Get Ready For The Road To Bittersweet!

I’m excited to share that in two weeks, on June 16th, I’ll once again start First Sentence Fridays as a way to introduce readers to my next book, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.  Just like with THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, once a week, I’ll post the first sentence of each chapter until the book’s release date, December 26th, 2017.

In a lead up to June 16th, I thought I’d share a little bit about a particularly unique talent passed down through the generations of families who live where my story takes place, the Appalachian region of North Carolina.  Here is where descendants of the Scots Irish have sung their ballads for decades, danced to the tunes of fiddles, mountain dulcimers and banjos.  This dancing, called buck dancing or flat footing, depending on which part of the area you’re from, is absolutely mesmerizing, and breathtaking.

My main character, Wallis Ann Stamper, and her father are very good at it.  As was normal, if you were born into an Appalachian family whose ancestors participated in this sort of pastime, everyone, young and old alike knew the songs, and knew the dances.

While researching for the story, I found an outstanding video, filmed by David Hoffman in the early days of writing BITTERSWEET.  The video, for me, was addictive.  It has well over 3 million views – my part of that might be 2 million.  🙂  And I would wholeheartedly agree with the title posted for it, ***”Best Bluegrass Clog Dancing Video Ever Made.”

Watch and see if you don’t find yourself hitting “play” again and again!

 

***I’ve included the hyperlink in case the video doesn’t come through on your desktop.  When I previewed this post, it only showed the Youtube link.  (boo!)


COMMENTS

  • Carolynnwith2Ns

    June 1, 2017

    Reply

    I LOVE the rolled up carpet exposing hardwood, the perfect surface for dancing. The different generations playing music and dancing. The kids having such a great time and the adults, some dozing on the sidelines, even though the music was loud and the dancing – a real ruckus. The boys doing a dance-off, just like break-dancers did, or still do maybe. That living room, with the old TV, and the wall clock, (10 o’clock) could have been my Polish-American grandmothers, here in Connecticut.
    In distance, we may be very far apart but in heritage, and the love of tradition, we are a very much alike,
    Great video, can’t wait for the book.

    • donnaeve

      June 2, 2017

      Reply

      I do too! I really do love this part of the culture here. I probably should have added in more details about this video, but the old guy sort of watching those two compete with one another was Bascom Lamar Lunsford. (Minstrel of Appalachia) He was interested in ensuring the music and folk dance was carried forward, and used to be on the lookout for those whose talent caught his eye.

      But yes, this sort of thing I’m sure is shared all over…ancestors who brought (and kept) traditions of their “old country” alive. Still seems like it’s a long way off, but the way time goes these days, it won’t be long!

  • lilacshoshanwp

    June 1, 2017

    Reply

    YAY, Donna! 🙂 I can’t wait to read your First Sentence Fridays and be introduced to your next book, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.

    As for the video, it’s absolutely charming, and I LOVE it! Now I’ll watch it again and again (and again). 😉 <3 <3 <3

    • donnaeve

      June 2, 2017

      Reply

      I do love this video…the music and just the rhythm of their feet against the floorboards. Oh my gosh, to be able to dance like that! I can only do the basic step. 🙂 There’s one part towards the end of the dancing part of the video where they’re standing in place but their feet are going back and forth really quick – that’s called a “chug.” Anyway, I’m glad you like FSF’s! <3 <3 <3

  • I love your First Sentence Fridays.

    • donnaeve

      June 2, 2017

      Reply

      I’m so glad Heidi! I’m actually working on creating the first posts. 😉

  • Eldonna Edwards

    June 3, 2017

    Reply

    One of my favorite movies of all time is Songcatcher, about a musicologist who strudges into the hills and hollers of Appalachia in 1907 to collect old-timey ballads from the isolated inhabitants. My favorite scene in that film is when Iris Dement sings Pretty Saro. This video perfectly captures the juxtaposition of joy and hardship. I have a feeling I’m going to love THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.

    • Donna Everhart

      June 3, 2017

      Reply

      That was such a GREAT movie, wasn’t it? And amazing how they captured the songs…what was it? Scrolls of paper with punch marks in them…or maybe it was metal tubes? My mind is foggy about the details b/c it’s been years since I saw it…

      And oh yes, I love the video above. Actually (and although the book cover doesn’t capture this) the girl with the bob hair cut – who’s dimples are adorable, is how I pictured Wallis Ann.

      I do hope you will love the story. I’ll be anxious until it’s out there – as I know you are about yours!

