The Art of Taking a Break: Insanity

Hello, everyone.  You’re about to discover how demented my definition of taking a break can be…  With dogged determination I endeavor to disengage form things that develop stress.  Of course I get more, different, worse stress in return.


I decided a distraction of monumental proportions was in order.


No, not that kind of monument, though I’d like to tell some to sti— it’s best if I don’t finish that sentence.  Anyway, a monumental distraction is a pretty extreme thing.  One of the biggest extremes I know came knocking at my door, or rather my calendar — National Novel Writing Month (also called NaNoWriMo).

I wasn’t going to participate, because (as you know all too well) I have so many drafts awaiting final touches and/or big editing work.  Unfortunately those projects are not a distraction.  They are work… and a kind of work from which my real job drains my creativity.

So, with absolutely no idea in mind, I decided to take on the “distraction” of NaNoWriMo this November.  Soon I had myself an inspired thought for a “character.” However, it wasn’t exactly a character… it was an old fashioned riverboat. I mean for it to be such a big part of the story that it’s practically a character.

I became infatuated with the riverboat. Vague notions for a story took root, but have yet to sprout leaves. galloratti_sprouts

Don’t jinx it by saying so, but my “monumental distraction” seems to be working! I even got half decent sleep the past two nights.

Looking at riverboats led me to artwork, which I purchased to create a book cover.  There might be a bit of green peaking through the soil… but nothing has blossomed for the story, I told myself.

“Trying to do Novel Writing Month the way you feel now is foolish,” logicalI said.

Then twistedme popped up and reminded me of the Three Things serials I did here, and reminded me that there were three of those completely unplanned stories (followed by a fourth, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. All were written as I went, using the “things” from readers.

With an elbow-nudge and a leer, twisted-me drew out the word, Pantser!”  

Me, myself, and I were in agreement.  “You’re on!”

I created the book cover for inspiration.  Announcing the novel to-be… The Delta Pearl..


The furious pace of NaNoWriMo will prevent me from posting installments.  However, in the spirit of the Three Things serials, I’m asking you for “things” to drive this spontaneously written story.

Now that you’ve seen the cover, please leave a comment with three completely random “things.”  When I get “things” I write until I’ve worked them into the story — that’s how it works.  Come on… you can think of random things.

Also to anyone who is doing NaNoWriMo, I’m happy to be one of your writing buddies.  There my user name is “Riordain.”  (Can you believe somebody already had Teagan?”)

I can’t wait to see what “things” come to you.

Mega hugs!

Copyright © 2016 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.



105 thoughts on “The Art of Taking a Break: Insanity

  1. Pingback: The Art of Taking a Break: Insanity – Priyanka Naik

  2. Pingback: The Art of Taking a Break: Slow Ride | Teagan's Books

  3. Ha, you say that ‘Teagan’ was already taken? That must be someone who was impressed with ‘Atonement’ and took your name.
    Sorry I am late with my comment. These two weeks were crazy. My immune system failed again.
    Many hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tee-hee! Now those are some true story-driving things, Kirt. Wonderful!
      Yes, my stress still overflows… And that last “AZ debacle” was a huge, undermining disappointment that I have not gotten over… But this (WriMo) is (so far) a good distraction from the multiple things I have been unable to change. Many thanks for taking time to visit here. Mega hugs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Suzanne. I think you’ve just written a story here with these things. 😀 Thanks very much, they’re lovely.
      People are certainly “things.” So are seasons, times… everything is a “thing” not just objects. Happy November my friend. Mega hugs.


  4. Hi Teagan. I love the book cover! This is going to be a great book!

    My three things for consideration as you sit at your computer, look around the room, and begin to write: 1) Orchid perfume 2) creaking floor 3) white satin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lavinia — I’m delighted to see you. Haha! I hope so! I still have no idea what the story is. Thank you for the things. They are like poetry — just as the intro to your latest newsletter was so very poetic to me. The perfume seems very mysterious to me; that’s a particularly great thing, and might turn into something that “lingers” throughout the story… I’m happy to say that I’ve already used several of the things people have left. 😀 Although my word count is not up to snuff… But I’m not “in it to win it.” I just need the monumental distraction WriMo offers.
      Wishing you well. Light & hugs.


