The Delta Pearl 3 — Face

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Welcome, my chuckaboos!  Even though we don’t see one another face-to-face, I do feel you are my dear friends.

jenna-coleman-as-emeraude
Jenna Coleman, my original Émeraude

Regardless of physical appeal — and I acknowledge the endlessly different standards of beauty, faces are usually important to how we imagine stories.  Whether we’re writing tales or reading them, seeing a character’s face helps. No matter whether it is handsome or ugly.

When I found the steampunk image that is the basis for the cover of The Delta Pearl, the woman made me think of Jenna Coleman, pictured above.  I saw her as Émeraude.

However, as I began this serial, a re-write of the unfinished novel (and revamped the look of this blog), I ran across the image of the steampunk girl in my banner. (Thank you Pixabay.)  The young girl in my banner reminded me of the Claudia Donovan character as she was in the first season of Warehouse 13 (a young Allison Scagliotti).

Émeraude suddenly became younger, a teenager. That will add a few new elements to this re-write.  I think having a teenaged heroine might be even more fun than the original.

This week’s random reader things:

Vintage boot figurine, by Dan Antion
Vintage boot figurine, by Dan Antion

Dyanna Wyndesong left Parasol.  I already had a parasol for my original Émeraude, and I thought it would be fine to give the teenager one as well.  Adele Marie Park left Button BootsÉmeraude is becoming a young lady so I gave her those too.  Also Jan Sikes gave us a long but lovely thing which I abbreviated to Jeweled Cane.

Thanks to Dan Antion for letting me use his photos as much as I am able for this serial.  

Last time, in Chapter 2 — Fret our young heroine was worried about a couple of things, including why Captain Cecil Perlog gave her a task he usually kept for himself.  We also met more of the crew.  There was Agate, also called the Cook.  Also, Blue John Boulton, who is just as often called the First Mate.  We’ll gradually learn more about him. 

This time I’ll introduce you to another crewman, and some of the passengers who have just gotten aboard the riverboat.  However, we couldn’t get to all the passengers today. You’ll meet more of them next time. 

I hear the whistle of the #Steampunk riverboat…  All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 3 — Face

Allison_Scagliotti as Emeraude, Public domain images
Allison_Scagliotti as Emeraude, Public domain images

The river’s gentle breeze parted the lace curtains and tickled my cheek.  My excitement mingled with concern as Blue John, the First Mate, spoke the message from our skipper.

Captain Cecil Perlog was firm about the importance of what he called the “first face.”  He also insisted that whenever possible, the first face new passengers saw when they were greeted upon boarding the Delta Pearl should be the captain ― him.  However, there had been a few times when other matters caused him to pass the duty to a senior crew-member.

The honor wasn’t all beer and skittles.  The first face also had to face the passengers.  If they came aboard the Delta Pearl with any gripes, most would air them right away.  It meant confronting problems head-on.

The task had never been delegated to me.  I certainly wasn’t one of the senior crew.  Even though I was excited to cover that duty, I had to wonder what the trouble was on the bridge.

“It’s likely something mundane,” I told myself.  “Like a breeze scattering the maritime charts and wreaking havoc.  It wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened.”

I stared blankly at Blue John’s back as he left to return to his duties.

China cup by Dan Antion
China cup by Dan Antion

Jaspe, the Dealer, strolled up to the desk.  He moved so gracefully that the coffee in the china cup he held was not disturbed by so much as a ripple.

“Go ahead, cher.  I’ll mind the desk for you and make sure everyone signs your register.  Although you’d best take that parasol,” he suggested with a glance at my bare arms.  “The sun is bright this morning.”

“Oh Jaspe, really!” I started to protest.

Like most of the crew, I echoed the Dealer’s quasi French pronunciation of the name Jaspe, ZASH-pah.  It was he who began the practice of me being called Émeraude rather than Emerald.  However, it didn’t seem to bother him in the least if someone referred to him by the Americanized articulation Jaspe, or even the English word Jasper.

Dutifully I picked up the lace umbrella without finishing my complaint.  The Dealer often reminded me to be careful of my complexion when in the sun.  Though I wanted to tease him about being such a mother hen, I bit my tongue.  His features were not terribly animated, so I was never sure if a bit of teasing hurt his feelings.

As I walked toward the door, Jaspe motioned to a nearby busboy.  The Dealer asked him to relay a message to Agate from him.

