In other random news, it has officially been three months since I started this blog. So far, I have written 24,332 words of Rose. A novel is typically 50,000-100,000 words. If this chapter is the halfway point, then I am right where I want to be for my novel. But 24,332 words in just three months? That is insane.
I can't wait to continue with this book. It has been so fun to share my writing with you. I'll keep you readers updated on how my writing is going, and where I am with the book.
I also thought you might enjoy seeing how I worked on my descriptions for Rose and Phillippe's trip this chapter. Now, for this chapter I had previously written a rough draft to get some help with some legality questions I had, and when everything got unofficially approved, I knew this chapter would need much more to give it the effect I wanted. Then, I found this in my wonderful book 642 Things to Write About.
Seriously, this book is amazing. It has so many creativity boosting prompts. If I can find the first draft of this chapter, I'll post it on here so you can spot the differences and understand why description is so vital to writing. It made such a huge difference. Anyway, here's the chapter.
And here's the link to the translations:
It had been the worst week of his life. After Hubert barricaded himself in his office, he passed a message to Phillippe through one of the winery workers that basically threatened to disown him unless he fixed everything with Violette. He devoted all of his free time in the past week murdering his pride by fulfilling every single one of her infuriating commands. Sadly, Vi wasn’t the worse part of his week. When Hubert finally emerged from his office and took control of the business again, he refused to acknowledge that Phillippe had been the one to fix the problem. He refused to speak to his son.
That pushed his patience too far, so early that morning he kissed his mother’s cheek, told her not to expect him home until late, and he sped off. He arrived outside la pâtisserie and waited for exactly one minute before Rose exited the shop with her back to him. She ran exactly on schedule. “Be careful walking backwards. You never know who you could run into.”
She jumped around in surprise, dropping one of her bags. “Phillippe? What are you doing here?” Then she frowned.
He picked up the grocery bag off the ground and took the other one from her arms. Her reluctance in handing over the bag jostled that spot of guilt in his stomach where it felt like he got punched. His plans for today would fix everything. He hoped. “Do you have plans today?”
“I always have plans, but that never stopped you.” She did have plans, with Dahlia and Ella, but he did look kind of sad and slightly desperate.
“Any plans you can cancel?”
She looked him over and decided he was sorry enough to give him another chance. Sighing, her eyes softened and her strong shoulders relaxed. “Why?”
“I need a break and I thought you could use one too.”
She shook her head and laughed, eyes not on him but on the shop window of La Mine. “If Dahlia sees you, she’ll kill you.”
“Then let’s go, and quickly.” He glanced around, then offered his elbow to escort Rose.
She smiled slowly and unwillingly. Dahlia would kill her. At least Phillippe could get away from her since he lived more than a block away from her. “So why did you suddenly show up again?”
He shrugged. “No questions.”
“No complaints, either.”
She narrowed her eyes.
They reached the shop door. “Oh, and make sure to wear comfortable shoes.”
With raised eyebrows, she took the grocery bags from him and disappeared inside. After the usual conversation with her aunts, she headed upstairs to put the groceries away and change. Now wearing boots and her gray pea coat, she made sure to grab her scarf and purse before heading back outside. Only reassuring Faline that she would be home by 22 heures gave her pause. She was more accustomed to Phillippe’s spontaneity, but she still didn’t like it.
When they got to his car, he opened her door with a grand flourish and said, “After you, mademoiselle.”
She rolled her eyes. “Are you going to tell me where we’re heading?”
“Now how would that be fun for me?” Winking, he revved the engine and drove off.
After about a half hour of silence, Rose finally built up the courage to ask him the one question that had been bothering her since his absence. “Why didn’t you text me back?”
Not knowing exactly how to respond, he reached over and put a hand on her shoulder. He should have responded and he knew it. “I’m sorry, I...”
She cut him off, words tumbling uncontrollably out of her mouth. “Am I just your friend when it’s convenient for you? That’s not real friendship, that’s just rude. I sat and waited for you to come all day. I cancelled plans with Dahlia, a true friend of mine, because I was sure you would come and you didn’t. I was so angry with you and I was never going to talk to you again, but here I am in your car all because you showed up with your confidence and charm...” Her cheeks flushed red hot as her words died out. Fidgeting in her seat couldn’t relieve the pressure from her discomfort. She began tugging on her earlobe.
“Rose, I really am sorry. Something happened at home. It was the day after we went to the beach. I’ve had no free time because I’ve been so busy trying to fix the problems. This is the first day I’ve had free since the last time I saw you.”
“Is everything okay?” She was suddenly concerned. Her anger with him was unreasonable if an emergency occurred.
“It is now, after two horribly busy weeks. I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to ignore you.” Shifting slightly in his seat, his fingers moved down her arm and squeezed her hand, sending hot chills up her arm and into her stomach.
“Can I ask another question?”
“Why did you call me that one time about Normandie, but not about today?”
“Well, I wasn’t totally sure I was going to make it out of the house until I had actually made it out of the house.”
“You always show up randomly and I get no warning. I never know if you’re even coming.”
“I didn’t realize that bothered you.”
“I didn’t mean it like that. It’s hard when my aunts don’t know about you, and they don’t even know that I’ve left Domfront. I’m not the kind of person to keeps secrets from them, but I don’t want to know how they’d react if they found out about all the time I’ve been spending with a stranger.”
“I’m not that strange.”
Laughing helped her relax more so she could enjoy how soft his hand was. It wasn’t calloused at all.
