Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chatterbox: At the Boat Races

Chatterbox has saved me once again. In dire need of some writing and blogging stimulation, I read this month's challenge to discover that the topic was boats and boating, and I practically hopped up and down with delight when I remembered that there is a yacht-racing scene in Based On a True Story, one of the three semi-active/semi-dormant manuscripts I'm trying to pull all my Chatterboxes from.

If this keeps up, I may just be able to complete Based On a True Story by pasting Chatterbox scenes together.

“This is perfect,” said Iris, settling herself on the top seat of the breeze-swept bleachers. “You’ll have a perfect view from here, and we can comment freely without anyone hearing us. Mother gets vertigo on high places, and the others have better fish to fry. Look at the great H.M. Barrow all chummy with Thelma, will you!”

“I was noticing that. I don’t know how he can stick it,” said Lloyd frankly.

“He puts it all down in the name of research, I suppose,” said Iris, as she plucked a white-painted splinter that was endangering her skirt. “Experience for Art’s sake. Oh, well, it suits our nefarious schemes anyway.”

“I hope that kind of endurance isn’t a requirement for a great novelist,” said Lloyd, “because I’m a long way off from it.”

Iris patted his arm and pointed down toward the bay. “Now get your notebook ready; I see some dignitaries fussing around on the pier. Things will likely start popping soon.”

“You mean tow-lines, I imagine,” said Lloyd, scribbling on the corner of his notepad to test his pencil.

“Nobody’s getting towed, dearest; they’re racing. The towing part comes after, when they collect the wreckage.”

“I expect I meant anchor-chains,” said Lloyd cheerfully. “Doesn’t make any difference. Since I know absolutely nothing about sailing, I’ve got a theory on how to cover it. I’ll just take detailed notes describing everything I see, and then get a book of nautical terms and translate them.”

“Don’t be too technical,” said Iris, gazing out to where a dozen graceful yachts were sliding through the blue waters of the bay toward the designated starting-point, “because they’ve got to read it in Brooklyn…I thought Randy was supposed to be covering the races today? He’s a bit more at home on the ocean wave.”

“He was, but we arranged a swap of work because he wanted to avoid somebody named Corinne.”

“Smart boy. Now observe—the contestants are beginning to line up. That snappy-looking white yacht with the blue stripe belongs to Lewis. He’s a favorite to win, if he doesn’t get too carried away with himself to steer.”

“He ought to do all right, with you wearing his colors,” said Lloyd, smiling.

“I don’t wear anybody’s colors but yours, darling. If you’ll just tell me what they are…no, don’t kiss me up here, it’ll be in all the papers.”

Lloyd was laughing. “You forget, I’m the reporter. Can’t I suppress a little fact or two if I like?”

“Don’t imagine you’re the only one here. There’s a Times man under that umbrella this instant, and I’m a Mallory.”

“Darn all the Mallorys, present company excepted,” said Lloyd amiably. “Anyway, I like blue. You look good in blue. What’s happening now?”

“I’m watching Lewis clear for action,” said Iris, looking across the bay with her hand shading her eyes. “I think—what is that hanging from the bowsprit? Oh, it’s Lewis.”

“Who?” said Lloyd, startled.

“Indubitably,” said Iris. “Behold your future cousin-in-law, hanging from the prow of the good ship Razorback.”

“That ought to make an excellent item to begin with,” said Lloyd, and licked his pencil.

Read previous Chatterboxes here.

4 comments:

Rachel Heffington said...

Oh my stars, I love this. HA. What a lark. It is the perfect mixture of tragicomedy and wind-swept fresh air. I want more of this, old bean.

Bound and Freed said...

You get my vote as well on this piece! :D

Bree Holloway said...

I love this, Elisabeth! You are very talented at carrying your writing style over into different subjects, and not loosing an ounce of its charm. ♥

Lady Éowyn said...

“I think—what is that hanging from the bowsprit? Oh, it’s Lewis.” - You definitely have the touch, Elisabeth. :)