Wednesday Writing — Winter’s Nightmare or Why It Took 10 Years

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Vintage ghosts several

Welcome to my nightmare… I mean sanctuary!  Today I invite you in, for some nightmarish thoughts. That sounds like a contradiction (sanctuary and nightmare), but after all, it’s October and Halloween is near.  My nightmare worked out.  Eventually.  Or maybe I should stretch that out, e-v-v-v-e-n-t-u-u-u-a-a-l-l-y.  Because it took a long time.

Winter’s Nightmare or Why It Took Ten Years

It was spring, 2011 when the nightmare came.  After work-hours and every weekend, for over two years, I had worked on an epic fantasy novel.  The book was Dead of Winter.  The heroine was a young girl who sees and communicates with ghosts.  She alone received a supernatural warning.  Unfortunately, in her strictly controlled, closed-minded world, sharing that warning meant trouble for her. 

When you came in the air went out…

I had been building the novel, filled with characters, countries, and cultures — and researching every name, place, and ideology, for more than 700 pages.  That thread of a dire warning continued throughout those hundreds of pages, a core part of the story.  Now, remember, the nightmare we are sharing was in April, 2011… 

And every shadow, filled up with doubt…

I don’t know who you think you are but before the night is through…

With the television playing in the background while I waited for a new episode of True Blood, HBO aired a promo for a new fantasy series.  In another moment I would want to do “bad things with” you somebody.

Oh, wait.  What was that thread, that creepy warning that was woven throughout 700 pages?  Winter is coming!  Have you guessed what the narrator in that HBO promo said?  Yes, the words were “Winter is coming” and the story was Game of Thrones.

You could have heard me wail for miles!  When my screaming stopped, I was heartbroken.

All I could do was sit up in (my) room, heart sick and eyes filled up with gloom.  Game of Thrones wasn’t just a short-lived flash in the pan.  How many years did it run, and how many millions of viewers?  Too many to be of any consolation to me.

I had a friend who referred to that kind of coincidence as the creative one-mind — numbers of people who aren’t related or connected in any way, having the same idea. (It actually happened to me again a few years later, but that’s a different story.) I had never heard of George R. R. Martin, or read any of his work.  He certainly didn’t still my idea, theme, or tag-line.  And I couldn’t and wouldn’t do bad things with to (him).

Winter Landscape with Peasant Family by Foschi. Wikipedia
Winter Landscape with Peasant Family by Foschi. Wikipedia

My story wasn’t even like his… Except for one very significant thing — Winter is coming!  Regardless of that, Murphy’s Law, bad timing, and HBO… I couldn’t go up against all those bad things

I don’t know what you’ve done to me, but I know this much is true…

The warning was such an integral part of my 700+ pages that I could not simply remove it.  So what did I do in this nightmare that put an end to two years of pains-taking, lovingly crafted work?  Nothing. 

I was too devastated to even want to do bad things with (anybody).

Besides, there wasn’t anything I really could do about it.  If I shared the story, then it would look like I meant to capitalize on the work of someone else, someone famous.  It would look like I had no imagination of my own.  A snarky reaction would have been the best I would get, with open disdain and contempt being the most likely.  So, year after year, I did nothing.

Certainly, no one has forgotten Game of Thrones.  Well, bushwa.  I didn’t forget those two years and 700+ pages of work either.  I’ve finally decided to share my story from 2010, Dead of Winter.  It will be an e-book serial/series, published monthly, but not on this blog.  So, balderdash!  Famous stuff be damned.  I’ll say it for myself, as I intended it ten years ago.  Winter is coming.  Winter is coming!    

Winter is coming!

Dead of Winter cover A
Book cover by Teagan R. Geneviene

Sigh…  I’ve been waiting nearly a decade to get that out of my system.  Winter is coming!  

By the way, the other day I was featured at Teri Polen‘s yearly October event, Bad Moon Rising.  Click over and visit us.  We had a fun conversation with Teri’s cool Halloween-ish interview questions. 

Wishing all of you an easy coast down the other side of this midweek hump.  Hugs on the wing!

Bad Moon Rising 2019



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 ©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.

