Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home. Anna Quindlen
So far I've completed eleven chapters of my new book, Me and Granmama in the Hill Country, written in southern dialect. It relates the story of three orphaned children growing up with their grandparents in a small country town. Today, I'd like to include short excerpts from chapters 10 and 11. The first takes place during World War 2, and the second is right after the war.
The War Years: Marilee is going with her Granmama to visit a hospital unit for wounded soldiers.
When I got to the door it was more than I had imagined. I'd seen the wounded ones in town when they got out of the hospital, but this were different. The smell of disinfectant burned my nose, and I seen them poor boys lined up in beds, some with bandages, some with no arms, and some tryin to get round on crutches. Granmama and Bessie Tanner went to make their rounds, but at first I couldn't move. I didn't think my stomach would quit jumpin, but then I spied Chester Pandey sittin in a wheelchair by the window. I knew him from his daddy's butcher shop, and I ran over and grabbed the chair next to him. He smiled when he seen me.
"Hi, Chester," I said. "You doin all right?"
"Good as I can. I'm glad to see you."
We talked for a while, and then I read to him out of my favorite book, Marie Curie's biography. Music played in the background, Roy Acuff singin The Great Speckled Bird. It drowned out some of the groanin I didn't want to hear. I enjoyed spending time with Chester, but I agreed with Granmama when she said it were time to go. Me and Chester shook hands, and he thanked me for comin. I was glad I went, but somehow it left me older than before. And the war seemed more real. I remembered the times Uncle Joe come home on furlough, and I thanked God he weren't in that place.
Growing up: Marilee describes how she grew up during the war years.
I done a lot of growin up during them war years. I were eleven years old when it started, not even in junior high yet, and fifteen in high school flirtin with the boys by time it were over. My spindly legs and flat chest filled out, and I had my time every month. Sewin material were hard to get, but Granmama managed to make me some peasant blouses and plaid skirts that didn't come from feefsacks. And I even rinsed my long blonde hair in lemon juice so's it would shine. And I learned that life ain't only bout one thing. Sometimes you laugh and sometimes you cry, and it's all just part of life. And people is stronger than you think, includin you. And I learned that you ain't never alone.
I hope you enjoyed these little snippets, and will give me some feedback in comments. I value your opinions, and would appreciate your help.
I have a video in costume on You Tube reciting the first chapter in southern dialect. If you're interested, click the link at the top left side of this page to watch the video.
I wish you many books to enjoy.