Cassville or the story of Cassville has chased me for years. I went to Cassville Baptist just before 2000. We left just after 9/11. When I left the church, I carried the stories with me and a strong desire to write them down. I toyed with a fictionalized version of what happened to me there or what I thought was happening in the spirit realm, but after I got it out of my system I put it away. I left “Ichabod” alone in a file.
The other day, I came across an advertisement calling for short-story authors to submit to a new anthology. They were in particular need of writers of historical fiction. I thought of “Ichabod” sitting in pieces and notes on napkins in my desk file drawer.
I have convinced myself that I am not a fiction writer. Creative non-fiction yes, but not the mysterious workings of fiction writing. Well, maybe it is time I stopped saying, “I do not write fiction.” Maybe I should take a chance and pull out that old textbook I borrowed (and never returned) from Professor and writer Melanie Sumner and learn the right way to write fiction. Perhaps I have learned something about fiction writing from the many sections of literature I teach.Maybe I can scrabble together a readable short story based on real things that happened at Cassville. Maybe old “Ichabod” needs a resurrection and lots of revision.
Oh Cassville, a lost town of little significance, you have so much more to share. I am listening.
Maybe I will do it, write a historical fiction short story. Maybe. Maybe not. There may be a fiction writer somewhere lurking within. I will keep you posted.
Note: The first chapter of my new book, Lost Towns of North Georgia is dedicated to the real story (written as a microhistory in the creative nonfiction style) of Cassville. The book began as a book only about Cassville, but the publishers asked me to write about other lost towns in North Georgia.