#GetCaughtReading 2018 — The Books & A Hullaba Lulu Extra!

Saturday, May 19 2018

Hello, one and all!  Thanks for being part of my Get Caught Reading Month.  Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape and I had a great time with the mini-series.  

You’ve caught me reading again. This time it’s The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach.  Diana calls her blog Myths of the MirrorD Peach Sorcerers Garden

I got this book on my Kindle recently, and I finally found a moment to open it.  I can tell you that it did not disappoint.  Diana is an amazing talent with “high” fantasy.  She’s easily as good as Terry Brooks or Robert Jordan (my long-time favorites). Her world-building and prose are superb in this and everything I’ve read from her. And she’s written so many books!  Just pick one and see if you can stop. (As the old potato chip commercial used to say, “You can’t eat (read) just one.”

I asked everyone to let me know what I had caught you reading.  Your selections were so wonderful that I wanted to share the books here.  I’ve included purchase links too.  (Unfortunately I’ve only included Amazon, because… I have a real-world job and little time.) In no particular order, here’s what I caught you reading:

Caught You Reading!

The Contract    John Howell and Gwen Plano (soon to be released)

Return to Hiroshima     Bob Van Laerhoven

Mazie was Crazy         Bradley Lewis

Dead on Arrival       Karen Vaughan (Laura and Gerrie Series, Book 1)

Shopaholic and Sister      Sophie Kinsella

Circumstances of Childhood   John Howell

Ludwika        Christoph Fischer

Three Against The World      Sarah Stuart

The Bone Curse     Carrie Rubin

The Hidden Life of Trees     Peter Wohlleben

A Dead Guy at the Summerhouse    Marian Allen

The Golden Serpent    Luciana Cavallaro

Versions of the Self       Christy Birmingham

Thank you kindly to Robbie Cheadle, author of the Sir Chocolate Book Series for mentioning that she’s reading my The Three Things Serial Story.

Robbie Cheadle

***

Hullaba Lulu Extra!

Ferris Wheel Valentino alone

Valentino surveys the situation from atop the Ferris wheel, by Rob Goldstein

For those of you who are not “on the train” for my Jazz Age Wednesday feature, Hullaba Lulu… I’m collaborating with virtual reality artist, Rob Goldstein.  Rob sends images and videos to illustrate this series, and he’s sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive each chapter of this pantser story.  (You can see the entire collection of videos here.)

Ferris Wheel Lulu Valentino Light-3

Lulu and Valentino on the great Ferris wheel, by Rob Goldstein

The characters have landed in a strange version of Atlantic City, in a nearly empty amusement park where your entry fee is paid in cheeseburgers, and the rides do frightening things.  As I pantsered away to the action, I didn’t get to show Lulu and company on the rides.  So here are some images from Rob to flesh out that aspect of the story. 

Ferris Wheel Bot Lulu-6

A couple of angel-bots followed Lulu from the train to the park.

When the characters finally got onto Valentino’s diesel-punk train, I added some angel-bots to the cast.  Rob let them get off the train to enjoy the Ferris wheel. 

Ferris Wheel Valentino Bot Lulu-5

Valentino, angel-bot, and Lulu having some fun, by Rob Goldstein

I hope to see you at Jazz Age Wednesdays for more Roaring Twenties fantasy excitement with  Hullaba Lulu.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

 

Now, promoting my “partner in crime” for this year’s Get Caught Reading story — Chris Graham.

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

A lovely book of poetry by Chris Graham’s mom

Amazon

Amazon UK

***

And my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

Artie Meets the Alchemist Conclusion — #GetCaughtReading 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hello, everyone!  I’m back for more Get Caught Reading Month festivities.   Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape and I collaborated for a mini-series in honor of this event.  

Artie Meets Alchemist promo 1

But first…

Odd Job Girl Sally Cronin

You caught me reading another great book.  This week, you’ve caught me reading one of my favorites by Sally Georgina Cronin Just an Odd Job Girl.

Read the reviews of Sally’s books (and buy them) via a number of distributors. However, for my convenience in creating this post, here’s Amazon (click here), and Amazon UK (click here).

***

Now back to the 2018 Get Caught Reading mini-series…

Previously in Artie Meets the Alchemist…

Artie was testing how fast his motor cycle/time machine could go down Route 66.  Meanwhile Cornelis Drebbel was taking his road locomotive down to investigate, because the civilization alarm in the alchemist’s dirigible went off…

Over to Chris Graham…

Artie Meets the Alchemist

Conclusion

Artie Portable Time Machine cycle

Artie’s portable time machine, image courtesy Chris Graham

Using all his strength, skill and a sizeable amount of good luck, Artie managed to avoid a collision with the rapidly approaching road locomotive.  He basically ran off the road, over an embankment, somersaulting, while doing a 180 horizontally, and abruptly stopping on top of an unfortunate bush, (the only one for miles in any direction), miraculously still on his seat and gripping the handlebars…

From his vantage point, now facing the road, Artie watched the road locomotive stop with much clanking, squealing and copious clouds of steam.  A tall man in formal attire, complete with top hat, and impressively bushy eyebrows, stepped down and hurriedly walked towards him, appearing to be asking questions.  What the questions were, Artie didn’t have a clue at that time — he was still deaf and dazed by the unexpected acrobatics and abrupt stopping manoeuvres…

640px-Road_locomotive__John_boy__(5605531950)

Wikimedia Commons

Then, the man disappeared as the embankment quickly rose.  In fact, the bush had decided it had had enough and collapsed, depositing Artie and the time machine back onto the ground.

