It’s about “Time” with Don

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hello, one and all.  Welcome to my sanctuary.  Sit down on a sofa or curl up on a cushion.  Today I have a special guest — author and entrepreneur Don Massenzio

atonement_in_bloom_1_03-24-2014Don has a twist in his upcoming book that he’s been kind enough to discus with me.  It was not too far afield from something that had been on my mind for my own books. Most of you know that I’m editing book-2 in my Atonement series (Atonement in Bloom).  For a third book I’ve been contemplating how to work with both the present and the past in one volume. There are a number of ways I could do that. So I was curious about what Don did.  I’ll bring you into our discussion now.

Don:  My new book, Extra Innings, did not start out as a paranormal or science fiction novel. Originally published as a serial on my blog, the story started out with the intent of becoming another iteration in my crime fiction writing efforts. As the story took shape, however, my mind kept mulling over the miserable life of my main character, Joe McLean and what his life might have become if he had made some alternate life choices.

Teagan:  That’s what intrigued me, Don. It’s similar but different. The heroine of the books I mentioned has a past life in which she knew some of the other characters.  I don’t want to give any spoilers, but she did bad things in that past life.  So I’m curious about how you handled this.

Don:  I was originally going to include flashbacks and other devices to relay the history of the main character’s family and associates over different timelines that led to his current circumstances, but I worried about being able to do this smoothly and not confuse my readers.

Teagan:  I agree. Flashbacks can be confusing to the reader.  I try to avoid them.

Don:  That’s where the idea of using some form of time travel emerged. It was a difficult decision because I’ve spent the past several books identifying with readers as a crime fiction author. I did publish a collection of short stories in my anthology, Random Tales, that had some science fiction/paranormal entries, but this would be my first novel to explore that part of my writing.

Teagan:  You’re a brave man… I don’t think I could handle that for my book.  But what did you do?  My curiosity is piqued.  Do tell…

Don:  My first step was to research some of the techniques that have been used to convey time travel in fiction.

Here are some of the theories that have been presented: 

Watercolor dreamcatcher with beads and feathers. Illustration fo

  1. PrecognitionThis is the idea of seeing the future during dreams or through the feeling of déjà vu. Abstract black and white design
  2. Time LoopsIf you’ve watched the movie, Ground Hog Day, you’ve seen this time travel plot device in action. Usually the events time loop repeat until the character or characters perform a certain action to end the loop and move forward.De Lorean
  3. Time ParadoxIf you watched Back to the Future, when Marty McFly went back in time and nearly prevented his parents from getting together for the high school dance, you’ve experienced this time travel device.Time Tourism
  4. Time TourismJust like it sounds, when time travelers travel through time to witness historical events as a spectator, this is time tourism.terminator
  5. Time WarThis is the use of time travel to conduct war over time using time travel. It could involve going back in time to change events leading up to a pivotal battle or trying to bring about a reset of events that didn’t play out as planned.Erasing The Past
  6. Changing the pastThis is the notion of time travel that I used in my book, Extra Innings. The idea of changing the past is logically contradictory. Even though the consensus today is that the past cannot be changed, science fiction writers have used the idea of changing the past for good story effect. Stephen King used this method of time travel effectively in his book, 11/22/63, by having his main character, Jake Epping, attempt to go back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Though ultimately successful, when Epping returns to the present, he discovers that his actions have had unintended consequences.


If you enjoy time travel and the possibility of going back in time to right wrongs and do things differently if given a chance, follow the adventures of Joe McLean in my latest novel, Extra Innings.Extra Innings

 

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team.

Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past.

That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life?

Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

***

Images provided by Don Massenzio.

Join me in wishing Don huge success with his new book.  Extra Innings is currently available for pre-order.  The release date is June 15th.

Thanks for taking time to visit.  I love your comments, so be sure to say hello. 

Mega hugs!

***

Here’s 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. 

Weekend Extra – Hullaba Lulu 9.1 – a Recap

Saturday, June 2 2018

Sphinx Tesla Tower

Image by Teagan Geneviene

Hello, everyone!  No, you’re not confused — this is not Wednesday.  However, my Saturday post this week looks a lot like Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Rob Goldstein and I have been having so much fun with the diesel-punk series, Hullaba Lulu, that it’s hard to believe the first chapter premiered March 21st.  So I thought I’d use my weekend post to write a chapter that’s sort of a review.

I’m using one item from the next set of “three things” that Rob sent to drive the story. So I’ll call this Chapter 9.1.  My quirky image above has some hints about what’s to come in the future.  That said…

… All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 9.1

Bolshies

Valentino Bots Green Metropolis 6

Valentino and Angel-bots in the train’s control room, by Rob Goldstein

The engine gave a steady pulse that seemed to underlie everything.  It reminded me of a heartbeat.  I focused my hearing, trying to listen only to that vague background sound as I walked down the corridor in Valentino’s train.  When I came to the door of the dimly lit control room someone grabbed my arm and pulled me inside.

