The First Teagan of Spring – SoCS

As you can see from the top image, the renovations to the Island View Café are complete…barely. Just yesterday, the crew had ropes wrapped around the Plaza Theater’s old marquee and were hoisting it into place above the lounge doors. It’s temporarily roped into place, but today, we welcome our first guest. It only seemed fitting to welcome back an old friend. We did write this post in an SoC style, but we needed to complete the writing before Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was released. So, I hope I satisfied the prompt in this SoC introduction.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘rope.’ Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, you would be perplexed.

“Skippy, what are you doing here? Where’s Cheryl?”

“Don’t worry, David. She’s on her way. She said she was using alternative transportation today… whatever that means. Can I get you something to drink? A John Howell’s Special, perhaps?”

“I think I’ll wait for Cheryl, and Teagan Geneviene is supposed to be joining us today.”

“Maybe they’re coming together.”

“Ha! You don’t think that’s Teagan in the gypsy wagon that just stopped outside? Wouldn’t that be something.”

“David, you’ve got a strange look on your face.”

“That looks more like a very tiny house on wheels. Dan, there’s something familiar about what I just said, but I can’t put my finger on it… Dan, where are you going?” What are you mumbling about Skippy?”

“I said, it’s like the wagons used by the Society of Deae Matres in ‘Dead of Winter’ but it’s on some kind of recreational vehicle instead of being drawn by horses.”

“Are you reading the ‘Dead of Winter’ series too, Skippy?”

“Yes David, but I haven’t finished. Lulu hasn’t come into the story yet.”

“Lulu won’t be in that story, Skippy. That’s not even the same ‘universe.’ Stop frowning. You’d just get into trouble if Lulu came back. Oh, there’s Dan walking out into the parking lot. And there’s Cheryl getting out of the wagon… err RV. There’s Teagan too. She must have given Cheryl a lift. Skippy! Where are you going? I don’t think she brought Lulu this time. You should stay behind the bar!”

“Thanks for holding the door open for us, David.”

“I wasn’t opening the door for you, Dan. It’s good to see you ladies.”

“Thanks, David. Thanks for the lift in the Deae Matres wagon, Teagan — and welcome back to the café. I don’t want to rush you, but I’m guessing Skippy left these two mooks waiting for their order. By the way, how does it feel to have your name up in lights? Well, sunlight, but…”

You’re welcome. Ha! The vintage looking sign really is cool. I’m honored.”

“Great, let’s get inside. I know what those guys are having. What can I get you to drink?”

“Oh, I’d love a strawberry-rhubarb gin with a splash of tonic, please.”

 “Teagan, are you sure it’s okay to leave Skippy unsupervised in that RV?”

“No worries, David. I have the keys.”

“Now that I think about it, you add interesting forms of transportation to all your stories. That magical train in ‘Hullaba Lulu’ and Granny Phanny’s Model-T in the ‘Pip’s Three Things’ series, and there were all sorts of things in ‘Thistledown: Midsummer Bedlam.’”

“It sounds like you’ve got my complete library, David. Thank you.”

“Dan used to lend me his copies, but I’ve been buying the ‘Dead of Winter Journeys.’ I can’t wait behind him to read them.”

“Skippy, I didn’t expect to you to come back inside so soon. Did you enjoy looking at the cool stuff in the Deae Matres wagon? Why are you looking over your shoulder?”

“Your Boabhan character designed the wagons. I’m afraid she’ll pop out. I know she’s one of the good guys, but she scares me.”

“Maybe I should pour you a drink, Skippy. Here’s your gin, Teagan. David, your bourbon, your seltzer and ice. Dan, your Corona. Oops, I did a Skippy. Here are your cherries, David.”

“Thanks Cheryl. Speaking of Skippy, I understand where he’s coming from, Teagan. There are several characters that surprise me or even leave me to ponder whether they are good or bad, or somewhere in-between. It causes me to think.”

“David, I like to create characters that are in that gray area. In real life, most of the time people show both good and bad parts of themselves. Do you have a favorite character? Or maybe one you want to know more about?”

