Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors #5 - Mrs. Bagley

Since I've started participating in Weekend Writing Warriors, I've been introducing the characters in my book BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY. These snippets will hopefully provide a snapshot of each person. Today you'll meet a villain -- Mrs. Bagley. She's the President of the homeowners' association for Sunset Acres Mobile Home Village (for residents over age 55), and she's a major pain. Her mission in life is to make sure all the HOA rules of the Geriatric Gestapo are enforced.

By the way, I took this picture at a senior mobile home community near my home. I had fun with Photoshop, trying to make the picture look a little less like a snapshot and a little more like "art."

Mrs. Bagley is speaking first in this excerpt:

     "Our homeowners' association has a rule that young people can visit for one month, then they have to go--one month. I assume you're aware of that restriction?"
     Elly searched her mind for the right response. She wondered if the Bagley woman knew how long she'd been living with Granny.
     "Yes, ma'am," Elly answered, limiting her response to as few words as possible.
     "Well, just so you know. We won't tolerate any breaking or bending of our covenants." She fixed Elly with a glare, her forehead ribbed with rows of wrinkles.
     Elly clamped her teeth together, holding back the rude retort that came to mind.
***

Writers hanging out with writers -- a good time with a great group of people. Check out excerpts from other Weekend Writing Warriors HERE. 


35 comments:

Marcia said...

*lol*! Holy cow, you must know my neighbor, she is *exactly* like this and we don't have a homeowner's association! Love the "geriatric gestapo", that's wonderful.

And in case I didn't say it before, welcome to WeWriWa.

Millie Burns said...

Oh golly, there's always a grumpy old neighbor with nothing better to do than make sure the rules are followed. Very funny!

Veronica Scott said...

I sense fireworks ahead. Elly was smart to say as little as possible, I think. Just a small point, "gestapo" has a really negative, historical connotation to me, so not everyone reacts the same way to a word. The phrase wouldn't keep me from reading on of course, it's a great premise! but it does take me wayyyy out of the story for a moment. Nice 8!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I'm glad Mrs. Bagley felt real to you. I have a writing friend who lives in an over-55 mobile home community, and we discussed the dynamics of her HOA while I was writing this book.
Thanks for the welcome to WeWriWa. I'm enjoying this group.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this snippet. Mrs. Bagley was fun to write.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

You're right about the gestapo reference, and I'm sorry it stopped you. I actually only used that term a couple of times in the book.

Charmaine Gordon said...

Probably best to delete the reference, Sandra. Drunk with power, she rattles on and you've written this so well the reader wants to say, "oh shut up with your stupid rules." All is not sweetness an light in this town. Nice photo shop work and fine snippet.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Since the book has already been published, I can't delete the reference at this point, but I'll remember that for future stories. I'm glad you liked the excerpt anyhow.

Sue Ann Bowling said...

I can understand their not wanting children, but a caregiver under their age limits?

tinachristopherauthor.com said...

Lol, you brought her to life beautifully. I've met her type and I am glad Elly could hold on to her words. Wise decision;).

Carole McKee said...

Hello! I live in a 55+ Mobile Home Park in Florida. I'm gonna love this book!

judy said...

You've got a character pinned in very few words. Great job, Sandy! I like your PhotoShopped pic, too.

Frank Fisher said...

That's quite a harsh rule, but then that's just me. The picture is a nice touch too. Good snippet!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Excellent character development. I do love this story.

Teresa Cypher said...

Oh goodness, no! Don't cross Mrs. Bagley! She is truly the elderly enforcer at the mobile home park. :-) Good 8, Sandra :-)

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Yep, wise gal to keep her mouth shut. :) I could picture Mrs. Bagley perfectly and boy, could I here her voice. Excellent.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Unfortunately, I've met her type too.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I hope you enjoy the story.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I have a lot of fun with Photoshop.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I think it's a harsh rule too. But Marybeth Bagley is a determined enforcer.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Thank you, Elaine.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

What a nice compliment!

caitlinsternwrites said...

Yikes! HOAs can be such pains...

I get the feeling she's already overstayed her deadline! Or is, at least, very close to it.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

You're right. The last person Elly wants to talk to is Mrs. Bagley.

alexisduranblog.com said...

Great interaction. I love the word "covenant". Makes it sound extra creepy.

Cindy Amrhein said...

Excellent 8. I have no doubt the rule I enforcer is the type that always sticks her nose in other people's business. You nailed the character type.
History Sleuth - Murders of Polly Frisch.

Carrie-Anne said...

I bet a lot of retirement communities have a person like that. I also love how she uses the term "covenants." It seems like she takes her position far too seriously.

gemma parkes said...

Great exchange, good character portrayal.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Mrs. Bagley is a piece of work...and you have definitely portrayed the mobile home park as I visualized it. Thanks!

jacquie said...

Reading this character brought me back to a ti,me when my mother lived in Leisure World out in California. Mrs. Bagley lived next door to her! I swear she did!!!!!! You wrote this character brilliantly...you must know someone like her :)

Gem Sivad said...

Shish, I know Mrs. Bagley. You really captured her essence, too. Great dialogue.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I'm so sorry your mother had to endure a Mrs. Bagley clone. No, I don't know anyone exactly like Bagley. She's a composite of people I've met.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

You're right! I'd describe Marybeth Bagley as self-important.

Elyzabeth M. VaLey said...

Great dialogue. Elly was smart to keep quiet. There's no point in discussing things with people like Mrs. Bagley.

Karen Bynum said...

Ooh man! I bet Elly would love to just go off! Great tension and dialogue.