New Serial Reveal — Truths Unseen 1

Girl Truths Unseen 1
Unsplash, Steinar Engeland

Last time I put it to a vote — should I do something darkly different from my other blog stories.  Almost everyone said yes.  Although the story is “there,” I’m still not sure I can write it.  The telling is difficult.

Sigh… Okay, here goes nothing!

Even though sunshine is sorely absent from this story — and the content will sometimes be raw and difficult, as a writer I’m still not given to extremes. You need not expect gore, violence, sex, or profanity in excess.  Although there likely will be some.  Those things exist in this story, even if I don’t go into explicit detail with them.

I need the sunlight. That’s why I haven’t been able to start this dank, dark, deplorable diatribe.  It’s not a fantasy, though it may bear little semblance to the worlds any of you have known.  For your sake, I certainly hope it does not.

Writing Process

I toyed with the image at the top of the page.  That always encourages me to write. 

Strange though this “world” may seem, I want it to be authentic.  If you’re a storyteller looking for authenticity in character names (if the setting is in the USA anyway), here’s a cool resource:  The Social Security Administration’s website will show top baby names by decade, beginning with 1880. Click here. You can sort the names other ways too.

As an author, how far back, prior to the main character, does one ramble to show the circumstances, settings, and personalities that shaped the characters? (That’s a rhetorical question.)  I decided to do a group of vignettes, by decade.  Their only common tie is that they set the background.

Enough of my blah-de-blah.  Here’s the first installment.

Unseen Truths 1, the 1930s

Part 1

Cotton greg-arment-51808
UnSplash, Greg Arment

Clarence Hardy cringed as his younger sister’s voice rose while she complained about picking cotton and painstakingly removing the seeds. Sixteen year-old Clarence agreed that it wasn’t fitting for a woman to be doing such low work.  It was even worse that the woman was only a girl of twelve, but there was nothing for it.  They were lucky to get any work at all.

The Great Depression, folks called it.  To be honest, Clarence couldn’t tell that life was a lot different from before.  Runner County, Tennessee was poor, plain and simple.  So was the nearby town of Ridgeville.  The Hardy family had always been dirt poor.  He looked around at the barren land.  Nothing wanted to grow on that ridge.

His eyes looked past his ranting sister to the house.  It wasn’t much more than a shack.  If he could have given Mattie more, he would have.  Clarence wasn’t particularly smart or ambitious, but he’d do anything for his sister.

“She’s got you wrapped around her little finger,” Paw would tell him.  “You don’t help her any by letting her get her way all the time.”

In his heart, Clarence knew Mattie was extremely manipulative.  He just didn’t know how to handle it.  Clarence did most of the parenting of his sister and brother.  Their momma died young, and their dad was gone most of the time, trying to get work.  Often it was either too far or too expensive for him to come home.  Mattie was a headstrong handful.  Clarence had no idea how to bring up a girl coming into womanhood.

Every time he saw the dark circles under Mattie’s eyes he knew someone needed to have one of those growing-up talks with his sister.  He just didn’t know what to do about it.

Dirt Farmhouse asa-rodger-114571
UnSplash,  Asa Rodger

Then came the morning when she demanded to ride the old mule to work.  In no time Mattie had made him feel like a cad for needing the animal when she wanted it. 

Clarence did whatever odd jobs he could at nearby farms.  He needed it to help a neighbor pull up a stump.  He had bartered some salt pork in return for the work.  That was fine pay.  Yet, despite his better judgment, she got her way once again.  Mattie took the mule as soon as he went back inside the house.

When Clarence saw her head across the field with the mule, he had a bad feeling.  A half-heard old wives’ tale that wasn’t to be repeated in front of men-folk, about women riding anything whether horse or bicycle during that time of the month came to his mind and he paced the rough wooden planks of the floor.  

Before that summer day was half over Mattie came home in hysterics.  She punched the mule with her fist and kicked the poor beast. 

“Clarence it hurt me!” Mattie screamed as she abused the animal.  “It’s his fault!”

