Sometimes, when words are hard to find, my writing group plays a little game. We spin for prompts, which are just words or phrases that have been plucked from various sources and added to a numbered list, and then see what we can write that includes one or all of the prompts.
Occasionally, the resulting scene is actually relevant to the work-in-progress; other times it just serves to open the floodgates and remind you that you can still write.
Regardless of outcome, the games are always fun. And writing is supposed to be that, isn’t it!
- Threadbare and torn
- Say something
- Salt in a wound
- The red one, thank you
When Rose realized Clara Litchfield was headed her way, she ducked into the first shop she could, which happened to be James Green Millinery. Once inside, she hid behind an Edwardian picture hat in the display, grateful that the older ladies still preferred these large monstrosities.
“May I help you?” A clerk Rose hadn’t noticed was staring down at her squatting figure.
“I… uh…” She put her hand up to her cap, then rose slowly from her crouch. “I’d like to look at something a little more modern,” she said at last, thrusting her torn and threadbare covering at the gentleman.
“Of course, madam” the man answered, somehow managing to imply that he doubted she had a spare nickel for any such extravagance.
It irked that he was right. She’d like nothing more than to buy anything new but there wasn’t room in their budget for frivolous purchases.
“Does madam have something in mind?” The clerk’s voice dripped with sarcasm, despite his smile. “Perhaps one of our New York collection?”
She knew he was making fun of her and wanted to say something but instead nodded.
He handed her a silk cloche, peacock blue and adorned with lace florets. “It will be lovely with your frock,” he continued, adding salt to the wound.
She put the hat on and looked in the mirror, trying hard not to pay attention to her dry, red hands or the patched seamwork in her dress, now in its third season.
The cloche was lovely the way it framed her face but the deep blue provided little contrast with her dark hair.
“Perhaps something from our discount table would suit Madam better?” He said it with such disdain that she wanted to slap him.
Instead, she removed the hat, thrust it in his hands, and pulled out the ten dollar bill Harold had given her for farm supplies. “I’ll take the red one, thank you very much.”
His shock pretty much matched her own. Just like that, everything she’d been tasked to do in town was undone, wasted instead on a slice of vanity.
Whatever was she going to tell Harold?copyright 2019; Taylor MacDowell
And now… A Valentine’s Day Special
One of my Romance writing friends (TL Watson) is running a special giveaway, along with some of her Romance colleagues.
So, if you’re looking for your next book to cuddle, check out these seven stories of lovers fated to be soul mates. There’s something for everyone . . . and just in time for Valentine’s Day!