Thistledown Hiatus 5, Fatigue Fugue, #NaNoWriMo

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hello everyone. Before the Thistledown Rerun link, this is a brief update on National Novel Writing Month*.  It’s quick because there isn’t much to update. My word-count is still deplorable. 

I’ve always said this blog is my sanctuary, and that I want it to be that kind of refuge for everyone.  So I hope you don’t mind that this post is both low-key and honest… This time the sanctuary is a restful moment.

Image may contain: 1 person

The week has been stressful and disappointing.  I’ve been looking at a small property in Austin, TX and that didn’t work out. I was also disappointed in people in this blogging community. People I thought were enlightened spewed contempt, bigotry, and name calling for ALL southern Americans, not just those who did unconscionable acts, or disagreed with their politics. That disturbs me deeply. But let’s not discuss it here – no politics in my sanctuary.

Even though my car is less than a year old, I had to take it for a safety inspection.  That was physically uncomfortable and exhausting, not to mention that in the past I’ve been bullied — not this time, thankfully.  Even so, what should have taken 20 minutes took half a day.  (Sorry to anyone who disagrees, but Virginia will nickel and dime you to death.)  And of course, there was work.  ‘Nuf said about that. 

As you can see in the picture above (taken Friday morning), I drew three more slips from my “box of non-modern things” to help me write… Vanity, Savory, and Cosmos.  As I write/update this post, the clock has already inched to dinner time, and I still haven’t found the energy and focus to WriMo.  I guess I’m just tired, but I feel like I’ve wasted yet another day. 

However, I can’t let you visit without trying to make you smile.  I’m feeling about as energetic as Tim Conway’s “world’s oldest man.”  And maybe I’m that old if I remember it! So have a giggle.

For those of you who are new, or just want to review the faery serial, Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam, here is a link to episode five.

Thanks for visiting.  Hugs on the wing!


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.  

Thistledown Hiatus 4, Research Tangents, #NaNoWriMo

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hello everyone.  National Novel Writing Month* has begun.  As you may have guessed, I wrote most of this post ahead of time, so I could give as much toward that nearly impossible word-count goal as I could. I’m a slow writer as it is.  Writing 50,000 in a month, when I am rarely able to write on a workday… Gulp.  So far my word-count is deplorable. 

This is my weekly update (along with a link to a past segment of Thistledown below.) As I wrote this I was researching away, in hope of preventing myself from jumping on a research-geek tangent when I should be writing.  That research would be because of my part-time narrator for The Skull of the Alchemist. 

Skull of the Alchemist Cover 1

Those who have read Atonement, Tennessee* know that Lilith the cat narrates the part of the story that the heroine can’t witness.  I want to take a similar tack for this new novel, with a part-time narrator.  To fill that role, I’ve chosen a fearsome critter!  A jackalope. 

He begins as a clockwork creature that Copper created, though she first meant him to be a cat.  I feel the need to connect him to the clockwork animal on the cover, and that looks like a cat to me.  So the jackalope, to his embarrassment, occasionally meows…

I spent last Saturday, figuring out just how I want this character to look for the majority of the story, how he came to look that way, and what to name him.  I’m also thinking about all fantasy, alchemy, and whatever else causes his existence and behavior to make sense to me — his clockwork workings.  So, now you’ve met one of the characters for The Skull of the Alchemist. Or at least you know him as well as I do at the moment.  Here’s his picture.

Jackalope Superstition Mountains

For those of you who are new, or just want to review the faery serial, Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam, here is a link to episode four.

Thanks for visiting.  Hugs on the wing!


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.  

Thistledown Hiatus 3, #NaNoWriMo Is Here

Friday, November 3, 2017

Welcome back one and all.  National Novel Writing Month* (NaNoWriMo) started Wednesday.  I made the conscious choice to be really excited about it this year.  (Sometimes you have to actively choose your attitude…) Part of me knew it might happen — that work would overshadow my progress, but I refused to think about it.  Alas, as of November 2, my low word-count is zero…  I remind myself that I’m not fast and that’s fine. I’m just in it for the “rah-rah!” as I call it. (The objective is to write a draft novel of at least 50,000 words in November.)

