What If — Features from Atonement, TN

What Would Happen If There Was a Character Like…

woman purple flowers bubbles

Welcome back to Atonement, TN everyone.  Come on out to play!

Are you ready for a little game? It doesn’t require a special arena, equipment, or athletic ability — and it doesn’t cost a cent.

How My Writing Process Begins a New Story

Have you ever played What If? Probably not, since that’s my own little speculative free-thinking game. If I heard something quirky in the news, or if I heard about some “breakthrough” that left everyone scratching their heads as to its usefulness, I liked to use it to start a conversation with a friend.

Meadow_frameI’d take the headline a step further and ask, “So what if…” this or that.  The other person would throw out a potential next step, and we’d go on with the “what if” getting wilder and more imaginative as we went, although it would still trace back to the original headline or concept.  I even did a post about it a couple of years ago. It created some fun conversations — some bubbles of what-if.

Ultimately, “what if” is how all of my stories start, from short story to epic fantasy.  When I was ready to lay the groundwork to build book-2, Atonement in Bloom, I again read the Celtic/Welsh mythology that loosely inspired book-1.  As I read about something the mythological Gwydion fab Don did for another personage in that myth, the image of a new character came into my mind.  (If you want more of a clue than that, you’ll have to read the myth.)  I’m talking about the same character you’ve read about in the 79 word story with Lilith the calico.Stone Planter Flowers Face

What if there was someone like the character that came to mind?  The first what if bubbled into more questions.  What sort of person would she be? Would she be bad, good, or just a sort of device to drive the new plot?

The chain of what if had begun!  What if her presence effected the town? How?  If she did have some sort of magical influence, who would be effected and who might be immune? Why?  What would be the result of either?

As I progressively answered each of the questions that rose from my first “what if,” the character became real to me.  Because of the what if, some existing characters from Atonement, Tennessee grew in depth — in good ways and in bad ways.
Cherry blossoms snow 2The initial “what if” added two other new supernaturals to the cast of characters.  The chain of what if also brought a character from the short story, An Atonement, Tennessee Valentine, and the short became tied securely to Atonement in Bloom.  I sure wasn’t expecting that to happen!
Most importantly, early on that first what if led me to see the most significant what if of all…

What if, in the midst of a December snow — Atonement, Tennessee came into bloom?

Now, here’s one last what if… What if some flowers were edible?  How would you serve them?  Oh, but wait! Some flowers really are edible!  Pay a visit to the delightful Sprinkle Bakes, a Baking and Desserts Blog.  Follow the links to a recipe.

Spring Flower Lollipops

Spring Flower Lollipops

To those of you in the USA, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.  I know many of you will be cooking things much more delicious and complicated than a bit of candy.

Each and every one of you has my heartfelt gratitude for reading and following my little blog. I’m thankful for you.

And thanks again for visiting Atonement, TN.  It was wonderful to see you. Come out to play What If by leaving a comment!

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.


76 thoughts on “What If — Features from Atonement, TN

  1. What if the snow in Atonement was purple in colour and, like a Dandelion, 3-D in shape? Would the people of Atonement then all sing “I’m dreaming of a Purple Christmas?” 🎅🏻…and would they throw dandelion balls rather than snowballs?

    I like this game, Teagan. The are so many questions and possibilities.


    1. Haha! Love it! Hugh, I see that you have a real talent for “What if?” I’m sure Copper would have loved it in that story. Here the Bethany character might have some purple streaks in her hair, but that’s about as purple as the “Atonement universe” gets. Maybe they could do with at least a little lavender… 😉 Mega hugs!


  2. Hello Teagan. You have such a quirky imagination, which makes you and your stories unique and so interesting. What if for one week everything in nature that doesn’t have a voice suddenly acquires one and humans could not speak. The things we would learn if we were forced to listen. 😉


    1. Hi Vashti. Oh my! That is a wonderful what if! Imagine the cacophony! 😀 Okay… to take this down a much more pleasant path than I immediately imagined, my “what if” in return is “And what if a magical choir director was able to bring those millions of different voices into harmony, truly teaching the world to sing?”
      Marvelous, Vashti. Thanks so much for commenting. Mega hugs.


