House Parties… and promises

Harold and Rose have been time-traveling.

They just returned from a trip aboard the Titanic, the latest of House Party settings at the writers’ forum I frequent. 1

House Parties are an interesting phenomenon. Multiple writers throw characters from their many WIPs 2 into a particular setting and while characters of different backgrounds, time periods, and genres interact, the writers not only have fun but often witness epiphanies.

The benefit for Harold and Rose of this particular House Party, however, was that it got them extricated from the mothballs by forcing me to write words, any words. An activity that hasn’t taken place since April of last year!

So, now that I’ve blown off the cobwebs, so to speak, I’m committed to keep going. Which brings me to the “promises” portion of this post.

I promise to post something about Harold or Rose every Wednesday, weather permitting. But, I’d like to exact a promise from those of you following this blog as well: a promise to respond when you particularly enjoy a post. Your feedback will help me tailor my blog into something that has more purpose and less hodge-podge (like now).

Do you like the period trivia? Tell me. Is it the little snippet you hope to see when you stop by? Tell me. Do you just want to know what kind of progress I’m making and what writing obstacles I’ve successfully (or unsuccessfully) encountered? Tell me. 3

So…shall we pinkie promise?

House Party Snippet

Harold and Rose are on the Titanic, enjoying an evening of music and dancing in the 3rd Class General Room. Charlie is part of the band that is playing Irish reels and jigs

But really, the snippet is all about Tom, what writers call a Mushroom character; created as filler, but mushrooming on the page and, in this case, stealing the scene. Tom and his mother were based on real Titanic passengers, Tom Sage (5-years-old) and his mother Annie. Tom, along with his parents and eight brothers and sisters all perished aboard the ship.

Harold had gone in search of a cold anything to quench their parched lips, so Rose was alone on the bench while Charlie played.

Well, not alone. On her right sat a man wearing a white robe,4 which was quite a contrast to the black hair that grazed his shoulder and his dark, olive complexion. She’d never seen a man in robes like this, before, although they were similar to the robes that ministers wore while they preached.

In front of her was a mother and her son, Tom. She knew the lad’s name was Tom because his mom kept saying it: Tom, leave those folks alone; Tom, get back here right now; Tom, didn’t I tell you to stop!

Right now, Tom was standing inches away from the gentleman in the white robe, staring intently at the man’s clothing. “Mister, why are you wearing that dress?”

“Well, young man, it’s my habit. God requires me to wear it.“

“My mam requires me to wear these knickers.” He plucked at the gray wool, pulling the trouser cuff from the top of his boots where they’d been neatly tucked. “I hate them.”

“Yes. There are days I, also, am not fond of this outfit. Still, we must endure.”

“Mam says that, too,” Tom answered, ” although, it’s usually a question she thinks God will answer.”


  1. The Lit Forum (formerly hosted by AOL Compuserve) is a great place to meet other writers and learn more about the writing craft.
  2. WIP is short for Work In Progress
  3. Yes, I could hear Eliza Doolittle singing Show Me each time I typed Tell Me. And now you’ll hear her too. Mwahaha!
  4. Brother Arcturus, the man in the white robes, is brought to you courtesy of author Deniz Bevan. You can find out more about Deniz and her writing at The Girdle of Melian.

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