“Shhh!” Pearl hissed.  “You’ve got to see this.”

My fair-haired friend motioned to the Ouiji board that was connected to the stationary angel-bot in the train’s navigation controls.

“Oh, I saw it do that the first time,” I told her.  “But there was a lot of messy ectoplasm then.  It’s still pretty keen.”

Morg-rose_009x

Rose and Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

Still holding my arm, Pearl tiptoed closer to the board, watching the triangular planchette.  My grandfather and my other pal, Rose, stood near Valentino.  I noticed several of the angel-bots who performed various tasks and services on the train had gathered at the back of the room.  They leaned forward in what appeared to be anticipation, clicking softly to one another.

Moving steadily, the planchette pointed to the letters C, O, T.  Then it made a jiggling move before pointing to T again.  The quiet clicking of the angel-bots gradually increased in volume.  The triangular device then pointed to O and N, with a slight pause before returning to C again.

I saw Valentino’s lips curve to a little one-sided smile.  The angel-bots started to bounce up and down on their toes when the planchette finished spelling out the word Club.

“The Cotton Club?  Is that where we’re going?” Rose queried.

Bots and People Cotton Club-5-22--3

Angel-bots and passengers at the Cotton Club, by Rob Goldstein

It was obvious that the angel-bots were eager to go to the famous night club, but I wasn’t.  I hoped to visit some far off, exotic place.  This train adventure was probably the only chance I’d ever have to do go someplace like Paris, or Tokyo, or maybe Istanbul, or something.

“Back to New York already?” I asked in disappointment.

The mysterious man who simply named himself Valentino had made no promises.  He offered to take us away from the seedy characters who showed an unhealthy interest in Rose.

I first saw the group of men in a Ford and thought they were revenuers.  That was also the night we met Valentino.  Later I learned those men were actually Russian spies, who were trying to get that Tom Driberg to work for them again.  Yep, Tom the journalist was a spy.  Tom said the Russians meant to nab Rose, whom he called Margosha, as leverage.  He also claimed that Rose used to work with him as a spy.  I still wasn’t sure of that was true about Rose, but an uneasy feeling in my gut said it was so.

Valentinto LuLu Tom D Rolls

Valentino, Lulu, Tom Driberg, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino’s train was not an ordinary machine.  It whisked us to Atlantic City so fast that it seemed impossible.  However, it turned out that place was not the amusement park we had visited many times.  It was a weird version of the Atlantic City we knew.  Anyhow, Tom Driberg and those Russian spies managed to tag along.  They tried to grab Rose, but she got away.

I glimpsed my unlamented mother, Lauren.  She abandoned Gramps and me when I was small.  I wrote-off my mother long before that day.  Everybody deserves the chance to be around decent people — even me.  However, seeing her was very upsetting to my grandfather.

The tilt-a-whirl in the park was doing crazy things.  Laruen jumped onto it and disappeared in its flashing lights.  Later, when the Russians cornered Tom Driberg, he also used the tilt-a-whirl to get away.  We didn’t know where either Lauren or Tom may have gone.  I was fine with that.

Valentino Tilt-a-Whril Tom_Travelin Sideways

Valentino as Tom escapes the spies via the tilt-a-whirl, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino kept Gramps from following Lauren (his daughter).  He said it was impossible for the tilt-a-whirl to go to the same place twice, so Gramps would not be able to catch up with her.

Meanwhile the entire amusement park became unstable.  Buildings started to collapse.  The great Ferris wheel broke free, demolishing everything in its path.  The huge wheel careened toward us.  We all escaped on the train, in the nick of time, leaving the Russian spies behind.  Who could say what happened to them, but no one seemed to think they would be able to follow us.

***

The Station-Diner_043-

Lulu, Valentino, Pearl in the dining car

Dejectedly, I went to the automat.  I dipped a celery stalk from my bloody mary into a tiny bowl of horseradish before loudly crunching it.  Then I stirred a little more of the grated spicy root into my drink.  I loved the automat on Valentino’s train.  The cocktail was so delicious that I almost forgot why I went to the vending car in the first place.

Valentino told us to be sure and go to the automat to get money from a machine there.  We’d need it at the Cotton Club.  I was sure I had enough mazuma to pay my own way, but horsefeathers, if he wanted it to be his treat, I’d let him.

I did the Camel Walk over to the currency exchange machine, but dancing didn’t cheer me up like it usually did.