  3. The title “Atonement in bloom” was suspicious to me from the start. I knew it wouldn’t be just a simple, spring-related natural phenomena 🙂
    I remember the sugar-coated violets on my desert years ago. Very cute.
    Being in love with everything Celtic, I am glad that this is what inspired your book. Best of Irish luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 I like how your mind works, Inese! I love learning about Celtic things. One of my aunts, before the days of the Internet, traced the family all the way back to 1692 when they came here from Scotland. She wrote letters for documents, and the most exciting of all to her, was making a trans Atlantic phone call and speaking to someone there. Transatlantic phone calls were expensive and rare then. LOL I’d love to have been a fly on the wall. She was from a very tiny rural town and her accent wasn’t simply southern, it was hick-ville! And then the heavy brogue of the person at the other end. Somehow they made themselves understood… eventually! It took a lot of doing though.
      Wishing you a wonder-filled week my friend. Mega hugs.


      1. Oh it would be fun to listen to their conversation 🙂 In my next blog, I want to share a video, that is close related to my story, with a fine example of the Irish brogue 😉
        You aunt is amazing! Family search without the internet was a difficult task even for a dedicated person.
        Have a great and productive week! Hugs!!!


  4. What a delightful post Teag. And I adore the springtime lollipops. The photos are all gorgeous. And, what if winter never came? Would nature know how to react? Should we bloom new flowers? Or is winter fooling us? xo 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Debby — thanks for visiting! LOL… Well, there are places where winter never comes (or at least not the cold and snow) — And dang! I wish I lived in one of them! 😀 😀 😀 Wishing you a grand trip to the Grand Canyon state! I’m totally envious. Mega hugs

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chitra — it’s lovely to see you. I appreciate your visits. When I think about it, flowers are such truly amazing things. Have you ever seen a documentary called “Wings of Life”? It’s narrated by Meryl Streep and speaks from the flower’s point of view. It’s beautiful to watch. Wishing you a wonderful new week. Mega hugs!


    1. Oh Kathryn, I’m sorry to hear that. I guess everything is okay now, or you wouldn’t be here — but I’m sending good thoughts just the same. I hope you can enjoy a nice Thanksgiving. Wishing you and yours well. Mega hugs! ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Read about Gwydion fab don. fascinating. Your imagination is limitless, what if stimulates the imagination and is a brilliant way to keep the wheels turning in that amazing brain of yours. I know I’ve said it before but I am so enjoying this peek into how TRG works.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you Suzanne. I consider it a great compliment for someone to be interested in my thought process.
      Yes, it is a fascinating myth. Parts of it are hugely objectionable (I guess that’s true of most all myths though). That’s why I say the story is “loosely inspired” by it.
      I don’t think I fully realized quite how much “What if?” gets me writing rolling until I started this post. So I hope to make better use of it.
      I know you are going full blast, getting ready for a gorgeous Thanksgiving, so I especially appreciate you taking a moment to visit here. Mega hugs! 😀 ⭐

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Sally, thanks so very much for the reblog and this lovely introduction!
      What if all the garden statues came to life with stories of their own to tell? Oh but Sally has done this AND combined them into a wonderful book! Wishing you all the best with Tales from the Garden. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Teagan, I love the fact of: “…in the midst of a December snow — Atonement, Tennessee came into bloom?” It sounds magical and fun. What a great idea to use your “what if? as part of your plan. Rock on. Happy Thanksgiving to you. You chose a lovely recipe, too. Yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aren’t the lollipops pretty? I wasn’t expecting to find that (I’d never heard of them) when I went searching for an edible flowers recipe.
      Thank you kindly Mary — I appreciate that feedback. I admit to being taken with the sentence. (And sometimes I don’t know if other people will like something that I’m crazy about.) It will probably be part of a blurb or on the back cover. Once it’s finished that is.
      Take good care of you in your Thanksgiving snow. Enjoyed your Thanksgiving post today too. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I suspect a lot of stories are ‘what if’ stories. At least most of mine are. It can be something I here, I see, or just an image that comes into my head. What if one of your magical characters wrote a blog and what he or she wrote came true? Perhaps 3D printing will be the answer to the lollypops and other recipes…. Love to Crystal. 🙂 Oh, what if Lilith found a magical companion?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Olga — I’m so pleased to see you!
      Ha!!! Lilith with a magical companion might be more trouble than Atonement, TN could handle! Wow… downloading food might not be far-fetched at all, with the advent of 3D printers — I didn’t think of that. Although it might take a while to find food-toner/ink that actually had a good flavor! I’m reminded of those “Incredible Edibles” machines when I was a kid, that made gummy spiders, worms and other disgusting critters for kids to eat. They were unfortunately bad tasting!
      Those are truly fabulous “what ifs.” Thanks so very much for taking time to read and comment. Mega hugs my friend. 😀


