Marvelous Monday Review

Monday, April 9, 2018

Hello, all.  Forgive me if you saw this review at Jazz Age Wednesdays last week.  Now that Olga Núñez Miret has it on her blog, I had to share.  Let’s blouse over to her place — click here*.  Since I want everyone to get to know Olga, I have disabled comments here.  Olga writes valuable, mindful reviews, and she’s a translator as well. She’s also a talented author.  Take a look at her collection of novels!Olga Collection 04-2018

 

It’s really a challenge for me to work on my novels, as well as all the technical aspects of producing them, as well as blogging, along with my “real job.”  So I can’t project dates — but I want you to know that eventually I’ll be publishing the third of Pip’s adventures, A Ghost in the Kitchen — Three Ingredients 2, and a collection of short stories and vignettes from the “Pip-verse.”  And if I’m on this planet long enough, my various draft novels: The Guitar Mancer, The Dead of Winter, Tatterdemallian — the Electric Zucchini, Copper the Alchemist and the Woman in Trousers, The Skull of the Alchemist.  As well as Atonement in Bloom which is currently in the editing process, and hopefully a third book in the Atonement series… and the short stories and vignettes.  That should keep me busy for about a hundred years.

Meanwhile, here are the links to my 1920s books about Pip and her friends.  Thanks for stopping here.  Be sure to click over to Olga’s place.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

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

 

 

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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 25 ― Pip’s a Chicken

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Early Lucille 2

A very young Lucille Ball

Hi there, Sheiks and Shebas.  I’m happy to see you back at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Here we are in the month of March.  For many of us, March came in like the proverbial lion.  I hope it takes on a much more lamb-like countenance for the remaining three weeks.

Good riddance year of the Fire Rooster!
Welcome year of the Earth Dog!

Speaking of critters… I haven’t done a post for Chinese New Year, although I did last year.  I’m going to re-share the story I wrote for last year.  I hope you don’t mind.  If you are curious about the original post, click here*.   Anyhow, I used my “three things” exercise to write the story.  Those things were Fire, Rooster, and Calendar.  Without further ado, here’s Pip.

Pip’s a Chicken

“Bock, bock-bock.  Bock!  Baaawk!”

Of all the nerve!  My mouth dropped open.  I was speechless.  Granny Phanny bocked at me like a chicken.  She bocked.  She put her fists under her armpits and flapped her boney elbows — and she bocked at me!

Then, to make matters worse, she laughed.

Why that banty old woman.  Of all the self-important, cockalorem!

“Oh Pip, if you could see the look on your face,” she said, still chuckling.  “It’s not like you to chicken out.  Now tie on your apron and we’ll look at this recipe together.”

Granny hung an apron around my neck, and then put her hands on my shoulders to forcibly turn me around.  She tied a bow in back that I knew without looking was perfectly symmetrical.

“But Granny, I nearly set the kitchen on fire last time,” I complained, sincerely afraid of what damage I might cause.life-woman-chickens-1908

“Hush that nonsense right now, Sweetpea.  We’ll not be having any fires.  Just because your fried chicken turned out as tough as an old rooster doesn’t mean you can quit.”

“An old rooster?” I exclaimed, mortified.

I looked at the recipe card.  “Chicken Fricassee…” I read aloud.  “Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture; coat well.  Oh Granny, this sounds pos-i-lutely like a repeat of the fried chicken disaster.  Granny?”

Phanny Irene Peabody was gone.  Her purse was missing from the corner table.  I called out again and she hollered from the living room.

My eyes fell on the calendar that hung on the wall.  Wong’s Chinese Restaurant made one annually for Chinese New Year.  Granny was going to an early dinner with friends.  No wonder she wasn’t worried about me ruining dinner again. 

“Granny!” I yelled, really miffed.

“I’ll be back this evening, Pip.  Just keep the stove set to low while you fry that chicken, and follow the instructions for the fricassee,” she called from the living room to the sound of the front door creaking open.

I blew a raspberry as the front door closed with a thud.  My hand plopped down on the plump poultry with a smacking sound.

“Old rooster, huh?  I’ll show her,” I muttered and went back to the recipe card.

The End

***

Yesterday I posted a request for your votes and feedback.  I want your input as I decide on what kind of blog serial to do next.  It will be a “three things” style serial, with you sending three random things to drive the story.  So I want you, the reader to be evolved every step of the way.  If you missed that post you can vote and leave your thoughts here*.  Please do.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees!

 

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

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

 

 

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 © 2017 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 24 ― Pip Meets the Master

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hello, everyone.  It’s Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books.  I’m blessed to offer you another joint post!

I have actively sought out collaborations with bloggers who work with subjects that are different from my whimsical fiction.  So, I was delighted when Dr. Glen Hepker* agreed to work with me on a post.  Glen is the author of A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health*.  I have this book and it’s a real gem. 

Dr Glen Hepker

Glen is sharing instructions for breathing exercises, which you’ll find after my new vignette from the Pip-verse.  I worked a bit of of it into the story.  So let’s ankle back to the Roaring Twenties, for the story Glen inspired.