The man scrambled over the embankment and after a quick check for broken bones (there were none), helped Artie remove his safety helmet.  He barely paused at Artie’s simian features.

“Are you injured old chap?” he inquired in quaintly polite Teutonic English.

Artie shook his head, wondering at the stranger’s lack of reaction. 

“Yes, I’ve met chimpanzees similar to you before.  I’m terribly sorry to have suddenly materialised in front of you, old boy.  You did a terribly good job avoiding a collision.”

Artie grinned his appreciation of the compliment.

“Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Cornelis Drebbel, and you are…?”

Cornelis Drebbel Alcmariensis

Cornelis Drebbel

Artie put out his gauntlet clad paw, “Aristotle, but please just call me Artie.”

”Your machine looks quite impressive Artie, some kind of motorcycle, but not one I’ve seen before, did you build it?”

”Yes, I did, and your road locomotive is the best I’ve ever seen.  Regarding your sudden appearance, may I ask if you are a time traveler too?”

(Back to Teagan)

“A time traveler?  Oh, my goodness no.  Or well, I suppose you could say that I am.  My companions and I were out for a jaunt in my dirigible and it came to my attention that they had not brought any books along.  The jackalope has some but they were only about weather and empirical data.  So, I set the civilization alarm in hope of finding a library.  Do you happen to know of one?”

Artie sketch thinking color steampunk

Artie, courtesy of Chris Graham

Artie ponderated for a moment, thinking it was good that they had both landed in that world and time.  He gave Cornelis a big toothy grin.

The genius chimpanzee showed the alchemist an app specially adapted for his mobile time machine. 

“This will show us the libraries around the world,” Artie told him.

Library map

“Oh, that’s quite amazing.  Why there are more than two million libraries!  We should find mechanical engineering periodicals for Copper, and weather science volumes for Jack, and romance novels for me,” Cornelis enthused.  “Erm… I mean, history and science books for myself.”

“Indeed!” Artie agreed with a wink.

Then the very remarkable chimpanzee zoomed away on his converted motorcycle / mobile time machine.  With a burst of rainbow colored light, he disappeared.

Cornelis Drebbel shook his head in admiration.

“Copper will never believe this,” the alchemist murmured to himself as he turned on his communication device.  “Jack?  Copper?”

“Yes, Alchemist?” the jackalope answered.

“I’m ready to bring the road locomotive back up to the dirigible.  Could you give me a hand, old thing?” Cornelis asked.

Atonement Airship

Image by Chris Graham

“Of course, Alchemist.  Were you able to find a library?” Jack eagerly inquired.

“Millions of them!” Cornelis cried.

“Conrelis Drebbel,” Copper began.  “Why do you need help getting the road locomotive back up?  You better not have damaged it again.  I only just finished the repairs to it.”

Cornelis cringed momentarily.  He really didn’t mean to abuse Copper’s mechanical talents, but it was certainly a relief that she was so capable.  Besides, the main thing was he had found millions of libraries and there would be no shortage of reading material.

“Dear girl, you are going to be astonished at all the books you’re going to get,” he told her instead of answering.

“You wrecked the locomotive again, didn’t you?” Copper said in a resigned voice.

Cornelis wriggled his bushy eyebrows and smiled to himself.

***

The End.

Who won the drawing for a book from Teagan?

This month is all about encouraging people of all ages to read.  Last week I offered a Kindle version of one of my books to the winner of a random drawing.  I asked anyone who wanted to participate to leave a comment with the title and author of the book I’ve caught you reading.  And the winner is… (drum roll…) Viv Drewa the Owl Lady! 

Viv chose my 1920s stories.  Since The Three Things Serial Story is only a dollar, I threw it in with Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients 1.  Thanks to Viv and everyone who came out to play.

Next weekend I’ll show you all the books I’ve caught people reading.  Meanwhile, ankle over to Jazz Age Wednesdays for my current Roaring Twenties serial.  

Just because I can’t resist, here’s Rob Goldstein’s latest video for my Jazz Age Wednesday series, Hullaba Lulu.  

Thanks for visiting.  Mega hugs!

***

Now, promoting my “partner in crime” Chris Graham.

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

A lovely book of poetry by Chris Graham’s mom

Amazon

Amazon UK

***

And now my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Christopher Graham

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.

Artie Meets the Alchemist Video! — #GetCaughtReading 2018

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Hello, one and all!  It’s Get Caught Reading Month.  I couldn’t resist making a video for the mini-series  Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape and I are doing in honor of this event.  Please click here for episode-1 of Artie Meets the Alchemist*.  Video trailer follows.

 

Learn how to win a free Kindle copy of one of my books!

***

Artie Meets Alchemist promo 1

Now, promoting my “partner in crime” Chris Graham.

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

A lovely book of poetry by Chris Graham’s mom

Amazon

Amazon UK

***

And my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Christopher Graham

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.

Artie Meets the Alchemist 1 — #GetCaughtReading 2018

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Hello, everyone!  It’s Get Caught Reading Month.   Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape and I are together again for a mini-series in honor of this event.  There’s also a free Kindle book to be had — read on to learn about that.

Artie Meets Alchemist promo 1

But first…

Escaping Psychiatry beginnings

Every week, you’ll catch me reading a different book.  You might catch Chris too, but you’ll have to ask him what he is reading.  Kicking off this series, you’ve caught me reading one of my favorites by Olga Núñez Miret from her Escaping Psychiatry series — Beginnings the prequel.

