@Archaeolibrary, @GoddessFish, @CarolNickles,
In the Spring of 1881, indigent seamstress Ginny Dahlke arrives in one of the earliest Polish American settlements-Parisville, Michigan. Deemed charmless and awkward by her mean-spirited sister-in-law, Ginny disparages her chance of securing love. But sought-after widowed farmer Peter Nickles is enamored by Ginny's perseverance, her pioneer spirit and, her inclusive acceptance of the indigenous peoples of Michigan. The seductiveness of a buxom heiress, a twisted story of an old-country betrothal, and the largest natural disaster in Michigan's history-The Great Thumb Fire of September 5, 1881, challenge their fledgling attraction and ultimate committal.
“Watch your step. Watch your step, please,” the steward beckoned from his place on the platform, offering his arm to leave-taking passengers. Ginny stepped down. The heel of her kid leather pump caught in the juncture of the aisle floor and the train ladder’s top step. The blankets in her arms dropped onto the backs of the descending nuns. Her valise—weighted with a treasured book collection, conveyed from her father’s study, and two pounds of beef jerky wrapped in butcher’s paper—whacked the starched veil of the woman who spoke on her behalf. The target’s knees buckled. The nun tumbled face down on the back of her traveling sister.
Ginny toppled next. Mark Twain’s bestseller, the Dahlke family Bible, and a cracked leather-bound copy of Aesop’s Fables fluttered open and sailed into the congregation of the fallen.
From behind them, platform-roosting farmers rushed to retrieve the books, the butcher paper, and the integrity of three ladies.
A man resembling her father’s daguerreotype tugged Ginny by the shoulders and plucked her from the rubble. She clasped his neck and crushed her bonnet against his cheek. “Joseph,” she whispered, kissing a prickly cheek and whiffing aromatic cedar. She sneezed.
“Ginny, so glad you made it safely, even though the very last step of the journey is a sure-as-hell chance you’re going to Purgatory.” Her brother laughed, claiming her. “I mean, Ginny, you almost killed some nuns—nuns, for God’s sake,” he whispered as he tipped his hat to the black-and-white-clad women scurrying to a waiting wagon.
Think of creativity as a muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
So engage creativity in as many life endeavors as possible. You will build your muscles, and flex them into champion writing.
Here are some video and photo samples of my creativity workouts.
GRAPHIC ARTS& PHOTOGRAPHY
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Carol Nickles is the sixth generation of a German textile aficionado family. In 1881, her great-great-great-grandfather founded Yale Woolen Mill—the longest-lasting of Michigan’s once twenty-nine woolen mills. Carol earned a Master’s degree in Historic Clothing & Textiles at Michigan State University. Her thesis is a narrative of the Yale Woolen Mill. She held faculty positions at both Utah and Michigan State universities. She lives in West Michigan and enjoys spinning a tale, weaving a story, and threading a luring hook.
Tik Tok: @authornickles