The Delta Pearl, 14 — Drink, & an Announcement

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Atonement, TN Collection, Image by Teagan Geneviene
The Atonement, TN Collection. Image by Teagan Geneviene

Hello, my chuckaboos!  Welcome back to the magical #steampunk riverboat, the The Delta Pearl.  

I have a chatty intro this weekend.  Most of it is rooted in National Novel Writing Month,  so that’s were I’ll begin.

This is my eighth year to participate in “NaNoWriMo.” Horror of horrors I’m behind on my average daily word count!  (Hey, I saw you roll your eyes.) Everyone tells me “You always say that, Teagan, but you always manage to do it.”  Okay, I admit that. However, the only NaNoWriMo novel I have published, the only one I’ve been satisfied enough with is Atonement, Tennessee.  (I’ve done the editing version of NaNo for a couple of my published books.)  The others await finishing touches… or more.

This year, with my creativity-draining job left behind, I hoped (I mean hope!) to produce another great product, one that doesn’t need extensive rewriting before I’m satisfied with it. You know I’m about to say how my time is being consumed by that, rather than blogging, writing the serial, or cleaning ths house, blah-blah-blah.  So, I’ll just say that’s Item-1.

Because of Item-1, I didn’t do the re-write of this chapter of The Delta Pearl.  My “item” with that is when I made Émeraude younger, this chapter didn’t work for me any more. I hate to post it that way. I would alter Agate’s participation in this chapter, and let the results be a prank by our mysterious trouble-maker, or maybe Obsidian, or even Onyx. If you want to know what I’m talking about, you’ll have to read below.  Oh, also, since I didn’t do the re-write there aren’t any “random things” from readers. Okay– that’s Item-2.

Now to Item-3. 

Pre-Holiday Sale!

All of my ebooks are now at a pre-holiday sale price!  A convenient way for you to see everything at once is this handy “universal link” (all countries) to my Amazon Author Page.  

Finally, Item-4.  I hope you’ll leave a friendly comment, but I might be slow to reply.  I’m also squeezing out some time to head more than an hour north of my home, to a village in the Sierra Blanca mountain range.  (You know that is a big challenge to my agoraphobia, so I’m bracing myself.  I’m grateful for the friend who is willing to drag me out of my house.)  I hope to see some fall colors, but I’m not sure what to expect, since this is my first autumn here. 

Now I’m off to “WriMo-mo-mo!” as I like to say — which also explains the video above.

Let’s get back on the riverboat.  If you want to review, click the link for Chapter 13 — Agitate.  

All aboard! 

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 14 — Drink

Jean Beraud_The Backgammon Players
The Backgammon Players by Jean Beraud 1849-1935

My bland gaze focused on the swirl of the cream in my tea and the pattern it made after I stopped stirring.

“A sip of that tea will be a step in the right direction, Emmie my dear,” the Cook told me, her Scottish accent particularly strong.  “You’ve been moping aboot this auld boat all day.  Mibbe you need a hauf of whiskey in that cup of tea.  Your sweet sixteen is near enough that you might have a wee nip.  Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d think there was a man behind your mood.”

I inadvertently glanced into her eyes.  I looked away quickly but she had caught the expression in my gaze.

“Wha— so it is a man that has you skulking.  Which of them wankers is it?  And what did he do to you?  There’s nothing that can cause misery quicker than a man.  Still not talking, eh?  At least drink your tea,” she urged.

No one could compete with Agate.  When she was bent on getting to the bottom of a thing, she had no equal.  I drank my tea, making sure I didn’t meet her eyes again.

“I’m not thinking the Captain has hurt your feelings, else I’d have known about it already.  If one of the porters or deckhands got a mite too friendly, why I reckon you would have just knocked him one yer own self,” the Cook said in a pondering tone.

She picked up a crystal decanter and made as if to pour some of the whiskey it contained into my tea.  I quickly put my hand over the cup.

Aline Masson drinking Hot Chocolate Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta Wikipedia
Aline Masson drinking Hot Chocolate, by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta Wikipedia

“Oh, that’s right.  You don’t like whiskey.  Hows aboot some of that Russian stuff then?” she asked and quickly turned to the liquor cabinet to retrieve a bottle of vodka.

I didn’t try to stop her when she poured a small splash into my cup.  One has to choose one’s battles, after all.

“There we go.  A little nip-kiss of vodka will do if you won’t have a proper Scotch whiskey.  Alright then, so it must be one of the passengers,” Agate supposed.

