WIP vs LIP? Or Glowing Pigs and the Batmobile

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Welcome, to my sanctuary.  Come on inside and relax for a while.

Glowing mushrooms dark tree_jay-ma-304046

Unsplash.com

Writers are always talking about their WIP — or work in progress.  At my “real job” I frequently have to ask executives and tech guys to “spell out” acronyms.  I’m drowning in alphabet soup!

So, I just now laughed when I thought to myself that my WIP keeps getting pushed aside by my LIP, or my life in progress!

Maybe I’m the only one who sees the humor in that… but since they seem to think I’m “giving them lip” (mouthing off) when I ask for clarity or correction…  Yeah, okay… I kill me.  (Insert eye roll.)

Blue-Rose-Orb-52327

The editing and proofing of Atonement in Bloom continues to limp along. 

However, back to the first book, Atonement, Tennessee, I will soon be offering it in Spanish!  That’s thanks to the talented Olga Núñez Miret, who did the translation.  Stay tuned for more on that. 

Since my head is in that quirky town, on a whim I decided to write an all new short story to share today.

As the world-building of Atonement progressed, some small, glowing, otherworldly pigs made their way into the Atonement-verse.  They stole my heart.  So they pop in for a visit now and then.

Without further ado here’s the snort — I mean short story.

2 Pigs

Deme, Honeybell, and the Batmobile

Sunlight dappled the ground.  It made shaded spots on her book, but Honeybell didn’t mind.  The sun felt pleasantly warm on her white fur.  Loud snuffling distracted her from the pages of the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi.

“You do realize that they got half of that story wrong, don’t you?” Deme commented derisively.

“Of course they did.  They’re only human after all.  But that’s what makes it so interesting,” Honeybell defended the ancient tome.

She knew that her friend’s snarky manner meant Deme was up to no good.  Although she had to admit that Deme used her bright blue eyes to great effect when she got caught doing something that wasn’t allowed.

Honeybell secretly wished she was as bold as her friend.  However, it wouldn’t do to let Deme know that.  There was no telling what mischief she’d get dragged in to by the blue-eyed pig if Deme knew Honeybell quietly longed to misbehave.

“The things Gwydion did in this story,” Honeybell began, shaking her head reproachfully at the antiquated book.

Gwydion Conquers Pryderi by E Wallcousins 1920s

Gwydion Conquers Pryderi by E Wallcousins circa 1920

“We could visit him!  Wouldn’t that be fun?” Deme interrupted brightly.  “I know you love to go to Atonement, Tennessee just as much as I do.”

“Deme, you know we’re not allowed to go to human places without permission.  Besides, Gwydion is always getting into trouble.  We’d end up getting over our hooves into it with him.”

“Come on, Honeybell.  We could be there and back before dark.  You know the main reason for that silly rule is because we’ll glow after sundown.  We have plenty of time to go for a romp and be back before twilight.  None the wiser!”

Drat that Deme, she’s always got an answer for everything, Honeybell thought, knowing full well that she had just given in to temptation — and that easily.

“What if we just go check on your sheriff.  Just to make sure he’s okay,” Honeybell relented.  “Goewin wouldn’t get upset with us for that… I don’t think,” she added somewhat doubtfully.  “But we mustn’t let him see us!”

The drift of small white otherworldly pigs answered to Goewin.  They loved her and would do anything for her. 

Deme pranced in place excitedly.  Honeybell knew her friend adored Robin Warden, the sheriff of Atonement, Tennessee.  Deme’s enthusiasm was contagious.  Honeybell suddenly caught it.

“I’ll race you to the big split tree.  I bet I can get through the portal and to Atonement before you!” Honeybell dared her friend.

Abruptly Honeybell stopped with one hoof off the ground.

640px-2016-366-267_Sunset_Glow_Through_a_Split_Tree_(29775743022)

Public Domain, Wikimedia

“Wait,” Honeybell said.  “Robin sometimes visits the tree.  That’s where he last saw Goewin.  We’d have to be careful when we come out, in case he’s there.  I don’t want him to see us.  It might make him sad.”

Deme’s blue eyes sparkled.  Her lopsided smile was evidence that she had mischief in mind.

“There’s another way,” Deme suggested.

With her right front hoof, Deme began scratching a design in a barren patch of ground.  It was quite intricate.  It reminded Honeybell of a Celtic knot design she had seen somewhere.

But where? Honeybell wondered worriedly.

Honeybell’s eyes widened when she remembered where she’d seen that design.  It was on the silver locket that Ralda-Esmeralda always wore.

Sun falls on an antique locket, which sits atop an open book

Olsztyn, Unsplash

“Deme, we’re not supposed to use that kind of magic!” Honeybell cried.

“Says who?  Look it up in your books.  This exact kind of magic is not specifically forbidden anywhere,” Deme said with a sharp nod of her head.

Deme used her back feet to kick a fine dust across the complicated design, giving it a finishing touch.

“There!” Deme stated with a satisfied shake of her curly tail.

Deme kicked her back feet into the air and clicked her hooves together.  With her mouth she grabbed Honeybell by an ear.  The two otherworldly pigs glowed brightly.  Then they vanished.

***

An owl hooted from the branch of a nearby tree.  Robin Warden gave it a suspicious look.  Then he bent over the front-end of a black and white automobile.  The hood was up and odd looking metal parts lay on the ground around the vehicle.  The sheriff’s hands were covered in black grease.  There was a smudge of it on his forehead too.