“Ask the Cook to please make some iced tea with peppermint and send it up to the bridge.  Methinks the Captain and the First Mate could use something refreshing.”

Perhaps the problem on the bridge was not so mundane if Jaspe was even that concerned.  I tried to swallow my jitters.

***

Khusen Rustamov at Pixabay
Khusen Rustamov at Pixabay

“Well, ain’t you a right popsy wopsy.  You look pretty in the gown, Emmie,” Agate said.  “I told you it would be a fine fit with a nip or a tuck here and there.  You’ll soon be a proper young lady with your Sweet Sixteen.  It seems only yesterday you were a wee bairn.”

The Cook gave my cheek an unwanted tweak and hurried on her way.

I looked down at her beautiful handiwork and called out my gratitude to her departing figure.  She waved over her shoulder, but kept on her way.

The emerald green taffeta of my gown rustled as I walked across the deck.  I twirled the parasol whimsically until I came into view of the boarding patrons.  My heels clicked against the wooden deck.  The button boots were dyed to match the exact hue of my gown.

I usually wore green of one type or another.  However, I made a point of wearing that particular rich shade of green any time we took on a new group of passengers.  Seeing emerald green helped them remember my name — Émeraude.

My gown was lightly embellished with jet beads and a touch of black lace.  If that seems inappropriate for morning wear, remember that on the Delta Pearl, the first meeting with a new group of passengers was a formal event.

The continuous variety of guests who came aboard was one of my favorite parts of life on the riverboat.  Meeting them was always interesting.

Lafayette, Louisiana. Steampunk Festival 2012, Wikimedia (altered)
Lafayette, Louisiana. Steampunk Festival 2012, Wikimedia (altered)

Passage on the Delta Pearl was an exclusive purchase.  All manner of fancy people walked up her gangway.  Through their stories of their own lives, homes, and histories I vicariously traveled far and wide — covering much more of the world than could a riverboat.

I put on a smile that I didn’t quite feel, as I approached the passengers.  It wouldn’t do to appear nervous.  I was expected to be professional, yet kind and friendly to them.  Part of that friendliness was remembering their names.  That was not a skill that came naturally to me, but I tried.

A small fuzzy dog barked excitedly and struggled free of the arms of her mistress.  The woman cried out in dismay, but she was in luck.  Sid, also called the Cadet, scooped up the canine as it bounded past him.

The woman thanked him effusively.  Her face was flushed as she murmured something to her husband.  Light flashed off the amber that topped the gentleman’s jeweled cane as he moved it.  Then he reached inside his morning coat and then palmed an apparently generous tip to the Cadet.

“That was quick action, young man.  It’s a quality a self-made man like myself can appreciate.  What’s your name, son?” Mr. Needleman asked.

“Obsidian Durango, sir.  Mostly I’m called Sid or Cadet,” he doffed his cap and replied.

“A good strong name, young Sid.  I believe Durango means strong, doesn’t it?” Needleman confirmed.

Sid bowed and went back to his chores.  Appreciation was in his green eyes, which shone as brightly as the obsidian for which he was named.

The couple was Randal and Eliza Needleman.  That was indeed a well-to-do pair and they looked every inch of it.  They were well-rigged from their hats to their boots.  Eliza Needleman was perhaps the most perfectly groomed woman I had ever seen.

Victoria-Transvaal Diamond 1951_Wikimedia
Victoria-Transvaal Diamond 1951_Wikimedia

Mrs. Needleman subtly but repeatedly redirected her husband’s wandering attention to herself.  She did not seem “needy” in doing so.  She simply seemed entitled to it.  Yet she was not silly or frilly.  In fact, she seemed downright fierce.

The largest diamond I had ever seen hung from a simple chain at her solar plexus.  The yellow diamond caught the morning sun.  It sparkled not like a star, but like an entire constellation of them.

“Did you see that, Sid?” a deckhand whispered excitedly to the Cadet.  “If that’s not the Pharaoh Diamond, then I’m a monkey’s uncle!  They say it’s cursed, you know.”

The Cadet was congenial, if rough around the edges.  Only a few crew members were my age.  I probably should have sought out his friendship, but I felt unaccountably awkward around him.  He often teased me.  Boys could be so immature.

“Don’t talk foolishness,” Sid replied.

