All I can say is YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS, we're finally thawing here in my neck of the woods. Now I know, there's always a chance of more of that fluffy white stuff, but I'll take this weather any day.
So, what are we musing on today? How about another writing exercise.
How does your character look? wear? walk? sound?
Writing exercise...show us without telling us directly that the coat is brown leather, walking with a limp, talking with an accent.
DAWN KNOX, author
‘Don’t want no foreigners ‘ere.’
The landlady blocked the door to the boarding house with hands on hips as if she feared the slight woman before her might slip through sideways.
‘Pleess, I haff nowhere else to go.’
‘Not my problem. I’ve ‘ad enough o’ your kind skipping off without payin’ their rent. I ain’t a charity.’
‘Pleess, I pay now?’
The woman withdrew a handful of coins from her pocket.
‘Don’t waste my time,’ said the landlady but before she could close the door, the woman placed her foot in the way.
With fists the size of hams, the landlady seized the woman by the lapels of her coat and pulled her close.
‘Get lost,’ she said and thrust the woman backwards. The door had slammed shut before the woman landed at the bottom of the steps.
‘You all right, love?’ a man crossed over the road and helped her sit up.
She burst into tears.
'My coat,' she wailed, running her fingers over the scuff marks on the leather.
'Don't you worry about that,' the man said, 'a nice bit of brown polish'll bring that up a treat.'
She stood up.
'Anything broken?' he asked.
'I'm not sure. My foot is hurting a lot.'
'Here, take my arm, lean on me and we'll get you to a doctor.'
Penelope folded her hair into a long braid and wrapped it tight to the back of her head. She placed a mantle over her head but pinned it so it would fall back, framing her face rather than covering her hair. These Ithacan women, far too prude for her taste. She preferred her hair down. I'll give them some of their tradition, but not all, and pinned a favorite piece of jewelry to the veil, a small but deep blue stone set in silver, fashioned to look like a flower. Far more fancy than the people preferred.
SUSAN LEONA FISHER, author
I offer an extract from ‘The Adventures of Jane Waterford’, when she encounters the village tramp for the first time:
The sun had now climbed high enough to warm the scattering of small boulders and Jane chose the smoothest one to sit on. She’d just unwrapped the cloth around her simple picnic when a man’s voice called out, gruff and very close. It startled her and she almost knocked the entire lunch to the ground, just saving it as the first sandwich began to topple.
“There be a pixie in the woods today! A pixie dressed in black sitting on a rock.”
Jane looked in the direction from where she thought the voice had come but could see no one.
“Hello,” she called, “anyone there?” The only reply was some muttering in the same voice and scuffling, like someone dragging their feet through dried leaves.
“Hello,” Jane tried again, “I’m not a pixie, I’m Jane.”
“Jane? You’re Jane? Where’s Mr Rochester?”
It sounded like an old man, who was, as her grandmother would have put it, not quite the full shilling, but must have had some schooling in his youth, from his reference to Jane Eyre. She decided to play along.
“Well, he’s not with me today, so would you like to join me for lunch? I’ve got chicken sandwiches.”
“Chicken? Chicken you say. Not pigeon.”
Jane could see him now, and he exactly fitted her image.
ANNE STENHOUSE, author
Mariah's Marriage by Anne Stenhouse
"Peter sketched a tiny bow and Mariah knew he was still smarting from his dismissal the previous afternoon. He straightened and looked past her to study the two ladies making such elegant splashes of colour in the home where visitors usually wore un-dyed woollen garments of no colour and no particular cut. Mariah saw a combative light flash into his pale eyes. No doubt he recognised the resemblance between the women and the family likeness to Mr. Longreach."
NANCY CANU, Muse Editor
The commotion down the far end of the bar attracted Jonesy’s attention. It was way too early for anybody to be drunk enough to cause trouble. One voice stood out, rising over the babble from the TV overhead and the general hum of conversation.
“Oi—all I’m sayin’ is, American football ain’t nowhere as popular world-wide. That’s all.” Definitely not a New Yorker. The chorus of disagreement was loud, and Jonesy slid down along the bar to get a better look. He picked up a few empties, and when he pulled fresh bottles from the cooler he got a better look at the guy.
Not tall, but bulky, and his scuffed motorcycle jacket blended in with the scarred oak paneling on the wall. He had an almost empty pint glass in one hand, and a cane—a plain metal one—hooked over his other arm. “You lot can say what you want—I’m right. Look at Beckham. He’s world famous, he is, and not all on account of ’is wife, right? Name me an American footballer floggin’ clothes on a billboard in London.” The guy caught Jonesy’s eye and lurched closer to the bar, leaning over to set down his glass. “Another lager. Cheers.” Jonesy must’ve looked blank, because the guy grinned. “Right. Um—I’ll have a Rolling Rock.” He tapped on the bar. “And it’s my round for these tossers, so put it on my tab.”
Thanks for joining us and see you next week!
If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com