Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 13: Afoul of a Fowl

Mod Squad 1070s tv cover

Friday, October 13, 2017

When I was a kid, each summer all the network TV shows would go on “hiatus.”  We were left with nothing but reruns (and we didn’t have cable or VCRs).  Or even worse, favorite shows were completely omitted for “summer replacement series,” which almost always fell far short of the mark. 

What’s the connection to writing serials?  It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a labor of love.  Authoring serials can also be stressful, love it or not.  After this episode, Thistledown will be on hiatus until December.  If you need your faery fix, I’m going to reblog the prior episodes.nanowrimo-Bernstein

Why?  I’ve decided to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  It’s not easy to write the draft of a novel in just the month of November.  So, other things will have to slide for a while.  I really need the “rah-rah!” that I get from that event.  

My midweek posts for Jazz Age Wednesday will continue.  I have a few of those already prepared. 

Now finally, to Thistledown…

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 13

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, 1916

 

Afoul of a Fowl

The familiar, comfortable sounds of the forest surrounded us as River Mindshadow and I walked, led by the periwinkle colored muskox hair.  The long strand stood out straight, a silken divining rod.  Blue-lavender sparks from that hair glittered the air.

I had no idea why the muskox hair behaved as it did.  Uncle had tried to teach me to divine with any number of objects from sticks to pendulums, but I never had a knack for it.  Then Bob the hummingbird brought me the unusually colored hair.  He had been frightened away before I could figure out why he brought it.  However, when the hair started to point with insistent pops of static energy, River and I decided to see where it led.

“Ouch!” I cried as a particularly stinging static charge hit me.

“Do you want me to take it for a while?” River asked, but I could tell she wasn’t especially eager.

“No… I’m afraid it will stop working if I let go,” I answered resignedly.

“Maybe Tinder Willowtree would let us use that finder* thing,” River suggested.

“No, it wouldn’t work,” I replied after a moment’s thought.  “She told me that whoever she’s looking for has to wear a medallion that’s been attuned to the finder — otherwise it’s not much more than an ordinary scrying mirror.

Chicken face Red jairo-alzate-188815

Jairo Alzate, Unsplash

Low bushes rustled and a chicken with bright multicolored feathers strutted out onto our path.  To my astonishment the periwinkle hair dipped down toward the chicken.  With a purple pop, it shocked the bird’s bottom.  Feathers flew and the chicken cackled loudly as it ran back in the direction from which it came.

While we let the muskox hair lead the way, I hadn’t really paid attention to my surroundings.  The muffled sounds of women’s voices reached my ears.  With a look around, I exclaimed.

“Oh!  I think Willow Rainbow* lives just over there,” I commented, pointing after the chicken.  

“Rhymer once told me that her aunt has a ton of spell books,” River suggested with an eager flutter of her wings.  “It would make things a lot easier if we had a spell to help us understand where the hair is trying to lead, or why the hummingbird brought it to you.”

We both turned toward the sound of the chicken cackling when a familiar voice was added to its squawks.

“Whatever is the matter?  You’re making such a clatter!  You’re upset all together.  It looks like you lost some feathers!”

River and I turned toward one another and remarked in unison, “Rhymer Rainbow!”

“That’s my name, don’t wear it out!” Rhymer said playfully as she came onto the path still holding the chicken.  “Bedlam and River, why didn’t you give me a shout?  I’m visiting my aunt, she lives just over there.  Come on ― there are cookies to share.”

Buffaloberry bush

Buffaloberry bush

The chicken clucked, tucked under Rhymer’s arm.  She pushed aside bushes with waxy leaves and clusters of white and bright red buffaloberries.  The berries were bitter, but they still made a nice pie.  Rhymer commented that the chicken had a fondness for buffaloberries and sometimes wandered away looking for them.

On the other side of the shrubs was a yellow farmhouse with a thatched roof.  A small duplicate stood to one side of the house.  It was an elaborate chicken coop.  Rhymer sat the complaining fowl down.  It looked at its behind, which showed a few missing feathers from the zap of the periwinkle muskox hair.  The chicken turned to me with a parting glare, and trotted to the coop.

