i is flawed, you is flawed, we is all flawed

When someone asks me what I write, I see a slight look of disappointment when I say nonfiction. Fiction writers must have all the fun, right? Well, I have a logical explanation for my shortcomings: I is flawed, you is flawed, we is all flawed.

Hello. My name is Sheila and I’m a name-a-holic. That’s right. For years I’ve been convinced the only reason I can’t write fiction is my inability to think of interesting names for my characters. So I collect names like some people collect stamps or coins or antiques.  If I think about my favorite novels or short stories, I always remember the names of the characters. For example, my favorite short story of all time, How I Came to Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty, is chock full of great names. PapaDaddy. Uncle Rondo. Stella Rondo. Mama. I could’ve written that story if I’d had those names to work with.

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Harper Lee’s Boo Radley and Scout.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Laurie the boy next door. Papa. Mama. Or, lest you fear I haven’t read a book in the last twenty years, Amir and his friend Hassan in Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. Then of course, the Texas names Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, Llewellyn Moss, the evil Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy are equally terrific.

Well, somebody slap me….I see the problem. In order to think up great character names you have to be an author with a fabulous name yourself. Eudora Welty. Mark Twain.  Arthur Conan Doyle. Louisa May Alcott. Khaled Hosseini. Cormac McCarthy. Harper Lee.  Sheila Rae Morris. Aha, that explains it! My name is so blah my imagination follows suit.  My only hope is Margaret Mitchell.

Oh well.  If I ever do get my fiction in gear, here are a few of the names you can look for in my novel:  Colt, Chance, and Charlie Cantrell. (Three Texas brothers for sure.) My twins’ collection so far:  Leon and Lon Lane. Madell and Adell Tolliver. Winnie and Minnie McCune. If the novel includes horses, the mare’s name will be Nacho. Her foals will be Frito and Dorito. Possible shero names: Sequoia Potter. Ethel Lorraine Wilson. Maurice Sawyer. Carolyn Briggs. Willie Joe Boaz. Possible hero names:  Cotton Lyles, Harvey Wilson, Forest J. Hutchinson, Lester “Gene” Archer, Vannoy Stewart, Elvis.

As for plot to go along with this potpourri of  names, I plan to start with the fact that Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy Houston was once one of Elvis Presley’s backup singers.   Now, that’s a story just waiting to be made up. I’ll get right on it. I predict Mama will be one of the principal characters, but how will I ever come up with a title? Sigh.

On a more positive note, Pretty surprised me yesterday afternoon by bringing our grandbaby Ella to visit me outside in our backyard for an hour. Since yesterday was Day 36 of my self isolation due to Covid-19, Pretty figured I would be one of the safest people for our six month old granddaughter to see. I was overjoyed when Pretty opened our back gate and came walking up the brick path holding Ella plus her big travel bag. Pretty and I had the best time playing with her, watching her take in her new surroundings, telling each other how brilliant she is, wondering what she will be like when she’s older. And when that girl baby looks at me with her smiles, I feel like life is good again.

Image may contain: 1 person, baby

Ella and her mother Pretty Too on Easter Sunday

I is definitely flawed, you is flawed, we is almost all flawed. Ella is not flawed.

Stay safe, stay sane and stay tuned.





About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Random, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to i is flawed, you is flawed, we is all flawed

  1. scauburn79 says:

    I is definitely flawed, too! But that little Ella is the cutest little thing ever! Ahhhh, the innocence of children…..Aren’t we glad this quarantine came in the spring when we can sit outside comfortably and see all of the beautiful flowers and listen to the happy birds! Y’all stay safe!

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, War Eagle Nan – we are obviously swooning over her and yes, I do love being outdoors in the spring when life is beginning anew. We have our red birds, too – they are just beautiful and so happy. They know nothing of any mega viruses.


  2. So glad at least someone isn’t flawed…WooHoo…MOL…That was a very nice surpurrize on all that flaw😸Clean Pawkisses for a Happy Wednesday. Stay Safe Healthy and Yourselfie🙏🐾😽💞

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you start off with a name like Eudora Welty, you’re bound to come up with some corkers! Ella is looking deeply gorgeous — how spoiled were you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • VERY spoiled…T bought her a jumping jack swing which she jumps in at her house every day and when I held her she wanted to stand up and show me how she could jump standing up by herself!! We laughed and she laughed. She loves both her Nanas but she adores her NanaT!

      Liked by 1 person

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