This is my weekly update (along with a link to a past segment of Thistledown below.)

About that abysmal word-count — one thing that slowed me down… I had outlined my plot. Really I did! I was not going to be completely unplanned.  Then I saw a movie I had never heard of before.  Sadly it had exactly the same plot I had imagined, from the steampunk to the evil scientists kidnapping the good ones…  Akkk! Yes, it had been done (and quite well at that), “April and the Extraordinary World.”

Needless to say… I won’t be using that plot.  So I will have to shift into full-on pantser mode.  It’s a good thing my box of “non-modern” things is ready and waiting for me.  It was intended to be used to keep me from getting stuck.  Now it will be a primary writing tool.

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Box of steampunky things to write about

Friends on Facebook sent me those random “things” so I can use my three things method to keep me writing.  The half-empty box you see above is now full of things from friends as well as things from my own head. (Somehow I’m more likely to keep my momentum up if the “things” come from someone else, but I mixed them all together.)

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Matrix waiting for characters

I got my story matrix set up and ready to populate with characters and characteristics.  Also I use a template I created for print novels from the very beginning, which is helpful to my writing process.  (There’s a little hint about what I’ll be writing in the matrix above, although I haven’t been keeping it a secret.

Enough of that.  Let’s get on with the thing that brought you here — Thistledown! 

Boy field smoke-ball aziz-acharki-290990

Aziz Acharki, Unsplash

For those of you who are new, or just want to review the faery serial, Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam, here is a link to episode 3.

Thanks for visiting.  Hugs on the wing!


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.  

Thistledown Hiatus 2, #NaNoWriMo

Friday, October 27, 2017

Welcome everyone.  The faery serial, Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam is on hiatus until December.  However, I’m reblogging past episodes for new readers and for those who want to review or catch-up on missed chapters.

First a little business. With November 1st, National Novel Writing Month* (NaNoWriMo) begins.  I promised updates and last week I left you a teaser about my novel-to-be’s title.  Throughout October I’ve been happily doing planning of various types.

Those of you who have been following Teagan’s Books for a long time will remember a “steampunky” serial I did, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.  One of the main characters was my fictionalized version of real life inventor, Cornelis Drebbel*, another was a young girl named Copper.  For my NaNoWriMo novel I’m bringing them back.  However, this time Cornelis ends up in a parallel world and Copper is a young woman there.  Here’s the cover I made for (drum roll…)

The Skull of the Alchemist 

Skull of the Alchemist Cover 1

If you’re here for a dose of faery foolery, here’s episode 2 of Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.

Teagan's Books

Welcome back to Thistledown, everyone!  If you are joining this serial for the first time, or if you need to refresh your memory click here for the premier episode.  I also have a category button on the right side-bar of the screen for “Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.”  However, these days I can’t make promises about WordPress behaving as it should. (For several days I found myself unable to comment on any blogs — including my own! WP just told me to email somebody else… Finally and laboriously got it fixed myself.)

Thistledown GirlAlex Iby, Unsplash

Writing Process

As a writer, I tend to reject rules. (Often things are presented as rules, but feel more like “formulas” than anything else.  I don’t care for formulas either.)  Although, when writing in a genre, (to a degree) I do try to follow some general expectations, for the comfort and understanding of readers.  

So before anyone…

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Featured Blogger: Teagan’s Books

My heartfelt thanks to Rob Goldstein for reviving this monthly feature — and for letting me have the first post!

I know I’ve been blogging a good bit this weekend, but I cannot resist sharing this with all of you.

Please click over to visit Rob and check out his brilliant work.
Hugs on the wing, Teagan

Art by Rob Goldstein

This is a re-boot of a monthly feature on Art by Rob Goldstein, the Featured Blogger.

This month I’m honored to feature Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene of
Teagan’s Books.

Marketing Graphic for Thisledown Thisledow

When did you start writing?

