by Rosemary Johnson
My colleague, Kathy:  “Tea, Rosemary?”
Me:  “Yes please.  My mug is on the tea tray, the white 1 with flowers on.”
Kathy: “I can not see a white mug with flowers on it.”  Pause.  “I can see 1 with butterflieson it.”
Me:  “Oh yes.  It doeshave butterflies on it.”
I have to confess that this conversation was true and took location, at my operate, final week.
|My drawing of my cup is
much better than this.
The scanner tends to make it appear awful
As a writer, descriptions are not my ideal point – due to the fact I often want to get on with the story.  When I am reading, I have a tendency to skip more than descriptive passages, particularly in Victorian novels exactly where they have a tendency to go in for that sort of point.  Lately, for my church book club, we had been asked to study Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and Wide Sargasso Seaby Jean Rhys.  Flaubert described the nineteenth century France countryside in photographic detail, and Rhys’s depictions of the Caribbean had been vivid and deeply emotional.  Nonetheless, I have to admit that I didn’t finish Madame Bovary, due to the fact it bored me rigid, and I’d only award two stars to Wide Sargasso Sea.
Flaubert and Rhys clearly had created brilliant observational expertise.  Flaubert lived in nineteenth century France and Rhys in the Caribbean.  In The Oaken Heart (which I’ve also study not too long ago), Margery Allingham relates how a village coped with wartime Allingham’s descriptive powers had been also astute and she created her topic-matter fascinating, possibly due to the fact she was describing folks rather than scenery.  All of them had been writing-about-what-they-know – to quote the usual writers’ adage.
My buddies who draw and paint inform me that they commit much more time seeking than applying pencil/charcoal to paper.  Probably, I could boost my observational expertise by way of art.  Just after that incident at operate, I drew my tea mug and a water bottle – which had been each in front of me.  Then, recalling a funny incident which occurred the prior weekend, I drew my granddaughter wearing my footwear – 1 higher-heel and 1 flat – but I couldn’t bear in mind her expression specifically and this is essential.  To my thoughts, it is much more productive to describe a character’s facial expression when they’re experiencing a distinct emotion than to state “She looked angry/ delighted/ surprised… etc’.  Descriptions of folks, in my opinion, engage the reader in way that descriptions of attractive scenery do not.
I’m operating on my descriptions.  A lot of authors do it much better than I am, but – I am afraid to say – numerous other individuals are in the identical location as me.
Rosemary Johnson has had numerous brief stories published, in print and on-line, most not too long ago at The Copperfield Evaluation, 101 Words and Café Lit.  She has also written a novel about the Cold War which she is – take deep breath – attempting to get published.  In true life, she is a aspect-time IT tutor, living in Suffolk with her husband and cat.