Thriving Thursdays: We Rise

Hello everyone, I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, taking a moment to lift you up, to help you thrive.  What better place for me to do that than from the marvelous tree-house of the Story Reading Ape?

Thriving Thursdays:  We Rise

1928-december-life-balloon-man

Sometimes I feel de-motivated, denied, discounted, discombobulated, or any other de or dis that nobody enjoys.  However, there is one thing that always helps me change that feeling so that I can thrive — and that is motivating someone else.  If I work at lifting someone else’s spirits, or promoting them in some way, I find that I’ve also motivated myself.

We rise by lifting others…   Robert Ingersoll

I’m not able to return comments at both blogs today, so please visit here and say hello to the Ape and all the naughty chips at the tree-house.  We’d love to hear from you.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday.

Mega hugs,

Teagan

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book 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.

 

Get Caught Reading — The Sign of the Ape 1

Crystal Atonement book stack

Happy May Day, everyone!  Do you know what else May is?  It’s Get Caught Reading Month.  I’d like to give you another mini-series this year, but that’s just more than I can do this time.  So I thought I would re-run the one I did last year, featuring blogger pets from everywhere.  

I’ve closed comments, but I hope you’ll come along for a fun trip anyway.

Crystal — Got Caught Reading

Yes, Crystal got caught reading…  If there’s ever been something you wanted to get caught doing, it’s reading!  Did you know that May is officially Get Caught Reading Month?  I didn’t know about it either until Annette Rochelle Aben told me. 

Get Caught Reading is a public service campaign launched by the Association of American Publishers to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read.  So I challenge you to do something, say something, cook something, dig, dance, or draw something that encourages someone to read.  

In honor of Get Caught Reading Month, I’m doing a midweek mini-series.  A few elite bloggers (and their pets) band together with one quest — catch the Story Reading Ape reading.  Now, you may say the Ape is known for reading, but our crafty friend is determined to lead the intrepid band on a merry chase.  The adventure is afoot!  

Atonement Airship

Image courtesy of Chris Graham

The Sign of the Ape — Chapter 1The_Sign_of_the_Four-_in_Lippincott’s_Monthly_Magazine_1890

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four Chap. 6, p. 111

Sleep, illusive as a feather’s touch, brushed past my wistful eyelids.  The slightest noise could wake me.  The sound seemed far away.  I wondered if a television had been left on, but what show would be filled with faint sounds… of meowing? 

Propping up on one elbow, in the puddle of a softly glowing light I saw my cat, Crystal.  She had my cell phone, the source of the multiple meows.  She looked at me guiltily.  The meowing continued.  Don’t misunderstand, I did think it was strange.  I’m not accustomed to my feline fielding phone calls.  I looked at the number, though the feline trio on the other end of the call was clue enough. I hollered into the phone, hoping to be heard by a human.  Annette!

The sound of a vase breaking accompanied the scramble of Claudius, Oh Kitty, and Sweeney as they scattered.  Annette was soon at the phone, and we spent a little time trying to figure out why our cats were having a meow-wow in the middle of the night.Annette Abens Cats

“Caught you, Crystal. Next time talk to your friends at a decent hour,” I told my unrepentant cat.

As I spoke the word “caught” it was greeted by a quartet of meowing, from Crystal and Annette’s three.  I asked Annette what she made of that.

“Oh!” she exclaimed.  “It’s Get Caught Reading Month.  But I don’t know why the cats would be talking about it at this hour.”

Suddenly simian shrilling blasted from the phone.  I looked at my cell and saw that the kitties had conferenced in someone else.  It couldn’t be…  Yet another screech said it was so.  The four naughty chimps were party to this monkey business. 

Then my phone buzzed with a text from the chimps.  “Time Square,” it said.  “Be there.”

I stammered that I couldn’t possibly. The text buzzed again.

“You have to catch the Ape reading.  He’s somewhere in New York.  At least for now,” it read.

