Rewind – Three Things Episodes 18 – 19

1970 Metropolitan Nashville Airport, Berry Field

Metropolitan Nashville Airport, Berry Field circa 1969

Welcome, my friends.  Have I told you how much I appreciate your visits? Well, I do — a lot.

Before I present Three Things, here’s the promised update on my National Novel Writing Month progress.

Well, there hasn’t been a lot of progress. As of right now, I’m barely on schedule to finish on November 30th, and the weekend is nearly over. Maybe more caffeine…

Today I’m showing you a few pictures from the late 1960′s of places my Guitar Mancer characters visit. One of the first scenes is in fictional Blaylock Sound Magic Studios. Here’s an example of equipment a recording studio of the era. All that could be on one tiny device now.

1969 Studio

I can’t say anything as spectacular sounding as top last week’s “I killed a basilisk.” However, most of my main characters had their first big confrontation with the arch villain. And our heroine, Luci, showed that she’s got plenty of spunk!

Old Hickory Lake campfire

Old Hickory Lake State Park

The Guitar Mancer will touch multiple locations. As I’ve mentioned, it begins in Nashville, Tennessee and the Old Hickory Lake area.  I don’t think this composite image is vintage at all, but with the exception of the stadium, most of the buildings would have been around in the era. From top left: 2nd Avenue, Kirkland Hall at Vanderbilt University, the Parthenon, the Nashville skyline, LP FieldDolly Parton performing at the Grand Ole Opry, and Ryman AuditoriumNashville Composite

One character I got to spend a lot of time with last week was Frejya, a red tailed hawk. She’s developing more firmly in my imagination than I expected and I enjoyed writing about her.

Frejya is a “spirit animal” and in the mythology I’ve created for The Guitar Mancer she is also a magical totem. Maybe I’ll tell you about her “person” next time — that’s Bodaway Thunder.  Though he’s not the main character, I beginning to wonder if he might not need a book of his own!  Bodaway is one unique guy.

Frejya Red Tailed HawkFrejya has been very hard at work this past week.  Ask her about B. B. King’s guitar, Lucille if you want, although I don’t think she’s talking about her part in that escapade. But she sure is being smug…

I’ve given all the important characters names with meanings related to their nature and/or capabilities. If you enjoy name meanings you’ll like that. If not, then it won’t bother you either way.

Now, on with our 1920′s mystery “rewind” of Three Things!

***

18. Punctilious, Train, Diary

A beautiful phonograph stood in the corner.  It was surrounded by a little track with a clockwork train.  Frankie stooped down to investigate the train.  It was painted red with yellow trim, and the coal car had a Hornby logo.  In a second Frankie had it chugging around the little tracks.  His eyes lit up like a child’s.  He blushed in a cute way when he realized I was watching him, murmuring something about the workmanship.Hornby Clockwork Train Ad

I wanted to rib him about it so bad that I had to bite my lip to stop myself.  Frankie was really the cat’s meow, but I hadn’t known him that long, and I wasn’t sure how much teasing he could take.  So I played it as seriously as I could manage.  “Yes,” I agreed.  “The attention to detail is quite punctilious, isn’t it?”

Frankie tore himself away from the model and stepped over the tracks to get to the phonograph.  The fireman gave the handle a few cranks and the sound of “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” filled the air.

Flavio was sitting next to Mona on the chaise lounge, whispering things that brought gales of giggles from her.  Frankie looked over at me and I made a derisive face at the other two.  This shindig was going to give Mona plenty to write about in her diary.

***

Introduction Episode-19

While I was browsing around the New York Times, I stumbled upon “The Janeiac Quiz.”  Since I’ve always enjoyed Jane Austen‘s books, I took the quiz — and failed miserably.  I’m sharing it because many of you enjoy those classics.  Emma is probably my favorite of Austen’s works and it is also the source of today’s Three Things.  I’ll take them from the first sentence of the book.

Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”

And now, three Emma things.

19.  Comfortable Home, Happy Disposition, Vex

Ringling-Zalophus-Ca-d-ZanI told myself not to feel vexed with Mona for acting silly with Flavio.  Then I told myself again.  When I told myself the same thing for the third time Frankie chuckled.  There was no telling what kind of expressions had gone across my face.  He raised his eyebrows and made a mock-hopeful puckered face.  I grinned at him and said, “Sorry fella, the bank’s closed.”

“Dr. Banting said to make ourselves at home.  Why don’t we look around?  I don’t know about you, but I doubt I’ll ever be inside a yacht like this again,” he said with a smile.

He was right.  And I needed to get back to business.  Where was that microscope?  We left Mona and Flavio still giggling.  The next cabin we came to was open, but Frankie knocked on the doorframe just in case and called out cheerily.  The fireman really did have a happy disposition.  I squeezed past, under his arm.  Frankie actually was a very nice height.

