Announcing the Launch! Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming.  Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam will return next week.

Finally!  Wheew!  I’ve been almost ready with this for months.  So I’m dropping everything to tell you about it.  Also, a pos-i-lutely huge thank-you to everyone who agreed to be part of this book launch.  Ya’ll are the cat’s pajamas!

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Bijou front only 2

Yes, that’s the cover.  (I love making covers!)  I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

Giveaway!

My apologies everyone — I tried to limit the giveaway to just my followers, but it clearly went public anyway, and they blew right through it. (I’ve noticed many of the same “winners” appear on every giveaway too.)  I hope at least one person here actually won.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise.  I asked friends to give me three completely random things.  Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things.  I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things.  I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters.  That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery.  However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.  

Still want to know more about the original  Three Things Serial Story?  Here’s a great review from author and translator Olga Núñez Miret.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story.  I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story.  This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook.  Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times.  She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned.  This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space.  If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device.  The purchase links are below.  But first, here’s a snippet from the story.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me.  I’m not sure which.  I opened my eyes to complete darkness.  There was no light, no sound.  The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean.  It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else!  Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily.  The sound of a cricket came to me.  Good.  The utter silence had been very disturbing.  I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses.  My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark.  Bare ground was beneath me.  The air had a musty odor.  A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound.  Still sitting, I turned.  My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness.  When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away.  I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was.  I felt a burlap bag and round lumps.  Rutabagas?  I felt around and found another bag.  That one felt like potatoes.  I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape.  Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar. 

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there.  Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type.  Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one.  And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest.  Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk.  Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon:    https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 3

Thistledown Girl

Alex Iby, Unsplash

Update: The time limit for the lightning contest has now expired. I’ll announce the winners when I post Episode 4. Hugs!

Welcome back one and all!

Writing Process

I really do intend to promote everyone who named a character for this serial.  Yes, that’s a lot of characters… but I will try to do it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or confuse the story.  I hope to avoid reader-overwhelm and character chaos as much as I can.  

In fact, I’m adding a page with very brief information about each character.  I’m not happy with the page, but you might find it minutely helpful, so I’ll go ahead and post it.  I hope to update the page and improve on it.  However, I gave it too much writing-time this weekend. Apparently the free version of WordPress I use isn’t compatible with table apps…  but here goes nothing.

I’m not delaying the disclosure of Bedlam’s story-opening, big, trouble-causing vision as part of a strategy.  I’m flying by the seat of my pants (too bad I don’t have wings, huh?), and the story just hasn’t worked around that way, despite my initial intentions.

About This Episode

This time we see a snapshot of that other, darker faery-verse.  Bedlam’s visions seem to become more real to her as they progress.  

If you’re playing catch-up, click here for the first episode.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam

Boy field smoke-ball aziz-acharki-290990

Aziz Acharki, Unsplash

Another Vision

The ringing in my ears overwhelmed everything else.  I could hardly breathe.  The room swayed.  The people I respected most in all of Thistledown were gathered in the kitchen of Peaches Dragonfly.

I was shocked by their unexpected presence.  I was awed and horribly embarrassed.  Then foolishly, I let my wing get caught on something — a child’s mistake.  So I was also in both physical and emotional pain.  Embarrassed was a far from adequate description.  I was mortified.  I jumped to my feet quick as lightning.

When I got up so fast, the kitchen seemed to tilt.  Large black spots danced before my eyes.  The ringing in my ears became a roar.  Abruptly everything stopped.

Everything was gone.  Light.  Sound.  Pain.  But not fear.  I strained my eyes to see in the sudden advent of a dank gray world.  In my mind I squirmed.  This colorless place was familiar.  The awful vision that brought about my situation — was I having it again?  I was sure it was the same place.  However, this felt even more real than my vision.

A shaky breath crept into my lungs.  I blinked trying to clear my eyes.  The blurring left my sight, but the world around me was still murky.  Tan would have been a bright color in that place.