    1. Hi Cheryl — thank you so much for taking time away from your holiday trip for this! LOL, purple flipflops in Atonement, TN? I can totally see that! Annie could set aside a “Not antique” corner to sell them. Mega hugs my friend. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Suzanne — it’s lovely to see you. I’m eternally plagued by writer’s block. Not for lack of ideas, but simply from being unable to disengage from the demands of my paying job. I hadn’t really thought about this, but I guess I use it as a means of forward momentum. “What if ___? Okay, then ___ will happen.”
      Many thanks for taking time to read and comment! Mega hugs. 🙂


    1. Oooohhh… You’ve found a way to connect the two utterly, completely different stories! Well done! Hopefully there would be no magical battle between Cornelis (who’d doubtlessly come to rescue Cal Hicks, the amethyst ape) and Gwydion.
      Thanks for coming out to play, Chris! Great big hug! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now you KNOW I can’t resist reblogging your great articles and stories Teagan, especially the start of series and stand-alone posts – there’d be more of it reblogged but I’d be accused of favouritism 😃😄😄😄🐵


    1. Oh my! Now I’m blushing. ^^’ You must be on my wavelength, SKD… For months, I’ve hoped to do an audio version of “Atonement”… I’m still trying to put more hours into the day. 😀
      Now *that*s a fun What If! I love it. Since in my “universes” magic tends to go wrong, the next what if would be “What would happen if magic got into the download?” Downloading food… what an idea. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John! It’s great to see you.
      “What If” two crazy college students had a grudge against the student union and one of them had equally crazy parents?” But wait — only you know the answer to that one! 😀 Looking forward to finding out more about that story on your Wednesday post. I hope the Gulf provides you a peaceful “52 Views” tomorrow. Mega hugs!


    1. Dan… I’m truly flattered. ^^’ I guess (as I’ve long said) I really am just wired differently.
      Oooh and your mind is working too — What if you took a pencil and were connecting dots on a sheet of paper — and some kind of magic took over? What would happen next? 😀
      Thanks for your Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. And thanks for visiting here. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What if…I’d never found your blog, Teagan? No, the possibility is absolutely too terrible to think about! 🙂
    This is so intriguing. We had a December not long ago where there was snow with a few flowers still peeking out and ladybugs on the fence, it seems odd yet magical as though anything was possible. That’s the feeling I get when I read your words, dear friend, like anything is possible.
    Now get back to writing and Crystal or both. 🙂
    Hope this weekend treats you well and as always, megahugs!
    Now off to share this like magic weaving across the net. 🙂


    1. Silly me… I thought i could distract Crystal by putting fresh catnip in her mousey… Now she’t totally insane.
      The feeling that “anything is possible” is rare and to be cherished! I’m honored (and pleased beyond words) that you’d say that.
      From Through the Looking-Glass…
      ****Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
      “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”***
      Soooo… What if one impossible thing happened before breakfast? What would happen by lunch? 😀
      Here’s to all the best impossibilities my friend!


  9. Oh my! Dear Janet, you may have just provided the “what if” for book-4 — What if Thanksgiving happened in Atonement TN… I see ancient Native American spirits and loads of fun trouble!
    Thank you for the beautiful what if you did — indeed, what a wonderful world it would be.
    I welcome the images of your magical hummingbirds. For me, I plan to spend the holiday writing — and I’ve taken vacation leave for the day after to give me more time. Silly me, I hoped to be finished with the first cut of “Bloom” by December… but I’ll make all the progress I can. (Crystal is being exceedingly needy this morning so not saying as much as I’d like.)
    Mega hugs my talented friend! ❤ 😀 ⭐
    I have enjoyed your beautiful comment hugely — thank you so very much!


  10. What if your lovely lady with the flowers spread her beautiful and kind magical influence over all the people and animals in Atonement, Tennessee and then what if that beautiful and kind influence spread to the next town and the next state and the next country and so on……..
    I like this game:) I have just been listening to a programme on the BBC about podcasts….I think you should do one.
    So hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I don’t know what you are doing, and of course here in the UK we don’t celebrate this holiday….(we have harvest festival which all about thanks but quite different) but what if I could fly to the States along with a number of magical hummingbirds and celebrate in Atonement…..it would be so much fun. have a fantastic weekend my friend…and continue with your wonderfully creative writing. Janet. xx


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