Jill's Closet in Norman in the Painting Paranormal Mystery

Jill's Closet 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.

 

 

 

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timetowritenow

For over twenty-five years, I've taught elementary grades, high school, and county special education classes. Now I am a field supervisor for teachers working toward their teaching credentials. I also teach writing classes in Dublin and Pleasanton, California. I have won 5 awards in short story contests, My stories are published in The California Writers Club Literary Review, and several anthologies including four times in Las Positas College collections. I have several book projects, but the two that have my immediate attention are HADA'S FOG, which is women's fiction, LILLI, a YA novel, and NORMAN IN THE PICTURE, a paranormal mystery. I have published an anthology WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES that includes writings from members of my writing classes and other writers. It's available on Amazon and Kindle.

2 thoughts on “Jill's Closet in Norman in the Painting Paranormal Mystery”

  1. I wonder what Jill would say about my closet with clothes and bags of shoes crushed together, hanging above boxes of unsold books, sewing machine, serger, and luggage vying for attention while my eyes are fixed on a computer screen, my fingers flying toward the next book.

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  2. Except for the sewing machine, your closet sounds like mine. You’re so right about fingers flying on the computer with our next book is where our attention lies.
    Jill would be amazed because her closet is sparse. In that scene, I discovered that she’s a minimalist which is a useful characteristic for the ending I’m planning.

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