1956 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Engine used in Batmobile.jpg

Wikimedia Commons

“What is Robin doing to the Batmobile?” Deme asked and started toward the sheriff.

“Deme!” Honeybell hissed at her friend and grabbed the other pig by the curly tail.

“Hey!” Deme complained in an offended tone.

“We can’t let him see us,” Honeybell reminded her friend in an intense whisper.  “And it’s not really called the Batmobile.”

“Oh you take the fun out of everything, Honeybell.  I know it’s a police car, but it’s more fun when Bethany calls it the Batmobile.”

“The fact that you know all that is evidence that you sneak off here more than anyone realizes,” Honeybell replied.  “I think he’s trying to make it run faster.”

I couldn’t resist this 1947 Plymouth. (Wikimedia Commons) Robin might have a souped-up vintage sheriff’s car.

Robin sat down inside the vehicle.  Honeybell could tell his leg moved.  He seemed to be doing something with his foot.  The sheriff’s car made a loud roaring sound.  A dissatisfied expression came to his face and he got out and went to the front of the automobile again.

“Looks like it didn’t work,” Deme commented.  “Whatever it was.  We could help…” Deme began with a sly look at Honeybell.  “But we’d have to get closer.”

Honeybell raised her eyes heavenward and asked for patience.  Before she could reply, Deme trotted over to the black and white automobile.  Honeybell hurried to catch up, but before she got near a flash and an electric pop came from the mechanical innards of the car.  A whiff of ozone reached the pig’s snout.

Robbin warden jerked up at the bright light and sound.  His head banged against the metal of the raised hood.  The sheriff looked around in a startled manner.  After a moment he went back to his work, but appeared to check and recheck everything carefully.

While he was busy reexamining the machinery under the hood, Honeybell and Deme softly tapped their hooves on the various parts that lay on the ground and even on the tools Robin would be using.  They gave each one a tap and a snuffle-snort-grunt.  Then they darted back to their hiding place.

Deme fantasizes about helping Robin catch bad guys. Pearl White, circa 1916

“I think that should help him catch bad humans,” Deme speculated.  “Goewin would not object to us doing that, because it’s related to keeping him safe and well.”

“Do you think it worked?” Honeybell asked?

The sheriff wiped his hands on a dirty rag.  He sat down inside the car and did something to make it roar again.  Abruptly the vehicle zoomed away from its place.  It skidded and swerved like a fish as it went onto the street.  Robin’s eyes bulged in astonishment, but he gave a loud “Whoot!” as the car sped away.

“Yes.  I’d say it worked pretty well,” Deme replied in a grunting chuckle.  “Come on, let’s go after him!’

“No, Deme!  You’re starting to glow,” Honeybell refused with a look at the darkening sky.  “I’m glowing too.  We have to go back home.”

“You’re such a spoil sport,” Deme complained.  “I’ll race you to the split tree in the graveyard!”

Honeybell knew that was the long way home.  She sighed but hurried after her friend.

The sheriff turned the supercharged police car around at the end of the road.  As he headed back to his driveway, two small white, glowing shapes darted across the street.

pig

***

The End.

***

If you have any questions about the “Atonement-verse” feel free to leave them in a comment.  I love to hear from you.  Hugs and glows!

***

Here’s the requisite shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise. 

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu Train is Delayed

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ghost train station with color

Lulu’s abandoned subway station, Art by Rob Goldstein

Yes, it’s Jazz Age Wednesday.  This is where you would find the dieselpunk serial, Hullaba Lulu.  It’s written by me and illustrated by artist, Rob Goldstein.

The weekend is my writing time, but this past weekend, life got in the way.   That can even happen with a simple life like mine.  So Valentino’s train won’t be at the station today.

Saturday I did a big post that touched on the “20s tech” that has been used in Hullaba Lulu so far. It also included links to all of the past chapters!  That makes today a good time to refresh your memory or catch a chapter you may have missed. Click over if you need to catch up.

Rose Enters Station portal

Cast of Hullaba Lulu as the train approaches the abandoned subway station. Art by Rob Goldstein

Recently Rob did a video of the parallel Lulu-verse that he sometimes creates.  It’s fun, whether or not it happens in this story.  If you’re particularly sensitive to spoilers, or if things like this confuse you, save it for later.  Still — no guarantees that this will or won’t happen in the story, but check out Rob’s video here.   His work is always spectacular. 

I promise that next Wednesday I’ll pick up where we left off with last week’s episode.  There’s more spontaneously written fun with Lulu and company on the way.  They still have to deal with Sarcophagus and Remote Control. 

I hope you will be at the station again next week to catch the dieselpunk train.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

The Angel -Ship-Dark

 The Art Deco angel that is the main part in the control center of the train. Art by Rob Goldstein

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Catch-Up Saturdays — Hullaba Real World Tech & Review

Saturday, July 14, 2018 

Roaring Twenties Tech & Culture

Portrait of Gramps with stuff

Gramps with some “tech” from Hullaba Lulu, Art by Rob Goldstein

Hello, everyone!  Welcome to my sanctuary.  Or maybe I should say welcome Shieks and Shebas, because this post sort of reviews my Jazz Age Wednesdays serial, Hullaba Lulu.

My “partner in crime” for the #DieselPunk serial is artist Rob Goldstein who creates the illustrations and videos for Hullaba Lulu.  Between us we’ve added many real world elements from Roaring Twenties culture and technology.

Today I’m spotlighting the real (though I used some of it in a fantastical way) technology and popular culture items of the Roaring Twenties.  Some of these were “things” sent by Rob, others came along as part of my storytelling.  This post will also serve as a catch-up review of Hullaba Lulu.