The youngest, Ben, opened the screen door and came out onto the back stoop to see what all the commotion was.  Clarence motioned for Ben to go back inside.  Some said the boy should be in school, but there wasn’t one close enough.

Clarence grabbed Mattie’s hand when she made to hit the mule again.  When his sister turned to pull free of his grip Clarence saw the blood all over the back of her skirt.

“Ain’t nothin to do with the mule.  You leave him alone.  It… it happens to all girls, I reckon,” he began, but he couldn’t for the life of him think of what else to say.

Knowing he couldn’t explain, Clarence took Mattie inside and sent her to clean up herself.  He paced the kitchen floor one more time.  He couldn’t see any alternative.  He went to get the preacher’s wife and ask her to explain things to his sister.

Mattie hated the preacher’s wife even more than she detested the preacher.  It embarrassed Clarence when women from the church brought them things like flour, used clothes, and sometimes a ham.  Yet he was grateful just the same.  Mattie, however, was positively irked by the charity.  She despised the women for every gift they brought.

He paused at the kitchen door.  His sister was bound to throw a fit before it was over.  Or another fit, he reminded himself.  Clarence shook his head but he didn’t know what else could be done.  Mattie wasn’t going to appreciate it.  His cheeks heated as he thought about making the request.  The only woman Clarence felt he could ask to explain things to the girl was the preacher’s wife.


There’s the beginning.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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.

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114 thoughts on “New Serial Reveal — Truths Unseen 1

  1. Reading the beginnign of this story only now. I’m very bad at following serials, so I don’t know how many I’ll read, but I’m very interested in watching how you handle a blog serial. Never done one myself, but always been fascinated with the possibility.