Rhymer’s aunt, Willow Rainbow, greeted us warmly, “Come inside girls.  It’s lovely to have so much company.  What brings you to my cottage in the woods?”

River told Willow how the long silken hair suddenly became a divining rod, leading us and then abruptly stopping.

“We thought perhaps a finding spell might get it going again,” River explained.

“How remarkable!” Willow exclaimed.  “Bedlam, your grand-uncle once asked me if I would be interested in giving you lessons about spells, although I honestly didn’t feel qualified,” Rhymer’s aunt said humbly.  “So, I’m sure some research would be fine with him.  But I’ll have to leave you on your own.  My crochet circle is meeting, or I’d be glad to delve into the books with you.  You girls take some cookies and help yourselves to the books.  Rhymer will you show them to the library?”

Chickens at cottage vintage

Each of us grabbed a double handful of cookies as we were about to leave the kitchen.  Willow turned abruptly and we hesitated.

“Oh, just one thing.  Use any of the books you please,” Willow Rainbow told us.  “But not the Etheraris Spiregris.  It’s far too dangerous.  I really should get rid of it, but it seems so wrong to do away with any book!”

River and I exchanged a significant look.

The End

***

This time we revealed only one new person among the mystery folk,  Willow Rainbow was named by Christine Robinson. Be sure to click over and say hello.

On Wednesdays I’ll try to give you some NaNoWriMo updates.  I think you’ll like the book-cover I made to inspire myself.  As for Thistledown, see you in December. 

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.

 

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Using Leftovers — Research

Welcome back everyone.  I’m happy to see you.

Today let’s discuss leftovers.  How do you (or could you) use leftovers in any of your creative pursuits?  Yes, it could be leftover food — and even better if you post a recipe about it!  However, I mean leftovers in a much broader sense.  Apply it to any craft or process or activity you choose.

Leftover Research — Blue John

3-things-cover_3-2016

My editor brain often serves me leftovers — leftover research.  There have been more than a couple of times when I get so intrigued by a research topic that it comes back, not yet finished with me.  One was the mythology I found while researching The Dead of Winter.  (You can find a few old posts about that epic nestled away in this blog.)  Myths from ancient Wales had little part in that novel, if any.  However the leftover research inspired some characters in Atonement, Tennessee as well as the work in progress, Atonement in Bloom.

Then there was the little feast author  Lord David Prosser provided when he left the gemstone, Blue John as one of the “things” for the original Three Things Serial Story.  Of course I had to Goggle the name, and as research topics sometimes do, it stuck with me.  (You can read the first episode involving Blue John here.)

Years later when I began a steampunk story, The Delta Pearl, as my 2016 National Novel Writing Month project, I needed several character names that were gemstones.  That time Blue John gave me more than a name — it created an entire character.  He even got the area where the gemstone is found as his home, not to mention his accent.delta-pearl-cover-1

So today I thought I’d share a snippet that used this leftover research.  I’m still working on the middle of The Delta Pearl, but here’s one the scene that includes Blue John, the First Mate of the Delta Pearl, and the heroine, Émeraude Perlezenn.  It’s just a slice of life aboard the strange riverboat in this steampunk tale.

***

The Mate looked positively frazzled as he rolled charts and tidied up the bridge.  Onyx, the clockwork owl perched on a sexton, and hooted at me as I entered.

“Who-who?” the owl vocalized.

I knew that was the owl’s version of “Who goes there?”  At one point, Captain Cecil Perlog fancied teaching the owl to talk like a pirate.  Granted, the normal rules of nature did not apply to clockwork creatures.  However, the Mate and I managed to convince him that human-like speech was more the province of parrots than owls.

“Oh really, Onyx.  It is not as if you don’t know who I am,” I chided the unrepentant owl.jenna-coleman-as-emeraude

“Who-who?” the owl asked again, but I ignored him.  “Blue, are you all right?” I asked the flustered Mate.

