Jazz Age Wednesday — Pip & Artie, Aghast at a Ghost

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Author Neil Gaiman for Get Caught Reading

Author Neil Gaiman for Get Caught Reading

May is #GetCaughtReading Month!  Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape himself, and I are together again to support this initiative that promotes the fun of reading for all ages.

Chris and I have collaborated on several short stories that include his character, a genius ape named Artie and my first flapper, Pip.  It all started with Time Travel Esc-Ape.  Then there was Pip in the Corn Maze, followed by the three-part Pip and Artie Meet Again.

I hope you Get Caught Reading our new story!  It is set during the time-line of my upcoming novel A Ghost in the Kitchen.  All right then, let’s get a wiggle on and head to the Jazz Age!

Pip and Artie — Aghast at a Ghost

Fearful man and woman circa 1926

Ghost Stories Magazine circa 1926

“Hello,” I answered the telephone.  “Andy, tha―”

“Paisley Idelle Peabody, where are your manners.  That’s no proper way to answer the telephone.  Give me that,” Granny Phanny demanded as she took the receiver away from me.

“TREmont 3332, Peabody residence,” my grandmother spoke into the receiver as I turned my head so she wouldn’t see me roll my eyes.  “Why yes Andy, you may.  One moment please.  Paisley, Andy is calling for you.”

Granny gave me a stern look and handed me the card she kept beside the telephone.  It was titled The Telephone Pledge

“I believe in the Golden Rule and will try to be as Courteous and Considerate over the Telephone as if Face to Face.”

It continued with such advise as telephone manners are as important for voice-to-voice courtesy, as face-to-face politeness.  Instructions to speak directly into the mouthpiece with lips a half inch away, and keep mustache out of opening were included.

I got caught reading it aloud to my pal Andy.  It wasn’t the reading that annoyed Granny, but my laughter.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

Young Lucille Ball as Pip

“You’d best take that seriously or they might discontinue our service,” she warned.

“Oh Granny!  They wouldn’t really do that,” I defended as she walked away with her best bluenose attitude.

My grandmother had distracted me to the extent that I forgot to put the finishing touches on my glad rags before Andy came to pick me up in his old jalopy.  I had a special pendant with a beautiful labradorite crystal that I meant to show him.  I had recently told him the story behind that gem and he was keen to see it in person.

Andy and I weren’t gone long before we went back for the pendant.  However, during that short time a lot happened.  I only wish I could have seen it firsthand.

You see, my friend Aristotle, also known as Artie, dropped in at Granny’s cottage.  That wouldn’t have mattered if Artie was an ordinary guy.  Unfortunately for my grandmother’s state of mind, Artie was a time traveler.  Not only that, he was an ape!  He was very polite, and a genius to boot, but an ape nonetheless.  He was also the one who gave me the labradorite pendant. 

This is how Artie described what transpired.

***

Artie sketch thinking color steampunk

Artie, courtesy of Chris Graham

When she went into town with Andy, Pip carelessly left the labradorite crystal pendant laying out on her dressing table, instead of in her jewelry box.  That wouldn’t have mattered with an ordinary necklace, but the pendant acted as a transponder which allowed Artie to find Pip when he went back in time.

As fate would have it, Granny found the labradorite crystal while tidying up.

She was strangely drawn to the pendant.  Phanny Irene Peabody picked up the crystal and held it, soaking in its gentle glowing warmth.

A loud “pots and pans” type of crash startled her.  The commotion was followed by a shouted string of words that sounded oddly foreign, but were obviously from someone who needed their mouth washed out with soap.

Granny, still gripping the pendant, hurried angrily towards her kitchen.

Meanwhile, as Granny ran toward the ruckus in her kitchen, Aristotle, the genius ape was summoned to his time machine by the labradorite crystal that Granny Phanny had unknowingly activated.

The pendant had sent a distress call.  So, he dropped what he was doing, hastily donned his time travelling gear and activated his portable time machine motorcycle.

Artie Portable Time Machine cycle

Artie’s portable time machine, image courtesy Chris Graham

Artie arrived in Savannah, Georgia of the Roaring Twenties.

Artie took off his helmet and gave a huge pointy fanged grin of satisfaction.  He was excited at the prospect of seeing his friend Pip again, but of course he was also worried because of the distress signal.

The labradorite crystal pendant locator had worked a treat, bringing him just outside the cottage where Pip lived with her grandmother.

The link between pendant and locator had brought him within 30 seconds of the time when the pendant had sent the alarm.

As Artie hurried over to the cottage, the kitchen door burst open and what at first glance appeared to be a rotund man in Renaissance garb rushed out, ducking and weaving in an attempt to avoid the pots and pans flying behind him.

Artie bounded over and brought down what he presumed was an intruder in Pip’s home.

Granny appeared at the kitchen door and clapped her hands, applauding Artie’s heroics.

“Why thank you so very much!  That strange looking man was in my kitchen.  Bring him over here, so I can give him a piece of my mind.”

