A Delta Pearl Extra

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 

Scarab pectoral belonging to Tutankhamun Wikipedia
Scarab pectoral belonging to Tutankhamun Wikipedia

Wait a minute — the steampunk riverboat is here?  Well, dash my wig!  Welcome my chuckaboos! Don’t worry, you aren’t arfarfan’arf or boiled owl. It really is Wednesday.  Today I’m doing something I rarely do — posting a revision.  A few people commented that they had to look up “scarab.”  Most of the time other people know a lot more than I know.  However, once in awhile the opposite is sort of true.  Like I always say – I’m just not wired right. 

1961 ad for Sarah Coventry costume jewelry, featuring Egyptian theme
1961 ad for Sarah Coventry costume jewelry, featuring Egyptian theme

Anyhow, I’ve been fascinated by gemstones and even costume jewelry since I was five years old, if not before that.  I remember a lady who had a scarab bracelet.  Every link was carved as a scarab, each one was a different color.  Very young me was amazed!

Carved scarabs were prominent in ancient Egyptian art.  So many people in the Victorian Era loved such things that they called it Egyptomania.  What better clockwork creature, particularly one with dubious intentions, than a scarab?

While I occasionally make changes to the manuscript, I don’t usually post them.  Although this is already a rewrite, so why not? It’s more fun than just defining scarab.

Serializing a novel gives me a couple thousand beta readers, so I take these things to heart. Eliza Needleman was the perfect character to explain the scarab.  I’m sharing the revision to Chapter 34 – Scrabble (link to full episode before revision). 

Here are a couple of links for those of you who enjoy that kind of field trip.  

Scarabs:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarab_(artifact)

Egyptomania:  https://www.historyanswers.co.uk/people-politics/victorian-egyptomania-how-a-19th-century-fetish-for-pharaohs-turned-seriously-spooky/

New Excerpt from Chapter 34 – Scrabble

Scarab Ankh Pixabay

“Ah!  There’s the sign for the gallery at the top of the hill,” Randall Needleman enthused.

“The one that looks like a green insect?  Is it a beetle?” Victor asked, squinting.

“Precisely.  It’s called The Green Scarab,” Randall answered.  “Eliza is quite fond of Egyptomania.  In fact, that’s what brought us together,” he added and gave his wife such an affectionate gaze that I was envious.

“Oh yes, the Pharaoh Diamond,” Victor replied.

Randall cleared his throat awkwardly.  Victor blushed furiously when he realized he’d brought up a delicate subject.  The flush made the blue topaz earring in his left ear seem brighter.  He adjusted his spectacles, a nervous habit I had noticed.

The missing gem caused quite a stir aboard the Delta Pearl.  Yet, after the initial shock, the Needlemans had been most civil about the matter.

“Yes, my chuckaboo.  Scarab is another word for beetle, but it’s also associated with Egypt.  Randall and I met there.  What an amazing place!” Eliza began in the tone of a fond memory.  “The ancient Egyptians loved to use scarab beetles in amulets, jewelry, and seals.  Some were created for political or diplomatic purposes.  Others advertised royal achievements.  While others protected their beloved mummies!” she added playfully and nudged my arm.  “Although most were meant to be worn by the living.”

Looking up toward the sign, an idea occurred to me ― a notion that I didn’t like at all!  I quickened my pace, moving ahead of the others.


I’ll meet you at the riverside this weekend for an all new chapter of The Delta Pearl.  Until then, have an easy coast down the other side of this midweek hump, my chuckaboos!


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 and 2020 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.