Naughty Chimps

Chris Graham’s Naughty Chimps

“For heaven’s sake, he’s The Story Reading Ape!  Everyone already knows he reads!”

My cry was answered with the sound of another text.  “He’s been tucked away up in his tree-house for weeks.  Now he insists that you catch him.”

“But why catch him?” I exclaimed.

Annette supplied the answer — since it was Get Caught Reading Month, those naughty chimps had pulled me into some kind of game, probably orchestrated by the Ape himself.  The text buzzed again.

“Your ride is outside.”

Listening closely I heard a soft hum outside my window.  Hesitantly I pulled back the curtain.  I gasped to see a shimmering air ship afloat just beyond my window.  With the magical, alchemical sound of a sharp pop! the pilot leaned out of the dirigible and motioned for me to hurry.  He looked an awful lot like Cornelis Drebbel, but that would be even more impossible than cats and chimps having a midnight phone conversation.  

A gangway extended from the airship to my window.  Carefully a redheaded woman walked across.

“Ralda Lawton?  Why aren’t you in Atonement, Tennessee?” I sputtered.

Time Sq Atonement Teagan“I’m the only one who can take care of Crystal, and you are the only one who can start this chase,” she said.  “Now get going.”

Once on the airship I couldn’t help closing my eyes to yawn.  When I opened my sleepy orbs we were already at Times Square.  It was like magic… I shot a sidelong look at the pilot, but I couldn’t get a clear look at him.

“Ah!  That’s you, so this must be your stop,” the pilot told me, eyebrows flirtatiously bobbing.

I wanted to ask what he meant, but the sound of another pop! silenced me.  Suddenly, to my horror, I stood before a giant image of my own face.

My phone buzzed with a text from Annette asking me to let her know when  I arrived — or maybe it was from her feline crew, at that point I wasn’t sure.  I sent word to Annette and Crystal that I had arrived safely… already.

I couldn’t help gazing at the impossible billboard bearing my book and my bespectacled face.  Movement caught my eye.  I glimpsed something very large and very furry carrying a book.  He bounded around the corner.  I ran to the spot, and looked in every direction, but he was already out of sight.  All I saw was a suspicious looking guy.  Then on the sidewalk I saw a banana.  It had to be the sign of the ape.

Reeling with shock, I whirled at the sound of a horn blowing.  A bright yellow taxi idled beside me.  The driver’s bushy eyebrows looked all too familiar.  Was I fated to see Cornelis Drebbel everywhere I turned?

Percy asleep reading

Percy fell asleep reading his favorite book.

Sidling into the backseat, I took out my phone.  With trembling hands I found the number of the only person I knew in all of New York.  Suzanne.  If anybody could help me navigate New York it was Suzanne.  If anybody could help us sniff out the Ape and catch him reading, it was Percy the pug.

I felt like a heel.  It was no decent time to call — there would not be a Pug in the Kitchen (or a human) at such an hour.  I was sure to wake them.

However, Suzanne was such a good sport.  She and Percy were ready to jump into the game.  I mentioned the strange billboard on Times Square.  Suzanne wondered if it might be some kind of clue.

“Percy and I will meet you at Madame Tussaud’s Celebrity Wax Museum.  It’s near where you are now,” the blogger-chef promised. 

I leaned back in the taxi cab, too gobsmacked to think straight.

***

It’s hard to tell if we were chasing the Ape, or he was the puppet master, pulling our strings.  Stick around to see who gets caught reading next week!

By the way, it is a work day, so forgive me if I’m slow to answer comments.  

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Special mention to Christopher Graham for the marvelous “Atonement, Tennessee” images.

When Glowing Pigs Fly!

le-sourire-1926-couple-on-pigDid you know that March 1st is National Pig Day (U.S.A.)?  I didn’t until Madelyn Griffith-Haynie told me.

Meanwhile, author and translator Olga Núñez Miret told me that she’s becoming quite fond of piglets, due in part to the “glowing otherworldly pigs” of Atonement, Tennessee.

