The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

Archive for the month “May, 2010”

Work in Progress (2)

This was another exercise to “test your powers of imagination, observation and characterisation in a more general way”.

The brief was to;

Take as the setting the dining-room of a hotel. A few tables are already occupied by diners who are subdued and quiet, influenced by the formal surroundings.  Another guest entering the room is a welcome focus of interest and will be aware that he or she is under covert scrutiny. Now describe (in about 150 words for each) how a variety of people would behave on entering the dining room. In your description try to convey, without actually saying so, the type of person they are from their behaviour and attitude. Take as your subjects the following types of person.

(1)       A brash, over-confident type of person.

(2)       A person who is apprehensive – nervous and jittery. Perhaps he or she fears that the person to be met will fail to turn up or is uncertain of the outcome of the encounter.

(3)       Describe a couple so bound up in each other that they are oblivious of their surroundings or the impression they make on other diners or staff.

I would love to hear your feedback. Enjoy!

A brash, over-confident type of person

Mike sashayed straight into the dining room, ignoring the ‘please wait here to be seated’ sign and raised his hand to catch the attention of the maitre’d. He had a large, obtrusive Bluetooth ear piece sticking out of his right ear.  No sooner had he walked in than an ear-splitting and irritating polyphonic ring tone went off like a wailing bird, ripping into the serenity of the dining room and startling the other diners.

Mike reached into his pocket and pulled out the phone to check the caller id. To the relief of the other guests, the exasperating ringing phone was silenced after a few more seconds.

However the relief was short-lived as a loud ‘hello’ rapidly followed by several expletives rent the air bringing the maitre’d running to Mike’s side as he frantically tried to shush him and usher him towards the door so as not to disturb the other diners.

A person who is apprehensive

Susan shuffled behind the waiter as he led her to her table. She hurried to sit as he pulled out the chair for her, not wanting to draw attention to herself.

She’d tried her best to look good so Paul would find her attractive. She knew wasn’t a natural beauty but hoped the pastel colours of the wrap dress she now sported, the baby pink wedge sandals, her new haircut and makeover-style makeup had done the trick.

She kept smoothing down her dress and patting her hair into place, striking what she hoped was a casual pose trying to appear relaxed.

She ordered some sparkling water when the waiter came to take her order whilst mumbling that her date would be here soon.  She gripped her glass with both hands to steady the shaking and kept glancing towards the door surreptitiously to see if Paul had arrived whilst praying he wouldn’t stand her up.

A couple so bound up in each other

“A table for two, please” requested the tall, olive-skinned man while gazing into his beautiful companion’s face. The young couple nuzzled each other as they held hands and smiled at each other. He kissed the lady on the cheek and whispered something in her ear to which she threw her head back and giggled like a school girl.

It was only the waiter’s subtle throat clearing that made them realize he’d been waiting to show them to their table.  The waiter went to pull out the chair for the lady but the man elbowed him aside whispering “Please, allow me”.

He sat down, picked out a rose from the vase on the table and tucked it behind her ear.  She stretched over and placed her hand on his, caressing it, as she mouthed her thanks.

Some of the other diners gaped at them, while a disgruntled older couple muttered about the indecency of the younger generation.

Work in progress

I was rummaging around some folders where I’d saved some writing I did a few years ago.

Some of them were pieces written for assignments on a correspondence writing course.

I read over them again and, apart from the nostalgia they evoked, I thought I should try to flesh them out into short stories.

I’ll post a few on here and you can tell me what you think and perhaps suggest ways to develop them.

Today’s instalment was in response to the following brief –

We want you to think of either a girl called Cindy or a man called Jack. It is their first day in a new job.  Using about 700 words give us an insight into the character by describing their appearance, what they say and how they reacts to the new colleagues she/he meets and the circumstances in which she/he finds themself.  (Please avoid the smart pin-stripe suit going to the office for the first day – if at all possible)

Happy reading!

Read more…

Where’s all the time gone?

It seems like just a few days ago since we got back from Nigeria but it’s actually almost a month. The time has just flown by and I still haven’t managed to write about our Nigerian experience.

Since we’ve been back, we found out WEO got accepted into his first choice of primary school and starts in September. I can’t believe my little boy will be going to big school!

EDU turned 2 last week and started at his big brother’s nursery days a week. He’s taken to it like a duck to water.

I got a bike. I love it. It’s a GT Transeo 3.0 women’s hybrid bike with a 24-speed (I think) gear system and powerful disc brakes. If you’re wondering why I’m excited about what seems to be a pretty standard feature on most bikes now, well forgive me. The last time I owned a bike, it was a hand-me-down from my older sister over 20 years ago and didn’t have any gears at all.

I’ve decided to up the exercise ante and enjoy the lovely British weather (that is whenever it decides to grace us with its presence) by cycling to and fro the gym and the kids’ school. So I also got a double bike trailer to pull them in whilst riding. I also intend to cycle the many cycle paths that the lovely countryside where we live has to offer.

The eligible voting public of the United Kingdom turned out en masse to vote on the 6th of May but we ended up with a hung parliament for the first time since 1929! However we now have a Conservative – Liberal Democratic coalition government with David Cameron (aged 43) as the youngest ever British Prime Minister in 198 years.

On the same day the UK was gearing down for a change in government, the death of the Nigerian president, Umaru Yar’Adua, was announced. He’d suffered a chronic kidney condition for several years. However he’d been out of the public eye since November 2009 whilst he was treated for pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart) in a hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He was never seen alive again so it’s anyone’s guess as to when he really died.

Hopefully the next post you read will be about our trip to Nigeria.

Tara for now.

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