Dangling the figure by the scruff of his neck, Artie obliged.

Granny was so engrossed in seeing who had spilled her kitchenware, she didn’t notice that Artie wasn’t a man, until she looked up to thank him again.

Artie was careful not to grin, it showed his fangs too much for many humans and frightened them, so he gave a broad, but closed-lip smile instead.

Granny sank down to the ground in a fit of the vapors.

As she recovered, responding to the cool compress on her forehead and the muttered entreaties from two male voices, Granny slowly opened her eyes – and wished she hadn’t.

The man in the clothes of a Renaissance Era chef winked at her flirtatiously.  Then with the sound of a fizzing pop, he disappeared into thin air! 

The huge leather clad ape was still there. 

Granny swooned again.

The end.

Heartfelt thanks to Chris Graham for being such a willing participant in these shenanigans.  Our Story Reading Ape is a marvelous storyteller.  If you want to get caught reading another treat, check out his mom’s book.

Chris Graham (for Agnes Mae Graham)

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

Don’t forget my mysterious new serial, Brother Love.  Chapter 4 will go live on Saturday. 

I’ll see you at the crossroads! 

***

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

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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 ©  2019 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.

 

It’s almost here — an all new serial!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Crossroads with 3 blue guitar statues on a pole is a marker for Highways 61 and 49 in Mississippi

Electric guitars on a highway sign marks the crossroads where legend claims musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil for the ability to play the blues. (Wikimedia)

It’s almost here!  Brother Love — an all new “interactive,” three things, pantser serial.  The story is driven by random things left by readers.

The idea for this story started nearly a year ago.   It is partly inspired by a Neil Diamond song that has always caught my imagination.  I didn’t have time to write a new serial back then, but it now it’s coming up! I enjoy Diamond’s description of how the song came to be in this video, preceding the song.

Many of you are familiar with my “three things” way of writing serials.  don’t know what the story is going to do until I look at the “things” supplied by readers — that’s how it’s “interactive.”

I can tell you that the setting is rural Mississippi in the late 1950s to early 60s.  I’m collaborating with blogger Dan Antion.  He sends me photos to fuel my imagination.  Dan and you readers send my random “things” that drive the story.   

Along with the song “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,” another inspiration is the blues legend of the devil at the crossroads and Robert Johnson. 

Dan was kind enough to invite me to his fictional bar for a drink at his SoCS post last Saturday.  

I hope I’ve made you curious.  Comments are closed for this little teaser.

I’ll see you at the crossroads tomorrow!

And don’t forget!

Coming soon, another Roaring Twenties pantser tale, continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

***

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 and 2019 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays — 1 Million Years B-Lulu

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

LULU Arrival 2.

Lulu’s clumsiness sends the train to 1 million years BC. Art by Rob Goldstein

It’s finally time!  I’ve been promising you a short story with illustrations by Rob Goldstein.  Lulu, Gramps, and Valentino are joined by a couple of unexpected characters in this one episode story.  I call it “One Million Years B-Lulu.”  It’s a little riff on “One Million Years BC,” which featured Raquel Welsh.  Don’t ask me why that particular scenario popped into my head.  I’ve told you that I’m just not wired right. The three random things Rob gave me to drive the story are velociraptor, stone axe, and capacitors.

Rob is featuring the story as a guest post today at Sue Vincent‘s blog, so I hope you’ll click over and visit them.  I’m posting it here as well.  Without further ado…

All aboard!

One Million Years B-Lulu

Lulu Gramps Valentino control room blue

Lulu, Gramps, and Valentino in the control room of the diesel-punk train. Art by Rob Goldstein

Soft clicking noises took on a familiar rhythm.  I looked over at the blue-gold angel-bot as he worked at a control station of Valentino’s amazing train.  The bot started humming to match the beat of his clicks and whirrs.  The sound reminded me of a music box.

Most of the train’s angel-bots were gold.  This clockwork creature was the only blue hued one.  Of all the bots, he was the savviest to the workings of the mysterious train.  I had named him Moon, after the song “Cuban Moon,” because of the subtle Spanish accent of his deep voice.  That’s the tune he hummed.

I loved to dance, so I did a few steps of the Brazilian Samba to his humming.  One turn caused me to bump into a table.  Exotic, futuristic looking instruments wobbled dangerously.  Fortunately, nothing fell ― that time.  I admit that I’m known for my clumsiness.  They didn’t sing “Don’t Bring Lulu” when they talked about me for nothin’.

Back on The Train

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

“Lulu, how many times have I told you ― don’t touch anything,” Valentino complained as he walked into the control room.

I stopped dancing.  Moon gave me a sheepish look, as if he felt partly responsible.  Valentino raised one eyebrow suspiciously at the angel-bot’s reaction.

“Don’t mind him, Moon.  He’s just grumpy because those pointy-toed dog kennels hurt his feet,” I told my clockwork friend.  “Go ahead and hum.”