(Just a couple of Olga’s books. Click here for Amazon author page.)

olga-psychiatry-2-n-man-who-never-was 

So with both of those things in mind, I knew I had to come up with another porcine adventure.  Yet what tale for those twisty tail waggers?

I got off to a good start, but then I got stuck about two-thirds of the way to the finish.  So I went to my trusty jar of “things” and pulled out three bits of paper.3-flying-pig-things

Well, let’s see… Puzzle, bill of sale, and monotony.  Hmmm… I think that just might do the trick.  Here goes!

When Glowing Pigs Fly

A sweet breeze stirred the brown leaves that covered the area beneath an ancient oak tree.  Honeybell quickly put a hoof on the page of her book to prevent it moving.  She took a deep breath of the air, pleasantly scented with early blooming crocuses and jonquils.  Then she settled back to continue reading her book.

However, a loud snort interrupted Honeybell.  Deme frisked up to her side, sapphire blue eyes shining brightly.  Her twisty tail twitched with anticipation.  Honeybell glanced up but tried to go back to her reading.  Deme snuffled impatiently.

“What are you so excited about, Deme?”

“Have you forgotten?  Honeybell, it’s the one day of the year when we get to go into Atonement, Tennessee and play with the humans.”

“You do that more than one day a year,” Honeybell grunted in a rather admonishing tone.

2-pigs-traffic-light

“Well, it’s the only day that we don’t risk getting into any trouble for it.  And it’s the only day all year when any memory of us gets removed from the humans.  That way we don’t have to worry that something we do might disturb them.  Aren’t you the least bit excited Honeybell?” Deme asked, shifting impatiently from hoof to hoof.

“I’ve gotten really fascinated with this book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Honeybell told her friend.  “At first it seemed too commonplace to be interesting.  But it’s gotten quite frightening in some parts.  Pigs as foot stools!  Absolutely horrid!  Other parts are just plain odd.”

“What do you mean by odd?” Deme asked, intrigued by anything that could so completely engross her friend.

alice-in-wonderland-pig-baby“Well take this part for instance,” Honeybell read aloud from the volume.

“Thinking again?” the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin.

“I’ve a right to think,” said Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a little worried.

“Just about as much right,” said the Duchess, “as pigs have to fly….” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9.

“What would be wrong with pigs flying?” Honeybell demanded.  “Of course it’s very unusual, and precious few of us can…  But shouldn’t it be every pig’s right to fly?  If they are able, I mean.”

Deme grunted a giggle.  “It’s only a story, Honeybell.  Try not to be bothered by a story so outrageous that it includes a character like the Queen of Hearts, who would rest her feet on a pig.”

“That’s easy for you to say.  You’ve actually flown.  More than once!  That’s why your eyes are bright blue,” Honeybell said with an impatient snuffle.

“You know that I can’t just fly any time I choose,” Deme defended.  “I can’t control when it happens.  Come on, that story is upsetting you.  Everyone else has already left for Atonement.  You need some fun,” Deme entreated and Honeybell reluctantly closed her book.

***

Sheriff badge

“Ralda, unless this is an emergency, I have to go.  Now,” Sheriff Robin Warden said emphatically. 

“Do you really think you should?” the woman asked in a concerned voice.  “The weather people were saying we might get a bad storm.”

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

“Shakespeare again?” the redhead asked him.  “You really are a Bardolator.  So in other words, you don’t care that you’re doing something foolish.”

“Do you think a weather report would stop me?  When pigs fly!  Ralda, I can’t explain, except that I told you this is National Pig Day, and I want to be as far away from Atonement, Tennessee as I can get!  I’ll be back in a day,” he exclaimed as Ralda Lawton looked at him with a bemused expression.

flying-pot-bellied-pig

The Sheriff’s car burned rubber, engine roaring until it was out of sight.  Deme made a loud disgruntled noise.  She particularly enjoyed getting Robin Warden involved in her play.  It didn’t matter that because he had been touched by Goewin, he was one of the few humans who was not affected by the magic that made people forget the otherworldly pigs.  Ralda Lawton was another such human, but her immunity had a different source.