Answer: My seventh-grade teacher gave us an assignment that truly inspired my young mind — Write a story.  However, we only had two options about the story 1) Write it from the point of view (POV) of a cartoon character, or 2) from the POV of the shoes of a famous person.  Well, 12-year-old me watched talk shows after school, not cartoons.  So, I saw plenty of “famous people” and “used to be famous” ones too, on Merv Griffin’s TV show.  I liked the ones who talked about their pets.  So, I wrote my story as a pair of red pumps belonging to actress Doris Day.  (Back then I don’t think she was still making movies, but…

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A Bucket-full of Leftovers

Recently when we talked about “Using Leftovers,” I had no idea that I’d basically be using leftovers for then next few posts.  This round of leftovers started with the “My First Blog Post” challenge.  I first saw this challenge over at Geoff’s blog.  Then Tess dared me to do it.  If you want to play by the rules (which I never do) visit Tess — she has all the details at her post, which by the way, is superb even if it had been the 500th post rather than her first.   Crystal Reading Atonement

The first time I did a post, I knew nothing about blogging.  All I knew was that having one was the chief advice for independently published novelists, and I was getting my nerve up to self-publish Atonement Tennessee.

Mine is not much of a post, but here’s my humble blast from the past, published December 28, 2012.  Even as I write this, that inaugural post has all of four likes and zero comments. (Thank you Christoph Fischer — I don’t know how you found it, but I appreciate you.)

Here’s My First Blog Post

My First Blog Post: Atonement, Tennessee:  Draft Complete

This year I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The challenge was to write a draft novel, of at least 50,000 words, just during the month of November.

I didn’t think I could do it — but I did!  Now I’m a NaNoWriMo winner with Atonement, Tennessee.  It was quite a journey.  I’ll tell you more about NaNoWriMo and Atonement, Tennessee later.


There you have it.  Short, huh?  That is because I knew I was mostly talking to myself.  Looking at that post has spoken loud and clear to me of all the wonderful friends I have today at this blog.  I cherish each of you!

So, what’s happened since December 28, 2012?  As you know, Atonement, Tennessee is available.  I’ve been working on book two, Atonement in Bloom, ever since…


More Leftovers 

Leftovers seems to be a recurring theme.  In November 2016, I “book-ized” the first of the serial stories that built this blog — The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story.  

Still using leftovers, this spring I expect to book-ize the second serial.  That one is a culinary mystery, still in the 1920s and starring Pip.  What’s it called?  Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I.  Or maybe I’ll say it the other way around, not sure yet…

I could put all my leftovers in a bucket, I guess.  Recently on Netflix I watched the Bones TV show.  It was called “The Lady on the List” and there was a lot of talk about bucket lists. (I apologize for the low video quality.)

It made me wonder why I never had a bucket list.  I guess, before I left the southwest, I had all I cared about.  Aspen and Crystal were healthy and happy.  I had a small house built in a safe and quiet neighborhood. I had a small circle of great friends. At work I was respected and considered an expert in my field.  But the job wasn’t all that secure, so I left all that for one that was.

Wow, how completely things can change with just a few greedy and/or jealous people putting their evil little hands into things.  But I don’t talk about that here.

Then I realized that I do have a bucket list.  My bucket list is full of my leftovers, all the un-finalized and unfinished novels.  That’s basically all I want now… to be able to be free of the creativity-drain (all its components) that prevents me finishing them.  

Edit and redo a few things that I’m unhappy with in three years and 700 pages of writing the epic fantasy, The Dead of Winter.  (I did that before I started this blog.) And if I’m honest, to see it as an anime series too.

Visualize fully the story of the three Harlequin races, a trilogy I envisioned to begin with Tatterdemallian:  The Electric Zucchini.  That’s the least finished of all my works. I hate to even call it a draft.

Finish up and polish the ending of  The Guitar Mancer.  

And thanks to NaNoWriMo 2016, to flesh-out the middle of The Delta Pearl.