Read the reviews and buy the books Amazon (click here), and on Amazon UK (click here)

Now here is the premier of the 2018 Get Caught Reading mini-series…

Artie Meets the Alchemist

Part 1

Man Sun gears Steampunk Eugene_Ivanov_2442

Eugene Ivanov, Wiki Media Commons

“What is that infernal clanging?  Ugh… It’s unbearable!  Where are you, jackalope?”

“It’s the civilization alarm, Miss Copper.”

“Jack, thank goodness you’re here.  Could you please shut off that noise?  My hands are full with the omniscope.”

“Of course, Miss Copper.  There.  Is that an improvement?”  

“Thank you.  You are the world’s most wonderful jackalope.”

“You are welcome, Miss Copper.  The sensors detected a group of lifeforms.  Ah, Alchemist ― good, you are here.  We’ve found sentient life.  It appears to be an established community.  Shall we land your dirigible?”

“Jack, old thing, you are a marvel!  Let’s see what we can from up here first.  That looks like a highway over there.  Copper, do you see anything though the telescope?” Cornelis said.

“It’s an omniscope, and yes.  I see apes.  Or rather chimpanzees.  A bunch of them!  Jack, is that what you meant by an established community?” Copper wanted to know.

Chimps Nitpicking sketch

Image courtesy Chris Graham

“No, no, no… That’s altogether verneukt!  They aren’t purple apes by any chance?  We need to turn this ship around!” Corneils exclaimed.

“No, Cornelis.  Of course, the chimpanzees are not purple.  What an absurd thing to say.  Relax,” Copper assured him.

“I’m sorry, Copper.  It’s just that it wouldn’t be the first time.  I told you about the purple world where everyone had an ape doppelganger.  It was an interesting experience but not one I’d want to repeat.  Although I admit it was difficult enough, landing in a world where you were a young woman, rather than the little girl I knew.”

“Keep your hands to yourself, Cornelis Drebbel.  If you ruffle my hair like I was a small child one more time, then you’ll draw back a nub!”

Miss Copper!”

Copper crop 1

Dreamstime

“Oh, calm down Jack.  You know I wouldn’t really do that.  Although there hasn’t been an un-interesting day since Cornelis Drebbel showed up, claiming that he knew me as a small child ― in a similar but different world.  He might get into only half as much trouble with one less hand.”

“I’m going to take my road locomotive down and investigate.  Copper and Jack, you two should stay up here for now.” 

“That’s fine by me, Cornelis.  Apes make me uncomfortable.  Jack and I have plenty of work to do.  But try to stay out of trouble.  Please!”

***

Artie Formal Dress

Image courtesy Chris Graham

 

Now over to Chris Graham

Since his adventures with Pip and Mona (see: Pip and Artie Meet Again Parts ONE, TWO & THREE), Artie had been busy refining his converted motorcycle / mobile time machine, and even incorporated an inter-dimensional shift facility (IDSF) so he could not only travel through time, but also visit alternative dimensions, or realities, as he preferred to call them.

All this had, of course, involved many periods of deep ponderating, to the extent that he would often jump up (waken himself and half the neighbourhood) with sudden loud exclamations of “Of course!” which sounded suspiciously like loud snoring snorts…

In any case, after each addition, or adjustment, Artie would go off on a test run, to make sure everything worked as he intended, relying on his trusty Emergency Visit Duration Countdown Alarm (EVDCA) to get him safely back home again if all else failed (he hoped)…

During one recent test run, Artie was testing how fast the machine could go down an alternative reality version of Route 66 after his latest adjustments (i.e., too fast) when, with a bright noisy flash, a steam tractor-like road locomotive suddenly appeared about a hundred yards in front of him!

 

***

End Part 1

(For related stories see: The Sign of the Ape series and Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers serial in the blog Categories on the right side of the screen.) 

Drawing for a book from Teagan!

May 9, 2018:  The time period for entering the contest is now over. I’ll announce the winner this Saturday.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first part of our Get Caught Reading offering.  This month is all about encouraging people of all ages to read.  So I’ll do a random drawing to give away a Kindle copy of one of my books (winner’s choice). 

Here’s how you participate.  To enter, leave a comment telling me the title and author of the book we’ve caught you reading!  You must leave the comment by Tuesday to be included.  I’ll email the winner an Amazon Kindle copy of one of my books — you get to choose which one.

Tune in next weekend for more of Artie Meets the Alchemist.   Hugs!

***

Now, promoting my “partner in crime” Chris Graham.

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

A lovely book of poetry by Chris Graham’s mom

Amazon

Amazon UK

***

And now my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Christopher Graham

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.

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 5

Thistledown Girl

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the fae world of Thistledown.  I have a special guest today.  Many of you will know her because we’ve done several collaborative posts in the past.  If not, then allow me to present Suzanne DeBrango of A Pug in the Kitchen

Suzanne is a multi-talented woman — chef (and great photographer of her foods) and blogger.  And if you’re ever in need of property in New York, this “Brooklyn pug gal” is also an award winning real estate agent. 

She was inspired by the fae magic Pick (the cousin of the character she named) when he coaxed cherries off the trees and they rolled to him, rather than being picked.  Then, lucky for us, she found beautiful sour cherries at her farmers’ market.  Here’s Suzanne to tell us about the recipe she’s sharing here today.

