A Bucket-full of Leftovers

Recently when we talked about “Using Leftovers,” I had no idea that I’d basically be using leftovers for then next few posts.  This round of leftovers started with the “My First Blog Post” challenge.  I first saw this challenge over at Geoff’s blog.  Then Tess dared me to do it.  If you want to play by the rules (which I never do) visit Tess — she has all the details at her post, which by the way, is superb even if it had been the 500th post rather than her first.   Crystal Reading Atonement

The first time I did a post, I knew nothing about blogging.  All I knew was that having one was the chief advice for independently published novelists, and I was getting my nerve up to self-publish Atonement Tennessee.

Mine is not much of a post, but here’s my humble blast from the past, published December 28, 2012.  Even as I write this, that inaugural post has all of four likes and zero comments. (Thank you Christoph Fischer — I don’t know how you found it, but I appreciate you.)

Here’s My First Blog Post

My First Blog Post: Atonement, Tennessee:  Draft Complete

This year I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The challenge was to write a draft novel, of at least 50,000 words, just during the month of November.

I didn’t think I could do it — but I did!  Now I’m a NaNoWriMo winner with Atonement, Tennessee.  It was quite a journey.  I’ll tell you more about NaNoWriMo and Atonement, Tennessee later.

***

There you have it.  Short, huh?  That is because I knew I was mostly talking to myself.  Looking at that post has spoken loud and clear to me of all the wonderful friends I have today at this blog.  I cherish each of you!

So, what’s happened since December 28, 2012?  As you know, Atonement, Tennessee is available.  I’ve been working on book two, Atonement in Bloom, ever since…

3-things-cover_3-2016

More Leftovers 

Leftovers seems to be a recurring theme.  In November 2016, I “book-ized” the first of the serial stories that built this blog — The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story.  

Still using leftovers, this spring I expect to book-ize the second serial.  That one is a culinary mystery, still in the 1920s and starring Pip.  What’s it called?  Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I.  Or maybe I’ll say it the other way around, not sure yet…

I could put all my leftovers in a bucket, I guess.  Recently on Netflix I watched the Bones TV show.  It was called “The Lady on the List” and there was a lot of talk about bucket lists. (I apologize for the low video quality.)

It made me wonder why I never had a bucket list.  I guess, before I left the southwest, I had all I cared about.  Aspen and Crystal were healthy and happy.  I had a small house built in a safe and quiet neighborhood. I had a small circle of great friends. At work I was respected and considered an expert in my field.  But the job wasn’t all that secure, so I left all that for one that was.

Wow, how completely things can change with just a few greedy and/or jealous people putting their evil little hands into things.  But I don’t talk about that here.

Then I realized that I do have a bucket list.  My bucket list is full of my leftovers, all the un-finalized and unfinished novels.  That’s basically all I want now… to be able to be free of the creativity-drain (all its components) that prevents me finishing them.  

Edit and redo a few things that I’m unhappy with in three years and 700 pages of writing the epic fantasy, The Dead of Winter.  (I did that before I started this blog.) And if I’m honest, to see it as an anime series too.

Visualize fully the story of the three Harlequin races, a trilogy I envisioned to begin with Tatterdemallian:  The Electric Zucchini.  That’s the least finished of all my works. I hate to even call it a draft.

Finish up and polish the ending of  The Guitar Mancer.  

And thanks to NaNoWriMo 2016, to flesh-out the middle of The Delta Pearl.

Those are my impossible dreams, my bucket list.  Do you have a bucket list?  If so, then what’s on it?

May all of your happy, impossible dreams come true.  Have a wonder-filled, hug-fulled weekend.

My Bucket List — My Impossible Dream

Atonement in Bloom Atonement_in_Bloom_1_03-24-2014

The Dead of Winter

dow-06-15-2013

Tatterdemallian:  The Electric Zucchini

zucchini-cover-1-copy

The Guitar Mancer

Guitar Mancer Cover final 05-04-2016

The Delta Pearl

delta-pearl-cover-1

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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

 

 

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Holiday Weekend and DoW Snippet

Trust UR Story Neil GaimanIn the past, part of my “real” job was writing a weekly motivational message.  I was basically “ghost writing” as/for the Senior Executive Service level director where I work, but he never made any secret of the fact that I wrote his messages.  (That was a couple of “Directors” ago.)