I dropped my head against the table.  The woman was like a snapping turtle — she wouldn’t let go of something until it thundered or the sun went down.

“Agate, please just—” I begged to no avail.

“I wouldn’t put it past that minted Needleman to try and seduce an innocent lass.  Rich folk got no respect that way.  But he’s a married man, so I know you would have put a stop to that before it started.  And it couldn’t be that speccy inventor.  Not a little milquetoast like that with his spectacles and all…” her voice trailed away in an obviously leading tone.

I poured more vodka into my tea while she wasn’t looking.  After all, it had been her idea in the first place.  While the Cook would have found it proper enough for me drink a small, supervised amount of liquor, she would not have approved of the cupful I poured into my tea… or the next cupful.

Agate had figured out my crush.  There was no telling what sort of well-intentioned “help” might ensue.

***

Allison Scagliotti as Émeraude. Composite of Pixabay & public domain images by Teagan
Allison Scagliotti as Émeraude. Composite of Pixabay & public domain images by Teagan

The river seemed angrily rough as I staggered back toward my quarters.  Somehow, I managed to take a wrong turn and ended up outside the Chandelier Deck.  I paused, feeling most confused.

The unexpected sound of voices behind me caused me to turn.  Unfortunately, I moved too fast and my head swam as if the Delta Pearl had been pulled into a whirlpool.  Or at least that was how it felt.  I stumbled and grabbed the railing.

Maybe that was why the Cook would only have approved the little splash of vodka.

“Oh my goodness!  Are you alright?” asked Alison Ritchie.

The runaway socialite was once again in her guise as the boy, Alex Rice.  She took one of my arms and her secret paramour, Azalea Morton took my other arm.  Between the two of them, they managed to steady me.  Sadly, I didn’t think my inebriated state was lost on them.  When I hiccupped, there was no longer any doubt.

“I was just… I was just about to… Do something, but I’ve no idea what it was just now,” I told them abashedly.

Azalea started to giggle.

“Your hair is a mess, dear Émeraude,” she told me as she moved a strand that had fallen across my eyes.  “I think perhaps you were about to come to our cabin,” she added with another giggle as she stroked my cheek.

“Um, no.  That wasn’t it,” I replied in all seriousness, having completely missed her innuendo.

“Come now, Azalea,” Alex/Alison chided her.  “That wouldn’t be right.  It’s not decent to take advantage of an intoxicated woman.”

Laughter sputtered from my lips as her meaning finally registered.

“Oh no!  What kind of governess are you?  Ah, I’m sorry.  You are merely teasing.  Besides, three is a crowd.”

“Well…” Azalea began, but her partner cut off her reply.

Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan 1958 Gigi Wikipedia
Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan 1958 Gigi Wikipedia

Then I saw the Dealer beyond the etched glass doors. 

“Oh, that’s it.  I needed to see the Dealer,” I replied and hurriedly made my exit.

Unfortunately, I failed to open the doors before trying to go inside and I walked right into them despite the fact that they were closed.  A tiny crack appeared at one of the etched designs.  The young women hurried forward to open the doors for me, giggling the while.  When I was safely inside, they went on their way.

I rubbed a sore spot on my forehead, uncertain why it hurt.  Oh yes, the doors.  Again, I spotted the tiny crack my noggin made in the glass.  I watched in wonder as the Delta Pearl healed the slight damage to her glass.

When I turned back, Jaspe was right beside me.  He was damnably quite that one.  It startled me.  When I gasped I hiccupped again.

ZAASH paaah,” I began, trying to use his accent.  “I’m not sure we should be dancing right now,” I told him when he put a steadying hand to my back.  “You’re twirling me around a little too fast.”

“Émeraude, we are not dancing.  In fact, we are not moving at all.  Is the Cook to blame for your intoxicated state?” he asked, sounding rather put-out.

“No, no.  Agate would not do that.  You know how proper she is…  Or I guess she isn’t all that proper at that.  But Agate only gave me tea.  You know I don’t like whiskey.  She didn’t put any whiskey in my tea.  It was the vodka,” I explained.

***

End Chapter 14

***

NaNoWriMo banner 2019

Thanks for reading, my chuckaboos.  I hope you’ll leave a comment — and if you want, include an appropriate random thing to go in a future chapter. I will definitely go back to using the things.

Feel free to comment or ask about National Novel Writing Month as well.

I’ll be waiting for you at the steampunk riverboat next time!  