Then I spotted it sitting on a table in the corner, all brass and shiny – the microscope.  It was hard not to look at the beautiful estate in the painting that hung above the device.  The place looked like a Venetian palace, and the yacht moored there looked like the one we were on!

Frankie gave a low whistle.  “That looks like a… comfortable home.”

Ca d Zan-1

“You’ve really got a gift for understatement,” I agreed.  The house in the picture was huge and in a beautiful setting.  “That place is the berries all right.”

I took the ornate but bent key out of my purse and carefully placed it under the microscope.  However, I couldn’t make out any words – and I was afraid to move any of the settings.  I could only guess how expensive the thing was; scientific things were always pricy.

The engraving looked like it might be just a pretty design, but with the damage it was hard to tell. I held my breath and barely moved one knob on the microscope.  A word came into focus, but it was hard to make it out amid all the swirls of the engraved pattern.  “Ring… Ringing?  No.  Ring-ling.  Does Ringling make any sense?”

“Ringling?” Frankie repeated in an incredulous tone.  “As in circus?  That Ringling?”

“Applesauce!” I exclaimed in an awed whisper.  “Do you think this key is for the Ca’d’Zan mansion in Sarasota?”

Our speculation was interrupted by the sound of a scuffle.  A man’s voice boomed.  “You’ve got what you wanted, now be off with you!  If you ever think to pull a stunt like that again, it will be your last!”

We hesitantly peeped out the door in time to see two men leaving right after those ominous words were shouted. There was a man in the doorway of a cabin, shaking his fist at the departing backs of the men.  Then someone shrouded in an old quilt pushed past the man.  I heard a muffled sob.

John Ringling

John Ringling

The man lowered his head and said, “Don’t worry.  They aren’t going to hurt anyone else.  We’ll see to that.”The quilt covered shape turned toward him.  The tattered covering fell back to reveal an older woman, who was still elegant despite her somewhat disheveled appearance.

It was the white-haired woman.

***

Tune in again next weekend.

 Same flapper time.  

Same flapper channel. 

Copyright © 2013 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.

My “Sexy” Saturday

my sexy saturdayI’ve been a busy blogger this extended-weekend. This post was a bit of something extra I suddenly decided to do. I’ve been feeling a tad guilty over just “re-winding” the first serial for you…  And then…

Everything happened at once. There was no plan for me to re-blog that lovely post from Randstein, but how could I resist?  Then I was so excited to have a completely unexpected book review at Lit World – well I had to re-blog that too!

Betty Boop Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1988

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Betty Boop balloon.

Back to topic – the original extra bit I actually planned to give you.  You may have figured out that I don’t exactly take this blog to “Sexy”…  But the folks at the My Sexy Saturday blog hop are very flexible about the definition of  sexy.  They were happy to accommodate the less than daring way in which I write. (Believe me you can find things there that fit a more traditional version of sexy!) Plus, they were so very nice to me the few times I’ve come out to play… I’ve always wanted to do more. However, my plate simply overfloweth… I can’t do everything just because I’d like to.

Then I saw that this weekend they have a “Thanksgiving and Families” theme. They even included characters who have no family.  That reminded me of two characters in my short story, Chocolate with Death. So I decided to rearrange my overfull plate.

Even though these characters are not romantically involved, their relationship has a little sex appeal, and they are thankful for one another.  You can read the full story if you want.

In accordance with the blog hop rules I am to post “7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words ONLY.”  So here are seven sentences from Chocolate with Death.

chocolate-strawberries

If I was startled by the pain in his eyes, which clearly spoke of endless solitude and loneliness, then I was truly astonished by his reply.

“Well yes, that was sort of the entire point when I chose to visit you,” he said.  “We are not strangers. Why do you think you felt that you knew me?”

I flopped back into my chair, confused and overwhelmed. One of my bunny slippers had come off and Death examined it curiously, and then began to refill the glasses with Spumante.

“I only came to visit you – I didn’t come for you,” he said, meaning my time on this earth was not yet over.

betty boop champagne

***

The blog hop’s Twitter handle is @MySexySaturday.

Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene

Barnes & Noble Nook

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/atonement-tennessee-teagan-geneviene/1117790203?ean=2940148918431

Kindle and Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412384486&sr=1-1

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A

Amazon India

http://www.amazon.in/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1481826948

Review of Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene.

teagan geneviene:

I’m so excited to have my debut novel reviewed at Lit World! So you know i had to share. Hugs all around.