I was thrilled to find sour cherries at the farmers market and snagged a few containers to make my favorite jam. Refrigerator jams and pickles are one of my favorite things to make. It’s so easy, you can make one jar at a time.  There’s no need to go through the canning process.  Just, make sure you sterilize your jars, or at least run them through the dishwasher before using them. 

I want that sucker fish to help pit those cherries — oops, you’ll meet them in this episode!  If you have ever tried to pit sour cherries you know it’s a lot of work.  They are soft, small, and getting that little pit is difficult.  It is a labor of love though, and the resulting jam is worth the effort.  

I definitely identify with the faery character, Peaches Dragonfly and her name.  Teagan, thank you for Peaches Dragonfly, and fantastic story.  You are amazing. I hope you all enjoy this recipe.

Sour cherry jam tart Suzanne DeBrango

As you see, I made both sour cherry vanilla and gooseberry jam.  I have to say they are wonderful with scones and creme fraiche. 
2 cups pitted sour cherries
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
Use a non-reactive, medium saucepan, adding the cherries, sugar and salt.  Cook on medium high heat until thickened.  It took about 45 minutes total cooking time.
To test to see if it is going to be thick enough place a spoon in the freezer.  Spoon some of the jam on the freezing cold spoon.  If it gets nice and thick, then it’s done.
Pour the hot jam into very clean preferably sterilized jars, seal and let cool on the counter. The jam will seal, but because it is not processed in a water bath, it must be stored in the refrigerator.  It will last for a long time refrigerated. 

How could I be anything but inspired after Suzanne’s words?  Thank you, Suzanne.

Writing Process

Suckerfish attached to diver

At this time I think I should remind everyone that  characters, names, places, and incidents are used in a strictly fictitious way. The actions of a character do not imply anything about the person who named the character.

I allow myself some artistic license, especially since this serial is a fantasy.  I’ve added to the flora and fauna of Thistledown.  This time you’ll meet some fun fish, living in a pond. 

I’m pantsering this story so I don’t know if these faery fish will live in both fresh and salt water, or just the one pond.  However, I imagine them as looking partly like a remora (salt water) and partly like a suckermouth catfish (fresh water).

Without further ado, here’s the next installment of the serial.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam

Sprig Yellow ben-moore-8884

Ben Moore, Unsplash

Pucker Up

A pale yellow patch of sky was framed by green branches.  Doves cooed peacefully.  I saw two perched on a limb outside my bedroom window.  One appeared to try and give the other a tiny flower.  Or perhaps one tried to take the blossom from the other.  Who could say?

I glanced downward from my dizzyingly high vantage point.  My grand-uncle built his spacious home nestled in the branches of a massive redwood.  Uncle taught us to nurture the primeval tree just as it enriched us.  However, I had never been fond of heights.

He probably thought to encourage me to practice my flying skills by installing me in the attic bedroom, the loftiest room of all.  Many faeries would have been envious of the room, for the fun of gliding down hundreds of feet to the ground.  I however, often took the stairs.

Beyond the huge evergreen, I glimpsed Willow Stargazer flying past.  Her purple hair stood out against the morning sky.  She always wore an orchid tucked behind one ear.  Willow gave a quick wave.

1 Butterfly wing

I yawned and stretched, knowing I had slept late.  By the time I left the reflection pool, I had been exhausted.  In a short time, a lot of troubling ideas had wriggled into my mind.  First among them my horrible, frightening vision.

What troubled me most about that vision was the fact that it felt prophetic.  That must be why it upset the fae of Thistledown so much when they heard of it.

I had seen a bleak, unhappy world.  There was sunlight sometimes, but often the sky was murky.  The place was dark in every other way as well.  Bad things happened there all the time.  Negativity saturated the place — disasters, disrespect, corruption, violence, and hatred.  Even the elders and leaders were continually exposed as corrupt and even insane.

In the vision, it seemed like the people saw and experienced those things continually.  Each day they thought it couldn’t get more absurd, insulting, or hurtful.  Yet it did.  They became used to bizarre and harmful events.  They accepted it as just another part of their day.  There were highly placed people who could have remedied the situation.  Yet they did nothing.

The attitudes and actions of the people reflected the darkness of their world.  Even the clothes they chose to wear were in dark, dull colors.  The girls I met in my second vision seemed like rebels of a sort, daring to wear a splash of bright colors in their clothes or hair. 

Worse, I suspected the fae there had no wings.  My grand-uncle once told a scary story of a group of faeries without wings.  Did the darkness that saturated that world cause them to eventually lose their wings?

One of the doves on my windowsill fluttered away, dispelling my reverie.  The one that remained still held the tiny flower.  I realized it was a peach blossom.  Then I knew it must be a message from Peaches Dragonfly.  I took the flower from the dove.  Oddly it was wet.  My body mirrored the posture of the dove when she tilted her head to one side curiously.

“A wet peach blossom?” I murmured to the dove who answered with a coo.  “Oh!” I exclaimed in sudden epiphany.  “Peaches must want me to meet her at the pond.”

The dove bobbed her head forward and back, and then flew away in the direction of the orchard.

I unfolded my injured wing to apply more of the ointment Calico Rainbowforest gave me.  Even my grand-uncle had to admit I wouldn’t be practicing my flying for a while.  Since Peaches sent a dove to bid me visit her, she must not be in a rush.  If there was any hurry, she would probably have sent a zippy hummingbird.  I considered borrowing Uncle’s unicycle, but I knew I would end up painfully unfurling my wings to catch my balance.  I’d have to settle for my own two feet.

