A little story (and some regulation trivia).

Continuing on with my short piece, The Appointment, because I am too lazy to think of another blog topic and also because I like stories and wanted to see where this writing prompt would go.

Image credit.

All credit to: Urban Circus.

The Appointment – Part 2

Although feeling a little adolescent, Miranda silently chanted her mantra as she stepped onto the train: ‘You’re okay’. She’d had a few mantras over the past three years since “that awful business”, as her mother had put it. Kathleen O’Sullivan had only censured her daughter once but her bewildered expression stung more than any curt retort. Her father hadn’t said a word, but the look on his face spoke volumes – tomes. He’d already had his piece when she’d moved out and in with Jimmy: “’Shacked up’ with more like! You’re a fool, my girl, if you can’t see the real Jimmy…the man beneath that smooth front.”  Patrick O’Sullivan was proud of his only child. She was the first, the only, member of his family to go to university, but somehow that made the shock of her decision to live with Jimmy worse. It was 1963 and not yet commonplace to live in sin, at least not for good Irish Catholic families newly arrived on these vagabond shores.

Jimmy was everything that her father wasn’t. At times (not often, for she’d tried to expel him from her mind during the past two years), she’d wondered if that had been the attraction. Where Patrick O’Sullivan was dour and economic with his words – joking rarely and only in a grim, scathing fashion – James Nelson was warm and loquacious. Charming. There was no avoiding the fact that Jimmy was charismatic, despite the pain it cost Miranda to acknowledge it. He laughed a lot and had a way of looking into her face with a peering intensity that made her feel as though she were fascinating. No one before or since had ever made her feel that special.

Her mother was less critical and inclined to hope that Jimmy would do the right thing. She hinted about an engagement and Miranda’s heart ached that she couldn’t produce one just to satisfy her mother’s dogged sense of convention. She herself didn’t mind, so heady was her adulation of Jimmy. “Mum, I don’t care about the ring…it isn’t important. He loves me!”

Miranda blushed to think of it now. Enough! She swept the rogue thoughts from her head and opened her briefcase, withdrawing the contract and smoothing it over her knees. Is this skirt too short? She’d been a bit daring but then it was an informal kind of affair. Affair…what a faux par – a Freudian slip! It was an interview, an appointment, that was all. Miranda couldn’t work out which was the more daunting word for her meeting. She felt a bit like a schoolgirl, not a junior partner at Bradley, Stein and Parker.

Her heart began to pump at an eager staccato pace and to deflect her nerves, she at once began scanning the document. She knew just how much reading she could accomplish on the forty minute commute.

….to be continued.

Image Credit

All credit to: My Darling Darlinghurst.

Regulation Trivia.

On writing.  Apparently adverbs are the enemy. Experts of a high calibre have warned writers and would-be writers (who are writers anyway as they write), to avoid using adverbs because they’re clumsy and bad writing. My friend Pinky is working on a novel and she’s been advised not to go down the adverb-path-of-ruination, however, I am sceptical. J.K. Rowling got away with an abundance (but then she was J.K. Rowling) yet Stephen King hates them. Jane Austen rarely used them but ‘Adverb’ was Charles Dickens’ middle name. That probably gives us modern wordsmiths scribblers carte-blanche. 🙂

I’ve only included ONE adverb in the above little piece and feel very virtuous. But before I become overly pompous, I’ve used twenty four adjectives! 😦

Food Selfie. I frequent a lot of cafes because I am a decadent and self-confessed cafe whore. Also, it’s easier to meet friends in cafes rather than subject them to my inferior coffee and cake. I recently blamed Poppet for taking ‘food selfies’ and posting them on Instagram but if I’m honest, snapping pics of nice food is a teensy bit addictive.

I simply had to take a photo of this when I caught up with some friends in the school holidays (that was 2 weeks ago, but we all know I’m a bit slow with posts). This gastronomical experience was a first for me – a Scone in a Pot. BizarreA purist would be appalled as I don’t think it’s etiquette to dig scones out of earthenware pots. 🙂

Scone in a Pot (bizarre)

All credit to: ME!!

Enough about me, what do you think? 🙂

  • Do you to prefer to have friends over instead of going to cafes? It’s certainly easier when you have young children. But then you miss out on all the gossip when you’re stuck in the kitchen frothing milk and opening packets serving freshly baked muffins.
  • What’s the rule on adverbs and adjectives? Do you like your prose richly descriptive or spare and economic? Seriously, life is too short to stress about parts of speech – even in the interests of your epic masterpiece!

