Monday, October 22, 2012

She needs a name

This month I have been participating in Writers Unite. I have written a couple posts based on things I have written down, like herehere, here, and here. I have also had snippets of scenes or stories. In some of those snippets, a character began to appear. In those she was very undefined, but I liked her voice. So it was hanging around the back of my head. Saturday while showering a background for her came together.  Today I am sharing what I have.  There's only one problem.  I don't have a name for her yet.  So read on and then suggest a name.

            It’s warm and comforting. Yes, even with the mists swirling around the damp ground. She pulled her navy sweater tighter around her and thought again, Yes, warm and comforting. So many thought her dark clothing was a sign of her dark personality. It couldn’t be further from the truth. The dark color absorbed the light and warmth.  Not to mention it was slimming. Her green eyes were set too close together. Her nose was too big for her face. Her mouth was too thin.  Her white blond hair was stick straight and negatively accentuated her overly long face. She couldn’t depend on her face. Dark colors emphasized the few pretty features that she had and they had nothing to do with her personality.
            Everyone in this little southern mountain town was convinced she worshiped pagan gods as most ‘Yankees’ were apt to do. So she went to church down the mountain to the large Episcopal Church. Her absence on Sunday seemed to confirm all their incorrect suspicions.  When in fact her absence only meant she wasn’t comfortable at their churches.  It was the liturgy that captivated her.  Words that so many before her had said and lived just filled her spirit to overflowing.  As a kid, she had gone to a first Presbyterian in her tiny New England town.  The liturgy seemed boring and false.  Now she knew it was her that was boring and false.  As a teen, she had been inspired by the frantic and chaotic God of the charismatic church. Now she saw it was her inside that was frantic and chaotic.  Then Mr. Thorn introduced her to St. Ignatius in his History of the Early Church class at the local community college. 
            After high school, she had wandered into community college and worried her parents by dropping as many classes as she took.  The English, math, science, arts, and music were alternatively boring and excessively difficult. She tried to want them. She tired to want the college degree, but she couldn’t make it happen.  The only classes she managed to finish were the history and religion classes Mr. Thorn taught. At the end of her 4-year community college stint she had enough to graduate and none of the requirements.  Her retail jobs left her just as bored as classes.  Just when her parents were convinced of her life being wasted, Aunt Liddie died and left _______ her bookstore.  The building, which housed the store and the apartment, had been paid fro ages ago, so she only needed to sell enough for her basic needs to be met.
            As easy as that sounds, it wasn’t an easy business. The popularity of e-readers forced her to rethink and redesign her business. While she kept the store open for the few regular customers that wanted physical books, she had found an outlet for her love of history, rare books.  Her tenacious pursuit of history had often led her to finding first editions and rare books. She in turn sold those editions to collectors. Those collectors came back to find her and enlist her services in their search.  This funded many of her needs, but not all.  So she was again forced to come up with more work.  A quick internet search and many cold calls later, she found her way into research.  An author would hire her to research the time period and place of their novel.  She would prepare a dossier of information for their project.  Later they would send her a copy of their work for her to fact check. Once again she was able to use her passionate pursuit of history for her financial gain.
            The morning mists reminded her of the great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews to create a warm and comforting environment in the old cemetery. Her research paid off as she found the tombstones for which she was searching. She rubbed the charcoal pieces over the name and dates. She could use them later to narrow down census record searches. After her research was done, she strolled through the rest of the decaying cemetery looking at names and dates wondering what stories those dashes held.
            As she exited, she saw Mrs. Mantz, a regular customer.  She raised her hand to wave.  Mrs. Mantz turned away. And they say that outsiders are mistreated in New England. I know several newcomers that are beloved back home. Of course there are a few hateful people that aren’t beloved, but that has more to do with being hateful than with being an newcomer or an oldstayer.

So who is she?


  1. I see her having a simple name of some sort -- Cathy Jones pops into my head. For it seems that she should "fit", but for some reason doesn't. Interesting!

  2. Liking it so far. The first that popped into my head was Charlotte. Hope you find something you like!

  3. Thanks for the suggestions gals! And thanks for always reading. I did find something I like and a smidge of inspiration for future action in the story. You are the best!