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…

3-things-cover_3-2016

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

dow-06-15-2013

Tatterdemallian:  The Electric Zucchini

zucchini-cover-1-copy

The Guitar Mancer

Guitar Mancer Cover final 05-04-2016

The Delta Pearl

delta-pearl-cover-1

 

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.

 

 

Book Talk Gets Magical with Kev and Teagan

This post is already live at KC Books & Music.  I’m also posting it here so that it will be in my library too.  I hope you’ll click over and visit Kev, my host.

Book Talk Gets Magical with Kev and Teagan

Today I’m here with another Book Talk with Kev at KC Books and Music.  I’ve done some joint posts (click here), such as vignettes featuring my characters combined with recipes from Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen.  So when Kev and I discussed me doing some “Book Talks” I got the idea to do something similar — but with his music!

I know that lately I’ve focused on my 1920s serial stories , The Three Things Serial and (coming up this spring)  I’m getting ready for the take-off of the second one, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I.  However, my Atonement, Tennessee “universe” seemed the best fit for Kev’s music.  When I asked Kev to pick something, he suggested his compelling and lovely song, Magical

Kev, would you say a few words about your song here?

I would love to Teagan, thank you. Magical is a love song/ballad where the artist expresses how his world has changed as if by magic since his lover came into his life. It is a song about the essence of falling in love. The original song was written many years ago. Last year, I thought I should do something with my song, Magical since I’ve finally started to have some of the songs I’ve written over the years recorded and released. I changed some of the lyrics to bring them up-to-date, but the music remains the same. It’s a mellow arpeggio played upon a classical guitar to keep the ‘magical’ feeling or mood, if you will.

No wonder I liked the song!

Kev and I both agreed it would be fun if I used something from the point of view of Lilith the calico cat.  Kev’s Magical is how I imagine Gwydion’s magic working on Ralda Lawton if everything had been well… right.  However, in quirky Atonement, Tennessee magic is rarely gentle.  So (as with most things in my fictional town) the magic Lilith witnesses Gwydion perform does not go as planned.  My the snippet does not go in the lovely way of Kev’s song, but it’s definitely magical.  From my work in progress, Atonement in Bloom, take a look at some of the magic Lilith saw.  The scene is followed by a trailer I made for the book-to-be.

***

feline-calico_xs_3280429

Lilith watched in fascination.  She could feel the magic in the air, even though the men didn’t appear to be doing much of anything.  She could particularly feel Gwydion’s power.  It made her skin tingle and the fur at the back of her head ruffled.

Gwydion used a stick to scratch at the ground at the foot of a giant old oak tree.  He dropped seeds there and deftly covered them.

Fine powder glittered in the moonlight and settled on the fresh dirt where the seeds were buried.  Gwydion stepped aside allowing the moonlight to touch the seeded ground.  Sprouts appeared immediately.  Before Lilith’s watching gaze they quickly grew into mature plants — small but ethereal blossoms of white and pink meadow sweet along with branches of the broom shrub, heavily laden with yellow flowers.

The unnaturally strong scent of the blossoms was powered by Gwydion’s fae magic.  The flowers ran vine-like and entwined with the ancient oak as it started to surge and pulse.purple-shooting-star

The huge and ancient oak had a split in its center that looked like a gaping maw.  The tree shuddered and groaned.  Two limbs, each thick as an adult human’s thigh, writhed and twisted.  As the limbs twined together and merged, they took on an undeniable resemblance to the form of a woman.  The branches became crossed legs, an arched back, and arms outstretched.  The head was held back and the placement of the oak’s bark created an agonized expression on the face.

Lilith crouched down fearfully, but was mesmerized by the horrible scene.  She was unable to turn away.

***

So there you have it… Kev’s Magical, and how it might go as a musical component to my story. Thank you Kev, for hosting me for this Book Talk.  Even if I could resist a pun, I’d still have to say it was magical.    

Mega hugs everyone!

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.  All rights reserved.

