3 Bloom Things — Features from Atonement, TN

Welcome back everyone.  Thanks for coming to Atonement, TN!Good Luck road sign

It’s great to see you again  — I know it can be hard to find your way to a fictional town.

I’ve been delighted with everyone’s support of my “pantser” serial stories.  As most of you know, those stories resulted from a writing exercise I created for myself long ago, and I turned the exercise into something to use on my blog.  The serials are propelled by three things sent by readers.   You can find links to them at the top of this page.  I like to say they are pure pantser fun.

My Writing Process

I’ve used the same spontaneous method to “at least keep myself writing” on my novels.  However, my books are planned (at least to a degree) so the spontaneous exercises aren’t always usable for the novels.  It’s a “That’s Good, That’s Bad” sort of thing.

(My dad liked this skit, and the good-but-bad concept stuck with me throughout my life.)

Homer and Jethro – That’s Good, That’s Bad – 1960

However, I realized Three Things would be a good way to share something from my “Atonement Universe” — something that wasn’t another snippet from either book.  With “Annie’s Inventory Notes”  I told a “secret” part of the story that might not even be in the books.  So I’m using Three Things in a similar way.

To get my “things” I went to the first three comments from last weekend’s blog.  (Besides, you know I love to give a shout-out.)  I’m taking one thing from the title of each of those blogs.  Those commenters were from the following:

Writer Christoph Fischer

No Facilities (Dan Antion)

Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel ~ ~ Contemporary Western Romance

As I write this introduction, I have no idea where this Three Things exercise will take me.  Here goes…

Three Atonement, TN Things:  Writer, Facilities, Western

The voice on the radio crackled as she drove through another area with little reception. The DJ counted down the top hits of 1974. Marge pushed her big glasses back on the bridge of her nose and hoped she wouldn’t lose this channel before hearing a favorite song. The glasses were very similar to a pair she’d seen in a picture of Elton John. She his flamboyance. 

Elton John 1974 Madison Sq
Elton John 1974, Madison Square Garden

You see, Marge Tipton wanted more than anything to be a wild child, a rebel, antiestablishment. However, the truth was she just didn’t know how. So she left her southeastern home and as her family put it, ran off out west.  She stopped running just after she crossed the Texas state line. Marge lived there for ten years. Then the post cards started coming.

The writer of the cards was her brother, Tracey. She didn’t know why her brother moved to the strange sounding Tennessee town a year before. It sounded like he didn’t have much choice in the matter. With each post card Tracey’s state of mind seemed to get worse. He was not pleased with his life there, yet he refused to leave. In his last missive Tracey begged his sister to come to Atonement, Tennessee.

Marge was not happy about the situation. She rebelled against anything she felt she was “supposed” to do, and she knew that everyone would say she should help her brother, regardless of whether he deserved it or whether it ruined her own life. Marge had been perfectly satisfied in her western home. However, Marge had a sense of duty that was as strong as her wish to defy the establishment. So she got into her pickup truck, leaving Texas in her rearview mirror, and headed to Tennessee.

1972 Chevy C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup
Chevrolet 1972, C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup


The gas gauge in the truck steadily crept toward empty. Just as Marge was getting worried she spotted a sign for a gas station. At first she was relieved in more ways than one, but when she got closer, she saw the smaller sign below the oil company’s logo. “No facilities.” Marge grumbled to herself. Maybe, if she was real polite, they’d let her use the employee restroom.


Lolas inside diner
L.O.L.A. Lola’s

Okay… As you see, I ended up writing about a minor character who appears in both book-1 and book-2, Marge Tipton.  Previously I hadn’t given a moment’s thought to the back-story for Marge.  However, the spontaneous exercise led me to write about her relocation to Atonement, TN back in 1974.  That’s good.

No, this snippet is not something I can use for “Atonement in Bloom.”  That’s bad.  Also I doubt that the part of Marge Tipton will grow as a result.  Even so, as a writer I feel good to have a fuller sense of this character, minor though she may be.

Marge Tipton eventually opened “L.O.L.A. Lola’s Bar and Restaurant, the diner frequented by my characters.  One of Bethany’s favorite menu items is the Cobb salad.  So I searched the WordPress countryside for a recipe.  That led me to Sherri at the Eden Market blog.  Her photos are beautiful and I think you’ll enjoy visiting there.  Click on her photo below for the recipe.

Cobb Salad

cobb salad


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.

