Day five of Sara Crawford’s 30 Day Writing Challenge actually incorporates a device I use quite often. I’m visually driven when it comes to inspiration, which explains my love of photography. Today’s instructions are to choose a picture (there are several included in the book) and write something based on your reflections of that photo.
“Look at it for at least five minutes without writing anything…. After you reflect, write a 3-5 page piece based on your reflections.”
Since I have a huge stockpile of my own images, I’ll chose a random shot from my Flickr page (which also helps me to not worry about copyright lol). Plus, I’m giving you full permission to join in on the fun. If you’d like to participate, use the same photo and post your writing in the comment section!
And away we go. Again, this is UNEDITED.
“Now, what have I told y’all? If you can’t find a parasol that matches, then you carry a fan. Maybelline, you put down that chocolate. You’ll just wreck your face! I don’t even want to think about how long that bodice will hold out.”
The sweltering heat inched up their hoop skirts. Tall fans stood around the room, but even those weren’t helping anymore. Minnie Lou was on a tirade and there was no turning back.
“We can’t look like a bunch of mountain people out there. Fern! For G-O-D sake, stop sweatin’! Y’all act like you’ve never been through summer before.”
The ladies rolled their eyes.
“I’ll bet she has four bags of ice taped to her thighs. The gap is big enough,” Caro muttered. Becky almost snorted lemonade out of her nose.
The ladies fanned and powdered and primped for the next hour. The Belle Dilly Dally was a yearly event where everyone who was anyone worth knowing would dress up in heritage costume and parade the historic downtown streets. The Belles were, of course, the highlight of the event. This was the first year that Minnie Lou Mason had the honor of leading The Dally and she wanted everything to be perfect, which really meant she wanted everything her own way. The Dally started at her daddy’s house, a historic home that was one of the oldest in town history. The Debs would sashay their dainty feet down the red brick steps and into the streets in their giant antebellum dresses.
“I’m gonna go see if Daddy is ready. Y’all stay here and for goodness sake try to freshen up.” Minnie Lou marched out of the room.
“I haven’t seen Tatum in a while. Is she coming,” Maybelline asked. She liked Tatum, who never made her feel too fat or slow or full of chocolate. She pressed her handkerchief against her upper lip to try to keep the sweat from forming again.
“You don’t know what happened with Tatum? Honey, where have you been? Oh, that’s right. You were out visitin’ your cousins in Memphis. Well, at the last cotillion Minnie Lou just about ran herself silly tryin’ to catch the attention of Jasper Humphries. His people are lawyers down in Alabama. Minnie Lou didn’t care who that boy came to the dance with and she just knew Jackson would never be able to resist her fluttering advances.”
“You mean that weird thing she does with her eyes? I always thought she had mild epilepsy.” Maybelline quickly ate another piece of chocolate.
“She thinks it’s flirtatious. Anyway, once Tatum caught wind of the whole thing, she got mad as a hornet. Practically turned purple, which is not a good shade for her. You know how that girl gets riled. She cut a big ol’ slice of cherry pie and waited until Minnie Lou was about to sit down. Tatum went and put that plate right in Minnie Lou’s chair. Minnie Lou had no idea she’d just sat in pie, of course. You know how she likes those ball gowns. She ended up walkin’ around for most of the evening with a big triangle of lumpy, red goo on the back of her peach dress. You can only imagine what it looked like. Finally, Jackson, of all people, was the one that pointed it out to her. She was just devastated.”
The room had quieted. All of the girls, except Maybelline, knew that story and it was secretly one of their favorites. There were giggles erupting behind wagging fans as Minnie Lou came back.
“Daddy’s ready to start. Y’all get in the line up that we discussed. Maybelline, you’ll be in the back. We can’t have your sweaty face be the first thing the town sees and for the last time, put down that chocolate!”
Caro started to speak up when Maybelline, her fist balled tightly at her side, stopped her. She walked over to where their feisty leader was standing and placed her hand on the back of Minnie Lou’s dress as she faced the rest of the girls.
“It’s okay, Minnie Lou. I completely understand. I wouldn’t want to block any of the other Belle’s. We all agree it’s for the best, don’t we?” Maybelline nodded her head at all of the perplexed ladies in the room so they in turn nodded with her.
“That’s just fine, Maybelline. I’m glad you see it that way. Okay, Belles. Time to dally!”
Minnie Lou, who’d placed herself at the head of the line, turned her back to the room. Smiles began to spread as they saw a big lump of melted chocolate smudge right on the back of Minnie Lou’s dress.
It was the most exciting Dally they’d had in years.