Pip Meets the Master

Lucille Ball teen blue

Young Lucille Ball

“Come on Pip, this scavenger hunt might turn out to be a real shockdollager.  Plus, it could be some free publicity for Wong’s Chinese if we can get the newspaper to do a story about it,” my friend Alastair Wong pleaded.  “Even my cousin, Victoria, is excited about it — and she’s pretty hard to impress.”

“Traipsing around the riverfront in the dark just doesn’t sound like fun to me,” I told him.  “And your cousin isn’t likely to be tromping through the fog with us.”

I had only met his cousin once.  That was in Alastair’s family restaurant.  For a moment, I thought she was a doll in an embroidered blue satin dress.  You can imagine my shock when the “doll” spoke.  Victoria Wong was a very tiny, very ancient woman.  She had to be well under five feet tall, and Lord knew how old. 

“Hey, if you’ve been hearing all those stories about the haunted part of Savannah, just forget them,” Alastair said with sudden insight.  “That’s all bushwa! Savannah is not a haunted city.”

“Alastair Wong, I’ll have you know, I’m no chicken,” I told him defiantly.

Attagirl!  So, you’ll come?” he encouraged and I finally agreed.

***

1920 Henricis Chicago IL

The turn out for the scavenger hunt wasn’t as great as Alastair hoped, but I thought it was pretty good.  It was supposed to finish at Wong’s Chinese with a free dinner.  That meant Alastair was extra busy.  After all his fuss talking me into going, he had to leave and go back to the restaurant halfway through the hunt.

Several people remained in the group, but I wasn’t well acquainted with anyone.  Before long I ended up getting separated from them.  It was my own fault.  I wandered away, distracted by a light that seemed to jounce and bounce along in the mist near the river.  The next thing I knew, I was alone in the dark, foggy night.

I shivered, suddenly very aware of the cold.  I called out to the group.  No one answered.  The fog got progressively thicker.  It seemed to muffle the sound of my voice.  Then my flashlight went dim.  The faint light slowly extinguished.  That’s when I got scared.

Worried about looking like a dumb Dora, I held back the scream that I really wanted to let loose.  I choked on my fear.  Breathless, I turned when a flicker of light came to my peripheral vision.

The light bobbed but came closer.  It was a lantern, so bright that at first, I couldn’t see anything else.  Then I saw the strange man who carried it.  He wore a robe that left one shoulder bare, although he didn’t seem to notice the cold.  His face was in shadows.  The fog swirled around his feet as he walked.

Savannah GA Isle of Hope circa 1930

Gasping with relief at no longer being alone, I moved toward him.

Applesauce!  Am I glad to see you!” I exclaimed.

He reacted with a bemused smile, but it faded when I sank to the ground in a near swoon.  In my panicked state, my breathing had become so erratic that I was dizzy.

He stooped beside me to help me sit up.  The man’s single long flowing sleeve fell back as he put two fingers to my forehead.  His touch was cold.

It seemed just as strange to me at that moment as it does now, but the instant I looked into his eyes I trusted him.

“You are near to hypothermia.  We must get your breathing back in order, yes?” he said.

Shivering, I nodded.

“First you must imagine that there is a sparkling furnace inside your belly,” he instructed in a carefree tone that made me chuckle.  “Now relax your shoulders, as you pull your abdomen in ― while breathing in.  Good.  Now push your abdomen out when breathing out.”

He continued to talk and lead me through his way of breathing for several minutes.  The simple fact that I was no longer alone made me feel better.  The breathing helped a lot.  I felt a new energy.

Abruptly he stood and looked around.  With a smile he looked down at me, and placed a lotus blossom in my hands.

“Your friends will be here soon.  You are safe.  Just stay here, keep breathing as I taught you, and all will be well.”

An Art Nouveau lotus blossom frieze, circa 1915

My eyes followed his and I looked into the night.  Not too far away, a small cluster of lights swayed and dipped, drawing closer.

He clapped his hands and my flashlight flickered.  Then it came back on with triple brightness.  Of course, I was looking directly at it.  After that bright flare, the torch went dead again. 

For a moment I could only see spots.  When my vision cleared, he was gone.

Hearing familiar voices call my name, I yelled back to them.  I got to my feet, still holding the lotus blossom.  Soon Alastair and his diminutive cousin were at my side. 

Alastair looked relieved, and Victoria chided me for always getting into some kind of predicament. 

Victoria gasped softly as she beheld the flower in my hands.  She held her lantern and slowly walked around me.  The light illuminated the ground.  More lotus blossoms made a circle around the area where I stood.

She turned to Alastair and whispered something that sounded like, “My boy, only a fool would let this one get away.”

“I see you have met my old master,” Victoria told me.

All I could think was nobody could be older than her, but I remembered my manners.  I told them about the man who had been there helping me a moment before.

“He left so suddenly,” I added and described him.  “Would that be him?”

Victoria nodded with a knowing smile.

“The lotus blossoms were enough to tell me it was the Master.  I studied under him when I was a young girl.  You are blessed to have been visited by him.”

I gave my head a shake, trying to make Victoria’s words fall into place and make sense.