68 thoughts on “3 Bloom Things — Features from Atonement, TN

        1. Late for work… But couldn’t resist a visit to your blog. Looking forward to reading in a more relaxed moment! Keep up the great work. It’s fantastic that you encourage the girls with science. I really wish I’d had that kind of upbringing. More hugs!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post – a guilty pleasure during my book promotion. Loved the pictures, especially Elton John.
    Glad to see Atonement is developing towards the novel stage.
    I hear us bloggers sing like a naughty children’s choir: ‘We’re waiting, why are we waiting?’
    Hurry, pretty please.
    Have a fantastic Monday!


    1. Why thank you Christoph! Since you like the Elton John picture you’ll be pleased to learn that there was a secret treat in this post. If you click on Elton’s picture you’ll go to a video of the concert — over an hour. It’s always nice to have background music while promoting! 😀 Many thanks for the encouraging words. Mega hugs!


  2. Loved the clip and the salad Teag. You’re imagination abounds! Soon you may have enough ‘unused’ snippets for, dare I say, another book? Lol. PS just dropped by cuz I haven’t seen you around. I think WP is wonky again, not sending me posts to many I follow 😦 ❤


    1. Hi Debby. I’ve been quiet lately — you aren’t the only one to notice. I’ve been working hard on a non-work and non-writing project; putting lots of hours into it… and not getting anywhere. Sorry I’ve been absent.
      And being distracted by it, I royally messed up my master file for “Bloom”!!! I think I’ve finally gotten it fixed just now.
      But I think there has been another litter of WP gremlins too.
      I’m glad you enjoyed this tidbit. Thanks very much for visiting! Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Teag. Please don’t apologize. I know how life can take big bites out of us, especially lately, it’s like something is in the planets, lol. I know how it feels to be so darned busy and feel like we’re not accomplishing all we set out to do with distractions. We’ve talked about this before Teag – we have to stop beating ourselves up, and learn how to exhale! ❤ OH, and I do believe the WP gremlins have been hard at work once again. Grrr! xo


  3. I love your three things idea, Teagan, and I love how you use those objects in your stories. I get lots of ideas from fellow bloggers for some of my short stories, usually from something they have mentioned in one of their posts. It can often change the whole story and very often make it even richer.

    Marge sounds a very strong women to me. Maybe she will appear more and play more of a role in future Atonement books?

    Mega hugs to you on this third Sunday in Advent


    1. Hi Hugh — thanks so much for dropping by! Well, I don’t think “Bloom” is the last Atonement book, so maybe a bigger part will come up for Marge. Her character was slowly developing — In book-1 we know she owns a diner and wanted to give it a “shocking” name (shocking to her sheltered life anyway!); that her brother Tracey has a drinking problem. So far in book-2 you’ll see that she expects her employees to work, but isn’t mean, and she has very disorganized bookkeeping for Bethany to straighten out. Now with this back story she is more real to me. So there’s no telling! 😀 Mega hugs back to you my friend. Enjoy your holidays. :mrgreen:


  4. It really is fascinating getting a glimpse into how the creative mind works. You develop a character and can store them just waiting for the right moment to insert into a story. I am constantly amazed and reading your posts is the bright spot of my day.


    1. Suzanne, you are so kind — thank you. You’re always a shining spot in my day too when you drop by here, or when you post a delicious recipe.

      LOL… storing them away… If you only knew. It can get a bit out of control. 😀
      I’ve mentioned my unreleased epic “The Dead of Winter”… I always have difficulty writing, because I can’t disengage from work and real-world problems — that was particularly true before this blog with “DoW”.
      I remembered an *old* interview with Fannie Flagg talking about writing out of order (Fried Green Tomatoes), and pinning scenes to a clothes line to organize them when she was ready to pull the book together.
      So…I took her idea to heart. Just write and put it together later. One thing I started doing to keep writing was 3 Things, or just writing whatever scene came to me. Pulling it together was a lot harder than I thought! LOL.
      (Not the same interview, but… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8wkZGQm9sg )
      Mega hugs my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love a back story. Somehow it just makes the story richer. Now, if I can do this in my own writing! Thanks for the great lesson. I always learn fascinating techniques from you. Hugs, my friend. I had to have a cobb salad for lunch. LOL! ❤


    1. Dear Colleen — I’m happy to see you. Thank you for your kind words. I agree about back stories & I’m glad to see others do as well. I doubt you need any lessons, particularly from me. (Blushes)
      Congrats on your first Christmas in Colorado! Love the tree idea. Huge hugs 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If I can stop drooling over that salad long enough to comment…nope, hey, I wonder if there’s a version with clementine slices? But I digress. Loved the return of the 3 things (excellent choices and bloggers, by the by) and bringing it altogether with ‘Atonement, TN’ works wonders for me – thanks for the fix, you’re my official supplier…that’s good. Can’t wait for more…that’s bad, but in a good way. 🙂
    Hope this weekend is treating you well, Teagan, megahugs and get back to writing! 😉


    1. Haha! I see you’ve embraced “that’s good/that’s bad,” Donna. 😀
      Clementines? I think they’d go with just about anything! You always make me smile. I look forward to your visits. Looking forward to your next post. Mega hugs right back!


