What’s a Waiata? — Calling for Songs for Weekend Short Stories

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hullaba Lulu promo image by Teagan R. Geneviene
Hullaba Lulu promo image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Did I hook you with that question?  A waiata is a Maori song.  Waiata serve many functions. They can be used to support a whaikōrero (formal speech) or sung to express grief after a death. Waiata were used to help teach children, to urge people to take up a cause, or to mourn in times of loss. Waiata can record a tribe’s past by referring to ancestors, events and places.

Why did I ask?  Well, I had to have some kind of lead-in.  Besides, it’s relevant, and I’m getting there.  My blogging shtick was always my “Three Things” style serial stories, where I collect three random things from readers, and let those things drive a spontaneously written serial story.  It might look easy, but it can take a lot out of a writer.  Unfortunately, I still don’t have the focus or the energy to start another serial.

maori waiata postage stamp

So… I have another idea for letting you readers participate with short story prompts.  Those of you who have known me for any length of time know that songs often get into my writing.  So… (drum roll…) Send me a song!  Not just a “because it’s pretty” or “because I like it” song.  Here’s why I mentioned the waiata… A narrative type of song is preferrable, but songs that inspire you will do.  It’s best if you can include a YouTube link, in case I don’t know your song.

No promises on anything.  I haven’t been able to effectively write lately, but I need to be writing.  Now, don’t assume I plan to read your mind and write whatever story you are thinking — because I won’t.  My story probably won’t exactly reflect the story (if any) that is part of your song.  Even so, let’s give it a try!  Name your song in a comment, and include a link if you have one.  We’ll see what kind of story results.


♦ ♦ ♦

Here are a couple of my stories that have a lot of music.  They’re available in e-book and paperback.

Hullaba Lulu

Hullaba Lulu cover by Teagan R. Geneviene
Hullaba Lulu cover by Teagan R. Geneviene


Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure is a wild and wooly 1920s fantasy story.  Lulu loves to dance, and freely indulges in giggle water.  She snores and burps and says whatever she wants — a snarky but good-hearted flapper.

Lulu, the heroine is inspired by the song, “Don’t Bring Lulu,” from 1925 ― so are her pals, Pearl and Rose.  The song’s inspiration stops there, but the story is just beginning.

Universal Purchase Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08JKP1RS4

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08JDYXPZM

Brother Love, a Crossroad

"Brother Love" Novella Now Available for Purchase

“Brother Love – a Crossroad” is a mysterious “Twilight Zone-ish” short novella.  It was inspired by the combination of Neil Diamond’s song and the blues legends of Robert Johnson and the Devil at the Crossroads.  As in the real world, things in this tale are not what they seem.  The setting is rural Mississippi in the 1950s.  A group of outcasts are in a small southern town.  They don’t realize they are looking for something.  Will they find it?

Universal Purchase Links

Kindle  relinks.me/B07V25SXFR

Paperback  relinks.me/107952309X

♦ ♦ ♦


Leave a friendly comment, and hopefully a song. Thanks for spending part of your day here.  Hugs!


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 © 2022 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.


109 thoughts on “What’s a Waiata? — Calling for Songs for Weekend Short Stories

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on using music as inspiration for writing and inviting readers to share their own favorite narrative songs. Your serial stories sound like a unique and fun way to engage with your readers. I especially love the idea of using a song as the inspiration for a character, like Lulu in “Hullaba Lulu.” I’ll have to check out your books to see how the music influences the story. In terms of song recommendations, I would suggest “The Story” by Brandi Carlile. It’s a poignant and powerful song about the importance of telling our stories and being true to ourselves. I hope this suggestion inspires you and that you are able to find the focus and energy to start writing again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Sebastian. Thanks for your kind encouragement. Lulu was a fun character to write, basing her outrageous personality (and her appearance) on “Don’t Bring Lulu.”
      That’s a beautiful song you recommended. I wasn’t familiar with it. Have a great weekend. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I learned something new today: what a Waiata is! Thank you for that. As for songs, I’m a metal head and love the band Bad Omens. There’s a song that resonates deeply with me. I wasn’t sure if you would be open to metal suggestions, but if you are, I can send you the song and the link to it. This is such a great idea to get back into writing, and thank you so much for sharing with us! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From all your wonderful stories and your ability to write, I do not know if I can make a suggestion that would be challenging enough. There are so many suggestions, good ones, too. I will be waiting for your story, they are always excellent. Now, my suggestion It is Christmas time! Here comes Santa Clause, Here comes Santa Clause! ! !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope I’m not too late for the party but I wanted to throw a song idea into the ring. How about I’ve Seen Fire and I’ve Seen Rain by James Taylor. I’ve always loved this song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s no deadline, Darlene. 😀 Especially for one of my all time favorite songs. I love to play it on the piano and make a medley with Candle in the Wind. (My version, the odd way I hear it in my mind, the songs match.) Thanks for coming out to play. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Teagan. This sounds like a lot of fun. I’m not sure why sometimes I get the Youtube clip to come up directly, and other times I can only paste the link. I’m sure it’s a piece of cake because I see people do it all the time. I can always embed a video in my own posts, but there must be a trick I haven’t acquired in the comments.