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…”

Mini-Series — The Senses — Touch

Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch

Welcome back everyone.  This is the final installment of my mini-series on the five senses.  I’ve been having a great time with this and I’m happy to see you again.  I’m sincerely touched that this series has been so well received. But that’s a different kind of touch than the sense of touch.  Working the sense of touch into your writing can bring your words to life.  It helps make it relatable.  Are you ready?  Today we reach out and — Touch

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of touch is texture.  (Granted, “smooth” is a texture, but I think you know what I mean.)  Texture is pleasing to my eye.  If I decorate a room or put together an outfit, I like to have elements with texture.  Descriptions of a tactile experience can enhance your writing.  Place your hand on your sleeve and think about how you would describe what your sense of touch tells you.

The sense of touch doesn’t have to come as something that your character literally reaches out to touch.  It can include elements that come into contact with us, like fog or sunlight.

Hand-TouchAs I searched through the body of my work to find an example to share with you, I became painfully aware of two things.  Applesauce!  First – I have a lot of stories awaiting the final touches that I’d love to publish.  If only I had time for those touches. (Yes, I know — not the right kind of touch, but I can’t help myself.)

Second – I really need practice working the sense of touch into my writing!  I’m sure there must be something somewhere in all those files; in all those thousands and thousands of words… 

Okay, this isn’t a good example of using the sense of touch but here’s a tidbit anyway.  Beira the Crone is one of the new characters in Atonement in Bloom.  Lilith the cat meets her early in the story.  (Which I hope to someday finish…)

Lilith looked apprehensively toward the east, where sharp eyes could discern the tip of the eastern gate of Sunhold.

“No, little heart.  That protector, the Guardian of the Gate of the East Winds, is not present.  But he would not care to keep me out, even were he here.  I’m only Beira the Crone.  Some call me Cailleach Bheur, but Beira will do nicely in this place,” she said running her pale bluish hand down the silky fur of the cat’s back.

I’m curious to know your reactions to this snippet.  When Beira touches the cat, I describe the fur’s silky texture.  Does that tiny detail lead you to think one way or the other of Beira?  Nah… Like I said, it’s not a good example.  Without further ado, here’s your writing prompt.

Your Turn!

Okay, now it’s your turn.  This image of a luxury passenger train of yesteryear could relate to many types of writing, not just fiction.  So as before, gaze at this image.  Really focus and put yourself into it.  Put your suitcase away.  Adjust the window shade.  Sit down on the neatly made bed.  Turn on the lamp.  Pour some water into the glass.  Now describe something that involves your sense of touch.

Orient Express Bed

What did you touch?   Leave a comment with just a few words about your sense of touch, based on this photo.

Open Invitation:  If this inspired you to just write something or otherwise create anything according to the sense featured today, that’s even better!  If you want, you can use the comments to leave a link to your story or blog post.  Kindly link back to this post if you blog about what you wrote, cooked, painted, or photographed.

Thank you from my heart for “coming out to play” during these five posts.  I’ve had a great time doing this, so I hope you have as well.

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.

A Teagan in the Kitchen — Adelle’s Teapot

Welcome back to Atonement, TN!

I was sincerely honored when Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen asked me to do a guest post for her wonderful blog’s anniversary.  We had a great time. Here’s a link to Suzanne’s blog and my guest post (along with a lovely tea recipe and Suzanne’s beautiful photos).

Suzanne is an accomplished chef and blogger (not to mention her real estate career and still more activities).  Take a look at her recipes featured at Fiesta Friday and at Food 52.
atonement-video-cover-copy

As most of you know, my current novel in progress is actually book-2 in an urban fantasy series that began with “Atonement, Tennessee.”  The title is the name of my fictional town where supernaturals secretly live among the residents of this seemingly quaint town.  (Book-2 will be called Atonement in Bloom.)

For her blog anniversary post, I told Suzanne about a few different settings in the series that would involve food.  She picked a locale that will be new for book-2, Adelle’s Attic Tearoom.

What I’m sharing with you was originally posted at A Pug in the Kitchen earlier this week.  It’s a scene with two minor characters in my Atonement, TN universe.  This may or may not appear in the novel. For reasons I won’t go into, it would be “mechanically” difficult. However, I might make it part of a short story.  At any rate, I think it’s fun to get to know the characters who only play a small role.  I hope you enjoy this tidbit.

