Several of my short stories are set in the early 1900’s, during the “Roaring 20’s.” I love writing about this period of time because great changes were occurring in America. Prohibition was a major change that had a great impact on the characters in my novel. Jute joints, barrelhouses, and chock houses sprang up all over the country, particularly in the South as a way for residents to indulge in the illegal brew called moonshine. My characters in the short stories “Rock” and “The Hankering” are a bit wild. They embrace life as they struggle to live within the confines of the law…well, and a little bit outside of the law.
One inspiration for my short story “The Hankering” was the clothing worn during the 1920’s. The fashions of this era represent the breaking away from the social norms that confined a lot of women. Women were discovering a sense of womanhood and a freedom to express themselves as they wanted. Those freedoms were often expressed through their clothing. Some vintage 1920’s clothing can be seen at this link: http://thelondonlifeofagirlygirl.com/tag/1920s-fashion/.
Women were becoming more confident to take care of themselves, without a man, as Miss Carmelia does in “The Hankering.” She is an independent woman, feisty, defiant, and strong. She no longer takes orders for anyone, especially a man. She owns her own business, a barrelhouse called The Hankering. Her customers are a bit rowdy, but she has no problems keeping them in check. In the short story “Rock,” Miss Carmelia and her beau, Buford Tee, hire Rock, a World War I veteran, as a bouncer to keep the more raucous patrons in line, sometimes with a heavy hand when necessary.
The 1920’s is a period in time that I will revisit in more of my short stories. Check back soon to see what is on the horizon.