Blue John Boulton had been the first mate of the Delta Pearl for as long as I had been aboard the riverboat.  Born in Derbyshire, he still had the particular English accent of that area.  His dialect produced more than a few unexpected and often archaic sounding turns of phrase.

Though his eyes were the most magnificent shade of blue that was not how he came by the name Blue.  His parents named him for a unique form of fluorite mined in their area — Blue John.  However he was usually called the Mate, or simply Blue.

Blue was typically cool and composed, but seemingly random events could sometimes agitate him.  Some might even say he was paranoid.

“You know how the Delta Pearl can get finicky about such things as borders and boundaries.  I don’t know why it should matter to her…  But I’ve seen it a time or two, when she reacts strongly to crossing a line of demarcation, like the borders between states.  And that’s nothing compared to how she gets with time zones.”

It was not the first time I had seen him in a tizzy.  “When will we reach the boundary for the state line?” I asked.steamboat-mississippi

“Right about dinnertime, all factors remaining constant,” the Mate told me.

“Well, there’s no need to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.  There’s plenty of time.  What can I do to help?” I asked with the sudden realization that the Mate probably took precautions of which I had been unaware.

“Is that another of your grandpa’s sayings?  I love it when you talk like a southern belle,” he told me with a saucy wink, seeming more like the Blue John I knew rather than the frazzled mess that stood before me.

“Just make sure any artifacts,” he began but paused when he saw the perplexed expression on my face.  “That’d be anything, any item, decoration, or furnishing onboard that you just knew was dodgy somehow.  You know, anything that’s ever given you one of those strange feelings.  Anyhow, make sure anything like that is properly secured.”

“You don’t truly think there is that much cause for alarm, do you?” I asked, trying to keep the incredulous expression off my face.

“Better safe than sorry, Émeraude.  Better safe than sorry.  That includes the clockwork creatures,” he replied.Edwardian man

Onyx gave a triple hoot of protest at Blue’s words.  “Nen mate, now then old boy.  I’m sorry about that,” the Mate told the owl.  “It will only be for a short time,” he added consolingly before turning back to me.  “Em, if you can possibly find Amethyst it would be best to store the spider somewhere safe and secure.  I know she’s a hard one to find when she doesn’t want to be seen.  So just give it a try.”

I turned to go, but Blue stopped me, his eyes wide.  “Oh, and that portrait of the woman wearing the cameo like yours — make sure you cover it up!  The whole thing, just hang a sheet over it, or anything you can get your hands on quick.  That’d be the main thing right there.  Cover that portrait.  Thou art kind, Émeraude.  I appreciate the help.”

***

Nothing exciting… as I said, it’s more of a slice of life aboard the Delta Pearl.  However, I hope you enjoyed visiting the mystical riverboat.  Have a wonder-filled, hug-filled weekend.

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.

 

The Art of Taking a Break: Rolling on a Riverboat

In the USA the Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated this week.  I’m grateful for those of you who have continued to visit and offer encouragement even though I’ve stopped giving away episodes of a novel or serial.  I’m thankful for you.Crystal w-Story Jar 06-29-14

My National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) story, The Delta Pearl, is set on a very special riverboat.  It continues to roll on the river, often propelled by “three things” I’ve been given by you, or taken from my jar of random things.  It’s keeping the big wheel turning.

Ike and Tina Turner, Proud Mary 1971

Thanks to Sally G. Cronin for reminding me of that version of the song. (I hope it’s still available when this post publishes. The first recording I used was taken down.)  

This week some of the “things” I used were from two marvelous writers who have been wonderful sources of support for me.  I said I had been editing this post. I decided not to show you the snippet I first had in mind.  However I still want to give a mention to the two writers who left “things” that I used this week. 

Teresa (Tess) Karlinski  posts marvelous travelogues, allowing us to share in her adventures.  Her brilliant stories are also featured in anthologies.  Tess left Montreal, Harpsichord, and Soup for her three things. I’m sure you will enjoy her vivid stories and travels.

Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel has been with this blog since its very beginning.  She happens to have two new releases. Give yourself a romantic treat with Christmas at Love House and Whispers of Forever.  Mary’s things were Victorian, Engineering Drawing, and Peculiar.

My Writing Process1800s-riverboat

I just revised this post (thank goodness, else I wouldn’t have known about the first video problem).  I can’t decide whether to share with you a snippet from the prologue or the beginning of chapter-1…

You see, I wanted the opening to connect strongly with the prologue, even though time had passed and the narrator’s life had changed greatly.  So I think I’ll show you both so you can see how I’ve tied it together.  (In other words, I couldn’t decide, so I’ll show you both.)

Here’s a bit of The Delta Pearl:

Prologue

The first time I saw the Delta Pearl I was eight years old.  My grandpa had died three days before.  He was sick for a long time before that.  I asked Moma if Grandpa had seen the riverboat.  I didn’t see what was wrong with the question, but apparently something was.  It made her angry and she never answered me.

Later, relatives descended upon our house bearing all manner of food.  There was some hugging and handshaking, but eyes were mostly dry of tears.  They didn’t cry much, my family.

Moma and Nana used every flat surface available as they tried to sort all the food into some kind of edible order.  As they got creative about how to make room for every cousin’s best cooking, I made for the back door.wooden-porch-close-up

Pushing the door open, I stepped onto the little porch.  When the screen door banged behind me I cringed.  Moma always yelled at me about that.  It seemed impossible to close it without the bang.  However, when she called out she didn’t mention the door.

“Em!  Emerald Perlezenn!  You stay away from that river,” she hollered.

So of course I went to the river.  The gentle sounds of the water always helped me come to terms with things I didn’t understand.  The river comforted me.  At that moment, I really needed the river.  Besides, I thought, I might finally see the riverboat.

So I trotted down narrow paths Nana called pig trails.  Rounding curves, dodging brambles and tree roots, I eventually got to the riverbank.

The riverboat, the Delta Pearl, was a legend along that part of the river.  Few people had seen her.  As for the ones who claimed they had seen the riverboat, everybody seemed pretty sure they were lying.

Some said the riverboat was haunted.  Others claimed it was the river’s version of the Lost Dutchman, cruising the river for eternity.  Most had it that if you saw the Delta Pearl you were marked for death.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Of course the Delta Pearl is not real, Em.  It’s just a story,” Moma always said.  “There are too many places around here where a boat like that can’t go.  It couldn’t get through.  Now I’ve heard enough of that silliness, and I’d better not hear another word from you about it.”

I walked along the very edge of the bank.  Now and then my foot slipped, because I was so close to the edge.  I backed away to clean the mud from my shoe.

The fluttering sound of a bird taking flight came to my ears.  An odd clicking sound caused me to look up into the trees.  Pine needles showered down and I covered my eyes.  I spotted something brass colored as it streaked across the blue sky.

That seemed like a strange color for a bird.  It looked almost like metal, but that was too impossible, even for my active imagination.  My eyes followed the bird as it flew along the river.

As I sat there I listened to the music of the water as it lapped against the shore.  It gave me a dreamy feeling.  I gazed vaguely down the path the river had carved eons before.  Sunlight glittered the surface of the water.  I imagined the tiny reflections were diamonds and tried to count them.

Squinting at the brilliance, I thought of what it would be like to be a grand lady with strands of diamonds at my throat and in my hair.  I thought of her suitors asking for a dance.  So I stood and turned and turned, dreaming of the dance, while I spun around and around.

I staggered to a stop, enjoying the sensation of the dizzy world seeming to sway around me.  Stumbling, I held my arms out for balance as I faced the river.

That’s when I saw the Delta Pearl.