The enigmatic Valentino looked from me to the bot in surprise.

“You’ve taught him to hum?  I wasn’t aware that they could,” Valentino commented.

An odd device I hadn’t noticed sat on one of the train’s control tables.  It resembled an hourglass, but rather than sand, it contained a gooey glowing substance.  Fascinated, I extended one finger toward the slowly moving molten goo.

“Lulu, don’t touch anything,” Gramps spoke by rote as he strode into the room.

“Especially not the time delineator!” Valentino added.

Valentino Bots Green Metropolis 6

Valentino and the angel-bots. Art by Rob Goldstein

Startled, I jerked my finger back so hard that the feather in my headband wobbled and the fringe of my short skirt swayed.  I wasn’t expecting my grandfather.

“Ah!  Sir.  Good.  I have finished the adjustments to your pocket watch,” Moon called to Gramps from across the room.

The angel-bot extended his mechanical arm to twice its usual length to hand me the pocket watch, since I was closest to my grandfather.  I was in a playful mood, so I decided to toss it to Gramps, rather than walk around the control tables and across the room to hand the timepiece to him.

I drew back my arm to make the toss.  The watch went into the air, rotating as it flew.  When my arm came back down, I knocked over the goo-filled hourglass thingy Valentino called the time delineator.

The glass cracked.  In midair, a drop of glowing goo splashed against the engraved pocket-watch my grandfather cherished.  It had been a gift from my late grandmother.

Abruptly I felt like a heavy weight sat on my head.  My feet tingled like they were asleep.  My stomach was up where my throat was supposed to be.  Plus, I felt like I had sneezed ― but in reverse.

The pocket-watch slowed until time really did stand still.  The glow of the goo grew until it became spherical, surrounding the pocket-watch.  Abruptly, both disappeared in a sphere of sparks.

When I opened my eyes after the inverse sneeze, everything around me looked like a Slavador Dali painting.  Then the world went black.

***

Lulu train pink-green 1 Million B-Lulu

Lulu’s clumsiness sent the diesel-punk train to 1 million years BC. Art by Rob Goldstein

I’m not sure how much time passed, but as consciousness returned to my aching head, I realized that I was face down on the ground.  And I do mean ground.  It wasn’t the floor of the control room against my face.

Warm breath snuffled against my face, sniffing.  My nose wrinkled.  The sniffer had bad breath.  I cracked open one peeper for a discrete look, and found a human eye locked on mine.  He grunted and sniffed some more.  When his nose headed where it had no business going, I scrambled backward.

“Hey!  Watch it!” I exclaimed.  “I’m not some easy biscuit.  Mind your manners.”

The train sat all catawampus nearby.  Amid the enormous leaves of strange plants, it looked as out of place as a wallflower at a speakeasy.

I sprawled on rocky terrain with scraggly bushes and gnarled trees.  Behind me was the mouth of a cave.  Leaning curiously over me was the smelly, fur clad man who woke me with his sniffing.

I remembered the goo-filled hourglass falling.  I gulped.  Hard.

Exploring-With Valentino Lulu dinosaurs

Art by Rob Goldstein

A rapid rhythm of clicks and whirrs emanated from Moon, the angel-bot.  Valentino’s head was down.  He murmured in low worried tones as the angel-bot clicked.

Gramps stooped to pick up his sunglasses.  He blew the dust off them and tucked the spectacles into the breast pocket inside his jacket.  Reflexively he reached to the watch pocket of his vest.  He patted the empty pocket.

His pocket-watch was gone.

Bushwa!” he muttered, though he looked heartbroken.

I gasped as fire singed my eyebrows.  The caveman waved a flaming stick, jabbing it toward my bobbed hair.

“Yes, her hair is the color of fire,” Valentino spoke in placating tones that one might use with a frightened animal.

The smelly sniffer appeared to take Valentino’s word for it that the fiery hue was normal for my hair, however unusual it must have been to him.

“Lulu!” Gramps hissed in a cautionary way, and I knew he thought the caveman was dangerous.

Laying my hand against my chest, I spoke slowly.

“I’m Lulu.  Who are you?” I pointed to him as I asked.

“Loana.  Fair one,” his gravelly voice pronounced and reached toward my bubs.

Tumac be Lulu’s daddy-4

Lulu meets Tumac. Art by Rob Goldstein

“Hey!  Watch yourself.  I’m a nice girl,” I cautioned him as I jumped backward.

Valentino snorted and I shot him a glare.

“No,” I continued from three feet away.  “Lulu.  I’m Lu-lu.”

He nodded and clapped his hand against his chest.

“Tumac.  Tumac strong!  Tumac be Lulu’s daddy,” he added with a leer.

“Where did you learn that language,” Valentino raised an eyebrow and asked suspiciously.

“Nupondi,” Tumac replied.  “Nupondi look like you,” he added with a sweeping motion that indicated Valentino head to toe.

“Someone dressed like me?” Valentino asked, though Tumac clearly didn’t understand the words.