“You don’t mean…”

The End

***

Now back to Dr. Glen Hepker

Glen is also a master instructor of Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, Kung Fu, as well as refined meditation and guided imagery.  But I see him blushing, so I’ll stop listing his credentials. You can learn more about him at his blog, Facebook, and Amazon Author Page.  If you’re lucky enough to be in Iowa, you can find him at Mason City Tai Chi and Wellness Center*

As promised, here is the write-up from Glen, in his own words.  Relax, learn, enjoy.

Reverse abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing, also know as ‘winter breathing’ or Taoist breathing in TCM/acupuncture theory, warms one up significantly. It also energizes people who suffer from lethargy, or anyone who is tired or sleepy. The opposite breathing practice (more commonly employed in modern times, i.e., people are more likely to be hyper and anxious these days), is coined ‘advance breathing’ or summer breathing/Buddhist breathing. It cools one down from actual heat and/or the heat of anxiety and stress.

No automatic alt text available.

In reverse abdominal breathing keep one’s shoulders relaxed as one pulls one’s abdomen in while breathing in, and push one’s abdomen out when breathing out. The simplest congruent guided imagery/visualization, is imagining that there is a sparkling furnace just behind one’s navel (CV8 in acupuncture). Imagine that the breathing fans the sparkling furnace more and more skillfully, until one can feel the sparkling furnace at will.

One imagines that one is fanning the furnace primarily with the energy coming in while breathing in, and that once one feels the warmth, one guides the warmth throughout one’s body during the breath out. The “sparkling” feeling of the furnace feels not unlike those sparkling spine-tingling/shivering feelings in sentimental and sweet and innocent loving moments, and also that which many people seem to get sometimes when urinating. In acupuncture theory, this is coined the ‘original chi’ (that which we were born with), which resides in the kidneys in healthy individuals. But the goal is to abundantly strengthen the furnace, and then learn to circulate the splendid energy, using the healthful logic of acupuncture theory. 

The key to success in this reverse breathing is to absolutely keep doing it (in each instance/setting) until it works, nothing less than realization of the success of warmth. When successful, one will still feel and be aware of the cold, but it becomes less and less of an agitation. Having faith in this practice is of help – our psychological outlook is important, i.e., to not hinder a positive placebo effect. But any placebo effect only complements the practice, vs. in any fashion implying that the practice doesn’t, unto itself, really work.

One of the most important things to remember is that these arts/practices are true skills, i.e., taking time and effort –AND there is always room for improvement (which may the greatest of blessings, IF we embrace the notion).

Advance abdominal breathing is simply like pretending one’s lungs are in one’s abdomen, i.e., with the shoulders relaxed, breathe in push one’s abdomen out, breathe out pull it in. As I said, most people benefit more from this, in our modern times it is succinctly believed that more people than not, are anxious, stressed, and tense, vs. the opposite. Anxiety is like heat, and overt heat can be damaging as such, i.e., as viewed in TCM/acupuncture theory.

The most basic complementary guided imagery for this breathing, is similar. One imagines that one fans the sparkling furnace and learns to feel the furnace at will. (Through regular practice over a couple of months, most people can learn to have all-of-the-time diaphragmatic breathing – nothing more helpful and healthful.) With this breathing, one imagines bringing fresh cooling energy in with the breath in, and sending the stagnant inflammation/heat out with the breath out.

No automatic alt text available.

Everyone always has some level of stress, no matter how relaxed, but advance breathing can abbreviate the stress to next to nothing, especially congruent with one of our types of guided imagery, of which there are more than a dozen of these ages-old techniques. Tongue-in-cheek, we traditionally say, that one can never learn to levitate, walk through walls, be two places at once, or be invisible, without all-of-the-time diaphragmatic breathing and fanning of the sparkling furnace, learning to feel the furnace at will.

Brightest of blessings, Glen

 

 I appreciate your visit.  You are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas!

Now, for my own shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends. 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

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

 

 

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 © 2018 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 23 ― Pip Meets Tiny (Part 2)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books.  Last time I posted part-1 of a story that resulted from a collaboration with Fiction Favorites* author John W. Howell*.  John did one of his terrific lists of Ten Things Not to Do, and I wrote a story.  You can read part-1 here*

John Howell Books

I didn’t share his list with part-1 of the story because I felt it would be sort of a spoiler.  So without further ado, I present John’s list, followed by part 2 of Pip Meets Tiny

 Ten Things Not to Do in a Tree with a Bear

10) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not poke it. If you do, at best he’ll think you want to play. At worst, you will find yourself defending space limb for limb. (Didn’t think you would run out of tree did you, Tiny?)

9) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not open that pastrami sandwich you brought along. If you do, at best you’ll learn to share. At worst, you will give up the sandwich to get your hand back. (Something about the hot teeth getting ready to eat the sandwich weather or not you give it up that gives wisdom huh, Tiny?)

8) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not comment on the beast’s manicure. If you do, at best you’ve packed an Emory board. At worst, you’ll get a real close view of the nails why trying to avoid the roundhouse swipes. (You should have guessed the bear was the sensitive type, Tiny)

7) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not swallow. If you do, at best the bear won’t see you. At worst, the bear will take the swallow sign as a que that you are going to eat it. (You can imagine how that sign is going to work out, can’t you Tiny?)

6) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not ride your unicycle. If you do, at best you’ll have to go tandem. At worst, the bear will remember an old circus act and nasty trainer. (Hard to ride that thing with broken and bent parts right, Tiny?)

Lucille Ball and Bear

5) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not show the bear your WWF wrestling championship belt. If you do, at best the bear will want it. At worst, you are sharing a tree with the internationally known Russian bear wrestling champ. (You know understand the concept of a bear hug. The question is can you get out of it, Tiny?)

4) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not comment on the bear’s bad breath. If you do, at best you will offend the bear and it will stop talking to you. At worst, you’ll offend the bear and it will want to sweeten its breath with your left arm. (You could have been a little more subtle, Tiny. A bottle of mouthwash left discretely on a branch would have done the job.)

3) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not mention the word ‘diet.’ If you do, at best the bear won’t give you any more honey. At worst, the bear will take offense and commit to a pure protean diet. (Guess who is made of pure protean, Tiny?)

2) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not read any Goldilocks bed time stories. If you do, at best the bear will ask a hundred questions. At worst, the bear will want you to go get some porridge. (Where you going to get porridge this time of night, Tiny?)

1) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not ask them questions about the Chicago football team. If you do, at best you will have to listen to excuses for hours. At worst, the bear lost a big bet and is still hurting from the loss. (It won’t help to offer a hankie, Tiny. Getting out of the tree might be the best idea.)

Copyright © 2018 by John W. Howell

Now let’s get a wiggle on and head back to the Roaring Twenties to see how the story progresses. 

Pip Meets Tiny — Part 2

1920s_photoplay-health-for-beauty

Rather than a hat, I opted for a long scarf tied as a headband.  The wind whipped up dead leaves into miniature whirlwinds.  The ties of my scarf fluttered like streamers.  It wasn’t a fit day for a walk.  However, Granny Phanny’s Flemish Giant rabbit had gotten loose.  Granny was gaga for Cinnamon Bun, so we were both out looking for him.  My grandmother went one direction while I went the opposite way.

I had already walked as far as it seemed likely the big rabbit would roam, when the sound of a commotion drew me into a beautifully manicured garden.  Since I had not lived in Savannah very long, I wasn’t sure who owned the fine home and grounds.  As much as I wanted to find Cinnamon Bun, I hoped it was not him making such a ruckus on some swell’s property.

Stepping lightly into the ritzy garden I followed the sounds of rustling, grunting, and other destructive noises that came to my ears.  I cringed to think of the damage Cinnamon might be causing. 

The sounds stopped for a moment.  I cast my gaze around, wondering if I had gone the wrong way.  Then the hullabaloo returned, but I realized it was above me in the branches of a grand old magnolia tree.

A_beautiful_garden_in_Savannah,_Ga._(8368128006)

Savannah, Georgia garden via Wikimedia Commons

Bushwa!  Cinnamon Bun is a clever rabbit, but there was no way he’s gotten up a tree…  Is there?

Perplexed, I stared up into the branches of the towering magnolia.  I could see something moving — something large.  A deep voice added to the ruckus.

“Look, I promise I’ll make them take away the unicycle.  I know it must bring up bad memories for you,” the voice commented.  “Wow, Ursa, you need a manicure.  Your nails are in rough shape.”

I gaped, in astonishment.  What kind of phonus balonus was I hearing?

A disgruntled growl seemed to be the response to the manicure remark.  Then something squishy fell the branches from and slapped onto my upturned face.

A pastrami sandwich? I marveled as I removed a round slice of pastrami that covered my eye.

“Hey!  That was mine!” the deep voice complained.  “Horsefeathers, Ursa!  I’ve had enough of this stuff.  It’s time for you to come down out of this blasted tree.  You know heights give me the heebie-jeebies!”

A growl answered the complaint.

“I guess it’s just as well you dropped my sandwich.  Your breaths is bad enough without pastrami,” the man quipped, and was answered with a roar.

When I heard the roar of a beast, I jumped backward about six feet, eyes bulging.

A broad, tall form backed down from the tree.  He didn’t look my way.  He was intent on coaxing someone nearly as large as himself from the branches.

Oh, make that some thing! I thought and gasped.

He turned at the soft noise I made.  After a moment I recognized him as the big man who had saved my hat downtown.

“You!” I exclaimed, but fell into stuttering.  “And th-th-that…”

Ringling Bros Bears circus

“Don’t mind Ursa,” he assured me.  “She’s tame as a kitten.  She’s my partner for the special event.  Ursa the wrestling bear.  It’s all play to her.  Although I admit she’s pretty strong!”

My mouth moved, but I’m pretty sure nothing came out of it.  I looked from the bear to him and back to the bear cautiously.

“Applesauce,” he muttered and lifted a hand to gently remove lettuce and pastrami from my hair.  “I guess you caught my pastrami sandwich.  I’m sorry.”

“Um,” I struggled to find my tongue.  “Thank you for saving my hat yesterday.”

He gave me a grin that was a match for his girth.  Then he looked at my headband and then at my coat.  His eyes clouded with disappointment.

