Descriptive Writing Exercise #2

A different mood today. Same rules as yesterday. Is the description 1) Underdone, 2) Overdone, 3) about right? What kind of mood am I trying to set. Here’s the picture of the study again, although we start in the outer office.

 

Pastor’s Study

The light behind the desk made me blink. I had to avert my eyes as I said, “I have an appointment.” My comment was met by silence. I tried to look at the lady typing. I put a hand in front of my eyes and saw a tight black bun, rounded shoulders from typing, and wrinkled hands on a keyboard. I cleared my throat to get ready to remind her.

“Heard you,” she snapped. “Name?”

“Pastor Charles,” I said.

I think she turned down the air conditioning as she said, “Obviously. What’s your name?” She stared over the top of her half glasses letting me know that I was beneath her effort.

“I’m sorry. I’m Merle Ambrose,” I said hoping she might thaw out.

She sniffed. “Go ahead and sit down. Pastor Charles will call for you when he’s ready.” She looked back down at her typing. The only thing I could hear was her nails hitting the keyboard. That is until a door slammed shut and a young lady came rushing by, wiping her sniffles with her sleeve. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she headed out the door to the street. That inner door flew open as a man slammed it open to run after her. I saw Pastor Charles walking out of the darkness of the room, shaking his head.

“Pastor,” the secretary broke into his reverie. “That’s Merle Ambrose. He has an…”

Pastor Charles frowned. “…appointment. Yes, Vivian. Thank you.” He looked at me. “The study’s over here,” he said pointing to the door.

I realized that was his invitation and got up. He followed me into the study, closing the door behind him. I blinked to help my eyes adjust to the light, or perhaps it would be better to say the lack of light. The only light in the room came from the window behind the desk, but even that light flickered in shadows.

“We had the lights off for an exercise we were doing,” he explained. Then he flipped the switch for the overhead light. It didn’t help much. He walked over to his desk and sat down in an avocado green swivel chair. He poured himself a mug of coffee and the aroma filled the air. I wasn’t sure if he was going to offer me some, or not. I hoped he would.

When he turned around I saw that the golden words “Preach the Word of the Lord” stood out on the blue background of the mug. He gestured with his mug towards the couch. The ivory fabric on the couch was accented with a golden brocade. “Sit down, Merle,” he said. “I’m concerned by some of the things I’ve heard and I wanted to discuss them with you.”

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Descriptive Writing Exercise #1

I took a picture from the Internet and tried to set a mood from the picture that would go along with a story idea. The picture is of a pastor’s study and a meeting with one of the members. So, what kind of mood do you think I was trying to set? Is the description 1) overdone, 2) underdone,  or 3) about right? I appreciate your comments and your help. I plan on writing the same scene tomorrow with a different mood.

Pastor’s Study

Meeting with the Pastor

“The pastor’s in his study right now,” his administrative aide said as I walked in. “Administrative Aide,” I thought. “I still prefer ‘secretary.’” “That’s fine, I can wait,” I said noting that her hands never stopped typing on the keyboard in front of her.

She did stop her typing long enough to pick up the phone. She punched in the extension to the pastor’s study. “Yes, Pastor. Your one o’clock appointment is here.”

She paused, her long, manicured fingernails clicking on her desk. “Yes sir, to the study? Really?” Her eyes opened wide and a perfectly groomed eyebrow shot up over her right eye. “Yes sir,” she responded. “Of course I can trust your judgment.”

Obviously, she didn’t trust it if the look she gave me as she hung up the phone was any indication. “Follow me.” She sighed as she beckoned, taking me out of the office and down the hall. She didn’t knock, but opened the oaken door carefully, as if giving the pastor time to say “No.”

Pastor Charles was already standing to greet me. His hands were rough as we shook, which surprised me. I never figured a pastor would do physical work. “Hello, Merle. Happy to meet you face to face.”

“Thanks for agreeing to meet me, Pastor Charles,” I said. The study smelled like coffee – hazelnut if I knew my coffee aromas.

“Have a seat,” he said, gesturing to the couch beside his desk. He walked to his desk, poured a cup, and then looked over his shoulder at me. The sun shining through the window reflected off his hair, giving him a glow. “Forgot to ask,” he said. “Coffee?”

“Please,” I answered. “black.”

He handed me the cup and my hands curled around it, embracing the warmth. I sniffed the steam, trying to take the chill out of my body. The sun flickering in the window lied as it made me forget about how cold it was outside. “So what can…” he stopped when his phone rang. The strains of “You Raise Me Up” filled the room. “My wife,” he said, embarrassed by the interruption. “Forgive me.” He answered and began talking.

I got up and walked to the other edge of the room. This bookcase was filled with older volumes and the musty smell filled my nostrils. This was much like my father’s library. I shivered as I thought about that, then I realize that maybe dad would enjoy talking old books with Pastor Charles. There was always a chance.