Puttin’ On the Ritz – SoCS

Old as it may seem, it’s another Saturday in pandemicville. But, there’s a new twist this week. As promised, Cheryl, David, Teagan, the Angel Bots, oh, and Skippy are gathered in the speakeasy part of this juice-joint to celebrate the launch of “Hullaba Lulu,” the book form of a serial story by Teagan R. Geneviene. Of course, we’re going to try to work around Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘new/old.’ Use either or both of the words ‘new and old’ any way you’d like. Bonus points for starting and ending with either one. Have fun!”

I have a couple confessions to make. First, much more planning went into this post than Linda would like to see. Second, this post is much longer than my normal Saturday conversations, but that’s because of the third thing – Surprise Teagan!

The hidden purpose of last week’s post was to set us up for being in the lounge and for having Skippy behind the bar this week. I invited a few of Teagan’s fans to join us. I sent Teagan a list of interview questions, ostensibly so I could write this after the prompt came out. Those questions (and the character descriptions and drinks) are actually from her fans. I did my best to weave them all in – SoCS style.

OK, David is getting impatient. I better stop talking.

If we were having a beer…

“Dan, will you shut your pie hole and get me a John Howell’s special, already.”

“And good afternoon to you, David.”

“Cheryl, could I please have some bourbon?”

“I’m not working today, David, you’ll have to ask Skippy.”

“Where is he?”

“He’s delivering Jennie’s glass of Chardonnay. That’s her in the ivory beaded dress with a handkerchief hem.”

“She’s wearing a handkerchief?”

“You’re an idiot, David. It’s a nineteen-twenties style outfit, you know, for Teagan. Anyway, the woman wearing the cloche hat. Looks like she has a new bob under there, I think I see spit curls.”

“None of this is helping, Cheryl.”

“OK, David. You’ve met Teagan, right?”

“Yes, I have.”

“Well, Jennie is the woman Teagan is giving a hug to.”

“OK, I know what a hug is. I’m off to get my bourbon.”


“Yes, Dan.”

“Order me a Corona.”

“He looks upset, Dan.”

“I know, Cheryl. I couldn’t resist.”

“Excuse me, ladies…”

“David! It’s good to see you again.”

“Hello Teagan. It’s good to see you again, too. I didn’t want to interrupt; I was just hoping…”

“Have you met Jennie?”

“No, I just got here.”

“Well, Jennie is from Massachusetts. She’s the teacher you wish you had had. Jennie, may I introduce David. He’s a regular here.”

“I’ve heard Dan talk about you, David, it’s good to meet you.”

“The pleasure is mine, Jennie. Oh, Skippy.”

“I think he’s making the rounds, David. I was just about to ask Teagan if she has a relative named Lulu? You know, if there is more to your character’s name. If not, how did you decide on her name? My grandmother was Lulu, and she was the same age as your Lulu.”

“That’s interesting that your grandmother was named Lulu. My Lulu, the heroine is inspired by the song, ‘Don’t Bring Lulu,’ from nineteen-twenty-five ― so are her pals, Pearl and Rose.  Just like the song, Lulu loves to dance, and freely indulges in giggle water.”

“That’s such a catchy tune, Teagan. I can see why it inspired you. David, are you OK? You look a little confused.”

“I’m fine, Jennie. I’m just trying to get some giggle water of my own. If you’ll excuse me, I think I see Skippy bringing a drink to that woman by the door.”

“Oh, David. That’s Mary! If I’m not mistaken, that’s a brandy old fashioned sour.”

“All I know, Teagan is that I see cherries in the glass.”

“Well then let’s get a wiggle on and get over there. You can catch Skippy and I’ll say hi to Mary.”

“Teagan! It’s so good to see you. What is that delightful looking concoction you’re drinking?”

“It’s a pineapple daiquiri, Mary.”

“Cheers, Teagan! Here’s to Hullaba Lulu. David, will you join us join us…where’s your drink?”

“Absent, Mary, in fact, I was hoping to snag Skippy.”