Abbey,_Edwin_Austin_Fairies

Edwin Austin Abbey, Fairies, circa 1900

Someone was talking to me.  I knew that voice well, although it had a different edge.  I swayed as I turned toward the voice.

Dah-le!  So you made it back, did you?”

My vision was blurry, but I saw black clothes relieved only by a scarf and boots in bright purple.  My eyes found the hazy face of River Mindshadow.  However, something was not right.  I blinked hard and looked at her again.

“What?  You’re not River!” I exclaimed, feeling more alert.

“Hahaha!” she barked a guffaw that was unlike the lilting laughter of River Mindshadow.  “Who?  It’s me, Rotten!  It’ll hurt my feelings if you forgot me so fast.  So, did you come back to tell me more of your saccharine dreams?  I admit they were entertaining.”

“I remember.  You’re called Rotten Soulfire.  You were in my vision,” I recalled, and she gave another harsh laugh.  “You’re like my friend River Mindshadow — but, but not.  You aren’t exactly opposites though…  It’s as though one of you is from sunlight and the other is from shadow,” I said without thinking, and then I worried that she, Rotten, would be offended.

“Does everyone in your dream have a counterpart in reality?  Oh, you look confused.  Should I say in my reality?” Rotten asked in a playful voice, but there was a wicked gleam in her eyes.  “I wonder if we could get the two together.  That sounds like a ton of fun!  I mean, can you imagine the looks on all their faces?  The self-important snots here and the goody two shoes you told me about?”

Rotten leaned closer and looked at me curiously before continuing, “I’ve been looking around since the other time I saw you, Bedlam Thunder.  Far as I can tell, you don’t exist,” she commented in a pointed tone that was speculative but somewhat suspicious.  “So maybe you really are from some goody-goody faery-verse.  But maybe you really belong here instead of in your home.  I mean a moniker like Bedlam Thunder?  That’s not a sweetness and light name like the ones you’ve mentioned.  It seems like you should have been called something sugary like Fleur Rainbow!” she said and collapsed in a gale of laughter.

Her brows knitted and she added, “You don’t look so good.  Hold on, what’s that on you back?  Holy moma!  Wings?” she asked, still laughing.  “You been to a cos party?”

Then Rotten’s face transformed in an expression of confusion and concern.  She hesitantly pushed away the flap at the back of my dress that allowed for wings to unfold.  It was a typical fashion among the faeries of Thistledown.  Faery clothes were often backless, to allow for wings.  However folks in Thistledown were quite modest so flaps or even caplets were attached to cover the back.  Plus flight was mostly a means of traveling.  We didn’t go zooming around willy-nilly instead of simply walking.

1 Butterfly wing

“There’s a little blood here,” Rotten commented, still sounding puzzled.”

Then she touched the joint where my wings depended from my back.  Rotten quickly drew back her hand and gasped.  She looked at me with bulging eyes.

Holy moma—  Oh sweet—  Holy—  They’re real?  They’re real!  Oh my God!”

My grand-uncle once told a story of a place where faeries had no wings.  I thought it was just meant to frighten us.  Could it be that this girl had no wings?  That was hard to imagine.  However, her shirt was tailored to her body.  It couldn’t have been comfortable.  It would have been too confining across the shoulder and wing area.  Were wings something strange and alien to her?

I looked at Rotten in consternation.  I didn’t know what to say.  Finally I told her I had caught my wing and made a small tear.

Ouchers!  That couldn’t have been fun,” she commented, regaining her composure but still sounding tentative.  “Tell ya what.  You ran off pretty quick last time.  Why don’t you stick around?  Come and meet some friends.  We’ll see what trouble we can get into,” she offered to my surprise.

I would have been amazed by what had to be a quick recovery, if indeed Rotten was from a place where folk didn’t have wings.  However, she was clearly unsettled.  I believed she was trying to hide her uncertainty.

“Hey!  Rotten!” came a new voice.  “Oh, there you are.  Dah-le!  Who’s this?” she asked.