***

Now for the obligatory shameless self-promotion…

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

Amazon UK

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

A Ghost in the Kitchen by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Universal link Kindle/e-book A Ghost in the Kitchen

Universal link paperback  A Ghost in the Kitchen

Amazon universal link (Kindle/e-book) Brother Love — a Crossroad

Amazon universal link (paperback) Brother Love — a Crossroad

 

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

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USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

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USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

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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 © 2016 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.

 


67 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl, 14 — Drink, & an Announcement

    1. You can do it, Teri! I know what you mean, though. I was hoping to produce a good, clean product this year. But I think half of what I’m doing will end on “the cutting room floor.” I’m happy with my story (idea), but I’ll be lucky if I get a short novella out of it when all is said and done. Still — tally ho! Time to WriMo-mo-mo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Kirt. It was a beautiful day in the mountains. I was exhausted when I got home (because of my agoraphobia stuff). Right now I’m trying to acknowledge that just going at all was an accomplishment.
      I’m sorry to be behind on blog visits. I’m pouring all my energy into Novel Writing Month. Hoping to produce a good product this year, not just “finish.”
      Anyhow, I’m delighted you enjoyed this chapter, my chuckaboo! Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rob. While I’m putting all my energy into Novel Writing Month, and I’ll be disappointed in myself if I don’t end with a good product, I don’t feel too stressed with it. Everything else is an entirely different and stressful matter though! LOL.
      I was two full days behind on my word count. Today I did (for me) the impossible and got caught up in a single day. I write slowly, so that is HUGE for me. It was useable content too, no filler that I’d end up deleting later. Now if I can just keep up the quality and the pace. Thanks for taking time to visit, my chuckaboo.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Mary. It was good, and I was able to keep my “reaction” to it stomped down enough to enjoy myself. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and there were some nice yellow leaves among the pines. But by the time I got home that afternoon, I was beyond exhausted (from suppressed anxiety). I’m finally getting some energy back.
      I know you’ve got some fiercely cold weather. Please take good care of you, my chuckaboo!
      Thanks for sharing my book promo on Facebook.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennie. I was kicking myself last night — because I forgot to take pictures. Getting out like that is basically overwhelming for me, even when a considerate friend is there doing the driving. I still had a great time though. There were a good amount of yellow leaves (various shades of gold/yellow), although many of the trees are either still green or moving straithg from green to brown. That part of those mountains is covered with tall pines, so not as much fall color as there might otherwise be. (Except for a large mountain in the distance that was decimated by fire years ago — it’s just bald.) The town, Ruidoso) is charming and the shops had interesting and unique things. Thanks for being on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. There are several places like that, within a similar distance, and closer. But the roads are steeper and more twisting… and so, more intimidating for me. I just wish I could get myself out alone, to someplace other than, or farther than my grocery store. Just getting there is an absurdly difficult challenge. Thanks for your encouragement, my chuckaboo. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  1. LOL, as I’m off to enjoy adult refreshment with friends, I’ll remember to stay away from the vodka. I hope Emmie is in better shape next week and remembers why the room was spinning.

    Sending positive writing vibes to you, Teagan, for NaNoWriMo and the fabulous story you are certain to finish and publish. The kids are sending purrs on the fur and their mom is sending a Happy Saturday toast. Cheers! *hic*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Thanks for this wonderful comment, Mary J! Crystal is lolled out on the elecgtric throw, but she sends a happy Caturday. It’s been a lovely day, but now I’m awfully far behind! Even so, I think it’s time for some liquid refreshments here too. Great big hug, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My heads hurts for her thinking of the hangover. This one was funny and I can’t wait to see what comes of it. Happy writing, Teagan. This is my first NaNo and Im stuggling a bit not being about to go back edit as I go to keep it all straight. I just kerp moving forward. Its a interesting experience so far. Glad I did it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats for taking the WriMo plunge, Denise! I confess that I still edit, but not as much as usual. I’ve been an editor for 20+ years, so I’m not trying to change that in myself. Just do a little less of it. I recommend using “Styles” within Word to make headers that note certain things — to keep track. That way you can either find the marked spot in a table of contents, or in the navigation pane. I show examples in this old post.
      https://teagansbooks.com/2014/10/14/my-workspace-blog-hop/
      Thanks for taking time away from NaNoWriMo to visit here, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emeraude certainly shows an amusing side when she’s tipsy. “She didn’t put any whiskey in my tea. It was the vodka.” I am still cracking up over that line! 😂😂 So now Agate knows her secret about the inventor. The Dealer and Alex and Azalea know she’s had too much to drink. Hopefully Emeraude sobers up before she encounters the Captain!!