Originally posted on Lit World Interviews:

Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene

Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene

Title:   Atonement, Tennessee

Author:   Teagan Geneviene

ISBN-10: 1481826948

ISBN-13: 978-1481826945

ASIN:  B00HGWKRA8

Published:  21st December 2013

Pages:  296

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

If there is such a thing as your “standard novel” and I’m not sure there is, Atonement, Tennessee is definitely not it. Although some aspects of the story might seem familiar to readers (we have a newcomer to a small and seemingly fairly quirky town, a catalogue of slightly odd characters, hidden and dark stories behind perfect surfaces…), others definitely will not. Although we spend most of the time in Ralda’s head (her given name is Esmeralda and that plays quite an important part in the book), we also see things from the point of view of Lilith, her cat, and that allows us to gain more knowledge than Ralda has, but from a peculiar viewpoint that means we are observes and what…

View original 547 more words

A Child in the Garden of Darkness and Light

teagan geneviene:

I’m supposed to be fervently working on my National Novel Writing Month book, The Guitar Mancer. But of course i had to stop and read this post from Daniel (aka Randstein). His words charmed me and i thought it would be nice to share, but i was hurrying through my morning mail, all the while feeling i should be writing. Then i saw all the links he included for creative bloggers. I “woke up” and knew i had to stop and smell the roses. All those people were creating, if much more artistically than me and my NaNoWriMo book. So, as you see, I knew i had to share Randstein’s post with all of you. Wishing you a fabulous hug filled Friday.

Originally posted on Survivors Blog Here:

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once she grows up.”

― Pablo Picasso

Kimora Paints

Grandpa, why did you hide all the pink markers under the couch? To teach you to use other colors my dear child. Watch your lines…

My grand-daughter is seven and has been an avid art student since she first painted an epic battle scene between dots, circles, and lines on my living room wall at one year old.  She is a fifth generation student of the Garden of Darkness and Light. Her grand parents have immersed her in music, art, writing, math, science, and literature.

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Rewind – Three Things Episodes 15 – 17

Hi there Sheiks and Shebas!  I’m having a hard time coming up with an intro that will “hook” my readers.  Honestly, I don’t mean to complain, but I’ve been battling a migraine on and off for two days.  So All I can think of is…

What did you do this week? Me? I killed a basilisk.

Horsefeathers… I know that sounds geeky and 1651 Lumen de luminesnotty, but it’s all I have.  Of course I’m talking about my National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) book, The Guitar Mancer. Well, I promised to give you little updates on my progress. I didn’t know there was going to be a giant, venomous, kill-you-with-a-gaze serpent… but there was, and now it’s conquered. Come on. This is the part where you’re supposed to laugh.

We now move from the 1969/70 setting of The Guitar Mancer to the Roaring 20′s and another rewind set of our first interactive mystery serial, Three Things. There are a few fun links hidden along the way.  Enjoy the ride.

***

St. Joseph Sanitarium, Albuquerque, NM; 1920's

St. Joseph Sanitarium, Albuquerque, NM; 1920′s

Finally I’m posting another episode of our 1920′s serial.  These three things come from the most “crafty” lady I know — Joye in Albuquerque.

Since I didn’t do a mid-week post, you might need to refresh your memory of the serial.  You can read all the episodes at the Three Things Serial page.

Pip finds interesting things before the group even gets to the gate of the big shindig.  Read on as the mystery deepens…

15. Tattered Quilt, Memory Squares, Quilting Bee

Flavio bent closer to inspect the bullet hole, which was in the crease where the fender met the body of the car.  “I’m amazed that you spotted it,” he told me.

Frankie looked around uneasily.  One of the chauffeurs stopped his idle polishing of the limousine he drove and looked our way.  “We should get going,” the fireman said, with a significant nod in the guy’s direction.

He took my arm, but I pulled back.  What was that inside the car?  I sighed.  That chauffer was still looking at us.  “Mona, be a doll and distract that mug for a minute, will ya?  Ask him for something for Pear to eat.”

The movie star wriggled over to the first driver, and within seconds the other two were clustered around Mona and the tin lunch pail that housed the little hedgehog.  Flavio looked on with a hint of a green monster lighting his eyes.  I barely controlled the urge to tease him about being jealous.  The chauffeurs seemed to have completely forgotten about the rest of us.

I stealthily opened the car door and pulled out a piece of fabric.  I had to give it a good yank, as it was caught on some metal under the seat.  Then I eased the door closed again.  “What is it?” the Fabro cousins asked in unison.Vintage Quilt ad

“A tattered quilt,” I began.  “Or rather a torn off piece of one.  I think this is part of a memory square.”

Cotton batting clung to the bit of fabric.  I turned it over and saw part of an embroidered word was cut off at the tear.  It must have been a name.  I looked past the swirly print design and at the white muslin below it.  Frankie touched the print.  “Hey!  It’s Paisley, like you,” he kidded me about my given name.

