The Art of Taking a Break: NaNoWriMo Mania

Hello, everyone.  I’m here with a quick update to thank you all for your support.  Special thanks for leaving  three things to keep me writing my new, and totally “pantser” novel, The Delta Pearl.steamboat-mississippi

My word count is not up to snuff, but this year that is not the point.  National Novel Writing Month is proving to be the “monumental distraction” that I wanted.  However, with 4,000 words into the “story” I still have no idea what the story is!  Now, that’s definitely flying (writing) by the seat of your pants!

For you armchair psychologists, and real psychiatrists…

I knew what name I wanted to give my heroine, yet I struggled with it.  I never noticed it before, but I seem to have a subconscious pattern with naming my heroines.  First was Emlyn in (unpublished) The Dead of Winter.  Then came Esmeralda of Atonement, Tennessee.  (I did not know until last week that Esmeralda means emerald…)

Announcement — a Name

Using gemstone names as a thread throughout the story was one of the few elements I had actually planned.  However, I didn’t know which jewel I should associate with my protagonist (regardless of what I wanted).  Then a character I called The Dealer came to my imagination.  He has a pseudo French accent and is presumably from New Orleans. I imagined his voice as he named my heroine… Émeraude.  Yes, that means emerald (as does Esmeralda), and some people call her Em (remind you of Emlyn?)… Then — it registered that my late sister’s birthstone was the emerald.  So read into all that whatever you want… NaNoWriMo does not allow for luxuries like agonizing over character names.  I gave up trying to figure it (or myself) out and went ahead with the name I wanted, Émeraude.


Wikimedia Commons, Chris Light


Thank you for the evocative “things” you readers left last weekend. I’ve already used many of them.  I’m grateful for them, so I want to make some shout-outs today.

Nandini, my new NaNoWriMo writing buddy, sent White Umbrella, Bridge, Tea.  Her umbrella caused me to think of a quirk for that important character called the Dealer. I think his name will be Jaspe, though I’m not certain. (French for Jasper… do you see the gemstone theme for names forming?)  Anyway he often expresses concern for my heroine’s complexion in the sun.

Cheryl, my purple flipflop loving blogger-chef left several things that included Cameo and White Picket Fence.  That cameo might be a recurring “artifact” in the story.  I gave it to my heroine and to a mysterious woman in an old portrait.

I hope you’ll visit these lovely blogs.  Now I’m off to write more for WriMo.  

Mega hugs!



Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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75 thoughts on “The Art of Taking a Break: NaNoWriMo Mania

  1. Keep writing dear Teagan….and I to love the names of your characters..who I am quite sure will be fascinating. I do believe that we creatives are so fortunate… matter what is going on in our world…we are able to escape into a better place – a place that makes sense. I remind myself all the time that we only get to take this journey once, and so it’s vital that we ‘follow our bliss’ and do the things that we love and that nurture us. Have a lovely day my friend and of course don’t forget the magical hummers:)xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Janet, thank you for your kind and encouraging words. They are a breath of sunshine (though the sun is not yet risen here). Real world woes sap my creativity, but I’m trying hard to let the “monumental distraction” of NaNoWriMo take over. So you’ll be amused to know that last night I dreamed of being onboard the Delta Pearl. In real life, I was actually quite sick (whether from a 24-hour bug, or a food allergy, or perhaps a Trump allergy!). So it’s no surprise that I dreamed of the rolling boat on a rough river! Haha! I don’t remember anything else about the dream, but I awoke positioned *across* the bed. Thank you for the hummingbirds. I do feel better this morning. Mega hugs my friend.


      • Hopefully you will take more trips on the Delta Pearl, in fair weather….By the way I think we all have the Tump allergy right now! Which is why writing and painting are key to are overall wellbeing. I wish you a weekend filled with creativity, peace and magical hummers – of course:)xx

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m glad NaNoWriMo is giving you the distraction you need Teagan and I hope you have fun with it! I find I have patterns with names too – not that they mean the same thing, but I’m drawn to names that sound similar or start with the same letter, so I often have to consciously change them to something different!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Teri. Glad you like the jewel name theme. I started to wonder if it was a bit too contrived. But what the heck. This is a full on pantser story, so anything goes. Yes, that was my intention with the riverboat. Although giving it “life” is more difficult than I expected. We’ll see how that part goes. Thanks for visiting. Mega hugs.