“You have a crush on him, don’t you,” Honeybell stated with a sidelong look at her friend.  “You always want him to play.”

“That isn’t so!” Deme exclaimed, but Honeybell gave a soft snort.

Pig Valentine

The two glowing pigs looked around.  The rest of their drift of pigs was nowhere to be seen. 

“It looks like everyone else has already gone into town, Deme.”

“We could catch up easily enough,” the blue-eyed pig replied.  “Or we could nose around in the closed-off parts of Sunhold.  You like old mansions and ruins,” Deme suggested.

“That could be fun,” Honeybell reluctantly agreed, still thinking of her book.  “And Ralda-Esmeralda wouldn’t mind even if she knew we were there.  Perhaps we should ask her to come and play in the tower.”

“I think she’s afraid of that area, especially the tower.  She says it’s not safe.  You know humans are not as agile as we are,” Deme told Honeybell, who nodded knowingly.

Moving toward the old estate house, Deme and Honeybell followed quietly in Ralda Lawton’s wake.  Since she could remember them, they tried not to call attention to themselves. 

As the woman headed to her door the wind moaned.  Honeybell looked skyward uneasily, but Deme’s sense of play was contagious.  So the two friends trotted to an unused extension of Sunhold that Ralda had barely explored.  The otherworldly pigs, however, were already familiar with it.

2 Pigs

There were several rooms in that wing, and it led to a turreted tower.  Many places had bad flooring, so the pigs stepped gingerly.  Hooves clipping softly, they made their way to a rounded area.  At the center a beautiful old staircase spiraled gently upward.

[… And this is where I got stuck.  Time for three random things!]

Ralda Lawton quietly came in, unheard by the pigs.  She stood silently as she watched them in fascination.

“Isn’t this the spot where we found truffles once?” Honeybell asked.

“I believe so,” Deme answered with a sigh.

“What’s wrong?  I know you like truffles,” Honeybell snorted.

“It’s just that we’ve already hunted truffles.  We’ve already done everything we ever do.  The monotony is just so… monotonous,” Deme grunted.

“You two like to root around for things, if you’ll pardon the expression.  How would you like to help me look for old documents?” Ralda Lawton asked from behind them.

Startled, both pigs squealed in surprise at her unexpected voice.  After taking a moment to collect herself, Deme approached the woman, twisty tail wagging rapidly. 

Both pigs were intrigued by the human’s suggestion.  Looking for things was like solving a puzzle.  Honeybell particularly liked puzzles.  She was not as bold as Deme — no one was.  However, she hurried up to Deme and Ralda.  Hunting for documents would be even better than truffle hunting because it was something they’d never done before.

“What sort of documents?” Honeybell gathered her courage and asked.

la-vie-parisienne-sept-1926-woman-pig-farm

Ralda Lawton crouched down closer to the glowing pigs.  “You smell like flowers,” she murmured.

She held out her hand, as if she meant to pet them.  Then she drew it back, uncertainly.  Daring as ever, Deme nudged her nose under the woman’s hand to show her the affection was accepted.  Hence there was a bit of petting and scratching that delighted both pigs so much that they glowed quite brightly.

Deme and Honeybell both rolled all the way over and pounced back onto their hooves, tails wagging happily.

“I’m sorry,” Honeybell gasped.  “What kind of papers were you looking for again?”

“Anything with names.  Especially signatures,” Ralda told them.  “Like birth or death certificates, letters, a bill of sale, anything like that.  I’d like to make a timeline and history of everyone who has lived in Sunhold.  I’ve gotten some information in the old cemetery, but most of the headstones are impossible to read.  Besides, sometimes the graveyard was used for the entire community, not just people who lived in the estate.”

The pigs started to run up the staircase when Ralda called them back.  She seemed uncertain, strangely hesitant, now that they had agreed.