“Eriu fascinates me, but… Well, it might be personal, but I’d like to know which characters were drawn from your life. Some people say that first novels are autobiographical. Even though you’ve been publishing novels for a decade, Dead of Winter is essentially your first novel.”

“It’s a fantasy, David. That’s not anybody’s real life. Tell us about the villain, Arawn! How did you come up with his creepy shrill laugh? Don’t give me that look Dan. And I don’t think David likes the look you just gave him either.”

“Skippy, you’re scared of Boabhan. Arawn is a thousand times worse. Why do you want to know about him? Besides, I said that Teagan would ask the questions.”

“It’s okay, Dan. Maybe people need to know the story behind the story. Or a little of it anyway. But everyone has to promise not to get sympathetic. I’m only explaining and answering the questions. I don’t want anyone to say how sorry they are. Agreed? Okay then.”

“Skippy can you cover the bar? I want to hear this.”

“No problem, Cheryl, but I want to hear it too.”

“Cheers.”

“Cheers, David, and yes a few of the characters are rooted in my history. Tajín came from someone I loved like a favorite brother and lost as a young girl. And yes, Skippy, a real-life sociopath had Arawn’s shrill laugh. The things he did to Boabhan are an echo of some of the things an abuser to me.”

“I didn’t realize it until years after I created Afon Faxon, young Emlyn’s father, but he is basically my father.

“The story behind Eriu, is part of why I was never satisfied with the ending of this epic — why I’m currently in the process of rewriting that ending. As readers know, Eriu was Boabhan’s younger sister. She was also Emlyn’s ancestress. When Boabhan was molested and mostly “turned” by the nightwalker, Arawn, he also killed their immediate family. Eriu, away at the time, could not reconcile herself to what her sister had become. So, Boabhan essentially lost her sister as well.

“I didn’t intend it, but Eriu became my little sister. She died due to abuse when we were both children. With maternal abuse, family indifference and neglect, I eventually ended up married to a variation of Arawn. Like Boabhan, by the time I got away from all my abusers… let’s just say I was completely on my own.

“When I wrote the original ending for the epic, all that prevented me from giving a satisfying ending to Boabhan and Eriu’s part of the story. What I wrote was far too violent for the rest of the story, and it still didn’t give Boabhan any closure. My challenge now is to compose the right kind of conclusion to that subplot.

“Ahhem… I sure know how to bring silence to a room, huh? Somebody put on some music. Let me buy everyone a round. I didn’t mean to bring this party down.”

“So, I know I promised not to say I’m sorry. Umm… Why don’t you call Lulu. Hint-hint… After all, ‘Lulu gets blue and she goes cuckoo – like the clock upon the shelf.’ What? Those are the words, or are you complaining about my singing?”

“Hush, Skippy. That was much more of an answer than I expected, Teagan. Thank you for being open about it.”

“Agreed, David. Have another strawberry rhubarb gin, Teagan. But it’s on the house. You like blues, right? How about Eric Clapton’s cover of Floating Bridge?”

“When I lived in Seattle, one of the floating bridges sank. After I moved east, I think another one sank. Since you put ‘unique forms of transportation’ in your stories, maybe you’ll write one with a floating bridge, or a part of one.”

“Ha! Dan, you should know by now that offhand suggestions like that is all it takes to start an idea spinning in my head.”

“How did they travel in Brother Love, a Crossroad? That seems like a good setting for a floating bridge.”

“I don’t show much about how Brother Love got around, David, but part of the magic of the story is that he uses crossroads to travel.”

“Teagan, we’re all looking forward to the concluding Journey of Dead of Winter.” “Thanks, Dan. I’m beyond happy that everyone has been part of the Journeys. Now, can I give you and David a lift home in the Deae Matres wagon? Hmmm, a floating bridge… Cheers everyone!”

Before we get to the gallery, let’s help Teagan conduct a little business.

