An olive branch – WIPpet Wednesday

Olive branchHow are you all this Wednesday? I hope OK. I’m feeling a bit rubbish today but thankfully I don’t have too much to do.

Just a quick mention about Reunion of the Heart – I’m still after people to read it and review it for me. So if you or anyone you know fancy a free copy of Reunion of the Heart in exchange for a fair and honest review, please let me know. Thanks!

OK enough of that and on with today’s WIPpet.  It’s another excerpt from my current WIP and… drum roll please… I’ve thought of a title!  Yay!  I’m thinking of calling it Teaching Him, but I’m not absolutely sure I’m going to keep that title.  I’ve looked it up on Amazon and there are a couple of… ahem… erotic novels with those words in the title.  But anyway let me know what you think, if you think it’s awful/could be better.  I want to know!

This excerpt carries on from the previous two WIPpets which I’ve shared with you.  You can read them here and here.  Last week we left Rebecca and the nasty parent Jonathan Leavis at an impasse.  I’m sharing with nine paragraphs for the ninth month:

Then as she was sitting virtually glaring at him, she was surprised to see his lips twitch.  Rebecca thought she was seeing things; seconds ago he’d clearly been so angry.  He looked as though he were trying to suppress a smile, though why on earth… Thinking quickly she decided to offer him an olive branch.

‘Mr Leavis, take your complaint to Mrs Morsley if you must.  But if it would help I’d be happy to offer Daniel some extra tuition – at no extra cost to you.  If he’d be willing to stay behind at school, say one afternoon a week for up to an hour, I could give him a bit of help.’ Though I’m sure Daniel won’t be thrilled by that idea, she thought grimly.  And I could certainly do without the extra work.  But if it’ll keep Mr Leavis off my back…

‘Yes, all right,’ he replied leaning back in his chair and clasping his hands behind his head, appraising her.  A smile played on his lips; the thunderous look had gone.

Rebecca felt self-conscious all of a sudden, as though she were on display and Audi-Man had paid money just to see her squirm.  Her face hot, she felt the need to fan herself and she reached for her glass of water, taking a sip.  Mr Leavis continued to watch her, a half-smile on his face transforming it into a real human being’s.

‘Good,’ she nodded.  ‘I’ll make the arrangements for tutoring Daniel.  I think we ought to get this underway as soon as possible.’

‘Agreed,’ he replied leaning towards her.  He was so close to her; she could feel his breath gentle on her forehead.  As he looked into her eyes, she saw that his were such a dark brown that in the artificial light of the hall, they reminded her of two obsidian stones. She tried hard not to flinch.  Why was he behaving so erratically, she wondered.  One minute he had in in for her and the next he was being… Well she couldn’t call it charming, but still she was glad he’d stopped glaring at her.

And then he stood up; she stood too and they shook hands.  Mr Leavis’ hand was warm and strong in her own.  He towered over her, an imposing figure.

‘Goodbye, Miss Engleton,’ he said.  ‘I expect we’ll be seeing more of each other.’

‘Goodbye, Mr Leavis,’ she muttered and watched as he strode out of the hall. Rebecca almost fell back into her chair, picked up a piece of paper from the table and fanned her face.

So there you have it.  If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt on your blog of whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  All we ask is that it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your name here. Don’t forget to check out all the other WIPpeteers’ contributions.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for being our lovely hostess. 🙂

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29 thoughts on “An olive branch – WIPpet Wednesday

  1. I like the title. Though I have to admit, I’m not *entirely* surprised to find erotic novels with similar titles.

    I’m *not* sure I like Mr Leavis! Not yet, anyway. 😉

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  2. My first inclination when he leaned back in the chair and put his arms behind his head, was to stick my foot under the table and give the chair a nice nudge over. I’m not fond of Mr. Leavis. I don’t care if he’s good looking. He’s going to have to go some to make up for the cocky behavior after the rude behavior.

    Not sold on the title, but don’t have any other suggestions. And since I see no one else picked up on it…typo alert: “One minute he had in in for her ” Double ‘in’. 🙂

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    • Yes Mr Leavis does need to make up for some bad behaviour! Rebecca’s certainly not giving in to his bullying. I like your comment about nudging the chair over! I would change what I’ve written to give Rebecca a chance to get back at him, but in reality if a teacher did that to a parent… well we can dream!

      Having read other people’s comments on the title, I could go with something like ‘Teaching Jonathan’ but nothing’s set in stone yet so I will think about it.

      Thanks v much for picking up on the typo BTW! 🙂

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    • Hmm I think I’m going to gradually have to make Mr Leavis a lot more likeable! Although having him being a bit of a bastard right now is kind of the point!

      As for the title, thanks for your suggestion, I may go with something like ‘Teaching Jonathan’ but not sure at the mo! Let me know what you think!