Adelle’s Teapot — Features from Atonement TN

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

1924 Good housekeeping 2 girls tea

The inventory notes Annie recorded were part of an ancient list, passed down through the Metatron clan.  For the most part, the older theitem, the more power it held.  The kind of power varied widely.

The Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic could show one’s true self.  The mirror could be playful, cryptic, devilishly mischievous, or brutally honest.  It almost seemed to have a mind of its own.  In age and in power, that mirror ranked about mid-way on the inventory list.  Annie shuddered to think of the havoc she had known the mirror to wreak.

She kept many of the items hidden in plain sight in her antique shop.  It had been easy enough to steer Ralda Lawton away from a special quilt.  Ralda, the new owner of the Sunhold estate, did not need that star design quilt, but someone else would.  However, the brass Bed of Dreams was meant for her.  The bed wasn’t strong in power, but it was effective.

ad 5 Oclock TeaAnnie looked down at the ancient list.  Something glowed through several layers of paper.  She knew the glow came from the script identifying a very old item.  The glowing writing meant an item awakened.  Her hands shook as she leafed through the pages to the very beginning of the catalogued inventory.

The teapot.  Annie took a shuddering breath.  It was simple and unassuming looking, but the teapot was the oldest item listed in Annie’s inventory notes.  It was also arguably the most powerful.  Because of its unique properties the teapot had always been kept separate from the other items.  Adelle, Annie’s sister was the teapot’s custodian.  It was safely tucked away in the attic of the Victorian house that was Adelle’s tearoom and home.

A brew had not been made from that teapot in living memory.  But what else could awaken the pot but the alchemy of water, heat, and the right combination of herbs, flowers, and leaves?

“No Adelle,” Annie muttered as she put away the ancient ledger.1937 Look Shirley Temple Santa tea

Annie ran out of her shop, the door banging shut behind her.  Her platinum hair shone in the moonlight.  She skidded around the corner and ran down the town square.  Annie stumbled to a stop.  She gazed at the night sky in open mouthed astonishment.

Above Adelle’s tearoom the sky shimmered in a golden aura.  When Annie looked farther up into the sky, she saw an even more astonishing sight.  The entire town of Atonement rested unaware beneath five columns of light pillars.  The columns of light pulsed through the clouds.

“Adelle,” Annie gasped.  “What have you done?”

With a hand to her chest, Annie continued toward her sister’s home.  She fell going up the front porch stairs.  As she righted herself, Annie saw that the front door stood open.  Then she realized that every door and window in the Victorian house was wide open.

“My God, Annie!  Are you all right?” Adelle exclaimed as she helped her sister to her feet and guided her inside.

Annie allowed her sister to guide her, gasping for breath and shaking with fright, to the kitchen table.  There Adelle poured a cup of tea.  Annie turned horrified eyes from the teacup to her sister.

1940s Home Notes Girl tea party“Oh don’t be silly,” Adelle chastised.  “It’s not from that teapot.”

Annie took a sip of the tea her sister pressed upon her.  She took a bite of cake or scone or some baked treat that would ordinarily have been delicious.  However it might as well have been cardboard in her mouth.  Without even realizing what she was doing Annie crumbled the rest between her fingers never looking at it.  She stared blindly out the kitchen window into the darkness, too stunned to process the thousand thoughts in her mind.

“Why in heaven’s name would you let the teapot awaken?” Annie finally asked.

“It couldn’t be helped.  I needed to talk to our grandfather,” Adelle replied.

“That wouldn’t be difficult for you,” Annie said.  “Why would you use the teapot for that?”

Her sister’s mouth curved to that self-satisfied, cat-with-a-bowl-of-cream smile that Annie knew all too well.

“Which grandfather,” Annie asked, closing her eyes and bracing herself for the answer she already knew was coming.

Adelle pursed her lips then made a reluctant, sardonic grimace.  “The one quite a few times removed.  Maybe a few hundred times.”1905 Sunday Mag Tea Woman steam kiss

Annie groaned and dropped her head to the kitchen table, her pale hair falling to cover her face.  Forehead against the polished wood, she rocked her head side to side.  Finally she looked up at her raven haired sister.