Don’t Bring Lulu

It’s no surprise that music was a big part of the Jazz Age.  I created the some of the characters for Hullaba Lulu, inspired by the song Rob told me his grandmother sang to him.

Chapter 1 ― Rose, Pearl, Trumpet

Garter Flask

What 1920s story could leave out things to do with Prohibition? I added a contradiction to a character by giving the flask to “darned nice girl” Pearl.

The Bright Young Things

Volumes could be written about that extraordinary collection of people, the Bright Young Things.  That “thing” inspired me to include a fictionalized Tom Driberg in the story.

Chapter 2 ― Garter Flask, Grand Central Station, Bright Young Things

Valentinto LuLu Tom D Rolls

Valentino, Lulu, and Tom Driberg on the street above the emergency exit of the abandoned subway tunnel where Gramps has a speakeasy.  Art by Rob Goldstein

Spiritualism — Ouija Board

As they were during the Victorian Era, people in the 1920s continued to be fascinated with spiritualism. Seances, tarot readings, and Ouija boards were popular.  When Rob sent the Ouija as a “thing” my imagination went off the rails and I made it part of the control system of Valentino’s train.  That was just the beginning of me adding outrageous elements to the train.

Lulu at table in station

Lulu in her secret place (the abandoned subway station), with her Ouija board — turns out it belonged to Valentino.  Image by Rob Goldstein

Chapter 3 ― Saltwater Taffy, Raspberry-Red Rouge, Ouija Board

Carl Jung

Jung was a prominent figure of the 1920s.  His work has been influential in not only psychiatry but also anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies.  When Rob mentioned the “red notebook” it took a bit of thinking for me to work it into the story.

Orthophonic Victrola

In 1925 the Orthophonic Victrola was a big innovation in sound reproduction.  That real 20s tech thing was another real world item I couldn’t resist adding to the diesel-punk tech of the fantastical train.

Chapter 4 ― Ectoplasm, Jung, Orthophonic Victrola

Interior Train control console Valentino victrola sofas

Valentino with the Orthophonic Victrola, which is part of the train’s communication system. Art by Rob Goldstein

The beginning of the fifth chapter was a bit of family history for Lulu and her grandfather. I didn’t touch on social norms, but it was clear that Lulu’s family situation wasn’t typical of the era. Chapter 5.1 — Backstory

Automat

Part two of Chapter 5 gave us more “20s Tech.”  Yes, they really had automats and vending machines even before the 1920s!  The automats were gigantic, coin-operated vending machines with row upon row of windowed compartments, resembling glass-fronted post office boxes, housing dozens of menu items.  I gave the train the automat of my dreams.  It even makes cash. 

Tilt-A-Whirl

Amusement parks came along in the Victorian Era.  Flappers loved them too.  Herbert W. Sellner, a woodworker and maker of water slides, invented the Tilt-A-Whirl in 1926 at his Faribault, Minnesota, home. In 1927, the first 14 Tilt-A-Whirls were built in Herbert’s basement and yard.  Watch out for the tilt-a-whirl in the story… it’s not normal.

Chapter 5.2 — Automat, Cheeseburger, Tilt-A-Whirl

Tilt-a-Whirl Lulu, Valentino and man_the Spin a Twirl-2.

The tilt-a-whirl in the sideways version of Atlantic City was no ordinary ride. Art by Rob Goldstein

Nagasaki

The Japanese port city of Nagasaki became something of a fantasy in Jazz Age songs, with lyrics only vaguely related to the real city.  Several US novelty songs were set in “exotic” locations popular in the era.  “Back in Nagasaki” inspired Rob to create a video.  It gave me the idea for a group of automaton characters, Dynamite, his crush Hot Ginger, and later, Wicky, Wacky, and Woo.  That song also led to Lulu receiving a title from the angel-bots — Giver of Names.

Kodak Brownie

The Kodak company had been making cameras for quite awhile in the 20s.  The Brownie was popular.  In the story, I had Lulu borrow the one belonging to Gramps. You saw him with it in the title image.

The Garçonne Look

Improvements in women’s rights, and changes in fashion brought about the “tomboy look,” (favored by author Margaret Mitchell) and the more sophisticated Garçonne Look.  For either, women wore menswear inspired clothes, including trousers, or simply men’s clothes.  Rob dressed the Lauren character in the Garçonne Look.

La Garçonne-ectoplasm

Lauren, Lulu’s mother… to avoid spoilers that’s all I’ll say.  Ar by Rob Goldstein

Chapter 6 — The Garconne Look, Tarot Cards, Kodak Brownie

Ferris Wheel

That ride came along before the 20s but it made a great “thing” for the story, not to mention a couple of cliffhangers.  The original, sometimes also referred to as the Chicago Wheel, was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.. With a height of 80.4 metres (264 ft) it was the tallest attraction at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, where it opened to the public on June 21, 1893.

Bubblegum

Lulu is a little… well, let’s be honest. That flapper can be a bit crass. She gets food on her clothes and face, and she burps and hiccups… Bubblegum is her least offensive habit.  

In 1928, an accountant invented bubblegum. Walter Diemer, was experimenting with new gum recipes. One recipe was less sticky than regular chewing gum, and stretched more easily. The original bubble gum was pink in color because that was the dye that Diemer had most on hand at the time. 

