Isabella’s Smile and the Miracle in Dakota Park — by Calvin Davis, author of “The Phantom Lady of Paris”

For several days I noticed her sitting in Dakota Park, not far from the bench where I customarily sat. Usually, upon viewing each other, we smiled and nodded. Then, one day she came over and joined me.

“Hello, Calvin,” she smiled.

“You…you know my name?”

“Yes, the last and the first. Your surname is Davis.”

“Ah, tell me, have we…have we met before?”

She smiled, and then cleared her throat. “It’s certainly a
lovely day, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, very.”

“Weather man said the temperature would be around
seventy-five. It feels at about that now, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, it does. Now as I was say… How do you know my name? Have we…met?”

“The answer to the last question is yes and no.”

“So you’re saying we…we havemet?”


“Look, if there is one thing I know with absolute certainty: it’s that I’ve never met you before.”

“You’re wrong. At least, partially so. You’ve met me often, though you don’t know it.”

“Oh? Where? When?”

“Do you recall the countless times your brain log jammed and the next line of your novel, the Phantom Lady of Paris, wouldn’t come? Dumbfounded, you sat and stared at your computer monitor and on it you saw a hazy image of a smiling face. That face was mine. And soon after seeing it, you began typing.  Words then streamed from your fingertips like water swishing down a mountain side. And remember, often you didn’t know what would happen next to your central character The Lady. It was then I’d visit you in a dream and I detailed exactly what she’d do…how and where.”

“You? In my dream? On my computer monitor? Look, all…all of this is so confusing, so, you say you—“

“I don’t mean to be rude, but I really must go now. You see, I have many others I must service.”

“But can’t you stay…just a minute or two longer? I’ve got so many quest…”

“I want to stay, believe me, but no, I can’t.”

“Oh, I see…I see….”

I watched as she, smiling, walked away.


Two days later I saw the mysterious female standing at the far end of Dakota Park. She held what, from where I stood, looked like a sheet of paper which she handed to a nearby youngster and motioned him towards me.

The lad rushed over and gave me her note. I read it.

“To all concerned. Be advised, an angel is missing from heaven. She may be difficult to recognize, for – contrary to paradise policy – she often removes her wings. However, she may be identified by her smile, which is motherly, warm and angelic. Those who see it are instantly transformed, convinced they can do the impossible, and after viewing the smile, they do just that…with indescribable ease. If spotted, do not report her to authorities, for she has much work to do on earth, specializing in servicing poets, visionaries and prophets, especially those spurned by their contemporaries – sometimes even assassinated or executed — but later  acclaimed worldwide. If you run across her, do not chide her for not wearing her wings. She hates those things: says they’re too pretentious and definitely not her style. Incidentally, her name is Isabella.
With heavenly love, Isabella.”

I looked up from the note. The enigmatic woman was gone. I never saw her again. At least, never saw her in Dakota Park. However, often in the wee hours of morning while writing, I glimpse her image in my computer monitor or later she visits in my dreams. And always, she smiles.

Don’t misunderstand: I don’t grieve because she no longer comes to Dakota Park, for no doubt she is busy working with other writers, and in her magical way – and through her magical smile — convincing them that the impossible is indeed possible. Writers, especially beginning ones, must believe this truth, and Isabella, the Angel of Dakota Park, through her smile, is able
to convert the most cynical disbeliever into a believer.

This blog is dedicated to those writers who, discouraged from time to time, doubt they can complete their literary mission and require the intervention of an angel. Just remember, if you come across Isabella, don’t chide her for not wearing her wings. For she knows, and you will soon discover, that angels are best identified not by wings, but by works.  

Also, the blog is dedicated to the misinformed who tell beginning author it is impossible to do the impossible. Pay them no mind. Doing the undoable merely requires the presence of the type benevolence found in the eyes of a Mona Lisa and/or the inspiration of an angel’s smile, an angel who, incidentally, may or may not be wearing wings.


And remember, not only are wingless cherubs in Dakota Park, they’re everywhere.  You may have seen one today: a mother, a girlfriend, the lady next door, a panhandler. Or perhaps she’ll be the next stranger you pass on a busy city sidewalk. That stranger may be Isabella. You’ll recognize her by her nuclear smile. After seeing it, you’ll begin believing that doing
the “impossible” (writing your novel, for example) is indeed possible. Then, you’ll recommence penning your manuscript, going back to where you stopped before giving up. All thanks to Isabella’s smile – or maybe that of some other angel who, like her, is AWOL from heaven and refuses to wear her wings.

Calvin is author of The Phantom Lady of Paris. Allow him to take you to Paris of 1968 on a magic carpet ride of words. Available in paperback and eBook formats.



Filed under fiction, musings, writing

9 responses to “Isabella’s Smile and the Miracle in Dakota Park — by Calvin Davis, author of “The Phantom Lady of Paris”

  1. Sometimes our angels are our husbands. I know mine is. My husband is the smiling face that keeps telling me how awesome I am. He’s also the one who empties the dishwasher and vacuums so I can keep writing. He is my sounding board and my “go to guy.” He is my angel-hero. Who is he, you ask? Calvin Davis.

  2. Really wonderful post, Calvin. I enjoyed it very much. I can tell you that Isabella really does exist, although I didn’t know her name. She still drops by now and then to urge me forward. Aren’t we fortunate?!

  3. Lovely post, Calvin!. I lost my sort-of angel. Maybe a real one will enter my life and give me a reason for writing.

    Nice to meet you, Vonnie.

  4. Thanks for the inspiration, Calvin!

    • Dear Christine,
      For the inspiration perhaps you should thank, not me, but Issabella and the many like her who have, no doubt, touched and inspired you somewhere during your life’s journey. And I’m almost certain that some Issabella-like person, whoever he or she may be, has touched your life, and may do so again, and always such a person works anonymously. Their reward comes in helping…not in worldly praise. And we are all better off because there are such people. They make life worth living.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Calvin Davis

  5. Pingback: Another Great Blog to Bookmark! « Bertram's Blog

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