“Tell me this is not happening,” Annie pleaded hoarsely.

“It really couldn’t be helped, Annie.  I had to consult Enoch,” Adelle said apologetically.

“What could possibly be that important?” Annie demanded.

The sardonic twist left Adelle’s mouth.  She looked into her sister’s eyes, coldly serious.

“Cailleach Bheur,” Adelle said.  “Beira the Crone.”

***

As you can see, my odd little imaginary town has its quirks.  I hope you enjoyed this visit to Atonement, Tennessee.  Be sure to visit Suzanne too.  It’s still her anniversary week.

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.

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

The Sleigh: Annie’s Inventory Notes — Features from Atonement, TN

Welcome back to Atonement, TN!
I hope everyone has had a wonder-filled week.  I’m delighted that you’re spending a moment from the holiday weekend here.

1940-Dec Womans Day Sleigh SnowSometimes I get a few posts prepared ahead of time (and that’s nice for me). However, that hasn’t been the case for awhile. Anyway, just as I was wondering what I could possibly do for this weekend’s post, I got a lovely holiday wish from the very talented Inese.  So I went to her beautiful photography blog looking for inspiration.  I found so many things to trigger my imagination that I couldn’t decide.

Then I remembered something about a joke Hugh had made about a sleigh ride in Atonement, and I had replied with a James Bond-like idea-joke.  Well, one of Inese’s photos had a sleigh in it… But we don’t have to worry about how Mr. Bond likes his martinis. I don’t think it will play out like that. At least not this time.

If you’ll recall, I’m using these blog “features” to give you bits of lore, back-stories, and even secrets that might never appear in one of the novels. Inese’s sleigh photo inspired one such edition of “Annie’s Inventory Notes.”  I hope you enjoy it.  Also, here’s a link to the magical moment Inese captured with her camera.

Annie’s Inventory Notes — the Sleigh

1908-Jan Success mag Sleigh CoupleTiny white holiday lights reflected in the windows of Annie’s Antiques and Consignment Shop.  Annie absently watched the lights.  The twinkling reminded her of ice crystals, despite the unnaturally warm December.  With thoughts of ice and snow she glanced toward the sleigh.  It was another of the “secret” items on her ancient inventory list.

The sleigh was hidden in plain sight.  She used it as a large display stand for various antiques.  At that moment the sleigh held two bedside lamps and a collection of quilts.  All the quilts were sewn over generations in Atonement, Tennessee.

Annie walked to the sleigh and caressed wood smoothed by centuries.  Her tale of the sleigh was a favorite bedtime story of her sons when they were small.1905 Horseman mag Sleigh horses couple

She told them of how it could glide over hill and dale with magical speed.  Once the sleigh had been pulled by a team of magnificent matched horses.  The shaggy white hair at their feet and their flowing white manes glowed in the night with the enchantment of the sleigh.

The sleigh could go places no other vehicle could reach.  Any where.  Any when.

When Annie told her boys the stories they always begged for more.  Sometimes she gave them tales of amazing places where the sleigh had taken her and their aunt Adelle.  Her sons giggled and gasped at the stories of their mother and her sister.  There was one thing Annie did not tell her sons.  The tales were true.

***

Now that I’ve given you a wintry tidbit, I hope you’re in the mood for a lovely hot drink.  My search of WordPress led me to this treat at blog called “Milliemirepoix,” so check out the intriguing recipes at this site.

Hot Milk, Honey & Nutmeg

Hot milk honey nutmeg

Click the picture for the recipe

I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to Atonement, TN. Leave a comment to say hello.  I’ll look forward to seeing you again next time.

3 Bloom Things — Features from Atonement, TN

Welcome back everyone.  Thanks for coming to Atonement, TN!Good Luck road sign

It’s great to see you again  — I know it can be hard to find your way to a fictional town.