Opening the chrome and glass door of a compartment, I removed an envelope of cash.  When I examined it, I noticed the dollar bills were wrong.  Where the pyramid on the back should have had the Eye of Providence, it had an Eye of Horus instead. 

Automat Clara Bow and man mix

Clara Bo (inset), Paramount Automat 1931

Then I realized that just as Atlantic City had not been the same city I knew, New York City was likely to be sideways too.  That’s what Sipsing the Gypsy king fortuneteller-bot said at the amusement park when I asked him if we’d gone back in time ― sideways.

As I placed the packet of money into my beaded handbag, I heard the soft clockwork clicking of angel-bots behind me.  Wicky, Wacky, and Woo bounced on their toes in what could only be excitement.  I tried to say something nice to the angel-bots, but my heart wasn’t in it.

“Yes, Miss.  We love the Cotton Club.  Dynamite is going to sing.  He doesn’t know it, but we’ve made sure Hot Ginger will be there to hear him,” Wacky told me in a conspiratorial tone.

Bot in Spotlight Cotton Club-5-22--2

Angel-bot onstage, by Rob Goldstein

I had to smile at the housekeeping bot’s Bronx accent.  It seemed so out of place, but that’s what I liked about it.  It was wacky to fit his name.  I had named several of the angel-bots.  A quick impulse caused me to base their names on the song, Back in Nagasaki.  It turned out that they were ecstatic about getting names. 

The angel-bots opened the same compartment that I had just emptied.  As if by magic, it contained three more envelopes of currency.  I decided I really needed to learn more about Valentino’s train.  Then a disconcerting thought came to me.

“Do you notice anything… funny about this money?” I asked the trio of angel-bots.  “I mean on the pyramid?  It’s not counterfeit or anything is it?”

“No, Miss.  The automat gives us the correct currency for whatever place the train stops,” Woo assured me in her Chinese sounding accent.

It was intriguing that despite the fact that the angel-bots looked mostly alike, their voices were apparently unique.  I asked Woo about hers, and if she came from China.

“No, Miss.  I my voice comes from Shanghai.  But in that Shanghai Night Raid 1931 happened in 1921. 

Just then Boom-boom walked into the automat.  He was as excited as his fellow bots about going to the club.  Woo quickly told him my concerns about the funny looking money.

“Not to worry,” Boom-boom told me in that posh British voice.  “It’s not a trick from the Bolshies or any of those Russian spies who followed us to Atlantic City.  The automat never fails to provide the correct provisions,” he added with a half-bow.

***

The End

I had to give a nod to one of my favorite anime series, Night Raid 1931.  The artwork in it never fails to amaze me. 

Real World Notes

About the “bloody mary” 

Is there any wonder we often have trouble communicating?  The English language can be so subjective and confusing.  As a career technical editor and writer, I often tell people to choose a style and stick with it.  The Chicago Manual of Style has the clearest rule for cocktail and food names:  Don’t capitalize these terms unless the names literally refer to the city or person.  For example, Chicago says don’t capitalize “swiss cheese” unless you mean cheese that comes from Switzerland.  Also if you follow the Chicago rules, you wouldn’t capitalize “irish coffee” or the “french fries.”

San Francisco artist Rob Goldstein is taking a break from the illustrations for Hullaba Lulu.  He’s worked very hard, and is having some well deserved time away.  Rob has also made several videos for the “Lulu-verse” — and in doing so, he has created a soundtrack for the series, filled with Roaring Twenties songs.  You can see the entire collection of videos here.

If you haven’t gotten on the train, you can catch up by clicking the Hullaba Lulu category on the right side of the page. You’ll meet Lulu, her Gramps, friends Rose and Pearl, and some other characters as they begin a journey with an enigmatic man who only calls himself Valentino.  Listen for the trumpet’s call and the conductor’s announcement, All aboard!   That’s here each week for Jazz Age Wednesdays.

Thanks for taking time to visit.  I love your comments, so be sure to say hello.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

***

Here’s my 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

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

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. 

Jazz Age Wednesdays — Hullaba Lulu Dreams

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 

 

Lulu blowing bubble

Lulu, by Rob Goldstein

Hello, Sheiks and Shebas.  I’m happy to see you.  So I’m sorry to disappoint you.  Yes, I just had a long weekend.  However, I neither rested nor relaxed.  Also, I wasn’t able to create a new chapter of Hullaba Lulu for today.

This is not a teaser, so don’t get the wrong idea about where the Lulu-train is headed.  But it was so “funny” that I had to share.  As you know, San Francisco artist, Rob Goldstein makes wonderful virtual reality illustrations for the series.  Well, we both had the same “what if” idea, at the same time.  Cue the Twilight Zone theme.

