Holiday Weekend and DoW Snippet

Trust UR Story Neil GaimanIn the past, part of my “real” job was writing a weekly motivational message.  I was basically “ghost writing” as/for the Senior Executive Service level director where I work, but he never made any secret of the fact that I wrote his messages.  (That was a couple of “Directors” ago.)

People would ask me (especially if they knew there were stressful or disappointing things going on) how I wrote such motivating missives week after week after week.  Well, believe me there were many weeks that I didn’t think I could write a single uplifting word.  But whenever I got started writing a message, I found that I was encouraging myself as much as I motivated my audience.  And if I heard the smallest whisper that I had lifted someone’s spirits, it sent my own faltering heart soaring.

That’s how I feel here, when anyone says I’ve buoyed them up in some small way — and that’s what keeps me coming back with a new chapter for you every weekend.  So I hope never to leave you completely adrift.Lazy Cat fluffy sad

However, it’s a holiday weekend here in the USA, Memorial Day.  And I am in desperate need of recharging my emotional batteries.  I haven’t gotten to do any of the actual writing for the next episode.  Copper and the woman in trousers still stand in astonishment as the alchemist delightedly watches his submarine rise to the surface of the water.

I do want to provide some entertainment though.  So here’s a snippet from my unpublished work The Dead of Winter.  A few of you may have seen me comment that I’d love to see this massive book turned into an anime series.

Just like live-action television and movies, some anime is gratuitous (I’m sorry, the story isn’t more interesting just because you throw in over-blown gore in fight scenes, or nudity for no real reason. And a preteen in a garter belt is just plain wrong — I don’t care what your excuse is.  See what I mean?  It’s just like regular TV.)  But I find some anime preferable to other forms of film. It can be beautifully done, particularly the backgrounds.  Here’s a video with some examples of the kind of anime into which I’d like to see The Dead of Winter made.

(There are movie clips here.)

My story has a wide cast of varied characters, but the heroine is a twelve year old girl, Emlyn. The snip below is early in the story, from Emlyn’s point of view, in the cold place her world has become.  Within The Dead of Winter I also built a world with many nations, traditions, religions, styles of dress, and societies — and magic.  I hope you enjoy this little visit to the world I built.

From The Dead of Winter

First Dream – Winter Is Coming

It was neither light nor dark, though there was a strange half-light.  The dim shapes of furniture seemed familiar as Emlyn looked around the room.  She went to the window, but could not see anything beyond it other than gray darkness.  Goosebumps pricked her arms.  She took the shawl she was required to use to cover her hair and wrapped it around her shoulders.  She felt like she should know this room; and it disturbed her that she could not place it.  Worse she felt that she should remember not liking it.

She turned to go to the door and leave, but a musical tone pierced her ears, surging in volume, but then dissipating.  As the tone died she thought she heard a voice.  Emlyn shook her head, trying to clear it.  She moved toward the door, and the sound blended with the rustle of her skirts, but she was sure she heard it again.  She froze, listening, with her hand reaching for the doorknob.

“Winter is coming.”

Emlyn tilted her head.  Had she heard correctly?  Then it came again more clearly, but still little more than the sound of dry leaves, “Winter is coming!”

DoW 06-15-2013She turned toward the sound, but saw nothing more than the oddly familiar room.  Then suddenly he was there, across the room.  He was a stranger to Emlyn, yet she felt that she knew him, even though she couldn’t see his face clearly.  Shadow seemed to cling to him even more than it did to the rest of the room.  “Did you hear that?  Was it you who spoke?” she asked.  He seemed to rush closer to her, though his feet didn’t move.  She drew back.

“No,” he replied, “but it’s true.  Winter is coming.  The Winter.  The Winter of the ages.  I know those fools have tried to stifle knowledge, but don’t tell me you haven’t at least learned about that.  You of all people should know about the Winter.”

It was plain that she didn’t know what he meant, and that seemed to make him angry.  Her hands gripped her shawl tightly.  Suddenly afraid, Emlyn didn’t know how to respond.  The voice came again, louder, “Winter is coming.”  She blinked and he was only inches away from her.