76 thoughts on “Wednesday Writing — Winter’s Nightmare or Why It Took 10 Years

    1. Hi Annika. I appreciate you taking time to find this post. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that first commercial. Confusion > Stunned disbelief > horror. LOL, I’m pretty sure I actually *did* scream. Even the thought of editing well over 800 pages was daunting enough to keep it on the shelf. That was one of the first benefits I saw to making it an Amazon serial — I can edit and format it in manageable chunks.
      Many thanks for your support. Have a wonderful rest of the week. Huge hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh it is a nightmare, indeed. They say that there is only a certain amount of luck to go around. May be it is the same about ideas?
    Sorry I am not visiting. I still have difficulties with reading. It is different with a book – I can take my time. I hope all is well and you love your new place. It has been a year, or longer since you moved?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah… it seems like I’m never in the “line” where they’re handing out good luck. I’m glad to know that you are still able to enjoy books. I can understand. Looking at the computer is exhausting to the eyes.
      Yes, I arrived here around April 1st last year, so more than a year. I do enjoy the mild winters here, and the plentiful sunshine. Thanks for catching up. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember sitting in the movie theater and seeing the trailer for I Am Number Four and my mouth fell open. Parts of it were so similar to the book I was writing (my first book that will never be read by anyone other than me) I was dumbfounded. Some of the images were straight out of my mind. Freaky. I’m excited about your serial story, my friend. And thanks for the BMR shoutouts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh nooo! The Creative One-mind got you too. I haven’t seen that movie, but I remember seeing “about” it.
      It got me a second time. My second Cornelis Drebbel story (Skull of the Alchemist) was fully outlined — the only time I’ve ever done that. I was a few chapters into the writing when I stumbled upon an anime movie (something like “April’s Incredible World” I don’t remember the exact title. I saw that it was steampunk and thought it would put me in the mood to write… then point by point, every detail of the plot was what I had outlined. I mean minor details as well as large elements. My story has been on the shelf ever since.
      Your story deserves to see the light of day. It’s been long enough since that movie came out.

      My pleasure. I love Bad Moon Rising. I recognize the huge amount of work you do for it every year. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be a gigantic shock to anyone, Teagan. Nothing like being first, only to be… Well, I am so proud of you! I’m in the middle of reading yesterday’s Delta Pearl episode.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Andrea, unfortunately that kind of thing is not always the “Creative One-mind.” I’ve had that happen with a couple of ideas. Since I thrive on sharing, it’s made my current work a hundred times more difficult, and not much joy or enthusiasm. Either keep it under wraps, or self publish. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Gerlinde. I’m not much of a horror fan. Like you, I don’t usually think of ghosts as scary. So I don’t think my story is frightening. Although I’ve found that some people have different ideas about what’s scary. Still, I believe this story is only creepy — and then only sometimes. Hopefully it has suspense and excitement though. Thanks for visiting. Your current post is wonderful. Hugs on the wing.