“You didn’t like them?” he asked in a shy seeming tone.

Granted, I had a few things on my mind, not least of which was Ursa the bear.  It took a moment for me to understand what he meant.

“Bear,” I muttered.  “Oh the bear!  With the hatpins.  Was that from you?  They were pos-i-lutely the cat’s meow!” I told him with profuse thanks.  “But why would you do something extravagant like that?  What’s your name anyway?”

The way he blushed I was afraid he was going to clam up with a fit of shyness.  Finally, he told me he was called Tiny.  He said Godfrey Gilley, the grocer told him Granny’s address.  I figured Mr. Gilley was pretty excited to meet Tiny, since he was the star of the wrestling show.  That must have been the highlight of the grocer’s month.

“He was pretty excited,” Tiny chuckled.  “It’s good to meet fans.  I left him a picture too.  Anyhow, I’m far away from home.  It was Valentine’s Day, and I just thought it would be fun to leave a present for a pretty girl,” he explained.

I was the one blushing at that point.

In the distance I heard the puttering of a motor.  I figured it was Granny in her Model-T, and I hoped it meant she had found Cinnamon Bun.  I told Tiny why I was there, in a stranger’s garden.  I offered to take him back into town or wherever he was staying.

Studebaker blue 1920s

“You’re the berries for offering, but Ursa would probably tear the seats in your grandma’s automobile.  And sometimes she gets motion sickness,” he politely declined.  “Besides one of the guys is circling around with the truck.  I knew she probably hadn’t gone too far.  He’ll probably drive past in a minute.”

We both made a face at the prospect of an up-chucking bear.  Ursa looked at us and made an indignant noise.

Tiny hooked a heavy leash to Ursa’s collar and they walked with me to the street, just as Granny Phanny drove up to the spot.  She waved excitedly and called my name.  She had found Cinnamon Bun.  Then she spotted the bear.  Her brow knitted, then her eyes widened.

“Do I see what I think I see?” Granny exclaimed.

Ursa sat back on her haunches and waved one enormous paw.

“Don’t worry, Granny.  Everything’s Jake.  This is Tiny, and that’s Ursa.”

The embodiment of southern hospitality, Granny invited Tiny to dinner.  However, he said he had to get ready for his performance.  He handed me a stack of tickets for the wrestling event and told me to bring as many friends as I wanted. 

The truck Tiny mentioned came into view. The huge wrestler waved, and the driver gave a little beep of the horn.  Then with another blush, Tiny gave me a quick peck on the cheek.  He and Ursa walked to the truck.

“Have mercy.  Well, Pip… I’m glad he was there to find that bear before you found it.  That would have been a sight!  Expecting to find a rabbit and you get a big ole bear instead!” Granny chortled.

 

Hatpins Ad 1898

Ad for hatpins, circa 1898

“So it was him that left the stuffed bear and hatpins, wasn’t it?” she confirmed.  “I’m surprised you didn’t know who left them, him catching your hat and all.  I guess you didn’t see the way he looked at you.  What I want to know is who you thought would leave you a gift like that,” she added with a suspicious glance at me.

That tone could mean trouble.  I wasn’t sure what to say.  It never occurred to me that a stranger would do something sweet like that, and that’s what I told her.

“The only person who ever mentioned hatpins was Hank Hertz,” I started.  “I was scared to death that Hank had done something like that.  I didn’t want it to be Hank,” I confessed.

“Pip, Hank is a nice boy.  You’re not that much older than him.  You seem to have inherited my bias about age differences.  I hope you’ll get over that.   It would be different for you and Hank than for me and—  Anyway, a year or two is nothing.  A decade or two, now that’s another matter,” she said with a sigh.

At first I thought Granny was referring to Alastair Wong the elder.  She had told me about her relationship with my friend’s great-grandfather.  However, she might also have been thinking about Detective Dabney Daniels — though she’d never admit it.

I suppressed a giggle when I realized Granny Phanny might have been thinking about both of them.  She’d get in a lather if I said it, but Granny was a flapper at heart.

The End

***

 

I hope you enjoyed your visit.  You’re the bee’s knees! 

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

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

 

 

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 © 2018 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 22 ― Pip Meets Tiny (Part 1)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day

Dennisons 1920s Valentine girl

Happy Valentine’s Day from Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books!  Awhile back I was lucky enough to do a collaboration with Fiction Favorites* author John W. Howell*.  He did one of his outrageous lists of “Ten Things Not to Do” and that took me to my short story, In the Pip of Time*

John Howell Books

I’m happy to say that John agreed to work with me again.  Reading the list that John created especially for this collaboration gave me such fun, vivid images that my story will be more than one post.  However, his list will be sort of a spoiler.  So I’m saving it as a treat for next week. 

Anyhow, in John’s lists of things not to do, a recurring character is Tiny, the WWF champ.  I thought it might be fun if Pip met a 1920s version of Tiny.

With this episode I will feature recipe links to some pos-i-lutely darb food bloggers!  Be sure to check them out too.

Let’s get a wiggle on and head back to the Roaring Twenties and see how Pip came to meet Tiny. 