I turned the bit of quilt this way and that to make out the stitched word.  “B-o-r… could that be part of the letter ‘I’ maybe?” I wondered aloud.  “Holy Hannah!  Boris!”

A reddish brown stain marred the white muslin, and covered more of the embroidery.  The spot was caked and stiff.  Holding it close to my nose I detected a coppery odor.  Blood.

Frankie bent closer to have a look.  “That ain’t from the average quilting bee.”

***

I’m pleased to tell you that today’s three things are from a “science nerd turned quilter who lives near Bristol UK” – known to bloggers as Spockssister.  For the sake of this blog’s header (which is not at all cooperative with me) the things are sort of abbreviated.  However, in the serial I’m using them as she sent them:  microscope, a hand cranked Singer sewing machine, and a large, stupid, but affectionate dog.

16.  Microscope, Sewing Machine, Dog.

Hand crank sewing machineAs we headed down to the swank party we were greeted by a large, stupid, but affectionate dog.  He bounded up to us, tail wagging and tongue lolling.  Then he tried to take the torn piece of quilt from my hand.  Mona was quick to take the scrap from me, rolled it up and tucked it into her bag.  Frankie picked up a stick and gave it a strong throw, which sent the dog happily in pursuit of the game.

Flavio watched as Mona put the memory square away.  Like most men, he was mesmerized by the movie star’s every move.  “That reminds me of a quilt my ma’s been working on,” he began.  “She’s been whipping up all sorts of things since she got this hand cranked Singer sewing machine.  Ma called it a ‘double wedding ring’ quilt.  She said she’s going to make one for each of us when we get hitched.”  Flavio shot a quick hopeful look at Mona.  She looked away just as fast.  It wasn’t as awkward as it could have been, I guess.

Mona was a thoroughly modern Millie for sure.  Men threw themselves at her all the time.  She wasn’t above using that, to some extent, but she never took it to extremes.  Like getting the fire department to loan her the truck.  It wasn’t much of a risk with two of the firemen in charge of it.  And she genuinely liked Flavio.  But he didn’t have her heart.  Nope, her career had her heart.  And maybe Boris the ballerina – if she’d stop being so darned conflicted about her feelings for him.

unknown Silent movie

Poor Andy the Astronaute, I couldn’t help thinking.  He was so smitten with Mona.  Andy had real talent as a writer.  Maybe one day that really would bring them together.  Then I remembered Boris again.  Mona’s potential futures were enough to give me a headache, so I put the thoughts away for another time.

When I brought my thoughts back to the present I gasped.  “Applesauce!  This shindig is incredible.”  It was almost a carnival.  It was huge, spread out along the banks of the sound.  There was a band stand, and a wooden floor was set up where dancers did the Charleston.  I saw balloons everywhere.  Tables with white linen and silver were clustered beneath a brightly colored tent.  In other places blankets were spread for picnics.  Everywhere I turned there was something else happening.

Then I saw it.  The yacht.  It was breathtaking.  I knew there was no way it would happen, but I really wanted to see the 1920 Fuji Microscopeinside.  I must have been drooling over it because a flapper stopped and giggled at me.  “Be careful if you go in there, hon.  Dr. Fred might put you under that microscope of his.”

I tried to ask the girl what she meant, but she was already gone in a flash of fringe and sequins.  Then an idea occurred to me.  I clutched my pocketbook and felt it still inside.  The bent key.  I never had been able to make out what was engraved on it.  Was there really somebody on the yacht with a microscope?  Maybe they could read it.

***

Mary is not just a writer — she’s a brave woman to throw me a word like “Reality.”  There’s no telling where I might go with that!  These three things took me in directions I didn’t expect, but that’s the point of this serial — to let the words all of you supply drive the plot and characters.  By the way, you are most welcome to leave your own three things in comments.  Hint-hint…  :)

And now, another episode of our little 1920′s story.  Remember you can do catch up reading at the page where the full story lives, the Three Things Serial page.

17.  Associate, Challenge, Reality

1920s Dance PartyThe flapper in the sequins bounced away, the fringe of her dress dancing as she went.  She turned back, smiled, and waved to someone behind me.  She called, “Hey Doctor Fred!  Come on and Charleston with us!”  Then she looked at me and rolled her eyes.  “Those scientist types…”

Doctor was a title that I associated with dignity and age.  I found it hard to imagine any “Doctor” doing the Charleston.  However, a moment later a man in his thirties, wearing a tuxedo hurried past me.  “Good morning, Miss, and pardon me.  Please make yourself at home,” he said in a Canadian accent and motioned toward the yacht.