  5. Teagan, I am soooo excited about your working on another book that I am practically beside myself about it! I looked at the cover and adore it, along with the idea of a river boat being the main character. As for the random three things, here you go: salt, large oak table, and sunlight. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The book cover is fabulous! It came from the depths of Charybdis. ’twas the sirens that lured me there. ’twas a narrow escape with a clam in my hand… Henceforth the Delta Pearl was laid bare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Teri. Thanks so much about the cover. I know you’ve seen some fabulous during your Bad Moon Rising series all this month. I appreciate your 3 things! Hopefully I’ll be ready tomorrow to fly by the seat of my pants with NaNoWriMo. 😀 Happy Halloween Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 I should have known you’d get it, especially since we have similar usage patterns for our ovens!
      There actually is “good stress” and “bad stress”… the bad kind being more the nature of DIStress. Mine being more like despair. LOL.
      So yes, I’m excited. Also a little concerned that I’ll be going at this in all-out pantser mode, with no story at all in mind. But I’ve done four serials here that way (each is at least novella length). So why not? Woot! Onward.
      Happy Halloween hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The best of luck with NaNoWriMo, Teagan. I’m sure the story will flow and help that paddle steamer/riverboat down the river. That’s a very eye-catching book cover you have there. Love it!

    Here are my three items. A Harp, Grandfather Clock, and an odd pair of socks.

    Have fun with the writing. That’s what it’s all about.

    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 Thank you, Hugh. I sure hope so! I love your three things; totally random. Suddenly I see a clockwork coo-coo bird. I guess the grandfather clock could have one in my universe. 😉 Even if it does not, that’s how the “things” work to get my mind going — sometimes they give me additional things.
      Many thanks for taking time to visit. Happy Halloween hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A Victorian mansion with silk sheets, a shrimp boat, a mysterious gentleman caller, that’s what popped into my mind. I love the cover ! Good luck my friend
    I thought of something else, somebody crying.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You have a very interesting way of taking a break Teagan! But I hope you have fun with it and it gives you the relaxation you need. I love the cover and I love the sound of the riverboat that is a character in itself. I offer you: an old pack of Tarot cards, a single lace up boot with a pearl heel and a gold plated coffee set.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love, love, love the cover, Teagan! I would pick that up in an instant, especially since your name is one it.
    I think you and I have the same version of taking a break although you may be taking it to all new levels with NaNoWriMo. So pleased for you. I look forward to reading your words.
    I hope my “like’ stays on here, WordPress is getting ready for Halloween early by pulling some tricks on us bloggers by disappearing our ‘likes’ again. But whether or not it’s there, I like, no love this post. 🙂
    Mega monumental distraction hugs xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries about a “like” or not Donna. I’m happy to see you, and appreciate all the time you’ve spent with me this week. Huge thanks.
      LOL, I’ve gathered that your break has been a “working vacation” to say the least. At least I didn’t take up some kind of extreme sport or something. Ha! As if!
      I’m trying to put myself in a Steampunk state of mind, especially since it is not my specialty. In the past four days I’ve watched a documentary on it (great insights), Murdoch Mysteries, Dinotopia (mini series), the Victorian episode of Sherlock — all on Netflix of course, and worked with several steampunk designs in Creative Haven coloring books! Now it’s time to thaw out dinner.
      I hope you’ve had a beautiful weekend, and a gorgeous new week ahead my friend. Happy Halloween hugs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love steampunk and all that viewing sounds like it should put you in a steampunk mood.
        Enjoy your dinner, 🙂
        I had a great weekend and the week ahead seems promising. Hope yours is fabulous.
        Mega brass googles hugs xoxox

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tess, it’s great to see you. Thank you, I’m pleased with the cover if I do say so myself. I added the “portrait” image of a real 1880s riverboat (which I’m determined is an important part of “telling the story before the book is opened”), and I’m still tweaking that part; not totally satisfied. But yes, I will keep it. ❤
      Thanks for the things. Hmm… wonder who could play the harpsichord… 😀 Yes, this time I just mean for it to be a distraction, and hopefully fun. Winning or completing the story is not the main objective this year, but hoped for nonetheless. Mega hugs my friend.


  11. Here you go. I’ve mentioned it before but you did a fantastic job on the cover. Good luck with Nano, Teagan. I haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if any of these were mentioned, but here you go: Victorian, engineering drawings, peculiar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great to see you Mary. Thank you about the cover. I know you are very selective with covers for your books, so that means a lot to me. I love the things — especially “peculiar.” I appreciate you taking time to visit. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Looks like a SteamPunkt (spelling?) cover Teagan 👍
    Here are three random things:
    Wrinkled Sheets (or sails)
    A gold-panning sieve
    And a photo Wayne of Tofino Photography sent me of bookends in a Vancouver antique shop belonging to a friend of his:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chris, those bookends really are fabulous. I hope you got them, but with moving…
      Thanks for three great things and for sending the photo! I can already tell the bookends will tickle at my brain until I have something for them. 😀 Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The shipping cost from Vancouver to U.K. was prohibitive so regretfully I had to give them a miss 😩 But I still have (and use) the mug my sister bought me a couple of years ago – it has a cartoon ape reading a book on one side and The Story Reading Ape printed on the other side 😄