As the owner of the voice came into my field of vision, I realized she wasn’t alone.  Another girl, also about my age was with her.  Her long hair was dark, but I noticed several rainbow colored strands discretely tucked behind her ears.

“Come on with me Sat, don’t be shy.  Wow!  You two been having a smack down?  She looks a little rumpled.  Wait a minute.  That looks like a wing,” commented the newcomer, abruptly perplexed.

I noticed that her clothes were mostly dark, similar to Rotten’s apparel.  Her hair was as black as her leather jacket.  I wondered if the dullness of this place influenced everything about the people, even the clothes they wore.  She did, however, have a bright pink top under the jacket.

“Hey Desert.  Love the shirt!  That must have gotten you a shocked look or two.  I’ll bet that’s Satellite with you,” Rotten greeted the girls, and the one with rainbow streaks gave a mischievous grin in return.

“Great timing,” Rotten added with a nod to me.  “This one is called Bedlam Thunder.  You should hear some of the stuff she babbles when she’s knackered.  I ran into her once before,” Rotten told the girl as she poked my side with her elbow.  “Bedlam Thunder, meet Desert Firesong and Satellite Frostbite.” 

Dah-le, Desert.  You didn’t tell me you had polite friends.  I’m not sure that’s socially acceptable,” Satellite joked.

“Woah!  What’s up Bedlam?” Rotten Soulfire cried.  “You having a seizure or something?  Bedlam?  Bedlam!

***

I sneezed so hard it felt like my head would come off.  The voice of Rotten Soulfire still echoed in my mind.  I sneezed again.  And again.  My nose, mouth, and even my ears felt like they were on fire.  I sat up on my elbows, but I think my sneezes had brought me upright.

“Lie back down.  You just got up too fast.  You don’t want to faint again do you?” I heard Peaches Dragonfly tell me in a voice that seemed far away.

Everyone thought I had simply stood up to fast.  Didn’t they know that I had been somewhere else?

Maybe my body hadn’t left, I thought.  My grand-uncle had told me about that kind of vision.  The mind went to one place while the body stayed in another.  The passage of time in the two planes could differ.  Was that what happened?

“Thank goodness you got here when you did!  I’m glad Field found you,” a voice said to someone else.

My face was squeezed up for another sneeze, but I forced one eye open.  The speaker was Ember Beamwitch.  The present rushed back into my awareness.  My eyes followed Ember’s gaze.

A woman in a red dress smiled brightly.  I recognized the lamp maker, Pepper Stargazer.  Some of the peppers she grew were so hot they (with a touch of fae encouragement) could burst into flame.  She parlayed that talent into making lamps.

“Morning-fire peppers work better than smelling salts,” Pepper replied.  “Are you alright, Bedlam?  Oh by the way, Peaches, I brought the party lanterns.  Anybody want to help me string them up?  Just let me know where you want the lights,” she added.

Pepper Stargazer led the cousins Peaches and Pick Dragonfly, and Ember out to where she had presumably parked her wagon.  I knew it would be filled with pepper fueled lanterns and other party lights for the solstice celebration Peaches would soon host.  Catseye Glimmer held the door for the others, and then gave us a wave before he followed.  I noticed he was much taller than the others.  Catseye was the only person I knew who didn’t have to crane his neck to look up at the furry faery, Field Yewwasp.

Oh, the furry faery had been in the room, I thought. I didn’t see him leave the kitchen with the others.  In fact, I hadn’t seen him since I recovered from my faint.  I mentioned it to Calico Rainbowforest.

“How anyone so large can move so fast is beyond me,” Calico muttered.  “He zipped out of here the instant you hit the ground.  I’m sure he went to meet Pepper Stargazer on her way here, and asked her to come as fast as she could with her swoon-remedy.  He’d be outside with the others.  I doubt he could resist tinkering with the lanterns.”

I nodded mutely.  Then I started sneezing again.  I should probably have thanked Pepper, but I couldn’t stop sneezing long enough.  I thought I was alone, so I groaned about adding inflamed sinuses to my sore wing and bruised pride.

