Saturday, March 24, 2012


Inspiration can come from anywhere. For me, as I write 'Hattie's Leila', I sow my words with bits and pieces of imagery. I've taken some pictures of my favorite inspirations to share with you. My hope is when you read 'Hattie's Leila' that you will see these people and places in your mind's eye.

Hattie, my Great-Great- Grandmother on her wedding day, 1904.
The little girl walking hand-in-hand is my Great-Grandmother, Leila.
Hattie's husband was in the Fireman's band... he's standing in front of the trombone.
Sometimes, the images are my own memories... those are my favorites. Pictures I've lived and captured in my mind contain not just the scenery, but also the details of smell, touch, taste, and sound. As I've lived my life I have tried to make a point of stopping to smell the flowers, as they say, by plucking moments of my life and putting them in a mental file for a rainy day.

I do not know where this drugstore picture was taken, but I've used it as inspiration for "Marbut's" in Mt. Vernon. During prohibition the drugstore soda fountain served as a "bar-like" place to congregate. I also found it quite amusing to discover alcohol was still available by prescription from a doctor.

One of the roots in my family tree. My Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather.... might even be another 'great'.

Simple pleasures were the best. Big Spring is a popular location for my story. Pictures like these from "Down Turnback Trails" are a constant source of my inspiration.

I have no idea where in the world this is... but in my mind it's in Missouri.

Leila is the Carnation Dairy girl standing 3rd from the left.
The maternal ghosts of my family tree are the skeleton of 'Hattie's Leila'. My Grandmother has been gracious enough to spend hours helping me with my research. She was born in 1928 in Mt. Vernon, Missouri, where my story takes place. If I gain nothing else from my work, the time spent listening to her has been worth everything. 

I also google earth the actual streets in Mt. Vernon. The street view feature has allowed me to take walks along E Kirby Street and the countryside. I've stood outside the house my Great-Grandfather had built. The small bungalow sits on the corner of W. Cherry and Market Streets. I visit there often to imagine Hattie tending to her garden and how her husband, my Great-Grandfather, William Owen, who was Mt. Vernon's Mayor in the mid 1940's, must have walked down the street to the courthouse each day, stopping along the way to bid a friendly 'hello' to his neighbors.

Well, back to writing. Thanks for visiting my blog!