Emlyn awoke with a start and sat up in her bed.  She let out a relieved breath.  She was safe in her little room.  Then she heard it in his voice.  “Winter is coming.”  He stood at the foot of her bed.  Emlyn thought the dream must be clinging to her, and she rubbed her eyes.  He was still there.  She blinked hard.  He moved toward her and sat on the side of DoW_Cvr_Art-1the bed.  As she felt the bed shift with his weight she screamed.

Her cry roused the household.  Afanen, her sister, was there first, and then her father and brother-in-law crowded into the tiny room, demanding to know what the trouble was.

“There was a man,” she said before she could stop herself.  Their expressions were first astonished and then scandalized.  Emlyn tried to take the words back by saying, “It was a dream.  Just a nightmare.”

Her sister cut her off and exclaimed, “I had gotten up and was on my way back to bed when I heard her – mumbling in her sleep about winter.  She kept saying that winter is coming.”  Afanen wore a bemused smirk that suggested Emlyn was just a silly girl and not to be taken seriously.  She had told people often enough that there was something odd; something wrong about Emlyn.

“If she’s dreaming of men in her room, then it’s time she had a husband,” Dewydd, her brother-in-law said, barely hiding his leer.

“It was just a dream,” Emlyn defended herself.  Her sister and brother-in-law left the room to go back to bed, whispering to each other.  She heard her sister giggle as the door to their room closed.

Her father sat down on the bed, on the same place where he had sat.  Emlyn cringed, wondering if somehow her father would be able to tell that someone; or maybe some thing had just sat there.  He had gone pale, and she thought his voice shook a little.

“Winter, you say?” he looked intently at her as he asked.  “Winter is coming?  As if it was more than just winter?”

“Well yes, that’s how it was in the dream,” Emlyn told him.  However, her father sat looking at her coldly.  He seemed to appraise her, trying to determine her honesty, as if he had caught her in some mischief.

“Where have you heard of this?” he demanded as he stood.  She only looked up at him in confusion.  “It is not allowed for this to be taught.  This is blasphemy!  Where have you heard it?  Have you eavesdropped on the elders when they meet?”

“It was only a dream,” Emlyn stammered, “a nightmare.  Why are you angry?  I don’t understand.  I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Foschi_Winter Landscape with Paseant Family


I promise to be back next weekend with Episode-18 of  Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Update — I should have shared this to begin with. Now most of you won’t even see it… but here is a “pitch” for The Dead of Winter that will tell you about the story.


Copyright © 2012 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book 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 Pinterest unless stated otherwise.


69 thoughts on “Holiday Weekend and DoW Snippet

  1. I’m also a fan of Anime, especially some of the full length films. It is very hard to find good ones that don’t cater to the gratuitous and silliness associated with the genre. Some are equally as captivating as a live actor film and contain a lot of great storylines. I look forward to owning a copy of The Dead of Winter.


  2. Teagan I’m not surprised you wrote motivational messages, because your work always has an uplifting and fun quality to it. Dead of Winter sounds as magical as I know your other writing to be. Hope you had a good weekend with plenty of re-charging 🙂


    1. You are so very kind, Andrea — thank you! I really miss my job as it was during that time. (I’m still in the same position, but the senior exec has changed 5 times in 6 years.) I felt like i was making a genuine contribution.
      Yes, it was a very nice weekend — i hope yours was too. Huge hugs. 🙂


  3. I enjoyed the snippet of your book and it sounds very intriguing. I wish you luck with the pitching process. I think this was very solidly witten and it definitely made me want to read more. I’m glad I discovered your blog.