Gramps had a worried expression on his face.

“Nupondi come back when he smells grub.”

Tumac motioned toward a fire-pit where a large carcass of something roasted on a spit.  I didn’t know what it was, but the aroma made my stomach growl.  The cave man chortled at the sound.  He gave me a companionable shove toward the fire and I stumbled.  Tumac really was strong, that was no boast.

What's cookin -2 Valentino Bot Lulu Tumac Gramps

What’s Cookin’? by Rob Goldstein

Soon I held the biggest crispy drumstick I had ever seen.  Juice ran down my arm as I hungrily sunk my teeth into it.

“Where does she get her appetite?” Valentino asked my grandfather in a tone that combined revulsion and stunned admiration.

My grand father shrugged.  He had been more interested in poking around in the bushes, looking for his pocket-watch than eating.  However, when Tumac acted offended that he wouldn’t eat, Gramps finally sat down at the fire.

“It really isn’t bad,” Gramps commented and pointedly made a yummy sound to gratify Tumac.  “I wonder what it is.”

“V’locy.  Mama v’locy,” Tumac mumbled around a mouthful.  “Find eggs too.  Big breakfast at sunup.”

Near the entrance of a cave I spotted the clutch of eggs.  Each one was about the size of a pigskin football.  I couldn’t imagine what kind of chicken could lay eggs so big.

“V’locy?” Valentino repeated and his face blanched.  “Velociraptor?” he exclaimed.  “Lulu, leave those eggs alone.  Even a hatchling could be deadly.”

“Oh, don’t give me that phonus balonus!” I told him and inspected the eggs.

The bushes rustled.  Tumac sniffed the air.  Gramps quickly grabbed the burning stick the caveman had waved around earlier.  He held it defensively.

Gramps Gets the Watch-3

Gramps by Rob Goldstein

The caveman didn’t seem concerned.  He grunted and muttered “Nupondi.”

Gramps jabbed the flaming stick toward the bushes.

Horsefeathers!  Have a care or you’ll set the whole place on fire!” an unexpectedly familiar voice protested.

“Tom?” I exclaimed as he nonchalantly tucked something into his pocket.  “Tom Driberg!  You were on the lamb from those hooligans.  So, this is where you wound up?”

Tom had betrayed us all, particularly my pal Rose.  We weren’t the only ones he quatched.  It turned out he had been a spy for both the Americans and the Russians.

That small motion of his hand to his pocket didn’t escape my notice.  Gramps squinted.  He had seen it too.  Tom was being a little too smooth, even for Tom.  He gave a guilty glance at Gramps.  Tom looked like a man who knew he had been caught.

“Well, Lulu.  Aren’t you just the cat’s particulars,” Tom said, stepping toward me.

Suddenly, Tom grabbed me and a surprisingly sharp stone axe was pressed against my throat.

“Give me that pocket-watch, Driberg,” Gramps demanded.  “It’s meaningless to you.”

“Quite the contrary old man,” Tom replied with a smirk.  “There aren’t any capacitors here.  Your beloved watch isn’t special just because it came from your wife, you know.  It can be modified to work as a time delineator, and I can finally go home!”

Tom’s sentence ended with an oof!  Tumac snuck up behind him and grabbed both of us, lifting us off the ground.  I heard Tom make a strangled noise and he dropped the axe.  With a hefty toss, Tumac sent Tom and me tumbling.

I saw the pocket-watch fall.  In the same instant I heard a shrill cry from above.

“Your sheba has found you,” Tumac chortled at Tom.

Your Sheba Has Found You

Pterodactyl swoops & gets Tom as Gramps retrieves his pocket watch. Art by Rob Goldstein

Huge wings darkened the sky.  Dust and ashes from the fire-pit clouded the air as gusts buffeted us.  Gramps put on his sunglasses as if they were goggles.

Blinking, I gaped speechlessly.  A pterodactyl settled to the ground.

Sunlight glinted off the pocket-watch.  The dinosaur’s eyes darted to the watch.

“Sheba like shiny,” Tumac muttered to Tom.  “Maybe she take it, not you.”

“What?” I couldn’t help asking, even it that circumstance.

“The damn dyno.  I was there when she hatched.  She imprinted on me.  Thinks I’m her chick or something,” Tom said as he cowered behind Valentino.

“You realize it’s not a bird, don’t you?” Valentino told him, as if that mattered at such a time.

Abruptly, Gramps darted and grabbed his watch.  The pterodactyl screeched.  Her sharp beak jutted dangerously toward him.

The sun flashed off his spectacles.  The dinosaur tilted her head as Gramps spoke.

“There, there now.  You don’t want this.  It’s not good to eat,” my grandfather cajoled.

The pterodactyl took another huge step toward him.  Surprised, I realized she saw her reflection in his sunglasses.  I whispered the fact to Gramps.  He slowly removed the shades and held them toward her.

“Careful,” Valentino cautioned.  “She could take your entire arm if she grabs the spectacles.”

