79 Words & Duct Tape — Features from Atonement, TN

First an Update — My Writing Process

I began drafting Atonement in Bloom about a year ago (as I’ve already whined).  Last week I saw that a long “magical” interlude right after the opening needed to happen later in the story. You’d think that would be a simple matter…


However, delaying that part of the plot actually caused the weather in Atonement, TN to change, so I have to account for that. Plus moving half a chapter creates changes in other parts of the book.  Confused yet?  I am.

A fun side effect of all this moving and shaking is that it brought a new eatery (Adelle’s Attic; a tearoom) to the town, and a new character.  Adelle’s presence adds a new aspect to an existing minor character from Atonement, Tennessee too.  No — that’s all I’m saying about that (winks).  Right now I’m not sure how big Adelle’s part will be in Atonement in Bloom but it should add interest.

veil_of_sky_open_Lilith copyRecently I had an unexpected addition to my “process” — if you can even call it a process.  Blogger extraordinaire, Chris Graham posted a challenge to “write a short story of seventy-nine (79) words (not counting the title) with a plot and characterization.”  Thanks again to the Story Reading Ape (writer, promoter of authors, cover designer, and all ’round fantastic ape) for posting my offering.

Writing short anything is something I’ve never done well… but I thought that might be a good way to get my head back into my Atonement universe, so to speak.  So I did a little ditty for that. You’ll find it below.  Ralda’s calico cat, Lilith gets the spotlight.

Around Town in Atonement

Duct Tape

Creating Adelle’s tearoom got me thinking about details of the other things you’d see if you visited Atonement, TN.  Like Ralda’s duct tape masterpiece.  (She resorted to duct tape to seal off the cat’s escape route.) You’ll have to read the book to learn more about the duct tape, escape routes and the adventures that result.Duct tape

Do you have a bit of duct tape artistry you’d like to share?  Leave a comment if you do!


And now… Here are 79 words that have to do with Atonement in Bloom.  This may or may not show up in the book.  Should I keep them?

Lilith’s Decision

Lilith and mirror

Deliberating, Lilith watched the newcomer sleep.

“So strange,” the calico thought, “human shaped but garden scented.”  Lilith inhaled deeply and continued pondering.  “And too newly made to be good or evil.  So do I like you or not?”

Lilith sniffed the female’s long green hair and she stirred and put a delicate hand to the cat’s silky fur, but didn’t wake.  Lovely aromatic catnip suddenly grew from between the planks of the wood floor.  That made up Lilith’s mind.


Wishing you a good morning, afternoon, or evening from Atonement, TN!  See you next time.  Mega hugs!


Copyright © 2015 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.

88 thoughts on “79 Words & Duct Tape — Features from Atonement, TN

    1. Tee-hee! Isn’t it though! 😀
      Thanks so much, Patrick. I actually did work the 79 into the novel. I feared it would be a challenge, but to my surprise, the perfect spot was just sitting there waiting. Mega hugs! 🐻


  1. Just my opinion…keep the 79 words in the book….just that little bit conjured a visual and anticipation, so in my book…success for a writer..:)

    Duct Tape…one of my son-in-laws has a nephew in Michigan that makes duct taped wallets for him once a year using a variety of colors (and here I always thought it only came in gray)!! They actually are artistic masterpieces in that you really have to examine them closely to realize it’s all made out of duct tape!! Have a great weekend!!


    1. Oooh! That’s an amazing duct tape story, Kirt. Much better than the taped washing machine basin that I had for 5 years (and however many years before I moved into that place). 😀
      Thank you about the 79 words. I can see that I need to figure out how to use that sequence. Off to write then! 🙂 Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohh, I like your short story. I find writing short short stories that include the characters of the novel I’m writing is a great way of, well, of actually writing the novel. So yes, include it!


    1. Hi Pam. Thanks so much for taking time to comment. I agree completely. That’s the main reason why I gritted my teeth and took the challenge. Hopefully I can find a way to work the scene into the novel. Have a fabulous Friday. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Teagan, I love your short story. You truly know the heart of a cat.
    I admire your courage to make the changes in your new book … When I start changing something in a 140 character text message, I can get completely confused…
    Blessed duct tape!
    Hugs and more hugs!


