Friday, 27 August 2010

Word Painting Blogfest - Hosted by Dawn Embers!

Many thanks to Dawn for hosting this blogfest and for thinking up such a good subject.
To see entries by other participants go here.


The essence of this blogest is to paint a picture with words! I've still cheated with a couple of pics, but I just love old novels where pics were included: earlier books with etchings, and later colour prints.

Brief: this is the opening scene to a re-union romance!



Cacophony of sound, milling people and overwhelming array of perfumes became intolerable. The stifling heat inside the marquee unbearable. She felt sick, quite sick. If she didn’t get out of there immediately she believed she might indeed throw up.


She hitched up the front of her bridesmaid gown and made a dash for the exit. A moment alone was all she needed, a moment of respite from the senses feeling as though bombarded with too much information. And of course those blue-grey eyes, those teasing eyes she’d thought never to see again, and that oh so damned handsome face.

As she stepped outside the vast canvas structure a lazy evening breeze whispered across her face. It was refreshingly cool as though chilled by the nearby ornamental lake and dark wooded island at its centre.

Musky scent of fern and fungi wafted on the ether, blotting out the heady aroma of manufactured perfumery.

The further she strolled away from the marquee and the noisy chatter the more remoteness enveloped, and her eyes readjusted to gentleness of twilight; movement of the air all the while teasing and ruffling the frills of her chiffon gown.

She strolled past tables and chairs arranged in groups on the lawn, where other wedding guests too had earlier sought respite from the oppressive atmosphere of the marquee. The elder fraternity had already retreated to the terrace at the mansion house. Its Tudor heritage as good as mocking the grotesque modern monstrosity ensconced on its emerald lawn, yet quietness of incoming night seeming to lull the ancient building into acceptance of temporary intrusion.






She paused inhaled sweet essence of wild flowers bordering the lakeside feeling happy in heart her best friend’s wedding had passed without untoward glitches to mar the day. The same could not be said for herself.

Why had she reacted so badly to kiss on bare shoulder?

She hadn’t seen Luc in eight months, and had had no idea he was standing in as best man, or that the bridegroom’s brother had fallen from his horse days beforehand and unable to carry out his official duties. Had Luc been present as mere guest, she could have avoided him so much easier. But no, he had to be in the bridal party.

Was Luc’s kiss meant as a sign that he was still interested, or big-tease payback?

One week of skiing together, a day of terror, and one night of passion and then . . .

Not that it was really his fault she’d run away from the horror and destruction of that terrible avalanche in Austria, nor the fearful nightmare that occurred that night. But, if he hadn’t said what he had the next evening she might have stayed on at least until the end of her holiday. Worse, the very morning she’d set out to leave the hotel, unseen, there he was returning from an early-morning ski run.

Caught in the act of running she’d felt embarrassed, and he’d just stood and watched her go without a word passing between them. What else had she expected?

Had he felt rejected and pride prevented him from making a move, or was it because he hadn’t given a damn that he’d tilted the axis of her singleton existence and stolen her heart?

She sensed a presence approaching from behind, half fearful it might be Luc, but it wasn’t.’

‘What are you doing out here all alone?’ enquired Sarah Gordon, fellow bridesmaid.

No way could Tori Bellamy bear to reveal true thoughts, and said, ‘Enjoying the evening air, that’s all.’ She drew a deep breath. ‘It’s an Indian summer, apparently, according to meteorologists at The Met Office, albeit the first day of October.’

‘What brought that to mind,’ enquired Sarah, laughing.

‘Cloudless sky of blue, all day, the sun now setting behind tree-covered island, people dancing to a romantic love song in floral bedecked marquee, and you ask what brought the weather to mind? Imagine what this lawn would be like if it had rained.’

‘I suppose I have to agree,’ batted Sarah, a wicked smirk, ‘but a marquee instead of a decent hotel for the reception?’

‘What could be better than the wedding in that gorgeous little church in the village, and then grand reception here at the manor house?’ mooted Tori.

‘Don’t be so prickly,’ said Sarah, fanning her face with a serviette. ‘Who was it moaned, earlier, about the temperature inside the marquee rising to tropical levels, heat wise?’

Tori smiled, glanced back at the marquee, noted guests rushing back from the house to the canvas interior. ‘At least the freelance-waiting staff are setting to with rolling up the lower sides now, so hopefully it’ll soon start cooling down a little.’

The chords of a romantic waltz reaching its finale drifted across the meadows.

‘Oh blast, declared Sarah, glancing at her watch, ‘the bridal departure’s imminent.’

‘Oh hell, and if we miss Paula’s throwing of the bouquet she’ll never forgive us,’ returned Tori, sense of queasiness having thankfully disappeared.

They both hitched up their skirts and ran.

Cooler air had already begun wafting through the marquee, and revelling in their freedom from official duties she and Sarah scooped up a glass of champagne as they passed a waiter with loaded tray.

As they sipped the pink champagne their attention centred on the happy couple dancing mid-floor, Sarah said, ‘Well, what a fantastic day it’s been, and Paula’s wedding dress is sooo her mother.’ She giggled a little. ‘I never thought all three of us would end up looking like extras for an epic American Civil War drama.’

‘Me neither,’ said Tori, ‘but hey, it’s only for one day, and Paula did warn us our gowns were somewhat frivolous and that we’d probably hate them when we finally got to see them.’

‘I suppose we should have guessed, being as Mrs Johnson’s all-time favourite movie is Gone With The Wind.’

Tori laughed. ‘And the men got off light with mere grey top hats and tails.’