“Well, off you go, I have a question for Teagan. I’m curious as to what one chapter or section of the book was most difficult to write?”

“Oh my, that’s easy, Mary; the ending – with all the wild concepts I had to pull together, the ending was by far the hardest.  Plus, where there’s Lulu, there’s trouble. That’s why she’s called Hullaba Lulu.  So, I had to also have something at which I could hint that Lulu is about to do, off screen, that would result in chaos.”

“Dan, where did you get that Corona?”

“Skippy slipped it to me on his way by. No bourbon, David?”

“Not yet. Every time I find Skippy, I get tangled up in pleasantries and he leaves without taking my order. I think he’s avoiding me.”

“He was heading over to deliver Lois a White Russian. He muttered something about it being an old lady drink. She might deck him.”

“Lois? Cheryl, I haven’t met these people yet. I don’t know who Lois is.”

“She’s right over there, David. The woman in the Black Swiss dot top.”

“Cheryl, fashion descriptions really don’t help, can you just point?”

“Here, come with me, I’ll introduce you.”

“Hi Lois.”

“Hi Cheryl. It’s wonderful to see you away from the bar.”

“It’s fun to be here as a guest, Lois.”

“Personally, I’d prefer if you were behind the bar, just for a minute.”

“Lois, I don’t think you’ve met David.”

“I haven’t, Cheryl. I expected to see him with a snifter of seltzer.”

“Haha – yes, well that’s why Cheryl brought me here.”

“Oh? You didn’t come to meet me?”

“No, I mean, yes, but, well, to be honest, I’ve been trying to snag Skippy.”

“Well, David, he just left. But I see Teagan coming over. Have you met her?”

“Yes. Actually, I met Teagan on a previous visit, and also earlier today.”

“David, it’s good to see you again. Did you finish that bourbon already?”


“Hi Teagan.”

“Hi Lois. Hello Cheryl. Is that an Old Fashioned your drinking?”

“It is. I had Skippy make it with Tullamore Dew. David hasn’t gotten his drink yet.”

“I think I saw Skippy heading back to the bar, David. Maybe you can catch him there.”

“Thanks Teagan.”

“Teagan, I have to ask, have you always had an affinity for the nineteen-twenties? I think it’s a fabulous era.”

“Wow, Lois, I was going to ask Teagan the same question, what was your inspiration for the time period?”

“Well, ladies, if you had asked me ten years ago if I would write stories set in the nineteen-twenties, I would have probably given you a funny look.  The Roaring Twenties setting first came along with my first blog serial.  I write serials using my ‘Three Things Method.’  Readers give me random things, and I let those things drive the story spontaneously.  In that first serial, the very first thing that was given was ‘oscillating fan.’ The image that put in my head gave the story a nineteen-twenties setting.”

“That’s amazing, that you can just jump into another era like that.”

“Ha, Lois, I do feel more of an affinity for other times than the one in which I live.  Most of my stories are set in one past era or another.”

“Can I join you three?”

“Robbie! Oh, it’s good to see you. Lois, Cheryl do you guys know Robbie Cheadle?”

“I’d recognize her anywhere, Teagan (they say together) but it’s nice to meet in person.”

“It’s nice to meet you guys as well. I just got a wine spritzer from that goofy bartender. He looks a little frazzled.”

“He’s having a tough day, Robbie. Cheryl usually handles the bar.”

“Not today, Teagan. I want to be out here listening to you answer questions about your book.”

“Speaking of which…”

“Which what, Robbie?”

“Your book, Teagan. Can you please explain exactly what ‘diesel punk’ is?”

“That’s easy. Dieselpunk has a nineteen-twenties aesthetic with retro-futuristic technology, and misfit characters. It might also include magic or fantasy elements. If you’re familiar with steampunk, you could say it looks like steampunk, but with a Roaring Twenties style rather than the look of the Victorian Era.  Lulu is a snarky, but good-hearted flapper – she definitely meets the misfit qualification.”