    I like this setting. Strong feel of the time and place and a good first impression of characters 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sarah. It’s nice to see you. No worries — I can’t seem to keep up with *any* thing. Actually I simply wasn’t able to continue this story. It was too personal and kept me in a “dark” state of mind. But I’ve moved on to something silly and light-hearted.
      The great thing about blogging is the freedom. I’m totally a “blog-tater” (my own word). I do things my way — not by whatever “rules”, and people can like it or not. That said, I’ve done and/or seen blog serials approached a few ways.
      *Share installments of an existing work.
      *Plan a story but share it in segments, as you create it.
      * Or what I tend to do — fly by the seat of my pants, week to week.
      If you’re interested, go ahead and give it a try. If you don’t like how it goes, then be a blog-tater and move to something else. 😀
      Huge hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Teagan this has the makings of a wonderful Book… it grabbed my attention straight away.. And I will be catching up on part two tommorrow.. I have a date with the Preachers Wife.. to see how Mattie reacted..
    Love and Blessings.. And thank you so much for your visit too, I will answer tomorrow.. sending love.. ❤ Big hugs my friend
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a few days late to this post, Teagan, but it is excellent work! I understand the difficulty of writing about personally painful things, however, I’m glad you took the bull by the horns and proceeded with the telling. You are a gifted writer and a caring person. Thank you for writing this post and sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. I’m not minimizing the difficulty you’re experiencing, nor am I trying to pressure you to continue. Your peace of mind is paramount as far as I’m concerned. Only you can know what’s best for you. Know you are supported no matter what decision you make about this serial. Hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh no, John — I never thought you were at all. I’m doing okay with the 1930s… after that, I’m not so sure. I’m very grateful of how supportive you and everyone else is being about the fact that I might be starting a “serial” that I can’t finish. Great big hug right back.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. You have a very strong story here Teagan. The pacing is good and we have a clear sense of place and time. Deciding to spell ‘recon’ in dialect was a nice touch. We don’t know what the Sister’s problem is but we do know that she’s angry and confused by her world and the changes happening to her body.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to see you, Rob. Thanks so much for your encouraging words!
      I use restraint in representing dialect. I grew up in that part of the world, and saw TV and movies do atrocious accents, which were accepted as fact, producing more and more bad accents. (Not to mention the subsequent stereo type of southerners being corrupt, stupid, evil, or all of those things.)
      So I’m really underrepresenting the dialect to avoid the stereotype… Besides, too much dialect is cumbersome.
      Many, many thanks for visiting and for reblogging. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a strong start, Teagan, and I have to say, it’s fine that it’s gritty. I like a gritty tale as a reader, one where I’m invited to feel strongly, one where I’m drawn into the hardship of the human struggle. I might say that this is my favorite kind of reading.
    It’s not easy writing, though, and I feel for you. When I wrote The Bone Wall I was so stressed by the story that I became dehydrated and developed a heart arrhythmia. My oxygen levels dropped, and I had to visit a cardiologist! When I finished the first draft, all the symptoms disappeared. Weird, huh? I still feel like I have to warn readers whenever they tell me they picked up that book. But, to be truthful, I think it’s harder for me than it is for them. Very very few readers have complained about the violence, sex, and obscenities.
    Stretching as a writer is good and readers will be okay with it. Keep providing warnings if it makes this process more comfortable for you, but then let the worries go. This is a journey we’ll take with you. I’m looking forward to reading more. ❤ Huge hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana, I see that we have something in common — living the stories we write. I can well imagine the Bone Wall having that huge impact on you.
      In my “The Dead of Winter” (a high fantasy epic which has never seen the light of day) I had a sexually violent scene that had a physical and emotional impact on several of the characters. I felt (for lack of the best word) shattered while I was writing that part, and again when I edited it.
      Thank you for this advice and commiseration. It means a lot to me. Great big hug.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to say what everyone else has said “great start”, Teagan. You’ve certainly built up a very good picture and story with this bite. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Clarence, especially with what is happening to Mattie and the first signs of womanhood, plus the timeline of this first chapter.
    Hooked? You bet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m going to start my response the way I always do because it’s true… had me after the first sentence… pulled me into the storyline immediately and kept me there. Great first installment from that perspective. I see the darkness and want you to only go as far you want to….take care of yourself. If you have a story to tell and it can ultimately help others who have lived the same nightmare, then the debate comes down to you…can you tell it without more harm to you. I read through the comments and so got the update on Crystal…eating sounds could…hang in there!! Best to you my friend in whatever you do! Final comment: Love your writing!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirt, you gave me a huge smile — thank you for every word you said.
      The appetite stimulant was helping very much until yesterday… She hasn’t eaten much at all in the past 36 hours. I’m afraid to hope, yet I hope.
      You are right about how I should handle the story. And that is what I will try to do. I feel I can handle the 1930s and probably the 1940s. After that… well, we shall see. I suppose it can be a character study of sorts, up to whatever point I have to stop. I have the next episode ready and scheduled for Friday afternoon.
      I absolutely love your Bedrock post. How fun it would be to decorate a family room or game room with that collection of prints! (I have neither, nor even walls that I can hang pictures from — masonry walls in this rented row house, but I will encourage everyone else!
      Huge hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to see you, Adele. I did enjoy getting into his head. Clarence is one of the “good” characters, but his role fades to the background as decades progress, also a product of the manipulators.
      Wishing you a lovely new week. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Adele. I hope you enjoyed yourself — I’m sure it was a beautiful wedding. Crystal came through the surgery with flying colors. We’re still waiting for the biopsy results, but she’s doing great. Hugs.


  8. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes Teagan, it felt very real in terms of the historic setting and the detail of the story. I think you’ve again created some very intriguing characters who I want to get to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Andrea. I did try to be true to that era and area as it was told to me. I rather enjoyed poking around inside Clarence’s mind. Wishing you continued success with your new publication, “Cold Iron.” Great big hug.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you ever so kindly, Christoph 😉 In all seriousness, you have successfully written in multiple genres, so that means a lot coming from you, my friend. As I recall, you have some sort of holiday coming up. So enjoy not just the holiday but the anticipation of it as well. Mega hugs right back.