        Liked by 1 person

    • It’s wonderful to see you, Tim. At this point I’ll settle for a distraction.
      I’m so glad to see the positive updates at your blog. Keep on keepin’ on, my friend. And again, belated wishes for a happy birthday. You’ll have to re-celebrate when you get home. Light & hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My father loved the expression: “if you need a job done, give it to a busy person” – I guess, if you need a break, … yeah, it might not work the same way. In any case, whatever works to relieve your stress. Three things you say? OK – aviator bag –
    Toledo torch (you might need to Google, but I just found mine) and – empty flask.

    Good luck. I can appreciate that you might not be able to share, but if you can peck out an update, it would be good to hear form you.

    Another Teagan?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Christoph. I had a lot of fun making the cover.
      I’m not sure what helps me… you’d think finishing one of my existing novels would be plenty of creativity… Anyhow, at the moment, this feels like the right thing to distract me.
      Congrats again on the instant success of The Body in the Snow. Mega hugs.


  14. Good morning Teagan……Your having two good nights sleep, says it all….that means whatever you did during that day was good for you…..and that of course includes writing. I believe like painting is for me, writing is for you…somewhat like breathing:) Good luck with this – I will look forward to seeing what develops. Meanwhile my friend, have a wonderful weekend, and may the magical hummers surround you….janet. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, marvelous things, Olga! We’re on the same wavelength — I have a half formed character in mind, and (for now) I call him “The Dealer”. So ace of hearts, even the pistol would easily make a scene for him.
      I hope you get to enjoy your time in Spain. Huge hugs.


  15. Hi, I’m doing NaNoWriMo too, and I know exactly how you feel. I have just one day to finalise my idea – Sunday and I’m positively freaking out.
    I like the idea of three things and the book cover makes me think it’s some sort of historical fiction. So, my three things would be – ‘white umbrella’, ‘bridge’ and ‘tea’. I honestly don’t know why I was reminded of these words, but they seem random to me. Hope that helps! Good luck! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nandini, it’s so nice to see you. I feel what you are saying! I don’t know how many times you’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, but remember — it is a *draft*. You don’t have to have anything set in stone.
      What I do with the “three things” is just start writing — whatever a “thing” brings to mind, then I move to the next thing. The resulting passage may not be something I would keep for a final story, but usually it is.
      As for the Three Things Serials I posted here, I kept every “thing” and tied tangents and loose ends together at the end. (Yes, that was a challenge.) 😀
      Your “things” are great, and put scenes in my mind. Wishing you the best of luck. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! 🙂 I’ve done it twice and I won once. I feel like I should plan ahead every time I do it, but don’t manage to. But I’ll start writing on Nov 1st anyway. Thank you! 🙂
        That’s such a cool idea! Glad I could be of some help. Good luck to you as well. 🙂
        Oh, and I tried to find you on the site, but a bunch of search results came up and I sort of gave up. My username is Athena Galadriel if you’d like to be my buddy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I would much rather have a plan too. However, spontaneity sometimes results in great things. 😀
          No worries — I found you and sent a buddy request. Look for something from Riordain. I’m glad you’re going to keep going, and not let the planning get in the way. More hugs.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Teagan, great news! You’re off one another writing adventure. Yay! We can be part of it, and offer three things! Love the book title, The Delta Pearl! Not sure it these three things will spark imagination…catfish, rock beds, waterfall. Hugs and energy for November! 💛 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I hope the huge distraction NaNoWriMo offers you will feed your creativity without offering further stresses to your life. I want you to come out refreshed at the end of it and if possible, much happier. I offer three things to you………..cockaleekie soup, peppermint, and string vest.
    xxx Sending Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear David, thank you. I so enjoy your visits. Plus you always give me such fun things. I’m eager to learn about the soup and vest. (You know my infatuation with research!)
      I’m afraid the only thing that can fix my stress (well, you know the cause of it, and I’ve been repeatedly foiled at fixing it)… However, if WriMo can help keep my mind off it for a month, that will do a lot of good. Believe me, I already have far too much stress, so if NaNoWriMo causes mere, I’ll drop it like a hot potato. While the “Month” is meant to be a tool and motivation to help writers write, this time I’m using it purely as a distraction. If a novel results by the end of the month, all the better.
      I hope you’re well now, and feeling happy and sassy. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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