“Dan, have you seen Skippy?”

“David, you look parched. He just brought me another Corona.”

“Did you ask him to bring me some bourbon?”

“No, he was taking a coconut and banana smoothie to the big guy in the corner – dark suit, white shirt and dark tie.”

“The big guy? That’s an ape! Dan, what the heck is an ape doing in the bar?”

“Just go, David or you’ll miss Skippy again.”

“Hi, um…”

“Hi, I’m Chris, the Story Reading Ape. And you are?”

“I’m David, the man perpetually in search of bourbon.”

“Hi Chris. Is that a rose in your lapel?”

“Hi Teagan. It is a rose. I wore it in honor of you.”

“Awww, aren’t you sweet. Isn’t he sweet, David? Have you two met?”

“Yes, Teagan. Chris introduced himself, just as Skippy was leaving.”

“Horsefeathers, David. Don’t tell me you still haven’t had any bourbon.”

“I love the way you use the language of the nineteen-twenties, Teagan. In fact, I’ve been meaning to ask you a question about that…well, sorta.”

“It’s the day for questions, Chris. Ask away.”

“Is Lulu at all based on Teagan? Or are you more Ralda Lawton or Pip? Or are these just fictional characters?”

“Lulu is based on the song, ‘Don’t Bring Lulu.’  She’s not me, but it would be fun to be that uninhibited – at least for a while.

Pip, from The Three Things and the Three Ingredients stories is just fictional.  However, early in her first story, I found a nineteen-twenties photo of a teenaged Lucille Ball.  The great comedienne’s voice got inside my head as the narrator.  Pip became my imagining of Lucy as a teenager.

Atonement, Tennessee was the first time I wrote more than a very short story in first person.  I wrote it for National Novel Writing Month, in two-thousand-twelve.  Its heroine was Ralda Lawton.  I’m inclined to make my heroines different from my own personality.  However, in trying to write a novel in just thirty days, I decided it would be quicker to let Ralda have some of my own reactions.  I guess she is more like me than any of my published heroines. 

On the other hand, for my novel in progress, I decided to give the heroine the most difficult part of my own past, as a means of ‘rewriting’ my earlier years with a better ending.  So, she is very much me.  I’m not sure when that story will be published, but I hope everyone will meet Venus Ventura before too awfully long.”

“I can’t wait to meet her. Um, David, I think I saw the bartender take an order from the woman wearing the dragonfly brooch.”

“I don’t see a dragonfly brooch.”

“Sorry, apes have better eyesight than men.”

“Oh, he means Jill. I’ll take you over, David. Chris, I’ll be back, I think I’m expected to mingle.”

“I may have to loosen this tie after a few more of these smoothies, so I’m glad you got to see me at my billboard best.”

“Hi Jill.”

“Hi Teagan, and…”

“I’m David, I tagged along in hopes of finding Skippy.”


“The bartender.”

“Oh, I think I stumped him. I ordered a steampunk themed drink, Ugandan Ginger Tea. I had to give him the recipe – 1 cup milk, 1 tsp loose black tea leaves, 1 tsp grated ginger and 2 shots of rum.”

“You know what, Jill, Teagan, I’m going to try to catch him while he’s making that.”

“OK, David. Jill, I’m so glad you could make it today.”

“Oh, Teagan, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. I want to ask you, who’s your favorite character? Is it Valentino (swoon), or someone from a different story?”

“Horsefeathers, Jill, that’s a hard one!  My favorite might change from day to day…  One that I have a ton of fun writing is my fictionalized version of Cornelis Drebbel. In real life, he invented the first navigable submarine in sixteen-twenty.  Some said he was also an alchemist – and he is that in my stories.  You never know what might happen when Cornelis is around, or how he will react to things.  He had a serial story a several years ago.  I’m holding back on making a novel of it until I finish writing his second adventure.”

“Dan, where’s Skippy? I thought he’d be here at the bar.”

“He took off with some complicated drink. You just missed him.”

“Dang in, I can’t connect with him.”