Lulu blowing bubble

Lulu’s bubble got too big and popped all over her face.  Fortunately there was an angel-bot to clean her up.  Art by Rob Goldstein

Chapter 7 — Pocket Watch, Ferris Wheel, Bubblegum

Pittura Metafisica

Pittura Metafisica: Marked by a strong sense of solitude and melancholy, the uncanny and dreamlike urban spaces and enigmatic iconography were typical of Pittura Metafisica or “Metaphysical Painting.”  Valentino is clearly no ordinary man. When he creates that kind of painting, you might accidentally walk right into it. 

Videophone

Can you believe they actually had videophones in the 20s?  That was one of the most surprising “things” Rob sent.  They were first invented all the way back in the late 1800s, but they were refined in the 20s.  For more click here

Chanel No. 5 

I try to use all the senses in my stories.  This iconic perfume was around back then.  Chanel No. 5:  In 1921, a very clever designer and businesswoman created a scent that revolutionized the way women smell.  About a 100 years later, people still know Chanel No. 5.  I let this “thing” belong to Rose.  Tom Driberg uses expensive gifts to try and lure her back. 

Valentino Lulu Dance Hop Bot on horse RED Cotton Club-5-22-

Lulu crashed Valentino’s Rolls onto the curb of the Cotton Club. Somehow they managed to squeeze in a dance before everything went off the rails.  Art by Rob Goldstein

Dancing

Lulu loves to dance.  People associate the Charleston with the 20s, but there were many more dances.  Her favorites are the Camel Walk and the Lindy Hop.  (Click the links for vintage videos.)

Chapter 8 — Chanel No. 5, Pittura Metafisica, Videophone

Bolshies

That’s what some people called Bolsheviks in the Roaring Twenties.  It was part of their culture.  When Rob sent that word as a “thing” I ended up bringing Russian spies into the story.  It seems like they had nearly as much trouble with them in the 20s as we do now…

Chapter 9.1 — Bolshies

Val and LuLu green car purple bk

Lulu pressed the electric starter in Valentino’s Rolls… but she didn’t know how to drive!  Art by Rob Goldstein

Jukebox

The jukebox in the story seems to have a mind of its own.  That resulted in another character name being inspired by a song, Cuban Moon.

Electric Starter

Ah yes… more tech!  I decided to put one in Valentino’s Rolls-Royce.  The first electric starter was installed on an Arnold, an adaptation of the Benz Velo, built in 1896 in East Peckham, England, by electrical engineer H. J. Dowsing.  In 1903, Clyde J. Coleman invented and patented the first electric starter in America U.S. Patent 0,745,157. 

Chapter 9.2 — Jukebox

Chapter 9.3 — Star of David

Electromagnet

I allowed the automatons a moment of heroism with a rather fantastic electromagnet.  The real one was invented in 1825.  William Sturgeon’s first one was a horseshoe-shaped piece of iron wrapped with a loosely wound coil. When a current was passed through the coil the electromagnet became magnetized, and when the current was stopped, the coil was demagnetized. It could lift nine pounds with a seven-ounce piece of iron wrapped with wires through which the current of a single cell battery was sent.  The one I fictionalized lifted a lot more.

Chapter 10.1 — Electromagnet

Theremin

Music again, but not the ordinary variety!  Rob sent this great “thing” and now I want one.  It would freak out my cat, so I’ll resist.  It’s a real world thing, but I used it in a fictional way, letting its freaky music be “medicinal” to help a sick character.

Originally known as the ætherphone/etherphone or thereminophone, a theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer. It is named after the Westernized name of its Soviet inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.

Virtual reality photograph of Gramps playing the Theramin

Gramps gets jazz man cool with his shades and tries his hand at playing the theremin.  Art by Rob Goldstein

Chapter 10.2 — The Theremin 

Egyptomania

Egyptomania took hold long before the Jazz Age, but it was still “alive” and well.  I brought this in when I let a certain character come back when he was spotted at an archaeological dig.

Chapter 10.3 — Wave Frequency Machine, Hidden Door

Earrings

When short, bobbed, hair became popular in the 20s it was no short lived thing.  Along with a lot of technical innovations I think of the huge changes in women’s fashion as a time of innovation as well.  Fashions of the Jazz Age focused on movement.  Short hair brought on long earrings, dangling with that desired movement.

yellow tassel earrings

Earrings also tied to a real world element with a real life phobia for Nikola Tesla.

Update for Deborah!

Jewelry styles of the 1920s are still popular today.  Deborah at Circadian Reflections asked for a picture of the earrings I recently bought.  So, here are my fun, long, yellow tassel earrings, reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties.

 

 

Chapter 11.1 — Papá

Violet Ray

The Violet Ray is probably the most startling “thing” Rob has sent yet.  I can’t take credit for it, wild as my imagination can be.  Nope… it’s real.

Invented by Nikola Tesla, the violet ray is a user-friendly, hand-held device that can be used with a variety of glass applicators, such as a bulb, a comb-rake, or a rod, each with a specific purpose. The glass is inserted into the tip of the hand-held section. After being plugged in and turned on, the appliance becomes a high-voltage, low amperage (current) source of static electricity.  Its discharge creates a violet color (hence, its name), a pleasant ozone smell – and a sizzling noise.

***

Hopefully I will be able to add even more real world 1920s tech and culture as this story eventually comes to a close.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this tech review.

If you haven’t gotten on the train, you can catch up by clicking the Hullaba Lulu category on the right side of the page. You’ll meet Lulu, her Gramps, friends Rose and Pearl, and some other characters as they begin a journey with an enigmatic man who only calls himself Valentino.  Listen for the trumpet’s call and the conductor’s announcement, All aboard!   That’s here each week for Jazz Age Wednesdays.

