Sunday, August 31, 2008

A writing Sample

Recently, I bid on a contract to write a series of articles at 250-350 words on Weddings. My bid seemed reasonable given my experience and credencials, 20 cents a word. I lost the bid as someone bid one cent a word. So then the company came back and offered 1.2 cents a word or $5.00 for a 400 word article. The problem is that after I pay taxes on such a deal, I might as well be working for free.

So on the off chance that there was a possiblity they'd see quality was not something to be achieved at one cent a word, I offered to write something. Here is what I wrote as a sample of what they might expect in the series. This is a work of fiction, a writing sample. No connection to the living or the recently dead is intended or proposed.


Weddings have become the American equivalent of the Kwakiutl potlatch extravaganza where to achieve high status the chief of this Northwest Indian tribe would give away everything he owned in an elaborate ceremony. Nowadays, however, it is not the wedding guests who are the recipients of such largess, it is the florists.

For example, I recently attended a wedding which was a world-class pink rose fantasy. The bride’s nosegay itself was a wonder of nine different pink roses. Bride’s Dream, Baby Blanket and Bill Warrnier were mixedwith Brother Cadfel, Bow Bells and Bridal Pink which were in turn surrounded by a halo of Dainty Bess, Dear One, and Emily.

Down the center isle of the church was a regular Winterthur of rose arbor from which hung masses of only the most fragrant pink roses: Applause, Clair Martin and Colette. At the end of this aromatic fantasy stood a pair of wire columns from which clusters of First Love embraced the couple as they took their vows. And, of course, the Bride’s maids each carried nosegays of Runner-up.

The Bride’s niece, little four-year-old Amanda Rose, strolled down the center of this over-arched aisle scattering tiny handfuls of Wedding Dance, a miniature climber known for its complete lack of thorns. Not to be out-done, the Ushers and Groomsmen each sported a boutonniere of Minnie Pearl from which hung a little white sales tag on which his name was penned.

In the midst of all this pink, one red rose, The Fourth of July, graced the tuxedo of the Bride’s Father. How this red rose got by the pink censor was anyone’s guess. Perhaps as the guy who was paying the bill, he had clout to wear what he chose.

One might imagine such an extravagance of roses would challenge the imagination of any florist, but not this wonder who continued the pink rose theme into the reception hall where the tables were draped in pink satin, chairs were adorned with pink bows and centerpieces contained bursts of Harmony, Kathryn McGredy and Johann Strauss.

Nothing, however, prepared the guests for the center table on which the Wedding Cake sat. There an ice sculpture of cupid contained dozens of Sexy Rexy and the miniature rose, Jenifer, layered within the frosted elegance.

Wedding Guests waltzed in the midst of this rose laden celebration never imagining the prowess of the florist who had commandeered the product of 46 different gardens tended by local rosarians for these nuptials between the president of the Rose Society and his bride who had just won the 2008 Memphis Rose Show Championship.

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