For a moment I thought Obsidian might have a little sense.  However, he proved me wrong with his next sentence.

“It’s the Hope Diamond that’s cursed.  Besides, that there diamond’s whopping big, but it ain’t no forty-five karats, and that’s how big the Hope Diamond is,” the Cadet stated.

“Oh really?  As if you’d know the difference between one karat and forty-five if they were set in front of you,” the deckhand argued.  “The Pharaoh Diamond is 38 karats, for your information.  And it’s a yellow diamond, whereas the Hope Diamond is blue,” the deckhand stated.

I felt it was unusual that those two should know even that much about diamonds.  I was tempted to get into the conversation even though Sid would probably tease me.

Photo by Dan Antion
Photo by Dan Antion

However, the workday had begun and I had been given an important task.  So, I shushed the both of them.  The crew wasn’t permitted to discuss the passengers while we were above deck.

When the dog got loose, interrupted my expected routine.  I became nervous, but I had to return to my task as first face.  I put the smile back on my face.

A slightly built man tipped his hat and listened attentively as I began my little welcome speech.  He also seemed to pay careful attention to the basic information I delivered about the Delta Pearl and her amenities.  A closer look told me he was much younger than I had first thought.

He may have been a bit retiring, but he was mannerly.  He wore spectacles.  His clothes were neat and conservative, as was his hair.  He introduced himself as Dr. Victor T. Elam and whispered to me that he was an inventor.

After a moment I recognized the name.  There had been articles about him and his imaginative inventions in periodicals and newspapers every now and then for the past few years.  I expected a much older man.  However, the gleam of intelligence shone in his eyes.  I had no doubt he was the famous but reclusive inventor.

I found Dr. Elam unaccountably attractive.  In fact, I thought he was positively ripper.  My smile became brighter.

Not that he was a classically handsome man at all.  Rather, it was everything else.  He was so respectful in his interactions with everyone from the obviously wealthy Needleman couple to the porters who helped with his over-sized luggage.

Polite and respectful, intelligent and imaginative too — his imperfect features grow more handsome by the minute, I thought.

Vintage luggage cart Dan Antion
Photo by Dan Antion

In addition to his valise, Dr. Elam brought a towering portmanteau.  That large item of luggage was covered in stiff leather.  It was so big that wheels were affixed to the bottom.  He struggled to maneuver it by himself.

I could tell he wasn’t about to let it out of his sight.  I called two porters to assist the doctor.  I was right.  He was exceptionally protective of all his luggage, as his hysterics proved when a tilted piece of baggage gave the sound of metal clanging.

“Please, please, be careful!” Elam cried.

With another noise, a metal canister came free of the luggage.  It rolled across the deck to stop at my feet.

“Oh no!” the inventor yelled.

Elam’s expression was one of utter mortification.  His face blanched and his eyes bulged.  He was obviously panicked, and it frightened me.

I jumped backward from the canister.

***

End Chapter 3

***

If you haven’t already done so — or even if you have, I invite you to leave  a random non-modern thing, to help drive the story.  Please limit your description of the “thing” to two words if possible.  Remember any technology-thing you offer needs to be appropriate to the Steam Era. 

I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment, whether or not you leave a thing.

Happy weekend, my chuckaboos!

***

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125 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 3 — Face

    1. Dear Jennie, it’s great to see you on the riverboat again. Thanks so much, my chuckaboo! It takes longer than I’d like to get everyone aboard, However, some people have complained (with past serials) that episodes are too long. So, I had the rock and the hard place issue. I hope you will enjoy the ride, despite the slow paddlewheel pace. 😉 Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The episodes were not too long, Teagan. I will never miss an episode! My family visiting put a small stop to reading my fellow blogger’s posts, especially the Delta Pearl. I am loving the ride!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Emerald is my birthstone. Beautiful but, very powerful so I seldom wear mine exposed. Mostly I wear mine concealed. Diamonds too hit me with their power and I prefer them concealed or small if exposed. Yeah, I know you’re thinking…that’s really weird. Most women flaunt their diamonds and gemstones. Those two just don’t feel right on me exposed. He-Man’s not happy about that b/c he’s bought me diamonds and emeralds and what do I with them? Keep them in the safe or wear them seldom, and if I do wear them I tend to keep them out of sight.