I’ll leave you with a meme my Pinterest addict expert sent me. It highlights the perils of online dating superbly (another adverb – why oh why are they so bad?)

pinterest - pitbull


Next time, I am moving out of my comfort zone with a post entitled ‘My Friendly Stalker’, on flirting – a true story. However, on reflection, I may not as it shows my character in a very poor light…

Linking up today with Jess and IBOT because, well, it’s Tuesday. Joining Grace’s FYBF  for her bevy of blogging brilliancy. 🙂

40 thoughts on “A little story (and some regulation trivia).

  1. This post is very interesting. I believe adverbs can and should be used sparingly. I think mood and pace of actions should be left more to dialogue than to adverbs alone.
    I like both having friends over and going to a cafe.

  2. I’m also enjoying The Appointment…. the plot thickens!

    As for adverbs, well… I use almost as many adverbs as I do punctuation and know I use way too many ; – )….

    Realised that makes a wink! And some dribble.

  3. Firstly, thank you for the mention my favourite blogging buddy you! The Appointment ended beautifully… left us hanging (again) for the next installment. I love all the Irish names you’ve chosen. “Her bewildered expression stung more than any curt remark” was brilliant!
    Aside from too many adverbs I also use to many !!!!!!! which demotes my attempts at writing to tweenage school girl status. Oh well. The scone is too big. It’d put me off I think. And a scone in a pot? What will they think of next? Drinks in jars? Oh wait… The jam and cream look delicious though. I love that meme of the wee doggy. So cute. Love ya work 😉

    • I try to hold back on exclamation marks but I love them so much!!! (from one tween to another).
      Poppet made me buy a set of those jars so she could ‘Instagram’ her beverages…what next? 😦
      Basically any meme with a dog (or chook) has me! 🙂

  4. Well your story sucked me in, I wasn’t thinking about adverbs or adjectives and that’s how it should be! 😉

    I’ve never heard of a scone in a pot but it looks kind of neat!

    Visiting from #teamIBOT xxx

  5. I’m trying to work out what’s wrong with adverbs. I think if the story is well written, you hardly notice them, even if they are prolific.
    Loved the story. And love cafe coffee. It leans you don’t have to make sure the house is perfect. 😉

  6. Oh my goodness – this post is great… but I’m just stuck on the whole awesomeness of a scone in a pot!!!! Brilliant! I totally want to try one! How do you get it out though?? Lol xxx

  7. As far as the rules of writing go, I’ve had more of them drilled into me than I’ve had hot dinners. I prefer to break rules if I find it a worthy endeavor. If it fits, and makes the writing stronger–no rule is going to stand in my way. But I like to kick dirt in the face of fate anyway. 🙂
    Now, regarding the scone in a pot–I’m going to go with the same rule of thumb. If it’s fabulous writing, the words you choose to communicate with are going to simply be perfectly suited–no matter what part of speech they are. If it’s fabulous food, a pot, a bowl or a boot will still serve up … fabulous food. YUM
    Nice work on part 2. Really looking forward to seeing Miranda’s adventure continue, Lee-Anne. Cheers to you!

  8. I really like your way of thinking, Shelley.

    The scone-in-a-pot was all style and very little and substance. Unfortunately we are often lured in by appearances…I just had to taste that scone (and snap a pic!)

    Thanks for your lovely comments on The Appointment – I hope to finish it soon but it’s kind of morphing into a mini-novel – my ideas are everywhere!

    Cheers. 🙂

  9. What is Miranda up to? Jimmy was everything her father wasn’t….hmmm, intruiging.
    I took Stephen King’s adverbial advice to heart, until I read this from him, “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” 🙂

  10. I am certainly one in favour of sparsity when it comes to adverbs and adjectives (but I think you knew that already). My “natural” style was certainly very flourish, but I have reined it in and my mature self is as spartan as the necessity of actually having descriptive elements allows me to be.
    As for meeting friends… I love having them over or meeting in cafes, although I am more of a one-to-one person. It is always fun to meet up in a group, but at the end of a party I never feel like much of importance has been shared. Depth requires intimacy and for that… three is one too many. Not always, certainly. But most of the time. 🙂

  11. Adverbs. Adjectives. Verbs. They’re tools we use in writing to express the mood, the action, the characters of our stories, and they all have the right to do their job as long as it works for our purpose. In my writing classes, I outlaw the word “very,” and ask my students to find a more specific word to replace it. What works, works.

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