    1. Hi Inese — and thank you! I think it was a good thing. Several new ideas came to me while I was moving and revising things. The trouble is that too many ideas came. LOL. I see that I need some self-restraint. It will be too large or too complicated if i use all the ideas.
      Haha, yes! Blessed duct tape. 😀 Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL — definitely… but I’d better make sure to write them down before I forget! 😀
          The “Atonement” stories always have more than one plot line. I’ve had part of the plot of book-3 for a long time, but maybe one of the new ideas will flesh it out. Have a thriving Thursday!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vashti! It’s so nice to see you. I think I’ve moved story parts around to my satisfaction now. Fortunately (in that respect) I had not written very many chapters when I left off writing it earlier this year. And I’ve added some new material too. I hope life is being good to you. Mega hugs!


    1. LOL. I am having fun with that character. As I work on this story I have so many ideas that I think they are too many for one book. So the green haired girl might carry over into a book-3. I’m having fun writing about her, but worry about how to develop her character. Thanks so much for dropping by. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mmm, human shaped but garden scented? I’m hoping it’s not a garden troll, Teagan, because trolls are dangerous creatures, even to cats.

    I know what you mean about a piece of a story that should have come later. However, in my case, I’m about to throw a piece of a story at you all that should have come earlier. I just hope it works when Part 9 of The Truth App is published on Thursday.

    Wishing you a lovely week.


  5. That’s the trouble with changing even a little something in your story teagan, the ripple effect. 79 words? I’m not even warmed up by then.


    1. Doesn’t it though! And the moving requires new story text, but that was partly the point. I felt that long magical sequence moved the story into a certain part before it should have — that it squeezed out other elements that needed to be included.

      Many thanks for reading and commenting, Laurie. Give the parrots an extra treat for me. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s all good fun until someone loses a chapter teagan. 🙂 The parrots are getting overfed already I think. Hugs.


        1. Akkk! That sounds entirely possible. 😀 Good thing I wasn’t far enough into the book to do too much of that.
          No parrots here, but the squirrels are waiting with baited breath to see if anyone puts out a pumpkin for Halloween. There’s at least one new couple who wouldn’t know what fate awaits a pumpkin. 🙂 Hugs.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I lost five chapters of my first book, I hit all the keys on the extreme left of the keyboard and poof! Gone. I cried a little then realised they were crap and started again. 🙂 Oh, aren’t they in for a surprise. Hugs, Laurie.


            1. I’m sorry Laurie. How frustrating.
              I took bad advice that said if I had not unpacked boxes 3 years after moving here, I should throw them away, without even looking inside… Turned out one of those boxes contained 3 nearly finished old novel manuscripts…
              Like you I decided they were crap anyway. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your reference to duct tape and the southern reference to taking a long time explaining something. I grew up in the south and live here still. I’ve never heard that one. But if you said “I went around by Laura’s house” to explain something, I’d know exactly what you meant. Great post, Teagan. Have a wonderful Sunday.


  7. Thanks, Suzanne. I appreciate you stopping by AND this feedback. Lilith gets quite an adventure in ” in Bloom”… but I’m still not sure if she’ll have much interaction with this green haired character. Although I like the idea of having this “introduction” for the 2 of them. I’m delighted to know you’re having fun here!!! Mega hugs 🙂


  8. I love these little snippets and teasers, this is fun. A beautifully constructed 79 words IMHO definitely keep it, Lilith is a magic, human shaped garden scented, green hair I can’t wait to see where this is all going Atonement in Bloom can’t come soon enough for me.


  9. Teagan, I’d keep the 79 words in the wings for a place in the book. It’s a great teaser. I love the Adelle character. Even a short spot would be nice. Color and mystery, your creative writing talent! Have a great weekend. Tons of hugs…💖 Chryssa


  10. Nice little tidbit tease here, Teagan, leaving us wanting more. Way to go. 😉 I’m awed when I read some of these 79 word pieces, so much skill, if people only knew how difficult it is to write less well, they’d be amazed.
    It sounds like you’ve got some adjusting to do and the new character, Adelle and her tearoom sound like they could add a little more magic and mystery to Atonement.
    There’s a comedy show, ‘The Red Green Show’ (main character was Red Green) a Canadian parody of ‘Home Improvement’ (my Dad loved both), but they talked about duct tape incessantly (as did my Dad), but one line always comes to mind, “If women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.” They did a lot of duct tape jokes. P.S. I love duct tape.
    Thank you, Teagan for lovely Saturday morning treat. Hope you find some wine to go with your whine because I’ve read your writing and you’re not going to get anything cheesy there. 😉
    Megahugs and hope this weekend is truly magical. 🙂


