Yesterday morning I left my uncle and aunt's home in Fenton, Louisiana and headed back to my grandfather's house. I'd booked a late afternoon flight so that I could visit with him a few more hours. Since I was making good time, I stopped at Glenmora to see the new Rapides Parish Library. This is the library my grandmother visited so it's special to me. Gail Goldberg gave me a tour of the building which is four times the size of the former one. The new library carries more books and also displays art from local artists. Those of you that have read Part of Me might recognize the town of Glenmora, the setting of where the book ends.
After I left, I decided to take Cut-Off Road through the backwoods so that I could stop at Butter's Cemetery and see my grandmother's headstone. I hadn't been to her graveside since her funeral last year. You would think these would be the kind of moments where my writer's cap would be off, but as I left through the cemetery gates, I noticed the house across the street. A sentence came to me and as I drove away I began to chase the new voice.
The sun glistened through the piney-woods as I drove past Hurricane Creek, my grandmother's home, Elwood Southern Baptist Church, plant nursery after nursery. Who was the character speaking to me? What was their story? There was one answer that I already knew. I knew where this story would be set. This is the land of my people and it keeps calling me back. I have a pen in my hand and I'm listening.