***

Chapter 1:  Dance

jenna-coleman-and-rufus-sewell-as-queen-victoria-and-lord-melbourne

Jenna Coleman and Rufus Sewell

A silver thread glittered as the morning sun streamed onto the deck.  At the end of the filament was a purple clockwork spider.  It skittered across the wooden floor before vanishing behind a crate.

In the arms of a truly expert dancer, I twirled and spun until the world whirled dizzily with me.  My partner’s impeccable sense of balance never faltered.  We danced high above the river, on the hurricane deck.  Dozens of fluffy white clouds blurred into one as he twirled me rapidly around and around.

Like diamonds, I thought as sunlight reflected brightly on the strands of triangular waxed flags strung above the deck.  The sound they made as they fluttered in the breeze reminded me of startled birds taking flight.  It took my mind to the day, years before, when I first saw the Delta Pearl.

I missed a step.  The Dealer stopped our dance.  He looked at me with what passed for concern on his less than mobile features.  He blinked before speaking in his quasi French accent.

“Émeraude, are you well?  Do you tire?  Perhaps the sun is too much?” the Dealer asked.

One would never realize it just by looking at him, but the Dealer was compassionate and nurturing.  Sometimes I felt he was too consoling, though that quality had benefits in his occupation.  I had to admit that I seemed to receive more of his nurturing behavior than did the rest of the crew.louis-jourdan-as-the-dealer

Of course he had a name besides the Dealer.  He called himself Jaspe.  To my ears he pronounced his name ZASH-pah.  However, more often than not he was simply referred to as the Dealer.

I smiled and shook my head before speaking.  “I was merely distracted, Jaspe.  You are a much better dancer than I.”

“Ah, but cher, I am named for a rock — jasper,” he reminded me, using the English pronunciation to refer to the semiprecious gem.  “I claim no more talent than the rock whose name I bear,” he replied, self-deprecating as always.  “Besides, I have had so very long to perfect the steps.  You are much improved,” he complimented me with a graceful, sweeping bow.

The Dealer gazed at the horizon.  He raised a white gloved hand to shield his eyes from the bright sunlight.  I knew he saw much more than I ever could.  After a moment he spoke.  “We will be in port soon.  Best we get to work, eh?”

I couldn’t help watching his graceful movements.  I wanted to ask just how long he had been perfecting his dancing, how old he was.  His name, Jaspe was French for jasper, and his accent clearly bespoke New Orleans.  Yet, I knew he discussed neither his age nor his origins.  I was sure the Captain knew from where Jaspe hailed, but our skipper was not inclined to gossip.

However, the unspeakable, nagging question to which I most wanted an answer about the Dealer was not the number of his years.  Rather I wanted to know whether or not he was in fact a man at all.

***

The Delta Pearl is sedately rolling on the river.  It might never be a speedboat, but at least the big wheel is turning.  Mega hugs!

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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

 

 

The Art of Taking a Break: Slow Ride

steamboat-mississippi

Welcome everyone!  To most sane people it would seem like the intense challenge of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) would be the last thing anybody who desperately needs to decompress should add to their endless pile of stress.  However, it seems to be the monumental distraction that I needed.

For anyone who is participating in NaNoWriMo along with me, here’s a song to keep us chugging along.

I’m trying hard not to let my woefully inadequate word count bother me.  The Delta Pearl is an old-time paddle-wheel riverboat.  It’s only fitting that the creation of the novel should be a slow ride.

Since I had not planned to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, I had no story in mind.  So I asked everyone to send me three random things, to move the riverboat along.  The response was great, and so were your “things.”  I’ve been using them.  This week things from author and translator Olga Núñez Miret added to the story. (Olga’s Amazon author page here.)  She sent “Ace of Hearts, Small Pistol, Camera” which made me think of the inventor character I had recently created…  My narrator already found him appealing, but Ace of Hearts?  Look out Émeraude! audio-collection-olga

Olga has a sensational collection of her own books, so be sure to click over and take a look.  She is also promoting a multi-author event (details here) for audio books!  Specials run from November 20 — 22, 2016.