How could I resist?

I had never been on any vessel bigger than a fishing boat.  I certainly had never seen inside a luxurious yacht.  I spotted Frankie; then I saw Mona and Flavio.  I called out and motioned for them to come to the yacht.  It was a challenge to my patience, but I waited for them before boarding the gorgeous craft.

When Mona reached me her eyes were as big as saucers.  “Pip, I think that man was Dr. Fredrick Banting.  He won a Nobel Prize, and he’s the youngest to ever win it for Medicine!”

“That’s absolutely ducky,” I said with an impish grin.  “I bet there really is a microscope in there.”

They all looked at me like I was goofy.  I held up my pocketbook, even though they couldn’t know what was inside.  “Remember that key?  Maybe I can see what’s engraved on it with a microscope.”

Clara Bow***

Sure enough, the yacht was ritzy.  Mona plopped down on a chaise lounge, pouted her lips, and peered up at us from beneath her eyelashes.  She looked for all the world like Clara Bow.

Flavio grinned and bowed over her outstretched hand. “Just remember, toots,” he cautioned.  “This is all a fantasy world. ”

Mona sighed dramatically.  “But I want it to be my reality.”

***

We now return you to your reality.  Or you’re welcome to stay in this one if you’d rather, because you’re just the cat’s pajamas!

Rewind – Three Things Episodes 10 – 14

Welcome back to the 1920′s everyone.  I really appreciate you dropping by for this “rewind” of the first interactive serial.

But first, I want to update you on my My National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) progress, since that is what has taken me away from writing the serials. This is what my homepage showed me Friday.

WriMo Stats

1969 Jean Shrimpton as Luci

1969 Jean Shrimpton as Luci

I’m on track, but next week I’ll be at the office more, and similar progress is not too likely.

However, I’m happy to say my planning has helped. My characters have become very solid in my mind. Apparently so has the setting… because yesterday I kept thinking it was New Years Eve! (The Guitar Mancer opens on December 31, 1969.)

Meet my heroine, Luci. She’s smart and shy, but she’s got spunk.  She also has a flare for those 1969/70 fashions! She has a soon to emerge magical, musical talent. Luci doesn’t know it yet, but she is a mancer.

Unlike my novels, which I loosely plan, the blog’s serials are off the cuff pantser fun.  I’m hoping you can see into my processes and have a better idea of how I let the random “things” drive the plot and settings, and develop the characters. It’s completely unplanned. I do, however, research each thing or ingredient to make sure I’ve used them consistently with the era. (Sometimes you gave me something unfamiliar that I got to learn about — but that added to the fun.)

On with this rewind, beginning with the introduction to Episode-10.  Enjoy!

Enchantment… Doesn’t the word make you think of that harp-like sound effect? Of bright sunshiny magic, and unbridled potential?  No?  Maybe I’m feeling homesick then.  Today’s “three things” come to you from the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, courtesy of RC.

Remember, you can do catch-up reading at the Three Things Serial page.  Now, the next episode.

10.  Grandma, Big Feet, Woodpile

1920s Woman in DoorwayI was stunned by what had just happened.  For a moment I couldn’t think what to do.  Boris the Ballerina ran pell-mell into the night after a burglar, (or maybe something worse).  I knew one person had already been badly hurt, or possibly killed, that night back at the theatre.  Had that glint of metal been a gun?  A knife maybe?  Should I try to catch up with Boris, and what would I do if I did?  The other man had seemed pretty big.

In the instant it took for those questions to run through my head, Andy and Mona came running up to see what had happened.  They both looked frightened.  As I described the scene their eyes got wider.  And wider.  Andy the Astronaut, ever the reluctant hero, at least when Mona was around, bravely plunged past his fear.

“I’m going after them,” he proclaimed.  Then there was a heartbeat’s hesitation on his part.  However, he took a breath and started running in the direction I had pointed.

As Andy rounded the corner, I heard a bump-tumble-crash from the woodpile in back of our building.  A muffled “I’m okay!” followed the commotion, and the sound of Andy’s running feet began.

It took a moment for me to decide, because I didn’t want to intrude on Boris’ privacy, but I went upstairs to look at his apartment — I mean office.  The door was standing wide open.  I hesitated, and then went inside, Mona at my heels.  She seemed more than curious.  She was positively eager for a look inside the Russian’s home.  When I stepped over the threshold I gasped.  Everything that had a drawer had been ransacked.  Papers, clothing, photos, and books were strewn around the room.1920s Russian Nesting Dolls

A collection of Russian nesting dolls was overturned and disassembled.  Then I spotted a beautiful ceramic vase that looked like it had been deliberately broken against the corner of the table.  When I picked up the top half I realized that the vase had been made with a false bottom.  The bottom part had a stopper that secured a small opening.  I could see how it might be easier to put something inside it than to get it back out again.  It would have to be something quite narrow though.