“Just one other thing,” Ralda began.  “Could you help make sure I don’t step on any rotted stairs or floorboards?  I’m heavier than you, so you might be able to walk on places where I would fall through.  Do you have any way to tell?”

“We can smell the various conditions of the wood if we are paying attention,” Deme told her, blue eyes large and sincere.  “So we will mind that carefully.”

pig

Dreamstime

The wind howled through the drafty, rundown structure.  Honeybell’s eyes widened fearfully.  However, she was determined not to show her anxiety.

“Don’t worry, Ralda-Esmeralda.  We will see that no harm comes to you,” Honeybell promised.

Deme and Honeybell snuffled excitedly, leading the way.  Their natural glow was enough to help Ralda see in the shadowy areas, but she kept her flashlight turned on just the same. 

“That room over there,” Honeybell said, trotting up to a door.

Ralda opened the door and the pigs went inside, still snuffling.  She asked if the floor was safe, so Honeybell double checked.  She had promised to keep the woman safe, and she would keep that vow.

Deme gave an excited grunt and her radiance became brighter.  She pulled a dust cover away from a small bookcase.  It was filled with old books.  Ralda praised the find, but the pigs knew it wasn’t what she had in mind.

“I wonder if there’s a Bible among them,” the woman pondered.  “Old Bibles were used to record the kinds of things I want to collect.  I’m going to take an armload downstairs and then come back to look at more.”

“I’ll go with you,” Deme offered, remembering the woman’s concerns about the old stairs and flooring.

1958-coco-chanel-staircase

While Ralda and Deme went downstairs, Honeybell pulled dust covers away from a sofa and chair.  With a squeal of delight she jumped onto the antique horsehair covered sofa and began tugging at a cushion.  As Honeybell tossed away the pillow, she found a worn leather folio.

Honeybell knew just by the scent that she had found the kind of thing Ralda-Esmeralda wanted.

“I found something!” Honeybell squealed in delight.

The small pig picked up the folio in her mouth, but she wasn’t tall enough to carry it well.  Tripping and stumbling all the way, she dragged it into the hallway and then to the railed area that looked down on the round room far below.  Part of Honeybell’s mind noted the wind worsened outside, but she was completely focused on her awkward task.

“Look!  I found something!” Honeybell repeated.

As she dropped the folio to shout, papers fell across the landing.  Deme and Ralda were already headed back up the stairs, but they quickened their steps.  Honeybell tried to nose the old documents back to the cracked leather portfolio. 

The others had a long climb up the gently spiraling staircase.  By the time they reached the landing both were breathing hard.  Honeybell had gathered most of the papers and pushed them next to the portfolio.  She pranced in place beside them while Deme and Ralda caught their breath.

The woman’s delight at the papers pleased Honeybell more than the little pig would have ever thought.  However, she always shared another’s joy, so why not a human’s?

Ralda Lawton’s eyes grew wide.  Her eyes were blue, but not the bright sapphire blue of Deme’s.

“What’s this?” Ralda gasped upon seeing a very old newspaper.  “I’m afraid it might crumble if I touch it,” she murmured as she sat on the floor to read it.  “Between the stains and the holes, I can only read phrases, broken sentences,” she commented on a sigh.  “The way they used English is even different.  Could it be from Esmeralda Gwynedd’s day?”

 

atonement-abandoned-moon

Image by Chris Graham

“There’s a date mixed with the stain at the top of the page — 1782,” Honeybell stated. 

“I didn’t know that pigs had such good eyesight,” Ralda commented in a pleased voice.

“We don’t necessarily see better than humans,” Deme explained.  “But we see wavelengths that you can’t.  Besides, we aren’t ordinary pigs,” Deme added with a wink and a wag of her twisty tail.

“Their way of speaking takes a lot of getting used to,” Ralda continued reading the sheet of newspaper.  “Not to mention the little holes.  But it’s a report of a drowning.  Dylan Aildon.  Then next paragraph says something about survived by Gwy— but the rest of the name is lost to the damage.  I wonder if he was one of the Gwynedd family,” Ralda speculated.