Then a fierce look glinted in Valentino’s eyes.  I had always thought he had a ruthless streak, hidden under all that smoldering brooding.

Valentino_close Hat

Valentino by Rob Goldstein

Valentino reached behind himself, where Tom cowered.  He grabbed the spy’s arm and shoved him into the open.

“This is what you really want, isn’t it,” Valentino called to the pterodactyl.

The dinosaur made a pained noise, followed by a series of croaks that sounded like a mother chastising her offspring.  Tom ran as fast as he could.

With a blast of air that knocked me to the ground, the pterodactyl flapped her wings and took flight.  In a moment she had Tom in her clutches.  She flew with him toward a rocky outcropping.

Tumac laughed so hard that he rolled on the ground.

I stood gobsmacked.

“She take Nupondi to nest.  She love Nupondi,” Tumac explained between chortles.  Nupondi not go hungry.  His sheba vomit breakfast for him.  Haha!  All over his head.”

***

Lulu Header 1-

Art by Rob Goldstein

In no time Moon had modified the pocket-watch to work as a time delineator for Valentino’s train.  Through a hand-held telescope, I saw Tom gingerly climbing down from the pterodactyl’s nest.  He was drenched in something, presumably regurgitated dinner, but seemed unharmed.  We bade a fond farewell to Tumac, our host.

When I walked past Tumac, he laughed, because he saw that I was hiding something behind my back.  I winked and hoped he knew to keep quiet.

The big Orthophonic Victrola in the train’s control room blared out “Toot, Toot, Tootsie! Good-bye,” and I knew we would be leaving in a moment.

“Are you alright, Lulu?” Gramps asked me.  “You look like something isn’t sitting well on your stomach.”

“Maybe some under-cooked dinosaur,” I replied weakly and mustered up a belch.

Delicately I put one hand to my lips, while the other was firmly behind my back.

“If not for that decidedly unladylike burp, I would go back and count all those velociraptor eggs,” Valentino told me with narrowed eyes as he climbed aboard the train.

“Well, I never…” I protested even though he hit the nail on the head.

Then I felt the egg move.  I twitched at the surprise, and nearly dropped it.  Valentino turned back at my abrupt movement.  I put my free hand to my stomach and groaned dramatically.  Clara Bow couldn’t have given a better performance.

A shining gold angel-bot leaned from the train.  It was Dynamite.

“All aboard!” Dynamite called.

I made sure Gramps and Valentino were both all the way inside the train before I let Dynamite help me aboard.  By then, the egg was practically dancing the Charleston.

The train’s Orthophonic Victrola always seemed to know more than it should be able to understand.  Not to mention that it had a mean disposition.  As the dinosaur egg lurched, the device started playing “Don’t Bring Lulu.”

Portrait of Lulu

Lulu back on the train, by Rob Goldstein

***

The end.

Update:  Rob has just finished a fabulous video of this story.  Do check it out and pay him a visit as well.  http://robertmgoldstein.com/

You’re the cat’s pajamas!

 

 

And don’t forget!

Coming in Spring

Another Roaring Twenties Pantser Tale

Continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

Stay tuned, shieks and shebas!  

You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

***

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 © 2019 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Images Copyright © 2019 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.

 

Coming Soon!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Back on The Train

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

Happy weekend, everyone!  I’m still settling in at my new digs in the Land of Enchantment, painting the walls, putting furniture together, and generally keeping every muscle in my body sore. 

Crystal the cat seems to have made the adjustment. A few nights I’ve heard her making a midnight romp, and this morning, she wanted to play with her collection of bouncy and fuzzy balls!  She also insists on approving any decorating.

Crystal n Robs Sunset

Crystal with one of Rob Goldstein’s images.

Coming Right Up

I’ve mentioned that San Francisco artist, poet, and activist, Rob Goldstein and I got back together with a short story for Lulu, Gramps, and the enigmatic Valentino.  I call it “One Million Years B-Lulu.”  It’s a little riff on the old movie “One Million Years BC.”

Rob has made terrific illustrations for it. He really got into the spirit of the story.  Rob will feature this short story at Sue Vincent‘s blog, but I’ll run it here as well. 

That’s Not All

Brother Love

Brother Love promo image

Brother Love collage by Teagan Geneviene

Hang on — that’s not all!  I’ve started work on a mini series with blogger Dan Antion.   The core of the story was inspired by a Neil Diamond song “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,” along with the blues legend of the devil at the crossroads and Robert Johnson. 

If you will watch the video trailer, you will have some idea of the core components of the story.  It’s a pantser tale (spontaneously written), so I don’t know too much more about it yet.

Dan was kind enough to invite me to his fictional bar for a drink at his SoCS post this weekend.  I hope you’ll click over and share some conversation with us. 

Dan’s photos will help guide my pantser pen.  He’ll also give me some random “things” to drive the story.  (Most of you are familiar with my “three things” way of writing serials.) I can tell you that the setting is rural Mississippi in the late 1950s to early 60s.  My narrator is named Birdie Devovo.  Which brings me to your invitation… 

Come out to play!