Had Boris hidden something the strange vase?  And maybe the man who ransacked the place had gotten in a hurry and shattered the vase to get whatever out quickly?  But what and why?  I mean, what kind of valuable would fit?  Jewelry?  Or maybe… Jeepers!

I clutched my pocketbook.  I felt the bent key still inside.  But the guy couldn’t have been looking for the key, because it dropped from the getaway car.  But if it had been dropped by the old woman… maybe Boris also had a key to the same thing.  Whatever it might be.

My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of male voices outside.  Mona and I exchanged a “were busted” glance.  We both felt guilty for going into Boris’ place without invitation, so we hurried quietly to the building’s entry foyer.  I recognized Andy first because the streetlight caught his glasses.  Boris was supported by Andy and another man — a large man with only one shoe.  Then I realized that man was Frankie.

Clara Bow as Mona the Movie Star

Clara Bow as Mona the Movie Star

Mona rushed to Boris to make sure he was unharmed, and backed away awkwardly when everyone noticed how much attention she was showering on the retired dancer.  He had not been attacked, but the chase was too much for his injured knee.  Andy said that he thought Boris also twisted his back when he tripped, chasing the burglar.

“Frankie, I thought you went home,” I said.  “And what happened to your shoe?”

“Oh I went back and got it,” Frankie said holding up the shoe.  “I just didn’t stop long enough to put it back on.”  When he saw my puzzled face he explained, “When I got home I saw a note from my cousin Flavio, asking me to go over to my grandma’s and help with something.  So I was headed that way when some jerk half ran into me.  Then Boris here charged up behind him.  I figured the first guy was up to no good.  But I’m not so fast.  Coach used to say my muscles slow me down.  Anyhow I knew I couldn’t catch the guy so I threw my shoe at him.”

I stood in mute amazement.  He threw his shoe at a thief?  Andy chimed in, “Yeah, beaned him good too!”  I tied him up and we left him there for the police.  Frankie went back inside to call the coppers to come and get him.”

Frankie held his shoe closer to me and I saw that there was blood on the heel where it must have hit the guy.

“Good thing I’ve got big feet!   I get them from my grandma,” Frankie said proudly.

***

Special thanks to Lynn for dropping by and giving me “three things” that took me to the setting.  She was very specific with “sound,” indicating that she meant a body of water.  That took my mind to Florida.   … And now episode eleven.

11.  Ice Cream, Sound, Thimble

It had been a crazy night, what with the shooting at the theatre, and then the weird burglary at Boris’ place.  It took hours before I could settle down enough to go to sleep.  Not that I didn’t try.  I knew I had a big day ahead — a lot bigger than going out for ice cream with my pals.  Mona had invited me to go with her to a party thrown by a movie studio bigwig.

 

The shindig was going to be out at Santa Rosa Sound, and it was going to be real ritzy.  I admit I was a little nervous about it too.  I didn’t think I’d fit in with those actors and studio types, but I’d put on my glad rags and go for Mona’s sake.  I could tell that she felt nervous about the whole thing.  She was probably worried about some of those producer jobbies coming on too strong.

Anyhow Mona said that studio bigwig had planned the whole to-do around a big race around the island, Santa Rosa Island, that is.  It was going to be a hundred mile race for sailboats that ran half its course through the sound.  The movie people were going to film it, and she was hoping to get a part.  Mona said one day it would be a big annual event, but I didn’t see how they’d ever manage to pull anything that pricey together again.  After the land boom went bust, most folks could put their entertainment money in a thimble.  Either way, I figured it’d be swell to check it out.

stpetersburg-1920s

***

This time the story is driven by three things from Michigan.  Then next time the “things” will be from the greater DC area.  I’m delighted to have gotten two sets of three during the past week.  So I’ll use the new words in the order received.  And now, episode twelve of our little 1920′s story.

12.  Italy, Family, Thunderstorm

1920s flapper thinkingI thought Mona and I looked real spiffy as we headed down the stairs.  Though I had to admit, Mona always looked prettier.  Since she was an aspiring actress, she had to have nice clothes.  She wore a light green dress with a dropped waist.  It had wide ivory lace gathered at the waist and at the hem, with strip of similar lace at the fluttery sleeves.  Mona finished the ensemble with a scarf-hat of the same fabric and lace.  I pushed my pink cloche hat further onto my head to make sure it didn’t come off.  It looked kind of breezy outside, and I hoped we didn’t end up with a thunderstorm ruining the party.