77 thoughts on “A Delta Pearl Extra

  1. A great little history lesson, Teagan. Beetles can be quite beautiful. My grandmother had a green scarab pin that fascinated me to no end. I’ll have to see if I can find it. It’s around here somewhere. 🙂 Hugs, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, how wonderful! I’d love to see a photo of it. Maybe you can put it on Facebook if you find it.
      I plan to take Wednesday off from posting this week.
      Wishing your dad a speedy recovery. And to you, your parents, and everyone you love, be well and happy. Great big hug back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent revision, Teagan! Bringing in more about the scarab and gems is definitely a plus- with the Needleman’s missing gem. I will never forget my big sister getting a scarab bracelet for Christmas in 1958. All the rage back then!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed your explanation, Teagan. I did read the piece with Mrs Needleman’s explanation before. I am honestly surprised that there is anyone who doesn’t know what a scarab is. I thought it was quite a common Egyptian depiction. I remember reading about them with Greg when he was a small boy and went through an Egypt phase of interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Robbie. In my job I encountered many people holding good jobs, who often were unfamiliar with things that… well let’s just say that I was surprised repeatedly. I’m letting this serial be a beta read of the novel, so I pay more attention to comments than I otherwise might. When I realized this one inspired a backstory for the Needlemans, I not only revised, but wanted to share it. LOL, maybe it’s a “marmite thing” — not so much you either like it or hate it, but in this case, you either know it well or never heard of it. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. An awesome revision, Teagan. It gave me a different view of the Needlemans. 🙂 I too, have loved gemstones since I can remember and have them scattered throughout my house. Thanks for sharing this special segment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to know that, John. At work in DC, it seemed like every time I opened my mouth, somebody said “What’s that?” (Granted there was more than one person who thought NM was a foreign country… and others who couldn’t get it through their head that Albuquerque was not in Arizona.) I figured an explanation wouldn’t hurt. I’ll see you, Larry, and Andrew during my lunch break. 😀 Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know if these words have been used, but I saw a picture of a Victorian woman the other day and this is what I saw – a large hat with either feathers or fur sitting on the rim, a tight dress highlighting a thin waist obviously held in with a corset, a parasol and pearls. The shoes were high on the ankle and tightly laced.
    I’m surprised some of your readers were unaware of what a scarab is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GP, I’m frequently surprised (in person) by the “What?” question. It’s hard to find a balance in how much to explain or describe. However, I saw that “scarab” let me add a touch of a backstory for the Needleman couple.
      You will certainly see “pearls” again in this story. It’s sort of a non-secret but unmentioned theme in the story (admittedly anything is difficult to spot with this being serialized over so many weeks). Émeraude’s surname (Perlezenn) and the Captain’s (Perlog) both mean pearl… and of course the Delta Pearl. So, I’ve let you in on that semi-secret, my chuckaboo. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was first introduced to scarabs in one of my favourite movies – The Mummy – the 1999 version with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. I’ll never look at a beetle quite the same way again 😱

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Quite a nice revision. You don’t want your readers running to the dictionary (and they don’t want to be putting your book down). You also remind us of how much research is involved in writing fiction. Thanks!

    I hope you coast through the rest of this week.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Dan — I could use some coasting days.
      Too much explanation can bog down a story. However, when I started thinking about this subject, a bit of backstory for Eliza and Randall came to me. So I felt it worked out well. Hugs on the wing!


  8. I took Number one Grandson there when was smitten with mummies and zombies. He was 4. He knew all about life after death and I couldn’t educate him on this subject- he knew it all, so I took him to the Egyptian Museum in my former town.
    He saw mummies, mummies in and out of their sarcophaguses…and saw first hand that they really are real. I didn’t expect the reaction I got.

    He sat on a bench in front of a display of mummies in sarcophaguses and out and turned white as a sheet then whispered…” oh fuck”! At that moment he knew and understood mummies were real! I needed to teach him they don’t come alive like in the movies, but at that moment history was real! It was possible! Ideas are dangerous as Timothy Price says. I never knew he knew the f word! I was shocked! I learned about how much TV and YouTube videos can influence a young mind. I cut off all cult-like and scary videos that day. My children didn’t react this way when I took them to the Egyptian Museum! I didn’t allow YouTube or videos when they were little.
    I moved to real history on Eygpt that day. I’ll never forget his face, or him whispering that expression. I took him hours to get over the reality of knowing Mummies were real and they really don’t come to life again.

    Education sucks today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG! Deborah you slayed me! I’m so glad you shared this story. I laughed out loud. I expect your grandson is just remarkably insightful, a very old soul (as some would say). He just had an epiphany that most kids (and half the adults) wouldn’t have. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. In my former town…that I lived in for the majority of my formative years there was an Egyptian Musem! It’s really a great museum. I took Big Baby Boy, and Baby Girl there a number of times. They both loved and feared the mummies! Me too!

    Big Baby Boy wanted books for his souvenirs, but Baby Girl wanted the jewelry. She picked a Scarab ring the first time went there, and nothing every time since. I still have that ring…in my safe just waiting for her to want it back. She knew what it meant then and will again…one day. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds wonderful Deborah. I always loved jewelry (hence all the gemstones in this story). While I was fascinated by the lady’s scarab bracelet, no one explained their significance. But in that particular small town, Southern Baptist culture of my particular childhood — they didn’t like to mention that other religions even existed.
      I’m glad you kept the ring. It, and the story behind it, is a treasure. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Back in the dark Time Before Internet, I attended the University of Chicago. There I spent many free hours (translation—no admission charge) between classes happily wandering the halls of the on-campus Oriental Institute. I know scarabs!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂 I’m in no way surprised that you are familiar with scarabs. It sounds like a fabulous place, Barb. AD, BC… BI is suitable. The Internet certainly has changed our day-to-day life. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been to Egypt a few times (one of my best friends is Egyptian) and one of the sellers in a market gave me a small blue scarab. And ‘escarabajo’ is beetle in Spanish so I had an advantage! Thanks, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tee-hee! Another vocabulary word for your teaching Spanish videos, Olga! I’m enjoying them hugely. You’ll have to help me think of how to use “escarabajo” though — because I won’t be asking for one at the market. 😉 Thanks for reading. Hugs on the wing!


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