It seems like a long time since I’ve been able to involve you, the reader, in my stories.  That actually makes a lot more work for me.  However, I love including you.  Dan will be giving me photos and two random things.  So I invite you to leave one random thing in the comments. That will make the total of three things. 

The first episode will post a week from today.  All three things will be from Dan on that chapter, but after that I will start including reader “things.” 

A rather old blues song has been running around in my head.  It helped me write the mystical prologue for the story, so I’ll go ahead and share it. Be sure to leave a random “thing” in the comments.  Happy weekend!

 

And don’t forget!

Coming up, another Roaring Twenties pantser tale

Continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

***

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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 and 2019 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.

 

Happy Weekend!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

I’ve had my hands full trying to put my cottage in order, now that I’m feeling better from the ordeal of moving, not sleeping, and being as freaked out as anybody can be.  There was one other thing I worked on this week.  Here’s a hint.

Lulu in front of train's caboose with dinosaurs

An image for One Million Years B-Lulu. Art by Rob Goldstein

That said, I didn’t have a post for this weekend.  However, I did want to stop and wish you a happy weekend, from me, Lulu and all the crew of the #dieselpunk train!  You’re the bee’s knees!

Update! I forgot to link to Rob’s blog — it’s here.

And don’t forget!

Coming in Spring

Another Roaring Twenties Pantser Tale

Continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

Stay tuned, shieks and shebas!  

You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

***

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 and 2019 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.

 

Coming in Spring — All Sorts of Things!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Lulu looking tub bot Metropolis 9

With helpful angel-bots, Lulu gets ready for a bath. (Art by Rob Goldstein)

I’ve been painting accent walls.  Places that I don’t even have are sore!  I sure wish I had a couple of angel-bots to run a nice hot bath for me…  Hullaba Lulu may have been brash and uncouth, but she was one lucky flapper! 

My plate is full with putting my new home in order.  I’ve been gathering the day-to-day needs that I couldn’t bring with me.  Did you ever stop to think just how many different needful things you use in the course of a single day?  From the handy holder for the toothbrush (still on my “to get” list) in the morning, to the bedside water glass at night. (I know that glass is here somewhere…) 

Anyhow, I’m not back to full-steam-ahead blogging quite yet, but I’m getting there!  Even though I’ve been scarce in the blogosphere for a couple of months, I’ve actually been working on a few things.

Lulu blowing bubble

Lulu blowing a bubble (Art by Rob Goldstein)

On the Horizon

San Francisco artist, poet, and activist, Rob Goldstein and I are getting back together with another adventure for Lulu, Gramps, and the enigmatic Valentino.  This one is only a short story, not a serial.  I call it “One Million Years B-Lulu.”  It’s a little riff on “One Million Years BC,” which featured Raquel Welsh. 

Rob asked me to do a story with his illustrations. Don’t ask me why that particular scenario popped into my head.  I’ve told you that I’m just not wired right.  Rob will feature it at Sue Vincent‘s blog, but I’ll run it here as well. 

It’s a big horizon!

Snowy Railroad tracks Crossing Road Dan Antion

A Crossroad (Photo by Dan Antion)

Hang on — that’s not all!  Before Rob asked about a new Lulu story, I was already working on a mini series with blogger Dan Antion.   

But I’m getting ahead of myself!  The idea for this story started nearly a year ago.   I penned an intro episode, planning to make it into a serial.  The story was inspired by a Neil Diamond song that has always caught my imagination.  Being born in a small town in the deep south, the sultry words, “Hot August night, and the leaves hanging down, and the grass on the ground smelling sweet,” took root in my soul and stayed.  (I enjoy Diamond’s description of how the song came to be in this video, preceding the song.)

Yet I didn’t have time for a new serial.  However, like the words of the song, the story idea held on.  Now that I should have a little more writing time, the idea loomed large.  I wanted someone to bounce ideas around with, and create images.  Immediately I thought of Dan Antion. 

I wasn’t sure what Dan would say when I sent him the idea.  Partly because I told him that I’m also inspired for it by the old blues legend of the devil at the crossroads.  Also, I had no idea if he even liked Neil Diamond or the song. 

The Reader’s Digest version is that Dan was onboard.  He even went out right away, to a particular (railroad) crossroad that inspired him, to take photos. I should also mention that he went out into the harsh winter weather to take those pictures. 

The working title is “Brother Love.”

Although I’m not quite sure how I will work the opening I wrote last year into the new serial, I’m sharing it here as a teaser.  Originally, my thought was to use “things” from the Neil Diamond song to drive the new story.  I’m not sure if that will work for this collaborative incarnation of it, but here’s the original beginning.  The new serial will likely be different from this.  …Or maybe not.  I don’t know yet.

The Traveling Salvation Show

In the summer, leaves hung down so far, they almost reached the sweet-smelling grass on the ground.  Moths clung to the screen, attracted to the kitchen light.