I must be the clumsiest faery in Thistle down, I thought with a loud sigh.

***

Peaches Pond nitish-kadam-43351

Nitish Kadam, Unsplash

“Bedlam, thank goodness you’re here,” Peaches Dragonfly said once I arrived at the pond.  “I could really use a hand.”

Her pink hair was wet, but only around her face.  Beside Peaches were four pails of water.  I noticed an oddly shaped purple fish swimming in one.  When I asked about the fish, my friend said it was a suckerfish.

“They absolutely love the pits from sour cherries,” Peaches explained.  “I have buckets overflowing with sour cherries from the far side of the orchard.  I’m going to make jam from them, but the pits have to be removed.  Those cherries are tiny, and it’s a lot of work to remove the pits.  So I had the idea to use the suckerfish to take out the pits.  With a little fae coaxing, they don’t bother the flesh of the cherries at all, and happily suck out the pits!”

“What an amazing idea!” I complimented Peaches.  “But I don’t see any other fish like this in the pond.”

Peaches gave me a wry look as she knelt at the edge of the pond.  I had a bad feeling that there was a tangle in her brilliant idea, and that I was about to get caught in the middle of it.

“There are several suckerfish in the pond.  They usually stay at the bottom, but they’ll come to the surface if you call them,” she told me.

I thought we were about to get to the tangle.  A hopeful look from my friend suggested I was right.  I expected to regret it, but I asked how one went about calling the suckerfish.

“It’s easy,” she told me with a bright smile.  “You just put your face into the water and make kissing sounds.  The suckerfish will come right to you.”

“What happens when they get there?”

“Well, if you aren’t quick enough in grabbing them, they’ll suck your face.  They’re very affectionate.  Don’t worry,” she added upon seeing my expression.  “It doesn’t hurt.”

Face in water blue

Genessa Panainte, Unsplash

I cringed so hard that I went to my knees.  Peaches took that for agreement and pulled my shoulders down toward the water.  I watched as she made kissing sounds into the pond.  Two purple suckerfish quickly swam to her.  One of them appeared to give her a kiss on the cheek.  With lightning reflexes, Peaches caught one fish in each hand.

“See,” she stated as she put the fishes in a pail.  “It isn’t that hard.”

Taking a deep breath, I agreed to give it a try.  I made kissing sounds into the water.  A fish swam to me so fast that I didn’t even see it.  Peaches had quick reflexes and grabbed it for me before I possibly could have gotten it.  Emboldened by the fact that I hadn’t had to even touch the fish, I put my puckering mouth back into the pond.

After two or three “kisses” I saw two tiny purple fish approaching from the left.  They were much smaller than any I had seen at that point, so the prospect of them touching my face did not upset me.

What I could not see was a suckerfish as large as my arm rapidly swimming from the deepest part of the pond.  Suddenly something forcefully hit my mouth.  Thankfully it was soft, or it would have really hurt.  I fell backward to the banks of the pond.

Peaches gasped, but rapidly detached the big sucker from my face.  I fitfully spat, and spat.  And spat some more.  I’m not sure why.  It wasn’t as though I tasted anything.  It was just the idea of being smooched by that fish.

“I’ve never seen a suckerfish this big.  The pit removal should go extra fast with this guy helping!” Peaches exclaimed.  “Nice work, Bedlam.”

We both looked up as a shadow passed over.  A blue heron swooped low, gliding toward the eastern bank of the pond.  I was awed by its beauty, with its broad wings and smooth passage, and plumage the color of a thunder cloud.  It sailed to the eastern bank of the pond.

I realized something looked different than I remembered about that side of the pond.  Peaches explained that an underground stream had come to the surface.  She thought that under or above ground the water eventually made its way to a small lake near Catseye Glimmer’s home.

Curious about the change to the landscape I wandered to that side of the pond.  I could see a thicket.  In the shadows I could barely make out the water of the stream.

“What’s that sound?” Peaches asked.

At first I didn’t hear anything.  After a moment, soft whimpering came to my ears.  To my astonishment, Peaches jumped into the pond.

“It sounds like a dog!” she cried as she swam.

I jumped in after her.  We soon realized that end of the pond was shallow enough that we could walk to the thicket.  That was a relief, since my swimming wasn’t any better than my flying.

The whining grew louder.  Peaches moved to the edge of the thicket.  When I looked at the place, an inexplicable shudder traveled through me.  The shadows were dark.  They were gray and unnaturally, densely drab.

“Peaches, wait!” I called and fearfully extended a hand, but she was out of my reach.

It was a relief when my friend emerged from the shadows with a small dog in her arms.  To my surprise she chuckled.

“There’s a suckerfish stuck to his mouth.  Help me get it off him,” she told me.

We walked through the water to the near edge of the pond and climbed out.  I helped Peaches up to the grass because her arms were full with the little dog.  I expected her to stop right there, but she hurried over to where we had been catching purple suckerfish.

She detached the suckerfish from the little dog’s mouth.  Rather than purple as it should have been, the fish was a dull brown.  Peaches gently placed the oddly colored fish in a pail separate from the other fish.

With the fish removed, I could see the dog’s face.  He was easily the oddest looking pup I had ever seen.  He had a tightly curled tail.  His coat was dull gray, but his little face was black.  It was also squished flat.  He looked at me and licked his nose with a little gray-blue tongue.

