Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Welcome to the Regency!

1801- August-1801-morningWelcome to another installment of Random Word Improv, or as I like to think of it, a great way to finish off the week.

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or none at all this week, a few minutes of Improv is a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page. As a plus, you might learn something new.

All right, let’s get started. This week we have a “Regency” theme going on. The words are meant to invoke images from a bygone era of women in flowing dresses, men in cravats, and the excesses of the aristocracy. How you choose to turn the words into a story is completely up to you.

Today’s bonus word is:                  diaphanous

Today’s bonus phrase is:              “all the crack”

Here are the rest of today’s randomly selected random words:

Curricle               cravat                    Viscount              pianoforte

Waltz                    chaperone            whist                     rake

Gambling           masquerade       classical              soiree

For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how to play:

  1. Pick as many words from the list as you want
  2. Write the first line(s) of a story incorporating your words
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

Okay. Are you ready? Go tell us a story!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

You’re back. Kind of fun, right? Can’t wait to see what you have come up with.

23 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Welcome to the Regency!

  1. Hope everyone enjoys today’s themed Random Word Improv. I’ll be trapped in business meetings all day, but will be posting my own effort later tonight.

    Happy writing all!

    p.s. If anyone wants to suggest a a theme for future Friday Improv word-sets, feel free to post them.

  2. The maiden in the diaphonous gown held her candle high. “Whist!” she hissed through the darkness. “Who goes there?” Below, someone began playing the pianoforte — a melancholy yet irresistible waltz. Emma slipped and clattered down the stairs. The playing suddenly stopped, and before she knew it, Lord Frise Bichon was towering over her, leaping over her, stomping out the fire that her fallen candle had started on the carpet stairs. Extinguished, they breathed heavily in the dark until their eyes adjusted to the pale moonlight coming in the window of the landing. Lord Frise Bichon extended a hand. “Hail, nimble nymph,” he uttered in a low growl of a voice.

    Emma squeaked and fled up the opposite flight of the stairs, ran across the mezzanine to her room, and locked the door behind her. The dog! she thought. Shall I never be rid of him?

    LOL, a little Friday melodrama. TSTL, and I’m sure there’s a terrible misunderstanding in there somewhere.

  3. Lady Mayfair’s masquerade was the last significant party of the Season, and Daphne’s papa had been distressingly clear about the family’s finances, or lack thereof. Unfortunately she had failed to Take her Opportunity, and so this soiree would be her last hurrah in the Beau Monde.

    A long night in the library with a bottle of papa’s best port had done wonders for her resolution. The alternatives were clear. Get herself thoroughly compromised, or go home and marry the vicar. And since he was approaching sixty, had lost most of his teeth, and believed personal cleanliness was injurious to health, there wasn’t really a decision to make.

    Viscount Wandering-Hands, irreverently known as Lord Pianoforte, was a terrible rake, but he was a stylish one. The matched bays harnessed to his curricle smelled sweeter than Reverend Whiffy, and his way with a freshly-starched cravat was a thing of beauty. No wonder he was all the crack, despite his propensity to take outrageous liberties.

    Fortunately the orchestra had been playing an unexceptionable suite of classical dances when they arrived. Daphne had migrated to her usual wallflower position behind the potted palms and despatched her chaperone to play whist with the other tabbies. Aunt Evelina knew the end was in sight, and the opportunity to invest papa’s miserly allowance in an evening’s gambling was too great to resist.

    A judicious dousing of water in the Ladies’ Retiring Room had rendered Daphne’s gown practically diaphanous. Exactly on cue, the band struck up a waltz. She pulled her bodice down until her décolletage was the epitome of scandalous, tripped strategically on an outstretched satin slipper, and landed, as she had intended, in the arms of Lord Pianoforte.

    He looked down at her magnificent, barely covered bosom and took a firmer grasp around her hand-span waist.

    “My dance, I believe?”

  4. Minnie adjusted her spectacles and frowned. Surely Lady Channing was aware of what could be seen through her diaphanous gown? Scarcely a moment later, Minnie had her answer when a masked man in black Superfine and a cravat tied à la Oriental brazenly stroked her ladyship’s backside.

    She knew she shouldn’t have attended this masquerade. Looking about her at the couples, bodies locked scandalously close as they waltzed to the classical strains of Mozart on the pianoforte, she felt very out of place. Of course, she had no mask. Or a chaperone. Lady Bedelia had abandoned Minnie as soon as they stepped out of the curricle, intent on the gaming rooms where she could gamble her pin money away in endless rounds of whist.

    “Lady Minerva.” A deep voice behind her sent a thrilling quiver of chills up her spine.

