#Awards: The Sunshine Blogger Award

I got the Sunshine Blogger Award in November 2018 from Emotional Abuse Hurts.

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer appreciation award given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

Thank you to emotionalabusehurts.

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and make a link back
    to their blog.
     
  • Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you. 
  • Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then write them 11 new questions. 
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog

    Here are the questions I received and my answers:

    What was the driving force behind the creation of your blog? 

    I started this blog as a way to advocate for people with mental illnesses and to provide information about Dissociative Identity Disorder. As I get healthier, the blog evolves. I now use Art by Rob Goldstein to discover who I am as an artist and writer.  

    What was your vision for your future in blogging/writing when you first started this blog? How has that vision evolved?

    My goal in 2013 was to get well enough to return to full time work.  I now realize this is not going to happen. My vision for this blog is that it will continue to serve as a repository for information about mental health and Dissociative Identity Disorder and as a showcase for my art and writing.
     

    What age were you when you realized you loved writing? 

    I was eight.  

    How has your life changed as a result of the electronic age? Is it better/worse/the same?

    My life is better because of technology; It gives me a way to break through the isolation that seems inevitable for people with a chronic illness. New technologies offer an infinite number of ways to create content. 

    What was the very last website you visited today? 

    YouTube. I use it to watch news and documentaries. 

    What was the first website you visited when you woke up four days ago? 

    Bing. I use it to collect points. I currently have enough points for a two hundred
    dollar shopping spree at Target.

    If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

    I wish I had been properly diagnosed with DID when I was in my 20’s. I may have had a more productive life.

    How would your life be different today if that one thing from your past were to change?

    I might be more accomplished.

    If you have children, tell me…how did your parenting change from the time you had your first child until the time you had your last?

    I’ve never had children but I think that all adults are responsible for protecting and nurturing America’s children, even if it’s just by paying taxes to fund schools, housing, and medical care.

    Tell me about the funniest experience you’ve had in the past month.

    Alec Baldwin’s Saturday Night Live take on Trump’s ‘State of Emergency’ speech.

    What do you have planned for the upcoming holiday season?

    Easter is a time for meditation.

    If I nominate you and you have an award free blog, please view the nomination as a compliment: you are under no obligation to respond. My questions are the same as those posed to me.

    My eleven nominees:

    Dan Anton

    Boundless Blessings by Kamal

    Retired? No one told me!

    Syl65

    Ivor.Plumber/Poet

    The Write Stuff

    Mary Smith

    Erika Kind

    Teagan’s Books

    Annette Rochelle Aben

    The Write Stuff

     

     

     

 

My Time of Dying

I wrote this poem in December 1984.

San Francisco’s gay men were hit hard by the AIDS epidemic: the sick and dying were everywhere and no one really knew how HIV was transmitted.

As the number of cases increased most of the healthy men I knew thought they were they were going to sicken and die.

The press called us the worried well.

With cases of AIDS becoming more widespread every week, the United States is undergoing a second, related epidemic–fear of AIDS.  The Chicago Tribune August 1985

I was 31. This is how I wanted to die.

If now is my time of dying
let it be a time of giving
a time of joy
an exchange of one gift
for another
to be part of the plan
aware of the plan
God grant me grace
in this interlude
this movement foreword
this final act of life.

‘My Time of Dying’ Rob Goldstein 1984-2019
 Portrait of Rob Goldstein by Nina Glaser

February’s Featured Blogger: Teagan’s Books

I was unwell for most of December and January and did not find a featured
blogger for February so am re-posting my feature of friend and sometimes collaborator, Teagan Geneviene.

Since the first publican of this interview, Teagan released Atonement in Bloom.

Lilith and the Blue Rose of the Impossible

The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined.  The local population included supernatural beings.  Yet only she and a few others knew about that.

Although she didn’t know the details, in a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life.  In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed.  Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.

Atonement in Bloom continues the misadventures of Ralda, her friends, and neighbors in the small (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, Tennessee.  Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals.

Now Lilith the calico sniffs out a strange beast.

Fae foolery backfires.

A friend is abducted.

On a cold December day, Atonement, Tennessee comes into bloom.
Atonement in Bloom.

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

Marketing Graphic for Thisledown
Thisledow

When did you start writing?

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?

I’m sure you’ve seen the same advice I always see for us Indies – You 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?

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?

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

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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The Executive

The alarm rang and the radio spat news.

Bonwit Teller opened his eyes to a foggy San Francisco morning.

He threw off the comforter, angrily pulled down the shades, and
crawled back into bed.

The phone rang

“Hi Bonwit, it’s Jerry. This is your wake-up call per your request.”
“Hi Jerry”
“Are you up?”
“Yeh”
“That was a helluva rant you gave last night”
“Which one? I was drunk.”
“About Old Man Lazaro.”

Bonwit sat up.

Jerry continued: “You made Old Man Lazaro look like a jackass.”

Bonwit sighed: “I guess I owe him an apology. I say wicked things
when I’m drunk. Thanks for the wake-up Jerry.”

Market Street looked like an Exodus scene.

“Let my people go,” Bonwit heard a beggar say.

He dropped some cash into the beggars’ cup and hurried into
the underground.

He saw another beggar sitting cross-legged in front of the
ticket machine.

His sign read: “Dying from AIDS. Please help.”

Bonwit dropped some cash into his cup and hurried onto
the platform.

Bonwit was desperate for the train to arrive.

He thought of Old Man Lazaro: his face boyish, yet old, kind, yet cruel.

Bonwit spat on that face and remembered his rage at last night’s dinner.

Lazaro compared Bonwit to a General in a noble army:

“That’s what you are.” Lazaro said. “The sales force is your army. They depend on you for supplies and protection. Your people need you Bonwit.”

“I’m just a fucking travel agent and you’re just an old queen!” Bonwit drunkenly snarled.

Bonwit rose from the station and entered the Pyramid.

Bonwit thought; I am truly a pain in the ass.

As if I don’t know why I’m here

He smiled benevolently at the housekeeper. “Good morning Violet.”

’’Morning Mister Teller.”

“Have I met my obligations to you this week?”

“I got a paycheck if that’s what you mean?”

“I’m so pleased.” Bonwit replied.

He entered his office and rang his secretary: “Mary, will you call the Whiskey Shop and have a bottle of Macallan 1939 delivered to Mr. Lazaro?

“Yes Mr. Teller. Mr. Lazaro is in his office. He wants to meet with you.”

Bonwit entered Lazaro’s office and took a seat.

Lazaro glared at him. “Bonwit, darling! You’re late.”

“I walked this morning.”

Lazaro laughed.  “I’m removing you from the Booth Account. Shirley
complained this morning.”

“About what.”

“She said Baxter’s tickets were late.”

“I had those tickets printed and sent before Shirley ordered them.”

Lazaro shrugged and smiled. “Maybe she has it in for you. Maybe she doesn’t
like old queens.”

Bonwit returned to his office and crossed to the picture window
behind his desk.

He studied the expanse of the Bridge and the shimmering blue
waters below.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2019
‘Behind the Pyramid’ (c) Rob Goldstein

First posted May, 2017-Revised and re-posted January 2019.

 

 

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