Pip Meets Tiny — Part 1

1924 Feb_Theatre woman arrow heart Valentine

Theatre, February 1924

Granny Phanny gave me one of her old hats and some red velvet ribbon.  She encouraged me to get the hat “dolled up” for Valentine’s Day.  It was made of pearl gray wool felt with a medium height crown and a three-inch brim.  I used the velvet red ribbon to make a band and a large but neat bow for the front.  It was a big change from the nearly brimless styles I preferred.  However, I thought it would be fun to have something different.

I was ready to show off my hat, so I didn’t mind when Granny asked me to take care of her grocery shopping while she went to look in on Miss Olive, who had a cold.

“Pip, the wind’ll take that hat.  You should have used more than one hatpin.”

“I lost the other one, Granny,” I defended myself.  

“Lost it!  Paisley Idelle Peabody, those things don’t grow on trees, you know,” Granny chided.

“Anyway, it’s not windy today,” I said with a smile, trying to keep her in a good mood.

Granny grunted a contradictory reply as she stopped the Model-T in front of Gilley’s Grocery.

Another Foodie Blogger (click here)

I stumbled into a debate when I went inside.  The discussion was getting rather heated.  My spiffy hat would be last thing those guys would notice.  Godfrey Gilley, the store owner, was getting red-faced as he defended his favorite sport, professional wrestling.  Detective Dabney Daniels wouldn’t budge in his stance that it had become nothing more than modern theatrics.  I rolled my eyes when Hank Hertz, Savannah’s youngest copper, tried to defend both positions.  

Hank noticed my expression and tried to be nice.  He tried, but it just seemed like a criticism at the time.  

“Pip, you usually have two hatpins.  Are you sure one is enough?  My moma always uses two or three,” he told me.

Of all the nerve!  I guessed I should be glad somebody at least noticed my hat.  Sort of.   I gave Hank a glare and he looked like he was trying to figure out how to take back his poorly chosen words. 

1920s Girl Hat 2

Young Lucille Ball

“Pip, you’d best mind your Ps and Qs, and avoid strangers,” the copper told me.  “A bunch of professional wrestling carnies are in town.”

“Professional wrestling is a legitimate sport!” Godfrey Gilley inserted hotly.

The detective cleared his throat, pointedly ignoring the store owner.  Daniels and his chiseled features looked down at me, plainly dismissing my attempt to enter the conversation.  

I was getting pretty miffed.  Were they blind to the fact that times were changing?  I was a modern woman, a flapper!  As I stewed, they ran right over me and kept talking.

“As I was saying, they were supposed to pass through after one performance,” he continued, ignoring Godfrey’s sputter about the word performance.  “But they’re staying longer.  There will be folks around who are less than savory.  So steer clear of strangers.  Savannah, Georgia is not the sleepy Florida town you’re used to.”

Ringling Bros Bears circus

“I hear they’re even going to have a parade!” Hank Hertz inserted excitedly.  “They have a whole troop of wrestlers ― even a wrestling bear they brought all the way from Russia!

Detective Daniels frowned at his young cohort.  Then he managed to include me in the grimace too.

With a glare at the detective, the grocer turned to me and spotted the list from Granny Phanny.  Godfrey Gilley took the list from my hand.  He read over the list.  Then he appeared to have a moment of inspiration as he narrowed his eyes and gave a calculating glance at Daniels.

“I take it, Miss Phanny is making cookies?” he said and cleared his throat.  “I’ll throw in this new red vegetable dye that just came in.  Tell your grandmother it’s a little Valentine gift from me.”

The debate over professional wrestling seemed to have brought out a competition between the two men.  Dabney Daniels made a quick scan of the table displaying sale items and picked up a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Picture

Sunny Cove Chef (click here)

“I’ll take this cookie cutter, but put it with Miss Phanny’s purchase,” Daniels told the grocer.  “Pip, tell your grandmother it’s from me.”

“What a couple of palookas…” I muttered as I left the store.

Granny Phanny had been right about the calm wind not lasting.  As the door closed behind me, a breeze caused my skirt to flit above my knees.  Granny would have been scandalized, but what did it matter if a kneecap showed?  I headed up the street, in the direction of Miss Olive’s.  I expected to run into Granny in her Modle-T before I walked very far.

With one hand on my grocery basket and the other holding my skirt, I was unprepared for the gust of wind that caught my hat.

I knew that wider brim was a bad idea!  Why didn’t I wear my favorite pink cloche hat?

The single hatpin was not sufficient to the task.  The wind tore the hat from my head and it sailed away.  To my astonishment, my hat flew directly into the largest man I had ever seen.  I don’t know what surprised me more ― the unlikelihood of the hat blowing right to him, or his extraordinary girth.  Why, he was a broad as a door and as tall as a ceiling… or at least it seemed that way in the moment.

The stranger smiled and politely handed back my hat.  However, the cat had his tongue.  He fumbled and muttered some words I couldn’t make out before blushing and tipping his hat.  I tried to thank him, but some other men walked toward him, urging him to hurry.

IMG_0516

A Pug in the Kitchen (click here)

Detective Daniels’ caution came back to me.  I was alone and there were several unknown men walking toward me.  So, I smiled and thanked him, as I continued to walk.  Just then the yellow Model-T drove up, with Granny Phanny at the wheel.