I fanned myself futilely with a mimeographed flyer.  It did nothing to alleviate the heat of the night, and the cloying odor of the ink turned my stomach.  I stared at the wet circles on the formica tabletop as the ice melted in my glass of sweet tea.

At last a breeze!  It rustled the pages of the Pan Am calendar hanging on the wall.  August exclaimed “Back to Hawaii!” and boasted a man and woman disembarking a plane while greeted by hula dancers and musicians.  That scene was too farfetched for my imagination. 

I liked July better.  It showed a couple, suitcases in hand, laughing and walking fast.  Yes, I liked that one best.  They could be anyone, going anywhere… maybe the girl could even me.

The mimeographed flyer floated on the breeze from the table down to the cracked and faded linoleum floor.  Someone had left the ad on the front door ― Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show, it read.  It was odd for anyone to come around, witnessing or leaving things like that.  They rarely came all the way to the outside of town.  I was glad I missed them.

Thunder rumbled faintly, very far away.  Maybe there would be rain. 

Or maybe not, I thought as I put the damp glass to my forehead.

I crawled half-under the table to pick up the flyer.  The kitchen light flickered and popped, causing me to bump my head.  Then all the lights went out. 

The screen door creaked open.  Normally it would bang shut, but it closed softly.  At the sound of footsteps, I scrunched the rest of the way under the table.

***

Remember, this may or may not be part of my collaboration with Dan.  However, I wanted to share the origin with you.

So there you have it — the things that have been simmering away on my twisting brain’s back burner while I’ve been so scarce around the blogosphere!

And don’t forget!

Coming in Spring

Another Roaring Twenties Pantser Tale

Continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

Stay tuned, shieks and shebas!  

You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

***

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 and 2019 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.

 

Coming in Spring — Why are they screaming?

Saturday, March 23, 2019  

Because there’s A Ghost in the Kitchen!

Fearful man and woman circa 1926

Ghost Stories Magazine circa 1926

Coming in Spring

Another Roaring Twenties Pantser Tale

Continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

Hi there, shieks and shebas!  Thanks for all the good thoughts, vibes, prayers, and luck you’ve sent about my relocation.  It was a 2,000 mile trip, and Crystal refused to be the next Toonces the Driving Cat.  

After 1,200 miles I stopped at a hotel, for the cat’s sake. Unfortunately it was so noisy that she was too terrified to pee.  I called the vet and was told that she probably wouldn’t go at all while that stressed.  So, four hours of noise later, I gave up any hope of sleep (or cat using litter box) and got back on the road.

I’m on the way to regaining my energy and getting over some intense sleep deprivation.  Did I mention that the trip started in DC on Sunday at 11 AM Eastern Daylight Time… and I arrived, 2,000 miles later at my new home on Tuesday at 4:45 AM (pretending that would be the same time zone). 

Also I’m restarting my household practically from scratch.  Plus cleaning, painting, putting things together (something for which I’ve no talent at all).  So I’m not back to normal with blogging yet.  I hope to start visiting all of you soon.

Snippet from my next 1920s novel

 Here’s a snippet from A Ghost in the Kitchen — Three Ingredients 2.  Some of you will have seen it before.

The fizzy purple vapor dissipated and I found that my eyes had not deceived me.  A strange, semi-solid man bowed before me.  I was too stunned to think.  It seemed like the purple mist befuddled my head.  I gradually became aware of one other thing, a shrill unpleasant sound that went on and on…

“Andy!” I cried, suddenly becoming aware again.

My dear old friend Andy Avis, was screaming like a school girl.  I grabbed his arm and shook him.  He stopped screaming.  For five seconds.  Then he screamed right into my face.

I felt like slapping him — only partly to bring him to his senses.  However, riotous giggling shocked both of us to silence.  The ghost stood in the kitchen bent double with laughter.  Apparently he found Andy’s reaction most amusing.Casper cooking

As seems to happen to me in times of stress, one detail stood out to me more than anything else.  I turned to Andy but pointed to the apparition. 

“You can see him?” I said, and I wasn’t sure if it was a question or an accusation.

I had been told that though I hadn’t known it, I had the gift for seeing spirits.  I was also told that Granny Phanny could too, but my grandmother had suppressed the
ability.  However, as you might expect, not everyone could see ghosts.  So I was surprised that Andy was able to see the spirit sitting sprawled at Granny’s kitchen table.

Before I took another breath I whirled on the ghost and demanded, “How can he see you?”

The apparition who had materialized from the gaudy bottle of spirits sobered.  He stuck out his lower lip in an exaggerated expression of consideration that I had a feeling was a habit with him.

“Well, I am one powerful poltergeist, Signorina!” he said between hiccupping giggles.  “It’s no effort for me to let anyone see me, and sometimes they do whether or not I’m intending it,” the ghost told me.

I thought poor Andy’s eyes were going to pop right out of his head.

