field trip: back in time, the lost cause

I ran off into the wilds of Georgia yesterday with a friend — a day off. A day to revel in and catch up on our friendship, and a day to take off work, before the Labor Day weekend hit. My plan is to work through the weekend (with a few lovely family breaks) in order to finish a proposal I’ve started about the Lost Cause of the Confederacy… a story that’s confounding me when it comes to finding a way “in” to telling it.

So of course this lovely day-trip with my friend Marianne ended up delivering to me some research and insights, without my even looking for them. Isn’t that the way of asking for help with story? “You create your reality with your intentions.” I read that somewhere. And somehow, when we focus so intently on something, everything seems to be about that.

Or maybe, when you write out of your life, like I do, everything ends up being personal-narrative fodder for a story. Here is our trip to Molena, Georgia yesterday, and what we found on the way there and back. 

First up, we stepped back into the imaginary Aurora County, Halleluiah, Mississippi territory, Emma Lane Cake’s bakery, and Ruby Lavender’s hometown (actual photos of my Halleluiah, Mississippi here)…

Later I spied a Confederate Monument at the old courthouse in Newnan, Georgia:

…which is research for the book I want to write next, about the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. I’ve been taking photos of Confederate memorials for years now, and maybe soon I’ll be ready to write. 

We drove past some of the filming locations for “The Walking Dead” as well, quite by accident, but it was fun to see:

… and it came to me as I drove home yesterday, that I write about the past, and those who came before us, in all their messy glory, whether it’s my childhood or the sixties or the Civil War… even yesterday’s “walking dead” locations held some story truth for me. 

In my writing life, certainly, I walk among ghosts, hoping to tell their stories; stories that are so intertwined with mine that I can hardly separate them out, in the geography of the heart.

xoxo Debbie
PeeEss: I’m doing two entries in a row for ANTHEM’s chapters next, days 15&16 — sorry to spam your inboxes. I’ll get back on track.