I have had a little extra time recently. Not much. But enough. And, with this extra bit, I did some reorganization. It was in the midst of this endeavor that I came across some of my writing resources and inspiration. The book cover I have posted above gave Wings of Time: Breaking Darkness its setting. I always say that everything happens for a reason--this thought is even expressed in the story in book three (Threads of Time: Untying Fate--yes, it is nearly done and will go to editing when I can afford to do so). Running across this book is an illustration of that philosophy. My story had been bumping around inside my head for years--more than 10 now--but it never had a home. Not really. Not until my husband and I took a side road off the Blue Ridge Parkway and ran across this tiny, old, almost gone country store. An old man sitting in a chair next to a wood stove was there. The shelves were nearly bare, and there was a few tables with stuff scattered across them. I wanted to buy something from him, so I began looking through items on the table. My eyes were drawn to this book even though I had never heard of Fayerdale before. Elmer Haynes self-published the book after finding a collection of newspaper articles and stories his father had compiled. It's just a collection. Some narrative. It's mostly about moonshining and bootlegging. Yes, they are different--one is making it and the other is transporting it--something I learned in my research that was kinda cool. There were some accounts of gruesome events. Murders. Sitting up with dead bodies. Events I tweaked for my book.
As I read it in the car that very day I bought it, my thoughts raced with ideas, and my characters rejoiced because they now had a home. The words began to flow. I found other great resources including Tracey Esplin's 10,000 Years of History Buried Under a Lake: The Story of How Fairy Stone State Park Came to Be. I did online searches. We went hiking. Although we had done this before, I wanted to do it with the eyes of my characters. We peered into the iron mines and shuffled through the leaves on the trails. We drove down the graveled Fayerdale Drive and around the park's cabin area. Seedling ideas flourished. It has been quite an experience, and it all started with that tiny store, that sweet man, and this book. Everything does happen for a reason. I hope that everyone is staying safe right now because it is all very real and its reason can only be defined by each of us individually while looking out for each other. Stay safe all and read a book.