6 April 2018

Published April 4, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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MAKE. EVERY. WORD. COUNT.

***

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

My weekly admonition to over 70 participants. Please keep your stories to 100 words or less. Thank you for your consideration. 

Note: My comments and replies will probably be a bit delayed as we are starting out on a three week road trip from Kansas City to Los Angeles and back again. Looking forward to seeing friends, relatives and cuddling granddaughters. If you are in the Las Cruces, NM area on April 7, I will be doing a book signing at Coas Books on Main Street from 1:00-3:00

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

AFTER A FASHION

Shielding her eyes with her parasol, Emma peered at the merciless summer sun. Her pantaloons and stockings clung to her legs under her petticoats and crinoline.  

            Why aren’t boys corseted with whalebone and lace?

            Her stiff collar chafed and perspiration drenched her thick hair beneath her bonnet. How she longed to strip down to her drawers like her brothers and dive into the nearby creek.

________

            Denise studied a tintype she’d found in the attic. “Great-grandma Emma looks elegant, doesn’t she?”

            “Ha! Looks more like she’s ready to faint.” Penny adjusted her swimsuit. “Come on, Sis, race you to the pool.”  

*

*

*

ANOTHER WORD ON THE SUBJECT

114 comments on “6 April 2018

  • I’ve often wondered how women stood the heat in those early days. I had a nylon-waisted stiff net half slip in the late 50’s which I wore under some of my skirts. Good writing as always, Rochelle. Have a great trip. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I remember those stiff petticoats. But to be that covered in the heat with corsets besides, no wonder those poor ladies had frequent fainting spells. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Wow, Rochelle. A story of multiple generations, all in 100 words. Amazing. And I loved it! (And thank goodness I live in Denise’s era and not Emma’s!) 🙂 Have fun on your road trip and best wishes at your book signing. Post pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      As elegant as I think those ladies of the past look, I would hate to dress like that, particularly in the summer. Give me my Speedo swimsuit any day. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS Just cleared the phone of as many photos as I could. 😉

      Like

      • Dear Karen,

        Hoop skirts were the first thing I saw in the photo. That’s the fun of these prompts. We all see things so differently, don’t we?
        Is it any wonder that antebellum ladies were known for swooning?
        Thank you for the good wishes. I’ve cleared my phone in anticipation of photo ops.

        Shalom,

        Rochelle

        Liked by 1 person

  • That great torture device known as fashion… I agree, with her waist squeezed to nothing she does look like she’s about to faint. Those designs do fit better on a ceiling than wrapped around a woman. Have a wonderful road trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      All thought history fashion designers have tortured us with their creations. Although some say the crinoline and corset were the epitome of misogyny. I wonder. It’s fashionable these days to blame everything on men, isn’t it? Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

  • Oh… clothes as a prison… poor girls who couldn’t be children. But when boys were forced to be men they had to wear the stiff collars that cut into your throat, I have tried them. Not like whale bones but a horrible invention if worn every day.

    I will not be writing this week and next, need to get off the grid for a little while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bjorn,

      I’ve read about those stiff collars men had to endure. Fashion wasn’t kind to either gender, was it? And men had to wear neckties in those days before clip-on’s. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my story. Your presence will be missed this week. Take care.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I can see why Dale’s photo made you think of the crinoline. Good take on the prompt, Rochelle.
    At least only the well-to-do had to dress like this; the average working woman wore more practical attire. Fashion has never been very kind to women — and still isn’t, I think, as I eye 6″ stilettos. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • I believe fashion trends tended to “filter down” just like they do today, with common women adapting the fashion into a more practical garment. Among poorer classes and farm housewives, they often wore clothes made over from some deceased relative’s dresses, putting a touch of the latest trend into it.

        Also, various religious (usually Protestant) groups of past eras discouraged following fashion trends, styling hair, etc. It annoys me that so many “Christian historical novel” book covers are so out to lunch with their clothing and hair styles.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Absolutely. They did/do what they can in a more practical way.

          Hmm… regarding the religious groups, I had no idea – besides the obvious ones like the Quakers or Amish.

          Like

  • Nice story, Rochelle. It’s interesting to consider these corsets were yet another product of the whaling industry. I had no idea how much it shaped American business and imperialist practices. There was a great American Experience episode about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      At one time the whale was a mainstay. 😉 (Couldn’t resist). If we’ve learned anything, it’s that we haven’t learned much. Glad you liked my story and took the time to say so. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, how I love this. From the way your mind works, seeing the crinoline hoops in that art work, to your description of Emma’s experience of wearing one (just as I imagine it to have felt – seriously, how did women manage, especially in the Tropics?) to the snippet of the present day, where women’s fashions are (fortunately) so much easier on us. As others have said, not a word wasted, perfect descriptions and a telling message about how the world has changed too. Perfection.
    Have a wonderful trip, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    How crazy that we both went the same direction! And added the exact same link.. Ruh Roh… You are rubbing off on me…

    However, your take is, as only the queen of historical fiction can be, fabulous. I loved this.

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  • Lovely story, Rochelle. I enjoyed the two perspectives in time. I know when I see women in these dresses, whether in photos or movies, my first thought is, “Oh, how elegant and lovely.” Your story was a reminder how incredibly uncomfortable they must have been. In reality, I would have hated it, wanting to run free with my brothers. The song from the old advertisement is now running through my head “You’ve come a long way baby…”

    I hope you have a safe trip and wonderful time holding your granddaughters!! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Brenda,

      I’ve always had a fascination with the styles of those long ago times. The women seemed to be the epitome of femininity. However on second thought…I’m good with jeans and T-Shirts. 😉 Also, as a swimmer I feel sorry for Emma, too. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Argh! I did my post then read the rest of yours, Sorry………. crinolines were the first thing to come to mind when I saw the prompt.

