In the rough draft of my paranormal mystery, Norman in the Painting, I used the workshop exercise Jessica Barksdale suggested we write at her retreat this summer. Here’s the scene:
Jill opened the double louvered doors that revealed shirts, short skirts, and blouses from college days organized by color, a pair of Dockers, two pairs of jeans, and a full length suede skirt. She brushed the sleeve of the pink running suit she wore with parts in the material that had worn thin. “This is so me, not what’s in the closet.”
Her Siamese cat, Rocky, meowed behind her. “I didn’t see you come in. Did you think I was talking to you?” She stooped to pet the cat. “My problem isn’t organization, Rocky. There’s not much to organize.” She frowned at the jeans. The last time she wore them, she had walked to Eve’s Treasures hoping to see Norman again. The denim had felt restrictive. Her poor legs had a headache by the time she returned home. “I need new clothes.” She took the long suede skirt off the hanger, rolled it up, and threw it into a corner.
“That was Viv’s idea. She told me never to wear short skirts because my legs are too skinny.” Jill didn’t like to admit that her sister had style. She couldn’t ask Viv to go shopping with her. She’d force her to buy what she didn’t want and then she’d ridicule Jill for the clothes she did choose. “She’d make fun of me until the day I die. Then she’d be happy to pick out my burial outfit–probably a long black dress with rivets down the front, a chain belt, and she’d put a whip in my hand to protect me in the underworld.”
Rocky meowed an answer and she bent to pet him again, but the phone rang at the same time thunder roared over the top of the house. The cat sprang out of the room.
That excerpt needs polishing and Jill needs a wardrobe and style consultant like Hella Tsaconas. Since Adriane Nichols’ blog inspired Jill to study her closet as step one in personal transformation, Hella’s blog could save Jill’s uncertainty about her clothes, i.e. symbolic about her life.
I’ve been writing novels for many years, I have files full, like a bulging closet, but I’ve never written about blogs in any of the scenes. Hella, I’ll be interviewing you for a scene where you can take Jill shopping as you do with your clients.Thanks Adriane Nichols and Jessica Barksdale for helping me keep up with the times in my writing.