  9. Teagan, this gave me chills…but in a good way. Dark, yes, but I don’t think the world has to be sunshine and rainbows, to tell a story, well, stories come from all different places and this one is off to an intriguing start, can’t wait for more.
    I’m been thinking of you and Crystal, I’m sending lots of hugs, dear friend. xoxo
    Hope this weekend is a relaxing one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for thinking of Crystal, Donna. 🐱 The fact that it’s taking so long to get information has been exhausting. Even now it will likely be a couple of weeks before I know what i need to know. However, I did get a good mobile vet. (I had used him in the past, but one of the many times Crystal was sick I couldn’t get him to return my calls, and had to switch to someone else. Despite that I do like him.) And he can do the growth removal. I had been extremely concerned about leaving her at a clinic, because she literally hurts herself trying to get free. (But you probably remember all that.)
      Anyhow including setting appointments, I’ve been trying to get information for 5 weeks and it’s exhausting. And all i’ve learned in that time is that yes, the second vet can do the surgery. That will be Thursday, then it will take however long to get the growth tested and results… So I will try to relax this weekend, but I can’t seem to disengage from the worry… or the limbo of decisions I had to put on hold until I can know these results.
      Good news is that the appetite stimulant is working, and she has gained back enough weight that she should survive the anesthesia.
      I appreciate your positive and encouraging comment about this story. Thank you for taking time to read. Mega hugs right back.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so true, the waiting can be horrible, the not knowing, the trying to find out; I’m sorry you have to go through all that. I’m so pleased to hear she’s eating again, that should make the waiting a little easier. I’m thinking of you both and I know the vet will help.
        Mega keep writing, keep believing hugs xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Gerlinde. I tried to accurately portray first-hand tidbits that had been told to me about that era. As the story progresses into modern times it will be harder to tell, so I will try, but should not promise that I can finish telling it.
      The WordPress monkeys have really been messing with things. So I’m sure I have catching up to do at your lovely blog. Happy weekend hugs.


  10. Teagan, I read your other post, so now read this one. Yep, the beginning is a great hook. Whatever comes next will also be a great read. Know how hard it is to write about the dark side of life in a personal story. I’ve balanced my story with fictional parts to make the dark places more tolerable. The narrator also comes up with realistic explanations of the character’s behaviors. It could be a short novella with no character arc growth. Remember, you are a talented writer writing it. You’ll know I’m in your heart & mind if you can move the story along. Good thoughts, my friend! Huge hugs. 🌺🌷🌸 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christine. Thanks for all the good thoughts. I really appreciate the encouragement. ❤
      I've tried that semi-fictional approach with this story a few times and couldn't make it work for me. (Yet it keeps coming back…)
      I agree that it can be a good idea. I'm happy you had good results with the approach.
      Since I feel the WP monkeys have committed me to this, I'll give it a try, and try to be willing to let it go if I just can't cope with it — or if people simply don't like it.
      Great big hug right back my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You grabbed my attention from the get-go on this story, Teagan, and I hope it plays out (so I can read it 🙂). And more so, I hope life smooths out for you.
        I answer to Mary, Cathy, and MC, but friends and family call me Cathy.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Teagan, I just came here after reading your other post about this one going live as per the WP monkeys.. I only want you to continue with it if YOU want it to.. I feel uneasy as I read the first installment as I feel something awful to come.. but you do set up the environment well with these “characters” (as you say, it’s based on reality) and now I’m thinking I already don’t like the Preacher or his wife.. Hugs for you. I will say I like that you have new posts out as I missed you xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christy. I’m happy to see you. You are right — it’s a difficult story. I appreciate what you’ve said here.
      Since the first episode managed to go live despite my efforts, I feel committed to it now. However, I will take your advice. If (maybe when) it becomes too difficult to tell, I will admit defeat and let it go. Or, if it becomes clear that people don’t enjoy reading it. However you want to take the word “enjoy.”
      I need to catch up with your blog. Before WP went bonkers and screwed up the email situation, I saw that you were doing a lot of posting. So I hope to spend some time there soon. Great big hug, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Teagan, no rush re my blogs. I know you have a lot going on. I’m thankful for the response here. And so glad that makes sense what I wrote about doing what feels right to you re continuing on with the story or not. I send you massive hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great start and hook, Teagan 👍😃
    The best way to deal with the dark is to shine a light on it.
    How long you want to keep the light on, is entirely up to you.
    BTW – you will notice from the comments, that your fans are also your friends ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mary. You said that in the most lovely way — and you are spot-on. I’m glad you like the cover image. I went looking at Unsplash, just for illustration pictures. Then when I saw that one, it was so perfect (for what was in my mind of the story) that I went ahead with a cover. Great big hug to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Teagan, count me in. I might be a little uncomfortable with the opening story, but it’s in a good way. You’re telling it so well, that I’m hooked. Every element of this is real, including the anger at the people helping. I’ve seen that. Don’t worry about us, let this take you where you need to go. I’m certain we will follow and enjoy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for this encouragement, Dan. My angst continues, but after not finishing the Guitar Mancer, I hate the idea of starting something else and not finishing. Then WordPress ran off with it… So I just don’t know. But I’ll give it a try.
      I’m still marveling over your latest Thursday Doors. Happy weekend hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you’re brave to start, and I would support you just to support you. But, this is already good. I’m supporting you because I want to read more. I enjoyed what I read of Guitar Mancer. I’m not worried about where this goes. I think there’s a lesson in the story about that church I featured yesterday. It survived several threats and actual actions against it. It looks out of place today, but it proudly says “I was here first, deal with it!”