    1. Why thank you Donna — you really are the kindest person. I had forgotten all about the Red Green Show. I think I saw it on PBS in the 90’s? But it was very late at night, like PBS used to broadcast Dr Who in the 80’s and 90’s (at least here on the east coast USA). Anyhow it was so late (ahem… that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it) that I only remember that it was crazy-funny. Though the handsome/handy comment sounds familiar.
      Thanks re the whine/wine too. I’ve actually been trying to manifest something in my personal life for a long time now. So the past couple of weekends, I have a glass of bubbly-whatever, to celebrate (as if I’ve achieved it) getting that thing. So cheers, my friend. Wishing you a wonder-filled weekend, and mega hugs!


    1. Hi John. Many thanks for reading and commenting. I know you’ve been doing a lot of editing lately, so you can relate. Indeed one little change, sure does snowball! I didn’t think about the weather problem it would cause when i realized I should move things around. (Holy Hannah.) But that led me to the Adelle character, and she might be a lot of fun, despite her small part (or at least right now i think it’s small…) I hope you’re having a beautiful afternoon on the Texas gulf coast. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love whining while dining on cheese — I had some Caveman Cheese (cave aged cheddar) for breakfast. Then I discovered I was out of razors, but I did find a roll of DuckTape® — my face is a bit sore, quite sticky, and now the cats keep rubbing on my face giving me a motley looking hair ball of a beard.

    Your 79 word challenge reminded me of a song, so I took up the challenge and rewrote the first verse and chorus into a 79 word ditty for you:

    Seventy-nine words came sailing out of Teagan’s finger tips.
    Rolled off the keys in style and all were really hip.
    Calling everyone to read her books along their busy way
    So we all can laugh and cry and this is what we to say

    Write Teagan write on your mystery book
    Amaze all your friends let all of us have a look
    Write Teagan write on your mystery book
    Tales from “Atonement in Bloom” with recipes to cook

    Enough of this silliness. I’m off to find some mineral spirits to wash the sticky cat hair off my face!


  12. Hmmm, changes that mean a change to the weather, additions to the cast list ( and the buildings) intriguing. Sounds like you set yourself a formidable task. I love the 79 words, not one wasted and not a thing given away,
    xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx


    1. Dear David, thank you so much for dropping by. Ha! Yes, it’s formidable, and I’ll have to work carefully to “re-sew the fabric” of the story (or rather the few chapters I have so far). Good thing I’m an editor, and was once a seamstress. Let’s hope I can manage.
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the 79 words. I guess I need to figure out how to sew them into the story now. 🙂 By the way, enjoyed reading about your “coffee” at Sally’s Smorgasboard. Mega hugs my friend.


    1. LOL. It can be frightening to consider all the strange things my imagination comes up with… best not to analyze it too closely! Haha! 😀 Many thanks for taking a moment to comment, Indah. Mega hugs!


  13. Haha! I love it, Olga. At least they didn’t call it American Redneck tape! Tee-hee! I can agree though. An experience Ralda mentions in “Atonement, Tennessee” with a washing machine and duct tape is actually one that happened to me. When I saw that I was sure I’d be buying a new washer right away, but not at all. Wishing you a weekend filled with wonder too. Mega hugs!


  14. The little changes… I know what you mean. Well, not the detail, but yes… I agree with you about Tess and Chris. And about duct tape. I had a luggage malfunction before I came back to the UK and duct tape saved the day (and I discovered that in Spain it’s called… American tape.) I’m intrigued about your new character, and about everything… Have a fantastic weekend!


  15. That’s great for 79 words, Teagan. I’m wondering what kind of character has green hair. Of course my daughter had green hair once. She also had it dyed maroon to match her prom dress one year. Well done. 😀


    1. Good to see you Suzanne! I love all the different hair colors we can have now. I just wished they were available during the time of my life when I wanted to express myself that way. Dyed to match hair and gown — fabulous.
      This character however, has completely natural long mint green hair. 😉 :mrgreen:
      Thanks for taking a moment to comment. Hugs!


    1. Hi Melinda — it’s good to see you. Yes, Atonement, TN has more than its share of supernatural beings. I’m not sure how much I’ll give away about this character, but he/she/it arrives very early in the story, so telling a little is not a spoiler. The character is definitely in book 2, but I don’t know if I’ll keep this little scene with Lilith the calico. Great big purple hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.