Dead of Winter seriesJourney 13, The Harbor
Kindle full series: relinks.me/B09C94FB2MKindle: relinks.me/B09TN3NDX1
Paperback: relinks.me/B09TN1F58B

And, if you’re a blues fan…

111 comments

    • The lilacs pushed out early. They ended up covered in snow once, but I’m guessing they’re safe now. The trees are starting to fill in with buds, so the views along our walk are going to be changing. I hope you have a good weekend, too.

      Like

  1. Lilac buds? A sure sign of spring that I’ve yet to see. While I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre in general, those characters sound well drawn and intriguing. Lifting a glass of infused gin to the authors success while waving at todays bunny.
    🍸

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s funny. I have never been a fan of fantasy, but Teagan’s stories are so well-crafted, her characters and descriptions so rich, that I’ve always enjoyed her books and serial stories.

      I asked the bunny to hang around while I went back in for my camera. I think he’s saying “you again???”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, River. The bunnies are adorable. Years ago someone gave me “cinnamon” as a “random reader thing” for one of my stories. That turned into a Flemish Giant rabbit that I named Cinnamon Bun for one of my Pip books. Isn’t gin just wonderful? :) Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great way to interview Teagan, Dan. Also a terrific intro for her (that is if there is anyone who doesn’t know her!!) and her books – what an outstanding imagination she has!
    I’m lovin that truss bridge.
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks GP. For those of us who know her, Teagan needs no introduction, that’s for sure. I wanted to remind people that the final Journey of Dead of Winter is coming. I can’t wait.

      I have often referred to that truss bridge as a ‘trestle’ – apparently, i was using that term incorrectly. In any case, It’s one of my favorite bridges. Our local PBS station runs a short video of the Connecticut River with that bridge in the background as one of its “around Connecticut” trailers.

      I hope you have a great weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. My lilac buds are all wearing snow beanies this morning. Yours look happier! The drips are lovely, and of course I love that bridge — a nice capture of spring blues in the sky and water.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is great to see Teagan’s name in lights for sure. I wouldn’t mind a ride in that wagon too. Super shots, Dan. You have to wonder sometimes how those pilots come out of the fog and then touch down at the right spot. A great photo of the airplane descending out of the fog. Hve a super weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. First and foremost I want to thank Teagan for her candid conversation. I am so deeply sorry for the abuse she suffered.
    But she’s found a way to rise above it all through her books. Hooray for Teagan. Teagan =1, abusers =0.

    Be still my heart. You have Lilac buds already? The water drops are wonderful. The robin seems to be saying, “Where are the worms?”

    Maddie relaxing on her deck is a sight to behold. She certainly knows how to pick out a unique puddle!

    Have a great weekend Dan. Rain/snow coming here, but supposedly not a lot of either. I’ll believe it when I see it! 🤗
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the comment, Ginger.

      There’s a road race in town today, so Maddie and I walked early to avoid the runners. We ended up in the middle of a bunch of them a few years ago, and Maddie barked them all onto the other side of the street (while I apologized).

      The lilacs clearly want to bloom this year. I thought they were rushing it, and they’ve been covered in snow once, but they are marching forward.

      Maddie has rediscovered the warm Trex on “her porch.” I’m going to need to take the cot out for her, so I can use my chair.

      I hope you have a nice day and a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re very kind, Ginger — thank you. Sometimes fantasy and reality meet.
      I agree about that photo of Maddie and the puddle. It’s superb.
      I wish I had lilacs blooming too, although I doubt they grow in southern NM… Instead of lilacs, I have weeds. Sigh… the endless battle. They are as determined as a nightwalker. LOL. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan, thanks for bringing Teagan into the bar and sharing a little of her latest book series. You are a great supporter of your blogging and writing friends.