Thanks for taking time to visit.  I love your comments, so be sure to say hello.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

***

Here’s my shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise. 

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 11.2

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tesla no hat Conducting-1-1

Who’s your papa?  Art by Rob Goldstein

Welcome everyone.  The diesel-punk train has arrived at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  It’s great to see all you Sheiks and Shebas!  Artist, Rob Goldstein  created the pos-i-lutely swell images for this episode.  If you need a comprehensive review of this serial, Rob has a post with links to many of the past chapters

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

When we left Lulu and the crew, Valentino’s train had crashed into a sand dune in Egypt.  Pearl apologized for suggesting Lulu and her family weren’t good enough, but Lulu could tell she didn’t really mean it.

Then they saw an automobile speeding across the sands toward the train.  The angel-bots acted very excited when they spotted it.  

“It’s Papá!” Moon cried.

This time

This episode is low key compared to others.  However, we can see that Pearl has something up her sleeve.  The story picks up where Chapter 11.1 Papá ended.  Now to Chapter 11.2.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 11.2

Violet Ray

Bots gather to welcome Papa

The angel-bots gather excitedly to welcome Papá

“It’s Papá!” Moon cried.

Without further explanation, Moon jumped down to the sandy ground and rushed toward the other angel-bots.  They bounced on their toes in excitement as the vehicle drew near.

When the automobile stopped a man wearing a top hat stepped out to join the angle-bots.

“Is that?” Gramps began.

“Nikola Tesla?” Pearl asked.

“Bushwa!  Is it?  Moon said it was ‘Papá.’  He was talking about Tesla?” I asked in surprise.

We couldn’t hear what the automatons said to him but he turned back to his automobile and in a moment, two of the angel-bots lifted out a wooden case.  The group started toward the train.

Pearl’s eyes widened as she gazed at the man.  She had a familiar look on her face that meant she had an idea.  Pearl had a knack for coming up with schemes to get into big parties, or getting free giggle water, or other things to entertain her, Rose, and me.

Pearl at Station-04-23-18

Pearl by Rob Goldstein

While I wondered what she was thinking, Pearl put a hand to her fluffy blond hair.  Then she touched the long fashionable earrings she wore.  I thought she was nervous about meeting Nikola Tesla.

“He has phobias,” Pearl murmured.

Dynamite and Moon rushed to the train ahead of the rest of the group.  Moon had the wooden case.

“What’s in the box?” I asked the angel-bots.

“It’s Papá’s violet ray machine,” Moon answered.  “It will stimulate lymphatic and capillary circulation, resulting in toxins being carried away and the body’s organs being strengthened.”

“This might help Valentino,” Dynamite translated scientist into flapper.  “Moon knows how to set up the right voltage for the transformer, the coil, and the glass applicators.”

Control room The Angel_0322-

The control room of Valentino’s train, by Rob Goldstein

“Yes, Señorita.  That is how the violet ray works.  As the voltage moves through the coil, it is increased, ionizing the gas in the bulb.  This produces charged particles that emanate from the bulb’s surface.  The high frequency and charged particles are beneficial,” said Moon as he hurried down the corridor with the box.

“Huh?” I asked Pearl.

However, Pearl was gone.

I put out a hand to slow down Dynamite when he moved to follow Moon.

“Will that thing heal Valentino?” I asked.

Dynamite shifted his feet before answering.

“It does nothing to bring Valentino into proper attunement with the train.  So no, Miss.  It won’t heal Valentino,” Dynamite said carefully.  “However, like what you did with the theremin, it should help some.  It could give us time to find a cure.  After this treatment, you may be asked to use the theremin on him again,” he added.  “If you don’t mind, of course.”

I nodded and told Dynamite I would do anything I could.

Tesla portrait-c

Nikola Tesla, by Rob Goldstein

Some of the automatons helped the man wearing the top hat up onto the train.  Gramps was accustomed to the role of host back at his speakeasy.  He politely introduced us, which prompted the man to respond in kind.  He was indeed Nikola Tesla.  However, he wasted little time on pleasantries and asked the angel-bots to take him to Valentino.

I got the feeling I would be in the way, so I let suspicious curiosity lead the wayme.  I went to Pearl’s sleeper car.

As I approached, the door opened and Woo stepped out of Pearl’s rooms.  I could hear Pearl’s voice and she was in a lather.

“I’m sorry you made so much work for yourself, Woo.  None of these will do.  Maybe if you could speak without that accent, you would understand better.  I’m afraid you’ll just have to bring more dresses until you can understand what I mean by old fashioned,” Pearl said in a matter of fact tone.

Bot inside Metropolis 08

Some angel-bot attendants on the train, by Rob Goldstein

Woo hesitated when she saw me.  Her feet shuffled in a way that I had come to interpret as clockwork confusion or maybe anxiety.

“May I assist you, Giver of Names?” Woo asked in a voice that had a very slight Chinese accent.

“So where do you come from, anyway, Woo?” I asked with a glance toward Pearl’s rooms.

“Most angel-bots are actually from the same place, Miss.  However, my voice is from Shanghai,” she replied.

Of course, I was curious about the first part of her statement.  However, Woo was compelled to get on with her errand for Pearl, so I didn’t trouble her by asking.

Pearl’s door was open, so I followed the sound of her voice into her sleeper car.  The first thing I noticed was that the lower level of the car was littered with glad rags of every color and shape, as well as gowns representative of half a dozen eras of history.