  7. Teagan, another energetic Saturday morning post to read! Look forward to your creative writing. Marge has emerged, and I’ll remember her history even though it may not be in the book as such. Her mind might wander though somewhere there. The “three things” still a huge part of your writing! Loved the serials and where your writing goes! Have a great weekend..Hugs…💖 Chryssa


    1. Hi Chryssa. Thanks so much for this uplifting comment. When I started doing these “Features from Atonement, TN” posts I thought it would be a fun way to let my readers here at the blog have a little something extra, not in the books. A wonder-filled, hug-filled weekend to you as well my friend. 🙂


  8. I also loved the clip! The recipe looks amazing. Thanks for the tip on the three things. A lot of what I write also comes up from the ‘what if’ and anything can set it off (that’s good!), although sometimes I end up deviating very far down a path going nowhere (that’s bad!), but who knows (?). Sometimes we just have to go a roundabout way and that’s… not so bad. 🙂 Have a great weekend.


    1. LOL!!! Olga, that’s fabulous use of that’s good/that’s bad. Hahaha! 😀 😀 😀
      I deviated way off path with “Bloom” this week… trying to make the story more desirable – in stead of just following my heart or “muse”… I ended up removing the entire sequence and searching where I had (already searched another time to add bits) to remove what I added… When I should have just left things alone. 🙂 But that’s all part of writing, I guess. Wishing you a ton of success with all your ventures. Still like the See Books thing. Mega hugs!


  9. Thanks for the shout out, Teagan.
    LOL the Homer and Jethro clip! 🙂 I like the that’s good/ that’s bad concept. It’s a great idea to get to know your characters inside and out whether you use what you know or not. At least you know. Have a pleasant Saturday.


    1. Good morning Mary! I agree.
      Keep up the great work, writing that delicious cowboy dynasty. And I can’t help hoping one day you’ll get back to the time travel book. I was hooked with the chapter you showed me. Have a satisfying Saturday. Mega hugs! 😀 ❤


  10. Morning dear, adore your spontaneous writing and its like a energy boost in the mornings which keeps us stay fresh rest of the day…. thanx for sharing such wonderful write up. .. have a lovely weekend. … Hugs hugs!!


  11. Good morning Teagan…..It’s so lovely to read your blog first thing on a Saturday morning here in London. I love what you are doing here, and it has occurred to me that your spontaneous writing is much like when I work on spontaneous watercolour sketches. You explore new content as I do, some of which may never be used, and some that might, but it is the same process. I needed to read and hear about this, it will help me to formulate things as I write more often. Love the Homer and Jethro clip and will be checking out Sherri’s website. Meanwhile, hope you enjoy sitting on your laurels this weekend….and that you continue to be surrounded by magical hummingbirds…..janet. :)xx


    1. Welcome, dear Janet and welcome to the magical hummingbirds! I figured out how to use the WordPress timer thingy with this post. I’m trying to find a way to better manage my writing time on “posting day.” In other words, the timer thingy is yet another experiment in my Adventures in Indie.
      I recommend the 3 things exercise to anyone who is working on their writing. As for the process, it would be hit and miss, but I’ve left insights here and there in introductions to some of the serial episodes. Probably more in the first one… So if you look to the right of the page, scroll down to “Categories” — then scroll again to “Three Things (Parent)” and hopefully you will find something that you like.
      With me I can only describe it as… when i see a word (or someone tells me the word) I immediately see an image to go with the word.
      Then I put that image to paper.
      Next my “What If?” way of thinking comes into play. And I write about the image plus the what if.
      Next I add the next “thing” and begin the process over again…
      Huge hugs my friend. ❤ 🙂


      1. Good morning Teagan, and thank you so much for this….it’s really helpful to me. My spontaneous watercolours are also hit and miss, and so another similarity. I so admire your writing and the way your personal creative process works….I can learn so much. Hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend….and that the magic prevails:)xxx


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