      • Anonymous

        June 4, 2017

        Reply

        OMG…thought the very same about the girl with dimples & bob cut!!! Love the video…looking forward to “first sentence Fridays” and, of course, The Road to Bittersweet!!

        • Jeannette

          June 4, 2017

          Reply

          Oooops, failed to fill out info!!

          • Donna Everhart

            June 4, 2017

            I wonder where that girl is today? I’d love to know if she still dances, and where are all those who were in this video. I’m excited about the First Sentence Friday’s – like itty bitty appetizers! 🙂

  • Jan Edwards

    June 4, 2017

    Reply

    Enjoyed the dancing. It was good to hear “Old Joe Clark” – Haven’t heard or sung that song since grade school. So looking forward to your new book.

    • Donna Everhart

      June 6, 2017

      Reply

      Oh my word, you’re the first person to know what that song was – I didn’t know it, so thank you for that! I did quite a bit of research on the ballads sung, and several are listed in the book. I found a site where I could listen to them too, which I did just to see if they “felt” right for the story. Love that old timey music.

  • Craig

    June 9, 2017

    Reply

    I see what you are doing. You are trying to soften us up before making us look bad, again. I can see you chuckle as you launch your sentences, seeing, in your mind, as we scramble to try and improve ours.

    Just kidding, I think. My sci-fi starts “Missiles came from the west at brillig.” That was just to get a step ahead of you, for a day or two.

    Have a good weekend, I did enjoy the clogging to American neo-primitive music with a high, lonesome sound. One of my favorite forms of music.

  • Craig

    June 9, 2017

    Reply

    nmaD, nam, I think I put my brain in backwards today. Either that or it is waterlogged, we finally got rain down here, yeah. Except I spent a few days helping some friends from further south who got over two feet of rain last week.

    The real definition of Bluegrass is: Neo-traditional American primitive music with a high, lonesome twang.

    • Donna Everhart

      June 10, 2017

      Reply

      Neo-traditional American primitive music with a high lonesome twang? I can go with that.

      Your first sentence. I had to lookup “brillig!” 🙂 I understand now this means 4 o’clock. But I also learned it’s a nonce word from Lewis Carroll’s JABBERWOCKY, and “explained by Humpty Dumpty as “four o’clock in the afternoon — the time when you begin broiling things for dinner.”

      Okay. Sure didn’t expect THAT!

      I’ve been eyeballing the first sentences in this story…since I like to set up several weeks of these posts in advance. I never try and guess what readers will think of them, which is why it’s a lot of fun!

      You’re a good person to go help out – although I didn’t realize you all were in a drought down there. (?)

  • Craig

    June 10, 2017

    Reply

    When I write sci-fi I tend to throw in words that might pop out of the head of someone on a planet where things are different. I could state that the day is 29.87 hours long or infer it with something like Brillig. I think things like that help to entice readers to find out more. One day I might find out if that is true but beta readers who read sci-fi haven’t twigged on that word.

    You didn’t realize there was a drought in Florida? After we were no longer in the Paris Accords someone got Al Gore out from under his rock. He said that 70% of Florida was in drought, on a National News show, as a sign of global warming.

    Of course the news tends to give everybody heartburn, so I don’t fault you for missing Al Gore on whatever show that was.

    Have fun with you first sentence Fridays, I’ll be here too.

    • Donna Everhart

      June 10, 2017

      Reply

      I guess I think of hurricanes and whatnot, plus with FL being so narrow and book-ended by oceans = more chance of pop-up storms, etc…and speaking of storms…yay, hurricane season is here. We went without power for several days last year – Matthew I think – it all starts to melt together. (Global warming of the brain) Hopefully we’ll dodge a hit.

      Have you by chance read THE BOOK OF JOAN? The author is Lidia Yukanavitch. If not, you might want to see what it’s all about. I don’t read sci-fi, but when I read a bit of it in that Amazon preview, I think I would actually like it. NPR said this “[A] searing fusion of literary fiction and re-imagined history and science-fiction thriller and eco-fantasy.” It’s her writing though, that sucked me in.

      So, what made me think of that book is the word “Brillig.” (thank you – I learn something new from you every time we “chat.”) She uses several terms in her book right away that would be unknown to the reader. For instance, the place they live is called CIEL, and how she lets a reader know what that means is, she simply states “we live in a sub-orbital complex. CIEL.” So, I get what it is you’re doing. Makes sense.


What's on your mind?





css.php
%d bloggers like this:
Web design & website hosting powered by Surfside Web