Those are my impossible dreams, my bucket list.  Do you have a bucket list?  If so, then what’s on it?

May all of your happy, impossible dreams come true.  Have a wonder-filled, hug-fulled weekend.

My Bucket List — My Impossible Dream

Atonement in Bloom Atonement_in_Bloom_1_03-24-2014

The Dead of Winter


Tatterdemallian:  The Electric Zucchini


The Guitar Mancer

Guitar Mancer Cover final 05-04-2016

The Delta Pearl



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.



What to Wear?

Welcome everyone.  I’m glad the weather does not usually effect our ability to have these virtual visits, but horse-feathers, it’s cold out there!  Or at least it is cold for a lot of us.  The question of what to wear is answered by “A coat!”

Life October 1929

Life Magazine, October 1929

Have you guessed that I’m leading into another writing process post?  Some people don’t like “descriptive writing” but I find some level of description helpful, whether I’m writing or reading.  An occasional mention of a character’s clothing can help in several ways.

To me describing a garment is particularly helpful if the story is set in a different era, or an entirely different world.

I enjoyed Robert Jordan’s descriptions of the clothing of the various cultures he built in to the world of his “Wheel of Time” series.  The garments helped define the nationalities. They also helped me keep up with the vast array of characters in that voluminous high fantasy series.

Also a quick mention of clothing can firm up the physical environment or climate.  Your character might wear a tank top or a cozy sweater, sandals or fur-lined boots.  Regardless of the garment it can help the reader feel your fictional world.

“What to wear?” can help develop a character’s personality.  I don’t mean just the items of clothing you choose to dress them, but what they pull out of their closet and why.  For instance, Ralda Lawton, the heroine in Atonement, Tennessee (© 2012) has a tendency to feel frumpy.  Ralda’s “go to” at-home garment is a tattered sweat jacket.  It also shows up in book-2, Atonement in Bloom, (currently in progress).  Meanwhile her friend Bethany (© 2012) consistently wears black.

Also in “Bloom” a new character is easily identified when the townspeople discuss him — because of his bowler hat and suit.  That’s not something one often sees in quaint Atonement, TN.Lew with hat

In writing a series, describing attire can serve as a reminder about aspects of a character.  Bethany’s affection for hats is brought out in “Bloom.”  I used the sequence to let you see the playful side of my Goth accountant.

The sound of a squishing footfall told me I was not alone.  I didn’t have to look to know it was Bethany Gwen.  Maybe it was logic, maybe it was intuition, but I knew it was her. 

Bethany lived farther up the street in the opposite direction.  She was an early riser, an accountant, and a Goth. She was a study in contrasts. 

A vivid color caused me to look down instead of up when I turned toward her.  Bright pink flame and swirl designs covered her shiny black galoshes.  On each boot, amid the pink flames a scull rested atop crossed cutlasses.  I shook my head.  In all of Atonement, only my friend would wear such foot-gear.

“Those are great,” I said of the galoshes, giving her a lopsided smile.

As was her usual habit, nearly everything else she wore was black, including an antique top hat and the ruffled umbrella she carried.  Bethany had tied a hot pink ribbon around the hat to match the boots.  The black garb made the galoshes seem even brighter.

“You like?” she confirmed and stuck one foot out in a precarious way.  “I couldn’t resist when I saw them online,” she said.

“Oh yes,” I said with a chuckle.  “Hey, wait a minute, you’ve cut your hair,” I commented moving a step closer to be sure, since she wore a hat.

Bethany doffed her top hat and bowed.  Then she stood and ruffled her new pixie cut.hats-vintage-magazine-red

As you see, that scene was not really about clothes.  It lets you know about the character’s personality.

Do you have a favorite book that makes use of clothing descriptions?  Or is there a character you enjoy who has a signature item of clothing?  If so, then be sure to mention it in a comment here.  You know I love hearing from you.

Mega hugs!

PS:  My apologies if you can’t get the videos in your location — or if commercials have been added.

Also known as “The Way You Wear Your Hat…”