    Like

  • Having been one to wear the whole she-bang, let’s say I have the uptmost respect for our ancestors who suffered through this era of clothing. It’s heavy! My gown with all the accompaniments weighed a whopping 125 pounds… I weighed a mere 98lbs at the time! Ugh, and don’t even get me started on whalebone corsets…. argh! Then again, I really miss my corset…honestly. Now, off to see if I can get my muse to come out an play. It’s been hiding since last night’s storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      At the same time men had to wear stiff collars and neckties, although I think women have traditionally suffered more for fashion. Today’s fashion encourages women to maintain an unhealthy weight and wear stilettos. However, we have more choices these days, don’t we? Thank you for you kind comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    As always, I love your story and want to read more. 🙂 I’m actually taking a stab at this one this week too. Mine revolves around water and could really be more than 100 words. Maybe I’ll continue writing something more if I can keep my mind focused on it.

    I hope you have a wonderful and safe trip and that your book signing goes well. You deserve nothing but great success. I’m not on Facebook anymore so I’m missing out on your artwork which is disappointing, but I had to give it up for awhile. I want to give myself some time to focus on writing something of substance and to do that I have to get rid of distractions.

    Take care and talk to you soon,
    Renee

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Renee,

      As I write we’re about halfway through our road trip. I’ve seen some gorgeous scenery along the way. I plan to write a blog about it soon, once my husband sends me his photos.

      I understand about Facebook. I’m hoping at some point to update my art page on this site. Thus far I haven’t gotten much traffic or response to it. But I haven’t really taken much time with it.

      Hope all is well with you, my dear. Thank you for coming by and checking in. You are thought of often. <3.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Ted,

      As if I ever had a tiny waist. Cute comment.

      I would love to bring my books to Seattle. Timing is everything. And it’s one of those things where I’d have to have airfare and engagements to justify the expenses. 😉

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Tyranny, in case of women, has always covered more areas of their lives than one would have thought possible. Great that at least some are seeing freedom now. All the best for your road-trip Rochelle, have loads of fun 🙂 Shalom, Anurag

    Liked by 1 person

  • I loved ‘Why aren’t boys corseted with whalebone and lace?’ and “Ha! Looks more like she’s ready to faint.” 🙂🙂
    Such a lovely story .
    It’s nice Denise and Penny are enjoying the freedom that their grandma would long for .

    Like

    • Dear Moon,

      As much as I love to swim, I’m with Denise and Penny. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS I’m having a wonderful time on the road trip. We’re now at my brother in law’s house and he has a lovely little swimming pool. Had a lovely ice cold swim this morning.

      Like

  • Those old fashions looked grand, but whale bone stays must have been purgatory. Ps. I have now forgotten what my comment was about. And the like button on Word press will not work for me. So I will now sign off by wishing you a good week out and about.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,
    Lovely flash. Some things have improved, especially regarding fashion! Those Victorian clothes must have weighed a ton!
    Hope you have a good trip and fun with your grandchildren and good luck at the book signing, tomorrow!
    All the best,
    Lucy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Luccia,

      We are fortunate to have wide range of choices these days. Not to mention much better swimwear. 😉 As for the trip…we are having a wonderful time. And the book signing was a sweet success. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • It does remind one of those crinoline…and that era. Loved your story Rochelle. 😊
    They did look elegant but that was that, and so many feelings and desires they had to hide.
    Penny is lucky to go swimming, in a swimsuit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Norma,

      Crinolines were the first thing I saw in the picture. I certainly can’t imagine wearing all of the skirts and petticoats along with the crinolines in the summer. As a swimmer I’m with Penny. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Babs Barker W(T)F,

    I wonder what Emma would think of today’s fashions–especially the jeans that appear to have lost a fight with a weedwhacker.

    The older I get the more in tune I am with the old blues song, “I’m built for comfort, Baby. I’m not built for speed.”

    Come back hummin’ some Beach Boys tunes,
    Gary Less-is-Moore

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gary Less-Is-Moore,

      As one of my favorite T-Shirts says, I’m built low to the ground for speed and accuracy. I’m with you on the overpriced pre-shredded jeans.

      I get around-round…I get around.

      Shalom,

      Babs Barker W(T)F

      Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, I had to look up the word Crinoline. Great learning experience. I think my best chance to use the word will be at a wedding. I feel so in touch with my feminine side now.
    Safe travels my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I enjoyed the comparison of women in those days with modern women. How she longed to strip down and swim in the creek and the girls in their relatively more comfortable swimsuits. Hope all goes well in Los Angeles. Wish I could be there!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Enjoyed your take on the story and made me very grateful for my era and time! 😀 Have a good trip Rochelle. I had a question that I have been pondering on sometime for now. Is there an unwritten rule or something that one should post and then read the stories? Or if one is stumped one can read and perhaps get inspired? Or would that be tantamount to cheating?

    Like

    • Dear Dahlia,

      I’m having a lovely trip. Seeing parts of the country I’ve never seen before and connecting with friends and family. Great times. 😉
      No, there’s no unwritten rule about posting and reading. Many of us prefer to write our stories before reading others simply because we don’t want to be influenced. You can do it any way you please. 😀 The only things that really irritate me are those who don’t interact or those who feel their stories are too ‘good’ to adhere to the word limit. (I’m not talking 5 words, but those who post stories of 200-300).
      I hope that clears things up for you. And thank you re my story. I, too, am grateful for fashion changes.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Rochelle for clearing that up. Often due to preoccupation or simply unable to post I feel like I have lost out on reading as well which I not only enjoy but also find educative and inspiring. Have more fun 🙂

        Like

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