  3. Don’t fret about the word count, Teagan. I admire you because you are participating in NaNoWritMo. I’ve never participated in it. I don’t think I’d ever be able to cope with the pressure.
    Good luck with it. The mysterious woman in the old portrait has got my mind wondering, but then I do have a suspicious mind.
    Hope you’re having a super week.
    Hugs from the UK,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Tess, it’s so nice of you to visit here. I was actually doing a lot to make up for lost time (or word count) this morning. And then some kind of eye strain set in. So frustrating. That happened at work a couple of weeks ago too. Not sure what I’m doing wrong to cause it. Need more, regular, and frequent breaks from the computer I guess… Mega hugs my friend.


  4. Teagan, I am saddened by the loss of your sister. I don’t know how long ago that was, but I hope you have found peace. Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Emerald – a beautiful deep-green variety of the mineral Beryl, ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, to deep green, depending on what trace elements are present. Can be hazardous to cut and polish as it contains Beryllium. A great gemstone to work its way into a novel!

    This is a fellow who studied and wrote about gemstones, and might be a source of additional information. He was also a bookseller, and bibliographer of rare books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lavinia, thank you for your kindness. That was close to 50 years ago, and another long story. But again, thank you — and for the interesting link as well. Years ago I was compiling a book on the metaphysical properties of gemstones. However, that has been done and done. I never thought of a unique way to present it, so gave up on the idea.
      I hope all went well with you on Thursday. Still sending you Light and hugs. 🙂


  5. Hey, we all need a distraction not matter what the creative process is. Naming fems after gems has a long history: Goldy, Golda, Jewel, Opal, Pearl, Crystal and of course Esmeralda. I haven’t look any up, but guessing many names are related to gemstones. Today, my distraction is to keep working on very old family photos and get the names and dates. Then, I remembered I am supposed to finish a quilt that my grandmother started over 50 years ago, so try to do a little of both. I’m glad your distraction makes you happy and relaxed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi RC, it’s great to see you! Well, it’s a distraction for me anyway, not sure about more than that. If nothing else has improved, at least WriMo has been getting my mind off it. Thanks for sharing your “distractions” here. Those are such wonderful things. I know you’ve been putting a huge effort into those albums.
      Yes, re the gem names. The Victorians were particularly big on it. I was stunned to see how many names trace back to mean “pearl” too.
      Wishing you a wonder-filled new week. Hugs!


  6. Teagan, happy to get an update on your monumental distraction, WriMo!! Love the characters gem names, and how your mind creates intriguing “story people.” Can see the dealer twirling his mustache & his snide smile. Devious and a pure delight combined. Keep going…good thoughts for brilliant content & an acceptable word count (for you). Huge hugs, 💛 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Christine. I’m sad to say that I’ve progressed very little today. However, I decided the riverboat needed passengers, so “meeting” them is not quick work. LOL.
      I’m tickled that you are liking the Dealer. He doesn’t use a lot of facial expressions, so I don’t know about “snide”… he’s a good guy. However, there IS much more to him than meets the eye. And he does have a dangerous side! 😀
      Thank you for taking time to visit me. Mega hugs! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Teagan, I’m sorry I haven’t been able to visit more, but this week has been, well, long story short, life is basically a pirate with bad hygiene and lots of swords and it’s attacking. OK, explain NaNoWriMo to me or send me somewhere I can find out about it, when I look it up I can’t figure out how to find certain writers, such as you, your work. You know I want to read anything you write, but I’m clearly confused. I’m off to once again see if I can find you and fight off the smelly pirates (aaarrrggghh!) and the same time. Sorry for not being more supoortive, but as soon as I figure it out, I’m there. 😉
    Mega shiver me timbers The Delta Pearl (awesome name) hugs xoxox

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Donna, don’t apologize! I don’t think you’ve ever missed a post. (I didn’t do anything at the other place this week.) You really are talented. I love the description “life is basically a pirate with bad hygiene and lots of swords and it’s attacking.” But I’m so sorry life is being that way to you. Is there anything I can do?

      Oh my friend, I’m sorry to cause you all that trouble. 😦 I don’t find their site at all friendly.
      First, National Novel Writing Month (really “international” now) is sort of a massive combination challenge and support group. They do things throughout the year, but the main thing is November. What it “is” has drifted so far from the original that now people basically do whatever they want. But my take on it is still — Write, from scratch a DRAFT novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November. (Planning and research before that is fine.) (More info here: )
      As for their site, it’s mostly for the participants to track their progress and find encouragement.
      Writing: The only writing you will find, is where people post snippets from their novels. So it’s not like a blog or whatever. I’ve only posted the original draft of my prologue. At that time I didn’t even know the name of the Delta Pearl.

