This weeks Writing Challenge from the Daily Post asks:
Your challenge this week is to practice your powers of observation. Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail. Here are three scenes to get you thinking — feel welcome to choose one or more of these scenes and riff off of it, or create your own:
A woman walks into a restaurant. Imagine this scene and capture every detail you can in a few paragraphs. Describe the woman: is she old, young, or in-between? What type of restaurant is it: fancy, casual, or a diner? What is she doing? Pack as much detail as you can into a few paragraphs that will help us imagine this woman clearly.
So I decided to give you an opening (didn’t we have something about opening sentences recently?), three paragraphs to open up a story.
By coincidence he’d been glancing impatiently at the door when she came in, though it was barely five minutes since he’d sat down himself. She walked through the door like, as Carly Simon would say, she was walking onto a yacht. That was the only similarity to Carly’s hero, she certainly didn’t act vain though she had a certain air of assurance and style. She didn’t even glance at the well suited man who had delayed his departure through the door to hold it for her.
The dress was a classic, a little black dress that could have appeared on any Paris runway from 1960 on, though it didn’t look old. It finished far enough above her knee to make it interesting. Looking down he saw sheer black stockings and a pair of black, patent leather heels with a six or seven inch stiletto that couldn’t possibly be any longer without putting her right onto her toes like a ballerina in pointes. The hat she took off as the door swung shut behind her was wide, stylish and black and white. The black, mens, Ray-Ban Wayfarers came off with her other hand as she gave her head a little shake to straighten the long, blonde hair that had been caught back by the hat. She stood there at the front of the restaurant poised, still. She could have given Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly lessons, as he watched he was almost expecting Blake Edwards to pop out and shout “Cut”. Instead for the briefest of moments she was perfection, perfection enough for a rush of pain and longing and loss. It was a picture of youth, of beauty as she so well suited the backdrop of the light, airy restaurant entrance and the spring afternoon in the Park visible through the large windows and glass door behind her.
As the maitre’d hurried up she handed him the hat and lent forward slightly to speak a few words and the man straightened up even further, if that was possible, and glanced towards Harry’s table before handing the hat off to a waiter and leading her in his direction. She was half way across the intervening space, moving easily between the white linen tablecloths and large wicker backed chairs, before their gazes locked and he had a quick, nasty buzz of anger as her eyes flared and she gave a slight, knowing smile. He wasn’t sure how he knew, but he knew that she realised what seeing her had done to his composure. Suddenly she had sat down at the table, shaken out her napkin into her perfect lap, lent back into the seat and said “So Harry?”