    1. Welcome Jack(?) and thanks so very much. Most weekends I post an episode of an “interactive” serial. So I hope you’ll be back this weekend for that. I also have “homepages” of all the serials, current one and the past ones, where all the episodes are stored in one place, if you’re curious. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi dear Teagan. I much enjoyed your story…
    It seems as if a personification of winter itself suddenly pops up to Emlyn…
    Which is something we could deduce from the dialogues between her and her sister.
    “There was a man,”
    “Winter, you say?”…“Winter is coming? As if it was more than just winter?”
    “Well yes, that’s how it was in the dream,”
    I think that the personification as a literary device is certainly one of the most powerful tools when it comes to fiction… I don´t know if you see it that way, as well.
    On a side note that you might like … Did you know that the Greeks did not have an Horae [i.e goddess of the seasons and the natural portions of time] for Winter?… They technically just counted three seasons. I think it was because winter and autumn look pretty much alike among the Mediterranean domains
    Excellent installment… Thanks for sharing. All the best to you, Aquileana 😘 🌺

    PS. Don’t you guys have an Old Winter Man over there?… 😉


    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Aquileana. I’m delighted you enjoyed your visit. And i did not know that about Greek mythology and the seasons — truly interesting!
      > It might be impossible to choose an excerpt from this book that is not confusing (when taken out of context)… Let me explain, “Winter” is not a personification, but for lack of a better word, a prophecy; a time when an unnatural winter takes over.
      So the man, who was first in Emlyn’s dream and then momentarily in her bedroom is not a personification of “Winter” either. But he is a key figure in the story, so i don’t want to give any spoilers with him. 😀
      >Now i don’t remember why I started researching Celtic mythology with this book, but there are bits of it, laced into the story.
      My leftover research (that i didn’t use) later formed the inspiration for the novel i published, “Atonement, Tennessee.” I made my own characters from some of the ones in the myth of Gwydion fab Don. I’m now working on book 2 of that series, and bringing in other characters from it.
      Looking forward to your next post. Huge hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So the man of the girl’s dream kind of symbolizes an upcoming cold apocalypsis, just ahead… Interesting!!!… I know you don’t want to give any spoilers as to him… Hence, I must say I am very intrigued… Your writing stands out. I’ll stay tuned with your posts as well. Merci. Hugs to you. Aquileana ⭐


  5. So cool Teagan to be able to read part of your unpublished work! Regarding motivation messages, I find that sometimes when I start writing them I get caught up and actually end up lifting my own self up along with readers. I have a feeling that is what had happened with you at your workplace with those ‘ghostwritten’ messages. I have never really watched anime but enjoyed that video clip so I will have to watch more, I think! Do you have a recommendation of a particular anime for a novice viewer like myself? HUGS


    1. Hey Christy — thank you so very much! Umm… that’s a harder question than I would have thought, especially knowing you’d match my “Stop objectifying women!” attitude. I think i noticed that more simply because it’s cartoons — but it’s no worse than live action movies or TV shows. That’s why i made the disclaimer…
      >Wow… what to recommend? What really pulls me in are the beautiful backgrounds. In the old “Ghost in the Shell” (part of it was in the clips at the 2nd link) beautifully detailed backgrounds and the intro song are probably what got me interested in anime. (There are several versions, and i’m not sure of the exact one with that song.)
      >”Night Raid 1931″ is gorgeous throughout the series (and full of history). It even had detail of the highlights on a brass birdcage… amazing artwork — and the story is good; layered.
      Both of those are old though.
      If you have Netflix, in the summary always go to the “more information” link and you’ll probably be able to tell if it is a gratuitous anime.
      >Also “Eden of the East” series and movies… “Spirited Away” is a movie example that is well known.
      Those are just some random thoughts… Just browse around. 😀 Huge hugs.


  6. To be a motivational speaker, one who is expected to uplift others takes great skill and compassion. I understand fully that there are times when you don’t feel like being upbeat one bit, but also understand that when you begin – the rewards received, carry you forward. Over the years I have given workshops, when I thought….I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other…..however, it never failed that the giving in the workshop, was rewarded with a sense of great well being and renewed creative energy.
    I love the introduction to the book…..What a creative you area…..
    Hope you enjoyed the weekend….and that today will bring you much fulfilment. Janet:)xx


    1. Thank you Tess. I should’ve/would’ve put more time and energy into this post — I really thought everyone would be out for the holiday weekend. Here’s a much more exciting snip i posted when i first started this blog (before the serial idea came to me). I called it “Emlyn Ran” Mega hugs. Hope to catch up with your blog if i get a break at work today. 🙂 ❤


    1. Hi Kathryn. I hope your trip was good. Thanks for the encouraging words, and for taking time to comment. (There’s always so much to do when you’ve been out of town.) Actually i just wrote Episode-18. Thank goodness i was able to.
      Looking forward to your next recipe. Hugs! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great as always Teagan. Anime is one of those take it or leave it artistic mediums. I don’t mind it all, a lot of work goes into the art. I enjoyed First dream, it can be difficult writing from a child’s pov, you handled it well.