I’ve been delighted with everyone’s support of my “pantser” serial stories.  As most of you know, those stories resulted from a writing exercise I created for myself long ago, and I turned the exercise into something to use on my blog.  The serials are propelled by three things sent by readers.   You can find links to them at the top of this page.  I like to say they are pure pantser fun.

My Writing Process

I’ve used the same spontaneous method to “at least keep myself writing” on my novels.  However, my books are planned (at least to a degree) so the spontaneous exercises aren’t always usable for the novels.  It’s a “That’s Good, That’s Bad” sort of thing.

(My dad liked this skit, and the good-but-bad concept stuck with me throughout my life.)

Homer and Jethro – That’s Good, That’s Bad – 1960

However, I realized Three Things would be a good way to share something from my “Atonement Universe” — something that wasn’t another snippet from either book.  With “Annie’s Inventory Notes”  I told a “secret” part of the story that might not even be in the books.  So I’m using Three Things in a similar way.

To get my “things” I went to the first three comments from last weekend’s blog.  (Besides, you know I love to give a shout-out.)  I’m taking one thing from the title of each of those blogs.  Those commenters were from the following:

Writer Christoph Fischer

No Facilities (Dan Antion)

Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel ~ ~ Contemporary Western Romance

As I write this introduction, I have no idea where this Three Things exercise will take me.  Here goes…

Three Atonement, TN Things:  Writer, Facilities, Western

The voice on the radio crackled as she drove through another area with little reception. The DJ counted down the top hits of 1974. Marge pushed her big glasses back on the bridge of her nose and hoped she wouldn’t lose this channel before hearing a favorite song. The glasses were very similar to a pair she’d seen in a picture of Elton John. She his flamboyance. 

Elton John 1974 Madison Sq

Elton John 1974, Madison Square Garden

You see, Marge Tipton wanted more than anything to be a wild child, a rebel, antiestablishment. However, the truth was she just didn’t know how. So she left her southeastern home and as her family put it, ran off out west.  She stopped running just after she crossed the Texas state line. Marge lived there for ten years. Then the post cards started coming.

The writer of the cards was her brother, Tracey. She didn’t know why her brother moved to the strange sounding Tennessee town a year before. It sounded like he didn’t have much choice in the matter. With each post card Tracey’s state of mind seemed to get worse. He was not pleased with his life there, yet he refused to leave. In his last missive Tracey begged his sister to come to Atonement, Tennessee.

Marge was not happy about the situation. She rebelled against anything she felt she was “supposed” to do, and she knew that everyone would say she should help her brother, regardless of whether he deserved it or whether it ruined her own life. Marge had been perfectly satisfied in her western home. However, Marge had a sense of duty that was as strong as her wish to defy the establishment. So she got into her pickup truck, leaving Texas in her rearview mirror, and headed to Tennessee.

1972 Chevy C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup

Chevrolet 1972, C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup

 

The gas gauge in the truck steadily crept toward empty. Just as Marge was getting worried she spotted a sign for a gas station. At first she was relieved in more ways than one, but when she got closer, she saw the smaller sign below the oil company’s logo. “No facilities.” Marge grumbled to herself. Maybe, if she was real polite, they’d let her use the employee restroom.

***

Lolas inside diner

L.O.L.A. Lola’s

Okay… As you see, I ended up writing about a minor character who appears in both book-1 and book-2, Marge Tipton.  Previously I hadn’t given a moment’s thought to the back-story for Marge.  However, the spontaneous exercise led me to write about her relocation to Atonement, TN back in 1974.  That’s good.

No, this snippet is not something I can use for “Atonement in Bloom.”  That’s bad.  Also I doubt that the part of Marge Tipton will grow as a result.  Even so, as a writer I feel good to have a fuller sense of this character, minor though she may be.

Marge Tipton eventually opened “L.O.L.A. Lola’s Bar and Restaurant, the diner frequented by my characters.  One of Bethany’s favorite menu items is the Cobb salad.  So I searched the WordPress countryside for a recipe.  That led me to Sherri at the Eden Market blog.  Her photos are beautiful and I think you’ll enjoy visiting there.  Click on her photo below for the recipe.

Cobb Salad

cobb salad

***

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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