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve read your other post. Do not put yourself through the grinder if you don’t feel ready for it, Teagan. Sometimes writing can be therapeutic, but if writing the story is already difficult, sharing might be even harder. Do take care. Whatever you decide we’re with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you John. I’m just not sure I can tell it in such a way that people will WANT to keep being drawn in. And if I change it, it won’t be the same story… Such a conundrum. 🙂
      I can’t wait for you to take your trip — and get back so you can tell us about it. I’ll live it through you, since I don’t plan to ever go. TGIF hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just read the last post you sent. Is there any way you can change the ending and make it hopeful? I always feel a story is mine to do with as I want. Don’t do something that will make you more depressed. Who’s going to know other than you what the original ending was? Take care and Hugs, ❤ — Suzanne

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for your kind thoughts and intentions. That I would know is enough. Ultimately this story is about abuse — not just about the abused, but about abusers and those how enable them. What most people fail to admit to themselves is that there is no growth with abusers present. There are never really happy endings. To change that would come *close* to glorifying abuse. That is the main unseen truth of the story.
          No one is likely to understand that. The story is a bad idea when the world at large is not ready, never will be ready, to hear the truth…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree, Teagan. My husband was bipolar and recently died at age 86. I had to stay in India and finally keep him here after his disastrous trip to the U.S. in 2007 when he spent all our savings. My son fixed it so he was put on a budget. I had to keep him here once when someone gave him the money to go to the U.S. and our son begged me to keep him here. He was manic and I had him put in a mental facility. Finally almost three years ago he fell and broke his hip and didn’t want an operation. I hired a caregiver who kept him on his medication for the remainder of his life. People need to talk about these problems. They’re especially reluctant to do so here in India. The movie “Silver Linings Playbook was not shown in theaters here. It was on TV and Netflix, however, and bipolar disorder is now known by many here. Our daughter sees a counselor. Our son took the brunt of it although I wouldn’t permit physical abuse to him. My husband never physically abused me. He did things like trying to take money from me. I had to hide it or carry it around with me. He also brought mentally ill people home. He gave cash away. —- Suzanne

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh Suzanne, I’m so sorry you (and your children) had to endure that. I honestly think the worst abuse is that which does not leave a physical mark. You are so brave to share this story here! ❤
              No matter how *aware* people become of mental illnesses and/or of abuse, it seems that most just can't admit it when they see it happening around them, in their inner circles… So often the victims are met with denial when they try to get help or simply tell their stories.
              Maybe that's why some stories just "keep coming back," demanding to be told, no matter how difficult the telling. I may or may not be able to finish this telling, but I will do what I can.
              Love and hugs to you, my friend.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Kathryn… I hope you continue to feel that way. As you’ll see, I posted this accidentally… So you’ll have more of an explanation soon. I’ll link that post to this one.
      I hope all is going well with the food truck venture. I get hungry every time I think of it! 😀 Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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