  3. I feel for you, Teagan. I have a screenplay that I developed for a sitcom. The pilot included a group of wacky co-workers in an office (sound familiar) The boss was inept and most of the employees on the verge of mental breakdowns (still familiar) Well the series launched (The Office) and I was left with a bunch of paper. Best wishes on the Serial.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am also glad, you decided to publish the story. As Reza wrote, this is the problem of many other “brain workers” too. Sometimes its horrible, but you had overcame it in the best way ever. Thank you, Teagan! Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m happy you are releasing your story. I’ve written things a long time ago and have seen another one very much like it . Yet, no one can put our personal perspective on it which does make it unique.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can feel your pain, Teagan. But your story isn’t GoT, which was a mess and was never finished. I’m certain your story is original and imaginative, as all your stories are. Good for you for putting it out there for all of us to read! And I can’t wait to see how it works as a published serial! Congrats to you for taking the leap!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Diana. I’m looking forward to digging into it, and seeing how it goes. Why not — right? I only watched (most of) the first season of GoT, but I’m not aware of anything in the actual story that is like mine. I bought the book so I could compare, and then never had the heart to read it.
      I hope your week is going well. Autumn must be beautiful there. Thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What a journey, Teagan! I watched and loved Game of Thrones along with millions of others. What I love most about this post is your determination to not let your story die because of a title! I admire your determination and stepping outside the box to publish it as an eBook series! I wish you much success!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jan. It’s really a phrase, rather than a title. In a way that made it even harder. What was truly maddening was “winter is coming” was more HBO’s marketing than a repeated part of the GoT story. Yes, they mentioned it, but not like the commercials did. Yet for my story, it was a hugely important thread… but their marketers had used it all over the place. I just didn’t want to look like a copycat… Anyhow my story sat on the shelf long enough. Thanks for your support. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I really am surprised for so many people to say that, Mary. Surprised and very heartened.
      Really the only similarity is that phrase. It’s integral to my story, and barely used in GoT. But the promoters/HBO made a huge deal of the phrase. Thanks for your comment. I am encouraged. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Another person told me they didn’t watch it either, GP. So maybe there is hope. LOL. I only watched it through the first season. Not that it wasn’t amazingly well made and well acted… it just left me feeling bad at the end of the episode. It’s hard to explain. But heartfelt thanks for your encouragement. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I might be the one person on the planet who didn’t watch Game of Thrones, so no danger from me, Teagan. Normally, I’d say something about this not really being a genre I enjoy, but how many times have I said that here. Each time I’ve followed you into a world you’ve created, I’ve enjoyed it. I will be waiting in line for this serial to begin. Winter is coming?…let it come, I am ready for a new adventure in reading.

    I hope you cruise over the hump and slide through the rest of this week.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hey Dan. That always makes me feel good — thinking I’ve caused people to expand the kinds of things they read. This is very different from my other books. But I am fond of the world I created.
      Haha, I need a cruiser for this week. I did something bad to my back yesterday. But I don’t know what, because I didn’t *DO* anything. Maybe I stretched a little too far in an exercise… Although I didn’t push myself… and the pain didn’t start until several hours later. Still, not really anything else it could have been. Ugh. Anyhow thanks for your encouragement. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No Dan – you are not the only one. I made it through a few episodes and then let it go…. I’m with you – I’m ready for a new adventure in reading. And I think I’ve come to the right place.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Priscilla! It’s full of characters and cultures. I’m still very fond of many of them.
      Yes, maybe there is something to it. A few years ago I was going to do a “book 2” of my Cornelis Drebbel (steampunk) story for NaNoWriMo. It was one of the few times I’ve fully planned and outlined a story. Then I turned on an anime movie that was made a couple of years before that. It had every single element of my story. The only difference was the character names and the city of the location… and the fact that they used a cat where I would have had a rabbit. I NEVER saw that movie before, and since I’m a fan of truly good anime, I would have remembered. I tried to write the story with a different plot, but I was so heartsick that I couldn’t write it. Ignorance is bliss.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the True Blood song, well, the whole title sequence. I remember you mentioned something similar happening with another story of yours, Teagan, but didn’t know about this one. I haven’t watched or read Game of Thrones (horror of horrors!), so I won’t comment, although I know what you mean. If a story keeps tugging at you, you have to let it out and share it. Looking forward to it. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL. Olga, that song was the main thing that drew me into the TV show. I was more excited about singing along than about watching.
      Yes, and the other instance was actually worse than this — except that it wasn’t anywhere near as famous. That is in my reply to Priscilla above.
      I’m glad to see that several people here aren’t very familiar with Game of Thrones. That helps. Hugs on the wing!


  10. Sometimes a story needs 10 years. I live in Canada so “winter is coming” is real!! Synchronicity is something that I want to investigate. Evolving Ideas, coincidences and connections have interesting twists and turns. Looking forward to your Dead of Winter serial, Teagan. I know it will be brilliant.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Rebecca. With so many (and obvious) idea-thieves around, it’s hard to be open minded about it. If someone has been to your posts and then, *wham* suddenly they’ve already published your idea, that is not the same thing. And it happens much more often than the kind of synchronicity we’re talking about. However, after two bad experiences with the Creative One-Mind, I have to believe it exists. Now if I could ever get the idea out there first! LOL. (See my reply to Priscilla.) Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs on the wing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.