    The Delta Pearl healed the cracked glass!! If I’m remembering right, it healed scratches in the floor some time ago. Perhaps this magical ship will heal Emeraude’s hangover! Lol. Or maybe Amethyst will!

    Fun episode Teagan. I’m thoroughly enjoying this adventure on the Delta Pearl.

    I hope as I’m writing this comment you and your friend are off on what will turn out to be an awesome adventure of your own. Bravo to you for making the commitment to go. That’s a really big deal!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind to say that, Ginger. I’ve been hugely disappointed in myself for my lack of progress in that area. Thank you! We had a wonderful time. It is a bright sunny day, so it warmed up quickly. I didn’t even wear the sweater I took. It was a neat mountain town. Some of the trees were turning various shades of yellow. Lots of tall pines. Just lovely.

      Ah — you remember! Yes, exactly — the Pearl has healed a gouge in the floor — also the carpet is old, but never shows wear. I’m tickled pink that you enjoyed the chapter, my chuckaboo!

      Like

  4. That was fun. You are persistent starting your 8th year “NaNoWriMotilizationing”, as Inchcock would put it. You always seem to get something good out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds like you and Émeraude needed a little nip and break from all the stress. I hope your autumn foilage peeping goes well and you come back refreshed for more NoMo writing. Don’t walk into any closed doors. 🙂

    Like

  6. I laughed out loud at the line “There’s nothing that can cause misery quicker than a man”. Of course I had to share it with my husband … who for some reason didn’t seem to think it was as funny as I did. 🤣

    Hope you enjoy your mini-vacation!! There’s no autumn colour left here to enjoy, so I hope there is plenty there for you!!

    Like

  7. I wish you all the best on your holiday sale – I know I’ll be there. (I do have your one NaNoWriMo novel ‘Atonement’ and loved it!!
    Oh dear Emeraude, I recall making a similar mistake about the same age! That’s sure one way to learn a lesson!!
    Thank you for another chapter of what is becoming a wonderful novel! Though I am beginning to wonder just how much the Pearl is going to have to repair besides the glass before we’re done!

    Like

  8. There was no whiskey, it must have been the vodka – thank you for starting my Saturday with a good laugh, Teagan. Émeraude is learning that the cook might be right – thinking about a man doesn’t seem to sit well.

    I love how the Delta Pearl healed its glass door. I hope the crew can keep Emmy on her feet.

    I hope you enjoy your trip. Watch out for the tea 😏

    Like

    1. Heartfelt thanks for reblogging, my chuckaboo!
      Ha! You’d think, that being a southern lady, where there’s “Kentucky bourbon,” (Jack Daniels) “Tennessee whiskey,” that I would like whiskey… but gin is my drink of choice. Although my stomach has a problem with any hard liquor, so an occasional martini is mostly my limit. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah, thank you, dear. I must be careful to know what comes from where 😉 you are right! 🙏 as I once spent my holidays in northern Italy and wanted to buy the red-wine Chianti 😀 my brother stopped me and said; are you crazy wanting a southern wine in the North!! have a wonderful weekend dear friend ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This episode is entertaining, Teagan, although I am not sure how you will get Emeraude out of her drunken state before the Captain finds out. Good luck with your writing. I don’t do Nonowrimo. I have enough pressure in my life at this time of year without adding more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robbie, you’re such an inspiration with the amount of *everything* you accomplish in every week. If you added Novel Writing Month to what you already do… I think I’d faint. o_O
      Yes, it’s hard to get anything past the Captain. I’m happy you enjoyed the chapter, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Teagan, wow! Your 8th year of NaNo is amazing! 😉 I’ve never even tried one and am so in awe of the writing so many achieved. Great about your book sale and your trip. May you have a fabulous time and enjoy the beauty of autumn along the way. Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome aboard The Delta Pearl, Annika!
      For the past couple of years, I’ve had to look at NaNoWriMo as only a “personal achievement.” My first few years, their rules were much tighter — and it truly did feel like a big achievement. Now basically anything goes, and they bombard my email (often several in one day) asking for donations — which makes me think it was simply about money, when they made the “rules” into more or less “whatever you want”.
      However, the supportive group of writers remains. And it’s still amazing to know there are hundreds of thousands of people striving for (well… similar) goals at the same time. That’s amazing. Thanks for taking time to visit. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Olga. I always get concerned when writing anything that might be considered a “moral” issue (like this drinking scene) even though throughout the story, I’ve pointed to the fact that “of age” was a different age back then. I appreciate the feedback, my chuckaboo!

      Like

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