Now back to my slow ride on what is supposed to be a NaNoWriMo whirlwind…
Mega hugs!

delta-pearl-cover-1

 

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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

 

The Art of Taking a Break: Twilight Zone

Help! I’ve slipped into the Twilight Zone! 

I don’t talk work, religion, or politics here. So even though I’ve brought it up, let’s not comment about it. I’m just giving you my state of mind.  But I don’t think I have to talk about it for you to understand why I have a surreal feeling that I can’t shake off… one that is overwhelming each time I’ve looked at the television or read the news since the morning of November 9th.

Where do we go, now that we’ve gone too far?

My word count is still pathetic, but the only place I could go was farther into my NaNoWriMo novel, The Delta Pearl.delta-pearl-cover-1

It occurred to me that a riverboat needed passengers.  So I now have crew and passengers — along with a couple of other things that live on the boat.  That part was fun.  My character matrix has grown and gotten quite complex with all sorts of tabs for different things I’m prepared to track or use for my own reference.  Do you see that across the bottom of the picture? Each of those is a separate “worksheet” with all sorts of information. 

character-matrix-tabs

I’m falling down a spiral, destination unknown

However, this story is still full-on pantser.  I have no idea where I’m going.  Yet the voyage is becoming more interesting.  The other night I even dreamed I was aboard The Delta Pearl.  I don’t remember the dream, except that the water was rough, just like the scene I wrote that evening.  It may have had something to do with a bad food allergy reaction that had my stomach roiling right along with the fictional river… But when I awoke, I was laying across the bed, rather than vertically! That was strange. I’ve never done that before…  But then we are living in the Twilight Zone after all.

My beacon’s been moved under moon and stars

Sometimes it’s easier to see where a story should go, if you can put actual faces on the characters. I haven’t actively tried to do that with “Pearl” yet.  Even so, a couple have come to me.  Suddenly I saw one of the Doctor Who companions, Jenna Coleman as Émeraude.jenna-coleman_victoria-reflection

A taller version of Louis Jourdan as he was in Gigi could be The Dealer, Jaspe (ZASH-pah). That came to me… though I’m not sure.  Maybe.

louis-jourdan-as-the-dealer

So I’ve gotten that far with the story.  Me, here in the Twilight Zone, imagining different worlds, and pantsering a novel.  Trying not to worry about where we’ll all go now that we’ve gone too far.

Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far

“No Time Like the Past” Twilight Zone 1963

Soon you’ll come to know, when the WriMo hits the bone

Okay… so I couldn’t pull the ending together for this post… But maybe all the endings are catawampus here… in the Twilight Zone.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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

The Art of Taking a Break: NaNoWriMo Mania

Hello, everyone.  I’m here with a quick update to thank you all for your support.  Special thanks for leaving  three things to keep me writing my new, and totally “pantser” novel, The Delta Pearl.steamboat-mississippi

My word count is not up to snuff, but this year that is not the point.  National Novel Writing Month is proving to be the “monumental distraction” that I wanted.  However, with 4,000 words into the “story” I still have no idea what the story is!  Now, that’s definitely flying (writing) by the seat of your pants!

For you armchair psychologists, and real psychiatrists…

I knew what name I wanted to give my heroine, yet I struggled with it.  I never noticed it before, but I seem to have a subconscious pattern with naming my heroines.  First was Emlyn in (unpublished) The Dead of Winter.  Then came Esmeralda of Atonement, Tennessee.  (I did not know until last week that Esmeralda means emerald…)

Announcement — a Name

Using gemstone names as a thread throughout the story was one of the few elements I had actually planned.  However, I didn’t know which jewel I should associate with my protagonist (regardless of what I wanted).  Then a character I called The Dealer came to my imagination.  He has a pseudo French accent and is presumably from New Orleans. I imagined his voice as he named my heroine… Émeraude.  Yes, that means emerald (as does Esmeralda), and some people call her Em (remind you of Emlyn?)… Then — it registered that my late sister’s birthstone was the emerald.  So read into all that whatever you want… NaNoWriMo does not allow for luxuries like agonizing over character names.  I gave up trying to figure it (or myself) out and went ahead with the name I wanted, Émeraude.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wikimedia Commons, Chris Light

Shout-outs!