    Wearing an Emerald colored dress with jewels isn’t me, but I’m struck with the characters ability to be so shy and yet wear such powerful stones and colors!

    What got loose from the valise? I hope it’s not something acidic that spills! On to the next installment to find out!

    Wonderful installment and vocabulary Teagan! I’m really enjoying the French thrown in here and there along with old words that we never use anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deborah, thanks so much for this lovely comment. I remember you mentioning your birthstone, but not the rest of what you said. That didn’t seem strange to me at all. When I call myself a “rock geek” that’s my way around trying to explain to the average person, how much I resonate with them. I’ve forgotten most of them now, but years ago I was collecting the legends and metaphysical properties about them. That love of gems resulted in characters in this story being named after stones. Diamonds and emeralds are indeed powerful stones.
      For me, the one I love but usually don’t wear is malachite. It is so strong to broadcast one’s emotions. So I never wear it when I’m in situations, meetings, groups, where there might be any sort of disagreement or stress.
      I find ametrine very soothing.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for spending part of your holiday here, my chuckaboo. Robbie, I had the Victor character pretty clearly in my mind for the original version of this story. However, in the rewrite, he got a little younger, along with Emeraude. Now he’s … reshaping. Making him a few years younger than before, might give him some new traits. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

  2. Hi Teagan, I came back to this because I thought I missed a few things on the first read. And I did.

    “Jaspe, the Dealer, strolled up to the desk. He moved so gracefully that the coffee in the china cup he held was not disturbed by so much as a ripple.”

    I loved this. The focus on the coffee cup is cinematic.

    ““The woman thanked him effusively. Her face was flushed as she murmured something to her husband. Light flashed off the amber that topped the gentleman’s jeweled cane as he moved it. Then he reached inside his morning coat and then palmed an apparently generous tip to the Cadet”

    Another flash of cinema. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob, I really appreciate these examples. I don’t always know when I’ve gotten a detail to resonate with the reader. This is very helpful. Sometimes I’m conscious of trying to create a “verbal Hitchcock” … Sometimes I just get lucky. Great big hug, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maggie, my chuckaboo, I hope you are having a marvelous Monday. It could be helpful feedback to know which character has intrigued you — you don’t need to say why. Serials can make for a great “beta read” in this way. 🙂 Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I see! One of the small cushion-like bustles rather than the “frame” kind. That’s a terrific thing Valentina.
      Yes, Jenna Coleman is a lovely and talented person. I think perhaps the Alison Emeraude grows up into the Jenna Emeraude. 😉 Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Allright! It’s a good chapter, setting things to come…up! I’m enjoying my trip aboard the riverboat, so far, although I’ve just boarded.

    I might be repeating things, as a late comer, so bear with me: Tempest Prognosticator, aka Leech Barometer

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful description of her dress and her button boots, so happy you included them. My Mam got a brand new pair of button boots as a child and wore them to her Irish dance class when asked to remove them, she didn’t and was promptly chucked out. She was so proud of her new button boots. I’m off for a well deserved weeks holiday, so will catch you on the flip side, love, love this tale, Teagan. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, my! I wonder what’s in that canister. Great episode this week.

    BTW, I cast Allison Scagliotti as a character once, too. (Jo in my Medici Protectorate series.) I love her in everything I’ve seen her in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A.S. would be a marvelous Jo! I like her singing too. In Warehouse 13 they did one scene where she plays part of an acoustic version of Cherry Bomb… and it was the bomb. I looked high and low for it as a recording, but never found it.
      Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh that one is terrific too. I had forgotten about it. The one I mean is a very short scene (maybe not even the same episode, I’m not sure). It’s just Claudia and her guitar — a more laidback version of the song. I’d love to find it as a “record” of some sort.
          Thanks for this one! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    All aboard the Delta Pearl along with a mixed bag of other passengers who seem to be well heeled and bejeweled. Émeraude beautifully attired as befits her name, is the face of the ship and crew, an honour that she is uncertain does not raise certain concerns about the need for iced tea with added herbal stimulants… Head over and enjoy the boarding party…and meet more of the crew at the same time. #recommended

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A most interesting turn of events! I immediately liked the inventor and it made me smile that Emeraude thought him to be handsome, even though he wasn’t. No telling what all is in those bags AND that cannister! Great segment. Great descriptions that drew me right into the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The canister…what’s in it? What deep, dark, awful secret does it hold? Is there a big hairy spider in there? A horrible experiment about to be unleashed on the ship? What?