“Hi Dan!  I hope I’m not late.  Travelling from up North is a little chaotic these days. Oh, you must be David? Dan talks about you…well a bit. Hi, I’m Pamela from a little town way up north. Are you waiting for, umm, Skipper, sorry Skippy?”

“Yes, I am. I mean, I am David, and I am waiting for Skippy.”

“Well, I’m off to see Teagan. Dan if you see Skippy, order me a bloody Mary.”

“As Skippy would say, no problem, Pam”

“Pam! Oh, it’s so good to see you. I was afraid you wouldn’t make it. I love your outfit, and those shoes are so cute. I love the hat, but it hides your – applesauce, you have red hair!”

“I do, Teagan, it’s what first endeared me to Lulu, we red-heads have to stick together, there are so few of us!”

“I know, I know.”

“Did I hear you talking about redheads?”

“Ginger! Oh my goodness, I didn’t know you were coming. Horsefeathers, I didn’t know anyone was coming. Oh, it’s so good to see you.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t miss this.”

“Ma’am, here’s your iced tea. And may I say, it was a pleasure to have an uncomplicated drink order.”

“Thank you, Skippy.”

“Now I just need to find a woman who’s looking for a bloody mary.”

“That would be me, I’m Pam.”

“Well, it looks like the red-headed league is fueled-up and ready to go.”

“We are, Ginger. And before we get going too far, Teagan, I have to ask you; you’re working on a book, you have the Delta Peral serial going, and now Lulu, how do you manage all these stories in your head at the same time?”

“That’s funny Pam, I was going to ask her the same thing. If I had to work on all these things, I’d be in a padded cell drooling into my jello!”

“Bwahahaha!  (laughs hysterically) Ginger, you slay me. But seriously, who said that I do?  I guess you could say that I have mental boxes for them.  Although characters sometimes yell from those boxes, wanting a new story.  Outside my head, I chart character details in Excel, and use a combination of Word’s “Styles” while keeping the navigation pain on the screen view. Some people use other tools, but these works for me.”

“Dan, where did Skippy go?”

“It’s not my day to watch him, David. Don’t tell me you still haven’t had a drink.”

“I – Have – Not – Had – A – Drink!”

“Excuse me, have either of you gentlemen seen a woman in a Hello Kitty t-shirt, with Hello Kitty earrings and a black and red bracelet with Hello Kitty as a Day of the Dead sugar skull?”

“No, perhaps she’s downstairs in the lounge.”


“Who was that Dan?”

“I don’t know, David.”

“Oh, there you are, was it Marian? Here’s your Dragon’s Milk Imperial Stout.”

“Oh, thank you so much.”

“Marian? It is you. It’s so good to see you!”

“It’s good to see you too, Teagan. It’s getting crowded, and I know you have to mingle, but I was wondering if you’d bring your magical pigs to my blog some Caturday? My cats would be happy to get a day off – think about it. You can answer later.”

“I will, that might be fun. By the way, who was the woman who brought you your drink?”

“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, Teagan, but that’s Candice. She’s a bartender, and apparently, she’s filling in for Skippy. I’m not sure where he…whoa, he’s walking toward the woman wearing the evening gown. Talk about a pair of stilts…Teagan…is that Lulu?”

“It is, Cheryl. That is Lulu.”

“I thought you said you were only bringing the angel bots.”

“I didn’t bring her, I guess she brought herself.”

“It looks like Skippy fixed her a bloody mary. What’s that he’s holding?”

“Cheryl, if I know Lulu, it’s a bowl of horseradish. She likes to dip the celery.”

“Now I know why Candice took over. Skippy is smitten with your character, Teagan”

“The attraction seems to be mutual, Cheryl.”

“I hope she doesn’t think she’s found a daddy.”

“Dan, is that bourbon for me?”

“It is, David. I poured it myself, and I put four cherries in. There’s a snifter of seltzer on that table, next to the pineapple pizza.”

“Pineapple pizza? I don’t like that.”