    My song is Somebody’s Baby by Pat Benatar. I chose it because I love the message in the video that everyone should be valued.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think most of us have experience KaKa. Our office manager drove her 1969 Firebird to the office last week and got road raged by a Karen in a pickup truck. Way too many on the roads around here.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Everywhere… With my PTSD, it was really hard for me to not give in to it myself… when I could still get out on the road and go. One of the shuttle bus drivers back at USPTO was terrible with getting blisteringly angry at drivers on the road. Riding on the bus she was driving could be a frigntening thing.

          Liked by 2 people

              1. Thanks for keeping some of the conversations going, Robbie. I appreciate that a lot.
                Poor Spunk — and Laurie and Tim. I was so worried when he was missing. Spunk probably wouldn’t agree, but even getting skunked was a happy ending. 🐱 And Tim had a great sense of humor about it.

                Liked by 1 person

              1. Spunk was a sad kitty, but he bounced back pretty quickly. He’s been sprayed before. You would think he would have known better than to accost a skunk. Even if the skunk was tresspassing.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh… another one I didn’t know, and it’s truly beautiful. I love his voice.
      Yay! I think/hope you’ll fall in love with Jinx (and the others). There is so much music in that story. Dan was really great about letting me bounce ideas off him when he did the photos for the blog version. I’m so glad Lulu has a friend in you. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes. I got curious and Googled for the song’s meaning. “Rastafarians borrow the idea of the 12 Tribes from Judaism, hence the liberal application of the “Israelites” to refer to fellow devout Rastafarians, and sometimes also to poor suffering Jamaicans in general.” They go on to describe how the song applies to Jamaican cultural and income-level opinions of Rastafarians. It’s a cheery sounding poor person’s lament, but also very sociopolitical seeming song.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh good. I was hoping I’d learn some new (or new to me) songs that I’d like. Dead Man Walking, huh? I like it. But it doesn’t really seem like what I think of as hard rock. My ideas have been leaning toward dark lately, so maybe I’ll be able to do something with this one. Thanks, Teri. Hugs winging back to you.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This song means a lot to me, Teagan.

    t was so right, it was so wrong
    Almost at the same time
    The pain and ache a heart can take
    No one really knows
    When the memories cling and keep you there
    ‘Til you no longer care
    And you can let go now
    It’s wrong for me to cling to you
    Somehow I just needed time
    From what was to be-it’s not like me
    To hold somebody down
    But I was tossed high by love
    I almost never came down
    Only to land here
    Where love’s no longer found
    Where I’m no longer bound
    And I can let go now

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I’m not sure you will remember these two, Teagan. I love Steve Winwood. His solo album Arc of the Diver is one of my favorites. I was tempted to suggest several songs off of that album – you can’t go wrong with any. Way back when, when I was a kid he was with Traffic.

    The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys

    Before that, he was with Blind Faith and he is the lead singer on this classic.

    Blind Faith ~ Can’t Find My Way Home

    Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s a great song. When you look at the catalog of songs he wrote or helped write, you can’t help but admire his ability. I’ve always thought I wouldn’t like those songs nearly as much if he wasn’t singing them.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. I have to give it some thought, Teagan, but I am sure that there will be plenty of suggestions… Although, I’ll leave you with a song that always made me feel happy since I first heard it, and it seems an ode to the simple things in life. I’m not sure if it will inspire, but here is New Shoes by Paolo Nutini

    Liked by 2 people

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