Valentino Angel-6

Valentino as an angel, by Rob Goldstein

Simmer down.  The story is not going there, but I thought it would be fun to share it with you — particularly since Rob made some gorgeous images with that in mind.  What, was that simultaneous what if, you ask? What if Valentino was some kind of angel?  That’s Rob’s vision of a dream Lulu might have had of an angelic Valentino above.  

Hullaba Lulu will be back next week with more images from Rob.  The “three things” I have to write about are Jukebox, Star of David, and Bolshies.  What would you do with those things to further this (or any) story? 

Gramps Valentino contorl room lightning

Gramps using a Kodak Brownie to photograph Valentino

Here’s a mini hint — there might be a Tesla invention in the mix…  Also the above image has great details for the control room of Valentino’s train.  On the left, a Tesla machine arcs lightning.  On the right the special stationary angel-bot and the Ouija board are both part of the navigation system.

Thanks for taking time to visit.  I love your comments, so be sure to say hello. 

Quote:

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration…”   Nikola Tesla

(A Forbes article on Tesla and some of his inventions here.)

Real World Notes:

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) age 40

Thanks for visiting.  Be sure to come back next week for a new chapter of Hullaba Lulu.  You’re the oyster’s earrings!

***

Here’s my 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. 

Hullaba Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 26 2018

Lulu purple sofa

Lulu inside Valentino’s train, by Rob Goldstein

Hello, one and all.  Come on into my sanctuary and have a seat with Lulu and me, because this post is kind of a hodgepodge. 

Today I begin with a respectful moment of silence in observance of the coming Memorial Day (USA)Sometimes called Decoration Day it is a federal holiday in the United States originally meant for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.

A revision — Happy Memorial Day 

I see people expressing disdain and contempt for those words — or at least for the word “happy.”  Yes, it is in truth a very somber holiday.  Yet, it is more…  When I was a child, I endured the death of a sibling.  So many people acted like I should never be happy again because of that death.  As a child I thought, felt they must be right. I did not smile. 

Now I realize that gratitude and respect for those who have passed does not preclude joy.  Would those who have been selfless want only your tears?  Or would they want their lives to be celebrated? So even though I usually wish you blessings or some other benediction that does not include “happy”… Today I wish you a happy Memorial Day.  (Comments are now closed.)

I appreciate you being part of my Get Caught Reading Month. Special thanks to Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape for working with me on a two-part story for this year.  “Artie Meets the Alchemist” was a delight to co-write with everyone’s favorite Ape on Artie Meets the Alchemist.

Sarah Teri PolenYou’ve caught me reading one last book for this month. This time it’s Sarah, by the marvelous Teri Polen.  Teri writes exciting, suspenseful “young adult” stories.  This book is about a horror fan and a ghost and… Well, just hang onto your hat and keep the lights on!

She will publish another book this summer called The Gemini Connection.  You can also visit Teri at her blog, Books and Such.

Me?  I’m still in the edit/proof process with book-2 in my “Atonement” series, Atonement in Bloom.  I thought I might publish it this month, but… Well, as they used to say where I came from, “Mights (mites) grow on a chicken’s butt (well, that’s not the word they use, but you get the idea).  Anyhow, I cringe to think how long it’s been since I first said the book was “coming soon.” 

Huge thanks to those of you who have “gotten on the train” for my diesel-punk fantasy, Hullaba Lulu. 

Ghost train station with color

Art by Rob Goldstein

San Francisco artist Rob Goldstein makes wonderful virtual reality illustrations for the series.  Rob has also made several videos for the “Lulu-verse” — and in doing so, he has created a soundtrack for the series, filled with Roaring Twenties songs.  Here’s the one he made this week.  Rob talks about it in this post.

(You can see the entire collection of videos here.)

If you haven’t gotten on the train, you can catch up by clicking the Hullaba Lulu category on the right side of the page. You’ll meet Lulu, her Gramps, friends Rose and Pearl, and some other characters as they begin a journey with an enigmatic man who only calls himself Valentino.  Listen for the trumpet’s call and the conductor’s announcement, All aboard!   That’s here each week for Jazz Age Wednesdays.

I should also mention the Rolling Thunder. Bikers in droves from across the country gather here, partly to bring attention to soldiers missing in action. It’s a cool idea to have all those motorcycles, and it’s downright awe inspiring to see so many. Unfortunately to reach their destination many of them travel under an overpass 1/4 mile from my home.  So the “Rumble of the Rolling” is almost constant (if to a lesser degree than the gathering at the Capitol Mall) from Friday through Monday.  When significant portion of that group takes this route, it literally shakes the house.  Still an amazing thing though.

Thanks for taking time to visit.  I love your comments, so be sure to say hello.  If you are celebrating where you are, have a safe holiday weekend. 

You’re the cat’s pajamas!

***

Here’s my 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.