Verna Wilder: “The Girl Who Came Back”


#345/365 Paintings

Verna Wilder. Excerpted from the story “The Girl Who Came Back”

I’d known from the time I was six that someday I was going to hightail it out of that piss-poor excuse of a family, and I was never coming back, even if my daddy got down on his overall-covered knees and begged, I’d be gone, dancing on a stage in Cincinnati, fishing a stream in Colorado, walking up a steep San Francisco hill in high-heeled shoes and a red dress, so full of myself that people couldn’t bear to look me in the face for fear they’d give up their puny-assed jobs and follow me wherever I led them.


Verna is a writer who knows how to have fun. She wields words like an Italian pasta chef spins and tosses noodles. I had the pleasure of being in her writing group in Boulder Colorado for a time. It was SO energizing and fun. It was Verna’s buzzing creativity and laughter that could transform your day into a dusty memory. Lovely and gifted.

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  • WM Rine December 11, 2013   Reply →

    Wow. Great fragment. That prose charges right up the hill, like the character, and takes no prisoners. I’m breathlessly running after.

    I love how you worked the prose into the cityscape, where the prose seems like the brick and mortar of the image and the rest — the woman in the red dress, the sky, the surrounds all seem ethereal and a little mystical. And I love the measuring tape or yardstick you have woven in. I don’t know if that refers to something in the story that happens offscreen, but I imagine someone trying to apply narrow measurement to the force and spirit of the narrator … And missing everything.

    • niya christine December 14, 2013   Reply →

      You see a lot. When are you going to send me the bill for all your amazing insights?
      By the way, you describe Verna as person very well in how you see her prose. She charges right up the hill, like the character and takes no prisoners. And her connections are always breathlessly running after her!

  • e j carr December 12, 2013   Reply →

    I somehow knew when I read something you’ve written that it would be as “smashing” as this….. wow.

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