“The pizza’s for Lulu.”

“What’s in the bag?”

“Cheeseburgers, also for Lulu. I expect she and Skippy will be leaving soon.”

“Well, my young friend, it was a great party.”

“Cheers! I’m glad you could make it.”

“Cheers, Dan, this never gets old.”

Credits (in order of appearance):

Cheryl – Dreaming Existence – See a bit about her work-in-progress here.

Jennie – A Teacher’s Reflections – My recent favorite post.

Teagan – Teagan’s BooksAmazon Author page (Lulu purchase links are below)

Mary – Mary J Melange – My recent favorite post.

Lois – On Pets and Prisoners – My recent favorite post.

Roberta – Robbie’s inspiration – And her writer’s page.

Chris – The Story Reading Ape.

Jill – J-Dubs Grin and Bear it – My recent favorite post.

Pam – Butterfly Sand – My recent favorite post.

Ginger – Ginger and Murphy are the most loyal, fun loving, insightful and supportive readers a blogger ever had.

Marian – Marian Allen, Author Lady – Her books & collections.

Lulu – Everything you need to know about Lulu can be found in the book. Here’s how to get your copy

Purchase Links

Amazon Universal Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08JKP1RS4

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08JDYXPZM

Alternative Seller

Kobo eBook:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hullaba-lulu


  1. Dan, I’m always telling Teagan that she is a Hoot, but I’m going to have to use it here for you!! That was quite a party. I was beginning to think a banner should have been put up reading: “THE GANG’S ALL HERE!”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much for inviting me to Teagan’s party! I’m glad David finally got his drink. I was getting thirsty! Congratulations to Teagan on the launch of her new book! I’m surprised she was able to keep Lulu corralled on the page. ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Teagan, congratulations on the launch of Hullaba LuLu and I was honored to be at your party and meet everyone. I am off soon to get your book into my Kindle.

    Dan, thank you so much for the invitation, the party, the drinks and good times. It appears Skippy made an acceptable old fashioned, but what does that really matter when I was able to meet David, Teagan, Cheryl and all of your most excellent guests while at THE BAR! I was especially thrilled with the ape because a party is never complete without one.

    Happy Saturday! Enjoy the day and the weekend with the Editor and furry ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a fabulous job you did Dan organizing the best party ever! It was the cat’s pajamas! Thank you for inviting me to the shindig of the year. Congratulations on your new book Teagan. I bet this surprise knocked your socks off.

    And thank you Dan for making me feel so welcome in the blogging community. You deserve an award for this post and organizing the party so skillfully!

    I think I’m going to lay off Jello for awhile!😂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for joining us at the bar, Ginger, and thanks for giving Skippy a drink order he could handle. Although, you’re lucky he didn’t bring you a Long Island Iced Tea :-) I couldn’t have done this without you – you really are the best. I loved your jello comment, I had to work that in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL, Ginger always slays me, Dan. Jell-O was actually invented in 1897. Various gelatin dishes were very popular in the 1920s, partly due to advances in refrigeration technology. (Now Lulu is rolling her eyes because my inner-geek got out.) Ah, there’s an angel-bot bringing me a Long Island iced tea.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We did a little date-checking on the drinks (Lois said White Russians weren’t invented until the late 40s) but time can be magical when dealing with Lulu. Don’t have too many of those LI Iced Teas.


    • Ginger, Dan did a pos-i-lutely swell job with this party. I don’t get any of the credit — all I did was answer a few questions and make some images of Lulu. My socks are knocked out of the park. I’m so happy you could make it. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan! This was amazing!! How you wove all of us characters together, with David desperately trying to get a drink from Skippy, was nothing short of perfect. How did you add the Art Deco style drawing to separate the stories? That was a perfect touch. I loved the post, and I’m honored to have been a guest at the party. I hope Teagan had a great time. Thank you, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Jennie, and thinks so much for joining us. The description you gave me of your outfit really started me moving along with the side story about David’s drink. When he got to you, I just decided to have him follow Skippy. It was an SoC thing, but it was fun.

