Yesterday, I posted this poem on my social media and I talked about This is Me as part of International Women's Day...and talked about some of the things that make up who I am. But I'm more than those things I've become myself...I'm all the people who came before me.
I've been working on my family tree off and on for a few years. On my mom's side, I come from pre-revolution New England. My father's side has just as deep history, but from down south. His family came from the mountains in Virginia, down to North Carolina, then back up to West Virginia. I am a northern girl through and through, and find this deep southern part of my history fascinating. One of my favorite books last year was Victuals. I tend to read cookbooks like novels, and this book had a mini novel in amongst the recipes...stories from the mountains my family came from. I read about sorghum in that book and a lovely friend, Tami, sent me some. I so enjoyed trying it out...it became one of my Cooks and Books videos. You can watch it here.
I was doing some research for my family tree and stumbled across a documentary by NC State called Mountain Talk and watched it today. I was fascinated by the stories about their speech and the music. This is my heritage. These are my people. I think I miss the mountains, even if I've never lived there.
One of the words that really struck me in the documentary was poke. A shopping bag. I love that. And of course, watching the documentary, made me do a bit more research (the trap of every writer...I can get lost in this stuff) and found a fun blog, Blind Pig and an Acorn. I read an article about pokes there, and am now subscribed. Yes, I'm falling down the rabbit hole...again.
Before I knew about my heritage, I loved mountain stories. Do you remember Foxfire Books? I've got more than a few. I love to pull one out and read a story about someone's life.
Maybe this is part of why I write. I get to explore other people's lives and pasts and the pieces of themselves that are there This Is Me definitions. Because yes, I am part of my wonderful family, a friend, a writer, an amateur potter, a... so many other things. I am all of them. But I am my parents' daughter, and their parents' granddaughter...right on down the line.
I come from a wide rich heritage and that is part of who I am. And that's what I try to give each character I write. That kind of history. Briar Hill Road is a story that deals with more than a couple falling in love...it's about their lifetime of love. Their ups and downs. And it's about their history.
Yes, this is where one documentary led me today! Down the rabbit hole again. LOL
I hope you'll join me on a journey down Briar Hill Road and maybe check out some Mountain Talk?!