“Maybe those ‘morning fire peppers’ work a little too well,” Calico commented with a wink.

A sneeze that had been painfully slow to come out finally exploded from my mouth.

I found myself telling Calico about the vision that had just overtaken me, despite my fear that my vision would be made public.  She promised not to write about it in the Thistledown Trumpet unless I was ready.

L0059071 Turn pin spectacles, steel wire, eye preservers, double fold

Turn_pin_spectacles, circa 1800

When I finished describing what I had just seen, she took a deep breath and pushed her spectacles back on her nose.  Though I had only told her about the most recent vision, it was outrageous enough.  I didn’t go into the bigger, truly frightening one.

Calico got up and moved to the big sideboard.  She picked up a cut crystal bottle containing a sparkly amber colored cordial and two glasses.

“Here, Bedlam.  This will do you good under the circumstances,” she murmured handing me a glass of the cordial.  “It sounds like maybe you’re ready to tell the full story, but let’s wait until everyone is together.  There’s no point wasting your strength to tell it twice.  I realize it’s traumatic for you to even think about discussing it,” Calico said knowingly.

Calico was right.  I did feel better after drinking the cordial.  The magic Peaches Dragonfly had with baking seemed to work in everything she made.  We went outside to watch as the lights were hung.

Glitter Shimmerling arrived in a small carriage powered by a score of hamsters happily running in their exercise wheels.  To the delight of all, she brought a rose covered chocolate cake and offered everyone a slice. 

She let the hamsters out to cavort with Stellar the cat.  Stellar chased the hamsters then playfully turned and they chased her.

From the moment the vision overtook me, the one that started all the trouble, I had feared it was prophetic.  I couldn’t be certain, but the one I had just seen with Rotten Soulfire and her friends was the same place.  However, it seemed more real, more current.  I shuddered thinking that such a place could be real, that perhaps my home could become such a place.

Even though I felt uneasy with them, Rotten, Desert, and Satellite didn’t seem “bad.”  However, their home surely was a dark place.  Could there be a place where kindness was seen as stupidity and civility was viewed with contempt?  Would that negativity seep into all the people?

Although I didn’t remember it, Rotten Soulfire told me I had described my world as “sugary.” Wherever her world was, nearly everything I saw was dark, dull, or black.  I wondered what Rotten would make of Glitter’s hamster powered carriage or her naturally shimmering lavender hair.

End Episode 3

***

Hypothetically, I’d like to imagine this serial as a TV show.  The mystery folk (the people who named characters) would be actors playing roles in the show.  The new mystery folk who were revealed in this episode:

  • Kathryn of Another Foodie Blogger and Austin Street Tacos
  • Robbie Cheadle of Robbie’s Inspiration
  • Olga Núñez Miret (but this time the dark faery-verse or “scary faery”)
  • Adele Marie Park (a scary faery) of Firefly 465
  • Vashti Quiroz-Vega (another scary faery) of The Writer Next Door

Be sure to come back next time for another episode of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.  It’s only here at Teagan’s Books.  Mega 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 © July 2, 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.

 

SPOTLIGHT: Teagan’s Books | Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

I always hesitate to do more than one post a week — and here I am with three in three days… But this feature from Vashti was such a wonderful surprise! What a way to lighten my morbid Monday. Thank you so much, Vashti. ❤ 🙂

The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

#CreativityFound is one of my favorite hashtags, but I use it sparingly, and only when the person or subject matter is truly deserving.Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is clearly worthy because she is the epitome of creativity and imagination.

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”

~Native American Proverb

Teagan Riordain Geneviene-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-vashti quiroz vega-writer-novel

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, is a true storyteller with a vivid imagination. She enjoys interacting with the readers on her blog and her readers take part in the creation of her serial stories. A southerner by birth, she was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she…

View original post 245 more words

Thistledown Midsummer Bedlam – Oops!

Humilited girl comicWhat should I call this — an update, a revision, a change in parameters?  I’m calling myself all sorts of things.

Professionally, I describe myself as a “technical communicator”… and I had a communications fail here at Teagan’s Books.  Since I’m a communicator, I feel terrible.

I made the “interactive” aspect of the new serial, Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam a means of promoting others, and called for characters from other bloggers.  I phrased it that way because comments almost always appear to come from bloggers.  However, the parameters that were in my head and heart, but didn’t make it to my typing fingers, were broader.

Embarrassed girl comic

I meant for it to be any regular reader.  So if you want to be involved by giving a character your faery name — and you read this blog each week, kindly leave a comment at the premier episode from yesterday.  (Comments are closed at this post because I’m trying to make sure no one misses episode one.)

If that applies to you, please leave a comment at this link. Include your faery name, a link to your service, work, art, or personal page — or no link at all.  You can still give a character your faery name and not publicize anything, including yourself.

BFF Update

Crystal and I are still taking one day at a time, after the growth she had removed two weeks ago tested to be cancerous. I had to postpone her followup Friday because something scared her witless and I couldn’t get near her… the reigning First Feline of Freak-out.  I’ll try that again Monday…

She wasn’t doing well yesterday. However, a 3 AM hairball, barfed in the middle of the bed evidenced the problem was a hairball.  She’s better now.

Wishing everyone a wonder-filled, hug-filled new week,

Teagan

Come out to play! — Thistledown

I am happily overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to this post! You all are spectacular.  So — for now — I have as many fairy characters as I can write.  Because of that I’m closing comments.  However, I reserve the right to reopen this call for characters!  :o) 

This is your chance to become a character in a new story! Or rather have a character with your fantastical pseudonym. 

1920s Peoples home journal girl parrotIt began as a bit of fun on Facebook with one of those silly find-your-whatever name things.  It was one of many “What’s Your Fairy Name?” graphics.  Cute, I thought, But too cute. I posted my wish for a less frilly fairy name, and vowed to make my own game.

Well the frilly fairy names caught on, and next thing I knew, I had taken a challenge from Colleen Chesebro to make it into a story.  …And I’ve already admitted that I’m just not able to continue Truths Unseen.  …And you know I enjoy featuring other bloggers.  So I decided to turn it into a story here, a pantser, fairy story — and include everybody!

If you want to join the fun, find your fairy name name and leave it in a comment along with a link to your blog or Amazon author page.  (For example, I’m Glimmer Songbird and here’s my link.)  If you already have a fairy name of your own, sure — you can use that instead.

First find your Frilly Fairy Name

Frilly Fairy Name

If you’re curious, here’s how to find your Scary Fairy Name

Life Flapper Bat

Scary Fairy Name

So let’s go back into the sunlight. Come on out and play in this new fairy story.  Become a character!  Plus you’ll get a little free promotion when your character is introduced. Leave a comment with your fairy name and the link (blog, author page, or service) you want me to use when your character comes into the story.

Folks who left their fairy names on my Facebook post (by end of day, June 30th) I already have your names and links — you don’t have to do anything.  

Here’s a blurb…

LifeFlapper1922

Something strange happened in the sunny land of Thistledown, when the stars aligned at Midsummer.  A veil thinned and a parallel fairy-verse merged with that world. 

The parallel world will be a darker version of Thistledown… So your character will have both frilly and scary fairy names.
Still not sure if you want to play?  Okay then, here’s a draft of the opening to tease you.

Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

Fragrances whispered to me of the past as they wafted on the twilight breeze.  Stars gently drifted to align for the solstice.  Moonstones mirrored in the reflection pool, images reproduced in endless repetition. 
In the pool I saw the memory of a Midsummer of long ago.  I wondered if that time could happen again.  I shuddered.

Bedlam Thunder.  How, could anyone have expected me to fit in with such a name?  However, my grand-uncle had a vision and insisted that I bear a name of chaos among a race of people who were known for being goody two shoes.  My grand-uncle was a seer, so even his whims carried weight.

He insisted that I had the sight.  Some of the oldsters agreed with him, even though they shook their heads and tut-tutted at the mention of my name.  They weren’t wrong, but I wasn’t the same kind of seer as my grand-uncle.  I could see around the odd corner or three, but I never saw anything good.  I never saw the healthy birth of a babe or who someone would marry, I didn’t see anything anyone wanted to know.  I saw the things the existence of which my people denied.  Paranormal things.  Spirits of those who passed, and mythical creatures… like humans.

My eyes shifted again to the reflection pool.  The vision remained.  Heaving a sigh, I sat down beside the pool to watch the mirror image of the stars gliding into place for the solstice, and to endure the replication of the past.  I allowed the reflection to flow into my consciousness, and my mind to become one with the vision.

***

So, now are you ready to play?  See you in Thistledown next weekend!

 
Mega hugs,
Teagan

 

 

 

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.

Truths Unseen — the 1930s Part 2

Welcome, everyone.  Thank you for all the encouragement you’ve given me about this story — and about just doing whatever I can, even if I find myself unable to finish telling the tale.  It’s better to consider this a series of character studies, than a serial.

Girl Truths Unseen 1

Steinar Engeland, Unsplash

I wrote this a week in advance because the surgery for my little BFF was Thursday, June 22nd, and I don’t know what or how much I will have on my hands when this episode is posted.  

BFF Update

Crystal came through the surgery like a champ!  I admit it’s frightening looking… the big shaved area, but particularly the length of the incision. She also has a little shaved spot on each arm.  The growth was at least as big as a golf ball, so the line of her stitches is about four inches long. Dr. Villar said he got the entire growth.  He mentioned the sense of satisfaction he had gotten from doing the procedure. That elevated my estimation of him, to know he takes pride in his work.  Doctor and assistant were both quite taken with Crystal.
Crystal peep stairs 2017
So far she hasn’t bothered the incision area. He used a stitch like a pillow would be closed with, so that the stitches are not exposed (as he and I had previously discussed).
I’m supposed to apply a warm compress, twice a day for three days… Crystal is not cooperating with that… 
It will be a week before I get the test results from the biopsy.

Writing Process

This episode picks up a few years after the first one ended.  It’s from the point of view (POV) of Clarence again, until the last bit.  Then we dip into Mattie’s thoughts.  At least for the first few decades, I plan to let the POV be from a less central character (which is what Clarence becomes).  I’m not sure how I’ll be able to manage to continue that as the story progresses.  It complicates the process. Meaning that I might switch the POV to a main character. I’m just thinking out loud.  

While the tale doesn’t seem “dark” right now, that will gradually change.  I try to give you just enough insights into the personalities to foreshadow that a bit.  Hopefully I succeed.  Okay, here is the second episode. 

Eddie and the Cruisers - On The Dark Side

Truths Unseen, the 1930s Part 2

I hope she’ll get herself a husband quick, Clarence thought as he looked at his little sister.  Before she gets herself  “in trouble,” or any other kind of trouble.

At sixteen years old, Mattie had grown into a striking young woman.  Her face was not remarkable, but she had slender yet shapely legs and a huge bosom.  Clarence didn’t like to admit it, but that bosom was downright impressive.  The girl was a head-turner for sure.

His sister had always been manipulative, and it took her no time to learn to use her looks to her advantage.  She was smart too.  Clarence always knew Mattie was brighter than him or their younger brother, Ben.  She wasn’t as smart as a school teacher, but she had a good head on her shoulders.  Clarence hoped that would be her saving grace and keep her out of mischief.

Especially where boys are concerned… Clarence thought as he slowly shook his head.  He seemed to do that a lot lately — shake his head.  It was an old man’s mannerism, not something you’d expect from a man barely in his twenties.

He felt relieved at the kind of good news he had to share with his siblings.  He was reassured because there weren’t many chances for young people to meet new folks or otherwise get together.  Clarence hadn’t even thought of his own social life.  His hopes were on getting his sister a husband.  Keeping that girl in line was a big job, but Clarence mostly wanted her to have the chance at a better life.  He knew that life better hurry up and show up before Mattie messed up herself in one way or another.

Young Man Banjo priscilla-du-preez-165373

“Pop Norris told me they’re having a reunion next weekend,” Clarence told his siblings to their hoots and hollers of glee.

In the rural southeast, family reunions were for family and just about everybody else too.  Even so, the Norris patriarch had assured shy Clarence all the Hardy family was welcome.  There was even going to be music, a couple of guitars and a banjo, and maybe even a mandolin!

Mattie fretted over what to cook.  At reunions, everyone always brought food, which was laid out on long tables, placed end to end.  Mattie told him she wanted to make fried chicken.  It hurt Clarence to say they didn’t have enough money for more than a little chicken.  He recommended cornbread with cracklins.  Mattie could make a mighty fine pone of cornbread, all crunchy and golden on the outside but moist and yellow inside.  With that praise as encouragement, she went along with his suggestion.

The music expected at the Norris family reunion was something to which Clarence looked forward to with happy anticipation until the day finally arrived.  Clarence couldn’t play an instrument or even carry a tune in the proverbial bucket, but he sure enjoyed listening.  Pop Norris had real musicians coming in, not just family members who could play a little.

Tables and people were spread out all across the green lawn of the Norris property.  It never ceased to amaze Clarence how one place could be rolling green, and the next (for instance his home) so barren that even weeds didn’t like to grow there.  He wanted to take off his shoes and wriggle his toes in the carpet of verdant grass, but he told himself to mind his manners.  When he saw that his little brother Ben had done precisely that, Clarence couldn’t bring himself to scold the boy.

One by one, the musicians started to arrive.  Cliff, the banjo player, had his wife and baby in tow.  She brought a banana pudding, made with egg custard, vanilla wafers, and topped with browned meringue.  Clarence’s mouth watered.  He hoped he wouldn’t miss out on a serving of that pudding.  The other musicians were single men so they weren’t expected to bring anything.  It was really just a matter of pride for Cliff’s wife to bring a dish.  Besides their music was all anyone expected them to bring.

Indian 4 motorcycle ad

Everyone turned at the rumble of an Indian motorcycle as Frank Cutter roared upon the scene, guitar slung across his back.  The motorcycle was the only thing loud about Frank though.  Clarence had not met another man who was as quiet as himself, but Frank Cutter could make a fence post seem talkative.

It raised a few eyebrows for Frank Cutter to be at the Norris reunion.  Frank was half Cherokee and some folks didn’t especially like that, but they were few.  Most people in Runner County knew full well that they had at least some Cherokee blood in their veins. 

The main thing that drew attention to Frank was that Indian motor cycle, the irony of which wasn’t lost on anyone, and his stature.  He made for an imposing figure of a man.  Being nearly six feet tall, Clarence rarely saw anyone taller than himself.  Frank, however, was lean and leggy, and stood a little over six feet.  Both men were tall and taciturn, and had become friendly the first time they met.

As concerned as Clarence had been about marrying off Mattie, he never had tried to set up an introduction for her and Frank.  That kind of thing made Clarence nervous.  However, a little smile played upon his lips as he realized they were likely to get acquainted that day.

The Cutters weren’t wealthy at all, but it didn’t take much to be better off than the Hardy family.  Frank made a decent living driving a delivery truck.  He might look like a wild sort with that motorcycle, but the fact of the matter was that it didn’t cost as much as a car or a truck.

From the corner of his eye, Clarence saw that Frank had already caught Mattie’s attention.

***

Shabby purse with coin

Dreamstime

Mattie Hardy discretely watched the tall half Cherokee guitar player.  She had never met him, but she knew he was friends with her brother.  Her sights had always been set higher than any of the Cutter boys.  She resented it bitterly, but boys from better families — and especially their mothers, didn’t want to have anything to do with her.  Leastwise, not anything anywhere the lights were turned on.  