    Lovely photos! I see you got a bit of rain, but I hope your Saturday is a sunny one.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Teagan–it was so great to see you here this morning! And a strawberry-rhubarb gin with a splash of tonic–how have I never had one of these?! I think it is great that Skippy is such a fan–my mental image is of him sitting at the bar gazing at you with stardust in his eyes. Happy weekend to you and to Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lois — thank you for making me smile. Oh, you must try it. I’ve always been a gin girl, but I had never heard of “pink gin” (which has been around) until I stumbled upon it last winter. The specific gin here is “Boodles Strawberry Rhubarb” gin. I’ve been ordering it through Fine Cask, so I’m not sure which stores carry it. Typically I store gin in the freezer (since I love classic martinis), however this has just enough strawberry and rhubarb liqueur that it will eventually freeze. However, the flavor is a delight.
      Happy weekend and hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I was always a gin girl, too–Tanqueray was my gin of choice. I am going to have to check on Boodles, though. In the freezer during our hot Florida summers? Yes, please!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Well, thanks for the cool ride, Teagan! When you decide to use a magic carpet in one of your stories I’d like to bum another ride. 😉 I appreciate knowing more about your inspiration for the books. 🤗 I had a very brilliant English Literature/Creative Writing teacher who told me way back when to write about things I knew rather than trying to make things up. Personal experience adds depth to a story and the connections come through in creating characters. I personally feel it is very cathartic as well. ❤️
    Dan, Baby Smoke seems to have a stunted tail. 🤭

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Thanks Dan for this wonderful post. And Teagan as you wish no how sorries but a thank you for being candid. I’m glad questions brought forth the story behind the story. I think there’s this human yearning to want to know why. Your sharing makes others who’ve experienced similar feel less alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You nailed both the challenge and the interview! That was a good interview with Teagan. The modes of transportation that she dreams up are pretty cool and always interesting.

    Your puddle reflection shots are lovely, and I do like the trestle bridge. It won’t be long before it’s hidden again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Deborah. Travel never seems to be a problem for Teagan. From submarines to air-ships, she’s got it all covered.

      The bridge will be covered soon, and the enormous fence Amtrak put up blocks the best spot for photographing the bridge after the trees fill in. Pretty soon, I’m going to have to work hard to get good photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. HI Dan, it is lovely to see Teagan here with her name on the board. I have know Teagan on-line for a while and had guessed she had an unhappy childhood and marriage. When I read some of the details in her series, Dead of Winter, I wondered about it’s inspiration. Writing is a very good way of cleansing yourself of things that you need to let go off and I hope writing and publishing this series is a positive thing for Teagan. It is also a wonderful story, full of mystery and delight. I am a little behind with my reading [I tend to overcommit with Beta reads and reviews] but I have a few of her Dead of Winter stories coming up on my kindle soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Robbie. I can’t speak to most of what you’ve said, but I appreciate it.

      I am caught up on Dead of Winter, and waiting for the final Journey. Getting over-committed is easy. I’ve been working my way through a tall stack of to-be-read books.

      I hope you have a very nice weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robbie, you are so very kind — thank you. It’s been wonderful having you be part of the Journeys of “Dead of Winter.” I really appreciate your comment here. Many people ask where my stories come from, and the time seemed right to disclose about this one. I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. You really covered a lot in this post, Dan, and kudos to you, Teagan, for all the work, the imagination, and the joy that goes into all your books. Dan, my musical thoughts didn’t go where yours did about the bridge but rather to “Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show.” :-) Earworm!

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great post, Dan. Teagan always amazes me — her creativity and her diligence especially. And your photos are as beautiful as ever, Dan. Have a great weekend. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Whoo-hoo! My name up in lights! Now if Disney Studios will just come along and make me an offer for The Armadillo Files. Wake up, Teagan!
    Thank you so much for letting me visit again, Dan. The Island View Cafe is looking fabulous. It’s such fun to spend time with everyone here. Your gallery is splendid. I never get tired of seeing those bridges. Cheers! And hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I LOVED this post, Dan! Teagan lights up a room every time she enters. She brings adventures, humour, magic and brilliant characters with her. She is simply amazing. As Quellie would say: “Quack, quack quack-quack!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Teagan, thank you for explaining some of the background of the characters and how they relate to your family. I am proud and very happy that you, Emlyn, and Boabhan not only escaped and survived, but also emerged strong with growing wisdom. I respect all of you. Rewriting the ending will add to the healing process. Hugs on the wing! <3