When he looked up at Peaches, his screw-tail wagged enthusiastically.  She set about drying the dog with a towel.

“I wonder who he belongs to?” Peaches pondered.  “His coloring is so unique,” she added with an uneasy glance at the strange brown suckerfish.

We both gazed nervously toward the shadows of the thicket.  Then Peaches leaned down to look closely at all the fish in the pails.

“I’ve never seen any fish that color,” she commented in an uneasy voice.  “It makes me think of how you described the place in your vision as colorless.”

“I doubt he belongs to anybody in Thistledown,” I whispered.  “What should we do with him?” I asked as I cleared my throat, trying to bring my voice to a normal volume.

Peaches took another look at the thicket and shivered.  The dog’s dull coloring indeed reminded me of the dark place where I met Rotten Soulfire and her friends.  How could they bear to live in such a place?  I swallowed hard.

“I’ll look after him,” Peaches stated in a determined voice.  “I think I’ll call him Pucker.”

The dog barked a yip at his new name.  Pucker’s tail wagged so hard I was surprised it didn’t cause him to fall over from the force of it.  He put a paw on Peaches’ shin and she bent to get him in her arms.

Vintage Pug painting

***

The End

The new “mystery faery” for this episode was Cecily of Cecily’s Writings.  I hope you’ll say hello to her.  

Stay tuned for the next episode of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.  We will see the counterpart of Catseye Glimmer in the other faery-verse and more photos from T & L Photography.  

Hugs on the wing!

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

 

 

At the Wall Gallery and on The Radio — Meet Kirt and Hank

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to two pos-i-lutely fantastic guys — Kirt Tisdale and Hank Hertz!  It was my great pleasure to be a guest at the Wall Gallery, Kirt’s blog, The Wall Gallery There you will find his inspiring collection of art and photography.  

Thanks to Kirt for working with me on this joint post!  It’s already live at his blog, so forgive me for another rerun if you’ve already been there.  Many of you have already visited there.  Thank you so much!  If you haven’t already seen this post, thank you as well — for being here.

I never managed to move to Arizona in real life, but I had a great virtual visit with Kirt. Let me hand things over to him now.  Kirt, the stage is yours.

Writer Inspires Artist – Artist Inspires Writer or On The Radio – Meet Hank

I could call this week’s post – “The Art of Visualization: The Key Element to Writing, Art and Photography”, but the result of that ability is “On The Radio – Meet Hank”.  I’m doing a joint collaboration with one of my favorite authors, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. One of my most consistent comments to her after reading her writing is: “I love it…I am instantly pulled in because I can visualize everything you are writing about.”  

When she asked me to do this joint post, her request was simple: “Go through your art and photography portfolio and send me a picture that you would like to have me weave into one of my novels.”  

I narrowed it down to Cedar Rapids Barn because this capture of an old dilapidated barn created a visualization of a rural setting and the mystery surrounding the structure (side note: I was driving on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the heavily wooded hills along the river when I spotted this structure nestled in the trees. Of course I had to stop…hike into the woods and take some shots with my camera). So with that, I would like to turn it over to the star of this visualization, Teagan. 

What a fantastic introduction!  I’m not sure I can live up to it… So I’ll call on Donna Summer to build some excitement first! 

3-things-cover_3-2016

From his wonderful collection, Kirt chose the image above, Cedar Rapids Barn.  I let it spontaneously lead me to the story below.

As you probably expected, this tale is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip.  (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story click here.)

Today meet Hank Hertz.  This vignette is part of Hank’s backstory.  He’s a young man Pip will meet when she is sent to live in Savannah, Georgia with her grandmother.  However, this vignette takes place at some point not too long before Pip arrives there, so she is not in this story.

On the Radio — Meet Hank

No harm in trying one more time, Hank Hertz thought as he stacked all manner of electronic components on the counter.

“Hi, Mr. Hardscrabble,” Hank mumbled, trying to avoid eye contact with the hardware store’s proprietor.

“Hank, I already told you.  Your ma told me not to sell you any of this gadgetry tomfoolery.  You might as well put all that stuff back on the shelves, son.”

Hardscrabble put a hand to his balding head in a frustrated gesture.  He found his spectacles there and smiled because he’d forgotten where he put them.  However, he brightened when the door opened.  One of “Savannah’s finest,” Detective Dabney Daniels strolled into Hardscrabble Hardware.  His finely chiseled features remained neutral, but he raised an eyebrow at the tableau at the counter.

“Now get on with you, boy.  Put everything back.  I can’t take your money,” the store owner repeated before turning to a real customer.  “That boy gets more like his granddaddy every day.  Detective, what can I do for you?”

1928 Detroit police radio Blue

“No need to rest on formality, Homer.  I can’t find my flashlight, so I’m here for another one,” the detective replied then looked sheepish.  “Go ahead and laugh about things going missing at a police station.  I can tell you’re holding it back.”

Hank watched the exchange between the tall detective and the portly shopkeeper as he reluctantly made trips from the sales counter back to the shelves.  He could have carried more things at one time, but he delayed the inevitable, hoping Mr. Hardscrabble would change his mind.  As he picked up a few more items to return to the shelf, the detective stopped him.

“What is all that stuff, son?  If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were building a ham radio.  Or at least intended to before Homer shut you down.”

For a moment Hank’s face lit up at the mention of his passion — all things electronic, especially radios.  He looked dejectedly at his feet.