Interior Train control console Valentino victrola sofas

Comfy and luxurious accommodations on the train, by Rob Goldstein

The second thing I noticed was that she wasn’t wearing any earrings.  Pearl always wore earrings, even when she slept.  Daytime or evening, she preferred the longest, flashiest ones she could find.  Pearl had a newspaper in her hands when she glanced up at me.

“Pearl, what’s all this stuff?” I asked motioning around the room to all the dresses.  “Are you dudding up for something?”

“Lulu, I’m glad you’re here.  Maybe there’s something in your fluky clothes that’s out dated enough.  Have you got something plain I could borrow?” she wanted to know.

“You’ve got an odd way of asking somebody to help you,” I told her.

Lulu blowing bubble

Lulu feeling a bit snarky, by Rob Goldstein

“Oh, come on, Lulu.  Don’t be that way.  You know it’s true.  You don’t have an eye for fashion.  Look at this,” Pearl demanded as she held up the newspaper and gave it a shake.

“In place of the soft voiced, gentle woman of my reverent worship,” says Mr. Tesla, “has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life lies in making herself as much as possible like man–in dress, voice and actions, in sports and achievements of every kind,” Pearl read from the newspaper.

“Plus, you know he has phobias.  He’s scared to death of human hair and earrings!  Nerts!  Can you believe it?  Who could be afraid of earrings?” Pearl exclaimed.

“Why are you so upset?  Bushwa!  Why do you even care?” I demanded.

“Mr. Tesla is a chaste man.  I can leave with him and not damage my reputation.  I’m sure I can get him to agree to take me home,” Pearl explained.  “However, he’s also quite a catch, and he’s the cat’s particulars too.  His ideal woman doesn’t exist in this century, but I can make him think I’m her.”

Pearl Bald-2 (2)

Annoyed, Lulu imagines shaving Pearl’s head, by Rob Goldstein

“I get it, Pearl.  Nikola Tesla is an odd bird, but you want him to think you’re a Sheba.  In that case there’s two things for you to do.  One ― don’t wear any earrings,” I began and Pearl nodded.  “And two, shave your head.”

At that comment Pearl started some very loud hysterics.  I admit to having the uncharitable fantasy of holding her down and shaving her head.

Summoning all my self-restraint I went to the radio in her room.  After being handed off a couple of times, I managed to reach Woo.  I asked the angel-bot for a more specific dress and hat.

“Yes please, Woo.  In Pearl’s size.  A gown that’s Victorian, but rather simple.  And in either white or a pastel.  Yes, I know the kind of hat I asked for doesn’t go with a Victorian gown, but just humor me.  That’s right.  Not a regular hat, but a turban.  And get it to match the gown if you can,” I requested.

Pearl Turban 3

Pearl Wearing Turban, by Rob Goldstein

***

The End

***

Horsefeathers!  It seems like Pearl really is ready to leave the train.  She’s dead set on making a play for Tesla too.  I think Valentino isn’t the only one who needs help!

Will Tesla’s violet ray buy Valentino enough time?  If it’s not a cure, then what are they going to do to heal him?  Tune in again next week!

Real World Notes

The Violet Ray.  Invented by Nikola Tesla, the violet ray is a user-friendly, hand-held device that can be used with a variety of glass applicators, such as a bulb, a comb-rake, or a rod, each with a specific purpose. The glass is inserted into the tip of the hand-held section. After being plugged in and turned on, the appliance becomes a high-voltage, low amperage (current) source of static electricity.  Its discharge creates a violet color (hence, its name), a pleasant ozone smell – and a sizzling noise.

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there, and terrific blog posts too. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The remaining things Rob sent to drive Chapter 11 are Sarcophagus and Remote Control.  Your guess is as good as mine for what I’ll do with those things. 

I hope you will be at the station again next week to catch the diesel-punk train.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the oyster’s earrings!

Iset full black gown Lulu - Goddess-3 (1)

Don’t forget this mysterious woman.  I don’t think she blinked in just for the heck of it.

 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

See You Again (Atonement in Bloom)

Thanks to the inimitable Donna Parker for reviewing my soon to be released, Atonement in Boom. I was as blue as the story’s “blue rose of the impossible” — but not anymore! Comments are closed here, because I want everyone to browse Donna’s wonderful blog. 

Blue-Rose-Orb-52327

Donna’s posts are filled with a unique and marvelous sense of whimsy.  She is back from her break and in rare form. Please do visit.  Hugs!

yadadarcyyada

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/07/15/see-you-again/Sorry I’m not sorry…Not sorry I took a blogging break to question myself. I was seized with a feeling, a feeling that I had nothing else to say…I know that doesn’t stop some folks, but I didn’t want to waste my time or yours, you know, overstay my welcome.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/07/15/see-you-again/Then lately, everything I read or watched seemed to have the theme of atonement, redemption – maybe my brain was begging to reclaim my blog, atone for not believing in myself, redeem my poor little lonely blog sitting here, hoping against hope, to be read, so I thought, what the heck, a few more posts couldn’t hurt (er, famous last words?).https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/07/15/see-you-again/

  • Not sorry a couple of wonderful bloggers/authors, Teagan and John knew just how to lure me back, putting down Reese’s Pieces, or in this case, books/ARCs, to lead me back to blogging (Be Good).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/07/15/see-you-again/

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Whose Line Is It? Mine?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Welcome, everyone. There was an improvisational comedy show (1998 – 2004 or so) that always cracked me up.  I thought it was the best exercise in creativity that I’d ever seen.  It was “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”  Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, and Colin Mochrie could take any “line” and work hilarious magic. 