The “movie star” had kept up a nonstop stream of chatter, so I hadn’t found out many details about the shindig.  But one thing was really bothering me, so I interrupted her.  “Hold on a sec, Mona.  How are we going to get out there?  Santa Rosa Sound is not exactly around the corner.”

By then we were in the building’s foyer.  I heard the sound of a big motor right outside.  Mona grabbed my hand and we went out the door.  I was stunned.  Mona waived her arm grandly, bowed and said, “Madame, your chariot awaits!”

Our ride was a fire truck? Granted, it was the old one that was mostly used in parades.  It wasn’t the main truck the department would use for a fire.  But a fire truck?  “How…?  Err, why?” I sputtered.

“If I want a big part in a film, then I need to make a big entrance!” Mona cried gleefully.1920s Fire truck

“But who…?” I began, the proverbial cat still having a firm hold on my tongue.

Then a familiar looking guy jumped down from the fire engine.  At first I thought it was Frankie, but then I spotted his broad shoulders as he backed away from a couple of other guys that were still on the truck.  He caught up with the first guy.  There was quite a resemblance between the two young men.  I knew they must be family.  A moment later Frankie introduced me to his cousin Flavio.  I squinted looking at the two guys remaining on the truck as they climbed down.  There was more than a resemblance between the last two — they were twins.

“Hey Flavio!” one called as they walked.  Then he elbowed his twin for the low whistle he made at Mona.  “Cut it out.  Be a gentleman.”  Then he urged Flavio, “Aren’t you going to introduce us to these dolls?  I mean ladies?”

Frankie made as if to swat the two younger guys with his hat.  “Grandma would have you by the ear,” he muttered and the two quickly straightened up.

1920s 4 Look-alike GuysFlavio seemed to be the eldest of the group.  “These two mugs are my brothers, Fedel and Frediano.  Don’t mind them.  They’re partin’ company with us here and going into town.”

I tilted my head, and looked a question at Frankie because my thoughts were flipping with all the “F” names.  He seemed to get what was on my mind.  Fedel and Frediano gave me matching crooked grins.  Then the fireman said, “A lot of Fabros came over from Italy.  Every different branch of the family seems to favor a particular letter of the alphabet for names.  It’s sort of a tradition with the Fabros.”

“Betcha can’t guess which letter our branch of the family tree uses,” Flavio added, and Mona and I laughed.

I learned that Mona had met Flavio when she went down to the fire station with her big plan to use the old truck.  When Frankie learned about the shindig he’d asked to come along.  It actually wasn’t hard to believe my friend had secured a fire engine as transportation.  Regular guys just couldn’t say no to Mona.

As the boys help us up into the cab of the fire engine, I commented about the large bag Mona carried.  I had thought it was a bathing suit but it sounded like there was paper inside.  Sure enough she pulled out a brightly colored end.  “Streamers!” she said.  “When we’re nearly at Santa Rosa Sound, we’ll stop and decorate the truck!”

All I could do was shake my head.  She thought of everything when it came to being noticed.

08-18-1920 Suffrage parade New York City

08-18-1920 Suffrage Parade, NYC

***

As promised in the previous post, these things come from the DC area.  Also remember your three things keep the serial going!  Maybe some readers from Canada will play?  Or someone in the UK will send three things?  Or from India? Or Turkey?  Everyone is welcome to send three words or phrases!  Just remember it’s a 1920′s story when you pick your three things, and that it’s a “G” rated blog.

13.  Miracle, Hedgehog, Gloaming

1920s Tin Lunch boxWhen I climbed up into the outdated fire engine I thought it would be a miracle if made it all the way to Santa Rosa Sound.  But the old thing must have still had some heart left, because we didn’t have any problems.  We were almost there when Mona asked Flavio to pull over so we could decorate the truck with the streamers and flags she’d brought.

Frankie bent over the seemingly bottomless bag of stuff, passing streamers and such to the rest of us.  I heard the tink sound of metal and turned toward Frankie.  As he pulled out an old tin lunchbox, the rest of us gathered round.

“Hey sweet cheeks,” Flavio said to Mona.  “I thought you said there’d be gourmet grub at this swank shindig.”

“Be careful!” Mona said in a worried voice when Flavio took the lunch pail from Frankie and started to open it.

I heard a scrabbling sound from inside the container and drew back.  Had a mouse gotten into Mona’s lunch?  And why had she brought lunch in the first place?  And, holy Hannah!  If there was a mouse in her lunchbox, there were probably mice in our building!

Mona quickly took the tin box from Flavio.  That’s when I noticed there were several little holes piercing both ends of the pail.  To my astonishment, she opened the container and scooped up a strange spinney rat.  Or maybe it was a baby opossum with matted hair.  Or, oh applesauce, who knew what!