People would ask me (especially if they knew there were stressful or disappointing things going on) how I wrote such motivating missives week after week after week.  Well, believe me there were many weeks that I didn’t think I could write a single uplifting word.  But whenever I got started writing a message, I found that I was encouraging myself as much as I motivated my audience.  And if I heard the smallest whisper that I had lifted someone’s spirits, it sent my own faltering heart soaring.

That’s how I feel here, when anyone says I’ve buoyed them up in some small way — and that’s what keeps me coming back with a new chapter for you every weekend.  So I hope never to leave you completely adrift.Lazy Cat fluffy sad

However, it’s a holiday weekend here in the USA, Memorial Day.  And I am in desperate need of recharging my emotional batteries.  I haven’t gotten to do any of the actual writing for the next episode.  Copper and the woman in trousers still stand in astonishment as the alchemist delightedly watches his submarine rise to the surface of the water.

I do want to provide some entertainment though.  So here’s a snippet from my unpublished work The Dead of Winter.  A few of you may have seen me comment that I’d love to see this massive book turned into an anime series.

Just like live-action television and movies, some anime is gratuitous (I’m sorry, the story isn’t more interesting just because you throw in over-blown gore in fight scenes, or nudity for no real reason. And a preteen in a garter belt is just plain wrong — I don’t care what your excuse is.  See what I mean?  It’s just like regular TV.)  But I find some anime preferable to other forms of film. It can be beautifully done, particularly the backgrounds.  Here’s a video with some examples of the kind of anime into which I’d like to see The Dead of Winter made.

(There are movie clips here.)

My story has a wide cast of varied characters, but the heroine is a twelve year old girl, Emlyn. The snip below is early in the story, from Emlyn’s point of view, in the cold place her world has become.  Within The Dead of Winter I also built a world with many nations, traditions, religions, styles of dress, and societies — and magic.  I hope you enjoy this little visit to the world I built.

From The Dead of Winter

First Dream – Winter Is Coming

It was neither light nor dark, though there was a strange half-light.  The dim shapes of furniture seemed familiar as Emlyn looked around the room.  She went to the window, but could not see anything beyond it other than gray darkness.  Goosebumps pricked her arms.  She took the shawl she was required to use to cover her hair and wrapped it around her shoulders.  She felt like she should know this room; and it disturbed her that she could not place it.  Worse she felt that she should remember not liking it.

She turned to go to the door and leave, but a musical tone pierced her ears, surging in volume, but then dissipating.  As the tone died she thought she heard a voice.  Emlyn shook her head, trying to clear it.  She moved toward the door, and the sound blended with the rustle of her skirts, but she was sure she heard it again.  She froze, listening, with her hand reaching for the doorknob.

“Winter is coming.”

Emlyn tilted her head.  Had she heard correctly?  Then it came again more clearly, but still little more than the sound of dry leaves, “Winter is coming!”

DoW 06-15-2013She turned toward the sound, but saw nothing more than the oddly familiar room.  Then suddenly he was there, across the room.  He was a stranger to Emlyn, yet she felt that she knew him, even though she couldn’t see his face clearly.  Shadow seemed to cling to him even more than it did to the rest of the room.  “Did you hear that?  Was it you who spoke?” she asked.  He seemed to rush closer to her, though his feet didn’t move.  She drew back.

“No,” he replied, “but it’s true.  Winter is coming.  The Winter.  The Winter of the ages.  I know those fools have tried to stifle knowledge, but don’t tell me you haven’t at least learned about that.  You of all people should know about the Winter.”

It was plain that she didn’t know what he meant, and that seemed to make him angry.  Her hands gripped her shawl tightly.  Suddenly afraid, Emlyn didn’t know how to respond.  The voice came again, louder, “Winter is coming.”  She blinked and he was only inches away from her.