The spirit looked longingly at the food on the table.  Andy and I hadn’t even started our meal.  He licked his lips and sighed. 

“Signorina, a nice Stilton cheese would be beautiful with that,” he said wistfully.Vintage girl broken dish card

“Err… Would you care for anything?” I asked, knowing that after all, Granny would expect me to be a good hostess.  Then I gave my head a shake.  Had I really said that?

“I rarely partake.  Sometimes that doesn’t turn out so well,” he said, but his eyes never strayed from the food.  “But if I could just take a whiff,” he said leaning toward the table — and closer to Andy.

With a blanched face and panicked eyes Andy staggered backward.  There was nowhere for him to go, so he bumped hard against the table.  The ornate wine bottle wobbled precariously at the edge for a moment, and then it crashed to the blue and white tile floor.  It shattered into dozens of pieces.

The ghost shrieked.

Andy shrieked when the ghost did.

I shrieked at both of them to stop their shrieking!

However, I had an unexpected concern for the spirit.  “Are you all right?  I mean, I’ll bet you were bound to that bottle somehow.  Weren’t you?  Are you going to be okay?”1920s Owl Clock

“Yes!  No!  Both!” he replied, rapid fire in his strange accent.  Then he gave a giddy giggle.  “Thank God that gaudy bottle is no more!  Can you imagine making your home in such an ugly vessel?” he commented.  “However I must have something, or there will be… consequences.  Ah! Symbol of the wisdom I should have had in life!” he exclaimed when he saw the carved wooden owl clock.  “This will do,” he said even as he held the clock to his chest and then disappeared.

The clock dropped the short distance to the counter, landing with a wobble and a clunk.  Andy and I looked at each other in stunned silence.  A moment later the spirit remerged from the owl clock.  He sprawled into one of the white ladder back chairs my grandfather had made.  That was when I noticed the Renaissance era garb beneath his apron.

Bene!  What a relief!” he said and lifted his brimless toque to mop his brow, or at least I thought the chef’s hat was called a toque.

I leaned closer, wondering if ghosts could sweat. 

“If you didn’t like the bottle…” I began, but wasn’t sure how to ask what I wanted to know.  “Well, how come you’re — ” my words failed me so I pointed to the shards of the purple bottle.

“Ah Signorina,” the ghost began.  “It is a poignant tale.  I was chef to the Patriarch of Aquileia at the Vatican.  I always preferred the pun as a form of humor, and the Pope, he shared this with me.  However, one evening we served dinner to a plethora of patrons, speaking Punjabi, Parsi, and Philippine.  I presented a perfect prawn pasta…  Perhaps something went awry with the translations…  But — you see, the short of it is that I pissed off the Pope!  And this predicament is my fate,” the ghost said with a mournful expression.

I marveled at the poltergeist’s capacity to use the letter “P” so many times in one sentence.  I gave a hard blink to clear my mind.  Then I looked from him to Andy, with no idea what to say or do next.  However, Andy found his voice.

“You’re not a genie then?  You really are a ghost?” Andy asked.  “Too bad.  Granting wishes would have been a great ice breaker,” he joked, abruptly loosening up to my surprised relief.  “We don’t have to rub the owl clock’s belly to get you to come out, do we?”

1920s Vaudeville Cats postcard

1920s Vaudeville Furries Postcard

The poltergeist gave Andy that pursed lip expression, but then laughed heartily slapping his knee.  “No, young patron.  I can come and go as I please, so long as I bind myself to an object.  And mind you, I can’t be without one for more than a moment.  However, I tend to lose track of the time.  When I went into that gaudy bottle, I was in a great hurry, but that’s another story.  Anyhow, I think I was intoxicated on the noxious potion, so I did not wake for some little while.  Then you uncorked the bottle, and the rest, as you say, is history,” he said with a hiccup.

My nose wrinkled at the thought of being inside a bottle that smelled like that one had.  I said it must have been awful.  The apparition burped, blushed, and excused himself, making me think he might have become intoxicated from being cooped up in the wine bottle.

“Ah, one gets accustomed to the aroma,” he said affably.  “But now you speak of such… do you have any rum?  I do have a preference for the spirit, tee-hee!” he said with a giggle, inordinately pleased with his joke that a spirit would like spirits.

When I explained prohibition, he looked very downcast.  He somehow hiccuped and burped at the same time.  Then he made a shocked comment about the state of things that would allow such a law.  Andy and I agreed enthusiastically.

I finally found my manners and thought to introduce myself and Andy.  The ghost bowed again, with a slight wobble. 

“My great pleasure, Signorina o Signore.  I present myself, Maestro Martino.  Please do me the honor of calling me Maestro,” he said with a flourish.

The end… or the beginning.  It depends on how you look at it.

***

I hope you enjoyed this snippet from A Ghost in the Kitchen.  I really think it’s swell to hear from you, but with everything that’s going on, I had to close comments.  

You’re the cat’s pajamas!

***

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 ©  2019 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.