Those guys created characters, scenes, and songs on the spot, based on a line they were given.  Yet here I am… I already have the characters and scenes, sometimes even a song — all I need is that line…  That illusive opening line!

Why should that be so difficult?  Horsefeathers!  It’s worse than dating, or meeting the CEO of a big company for the first time.  I struggle with the opening line for days  weeks forever.  Then I wonder how important it actually was. 

Today I thought I’d share what I came up with for my Atonement, Tennessee series.  For the first book I began the prologue with this: Dawn’s light cast shadows that shifted amid branches of magnolia and mountain laurel, and danced upon statuary and grave stones. 

Lilith standing on stone

Lilith explores the Sunhold cemetery in “Atonement, Tennessee”

However, my wrongly wired brain complained, that was the prologue!  Did that qualify as the opening line?  So, I struggled all over again with a line for Chapter 1.  It’s hard to sound all fancy-dancy when writing in first person so that was even harder.  I finally settled on this:  I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, ready to savor the moment.

Of course, when I started writing book-2, I went through all that self-torment again.  Worse, I needed to be consistent and keep the magical prologue.  That meant I would go through that double wringer again for Atonement in Bloom.  The prologue begins: Lilith sat bathed in moonlight atop the stone wall, watching small bats dart about, high overhead. 

Then Ralda Lawton, takes over as narrator. Chapter-1 starts like this:  It had seen better days, but who hadn’t?

If I don’t enjoy writing that opening line, then what is my favorite line to write?  “The end.”  Naturally I enjoy writing every line in between.  It’s just that the first one’s a doozy. 

atonement-abandoned-moon

Image by Chris Graham

Reviews!

Frankly, I’ll never be satisfied with an opening line.  So, I’m going to focus on the positive.  Even though it’s been a few years since I published “Atonement” I still get excited about lovely reviews.  I’m downright giddy because recently it has gotten two!  Romance author, Jacquie Biggar posted a review from her blog. 

Author of mystery and suspense, Mae Clair posted this review at Amazon.

Like odd? Like quirky with a generous dollop of magical realism and whimsy thrown in? Then you’re going to love the little town of Atonement, Tennessee and the people (and others) who populate it. Vividly imagined, this is a light but intriguing tale filled with eccentric characters and imaginative plot lines. The shifting narrative between the main character, Esmeralda, and her cat, Lilith (told in 3rd person POV) works surprising well. A truly delightful and “magical” story!

By the way, Mae and Jacquie both have new releases.  Be sure to visit their blogs to learn more!

If you have any questions about the “Atonement-verse” feel free to leave them in a comment.  Also, do you have a favorite opening line from a book you love?  Leave that in a comment too.  I love to hear from you.

***

Here’s my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise. 

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 11.1

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Val Margosha getting on train All Abord

Rose and Valentino boarding the train back at the abandoned subway station.  Now Rose has left the train.  Valentino is gravely ill. Read on to find out what happens next!

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Summer is in full force and so is the diesel-punk train!  It’s great to see all you Sheiks and Shebas here at the station. 

You already know that this story is unplanned. I write it spontaneously as artist, illustrator, and “co-conspirator” Rob Goldstein sends new groups of “three things.”  However, that doesn’t mean that once I get a thing I don’t have to figure out how to evolve what exists of the plot to make it go with the thing.  (Did that make sense?)  This time it was taking me awhile to do that — get the characters, location, and the events that have happened so far — to mesh with the next thing.  So this episode doesn’t have a true thing.  I simply gave it a title.

Valentino Trumpet_The Mystic_Dark-2

Valentino calls us to the station with his trumpet, by Rob Goldstein

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Due to sabotage to the Tesla coil, Valentino’s train passed into a painting. Heroic efforts by the clockwork angel-bots brought everyone back onto the train.  However, they’re all still worried about Valentino.  Back at the Cotton Club he said that he didn’t have long to live.  Valentino’s health continues to diminish because of the damage to his connection with the train.

As the train traveled, Lulu caught a glimpse of mysterious and huge multicolored wings. 

Finally the train thudded into the sands of Egypt.  However, outside there were two Egypts and one of them was upside-down — people there were the opposite of what they were in our world. Rose spotted the opposite version of Tom Driberg there and she parted company with us to be with him.

The story picks up where Chapter 10.3 ended.  Now to Chapter 11.1.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 11.1

Papá

LuLu in Egypt 3 Valentino Gramps foreground

Valentino, Angel-bot, Lulu, Gramps and others, by Rob Goldstien

My hand was on the door to the “upside-down” Egypt.  I couldn’t just let Rose leave to be with Tom when he had caused so much trouble for her.  He willingly put her life in danger for the sake of his espionage. 

Yet when I saw the way that Tom looked at Rose I removed my hand from the door.  The angel-bot, Moon, had said people in that Egypt were the opposite of what they were in our world.  The expression on that Tom’s face was one of innocence and pure love.

“Señorita,” Moon began but he didn’t seem to know what to say.

“No one has ever looked at me like that,” I murmured.

“Señorita, are you unwell?” Moon asked.

I used the back of my hand to wipe my nose and sniffed, mumbling that I was fine.

Lulu hat reclining

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

Then I fell flat on my rump.