      1. You’re welcome teagan, I’m glad to get your day off to a good start. Yes 12 is a strange age, you don’t feel like a kid anymore and yet you aren’t an adult.
        Hugs back at ya!


  8. Lmao! Is that a cat or a sloth? 😀 I agree about the anime. The asians have always been ahead of us with stuff like that. Enjoyed watching those. 😀 Thanks for another great post, Teagan and good luck with your editing, I know how tedious and tiring that can be too, even when one is having a block with writing. I’m having one myself at the mo, so I’m trucking on with blogging, catching up with my book reviews and so on and so forth. Well, enough of me rambling. Later! 😉


    1. Hi Kev… LOL not sure whether kitty is de-motivated or just tired, but i sure did relate to it. :D. So glad you enjoyed the anime clips — and the snippet from my big unpublished novel. It will be quite a while before i re-edit it to divide into volumes. I consider it “finished” so i want to first finish Atonement in Bloom (in progress). Also The Guitar Mancer, and Tatterdemalion: The Electric Zucchini (both are pretty rough drafts). Sigh… if only i didn’t have to spend my time working for a living… 😉
      Huge hugs my friend.


    1. That’s so nice of you to say, Christoph. Maybe the actual editing won’t take so long — i know i went backward to edit several times when i’d get writers block (i’m always plagued with it). However, the amount of time to actually get to it is another matter… I’d be very happy if i could even finish Atonement in Bloom (book 2) — and it’s not nearly as…complex. I see so many writers (including you) turn out so many books so quickly — i stand in awe. It takes me forever. Congrats on the Gamblers coming up! Hugs. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I like “First Dream – Winter Is Coming”. Are you planning on publishing “The Dead of Winter”? Unfortunately, I don’t like Anime — I think the drawing style is presumptuous, childish and irritating, which is probably why so many young people like to draw in the anime style. Most certainly, when you have to write “weekly motivational messages” in a work place, there are probably some real problems in the organization. Best wishes for getting some emotional recharging over this Memorial Day weekend.


    1. Thank you Tim — wishes gladly accepted and still needed. I was lazy yesterday, and still tired today. Need a pick-me-up; I think i’ll make some tea…
      >I’m delighted that you liked the snip of “DoW.” Yes i do intend to publish. I was advised that it needs to be broken into volumes, and after i thought about it, i had to agree (for a lot of reasons).
      LOL, we can agree to disagree about anime. I didn’t like the style myself for a long time. Then i started seeing the beauty in much of the artwork (beyond the characters). It really grew on me quickly after that. (Don’t worry — i’m not trying to convert you. 😀 )
      >A coworker (who just doesn’t know any better), upon hearing that i had written a book, asked if it was going to be a movie. For the first time i thought about the ton of expensive special effects that story would need. That lead to the anime idea. The more i thought about it the more i liked it. But that’s just me day-dreaming (Cue Monkee’s song.) Mega hugs my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tristan makes the same arguments for Anime, but as much as I’ve tried, I just can’t look at it.

        Multiple volumes? Wow! You should dream about making any of your writing into films, anime or full-length movies, and don’t worry about the expense, the CG and special effects. That’s for the producers to worry about.