    Another Saturday and another great chapter that leaves me contemplating the answers to these questions. Excellent, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tee-hee! Mary J, you just became the radio voice at the end of an episode (in my head). 😀 A hairy friend for clockwork Amethyst perhaps? Or maybe an experimental vapor of absinth that makes everyone drunk. No wait, I’ve already done that one. (Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.) I’m so glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for being on the riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. What a relief, Rob! I didn’t know if anyone would see my sense of humor in that scene. I was having a sort of Peter Sellers/Pink Panther moment. That happens now and then with this story, but I just don’t know if it is anything most people would pick up… So thank you for that specific comment, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed this section Teagan. The part that brought back memories was the cursed Pharaoh Diamond. For some reason it feels like the kind of Southern legend one hears in parts of the Deep South. Charleston was steeped in haunted houses, and cursed diamonds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Rob. That kind of old, old urban legend feeling is exactly what inspired my idea for the Delta Pearl — for the mysterious things about the riverboat itself. With real world Victorians being fascinated with all things Egyptian and “oriental,” spiritualism, not to mention my determination to give all the crew characters gemstone names — the argument about the diamond (cursed or not) seemed to spring naturally to mind. Plus, in that era, more than one novel was written about a stolen diamond (or other gem). It’s all intertwined in my constantly twisting mind. 🙂 Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. And more characters to meet still. Hopefully they aren’t overwhelming for a serial. I sometimes think of a steampunk version of the Love Boat. LOL. Although completely different… Okay, don’t try and make sense of that, Jacquie. o_O I’m so glad you are on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Teagan, new and very interesting dilemma with the mysterious canister. And what’s Emmie’s attraction to Dr . Elam? I know she’s only 17, but…something about him caught her eye! Bet she gets involved with an invention he’s working on. I see Emmie as quite the inquisitive type. I love the new characters, and Agate, the classy cook with her chignon. The Delta Pearl story is so much fun to think about in terms of what’s next. Can’t wait to read where your imagination takes you in the next chapter. Have a peaceful weekend. Hugs, my friend! 📚🎶 Christy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Christine, still my chuckaboo by any name, you’ve made my day! If I write anything that leaves a reader thinking about the story after they’ve closed the “book” (whatever form the book takes) then that’s what keeps me going. As for Em and the inventor… I think she has her own standard of beauty. 😉 Great big hug right back! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to see you, John. About the diamonds, it’s mostly truth. It started with me researching cursed diamonds and knowing the Victorians were fascinated with Egypt (hence the name of mine). I didn’t want to use the Hope Diamond (been done too many times), but it was a point of comparison. Bits about the Hope Diamond come from my research, so that much it true.

      The Pharaoh Diamond is of my own creation. I based it on an actual gem (for color, carats, and timeframe), but I’ve lost my research now, and couldn’t say which diamond inspired it. (I was looking just now.) There have been many much, much larger yellow diamonds, but I remember that for that era, it would have been huge. I’m glad you asked, my chuckaboo. You know I’m a research geek. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  11. The cast of characters is growing. A huge diamond should make for some shenanigans. And the attractive Mr. Elam has raised my curiosity. And what is in the canister to cause such fright? I enjoyed the installment, Teagan. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh the corner into which I’ve written myself with that canister, my chuckaboo! The “thing” I meant to have inside it — well it turns out that thing would never be in a canister at all. Now it’s as much a mystery to me as anyone else! Heartfelt thanks for spending time here, Diana. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Peppermint tea for the captain and first mate….perhaps their stomachs needed quieting down. A mysterious canister, not to mention the rest of Dr. Elam’s luggage. Two deck hands unusually well-versed regarding diamonds.

    You are so clever when you describe your characters Teagan…you make me feel like I know them!! This cast of characters is quite a potpourri and I don’t think they’re going to disappoint in keeping us entertained.

    But here’s the biggest mystery….Dan Antion worked on a riverboat! What hasn’t our Dan done?! 😂😂

    Have a wonderful weekend my friend. I think we need two Saturday’s in a week!!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Saturday, Ginger! I’m so happy you are enjoying the characters. My brain leans toward multi-character stories, and I worry that describing all of them can bog down a serial. and/or confuse readers. For the original (unfinished) version of this story, I was influenced by Gene Rodenberry’s original Star Trek, with characters from everywhere all working together and getting along.