The train shifted dramatically to one side.  Only moments before, it had crashed into a sand dune.  I supposed it was not stable.  Neither was Valentino.  Abruptly I was worried about what harm the unexpected motion might have caused Valentino.  He was already deathly ill.

A fluttering sensation deep inside my ears caused me to shake my head.  It was the oddest feeling, and it wouldn’t stop.  The fluttering was like having a tiny bird caught inside my head.

It caused me to think of the large multicolored wings I glimpsed before.  Right after seeing those wings I had felt something thud against the top of the train.  I wondered if that impact led to its shift of position.  Did whatever it was hit the train?

My head started to buzz.  The lights flickered sharply, almost like the flash of a camera.

For an instant I saw a gorgeous woman wearing a long white gown.  Her black hair was like a smooth sheet of onyx.  In contrast to her elegance, I thought her little hat was funny.  Or maybe it was a crown, but it mostly looked like a tiny chair on top of her head.

Iset full black gown Lulu - Goddess-3 (1)

Mysterious for sure, but good or bad?  Rob Goldstein

Her eyes narrowed dangerously when I met her appraising gaze.  There was nothing funny about the look she gave me.

The lights flashed again and she vanished as quickly as she had appeared.  I shook my head again.  The fluttering sensation was gone.  After seeing that woman appear and disappear, I felt my head for a bump.  I didn’t remember hitting my head, and I hadn’t had a drink all day, but nobody could just pop into existence and then vanish like that.  I was sure I must have been seeing things.

Feeling disoriented, I struggled to my feet and looked outside.  The shift caused the train to tilt.  The ground was several feet below the door.  I wondered if I could jump that far without hurting myself.

I watched in unmoving astonishment as dozens of angel-bots swarmed out of the train.  It looked as though the clockwork attendants were trying to right the train. 

My foot caught on something and I fell again.  I saw Gramps headed toward me.

“Lulu, are you all right?” my grandfather asked.

Gramps effortlessly pulled me to my feet.  My grandfather’s speakeasy didn’t really need a bouncer when he was there.  He was still a strong man.  I wasn’t sure how I got my klutziness, but it didn’t come from him.  His big mustache was perfectly groomed and his bowtie was straight.  I doubted that he even stumbled when the train tilted.

Lulu Gramps Valentino control room blue

Lulu, Gramps, and Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

“I should go check on Valentino,” I told him.

Clicking from the heels of Pearl’s oxfords preceded her.  Glittering earrings that skimmed her bare shoulders swung as she walked.  Pearl always wore earrings.  Sometimes I thought that must be the first thing she put on in the mornings.  To Pearl, the longer and more dramatic the earrings the better.  However, something had spilled down the front of her beaded gown and her fair hair was mussed.

“Wicky, Wacky, and Woo are with Valentino,” Pearl told me as she walked toward us.  “He was raving something, but his speech was slurred.  It sounded like he kept asking about something, ‘Is it’ whatever.  I asked him ‘Is what?’ but he moaned and passed out again.”

Horsefeathers.  I didn’t know he was delirious.  He’s gotten worse then,” I murmured.

Gramps nodded and looked at me gravely.

“Lulu, how will we get home?” Pearl suddenly wailed.

Pearl started crying and Gramps put a fatherly arm around her shoulder.  She grabbed my hand.

Pearl_Lulu 1

Pearl by Rob Goldstein

“I’m sorry Lulu.  I shouldn’t have said what I did,” Pearl told me with a quick glance at Gramps.

I could tell that she didn’t want me to let my grandfather know what she had said.  (Chapter 10.2)  Pearl had spoken with heated contempt about “the kind of people” I was from, as she phrased it.

I wanted to shout at Pearl, to point out that she only apologized for saying out loud what she was thinking.  That wasn’t an apology.  It wasn’t any better than a thief being sorry he got caught.  She hadn’t shown any regret for what she felt. 

However, I didn’t say anything.  I didn’t want to even look at her.  So instead I pretended interest in Moon’s busy tinkering.

Moon opened a narrow panel next to the door.  I didn’t know what the engineering bot was trying to achieve.  Moon appeared to know all the mysterious workings of Valentino’s train.  With a click and a pop, the exit door opened.

It looked like the angel-bots outside had managed to brace the train to prevent it shifting again.  Then one of them pointed toward the Great Pyramid in the distance.  Abruptly they stopped their work.  All the clockwork creatures moved toward the one who pointed.

Val Lulu long skirt Rolls

Art by Rob Goldstein

A cloud of sand billowed behind an automobile as is sped toward us. 

“This is extraordinary!” Moon exclaimed.

“What do you mean?” I asked the automaton.

“It’s Papá!” Moon cried.

***

The End

***

Horsefeathers!  Now what?  Pearl wants forgiveness, but has no remorse for thinking Lulu and Gramps are second class.  A strange woman flickered in for an instant, and she didn’t look too happy to see Lulu.  And what the Sam Hill did Moon mean by Papá? 

Be at the station next week to find out more. 

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there, and terrific blog posts too. 

Real World Notes

Earrings.  Roaring Twenties fashion, including jewelry had a focus on movement.  The popularity of short haircuts resulted in the trend of long and dangling earrings. Earrings became a statement piece in their own right, rather than an afterthought.  Here’s an article with lovely pictures.

Did you notice the bit in this chapter about Pearl and those long earrings?  Keep an eye out next time for something related to those earrings. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  Next of the random “things” Rob sent to drive Chapter 11 is Violet Ray.  We’ll see where that takes this diesel-punk train and who else comes aboard! 

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the oyster’s earrings! 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.