“My family doesn’t know about you either, and that would cause some serious trouble too.” The pit in his stomach started to twist at the mention of his family. He felt like he was lying to Rose by not mentioning Vi. Shaking off the uneasy feeling, he returned his thoughts to Rose and his plans for the day. There was one place that he knew would be perfect, and he couldn’t wait to get there. Glancing back over at her, he saw how she squirmed the farther they drove. “Don’t worry, Rose. You’re going to love it.”
“Non.” She sat up straight in her seat, shaky hands flying to her dropped jaw. It was the first time her hand had left Phillippe’s.
He declined to respond, but was unable to hold back a smile as they drove past the Parc Disneyland sign and into the parking lot. After parking, he quickly ran around to open her door for her. Holding out his hand for her, he laughed. “Rose, your eyes are going to pop out of your head if you keep them open that wide.”
She crinkled her nose, barely holding back an eager laugh as excitement pumped through her veins while her eyes took in the sights with complete disbelief. Unable to contain her sudden burst of energy, she started to get ahead of him, so he took hold of her hand again so she didn’t wander off while he bought their tickets and waited in line.
To focus her energy, he started asking her questions about Disney movies and characters. For someone who didn’t watch many movies, her knowledge was overwhelming. While spouting info, she hadn’t noticed they were through the gates and inside the park.
“What would you like to do first?” He snagged a park map and passed it to her. He had been here before when he was younger, but he was never as excited as Rose was. It was written so plainly in her eyes and smile. They shone the same way the scattered snow reflected the sunlight.
She didn’t have any idea where to start, so they just held hands as they meandered by the richly decorated shop windows, her attention fully captured.
The reds and yellows were everywhere. Cast members paraded by wearing striped costumes and straw hats, their feet crunching the half-melted snow that fell overnight. She smelled a sugary-vanilla that reminded her of Remy’s pâtisserie, the rich sweet scent colliding with the harsh cold that December brought.
Then the soft smell of coffee and hot chocolate hit her, wafting through an open door until it collided with the hard scent of the snow. Tinkling orchestral music danced around her and through her hair until it sang in her ears, carrying foggy and unreachable childhood memories. That music was accompanied by the click-clack of trash carts getting pushed atop the pinkish-brown bricks.
Soon it was green and white. Perfectly trimmed hedges, and trees settled with snow crystals in place of their missing leaves. The air hummed with crackling electricity, the tart static of magic bringing her hair to stand on end.
As he eyes shifted, they were hit with pinks and blues from the glittering castle, also topped with snow. The clanging and squeals from the various attractions faded due to the overwhelming nostalgia that drowned out all of her senses.
If more places in the world felt like this, she would never be able to deny the existence of magic. “C’est incroyable.”
“Come on, let’s go ride something.”
Many hours and rides later, they were sitting on the cold ground waiting for the nighttime show to begin. Exhausted, Rose was resting her head on Phillippe’s shoulder. Even in the claustrophobic heat of crowded bodies, she began to shiver in the persistent cold that poked its fingers through her coat to grab at her body.
He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her closer, her scarf tickling his neck. “Do you want your chocolat chaud?”
She nodded, so he passed over the steaming cup of hot chocolate that he purchased just before they lined up for the show. Enjoying the warmth that tingled her fingers, she carefully took a sip.
From holding her hand all day, he knew her hands were cold. He forgot to tell her to bring gloves. Swallowing another bite of his pain au chocolat, he asked, “What was your favorite part?”
“Les Mystères du Nautilus.”
“Of course you’d enjoy that. You must love that book.”
She smiled up at him and nodded.
“You didn’t enjoy Space Mountain or Indiana Jones?”
She shook her head, eyes wide with apprehension.
He laughed as he remembered her clinging to him. His ears still rang from her screams. “Maybe I should have warned you about the loops.”
“Maybe.” Despite the traumatic experience, she laughed too. “I never thought I’d get to come here. Then again, I seem to do a lot of things I never planned on doing when I’m with you.”
He rubbed her shoulder, more content than he could ever remember feeling in his life.
“What was your favorite part?” She nudged him.
“Watching you get scared in La Tanière du Dragon.”
“I liked le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant better.”
His smile faded as he fought off a shiver. Something very strange had happened in there. He had been through it before, but when he was holding Rose’s hand in there he was sure he felt something eerie. The villain’s green eyes had flashed at him, just like the ones from his nightmares. He had never seen the movie, but something about it was creeping him out. He dragged Rose out of there as fast as he could, but he couldn’t shake the feeling of them being watched until they were far away. He didn’t like it. His thoughts were jerked back to reality when a cast member told them to stand for the show that would be starting soon.
When they stood, Phillippe placed Rose in front of him, and she felt his warmth seeping through the back of her coat. Then she became very self-conscious. His eyes had been on her all day, and she hoped he wasn’t watching her blush in the darkness. She had totally lost herself today. She held his hand the entire time, when she had never held anyone’s hand before. When he slipped his arms around her, she suddenly felt very shy. When did this become so normal? This was a mistake.
Or was it? He had a way of messing with her mind. She had always been content with her life in Domfront, but then he came in. Being completely honest with herself, she knew she didn’t want to go back to her old, boring life. But she knew she had to for her family. She had to stick her own feelings back in that box of contentment, the one that he had opened up and shaken around. But today had been so much fun. It was by far the best day of her life.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow she would go back to being normal and today would be forgotten. So would Phillippe.
After the show, they headed back to the car. It wasn’t until they pulled out of the parking lot that she looked at the time. She would not be home on time. Tomorrow she’d have to tell her aunts about Phillippe and this would all be over. Tomorrow it would be on their shoulders and she wouldn’t have to think about it anymore.