      It’s also next to impossible to find anyone there if you don’t know their user name (and once you choose one, it won’t let you change it in future years…) So there, my name is Riordain.
      Sending you mega vanquish the stinky pirate hugs, dear friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • No trouble, I just don’t want to miss any of your amazing stuff. I wrote down your username last week, but I wasn’t able to track anything down although I’ve now read a lot, did I mention a lot, about NaNoWriMo, more than I ever fully understood (or remembered) and I’m so impressed by those of you brave enough to try it. I’m intrigued, but I just can’t picture doing it, especially with these pirates boarding my shabby chic ship and all that other malarkey (oops, I used the ‘m’ word, sorry, trying to be family-friendly here). Let me know when and where any of your glorious words are posted and I’m there! Best wishes on your novel, dear friend, I love the emerald (such a gorgeous stone, makes me think of ‘Wizard of Oz’ also, and it makes sense that you’re drawn to emeralds, a lovely way to remember your sister) ) themed and Émeraude is a delightful name, so mysterious. I’d say good luck, but with your writing you don’t need it, it’s already all there, just waiting to be ‘mined’. 😉
        Mega I’m fighting these pirates but I swear they’re all wearing sticky fish cologne and don’t have a dental plan, but just the thought of your book strengthens my resolve to keep going hug xoxoxox

        Liked by 2 people

        • Applesauce… Believe me, I need all the luck I can get!
          Donna, LOL, I’m still chuckling about “malarkey”… That is not the “M word” that slips out of my mouth when I’m not watching it! 😈 But thank you for being respectful of the G rating I try to maintain here. 😀
          I’ll send you a virtual combination perfume/vanquish for those dreaded pirates. More hugs.

          Liked by 2 people

    • You’re too kind Claire. Though I think (hope) he will be a very intriguing character. 🙂 Now I’m reminded of your “Irish reel.” Though he is not Irish, he is a fine dancer. Many thanks for taking time to visit here today. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You are so creative Teagan-love all the names and Thank u for the mention my friend! Hoping the other commenters do not feel jaded (thus name Jade) OOH another idea? Is that the other woman with a cameo? Has she come to life yet in your writings? For the love of Henry (Henrique-was he the steamboat captain?). Have fun! Gigantic Groovy hugs to you! xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so kind, Cheryl. Thanks for taking time to visit and leave this lovely comment. You always make me smile. 🙂
      You’ve made a good point — I haven’t put any thought into the woman in the painting (or the cameo) — I think that will become a complicated thread, so maybe my subconscious is saving it… Hmmm
      Actually I worked on the Captain yesterday (this post was already written). I’ve named him Cecil, for a great uncle who didn’t get a happy life; a way of letting him live something better at least in imagination. Since he is even more than any other character tied to the Delta Pearl, his surname had to be a translation of “pearl” (as is the last name of Émeraude). Anyway, I didn’t advance my word count much at all, but at least I have another character, more solid in my mind.
      Keep on cooking delicious things! Mega hugs right back. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m happy to see you David. Thank you kindly. The emerald and Em thing truly gave me pause when it clicked into place. The strange inner workings of our minds…
    For this story the gemstone idea is rooted in me mentioning the riverboat idea to a coworker who takes a cruise each year. He mentioned that a lot of them had names about either royalty or gems. Since I refer to myself as a “rock geek” for my affinity to gemstones, naturally that’s where I went. “Delta Pearl” came almost right away and I couldn’t let it go. Thanks for visiting me today. Mega hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Adele. Lilly is such an appealing name. Lilith is also popular. That’s the name of my feline character in Atonement, Tennessee. I believe Olga has a Lilith character too. I figure that means readers should find the characters appealing too. 🙂
      I look forward to hearing more about you Lilith.
      Many thanks for reblogging. Mega hugs!


  10. It all sounds good. Sorry, I could have told you about Esmeralda, but of course, it’s self-evident to me (after all is in Spanish). Keep going… And we look forward to hearing more, although the most important thing is that it is helping 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha! Yes, I guess it would have been obvious to you at that. I suppose it’s a good thing that actual emeralds are so far out of my budget that they can’t even be a temptation. Else, at this rate, I might bedeck myself in copious amounts of karats in emeralds! LOL. Thank you for taking time to visit, Olga. Keep me posted on your adventures. Huge hugs.


    • It’s lovely to see you, Jet. Thanks for saying that. I am pleased you enjoyed that ramble. The names are inordinately important to me for some reason… Maybe it’s just another facet of the research geek in me. 😀 Huge hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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