Everyone needs a nickname, even in nonfiction writing! Here are people who pop up in the Dispatches.
Nancy Drew-My cousin, and the Safe Harbor for me when I fled Louisiana in search of thin air and professional nanny experience in the Mile High City. She enjoys problem-solving and winter sports.
Wild Boo-small, sometimes-cuddly and always younger than Ms. Barker, Wild Boo is her little cousin/aka “nephew” and Ms Barker’s nanny charge during the Denver chapter
Satsu-Man– Born a Wisconsinite, he’s a New Orleanian convert, & a poet. He knows how to love a city with both arms and a killer beard.
Val-Scientist. Bounce aficionado. Raven-haired, lithe, and quick-witted like the strong female characters in her favorite science fiction books (ie, Valentine Wiggin).
Starlily– Colorado-based paramedic. Twinkling-eyed, blonde and classy, she not only saves lives, she can re-create Julia Child’s Eggs Benedict just as well as she can whip up fried chicken and lemon meringue pie.
Starman– Accountant by day. Otherwise, a mountain biking, philosophizing Renaissance man who plays the french horn, makes soft pretzels from scratch, and can build just about anything.
Beelicious– A precocious artist/builder/banjo player/songwriter, she built her own house and lived in it in Albuquerque. She built half a woodshed in two hours. She also has a real artist’s website.
Vesta– She is building the ten-columned temple. She is graceful and she never tries to be. She is also a real-life artist and builder.
Frankie– She is the only one on this list without a nickname. So it is decreed.
Cali-Girl-Fellow writer and feminist. She’s from the central coast of California, and it shows!
Butterfly-a student who sometimes comes for writing help at the Writing Lab
Inte-Girl- Ms. Barker’s pal from Wellesley, who returned home to California for career, love and family. Calls nor-Cal home, and a good deal taller than Ms. Barker’s other good friend from the land of milk and honey, Cali-Girl. Mother of one, wife of a raven-haired computer whiz, owner of a house in a forest with a tree growing in the middle. Or, at least it used to be.
L.B.- Ms. Barker’s love, buddy, a.k.a. the Boyfriend. He’s a commercial hard hat deep sea diver. Broad chested and passionate, LB has an uncanny knack for discerning group psychology and cutting right to the heart of things. Looking directly at his wide smile is a little like staring into the sun.