Excerpts, Memes

Look meme

Last week, Jeff Clough tagged me in the look meme.  Okay, there was a small problem.  I have just begun a new WIP, and wanted to use it. The rules are:

1. Grab your current work in progress. Check

2. Find the first occurrence of the word “look.” Umm, “looked” is in a scene I had just outlined, not written.

3. Copy that paragraph and a few surrounding paragraphs. Well, here’s the outline paragraph.  “A few surrounding paragraphs,” um, well, they don’t exist yet.

4. Post them to your blog. Here you go:

Christine remembered how Estienne had looked at the church door.  He had not smiled, and his hands trembled, but his eyes met hers with kindness.  The breeze had ruffled  his dark, curly hair, and lifted tendrils of Christine’s hair to reach toward him in concert with her thoughts. Her mind wandered as the priest said several prayers, although a phrase pierced the fog now and then. She blushed at the mention of children and grandchildren. Finally, Estienne put his family ring on each of her fingers in turn, rubbing the inkstained one with a smile, before replacing it firmly on the one carrying the vein to her heart. His hand was warm,  and so solid she could remember its touch ten years later.

Her hand cramped, crushing the parchment, driving its edges into her palm.  How could he be dead?

5. Tag five other people. Um, about that. I’m really not good at tagging people.  I think these memes are fun, but some people think they are worse than root canals. So have a whirl, if it sounds like fun.  Please leave a link in the comments if you do.  I’d love to see your excerpts.

Excerpts, Memes

Six Sentence Sunday

Today’s exercise in the 15 Days Challenge that Jeff Goins is running requires me to post something ugly. Well, here’s ugly for you. Although this appeared on one of my other blogs, it got no comments, so I’m reblogging it for honest critique.

Lapidary Prose

The parking lot for the Alachua Sink looked unimpressive; cars parked on the dirt under the live oaks. Next to a bulletin board full of announcements and brochures, a sign stuck into the dirt pointed, warning that the observation deck was a half-mile away. The path meandered off into the woods, with few signs of human habitation. Soon I crossed the Hawthorne Trail, a popular bike path that replaced an unused railroad line; its pavement new and bright, a stark contrast to the sandy dirt path that crosses it. Around another couple of turns, I walked underneath a train trestle, rails gone, gravel sidings disappearing into the grass, which was left to grow tall and heavy with seeds. Trees have fallen and been left where they lie, obscured by Virginia creeper and hanging vines as thick as my wrist, looking like those in the early Tarzan movies.

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Excerpts

Imago feminae

This flash fiction was written to fit a couple of rules.  I had to use the words imago, oscitate, lacuna, miasma and synchronicity in under 200 words. I’d love to hear your honest thoughts about it, especially as it is a piece I want to expand.

“Christine, please pay attention to your spinning. It is a disaster, yet you refuse to learn. You must use both your hands in rhythm.” Christine thought, synchronicity, like Papa explained about the celestial spheres.

Her mother continued her rant, “Your father thinks because I did not bear him a boy, he can make you into one, stuffing your head full of Latin and science. How we will ever find a husband for you, I do not know!”
Stifling a yawn at the perennial subject, Christine searched through her Latin. Oscitate, yes, that’s yawning, she smiled to herself. And that hole in my spun fiber, that’s lacuna. Out loud, she said dutifully, “Yes, maman, I will try harder.” She picked up more roving to bear out her promise.
She loved her maman, but she wanted to be a scientist like her father. She wanted to discover whether the pestilence that had ravaged the world was due to the conjunction of three planets, as some thought, or from a miasma, a mala aria in her native Italian. She would be as famous as her father, some day, and not for her spinning. She would be a new sort of woman.

Excerpts

British bride WIP excerpt, playing with POV

Part of my playing about with this story involves writing a scene from each of the two main characters’ points of view.  

He watched her enter the restaurant, savoring the few seconds that he could observe her before she saw him. Although not surprised, he was briefly dismayed at his immediate physical reaction to seeing her. What a beautiful woman she was, certainly attractive in the conventional sense, but so vibrant. There was nothing pastel about her—her dark hair and eyes such a contrast to her flawless ivory skin, the deep red lipstick accentuating her mouth, whose strength balanced her face perfectly. She caught sight of him and the faint smile she wore blossomed into a full, warm one that started his heart pounding. She walked toward him, poised and graceful. He couldn’t take his eyes away from her. He reached down to kiss her lightly on the cheek, which he had to admit to himself was a male territorial thing, as he noticed the eyes of every man in the place devouring her much as he had just done

 

She had to admit that she had put a lot into her appearance before meeting him—he would certainly say that she got “gussied up.” She was more nervous than she expected to be, which she found somewhat surprising. Not to boast, but she was rather used to men’s attentions, and usually gloried in it. But then, there was something different about him-it was important that he like her.

When she went in the door, she didn’t see him at first; looking around, it was only a second or two before she saw him, resplendent in his uniform, his eyes sparkling, mirroring the smile on his absolutely handsome face. He walked over to her, leaned over, and kissed her briefly on the cheek. The kiss was soft, but had an impact all the way down to her stomach. She wanted to remember the touch of his lips forever.

Excerpts

Excerpt British bride novella

The sun was high before she woke up, but she had nowhere to be, so lay in bed lazily thinking about the previous evening and her handsome American GI, remembering seeing him across the room. To be honest, she first noticed him because he was tall and handsome, though not dark like in the romance novels, but with curly blond hair. As he came closer to her, it was his eyes that drew her gaze; they were a shade shimmering on the blue-green divide without committing one way or the other. After he disposed of the bothersome drunk, he spoke to her for the first time; his voice was a nice rich baritone with a not unpleasant American accent, neither too drawled nor too clipped. But as he took her hand into his to lead her to the dance floor, it was his smile that reached into her chest and wrapped itself around her heart. It was a smile that opened up the windows to his heart and aired out any dark corners he might have—genuine and freely given, she somehow knew that it was not unthinkingly bestowed, but was a gift to her, and only to her.

Excerpts

Excerpt from WWII British bride novella

He was lost before the music ended.  Her delicate, but not fragile, hand disappeared in his, starting the nerves tingling all the way up his arm. His other hand covered over half of the small of her back, the warmth of which raised his heart rate to a level he hadn’t felt recently save in combat. Even worse, the crush of the dance floor drew them closer together than was truly proper; although the joyousness of the celebration cancelled the affront, it didn’t relieve the chaos swirling through him as they were inexorably pushed chest-to-chest by the crush. For his own sanity, and to have any hope of talking to this vision, finding out her name before she disappeared back into the dreamland from whence she came, he leaned down to her ear, savoring the excuse to inhale the spicy-sweet fragrance of her, “Let’s go outside for some air.”

She tipped up on her toes to answer, “Yes, please,” totally unaware of what her sweet, warm breath on his face was doing to him.