Felicity and the Bright Red Pumps

Felicity stood nude in front of the full-length mirror.

She didn’t look forty.

Her hair?

Still thick and black.

Felicity inspected her breasts: firm and free of puckers.

She stepped back from the mirror for a last quick take.

Her skin fit perfectly.

Roger watched from the bed.

Mornings were difficult for him, more so recently, with
the burning in his gut that never goes away.

He grimaced and took another swig of his coffee.

“What?” Felicity asked.

“What, what?” replied Roger.

“You made a face.”

“Did I?”

“Don’t be coy darling. Is it me?”

“It’s never you.” Roger said. “It’s me. My stomach hurts.”

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better–tell me the
truth: you think I’m a hag!”

Roger gestured toward a chair by the bed.

“Have a seat Imelda.”

Felicity sat and smiled, “Bring me my choose.”

Roger hopped up and scurried over to the walk in closet.

Felicity watched him cross the room.

“I like that little droop in your ass.”

“I should have known not to let you see me naked. How
many pairs do want, Imelda?”

“Bring me my dance shoes!” Felicity laughed. “I was giving you
a compliment; you’re a sexy older man.”

“And you are well-preserved; are these the heels you want?”

Roger held up a pair of bright red Christian Louboutin
cha-cha heels.

“Perfect Ferdinand; you may kees my toes.”

“Will you promise to give me a break on the age thing?

“Oh, but Roger, Roger, Roger; I’m having a mid-life crisis: there
are books to buy and surgeons to consult!”

Roger crossed the room, knelt by her feet and said
in a mocking whine: “When I feel old I feel guilty!”

Felicity slipped her feet into her pumps and stood: “That’s
the spirit, darling. You write the book; I’ll buy the shoes.”

 

<c> Robert Goldstein 1990 -2017 All Rights Reserved

for Christy Birmingham with a change of perspective.

Featured Blogger: Teagan’s Books

This is a re-boot of a monthly feature on Art by Rob Goldstein, the Featured Blogger.

This month I’m honored to feature Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene of
Teagan’s Books.

Marketing Graphic for Thisledown
Thisledow

When did you start writing?

Answer: My seventh-grade teacher gave us an assignment that truly inspired my young mind — Write a story.  However, we only had two options about the story 1) Write it from the point of view (POV) of a cartoon character, or 2) from the POV of the shoes of a famous person.  Well, 12-year-old me watched talk shows after school, not cartoons.  So, I saw plenty of “famous people” and “used to be famous” ones too, on Merv Griffin’s TV show.  I liked the ones who talked about their pets.  So, I wrote my story as a pair of red pumps belonging to actress Doris Day.  (Back then I don’t think she was still making movies, but she was known for all her dogs.)  I had so much fun that I also gave half the class verbal outlines for their stories.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I did a few stories on my own.  My teacher wanted to see them.  She said good things about the one for the assignment so (not that I thought I had any choice) I let her have the stories.  They were Twilight Zone-ish stories and one was about child abuse.  They got a lot of attention…

My teacher spoke to my parents. 

My parents told me very sternly to never do that again!

That said, I guess I started writing in my late thirties.  Throughout my life novels were my only escape from the personal difficulties (yes, abuse too) that I faced each day.  I had read a couple of interviews with writers, and decided to write a fantasy novel.  I did a lot of research and work, read more interviews, and then I dove into it.  With that start, I never stopped.

Marketing Graphic for Teagan's Books
Teagan’s books

You started your blog as an adjunct to self-publishing, how do you define your blog now?

Answer: I’m sure you’ve seen the same advice I always see for us IndiesYou must have a blog to promote your work!  Well, I couldn’t bear the thought of droning on about my novel with every post.  Instead, I modified a writing exercise I created for myself long ago.  I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books).  I had the readers send me three random things.  I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters.  That resulted in  The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to my current release, a culinary mystery.  However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.  So that one is Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.  I’ve published both of those serials in book form.

That “pantser” style of writing, combined with engaging my audience (having them send “things” or otherwise promoting them) seems to have defined my blog.

I also mean for my blog to be a sanctuary for everyone.  I keep it free from religion and politics, even though there are issues about which I feel strongly.

Where were you raised and how does that affect your style?

Answer: I’m a southerner by birth, but I was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when I moved to New Mexico.  Like the old John Denver song, I had come home to a place I’d never been before.  The truth is, I wish every day that I had never left.  However, many things about the southeast – the deep south made an impact that remains with me.  Following the advice, “Write what you know,” many of my stories have a southern setting.

What writers give you inspiration?

Answer: Robert Jordan (the Wheel of Time series) inspired me with his detailed world-building.  Charlaine Harris influenced me with writing in first-person.  That was something I never cared to do until I did my first National Novel Writing Month and created my début novel, Atonement, Tennessee To my surprise, all the serial stories at my blog turned out to be written in first person as well. David Eddings influenced me with the way he showed his sense of humor, particularly in the Belariad series.

What are your top 3 tips for new bloggers?

Reciprocate.  Answer every comment, and try to do so with more than just “Thank you.”

Don’t “act/look like an expert” if you are not.  If you have credentials then say so – and make that information something the reader can find without digging.  If you found useful information, and you just want to share it, then say so.

Make it easy to read.  Light colored (or splotchy, speckled) backgrounds with medium colored text are hard to read, no matter how good your content.  Also, those horrid pop-ups, soliciting subscriptions.  If I’ve barely started reading and one of those things blocks me from that read, I don’t care to continue.

Thank you Teagan! A short section from one of your books would be great way to close the interview.

