.

I switched on the flashlight.  A small group of people were clustered below the stage.  When I drew near I noticed a trail of green bits on the floor.  Between the people, I saw a pair of wingtips with the soles facing me.  The green bits were all over the bottoms of those shoes — and the feet that wore them weren’t moving.  I pushed my way into the circle.  The man stretched out on the floor didn’t seem to be breathing.  I took a mirror from my purse and held it under his nose.  There was no fog from his breath.  One of the people started calling for a doctor, but I was sure the man was already dead.cilantro

Soon a man with a medical bag, along with the theatre owner — Mr. Binghamton, and a policeman pushed me out of the way.  I stooped down and touched my fingers to the little green bits the dead man had tracked on his shoes.  I shone the light on it and sniffed.  Cilantro.

——-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgNR-nAlWaw

The Three Ingredients Serial: Copyright © 2013

by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

No part of this book/text/blog may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, 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, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

What’s Next? New “Interactive” Serial

Cooking kittyThree Ingredients Serial

What’s next?  Thanks to everyone who sent “votes” on what you wanted to do next – now that we reached a conclusion in the Three Things Serial storyline.  It was a three-way tie, appropriately enough!  So I’m going with the one that is the biggest challenge for me.  (Yes, I’m just twisted that way.)  Also I think I chose the tie-breaker that will give you, the reader more creative ways to send “things.”

To break the tie, I chose to do a culinary mystery.  This subgenre was new to me.  If you’re not familiar with it, here is a goodreads link to several such novels.

Our next reader-participation-driven story will be The Three Ingredients Serial.  I’m putting you back in the driver’s seat.  The “things” will become ingredients.  This time I’m asking you to send three ingredients, which is not too different from sending three things.  Now, those ingredients can be all sorts of food related things – not just recipe ingredients.  Or if you’d rather — you are welcome to send a recipe that I would feature at the end of the post.

So please leave comments, telling me your Three Ingredients!  I’m excited to see where they take me.

Can’t wait to hear from you,

teagan

PS:  The illustrious Alexandra of The Scholarly Skater has just nominated me for two awards. The “Internet hugs” abound, and I’m delighted to participate.  So please take a look at her very interesting blog.  Thank you Alexandra — mega-hugs to you.

Internet Hug!

Wonderful Team Member Reader AwardIt’s Internet Hug time again!  (Another thanks to Deb Paulson for that term.)  I was surprised to receive the “Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award” from Lord David Prosser of The Barsetshire Diaries.  This Internet hug came from all the way across the pond – proof of the power of hugs.  David’s blog is a delightful account of the adventures that exist in day-to-day life if you open your eyes to find them.  He’s also very generous in promoting the books of others.  You’ll also find information about his published books.

Don’t worry; this award is different and easy.  I don’t have to answer a bunch of questions.  I am supposed to nominate others – so I’m going to do that as a welcome to the most recent followers of Teagan’s Books!  So please join me in welcoming:

All of you are now recipients of the “Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award.”

A great big Internet hug to everyone, those who are new to Teagan’s Books, and especially to those who have been following and encouraging me as I continue this grand experiment in indie publishing.

Three Things Epilogue

1920s FanCan you believe this serial began with Oscillating Fan?  That was our very first “thing.”

In case you felt like there was a bit too much unresolved, I’ve written an epilogue for our little 1920’s story.  I expected that the characters readers would be most curious about are Frankie the Fireman and Mona the Movie Star, even though Pip is nearest to my heart as the narrator.

So for those who like things nice and tidy, here’s a bit more.

Epilogue

“Are you sure you won’t stay here in Sarasota for a while?” Mona pleaded.  “You don’t have to breeze off. Ca d Zan-1 Bepa told me that Mr. Ringling asked you to stay as long as you want.  There aren’t many places where you could get free room and board.  And there aren’t any at all as beautiful as Ca’d’Zan!”

I looked down at my hands and shook my head mutely.  I promised to stay until after the party Mable Ringling was throwing for her friend, Countess Babikov.  However, everything I saw in and around the gilded mansion brought me unhappy thoughts.  I was so disappointed in Frankie and all his cousins.  How could they kidnap anybody, let alone a sweet old woman like Bepa?

Lucille Ball teenaged 1What I overheard didn’t sound like Frankie wanted to commit those crimes, but nonetheless that’s what he did.  Maybe when he saw that Flavio and the twins were going to prison, I hoped maybe he would straighten up.  Maybe.  But how could he reform himself when he was going to spend years running from the law?  Ringling’s G-man friend told me that it might not be as big a deal, since they didn’t take Bepa across the state line.

He hinted around that if Frankie turned himself in that Countess Babikov would be willing to let the charges against him “go away.”  Wealth and power had arms as long as those of the law.  But the coppers would demand that Frankie testify in court against his cousins, and I knew the fireman wouldn’t do that. Besides, whether the police detective believed me or not, I didn’t know where Frankie was, and I didn’t expect to hear from him.

“Come on Sweet Pea,” Mona cajoled.  “Cheer up.  Bepa and Mable want to take us shopping for glad rags to wear for their swanky soirée.  It’ll be the bee’s knees!”

I smiled and told myself to join in the fun and not bring everyone else down with me.

When we stepped 1925 Emanuel Haldeman-Juliusinto the hallway I could hear Andy pounding away at his typewriter.  The events that broke my heart had inspired Andy to write an original screenplay.  He wasn’t unfeeling, quite the contrary.  He was just too creative not to put it all on paper.

“There are going to be studio big wigs here all the way from Hollywood,” Mona said.  “Andy is determined to finish his story before the party so he can pitch it.  He hasn’t slept a wink since it happened.  I expect he’ll be moving to California.  I really think his ship is on its way in.”

“And you Mona?  Has Boris warmed up any?  It’s obvious that his babushka adores you,” I said.

Mona blushed prettily.  “Oh, I don’t know Pip.  Maybe.  I think Boris is a man who needs to take things slowly.  I liked the countess the minute I met her, and after getting acquainted with Bepa, I think she’s the cat’s pajamas.  So I’m willing to give this situation more time.  Maybe I need to slow down just a little bit too.  I’m going to stay here for the winter and maybe take trapeze lessons from some of the 1920s circus acrobatsperformers.  They were encouraging me to when Andy and Ringling told them about the short film,” Mona confided.

The butler walked up to us.  Yes, they had an honest-to-God butler.  Can you believe it?  I was surprised and apprehensive when he said there was a phone call for me.  He led us to a sitting room with a phone.  It was my father.  I had sent a telegram to him so he’d know that I was alright, figuring he’d get wind of the shootout in the newspaper.

“Pops, how are you?”

“Yes, I’m fine.”

“Yes, Mona is fine too.”

“Granny?  Is something wrong with Granny?  … Oh thank goodness.”

“What?  Cooking?  Pops, you know I can’t even boil water.  What do you mean that’s the point?”

“Yes, I know how Granny is when she sets her mind on something.  But I’m a modern woman.”

“No, I don’t want to learn to cook!  Flappers don’t pin all their hopes on being a good cook and housekeeper.”

“But…  Oh come on Pops!  I love Granny, but I don’t want to live there…”

“Pops…  But…  Pops please!”

***

The Beginning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leB3Ewm7qtc

1920s Dance Party

***