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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Re: working on a novel. . .Sigh

Dear Dera,
I would love to read some stuff you're working on and if you have those oral histories on passing, I would be so grateful. Where is your story set? I'd love to hear more about it. Writer friends, I need them.

There is this tantalizing mention in Melba Beals memoir, white is a state of mind--she was one of the children in Little Rock--where they get a warning from her cousin, who is blue-eyed, blond-haired, a sheriff in some lilly white town, and in the Klan. I try to get my mind around what it must have been like to be him. . .

There's also a memoir by shirlee talor Haizlip, the sweeter the juice, about finding her aunt who left with half the family to pass for white. It's an incredible story, but I have to confess, like many such, it's framed as Shirlee's story, her search, and the stories of her mother and aunt are almost secondary. As I read it, I thought, that other's the story I want to tell. . .(and that's what I hope I'm doing, though not her mother and aunt, someone else.)

I'm writing notes as I come up with them. I have written two scenes. I'm almost afraid to research that first story too much, as I'd be tempted to put in the Influenza epidemic or the polio vaccine, when the story is Aurelie and the sister she left behind showing up, the threat to Aurelie's security, her life.

The second two stories--the well-to-do family and Queen Bee and her girls-- I don't have shaped as much in my mind or notes. I'm reading Taylor Branch from start to finish to get a sense of how it might have been to hear about the civil rights stuff week by week by week. . .

I told my husband we might need to go back to LA for me to do research and he snorted. Like, where would we find the money?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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