“Momma wants me to study law.  She says electronics and inventions are a distraction.  She even said they were toys!”

“So all the old fogies are conspiring against you, huh?  Well, you’d better ankle all that stuff back where it came from, like Homer told you.”

***

1920 Radio News

After supper Hank got an armload of books and headed out the kitchen door.  His mother looked at the heavy tomes and gave a satisfied nod.  Hank knew she was watching from the window above the sink as he walked to the little red barn.  Vines of Cherokee roses ran riot over the building.  The Hertz family used the barn for storage, but Hank made it his personal spot to study or just hang out.  He also had a workbench tucked in one corner where he discretely kept his radio equipment.

The horizon blazed red with sunset when Hank slipped out of the barn.  He pedaled the motorized bicycle he had made until he was far enough away that his parents wouldn’t hear the noise of the motor.  Dusk descended as he rode into town.

Hank didn’t pay any attention to the dark Ford parked on the corner, or to the fact that someone sat inside it.  He rode down the alley and came up behind Hardscrabble Hardware.  The back door was locked, but he found a window he could open.  He took his flashlight and climbed into the store.

He knew exactly where to find everything he wanted.  So it didn’t take Hank long to gather all the electronics he tried to buy that afternoon.  He stood at the sales counter and added up all the prices.  He figured the tax.  Then he left the full amount of the purchase, plus two cents, because he didn’t have enough pennies to leave the exact change.

Putting everything into his bag, Hank turned toward the back of the shop.  It felt like an electric charge shot from his neck down his arm when he heard a cough behind him.  Hank jerked around to face the sound.

1920 Victoria motorcycle ad

The boy thought he’d lose everything he ate for supper when he saw the police detective standing there, arms folded.

“So you actually broke into the store and paid for the things Homer wouldn’t sell you?  Son, I don’t know what to make of that.”

Hank stumbled back a step.  He wanted to run, but the copper knew who he was and where he lived.  Besides, Hank had a pretty good idea that those long legs could catch up with him before he got to his bicycle.  His breath caught in his throat.  Hank couldn’t have spoken even if he’d known what to say.

The detective closed the distance to the counter in a single step.  He pointed his new flashlight to the paper where Hank had added up his purchase.  Then he pursed his lips as he thought.  He stared at Hank as if he could see every fib the boy had ever told.  Hank gulped.

“Where’d you get the money for this stuff, son?  Allowance?  Money for odd jobs?”

Hank only nodded, still unable to talk.  Finally he found his voice and croaked out a reply.  “It’s my money sir.  Fair and square.  I wouldn’t steal anything.”

“I guess I’m going to have to have a talk with your parents,” Dabney Daniels said, slowly shaking his head.

Poor Hank felt like he might sink through the floor, right then and there.  His knees felt weak.

“But this,” the copper motioned at Hank’s bag full of stuff.  “I don’t see as any law has really been broken.  After all, I walked in through the front door, which was unlocked.  I know Homer leaves through the back door and forgets to lock the front.  But being as you’re here, I assume he left it open for you.”

Hank gazed at Daniels in wide eyed confusion.

“Besides, I hate doing paperwork.  If you had actually broken into this store, I’d have to haul you to the station and spend the rest of the night writing up the report.  I do have to talk to your parents though,” he added causing Hank to sink further.

The young man managed a groan.

“You know, I really need an intern down at the station.  I think your mother will see that working for me would be a good learning experience for a future lawyer.  In a way, that’s where law starts isn’t it?  With the police?  Meanwhile you can put your talent with radio gadgetry to use.  How does that sound?”

The end

***

And so Savannah’s youngest policeman began his career.  If you want to know more about the other characters in Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, click here.  Thanks for reading.  Mega hugs!

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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

 

 

Pip & Pancakes with Dan

Great news everyone — we have another guest!  Dan Antion at No Facilities agreed to be my next co-conspirator collaborator.  This post is already live at his blog for his One-Liner Wednesday feature.  So I’m handing things over to Dan to explain.  (I also think he should consider a career change to TV announcer.  He gave me such a nice introduction, I’m still blushing.)

A One and Three Twofer

It’s One-Liner Wednesday, the series brought to us by Linda G. Hill, and many of you will be surprised by how close to one line I am going to come. That’s because I am joined today by Teagan R. Geneviene who will soon release her 1920’s novel. If you’re not familiar with Teagan and her three-things stories, you’re in for a treat. If you are familiar with Teagan’s work, you know exactly what kind of treat you’re in for.

My one-liner is all about a treat too. A few weeks ago, when I woke up in Florida with the task making, changing and cancelling flights on a day the airlines were struggling with a blizzard in the Northeast, I wasn’t eager to get out of bed. I talked myself into action with the following thought:

When you know you’re going to have a bad day, make it better by starting with pancakes.”

Teagan told me that Pip could have some fun with pancakes, so let me get out of the way (after a few pictures for the foodies).

Now, while I finish my breakfast, please enjoy Teagan’s story. Try to imagine my best Ed McMahon voice, as I say:

Heeeeeer’s Teagan!

Thank you again, Dan, for agreeing to collaborate on a post with me.  I hope everyone will visit his blog.  Dan uses several post themes and they’re all terrific.  I had a great time at No Facilities.  His picture of the crow was pos-i-lutely inspired.  You’ll see why in a second.

Now for my part… This vignette is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip.  (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story click here.)  Pip’s father and grandmother decided to “settle her down” by having her live with Granny for awhile.  That’s where this tidbit picks up.  Also, as you guessed, the prompt Dan gave me for this tale was pancakes.  I hope you enjoy it.

