I am honored to be in a little creative writing group with some especially talented and vibrant women. We recently responded to this visual prompt. (If you decide to write a response to this photograph, I’d love to read it!) 

Daughter of a migrant miner

Dorothea Lange, “Daughter of Migrant Tennessee Coal Miner Living in American River Camp near Sacramento, California,” 1936

Weariness clouded her mind like an Oklahoma dust storm. She could barely breathe for the choking, much less collect her thoughts. But what good would thoughts do? You can’t actually take them to the bank when you need bread money. Fatigue pounded at her temples. It’s funny she should be so tired; she hadn’t worked in months. How could the unemployment line be more draining than a 12 hour shift at the factory?

Of course it wasn’t the lack of busyness that drained her, it was the worry. Worrying about how her family could scrape the bottom of the barrel for just one more meal. Worrying over her daddy’s health, his lungs blackened by the coal mines. Worrying if she would ever be somebody.

She imagined she was a hobo. Not that their life was practical, but it sure was tempting. Hopping from town to town, taking their future in their own hands. It didn’t matter that their hands were filthy – mama didn’t approve – at least they were holding something.

Her future was sealed, like a tomb. She was the daughter of a Tennessee coal miner and that was that. She’s marry, if anyone would ever have her, and probably have as many children as her frail body could handle. She would never have a great fortune, or even $10 at once. She was born poor, the last few years had just reminded her of the fact. Her dull eyes screamed silence as she considered her outlook.

It was beyond depressing, really.


  1. Bek on April 17, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Victoria!!! You have such talent, my friend. I kept wanting to read more and I wished it was longer! Well done 🙂

    • Victoria on April 18, 2014 at 11:57 am

      That’s kind Beks, thank you!

  2. Catherine on April 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Beautiful, Victoria! It makes me want to try some creative writing. 🙂

    • Victoria on April 18, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Write! I would love to read!

  3. J. Rae on April 17, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Yeah, so, you should probably start a blog or something with all of that skill. Oh…wait. ;p Love this!

    • Victoria on April 18, 2014 at 11:59 am

      J. Rae! Too kind of you 🙂 Thank you. I write in a wonderful community of bloggers (read: YOU!)

  4. Lore Wallace on April 22, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Weary, Victoria I too love your work, it is really good, have you been writing long?
    I have always had the thought that writing would be such fun, but I just don’t know how to get started, I know words on paper but you know its a lot more then that. Anyway I look forward to reading more of your work.

    • Victoria on April 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Lore that’s so kind of you, thank you 🙂 I’ve been writing since I was about 6. It’s always been a passion of mine, nurtured in different ways at various moments in my life. The best advice I’ve ever received about how to get started writing is to “just write.” Write whatever you’re thinking, feeling, dreaming. It may be clunky coming out at first, and that’s okay. The important thing is to get your pen moving, the words will come. Blessings to you!

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