        1. Errr… yeah — it’s about 700 pages. Editing is going to be a big undertaking. I agree completely about the dreaming. “Don’t just dream big. Dream even bigger!” It’s just hard to visualize for myself. Hugs! 🙂


    1. Hi Sharmishtha — and thanks for dropping by. I finished that one a while back. I’m just not ready to put it out there yet. But i’m happy you liked it.
      Huge thanks for re-blogging it my friend. Mega-hugs. 😀 ❤


  10. Dead of Winter sounds like an interesting story! I hope to read more of it soon. Lorna 👿😇

    Sent from my iPhone



  11. Dear David — thank you so very much. You discovered a whole in my research if Emlyn is a man’s name… It’s been a few years, so i can’t remember if what i looked up assigned gender, but i think the meaning was something like “around the valley.” You would know if that’s right or if i was at a bogus website! 😀 Either way i became very fond of the name.
    > The Welsh sounding names are no accident. I modeled the different nations in the story to be similar to the past of existing countries in the UK and Europe. (Something i picked up on from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series — one’s imagination fills in the blanks better if a place (or the clothing) is similar to something already known. Handy trick!)
    … So Emlyn’s home, “The Flowing Lands” is reminiscent of Wales.
    The same intended coincidence is one of the things that got Olga and me communicating — (though not mentioned here) the character Mercedes and her home are reminiscent of Catalan.

    > I love Terry Brooks too. ❤ Mega hugs my friend. 🙂


  12. The concept is fascinating and now I’ll be waiting for even more of your books! Have a good break. Here it’s a also a long weekend…:)


    1. You are too kind Olga. But anything further i do with this one feels in the distant future. I had no idea it was a long weekend in the UK. I’ll have to Google. 😀 I hope you are enjoying it. Huge hugs. 🙂


    1. Hi John. Thanks very much for reading and commenting. That’s part of what the “culture” of Emlyn’s home has become. The story is really too complex to try and share snippets… so i probably shouldn’t have. I just couldn’t think of what to do today, without having to put much into it.
      >Anyhow, that’s part of what forms Emlyn’s personality, and the fact that her father sides with the religious authorities who have taken control of the town, propels the beginning of the book. I leave him as an ambiguous character, with the reader (hopefully) feeling uncertain as to whether they should hate him, feel sorry for him, or not care at all.
      >I have three other draft-novels i want to finish before i go back to this one. To me at least i’ve “finished” this one, you know? So next on my list is to finish book-2 of “Atonement, Tennessee.”

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for the cool glimpse into this work, Teagan. What a lovely start to the weekend. 🙂
    I find editing such a daunting task, I start to endlessly second guess myself, should I have taken that out, left that in, thrown the whole thing in the garbage? 😉
    Try to relax and get some downtime, and hope your week is an uplifting one. 🙂
    Megahugs!!! 🙂


    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Donna. Oh, my editor brain never stops — particularly with my own work. If i read something 100 times i’d still find something i wanted to change. So i have to get tough with myself.
      >Definitely need some down time. I’m more tired than i have a right to be. So naturally i feel guilty about needing some rest. LOL o_O. Mega-hugs right back my friend. 🙂


  14. Wow, what a great peak into your book, Teagan. What a wonderful beginning. I’m already hooked. It was a wonderful read which I enjoyed very much.

    Have a lovely long weekend and I hope you mange to recharge the body batteries.


    1. Thank so much Hugh! That makes me feel good. I probably should have used the actual opening… it’s much more of a grabber. Oh well — i wanted to share *something* and that was what I ran across quickly — something i had saved separately and didn’t have to think about the ‘start and finish’ points. So i’m even happier that you enjoyed it.
      Yes, i will try to recharge. So far not getting many “bars” on my battery. 😉


    1. Hi Mary — it’s so nice to see you. Throughout the days, i didn’t realize just how stressful and hectic this week has been, until Friday afternoon and i was just exhausted. I will have a very pleasant holiday — and i hope you do the same. Thank you — i’m delighted that you found that bit intriguing. There are better snippets, but i wasn’t up to looking for them out of the 700 pages. LOL. Mega-hugs my friend. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Doc! I really appreciate you for commenting. One day I’ll have time to edit that 700 page story and figure out how to divide it into a trilogy… It’s not as much of a “frolic” as my other work, and i’m determined to handle it “just so.” Mega-hugs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for the peek into your other work and the description (which I really enjoyed). Have a great holiday weekend Teagan (note correct spelling this time).


    1. LOL, thank you Dan for caring about the spelling of my name. I for one am terrible with both names and spelling, so i feel like a heel when i correct anyone… (Makes double work for me as an editor — looking everything up!)
      A beautiful holiday weekend to you and yours as well. Huge hugs! 😀


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