She gave a friendly wave to the large stranger.  That was Granny’s way, and she would expect the same of anyone else.  He awkwardly tipped his hat again, that time toward her.  Then his friends hurried him along.

***

That evening I was helping my grandmother make supper.  A thud sounded from the front porch.  Granny was checking the oven and asked me to go and see if anything was amiss. 

When I opened the front door I found cuddly stuffed bear.  A red cutout heard was pinned to the ribbon bow around his neck.  Written on the heart was the old poem, “Roses are red, violets are blue.  Sugar is sweet and so are you.”

“Not very original,” Granny Phanny snorted.  “But a lovely, wholesome sentiment just the same.”  

When I looked closer, I saw the heart was attached under the bow by two rhinestone hatpins.  Then I realized that no one had signed it.  

“It must be for you, Granny.  Detective Daniels and Mr. Gilley both sent you something with ingredients I picked up for your cookies.”  

My grandmother gave me a long suffering look.  She muttered a denial.  Then she hustled me back to the kitchen.  Granny Phanny was determined to make me learn to cook.

End Part 1

***

Thanks to our sensational chef bloggers for sharing their tasty Valentine treats!

You will surely want to share these sweet desserts with your sugar.  Check out these treats and more recipes from Kathryn “Another Foodie Blogger,” Gerlinde “The Sunny Cove Chef,” and Suzanne at “A Pug in the Kitchen.”

Ya’ll are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas for visiting.  

 

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

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

 

 

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 © 2018 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 21 ― February Pondering

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hi there, Sheiks and Shebas.  It’s darb to see you back at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  It feels like it’s been a long cold winter to me… and it’s only February.  

Teagan’s Pondering

 

The research geek in me wanted to know how different I might have felt if I lived in the Roaring Twenties.  How did they keep their frozen spirits up and generally cope with winter?  Putting it into perspective, some preferences weren’t profoundly different from the present.  I thought I’d provide you my pondering.

Snuggling with a pet is still a great idea.  I can’t make out all the text on the cover, but much as we might, the folks in the 20s thought about spiffing up their “nests” with new decor.  A new lampshade or an art map (maybe a map of warmer climes).

1926_Feb Modern Pricilla Girl Cat

Modern Priscilla, February 1926

Even if you are a romantic only in secret, you might secretly hope for a Valentine’s package in February.

1918_Feb Modern Priscilla girl package snow

Modern Priscilla, February 1918

Unfortunately, for some of us, snow is an inescapable part of February.  Some like it, others don’t.  However, those who like to play in the white stuff have gear for the snow.  Materials, styles, and means of navigating it have changed, but we still play in the powder — whether with waterproof coats and snowmobiles, or warm wool mittens and snowshoes.  Also when we go inside to get warm, we might read a serial story.  Theirs were in magazines, while ours might be in a blog. (Hint, hint… have you been to Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam lately?)

1922_Feb Good Housekeeping Child showshoes

Good Housekeeping, February 1922

One way we deal with the chill February weather is escaping to the movies.  In the Roaring Twenties, they might go see the latest film. If the weather was bad they couldn’t binge on Netflix — but there were several periodicals all about Hollywood, cinema, and the stars.  The latest gossip was eagerly devoured.

1922_Feb Photoplay girl scarf coins flower

Photoplay, February 1922

Or if Tenseltown just isn’t your thing, you might have chosen a magazine that kept you abreast of the latest technology.  Then and now you could have read about “new ideas.”  In the 1920s those topics were aviation, your home workshop, engineering, or automobiles.  (Have you ever noticed that I don’t use the word “car” in my stories?  Back then the term was automobile.  A car was something else.)

1929_Feb Popular Science Man construction building

Popular Science, February 1929

Like they say… the more things change, the more they stay the same.  I hope you enjoyed this bit of pondering.  Thanks for visiting the Jazz Age with me, if only in imagination.  You really are the cat’s pajamas!

***

 

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

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

 

 

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 © 2018 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 20 ― Pip and Holding On Part 2

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1923 Harold Lloyd Safety Last clock

Harold Lloyd in Safety Last, 1923

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Last time I posted part-1 of a story I wrote because Hugh Roberts, of Hugh’s Views & News, asked me to participate in his new feature series.  (Click here for Hugh’s post.)

Writing Process

Lately the real world has provided an over abundance of the “s” word.  Take that anyway you want, but I meant stress.  Stress drain.  It leaves me depleted of… well everything.  When that happens it’s extremely difficult for me to write, as this story proves. I spent two weeks of my writing time developing a simple short story.  I finished it last week, but I didn’t manage to make it short enough for one post, but today we have the conclusion. 

Pip and Holding On

Conclusion

City Hall Savannah 1920s

Savannah, Georgia City Hall 1920

After parking the Model-T, I walked with Miss Olive inside the echoing halls of the grand building, making sure she got to the right office.  It seemed like we waited at least an hour for someone to come to the desk.  However, the clock insisted that only ten minutes had passed.  I had never seen a secondhand creep along so slowly.  Someone finally came to help Miss Olive. 