      Also, back then (3 years ago with the original) Dan mentioned his youthful job on a riverboat. When I brought the story back, I had forgotten that, until he mentioned it recently. I think it’s fun to have that connection to the story.
      Time is flying faster than ever this year — I’d vote for an extra Saturday too, my chuckaboo! Hugs.

      Like

    2. I’m chuckling at your comment, Ginger. I was about Émeraude’s age when I worked for a catering company that provided food to a riverboat fleet in Pittsburgh. I spent about a year, sailing along on the Captain’s Dinner cruise each night. It was a three hour cruise, with one-hour of food service, and two hours hanging out with the crew. The Delta Pearl feels like home.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sigh… My Internet went out again and I lost my reply to your comment, Michael. I know you have Internet problems too. Anyhow, I’m delighted that you enjoyed the story and images. Thanks very much for taking time to read and comment. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I can see by my pocket-watch that Emeraude is right on schedule with boarding the new passengers. We have 2 mysteries now, the Captain and the canister, this has all the ear marks of becoming quite intriguing.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I feel like I’m on board with you this quirky crew. I love how your letting Emeraude’s thoughts, memories and feelings describe the people.

    “His features were not terribly animated, so I was never sure if a bit of teasing hurt his feelings.”

    That line tells me something important about both characters.

    I worked on a riverboat, and deck hands will argue about anything. That exchange between them actually sounded familiar.

    I’m intrigued with that canister and that character. I can’t wait for the rest to get on board.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Joanne, it was a happy accident for me that Dan would have real world knowledge (and pictures of) riverboats. I had completely forgotten that he mentioned that experience 3 years ago when I was first blogging about the original version of this story. He mentioned it recently and I had a big Homer Simpson Duh! moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did, Joanne. As I replied to Ginger, I was about Émeraude’s age when I worked for a catering company that provided food to a riverboat fleet in Pittsburgh. I mostly delivered food to the Captain’s Dinner cruise. Three hours of service and a little mayhem each night for about a year. Food included, but the same meal, night after night.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, your feedback is always so very useful. Thank you, my chuckaboo. I believe that in this kind of pre-electronic, pre-mass-anything setting, gossipy news articles would have intrigued people just as much (or more) than our reality TV and “rag” or scandal newspapers. To me, the deckhands would have devoured information about cursed (and otherwise) diamonds, as much as they might read comic books in our world. So, I play on what would be entertainment on the Delta Pearl, in a couple of subplots in this story.
      Your guess is as good as mine about the canister. I learned that the “thing” I meant to put in it, would never be in a canister. Now I have to hurry up and figure out what a steampunk inventor might have in a metal canister… LOL o_O. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Priscilla, my chuckaboo, I’m happy Sid has a friend in you. He was only an unnamed deckhand in the original (unfinished) version. When Emeraude suddenly became a teenager in this rewrite, I wanted her to have an age-mate — and Obsidian popped into my head. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs!

      Like

    1. Haha! Ya know! (the diamond). I have these Peter Sellers/Pink Panther moments when writing this story, Hugh. Although I don’t think I’m getting that aspect across, so I’ll try and control myself.
      I’m relieved to have that feedback about the characters. Writing what readers can absorb in a weekly serial is so very different from novel writing. I worry that so many characters will bog down the story and/or confuse the readers. But what’s a riverboat without crew and passengers? I’m proceeding with extreme caution…
      Heartfelt thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Denise, it’s lovely to see you, my chuckaboo! 🙂 I was actually poking fun at myself and writing process with the deckhands & diamonds. LOL. Maybe it’s natural for them to know about diamonds, working/living on a boat where crew are named for gemstones…
      That canister was supposed to contain a “reader thing”… then after I got that scene in my head, I learned that “thing” would not be in a canister at all… I seem to be painting myself into multiple corners, but I’ll figure it out one way or another! Happy weekend hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tim! I was actually poking fun at myself and writing process with the knowledgeable deckhands. LOL, I seem to be painting myself into multiple corners. 😀 Maybe it would be natural for them to know about diamonds, working/living on a boat where crew are named for gemstones… I’ll figure out something. What I really need to figure out is what is in that canister! o_O. Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

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