Marketing Graphic for Teagan's Books on Amazon
Teagan’s Books Header Image

Answer: Since I’ve been promoting the release of Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I,  I want to share a short story.  It is not in the book, but it’s still from that “universe,” and features the heroine of that 1920s series.

Here goes:

Pip’s a Chicken

“Bock, bock-bock.  Bock!  Baaawk!

Of all the nerve!  My mouth dropped open.  I was speechless.  Granny Phanny bocked at me like a chicken.  She bocked.  She put her fists under her armpits and flapped her boney elbows — and she bocked at me!

Then, to make matters worse, she laughed.

Why that banty little old woman.  Of all the self-important, cockalorem…

“Oh Pip, if you could see the look on your face,” she said, still chuckling.  “It’s not like you to chicken out.  Now tie on your apron and we’ll look at this recipe together.

Granny hung an apron around my neck, and then put her hands on my shoulders to forcibly turn me around.  She tied a bow in back that I knew without looking was perfectly symmetrical.

“But Granny, I nearly set the kitchen on fire last time,” I complained, sincerely afraid of what damage I might cause.

“Hush that nonsense right now, Sweetpea.  We’ll not be having any fires.  Just because your fried chicken turned out as tough as an old rooster doesn’t mean you can quit.”

“An old rooster?” I exclaimed, mortified.

I looked at the recipe card.  “Chicken Fricassee…” I read aloud.  “Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture; coat well.  Oh Granny, this sounds pos-i-lutely like a repeat of the fried chicken disaster.  Granny?”

Phanny Ilene Peabody was gone.  Her purse was missing from the corner table.  I called out again and she hollered from the living room.

My eyes fell on the calendar that hung on the wall.  Wong’s Chinese Restaurant made one annually for Chinese New Year.  Granny was going to an early dinner with friends.

“No wonder she wasn’t worried about me ruining dinner again,” I grumbled.  “Granny!” I yelled.

“I’ll be back this evening, Pip.  Just keep the stove set to low while you fry that chicken, and follow the instructions for the fricassee.”

I blew a raspberry as the front door closed with a thud.  My hand plopped down on the plump poultry with a smacking sound.

“Old rooster, huh?  I’ll show her,” I muttered and went back to the recipe card.

***

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

The Three Things Serial Story

Amazon USA, Paperback and Kindle

Murder at the Bijou

Amazon USA Paperback  and Kindle

Atonement, Tennessee Amazon Kindle and Paperback

You can also connect with Teagan at:

Amazon:    https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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Felique Dupré in the Haunted World: Whose Hell is This?

Persephone plods relentlessly towards Hell.

Great drifts of snow form a tunnel along Union Turnpike.

Everything is grey: grey snow from a grey sky on grey
buildings.

Persephone rolls her eyes at the writer; perseveration of
thought is the sign of an overwrought mind.

Yet, she does consider the landscape grey

Illustration of Persephone made from a photograph of an avatar
Union Turnpike

Alla Saints an’ Mother Theresa coul’na saved me!” laughs Hades
with a puff on his cigar.

He’s just told the story of how, as a young Catholic converting a Jew in Switzerland, he was chased by a pack of Protestant dogs.

“My twisted sister!” Persephone hikes her skirt; that story never fails to impress.

Hades,” she says, “about Felique…”

“I don’t have your precious Felique!”

Nevertheless, she persisted: “But you must!”

Hades relaxes and chuckles affectionately: “Of course I must. She’s in the Garden playing with dolls. She’d love to see you.”

Persephone is confused: “What was that business with the hag in the mirror?”

“You know how the writer likes special effects.”

“And Felique…?”

“She’s a little girl named Trina.”

“I see…and, whose Hell is this?

“Cocteau’s, do you like it?”

Surrealist photograph of virtual reality avatars to represent Persephone and Lucifer entering the Garden
Persephone and Lucifer enter the Garden

Persephone examines one of Lucifer’s paintings and smiles: “Life is like a skyscraper on quicksand.”

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

Felique Dupré in the Haunted World: By the Statue of the Unknown Bodybuilder

Midnight in the underworld, fireflies twinkle.

Hades scratches himself and remarks on the rain, “Wet, ain’t it?”

The hot Sun settles over Jamaica Plains as the F Train find its
way to The Village.

Persephone claps her hands to her forehead and remarks to the old
woman in the seat across from hers: Oh, the unbearable lightness of
being!”

Replies the old woman, “I’m sorry, these are my bad ears.”

“They look fine to me.”

“Don’t be absurd!”

Persephone points through the screen at the writer: “Tell him to don’t.”

“Oh he never doesn’t!” proclaims the old woman. When do you reach Hell?”

“As soon as I relinquish this train.”

“That could be any time.”

“That could be as we speak.”

“But it won’t be you know,” the old woman points through the screen at the writer. “He hates mixing action with dialogue.”

The train slows as it nears the mouth of Hell and stops.

Persephone disembarks; a cat darts between the wheels of a cart and she recognizes the familiar landmarks of her youth:

The Statue of the Unknown Bodybuilder heroically crushing a mound of
squirming women beneath his feet; the 7Eleven where she stops to buy
Hades a fine cigar.

Public Domain Photo of the Statue of Civic Virtue which Stood at the Union TurnPike station in Queens until it was removed in 2015
The Statue of the Unknown Bodybuilder

How the old devil loves his cigars!

“White Owl.” she says.

“Oui.” replies the clerk.

And it is done.

(C) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

Statue of the Unknown Body Builder based on a public domain photo of the Statue of Civic Virtue which stood in Queens at Union Turnpike Station until
2015.