If you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, may you have a marvellous holiday!
Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m beginning my Halloween snippets this week, from Chapter 10, “Harried Halloween,” of my hiatused WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. Though I call it my fourth Russian historical, it all takes place in the U.S., Canada, and Japan.
On the morning of Halloween 1948, Irina Koneva, one of Igor’s younger sisters, gets up early to put on her costume. She just turned fifteen a few days ago, and has been having a miserable time at her new high school in a strange new city (largely based on my own experience during my junior year). Irina knows she won’t win any prizes at the school party, since she’s such an outcast, but that’s no reason to not dress up.
This year, Irina has elected to wear a saloon girl costume. It shows off her best assets without making her look like some shameless harlot, and isn’t dull, bland, or cliché like some of the costumes she has no doubt she’ll be seeing today, like a clown, pumpkin, or fairy. She’s chosen the classic red dress with black lace, white silk stockings held up by black garters, black block heels, peacock feathers for her hair, and a red feather boa she scrounged up somewhere.
For a final risqué touch, she gave herself a second set of ear piercings last night after she was supposed to be in bed. She has French hook peacock feather earrings in her five-year-old original ear piercings, and golden French hook earrings with three purple pearls in the new piercings. Never one to skimp on jewelry, Irina adds a blue opal bracelet to her right hand, a fire opal bracelet to her left hand, and a lapis lazuli necklace.
Irina has a few costume rings, though she doesn’t want to add even more jewelry and crowd herself. She’s realized, through the last few years of starting to cultivate her own style, that it’s all about moderation and even, tasteful distribution. Too many loud colors and patterns, or too much jewelry, will only serve to distract attention from what she set out to accentuate. A striking costume necklace will get lost among five other necklaces, or people will only look at a bunch of animal prints instead of a jaguar print collar complemented by blacks and purples.
Irina’s parents, particularly her old-fashioned father, are horrified when they see her costume, but her two little sisters and her one older sister in the Twin Cities area love it. The other teenagers by the school Halloween party will be quite another matter!