Sarah nudged Tori’s elbow, and giggled. ‘Maybe, but Mrs J even got a blue-eyed dark-haired handsome Rhett Butler to turn up just for you.’

A long pause ensued, and at no response to mention of Rhett Butler, Sarah glanced at Tori, and asked, ‘It wasn’t all that bad, surely, his kissing you on the shoulder?’

Tori Bellamy agreed, the day had been perfect for their friend Paula’s big day, so too for the bride’s mum and dad, and for everyone else, but Luc kissing her shoulder was too much.

 
 
 


That's it - my contribution. It was taken from a novel of which I posted snippets from before, way back when I first set up the blog (a novel rejected by HM&B).

24 comments:

Summer Ross said...

My favorite line: "As she stepped outside the vast canvas structure a lazy evening breeze whispered across her face." but you have so many description lol. Great job, and just a small note...this line is missing a word: "Why had she reacted so badly to kiss on bare shoulder?"

Brenda Drake said...

My favorite line was also Summer's favorite. As I read it, a chill skittered up my spine, I swear. You definitely have a way with word paint. And I so want to find out what happens next with Tori and Luc. Wonderful piece!

drea moore said...

You did an awesome job conveying/describing the scene. I love the interweaving of personal history into the present, informing the character's actions. That's a tricky thing that few do this well. I did notice a few redundancies here and there, though, which I think you could do without. In dialogue, they work, but if your prose sentence makes sense a few words before the period, I'd take it out. Your characters are very strong, and can move the story well :D Good job with word painting :D

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Nice Francine: Funny, I think putting that picture in was great, because after reading just before it, it was what I had already pictured. Nice job.

KM said...

I'm sensing a lot of upcoming tension. Very nice. My favorite line: "Its Tudor heritage as good as mocking the grotesque modern monstrosity ensconced on its emerald lawn, yet quietness of incoming night seeming to lull the ancient building into acceptance of temporary intrusion."

Damyanti said...

I love the description...I;m sure this was more than 500 words, but you held my attention throughout!

Raquel Byrnes said...

That was very well done. Packed with not only sights, but scents and sounds. I could almost hear the rustling organza of her dress...nice job. My favorite though, was the teasing eyes and the memory of the kiss on the bare shoulder. *fans self* Oh, my!

Edge of Your Seat Romance

RaShelle said...

Hey Francine - Well it was so full. Rich. But, one line stuck out the most to me.

‘Well, what a fantastic day it’s been, and Paula’s wedding dress is sooo her mother.’

LOL - I just thought, isn't that what big weddings end up being about - the parents. And that one line told the reader so much.

Jenna Wallace said...

The first paragraphs had me overheated and fed up, longing to get out of the party. Great word painting!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Thanks for posting this, I loved the images: photographs and Word painting. My favourite image was: "a lazy evening breeze whispered across her face. It was refreshingly cool as though chilled by the nearby ornamental lake and dark wooded island at its centre."
I wanted to take that walk beside her.

Terry Stonecrop said...

Great job! Here's my favorite line:

"As they sipped the pink champagne their attention centred on the happy couple dancing mid-floor, Sarah said, ‘Well, what a fantastic day it’s been, and Paula’s wedding dress is sooo her mother.’ She giggled a little. ‘I never thought all three of us would end up looking like extras for an epic American Civil War drama.’

Extras in an American Civil War drama. Too funny. ;D

Postman said...

You set up a pretty good scene there! Woods, lakes, serviettes fanning faces, laughter, waltzes drifting in from the distance...good work.

Donna Hole said...

A sensual feast. Awesome.

.........dhole

roh morgon said...

Perfect wedding description - and the discomfort that can go along with so many of them.

L'Aussie said...

Now that's what I call a word paint. I'm a sucker for this type of description: 'a lazy evening breeze whispered...' You might have missed out the odd word but overall a wonderful picture was painted..:)

Francine said...

Hi fellow festers,

Thanks for dropping by to comment!

Yep, (missing words/hicupps etc.,)- I nearly missed posting it due to shopping trip and worse, file corruption on old puter which b*ggered things somewhat. So, had to bash the old keyboard with hardcopy alongside.

pseudonymous said...

quote_ " Caught in the act of running she’d felt embarrassed, and he’d just stood and watched her go without a word passing between them. What else had she expected? "

Right on Francine. Luc's impression _ cFuk! Give a girl a good time and she runs away?

:D

Theresa Milstein said...

"...a lazy evening breeze whispered across her face." I like this word painting.

You convey the scene well - what she sees along with the complexity of her emotions and back story.

amy said...

My favorite line is definitely 'the breeze whispered across her face.' Sensory and original!

Erin Kane Spock said...

I actually felt somewhat clostrophobic myself while reading about the overwhelming heat, scent, and sound. I loved how each step she took away from the marquee enveloped her in nature -- a good contrast to the wedding party inside.
Excellent entry.

Dawn Embers said...

A couple rough spots but overall an excellent job. Not something I'd expect but you did well with the different elements in this entry.

Lovy Boheme said...

You did some absolutely gorgeous things with words here. Well done.

jcmartinfighterwriter said...

What a wonderful entry--you truly painted a masterpiece here! Especially loved "Musky scent of fern and fungi wafted on the ether, blotting out the heady aroma of manufactured perfumery."

Francine said...

Hi everyone,

I think the best thing about blogfesting is getting to see new faces and learning a little about the people behind their writing, and privilege of being given a chance to read snippets of their work! ;)

best
F