Sunday, September 6, 2015

Excerpt from Ana's WIP

Ana's WIP has a fashion show of sorts:      

      Six hours later, grumpy and hungry, Stormy flopped onto an overstuffed chair and pulled her knees to her chest. Bellhops had run nonstop between her hotel room and specialty shops with French names in search of tighter fits and brighter colors. Following orders, she’d tried on, turned ‘round, and taken off.
      She’d also stopped voicing an opinion. Mrs. Faron knew far better what one was supposed to wear at noon and four and eight.
      Blade returned wearing a single-breasted gray jacket and vest, charcoal trousers, and string bow tie. He moved with ease in his fine new clothes, reminding her again that he was returning to a life he knew well, and probably missed. He positioned a Queen Anne chair in the center of the room and settled into it like he had commanded a performance.
      Mrs. Faron immediately held up the royal blue evening gown with puff sleeves and floral accents, and turned it front to back. When Blade nodded, she repeated the showing with the beaded blue slippers and over-the-elbow gloves.
      Next she introduced the sunflower morning frock, several day dresses with silly hats, and two sort of nice nice dinner dresses. Each had specific accessories—shoes, short gloves, pins—and all would be useless on the ranch.
      Holding the ensembles against their bodies, the seamstresses acted out scenarios. One walked into a restaurant and thanked the maitre’d for seating her. Another welcomed friends for tea. No one rode a horse or roped a calf.
     Out of the corner of her eye, Stormy studied Blade, who seemed to watch the showing with rapt attention. She gulped when he approved every selection. If she wanted to make him happy, she was going to have to wear these get-ups. Remember what went with what. Pour tea. She hoped he didn’t expect her to gossip.
      When the seamstresses finished, Stormy dashed into the bedroom for the one outfit she wanted. She pulled on the long, hunter green culottes, buttoned the shirt with the oyster shell buttons, and donned the matching waist-length jacket. She’d balked at the flouncy chapeau that Mrs. Faron liked and had chosen a felt trilby hat. It had a pull-down veil, but she intended to rip it off as soon as they checked out of the hotel.
      The black over-the-ankle boots required a buttonhook, and Mrs. Faron had threatened to toss her ranch boots out the window unless she learned to use it. In a small act of defiance, she slipped them on loose, pinched her cheeks, and stepped out into the sitting room.
      “Look,” Stormy said. “Pants that masquerade as a skirt.”
      Stern-faced, Mrs. Faron spun her finger in a circle.
      Stormy turned slowly, hoping for Blade’s approval. “It’s the latest fashion from Paris for traveling.”
      Blade cleared his throat and smiled. “We’ll take it, too.” He signed bills the weary seamstresses presented and tipped them as they left.
      Mrs. Faron opened a valise, busily packed her new undergarments and toiletries, and stood beside the dinner dresses, draped over the couch. “How should Miss Ophelia dress for dinner?”


  1. Love all the clothes - and Stormy's reactions to them!

  2. Thanks! It's a world few of us live in, so it was fun to create.

  3. I admire the research you put into your writing.

    1. Thank you, Margaret! It sure slows down the speed at which I can write, but I add to my arsenal of answers of trivia questions.

  4. Being authentic and accurate is important, so research time is time well spent. And darn fun too! You do have excellent attention to detail.

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