      I’m actually going to explain the Art Deco separator in a post, maybe Monday. But, since you asked, it’s just an image that I scaled and centered. Then I saved it as a reusable block in the new editor.

      Thanks again for accepting the invitation. Your the bee’s knees :)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jennie! I’m so glad you’re here. What a wonderful surprise this entire party was. I agree, it was downright heartwarming when Dan made the drink for David. A wonderful subplot to this tale. This is just the cat’s particulars! I’m thrilled. And you, my friend, are the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I wouldn’t have missed this party for the world! I’m so glad it was a surprise for you. Poor David, thank goodness he got his drink. Hats off to Dan for arranging this fabulous party. Hugs to you, Teagan!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan, you slayed me right off with “Please Brush MuMu”. She looks like she’d really be singing that. Weaving the thread of David (not being able to get a drink) throughout the narrative was brilliant. I know I’m getting a late start. Now I know why Lulu was buzzing around my brain and acting suspicious. LOL. Yes, I really was surprised to see everyone here, and it’s pos-i-lutely fabulous! You are without a doubt the cat’s pajamas. I’m off to mingle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like this, Teagan. Some people don’t like surprises, but I figured this would be OK. MuMu was sitting on the shelf as I wrote & assembled this – that’s how she ended up singing the song.

      I was worried that if I asked you to answer another question or edit another photo, you might start to wonder what was going on. Have Skippy get you a Pineapple Daiquiri as you mingle.

      Congratulations on the book launch.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a terrific party, Dan, the small talk and conversation was fascinating. Lulu is a great gal and I love her red hair and Teagan’s new red mane too. Thanks for the shoutout and this creative and supportive post for Teagan’s lovely new book.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What great fun! This was a perfect post to read this morning. I had the best time hanging out with all the players. Congratulations on the book, Teagan! Looks like a great day at the bar.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Berries!! Time to par-tay! Such fun putting on the Ritz! Lookie here: “Hullaba Lulu: a Dieselpunk Adventure will be auto-delivered wirelessly to Jill’s 2nd Kindle. You can go to your device to start reading”.

    You grabbed my attention with “Lulu is a snarky, but good-hearted flapper – she definitely meets the misfit qualification”. Can’t wait to dig into this story. Congrats Teagan! Special thanks to Dan for hosting this wonderful occasion!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. As sort of an outsider here not knowing who is who, I must commend you, Dan, at the outstanding writing you displayed here. Wow! And the work you put into this post I AM IMPRESSED. Loved the Art Deco and will be all ears as how you did what. You’re getting fancy!! MuMu …. I just laughed out loud when I saw her lounging with the expression on her face saying …. just what you said. LOL What a post!! You need to be seriously proud of yourself. And congratulations to Teagan for her book!! What an accomplishment!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is Dan-frantastic! What an awesome idea and you put together this event like a pro. How fun to meet Teagan and get to spend time with all these wonderful blogging friends. So many yummy drinks too! I love so much the image at the top. Wish we all really could get together at the bar. Now, you know the real me would have had to jump behind the bar to fix David up-pronto. I think Skippy was paying him back for the nickname. 😉👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻Teagan’s book sounds really fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What a fun group! Teagan, reading about how you come up with your stories and characters was fascinating! I get the appeal of delving into another time. Venus Ventura is a great name! I’m looking forward to more on her!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Amazing, Dan!
    I came over from Tegan’s blog. I’m following her book launch.
    I see your name on photo creds every week, on the Delta Pearl.
    You really are amazing.
    I sure had fun at the party! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. : So an ape goes into a bar and orders a daiquiri and puts a twenty on the bar . The bartender figures an ape won’t know the difference so he overcharges the ape , taking the twenty and giving him a nickel in change . A few minutes later the same bartender sidles up to the ape and says ” We don’t get many apes in here “. The ape says ,” At nineteen ninety-five a drink I can see why !”

    Liked by 1 person

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