“The name sounds familiar, but from long ago,” Honeybell said softly, her eyes taking on a faraway look.

“You and your books,” Deme teased fondly.

“That’s it!  One of Goewin’s books.  But the name was slightly different.  Dylan ail Don,” Honeybell cried, emphasizing the difference.

“The way Guy Fabdon is really Gwydion fab Don?” Ralda gasped and asked.

“Yes, Dylan ail Don was the son of Gwydion the trickster,” Honeybell explained.

As the three exchanged amazed looks, the wind tore open a window.  It scattered the documents that had come out of the portfolio.  A current of air suddenly lifted the newspaper off the floor and it sailed over the railing.

Ralda Lawton lunged to grab the paper, leaning against the railing.  With a dull crunch the banister gave way.  The woman wavered for an instant, trying to get her balance.  Too quickly for the pigs to act, she fell.Perils_of_Pauline_-_1947_Poster

Sapphire eyes bulging, Deme wished as hard as she could wish for her wings to emerge.  However, she had never learned to summon the ability to fly.  It only came to her unexpectedly.

“Ralda-Esmeralda!  I said she’d come to no harm!” Honeybell cried as she leaped.

Honeybell grabbed the woman’s jacket with her teeth, but to no avail.  They both plunged over the edge.

“Honeybell, no!” Deme screamed and ran to the edge.

Deme watched in horror as the other two plunged downward toward the marble floor far below.  Abruptly Honeybell began to fall faster than the woman.  Then wings sprouted from the little pig’s back and she darted underneath Ralda.

Deme didn’t realize she had done anything herself until she was beside Honeybell.  Together the two, glowing, flying pigs saved the friend they called Ralda-Esmeralda from falling to her death. 

She didn’t exactly land on her feet, but she was unharmed.  Just as Honeybell promised, Deme thought in satisfaction.

Ralda Lawton sat sprawled on the floor.  The woman seemed shocked and disoriented.  She gazed at the two winged pigs, hovering just above the floor.

“Ralda-Esmeralda, are you okay?” Honeybell asked, though the woman gazed at her in mute astonishment.

“Honeybell, your eyes are bright blue now, like Deme’s,” was the first thing Ralda said.

Abruptly the wings disappeared from the pigs and they plopped to the floor on either side of Ralda.  The three exchanged amazed looks.

“We’ll see you to the main house and to your bed,” Deme told her, wondering how much the experience might have rattled the human.

“Ralda-Esmeralda, are you sure you’re unharmed?” Honeybell asked, sapphire blue eyes sincere.  “Can you stand?”

Ralda nodded and slowly got to her feet.  “When pigs fly — I mean because pigs fly,” she answered with a wondering smile.

***

eyes

The end.

I hope you enjoyed this little tail… I mean tale.  Mega hugs!

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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

 

 

 

Thriving Thursdays: What if I Fall – 2

To read “What if I Fall -1” just click here.

Welcome back.  I’m playing catch-up again, re-posting some of the Thriving Thursdays mini-posts that The Story Reading Ape has so generously allowed me to do from his tree-house.

Thriving Thursdays: What if I Fall – 2

What if I fall?  What if someone laughs?  What if it’s expensive?  What if it’s a no return ramp exit?  What if—?

Are you afraid you’ll fall?  Yet you don’t want that nagging fear to hold you back, right?  Well, sometimes we just have to redefine our perception of things.  Would you really be falling?

“Did you just fall?”charlie-chaplin-fell-down

“No.  I attacked the floor.”

Go ahead and attack the floor.  If you even got up and tried — the truth is, that’s more than most people do.  That alone means you didn’t really fall.  Did you learn something from that failed attempt?  About yourself, or about how you’re doing things?  Then you didn’t truly fall.

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson

Flying man w umbrella

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

Copyright © 2015 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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Thriving Thursdays: The Value of Nonsense

If you have already seen this post, forgive me.  It is one of a series of monthly guest spots I’ve been doing at The Story Reading Ape’s blog.  I’m adding it here to my Motivational section.  Since it’s “been done” be sure to pay a visit to the Ape.  Just click here.