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  3. One little nit pick. The use of virtually in the first sentence bugged me. I tend to use words like that and get comments like this “he either did or he didn’t. No virtually, no practically, or almost. Yes or no.” lol. So my turn to pass it on. Also, maybe it’s a US vs. England thing, but here tuition means the cost of school, so we would say “some extra tutoring”. But I’m not sure if that’s just a disconnect in the countries or a typo.

    I like the title, and I’m not at all surprised that there are erotic novels with the same title. Not one little bit.

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    • Thanks for your thoughts Sirena. I will take on board what you’ve said re ‘virtually’! It’s an interesting point you make.

      ‘Tuition’ over here in the UK is a valid way of saying ‘extra tutoring’ as far as I know. But I will check!

      As you may have noticed in the comments above, people are suggesting the title should be ‘Teaching + name’ so I thought maybe ‘Teaching Jonathan’. But no firm decisions need to be made yet! I’m just glad I’ve got so many other writers willing to help me out with suggestions! 🙂

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  4. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who felt nitpicky about the use of “virtually” in the snippet, either. But I do feel a little bad that I’m not a fan of the title. To me, it just seems a little contrived, though I like the suggestion of putting in a name rather than the generic “Him.” It makes it more personal, and, therefor, less uninspired and generic (TEACHING AUDI-MAN, lol). I could also see a play on the word Lesson being effective.

    I do like the snippet, and I liked that the little smile was a little slimy. You’ve really built up the intrigue here, and I want to see more of how their interactions start to develop.

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    • Having read all the comments, I’m considering going with the title of ‘Teaching Jonathan’. What do you think? Also your suggestion of a play on the word ‘lesson’ sounds interesting.

      Glad you liked the excerpt. The smile wasn’t exactly meant to be slimy but having said that, people’s comments make it seem like it’s quite good it’s taken that way!

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      • Honestly, I think I prefer “Teaching Mr. Leavis.” (Err, assuming that is Jonathan). Something about the juxtaposition with the formal to suggest that this isn’t your ordinary lesson. The first name, for me, is a little too casual, and the formal approach also reflects more on how they first meet. He’s not Jonathan right away, after all, but they’ll eventually (I assume!) be warming up to that. The first name in the title suggests that they’re starting at that point, to me.

        I…may be looking into this way too much. BUT, between the two, I think I’d be less interested in “Teaching Jonathan” than “Teaching Mr. Leavis.” That could just be me, though.

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    • Hmm… ‘Teaching Mr Leavis’… I like it! Actually my husband wasn’t sold on ‘Teaching Him’ either! I think you make a good point about the name – as you say they meet on a formal basis, so that could be a more intriguing title.

      Thanks so much for your input! 🙂

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  5. I like the tension between the two of them. She seems headed for trouble with this Mr. Leavis, the parent of one of her students. But what happened to change his attitude??? Is he acting a little inappropriately for a parent-teacher relationship??? PS I also vote for the “Teaching Mr. Leavis” title!

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    • He may well be acting a little inappropriately for a parent-teacher relationship. But where would the fun be if he wasn’t??!! 😉

      Glad you like the suggested title. I do too and I’ve run it past my husband who likes it – he didn’t like my initial offering of ‘Teaching Him’.

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  6. My thought on the title, for what it’s worth, “Who’s Teaching Whom?”

    I don’t like Audi-man at this point. He’s acting like a bully, and like he has the right to leer and behave in a manner that most certainly doesn’t befit the circumstances of this meeting. He seems less concerned with his son’s well being and more concerned with his own libido…

    But then again, it could be a cover to hide a deeper vulnerability and/or a lack of understanding of how to treat women (or people in general, maybe). In that case, having him seem very unlikable at the outset could be powerful, as Rebecca slowly comes to understand his true nature, and helps hum learn a better way of relating….with, I’m assuming, an eventual personal touch.

    I like Kathi’s push the chair over idea – could that be worked in as a fantasy Rebecca has, either in the midst of the meeting, or afterward? Might add some texture and impact (pun entirely intentional!).

    I’m enjoying the friction between these two, and the way it’s a toss-up whether fur or sparks will fly first! =D

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    • Hi Shan, sorry not to reply before, been on holiday so things got missed! Anyway, thanks for your lovely comment. I will definitely take what you and Kathi say re Rebecca thinking about tipping the chair over in mind! Could be a nice touch.

      Glad you appreciated the excerpt. Hopefully ‘see’ you on WIPpet Wednesday! 🙂

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      • I understand! I’m not so prompt, just lately, myself. I’m writing a lot, battening things down for the cold spell to come, sprucing up, and getting out and about while the weather is still nice enough to want to spend time outdoors or traveling…

        Glad the suggestion is leading you down new paths in the story. I can imagine that teachers might lead very active fantasy lives where parents are concerned…

        See you in the WIPpet! =D

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