Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Southern Ladies


In the process of writing each book, I've had the opportunity to meet some really great and interesting people! Without writing, living where I do, in the middle of Iowa (or the land of ice and snow as we now like to call it!), my life would've never intersected with theirs. THE SEVENTH WITCH was no exception.

I'd always known that eventually I wanted "the girls" to visit Abby's childhood home in the mountains. I didn't know exactly how I would accomplish this...I'd never spent any time in the South and didn't know how I was going to write about a place that I'd never visited. The opportunity came when I received a call a couple of years ago from Sharon Robinson with an invitation to attend the Women's Expo in Kingsport TN. My first question after accepting was "How close are you to Appalachia?" Her response? "Why, darlin', we're smack dab in the middle! What do you need to know?" Not only did she and Lydia Wiley give me what I needed to "know," they took time away from their own lives to be my private tour guides so I could get a feel for the area. And best of all, they've also become very close friends!

Here's a short list of what I now know:

Appalachia is NOT pronounced App-a-lay-sha. It's Apple-lat-cha. (Lydia said to remember the phrase, "I'm goin' to throw an 'apple at ya'," if I ever forgot the correct pronunciation!)

When they say "sweet tea," they're not kidding!! I think it's one part tea to two parts sugar!

Grits are best eaten with butter and sugar then you salt the hell out of them!

Women down there are the picture of good manners, BUT do not mess with them!!! Underneath all that politeness is a rod of steel and they can cut someone down with just a look!!

This one kind of relates to the previous comment-don't ask them what they think unless you really want to know! (Personally, I like that...you never have to wonder where you stand with them!)

And most important, if they're your friend, THEY ARE YOUR FRIEND! There's nothing they won't do to help you.


So here's to you, my Southern ladies! Thank you for your help and your friendship!! I couldn't have done it without y'all!

Take care and have a good one,
Shirley

4 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

Really, well cool to know about the pronunciation

Casey said...

We stayed at a B&B in Kentucky a couple years ago. Went to breakfast and there were two women there with a little girl, maybe 4. We all sat down and the little girl pointed to the jam jar on the table. "What's that?" she asked. Her mother's back went ramrod straight. "How do you ask a question?" she said (nicely, but it was clear she wasn't kidding). The little girl tried again. "What's that, ma'm?" she asked me. When I think of Southern manners, I think of that. We Yankees could use a lesson or two!

Jess Granger said...

My friends are the one thing I really miss about living in the south. You're not kidding that they'd drop everything to help you. I saw southern ladies in action during a crisis, and they can't be beat.

Sharon said...

"When they say "sweet tea," they're not kidding!! I think it's one part tea to two parts sugar!"

True sweet tea is more like syrup . And it tastes best after sitting in the fridge over night.