She had begun to think maybe she needed to be practical.  Mattie was sick and tired of living in that shack on the dirt covered ridge.  Frank Cutter had a good, steady job.  He seemed to be as quiet as her brother, Clarence.  She had a strong suspicion that she could wrap him around her finger just as easily as she did her brother too. 

Sure he was big and his face was fit for a theater villain.  It was not a pretty face at all, but other than that, he was a fine figure of a man.  Mattie didn’t think Frank would hurt a fly, despite his looks.

Mattie made sure Frank got a generously buttered piece of her cornbread, but she barely gave him time to say thank you before she flitted away.  She bided her time until dinner had been mostly eaten and the musicians stopped to rest their sore fingers.

She had tucked away a dish of the strawberry shortcake that preacher’s wife had made.  Mattie despised the fact that the woman got praise for her cooking on top of everything else for which people looked up to her.  However, Mattie knew that shortcake was the best dessert on the table, so she saved a serving for Frank.

“Play a Dixie Dewdrop song!” somebody hollered to the musicians.

By Dixie Dewdrop they meant Uncle Dave Macon, a well-known bluegrass artist.  Frank grinned at Cliff, the banjo player.

“My fingers could use a rest,” Frank said, holding up fingertips dented from guitar strings.  “Take your pick of songs.”

Cliff knew Frank could play any song he’d ever heard.  So all he did was give the banjo a warning strum to let the other musicians know the key in which he’d play.  Then to the crowd’s delight, Cliff launched into Cumberland Mountain Deer Race.  The guitar and mandolin egged the banjo player to keep going. 

Mattie was annoyed to have to wait until they finished that and two more songs.  However, before Frank Cutter knew what was happening, Mattie was feeding him strawberry shortcake. 

A gleam came to her eyes as she saw her figure reflected in a window and thought about the curved shape of a guitar.  She decided to ask him to teach her to play the guitar, at least long enough for him to see how her body fit snugly into the curve of the instrument.

Frank Cutter didn’t stand a chance, once Mattie made up her mind.

***

End Episode 2

What will we learn about Frank in the years to come?  Will Mattie continue on the scheming personality path she has chosen?  What effect will she have on Frank — or on her brothers for that matter?  Sometimes a subtle influence lays an unexpected, inescapable groundwork for the future of other people who are yet to come.

Mega hugs from the dark side,

Teagan

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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Truths Not as Unseen as Intended

Some of you figured something was up when you saw a mid-week post from me.  You were right.  I prepared the first episode of Truths Unseen, and scheduled it for this weekend.  Then I decided not to do that new, dark, unhappy story after all.  WordPress, ever monkeying around with things, wouldn’t let me unscheduled it.  So I became the monkey, trying to fix the schedule at a far distant date, because I didn’t want to delete the post… And you saw the result… Unseen was unexpectedly seenGirl Truths Unseen 1

However, your responses were so positive that now I’m even more torn about doing the story.  For years, many people have told me that the story needs to be told, that it might help someone.  But those people aren’t concerned about what effect the telling has on me.  I don’t know if I can bear living in that horrible dark place for the months it takes to write the story.  That’s why I changed my mind about telling it here…  Now it’s almost as if the story (or the monkeys) took itself out of my hands.

Kathryn Schulz said of The Great Gatsby, “It is the only book I have read so often despite failing—in the face of real effort and sincere ­intentions—to derive almost any pleasure at all from the experience.”  That’s what’s wrong with this story.  There is no pleasure.  The characters don’t grow.  There’s no happy ending.  At least that’s how it feels to me.

 

I honestly don’t know if I will be able to finish this story, so I decided not to start it… then the WordPress monkeys had their way with it.  So I guess I’ll give it a try.  I apologize in advance if I’ve started something I can’t endure finishing.

I’m linking this to the other post where the story begins.  I deeply appreciate the comments you’ve already made. Click here for the first installment.