Sunday, November 23, 2008


My friend Marilyn has given me carte blanche to ignore emails, phone calls, snail mail, relatives, friends and neighbors all in the interest of lifting a bit of the weight that the holiday season usually puts me under.  It would be heavenly if  Marilyn were the boss of  me, and of my family too.  All would be right with the world.  Mainly because Marilyn is AWESOME, but also because then I could follow her advice.  Sadly, such is not the case, though.

I'm deeply entrenched in projects (not even my own projects and I've repeatedly informed my children that I was already in whatever grade they're in with  no need to repeat said grade), volunteer duties and family obligations.  My penance for replacing my old house with a new one is that I get to host my in-laws for Thanksgiving each year.  All thirty-five of them.  Yes, I'm always outnumbered, but never outgunned, a by product of not having any blood relatives for a thousand miles.

 Everything starts to move in slow motion for me around this time of year with the season presenting me with evidence of my lack of organizational skills on a daily basis.  Halloween sneaks up on me, then Thanksgiving and before I know it, it's time to make sure that the Christmas shopping I should have done in July, comes to fruition.    In keeping with this theme of reckless procrastination, I'm woefully behind in my latest writing class, but I have been getting a small bit of writing in.  One of the exercises asked that we describe a beautiful but angry woman.  As it happens, I was working on a section where I show my hero back in time, the first time he sees his future wife (almost a thousand years earlier) and I thought I would share my newfound ability to show rather than tell:

Alexander ran into the clearing where he fretted he would find the bird, either wounded or dead from the sling stone's blow.  Through the trees and past the last tall standing stone he sprinted, breathing hard.  He came to an abrupt halt, when instead of the bird, he saw a girl, straightening up from a crouch and muttering to herself.  She appeared to be a little younger than him with long, glossy black hair, highlighted with red streaks brought out by the sunlight.  Her olive-toned skin could not hide the color flooding her face and concentrated on her cheekbones.  A tightness about her almond-shaped eyes as if she was in pain and the pouty, full lips, set in a grim line, indicated some distress.  Rangy and long-limbed, she was as tall as he was and dressed in a belted tunic and leggings.  She uttered what might have been an oath, but Alex did not understand or recognize the language she spoke.  He stood rooted to the spot, mesmerized by her angular beauty and watching as she held on to her arm, favoring that side.  So entranced was he that as he relaxed his grip on the sling, it slipped to the ground with a thud.  She started at the noise and at first her dark eyes widened, but then immediately narrowed as she fixed him with a heated stare.

Okay, remember that I'm still working on the punctuation and paragraphing, but I was happy to write a description that even I like.  Normally my descriptions read like something  a training manual for the Navy Seals might reveal--only the pertinent information and if I told you more, I'd have to kill you.  So, my teacher and this class are working miracles with me.  Now if she could only teach me to get better organized.

Off to go chop  vegetables for the mirepoix for  soup.   Soup solves a multitude of my problems.


Marilyn Brant said...

Your description paragraph is fabulous--what terrific writing, my friend! As for your first paragraph, all I'll say is that it made me laugh aloud! Oh, you're funny...although you've got so much on your plate, I really wish I COULD be the boss of you for long enough to get you to get some rest :-). Thought of you and the hubby on Friday and hope all is well... Hugs and kisses to you.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Love your scene. Laughed at the comment of "...if I told you more I'd have to kill you."

Have a happy holiday!

Caryn Caldwell said...

Good luck on keeping the holidays under control. Every year I vow to do the same, but does it ever work? Well, maybe this year...

Pamala Knight said...

Marilyn - thank you for all the love and support. You are truly the best. Hopefully I'll get to see you before the chapter holiday party.

Nancy - Happy Holidays to you too. Thanks for the nice words about my scene. I'm still plugging along.

Caryn - Welcome! Thank you for posting and right back at 'cha on keeping the holidays under control. I'll light a candle for you right next to my own.