Thank you for the evocative “things” you readers left last weekend. I’ve already used many of them.  I’m grateful for them, so I want to make some shout-outs today.

Lord David Prosser supplied Cockaleekie Soup, Peppermint, String Vest (I had to use undershirt instead).  In the old serials I looked forward to “things” from David because they always gave me fun research, and he came through with more fun.  The cock-a-leekie soup created a supporting character — the head chef of the Delta Pearl, named Agate but often called Cook.

Nandini, my new NaNoWriMo writing buddy, sent White Umbrella, Bridge, Tea.  Her umbrella caused me to think of a quirk for that important character called the Dealer. I think his name will be Jaspe, though I’m not certain. (French for Jasper… do you see the gemstone theme for names forming?)  Anyway he often expresses concern for my heroine’s complexion in the sun.

Cheryl, my purple flipflop loving blogger-chef left several things that included Cameo and White Picket Fence.  That cameo might be a recurring “artifact” in the story.  I gave it to my heroine and to a mysterious woman in an old portrait.

I hope you’ll visit these lovely blogs.  Now I’m off to write more for WriMo.  

Mega hugs!

Teagan

 

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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

The Art of Taking a Break: Insanity

Hello, everyone.  You’re about to discover how demented my definition of taking a break can be…  With dogged determination I endeavor to disengage form things that develop stress.  Of course I get more, different, worse stress in return.

Feeling-Frumpy-ad

I decided a distraction of monumental proportions was in order.

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No, not that kind of monument, though I’d like to tell some to sti— it’s best if I don’t finish that sentence.  Anyway, a monumental distraction is a pretty extreme thing.  One of the biggest extremes I know came knocking at my door, or rather my calendar — National Novel Writing Month (also called NaNoWriMo).

I wasn’t going to participate, because (as you know all too well) I have so many drafts awaiting final touches and/or big editing work.  Unfortunately those projects are not a distraction.  They are work… and a kind of work from which my real job drains my creativity.

So, with absolutely no idea in mind, I decided to take on the “distraction” of NaNoWriMo this November.  Soon I had myself an inspired thought for a “character.” However, it wasn’t exactly a character… it was an old fashioned riverboat. I mean for it to be such a big part of the story that it’s practically a character.

I became infatuated with the riverboat. Vague notions for a story took root, but have yet to sprout leaves. galloratti_sprouts

Don’t jinx it by saying so, but my “monumental distraction” seems to be working! I even got half decent sleep the past two nights.

Looking at riverboats led me to artwork, which I purchased to create a book cover.  There might be a bit of green peaking through the soil… but nothing has blossomed for the story, I told myself.

“Trying to do Novel Writing Month the way you feel now is foolish,” logicalI said.

Then twistedme popped up and reminded me of the Three Things serials I did here, and reminded me that there were three of those completely unplanned stories (followed by a fourth, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. All were written as I went, using the “things” from readers.

With an elbow-nudge and a leer, twisted-me drew out the word, Pantser!”  

Me, myself, and I were in agreement.  “You’re on!”

I created the book cover for inspiration.  Announcing the novel to-be… The Delta Pearl..

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The furious pace of NaNoWriMo will prevent me from posting installments.  However, in the spirit of the Three Things serials, I’m asking you for “things” to drive this spontaneously written story.

Now that you’ve seen the cover, please leave a comment with three completely random “things.”  When I get “things” I write until I’ve worked them into the story — that’s how it works.  Come on… you can think of random things.

Also to anyone who is doing NaNoWriMo, I’m happy to be one of your writing buddies.  There my user name is “Riordain.”  (Can you believe somebody already had Teagan?”)

I can’t wait to see what “things” come to you.

Mega hugs!

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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