WHAT WAS HER NAME? by Freeda Baker Nichols

A shop at Mt. ViewAt a shop in Mountain View, Arkansas, USA, I look around and find this treasure. A photo of a lovely girl, her hair bobbed short in the fashion of her day.  The black and white photo leans against the smooth back of an antique chair. The seat of the maple chair makes a shelf for a pink sewing box and silk  pin cushions, more than likely handmade.  As a writer, the photo interests me. Who was this girl? Where did she grow up? Here, in this Ozarks region or “away from here?” What was her name?  Her photo is a story prompt with many possibilities. And my imagination takes over to make me wonder if her name might have been Calypso.  But no, I think not. The time frame of my short story about Calypso Travis is contemporary and this girl lived a long time ago. So that settles that.  Still, I wonder. What was her name?  Do any of my readers care to guess? What do you think her name might have been? Or, if you are a writer or a poet using this story prompt for your character, what would you call her?  I’d like to know your answers. Will you please tell me in a comment below? Thanks.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols


November 8, 2013

It’s a Writer’s Life–Page Five–Notes from my Files


When I write, I should use tools of the trade such as including the five senses within the story.  Sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

I want to start a descriptive work. About spring.  When I think of a day in spring, I think of cool weather, green grass, a blue sky. I think of new flowers, colorful and sweet-smelling. The rough or smooth bark on a tree. The feel of a breeze. The call of a robin. A cup of spiced tea.

 How many days of spring? How many days of summer? How many days of fall? How many days of winter?  How many days in between?

Writing is hard work.  But it is fun.  Work can be fine and fun, too, if you enjoy your job.

How to write a story:  Start a story with a day that’s different.  Put your character in a situation that is unusual for him.  Get the reader curious. Make lots of conflict for your character.  Help him to solve each problem, but in solving each one, a new and worse one appears until he has to make a sacrifice. The sacrifice would seem to destroy him but at the end it turns out to be  a choice whereby he finds  happiness and a solution to his problem.

(This is how I began my novel.  I started with the main character, Jordan Diane Maxey.)
(The books have been ordered and within three weeks, hopefully, they will be on the market.)

 Also from this 1984 journal entry:

 A smile goes a long, long way but stops when it is not returned.

cCopyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols