Telling Tuesdays 2/7/12-"She thought she’d explode."

Welcome to Telling Tuesday, a day reminiscent of those in school when I looked forward to seeing what everyone brought for show and tell. This weekly feature was inspired by an article on, called “How to Show (Not Tell): A Writing Lesson from John LeCarre.”

It is one of the best articles I’ve seen on the rule all writers know–show, don’t tell–because it doesn’t just tell us how not to tell, it shows us some of LeCarre’s very own examples.

” . . . descriptions can set the scene, convey the inexpressible, and turn the reader into a witness, instead of remaining a mere bystander.” — Mary Jaksch, author of the article

Each week, I’ll give a “telling” prompt, and invite you to show us, to make us a witness, not a mere bystander. Feel free to use the prompt, or the photo (if a photo is shown.) Of course, if you have a completely different “telling” prompt, you can “show” us that, too.

As always, I invite you to leave a link to your website or blog with your comments.


She thought she’d explode.

     No. He couldn’t have. He didn’t really say it. Not again.
     Tension tightened in her shoulders. Her heart beat faster, pounding in her head, pulsing in her neck, billowing exasperation through her entire body until it fanned to rage that would surely burst through her mouth in fiery words she knew she’d regret in a day or two.

     “What did you say?” she asked, holding a leash on her temper as though it was a Rottweiler, frothing at the mouth.
     “Oh, my pet,” her husband replied. “I only want to know if it’s ‘that time of month’ again?”
This entry was posted in anger, John LeCarre, PMS, Telling Tuesday, WriteToDone. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Telling Tuesdays 2/7/12-"She thought she’d explode."

  1. Russell says:

    Hilarious! My vision of the dog metaphor is a little more viscious, how about a trained-to-kill rottweiler?

    I guess he had it coming. Sounds like it was a rhetorical question ~ HA!


  2. Jan Morrill says:

    Good idea, Russell! I'm changing it to a Rottweiler–a much more formidable foe! 🙂


  3. Madison Woods says:

    Haha Jan! Aren't those the most provocative words a man could ever utter? As in “provokes a rabid response”. Loved it. I'll have to think about one and will come back later on another break.


  4. ed_quixote says:

    The morning was laden with other commitments, but for lack of a better opportunity, she'd driven her foot-dragging, paunchy spouse to a department store to return a sport jacket he'd bought that was ideally suited to be worn to a dog fight.

    She dispatched her better half to the haberdashery while she waited in line at the returns counter, regaled by the pettifogging of customers and store personnel.

    At last having secured the return credit, she went in search of her husband, but found him not. A more thorough search ultimately located him at the perfume counter where he was flirting with a young woman more notable for tattoos, piercings, or mammary development she could not decide.


  5. Jan Morrill says:

    Yeah, them are fighting words. 🙂


  6. Jan Morrill says:

    Yay, ed_quixote – you wrote something! Funny that you used “pettifogging.” It came up on's Word of the Day today, and Stephen and I were using it in sentences. “Oh, stop your pettifogging.” 🙂


  7. Russell says:

    Laura had been waiting patiently for hours. First outside in the cold, and now in a single-file line that stretched for two city blocks. Her nerves were frayed and what patience she had left was stretched like a gossamer thread. Four items remained on the shelf and only two customers stood between her and the prize she’d waited for all morning.

    From out of nowhere, a well-dressed woman slipped through the crowd, scooped the four items in the crook of her left arm and headed for the register. Laura felt the blood rush to her head in a surge of anger. It was time to teach someone a lesson. From now on she would remember this day as Black-Eye Friday.


  8. Jan Morrill says:

    Black-Eye Friday. That's perfect, Russell! Love it!


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