Thriving Thursdays:  The Value of Nonsense

Batman Elephant purple

There used to be a list of jokes about keeping a healthy level of insanity.  A good sense of whimsy, an active imagination — those things will help you thrive.

“I like nonsense —
it wakes up the brain cells…”  Dr. Seuss

Here’s one more whimsical quote.

 “My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz.  It’s the letter I use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz.  You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond “Z” and start poking around!”
Theodor Geisel  (aka Dr. Seuss)

From Yuzz to Z, make it a thriving Thursday!

Mega hugs,

Teagan

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Three Things Fire Rooster

2017 Is a Fire Rooster Year

1918-july-vogue-woman-rooster

Vogue, July 1918

My post for the calendar New Year was about “animalizing” your writing (that post is here).  As most of you know, the Chinese zodiac is a cycle of 12 animal signs. Each year is represented by an animal. So I thought it would be fun to mention the Chinese New Year as a follow-on for my Is Your Writing Beastly? post.

If 2016 monkeyed around with your life, remember what mischievous animal embodied that year.  However, it is advised that we embrace opportunities and navigate challenges in 2017.  That doesn’t sound like much of a reprieve to me. Already I’m navigating way too many challenges…  Okay — I will try to be positive.

chinese-new-year-babies-vintage(Yes, I know that’s a fish in the picture, but it’s a fiery color.) I had to investigate why this year’s rooster was called a Fire Rooster.  In Chinese element theory, each zodiac year is also associated with one of five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth.  So to include both the animal cycle and the element cycle, a Fire Rooster, for example, comes once every 60-years.  The last Fire Rooster year was 1957.  Before that, I believe it was 1897.

So in theory, 2017 and persons born in a Fire Rooster year would have characteristics  decided by their birth year’s zodiac sign and element.  Anyway, now we have a fire rooster ready to pick up where the monkey left off.

Three Fire Rooster Things

Most of you are familiar with my three things writing exercise. It led to me writing four serial stories here at this blog, and “book-izing” the first one as a novella, The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story.  (All about that here.)

So now I challenge you — put your fingers on your keyboard and just write anything, as if you were writing an article or a story.  Write until you’ve mentioned the three things I’m about to give you.  Then leave it in a comment here, or a link to your own blog.  Ready?  Here’s your things:

Fire, Rooster, Calendar

Okay, okay… I hear you.  I know it’s not fair unless I play too.  So here goes…  Off the top of my head, here’s something from the “Pip universe.”

3-things-cover_3-2016

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 Ilene 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.

***

Special thanks to Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen for suggesting chicken fricassee as Pip’s cooking assignment.  

As a little bonus treat, here’s more on chicken fricassee.  This one has a Cajun slant.  Happy Chinese New Year! 

 

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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

 

Thriving Thursday: Adjust Accordingly

1925-march-sewing-modern-priscilla

You may have already seen this post. It is one of a series of monthly guest spots I’ve been doing at The Story Reading Ape’s blog.  I’m adding it here to my Motivational section.  Since it’s “been done” be sure to visit at the Ape’s tree-house. Just click here.

Thriving Thursdays:  Adjust Accordingly

I was delighted when our Ape in Chief invited me to the tree-house to do a mini-series.  Those of you who know me, are used to seeing me write fiction for my blog, Teagan’s Books.  However, for these posts, I’m sharing my “office” side.  While it’s not part of my job at the moment, I’ve written a log of motivational messages.  I continued that via my LinkedIn blog where I do mini posts.

We’re inundated with  information. That can result in a lot of gigo… garbage in — garbage out.  Yet one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  When I stumbled across this quote, I thought it was a little gem.  Let’s give it a try.

Make a list of things that make you happy.

Make a list of things you do every day.

Compare the lists.

Adjust accordingly.

Enough said.

 

Wishing everyone a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

 

 

Copyright © 2015 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.