Emlyn awoke with a start and sat up in her bed.  She let out a relieved breath.  She was safe in her little room.  Then she heard it in his voice.  “Winter is coming.”  He stood at the foot of her bed.  Emlyn thought the dream must be clinging to her, and she rubbed her eyes.  He was still there.  She blinked hard.  He moved toward her and sat on the side of DoW_Cvr_Art-1the bed.  As she felt the bed shift with his weight she screamed.

Her cry roused the household.  Afanen, her sister, was there first, and then her father and brother-in-law crowded into the tiny room, demanding to know what the trouble was.

“There was a man,” she said before she could stop herself.  Their expressions were first astonished and then scandalized.  Emlyn tried to take the words back by saying, “It was a dream.  Just a nightmare.”

Her sister cut her off and exclaimed, “I had gotten up and was on my way back to bed when I heard her – mumbling in her sleep about winter.  She kept saying that winter is coming.”  Afanen wore a bemused smirk that suggested Emlyn was just a silly girl and not to be taken seriously.  She had told people often enough that there was something odd; something wrong about Emlyn.

“If she’s dreaming of men in her room, then it’s time she had a husband,” Dewydd, her brother-in-law said, barely hiding his leer.

“It was just a dream,” Emlyn defended herself.  Her sister and brother-in-law left the room to go back to bed, whispering to each other.  She heard her sister giggle as the door to their room closed.

Her father sat down on the bed, on the same place where he had sat.  Emlyn cringed, wondering if somehow her father would be able to tell that someone; or maybe some thing had just sat there.  He had gone pale, and she thought his voice shook a little.

“Winter, you say?” he looked intently at her as he asked.  “Winter is coming?  As if it was more than just winter?”

“Well yes, that’s how it was in the dream,” Emlyn told him.  However, her father sat looking at her coldly.  He seemed to appraise her, trying to determine her honesty, as if he had caught her in some mischief.

“Where have you heard of this?” he demanded as he stood.  She only looked up at him in confusion.  “It is not allowed for this to be taught.  This is blasphemy!  Where have you heard it?  Have you eavesdropped on the elders when they meet?”

“It was only a dream,” Emlyn stammered, “a nightmare.  Why are you angry?  I don’t understand.  I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Foschi_Winter Landscape with Paseant Family

***

I promise to be back next weekend with Episode-18 of  Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Update — I should have shared this to begin with. Now most of you won’t even see it… but here is a “pitch” for The Dead of Winter that will tell you about the story.  https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/pitchapalooza-the-dead-of-winter/

 

Copyright © 2012 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.

 

A Back-Story: Innusha

LynnSexySaturday_buttonHave you heard of My Sexy Saturday?  Trust me — if you go check it out, it will live up to your expectations of the name!  It uses “sevens.”  That would be seven paragraphs, seven sentences, or just seven words.

It’s also a “blog hop” where writers can share snippets, and it gets your work noticed by readers in places where your writing might not always be seen.  Call it exposure.

Well, you know I’m trying to learn all I can about indie publishing, and that includes blog hopping.  My stories aren’t what I think of as “Sexy” whether Saturday or any other day of the week.  Okay, so “Atonement, Tennessee” has a moment or two where things warm up; maybe it even brushes against Romance territory.  However, “The Dead of Winter” only hints at relationships.

That said, I wrote a scene from one of the dozens of back-stories that roam around in my head for “The Dead of Winter.”  These two people are only briefly mentioned in the book, as the parents of the Zasha character.  However, the “Emlyn-verse” holds many stories that are yet to be written.  Here goes a snippet for My Sexy Saturday

Innusha

Innusah tossed her long dark curls and gave a joyous and free laugh.  The sudden and certain knowledge of what she was about to do was so liberating, so exciting, so… arousing.  From the moment she saw the amber haired stranger with his twinkling blue eyes and lilting voice she knew she wouldn’t let him leave her homeland, Rus, without her.  Oran was his name, and his accent rolled the “R” in a way that fascinated her.  Her lips puckered as she unconsciously tried to make the sound.