    Liked by 2 people

  17. My eyes read the words but my mind saw a strong and resilient child that grew into a formidable woman. Adversity can either break us or form us and only we can decide which. With your candid sharing you are showing others that they are not alone. Kudos.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Cheers making the prompt work – you roped us into another delightful post including a visit by Teagan. And finished with a bunch of spring-like photos. I’m jealous your trees are ready to burst into leaves. Teagan’s words reminded me of a quote I read in my little writing meditations book Walking on Alligators – pg. 115, “I decided, “I am going to write out of myself.” Once I made the decision, all inhibition was gone. It was like accepting my accent.” Irini Spanidou. The author of that meditation wrote: To commit to writing what you uniquely have to write is a step toward liberation . . . Writing from complete self-acceptance sends inhibition packing. Let it go. Let it see someone else to annoy. Today, you will write from your own center. Cheers to Teagan and her creativity and to you Dan for yours and your support to fellow blogging buddies!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for this beautiful comment, Shelley. I enjoyed the part about accepting one’s accent. Whenever my southern accent was mocked, I got annoyed and let out that much thicker. Oddly, and sadly, it mostly disappeared on its own. Of course it comes back at the most unexpected moments. LOL.
      Have a wonderful new week. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re welcome, Teagan. Thank you for sharing glimpses into how you’re inspired to write and to hold true to yourself. I have a hunch you embrace every moment and store them to bring them back and appear in unexpected moments in your writing too.
        I hope you have a great week too – hugs to you as well!

        Liked by 2 people

  19. Teagan, I’m so excited that the series is almost wrapped up! I’m hoping you gather all the Journeys into print. I want it on my bookshelf along with both copies of Thistledown (I had to buy a new one when you added a new cover). The Journeys sound like writing I would eat up with a spoon. Big squishy hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marian, I’ve cherished the comment you made about having read Thistledown three times. It makes my day every time I think about it. The individual “Journeys” of Dead of Winter are available in print as well as Kindle format. At the moment, I don’t have plans for creating an omnibus. There are already over 1200 pages, and that gets problematic for the print-copy. Plus, in fairness to people who have been part of the Journeys from the beginning, I would have to price it accordingly.
      I hope you can drop by “The Armadillo Files” at my blog. Since you like Thistledown, I think you’ll fall in love with Dilly, Fang, and the Time Manatees. You can find all the past chapters by going to the categories on the right side of the screen. Click on Armadillo Files.
      Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for the reply, Teagan. I’m coming out of my fog, so I just might have energy to read The Armadillo Files online. And I do believe I’ll have to stint myself on nail art supplies in order to buy the Dead of Winter collection. Hmm…. Mother’s Day is coming up….

        Liked by 2 people

  20. Thanks, Dan, for bringing us Teagan. I also love all her stories, and I appreciate how difficult it can be to delve into some of the stories and the characters writers create and how they relate to their own life experiences. I am sure she will find the right ending for the characters and the wonderful story deserves. I love the look for the café and all the pictures as well, Dan. Thanks to you all!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Hi Dan,

    I enjoyed this wonderful interview with Teagan. She has an amazing creative mind which shows in this journey. I’m slow in reading, but I’ve enjoyed the books and look forward to finding out how the journey ends. I also appreciate Teagan’s openness about where some of the characters originated from. I think it’s natural when reading fiction to wonder how characters came to be. Your photos are beautiful, too. I’m partial to rivers, bridges, waterfalls, and dogs. :) Thanks to you both!
    ~Lauren

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I was out of town last week when this post went up and I just had to go find it and read it. I am a huge fan of Teagan’s work and have read all but #13 of Emlyn’s Journey. Her imagination fascinates me. Great blog post. I love the conversation between everyone!! Congrats, Teagan, for being a featured guest, and thank you, Dan, for spotlighting Teagan!

    Liked by 1 person

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