    Minnie turned to face Viscount Axelrod. Card cheater. Whipster. Rake.

    He raised a suggestive eyebrow as he took her in from head to toe. “I didn’t expect to see you here. These little soirees aren’t usually your style.”

    Minnie thrummed with hot energy. She cursed herself, knowing she shouldn’t be this attracted to a man. Willing herself calm, she backed away from his lordship, inadvertedly cornering herself in an alcove partially hidden by a large potted palm. “Oh no. I hear they’re all the crack.”

    He came closer, barely pressing his long body against hers, his warm breath on her cheek. “Do you know why?”

    She gave the barest shake of her head, unable to speak.

    “Allow me to show you.”

    And he did.

  5. Cassie and Nicolai refused to have anything to do with this week’s words, so their story is taking a well deserved rest. Hope you enjoy today’s characters.

    * * *
    Miss Danby, the Delightful Diaphanous Diane, managed to catch the eye of Baron Norwich not long after she arrived in town for the season. A proposal followed soon thereafter and her father, Lord Danby, breathed a sigh of relief.

    The baron wasn’t a rake or a gambler and though his title wasn’t grand or his face much to look at, his mind was sound and his pockets were deep. The Danby family finances were secure once again – or would be as soon as the couple said “I do”.

    While she was relieved to have secured her future so quickly, Miss Danby was also, quite frankly, a bit disappointed. She had been looking forward to curricle rides in the park and waltzing at Almack’s. Instead her father intended to cut their time in London short and return to the country at the end of the week. “No need to continue spending money when we’ve got a fish on the line,” he’d joked a few days earlier. Diane had immediately resolved to pack as much in her remaining days as possible.

    Diane’s determination had, as always, led to impending disaster. While her younger sister Caroline had been dutifully showing off her skills on the pianoforte at Lady Richford’s classical musicale the previous afternoon, Diane snuck away from the chaperones to walk with Viscount Lansing along the garden paths. The Viscount, with his title, good looks, and intricately tied cravat, was the current darling of London. The walk led to a kiss – the Viscount was well-known for his skills in that area – and the loss of the bracelet Baron Norwich had given her as a “symbol of his intentions.”

    Viscount Lansing, thinking it a great joke, had refused to return the bracelet. Diane was beside herself, desperate to get the bracelet back before the Baron noticed it was gone and called off the engagement, considering her ruined goods.

    All of which explained why the Danby ladies chose to attend Lady Lansing’s masquerade this evening instead of Lady Hamilton’s soiree. Once the evening was in full swing and her mother was fully engrossed at the whist table, Caroline slipped off to search Lord Lansing’s study for the aforementioned bracelet.

    Caroline was Irritated at having to, once again, save her sister from her own foolishness, but with the future of the family at stake she had little choice. A search of the desk turned up nothing and there did not appear to be any other logical hiding places in the room. As she was debating what to do next the door opened and a figure in a black domino entered the room.

    Thankful that her mask hid her features, Caroline pretended to be engrossed in the nearby bookshelf, hoping to remain unnoticed.

    “Looking for something, Miss Danby?” The deep amused voice belonged to none other than the Lord Lansing himself.

    So much for remaining unnoticed. Deciding she had nothing to lose (no one would ever believe Lansing had designs on her), she straightened and turned toward him. “Yes, I am. My sister’s bracelet. Please return it immediately.” She held out her open hand and waited. And waited. And waited.

    Just as she was beginning to lose hope, he reached into his waistcoat pocket, fished out the bracelet, and dropped it into her hand. “Ah, who could resist such determination? Lady Diane is lucky to have a sister like you on her side.”

    Relieved to have the bracelet back, Caroline turned to leave the room, then turned back to ask, “Why did you take the bracelet?”

    Lord Lansing shrugged. “Perhaps I just wanted to meet you.”

    Caroline’s brow rose in disbelief. “There are much easier ways to meet someone.”

    “I thought it would be more fun this way.” He smiled. “And you definitely strike me as someone who could use a little fun in your life.”

    Caroline narrowed her gaze at him. “You might be the darling of the ton, Lord Lansing, but I have higher standards. Good evening.”

    As she turned and quit the room his parting words followed her. “Challenge accepted.”

    • Whoo-hoo! I love a serious, overlooked Violet of a character who winds up catching the heart of the bad boy. There must be something good about him, if he noticed the less spectacular members of the family.

      And I do think that girl lost the bracelet on purpose! It’d be a good reason to keep the family in town for a bit longer, especially if she is hanging out for a better face for her future husband (-:.

  6. Pingback: Elizabeth: What I Learned About Writing from Random Word Improv – Eight Ladies Writing

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