She hugged herself and twirled.  He meant more to her than escape from the frozen tsardom.  From the first moment he spoke her name Innusha never wanted to leave his side.  She bounced on her toes with anticipation.  She glided around her suite gathering the things she would need.

Even as she laid her plan, Innusha realized that if she went through with it, she probably would never see her country again.  Oran’s home was that far away.  Even her father, Count Bolyar, didn’t know anyone who had traveled there.  However, that only made her plan more exciting.

She hesitated for the space of a heartbeat.  She knew no other home than Rus and the lands within it.  But what was Rus to her anyway?  A Dažbog forsaken place where spring came so late that it was over before it arrived.  The sun god didn’t smile upon the tsardom any more than her father smiled upon her.  All of her younger siblings were already wed.  Innusha was neither of importance nor interest to her family.  Still, she would miss them.  She frowned for a moment.  Then she thought of his eyes and his musical accent, and her frown disappeared.

Her feet were light as a dancer’s as she ran to her hope chest.  The carved wooden chest was an object of ridicule from her family.  If they knew about the satin and lace sleep-shift she’d never hear the end of it.  It unfolded even as she lifted it from the trunk.  The golden satin poured down her body as she slid it over her head.  Its caress was cool against her skin and she shivered in anticipation.

She thought of the way Oran’s strong hands had been so firm on her waist as they waltzed.  Innusha twirled around her room, closing her eyes at the memory and imagining his hands moving to more intimate places.  The satin of the sleep-shift swirled around her ankles as she moved like a dancer in the royal ballet.

Still dancing, Innusha took her fur lined cloak from the wardrobe and tossed the cloak onto her bed with a flourish.  Then she spun faster and faster as she thought of Oran and remembered his warm breath against her ear, saying her name in a lilting whisper.  She twirled until finally she collapsed onto her wide bed, dizzy and spent.

***

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

Brain-NamesWhat do you think about names – generally?  Or do you think about them? Most people don’t.  I however, could really enjoy a big metaphysical discussion about names, but that’s not where I’m headed here.  When I started this blog, I promised myself I’d stick to things related to writing or my books.

Names are incredibly important in life and in fiction.  The names of my pets were something I chose very carefully, to suit them.

I’m just as meticulous in choosing the names of my characters.  The right name can pull you into the mystery of the story, or lend a dramatic tone.  When I write a classic type of fantasy, I go all out – researching name meanings and origins, and making sure they fit the traits of the character.

For stories located in the real world (fantasy or not), such as Atonement, Tennessee, I don’t always go to such lengths.  Even so, each name speaks strongly to me about the who, what, and where of the character.  Right now, I’m showing installments of my novel The Guitar Mancer at my blog. The name-meaning of the heroine is carefully interwoven into the story.atonement-video-cover-copy

There are a lot of cool sites about names and their meanings and origins.  Yeah, I know — I’m a total research geek… but check out a few of the websites sometime. You already know that you can find an Internet site for just about anything.  There are sites that list names of various myth figures, gods and goddesses, and summaries of the myths.  Also, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of the “baby name” sites.  I even found one that list names by their popularity, by state, per year.  It’s actually a cool resource if you want to find a character name that’s typical, or common for a given area and time, to help enhance the story in a subtle way.

I’ve used so many of these sites, I won’t try to list them all here.  However, I liked this one (below), and thought it was general enough for other people to find it interesting.  It’s divided by state.  For the most recent years it lists names for each year, but if you scroll down it gives an average over a five-year range. I liked that because it gave me a wide-ranging picture of what characters might populate my story.  I used it for Atonement, Tennessee since the research for that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) novel had to be done in such a hurry. http://pregnancy.about.com/od/localbabynames/a/statebabynames.htm

Okay, now I’m putting you to work.  It’s time for a quick imagining of a story.  Pick a state for the setting.  Then choose the average age for most of the people there (even go to a “city data” page if you want to get the mean age in your chosen location), and figure out in what year they would have been born.  Then click on the closest year listed.  Now look at those names and tell me what images came to your mind.  What did you see?  Didn’t you see a group of people when you looked at the names?  What were they doing?  Where did they go when they headed out their separate ways?

Have fun,

Teagan