The hero isn't always the good guy, or girl.

Oh Calia… you got that wrong. It is “the grass is greener.”

Nope. 🙂

I’m ALMOST done with Kid’s book. It is so close I can feel it. Over 75K long with a planned six to twelve left before editing can cut out the fat, I’ve also ditched 60K in deserted scenes that weren’t working. It is the most I’ve written on anyone’s story, except maybe my space opera pet project that won’t see daylight, or maybe the ancient China tome I labored five years on. (That one weighs in at about 120K with all the rewriting and editing, etc., and it is not ready either.)

But how does this related to blue grass? ‘Glad you asked.

To capture to the cadence of the FMC’s and MMC’s dialect and the core of their hearts, I listened to A LOT of bluegrass on top of watching YouTube videos and documentaries, etc. By doing all this, I was able to “hear” their voices and understand how they tick.

One gem I uncovered along the way was this song: “Watch it Fall” by Billy Strings.

Watch it Fall – Billy Strings

It encapsulates some of the realities of modern Bluegrass music and the characters in this book. There’s always been a deep connection to the land and a lifestyle where the best tools and resources are right around, at, or under your feet. But what happens when that is all gone? Where do people go when the land is sold off for profits, tainted by toxic greed, stripped of its beauty? Bluegrass knows not all progress is good progress without stewardship of the resources AND the people who live and work around them. Too many generations of mining folk have family stories of members lost. In my own (lead mining) family there was a history of spina bifida. Of about a dozen children in my grandmother’s family, two made it to adulthood.

Two out of twelve.

It isn’t difficult to see how that life, that history, that legacy of tragic lineage makes for complicated characters. Which is why it took so long to make sure I got them right.

Here’s an excerpt:

Over an hour later at the diner, I set up the crock pot to keep the brisket hot and shooed Dad out the door. “You’re going to be late.” 
“But I should wait for Jamie. I don’t like you being here by yourself.” 
“I don’t need Cousin Jamie here.” I very pointedly looked at the empty tables. There were five of them. The diner wasn’t big enough for more. In fact, the way business was going, it was a waste to even have two tables, let alone two employees working. “Go.” 
“Okay. Wish me luck.” 
“Luck.” I kissed a finger and put it on his forehead. “There.” 
His eyebrows went up. “MawMaw used to do that.” 
“Where did you think I learned it from? Git.” 
He chuckled. “More and more like her every day.” I don’t think he meant for me to hear it, but it warmed my heart. 
The bell above the door jangled once as he followed orders. 
Then there was nothing. 
I listened close. Okay, the hum of the industrial refrigerator was a constant, but other than that, it was blissfully silent. Even the highway out front was quiet. Not many fools traveling this stretch of hills. Good.
I went into the back and unpacked MaeMaw’s kit. The buns went into the bread keeper. I hesitated over the two with dents in the top. I don’t know why I didn’t throw them out. Something urged me not to. Finally, I stuck them near the back. That way Dad wouldn’t grab them by mistake. 
All but two of the pepperoni rolls fit in the freezer. I warmed up the stragglers and sat down in the folding chair by the mop closet to have a late lunch. My feet didn’t hurt, but I propped them up on an overturned bucket just the same. 
The diner wasn’t much, but it was home. Everything I ever knew about family, I learned here or at MaeMaw’s cabin. So many good memories lingered here. I never wanted to leave. And, if it stayed quiet like this, I’d be happy forever. 
No sooner than I thought that, the unmistakable rumble of a big ass motorcycle echoed against the hills. It moved closer and became more distinct. I waited to hear it roll past the front window and off into the hills. But it didn’t fade. Nope. The fool parked out front.
“Christ on a cracker.” I ate the last bite and dropped my feet to the floor. Then I plastered a face on. “Smile pretty for the customers, Sierra Ann.” 
I stuck my tongue out. 

(code name “Diner”)

Well? write me to let me know what you think of this glimpse of Sierra Ann Winchester.