Yes, I admit it.  I was bored that easily.  There were no distractions in that room.  Nothing to occupy the mind, no magazines, zipola.  Maybe it was all my fidgeting, but the elderly woman took pity on me.  Miss Olive told me it would be fine if I went to look around outside while she attended to her business.

I exited city hall and strolled a short distance down the sidewalk.  A commotion caused me to turn back.  A high-pitched call split the air.  A man screamed.  I heard Hank Hertz yelling.

When I looked up I saw the reason for the uproar.  The hawk we saw earlier had snatched Charlie’s little Chihuahua!  The raptor had caught the ruffles of the tiny dog’s dress.  Chichi dangled by her frilly dress, as the hawk flew high above the street. 

Two statues representing art and commerce adorned the fourth-floor balcony of city hall.  The hawk alighted there, Chichi in tow.  Charlie kept up his shrill scream so long I wondered where he got all the air.

Ramon Novarro chihuahua Chiquita1920s

Ramon Novarro with his chihuahua Chiquita, 1920s

Hank ran from the other side of the street toward the three arched entries of city hall and disappeared inside.  I went after Hank.  I didn’t see him anywhere, but I heard the pounding of his shoes on the marble floors.  I followed the sound.

I was breathing hard when I stepped out onto the fourth-floor balcony.  Maybe the hawk was spooked by all the yelling from Hank and Charlie Chilton.  Some of the people on the street were yelling too.  It flew erratically, hampered by the weight of the dog, as it flew from the statues up to the clock on the sixth story. 

(You can read the chapter of Murder at the Bijou that included Charlie and Chichi here.)

I leaned against one of the statues trying to catch my breath.  Thankfully that also put me in a shadow.  It was already getting hot outside.

The hawk stopped on the minute hand of the clock as it pointed at twelve.  Worse than the Chihuahua suspended high in the air, Hank Hertz had climbed out onto the face of the clock.  The bells gonged as the clock struck nine. 

Savannah’s youngest policeman cautiously stepped onto the hour hand.  Hank stretched up toward the vertical minute hand as far as he could, trying to reach the dangling dog.  However, the hawk flew back down to the statues.  Hank made a grab for Chichi, but lost his balance and started to fall.

Hank grabbed onto the huge minute hand of the clock, scrambling to get his footing.

Harold Lloyd clock

The Chihuahua struggled as the hawk glided down.  I stood stock still.  If the hawk saw me it would fly away with the little dog.  Or it might drop her.  That would be awful too.  Horsefeathers, it would be horrible if Hank fell from his predicament to the pavement 140 feet below.  What was he thinking?

The gears of the clock and the metal of the minute hand groaned.  Hank’s weight pulled it downward. 

Slowly I tilted my head to look up at the statue against which I leaned.  Chichi saw me and renewed her struggle for freedom.  The hawk was preoccupied by Hank’s presence on the clock. 

But what if it looks down? I worried.

I heard the scrape of Hank’s shoes as he scrabbled against the face of the clock for a foothold but found none.  Metal moaned as the minute hand moved again.

Involuntarily I gasped when Hank lost his hold.  The hawk heard me. 

Chichi yipped, tiny legs working furiously.

Hank managed to grab onto the railing below the clock face.  I held my breath as he swung one leg up over the banister.

The Chihuahua’s ruffled dress ripped where it was pierced by the hawk’s talons.  She sagged as her dress tore.

Hank finished pulling himself to the relative safety of the ledge behind the stone railing.  I heaved a sigh of relief.

Then the hawk launched itself from the statue.  The awkward burden of the dog caused the bird to bob downward as the frilly dress continued to rip.

I was never any good at catch.  However, the bird was directly above me.  As the fabric tore free and the little Fido fell, I put my hands out and caught her.

***

1920s Ice cream Flapper

Viola Dana, 1920s Film Star

“Lord have mercy.  Paisley, you are a sight.  Your headband is all catawampus and that short skirt looks like you slept in it,” Miss Olive told me in a half-scandalized tone, but then she chuckled and waved her hand.

To my surprise, Miss Olive was sharing a cup of tea with a stranger.  Looking at the scene you would have thought they were old friends.  The man looked like a traveler, probably on his way to Union Station.  A suitcase sat at his feet with labels from England, Ireland, and Wales.  He spoke with an accent that sounded kind of British to my ear.

When the man finished his tea, Miss Olive dumped the tealeaves into the saucer.  Her wrinkled face squinted into even more creases as she peered at the pattern of the leaves.

“Miss Olive, do you see great things in my future?” the stranger asked lightly with a kind, patient smile.

“I see happiness for you,” the very old woman told him.  “That’s a great thing, Mr. Roberts.  I’m just a little puzzled that the main thing I’m seeing is not you.  It’s one of your descendants.  A brilliant novelist.  He’ll be called Hugh.”

The End

***

As a footnote, “Charlie Chilton” never looked anything like handsome actor Ramon Novarro, pictured above with his chihuahua Chiquita.  Sorry Charlie.  For more about the Savannah City Hall dome, click here.

Thanks for visiting.  You are pos-i-lutely darb!

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends. 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

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

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 © 2018 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.