“Oh Pear, you poor baby,” Mona cooed over the thing.  “Are you alright?”

Then she held it out at Flavio who jumped back with a shriek.  “Don’t be silly,” Mona chided.  “It’s just Pear.  I couldn’t leave him alone all day.  I just got him.  And it’ll be later than the gloaming when we get home tonight.”  She smiled coquettishly at hedgehog in handsthe expression her comment brought to Flavio’s face.  Yep, Mona sure knew how to get her way.  “Yes, you can be sure it’ll be much later than twilight before this party is over,” she told him with her eyelashes aflutter.

“But… Pear?” I asked.

“Why, for Prickly Pear, of course.  He’s a hedgehog.  Didn’t you know?” Mona told me as if it was all utterly obvious.

***

Today’s “things” are from an innovative thinker in Albuquerque.  I think they help bring life to the story and our characters — a glimpse of their day-to-day life.

14.  Finger Waves, Shoe Horn, Cummerbund

The old fire engine roared up to the party at Santa Rosa Sound, streamers flying and bells ringing.  Frankie was driving.  Mona kicked off her shoes do she could stand on the highest point, arms raised and holding a flag in each hand, Flavio held her steady to make sure she didn’t fall off.  I just enjoyed the ride, our grand entrance, and the utter wonder of extravagance that was spread before my eyes.

1920s Bebe DanielsThe partygoers were dressed in all manner of attire, from elegant daywear to party duds I wouldn’t have expected to see ‘til after five, but everyone wore the latest fashions.  Women in nice dresses stood talking to others in beaded flapper gear with expensive jewels in their sleek bobbed hair.  Some men wore bowties and straw hats while others wore tuxedoes complete with cummerbunds.

I decided to take off my hat.  It wasn’t really fancy enough for this party or for my dress.  I cautiously touched my finger waves to make sure my hairdo was okay.  “Don’t worry,” Frankie assured me.  “You’re the cat’s meow.”

So was he.  I smiled at the fireman as he looked for a spot where he wouldn’t get blocked in, and parked the old fire truck.  I looked at all the nice cars.  There were a couple of chauffeurs idly polishing limousines.  I did a double take.  My eyes were pulled back to an ordinary car.  It was familiar, though I was sure it didn’t belong to anyone I knew.

Mona had definitely gotten the attention of the crowd, though it only lasted for a moment.  Wow.  That group was hard to impress.  I thought she’d be the first one down from the truck,1923 Evening Shoes but when I looked around, Mona was struggling with her shoe.  In a jiffy Flavio had a shoe horn and carefully helped her, like Prince Charming with Cinderella.  He kept his hand on her foot for rather longer than necessary.  Mona gave me a sideways look and then batted her eyes at her new beau.  I rolled my eyes at her and let Frankie help me down from the truck.

Something was nagging at me.  I turned back to that car, tilting my head as I looked at it.  “What’s up Pip?” Frankie asked.

For an answer I motioned for him to come with me as I headed toward the source of the nagging.  That car.  Frankie wanted to know why I was so interested in an ordinary car, nice though it was, when there were many more luxe vehicles.  I walked all the way around the car.  Twice.  Then I stooped and ran my hand across a fender.

“There!” I exclaimed quietly.

Mona and Flavio had just reached us.  Everyone came closer to see what I was doing.  “It’s a bullet hole.  Right there.  It’s almost hidden,” I said.

“That’s the car from the Nickelodeon, isn’t it,” Frankie said and took a quick look over his shoulder.  “The one that old woman got dragged into.”Hedgehog apple

Mona gasped.  “Are you sure Pip?  It was pretty dark,” She said.

I nodded in answer.  Pear scrabbled in his lunch pail eating his snack.

***

Teagan R Geneviene author of “Atonement”

teagan geneviene:

I’m honored to be interviewed by the amazing Trisha. Her poems, short fiction, and illustrations embody a loving craftmanship that is rare.
Hugs all around.

Originally posted on BOOKS (UN)LIMITED:

1. Why do you love to write.

I believe it’s more that I can’t “not write.” I think you could take that question all the way back to Rod Sterling’s “Twilight Zone.” Naturally any number of television shows (and even commercials) captured my young imagination. However, I think The Twilight Zone was what caused me to begin to associate my very active childhood imaginings with the concept of writing stories. I remember being very young and staring up at a small black and white bedroom TV and being utterly fascinated by the stories Rod Sterling presented.

Some years later, as a preteen, I started writing Twilight Zone-ish stories. They were well received by my teachers, but not by my parents. I suppose they didn’t think the attention I was getting was appropriate. I was told to never do that again! I eventually discarded that parental rule. (She grins.)

2.The process…

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