I am on an amazing research trip this week that has me away from the homestead and blog. I’ve stepped out to soak up the setting for my YA novel Nowhere Nara in the Baton Rouge region. But hey, I’m checking in and sharing a bit of the fun with you! I’m now in New Orleans with writer and gal pal, Tameri Etherton, and we’re moving like women under a wicked spell—nonstop. So, without further pain of word, here’s a little peek at what we’ve been up to.
After a night of little sleep, a long flight, and an ordeal with a navigation system determined to lead us to our death into the swamplands, slap happy Debra and Tameri checked into their haunted destination—The Myrtles Plantation.
More about our stay at The Myrtles Plantation? That’s best saved for a later post.
Our busy little butts kept moving. We hopped from plantation to plantation because we could.
We decided “What the hell” and stopped in at a plantation near the Myrtles. Hidden back along winding roads among marsh lands and thick trees we were certain our navigation system, ‘Jack’, was once again taking us out somewhere remote to kill us. We did find this big beastie at the end of the trail. The family still lives in it today. The top floor is their apartment while tours are given of the bottom two.
Because using our thumbs to measure distance works so well, driving to Oak Alley took a lot longer than we thought it would. But it paid off. We got this amazing picture. No people in front of the big house. Inconceivable!
After leaving the Myrtles Plantation and while making our way south to the Madewood House Plantation, we stopped in Baton Rouge for a little novel research. I went back to high school for Nowhere Nara!
The Laura Plantation. We almost didn’t see this and I’m so glad we did. Amazing house with an eye opening story. If ever you get a chance to take a plantation tour, this one is well worth your time. It’s not so much about the house and the treasures inside, but the people who lived there and their story. Laura, the last creole member of the family to own the home wrote her story down to share with her. Friday we arrived in New Orleans. Perfect dingy, little shop down a side street. Fell in love.
Look like a lot? We’re just getting started. We have till Friday to stir the caldron and not get arrested. Can we do it? You betcha! Yesterday (Sunday) we explored one of Louisiana’s famous ‘Cities of the Dead’, jumped along the outskirts of a Second line parade, and learned the difference between hoodoo, voodoo, and witchcraft.
Red brick dust is used in my novel, Nowhere Nara. The dust is used in a form of hoodoo, considered by some to be a blending of voodoo, the Catholic religion, and witchcraft. An evolution of the belief system due to practitioners exposure to multiple influences.
For more updates as we go, follow me and/or Tameri Etherton on facebook and instagram!
Added bonus: lots of links that caught my eye over the past few weeks or more:
Writing and creativity:
For the writer:
The reason I find myself over 1900 miles from home…
Being dead sucks. Being dead with no memory of how you got that way sucks worse than being trapped ten feet under in a filthy coffin.
Nara’s father told her to kiss a lot of boys and marry the absolute best. She remembers an amazing kiss, although that really doesn’t matter much now. There will be no marriage, no tomorrow. Not for Nara. The world continues to move but Nara remains trapped in her home unseen.
Maybe this is Hell – watching your family fall apart and your once-best friend live the life you should have had…with your boyfriend. Life is so unfair. But there may be hope. Nara sometimes thinks her little sister can see her.
Still, there is a scratching, a scrapping at the inner walls of Nara’s memory, a clawing to get out. Things are wrong―terribly, horribly wrong. And she needs to pull the pieces together so she can save her soul and move on, before someone else gets hurt… or worse.
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Until next time, immortally yours.
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