Pip and Pancakes

1925 La Vie Parisienne woman pancake cooking

La Vie Parisienne, February 1925

Horsefeathers!  I think I sprained my wrist,” I complained as the iron skillet plopped back onto the stove with a loud clang.

Outside a crow made a cawing sound that might as well have been the bird’s laughter.

“Paisley Idelle Peabody, you will mind your language while you’re in my kitchen,” Granny Phanny warned me.

My grandmother hefted the heavy skillet with a quick motion.  A perfectly round pancake sailed high into the air.  It landed majestically, golden side up, in the pan.  I heard the crow again.  If it had a human voice, I was sure it would be saying “Ha!  Let’s see you do that.”

Granny must have biceps made of steel under her shirtsleeves.  She handled that heavy skillet like it weighed nothing.

The clear blue sky beyond the kitchen window distracted me.  I imagined being back in Florida with my friends, watching the boats on Santa Rosa Sound.  However, I was in Granny’s kitchen in Savannah, Georgia.  Pops had not appreciated the fact that I was a modern woman, a flapper.  It was an appalling sentence to be given, and it pos-i-lutely did not fit my transgression.  Why it was just a little yachting adventure.  Nonetheless, Pops and Granny contrived for me to stay with her and learn to cook!

Pillsbury Home Journal Pancake flour ad September 1920

Pillsbury ad, Home Journal, September 1920

Of course the crow chose that moment to caw some more.  It really did seem to be laughing at my predicament.  Or at least at the idea of me cooking.  I was ready to stick my tongue out at the bird.

Honestly, I only looked away for a moment.  Maybe it was my sigh that told Granny my attention had wandered.  Her lips curled in, which meant she was impatient.  I grimaced, knowing I wouldn’t get any sympathy there.  However, Granny gave a sigh of her own, and moved the skillet away from the burner.

“Pip, do you already miss your friends?  You’ve just gotten here.  This was supposed to be something fun for us to do together,” my grandmother told me.

I blinked in surprise.  Granny wanted to do something fun?  Applesauce!  If I had known it was meant to be fun, I might have put some effort into enjoying it.  I cringed when I realized I had said as much out loud.

Granny Phanny gave a snort.  “Maybe I’m not as old as I thought, because that actually made sense to me.”

“In that case, let me try again,” I told her with a grin.

I tried to imitate Granny’s motion and give the pancake a flip.  It only came halfway out of the pan and landed in a folded messy lump.  My grandmother gingerly picked up the half-cooked goo and set it to rights.  She told me to try again and give it some body English.

A tight-lipped grimace settled on my face as I picked up the iron skillet.  I heaved it just so.  The sloppy remains of the pancake lifted into the air.  It sailed up and flipped, and then flew even higher.  It made a wet thwack when it hit the ceiling… and there it stayed.

With a gulp, I looked at Granny, wondering how mad she would be.  Her expression was blank as she stared upward.  She cast an evaluative gaze on me, making me wonder if she thought I’d done it on purpose.

“Pip…  Well, that was right impressive,” she said, with the riotous squawking of the crow in the background.

Bye Bye Black Bird sheet music 1920s

Hurriedly I stirred the batter and poured a puddle of it into the skillet.  I didn’t want to give her time to consider in what way a pancake on the previously spotless kitchen ceiling was impressive.

In my haste I had the heat too high, and the hotcake began to smoke.  Granny moved toward the window.  She told me to just get the spatula and turn it before it burned.  I was more than simply nervous by then.  I don’t know what possessed me, but I tried to do a combination, turn and toss, with the spatula in one hand and the skillet in the other.

Just then Granny shrieked.  The crow cawed even louder.  I whirled around.  The bird was right outside the window. 

My one-handed grip on the iron skillet was too loose.  When I moved so suddenly, the skillet flew from my fingers.  The shining black pan could have been the cousin to the cawing crow, the way it soared across the room.

I gazed in amazement at the flying frying pan.  It spun as it sailed cleanly through the open window.  The skillet crashed into the lilac bush just outside.

The crow’s clamorous cawing abruptly choked.  I might have chuckled to have gotten the last word on the bird, even if by accident.  However, the sound of Granny’s scream was still in my ears, so I didn’t savor that victory.

I spun back toward Granny Phanny to see what was wrong.  She stood stock still.  Her hands were in fists at her side.  My magnificently tossed pancake no longer littered the ceiling.  It draped and dripped over Granny’s forehead.

What’s that they say about the better part of valor?  On pretext of retrieving the skillet, I ran from the kitchen.  The crow alighted on the lilac bush and looked at me accusingly.  It fluttered to the windowsill.

“You won’t go in there if you know what’s good for you,” I told the bird.

Granny appeared on the porch, picking batter from her hair.  She gave me a look that I couldn’t define.  The crow made a brazen cackle.  After a moment Granny burst out laughing.

“Pip, go inside and let’s get cleaned up.  You haven’t been to the Georgian Tea Room.  I’ll treat us to brunch there.  If we stay here we might be eating crow — literally,” she said with a meaningful glare at the bird.

With a last disgruntled caw, the crow flapped away.

Georgian Tea Room in The Olde Pink House 1929

The Georgian Tea Room in the Olde Pink House;  Savannah, GA circa 1929

***

The end.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the cat’s meow.  Mega hugs!

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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