The state of me

Is surprisingly sane. I have an extra girl here and apparently little girls turn into freaking cocaine-jumped-up kangaroos when they get together. They were (thankfully and finally) playing outside when a friend drove by with her father and she stopped and the upshot was that I had yet another girl for a few hours. Batshit Crazy. Then I had a bit of a meltdown with my son, recovered, apologized, and calmed things down. And put them into bed. It’s been quiet. Thankfully. Though I will admit the blood pressure went up a bit (a lot) when I discovered after I’d put the dogs out for awhile, that the kids had left the back gate open and the dogs had gone walkabout. I’m a bit attached to the dogs and never let them go walking out in the streets and anywhere else all by themselves. So I called them and eventually they came home and now I’m calming down a bit.

I have decided the book I’m working on will be set in Gatlinburg. Anybody have any information on the place would be helpful. I’m looking for anything and everything. Places to read about it and investigate it to give me a better sense of the place would be great.


  • Douglas Meeks

    I have a home in Tennessee also and about the only thing I can think of you might like for a note is the University of Tenn is like 30-40 min away and Dollywood Amusement park has a ton of info on the web about it. Also within a couple of hours drive to Oak Ridge and all that history. There should be some aspiring students at UofT that would help out 🙂

    • Di Francis

      Where’s your house? I’m looking for the little life details of the place to create the authentic feel. I’m planning, if the book sells, to travel out there and do the research, but for now, I’m trying to get a proposal done, which will involve the first three chapters. I’ve been already doing web research, but there’s something about personal experience by people that is really good. Do you know what sorts of bugs and spiders are typical there? And typical foods for daily eating? As in, what people prepare at home. Beyond sweet tea. That one I know.

      • Douglas Meeks

        Well I am only about 1 miles from the Alabama state line so everything is different than it would be at the foot of the Smokey Mountains. The 2 poisonous spiders are the usual Black Widow and Brown Recluse, I have never met anyone who has been bitten by a Black Widow since you almost have to go out of your way to get to them but I know of 3 people who have been bitten by a Brown Recluse and those bites are nasty and typically require hospitalization , it basically makes your flesh rot. Food is typical Southern food, black eye peas, fried chicken, mash potatoes, etc (and yes we love sweet tea), we can grill out about 9 months of the years (probably less in Gatlinburg since that would be a bit colder)

        • Di Francis

          Poisonous spiders are less an issue–I rather figured on those two. But I wondered about other native species of spiders that turn up a lot.

          I grew up around a lot of black widows. It was easy to get bitten by them because it was easy to go out of your way to get bitten. They like dark little places inside sheds and around fences and other places where we had to stick our hands. I didn’t get bitten, but I got fairly nervous about certain sheds. We had one tack shed where we also kept feed and I hated having to go in there. Plus when you weren’t worrying about spiders, you were worrying about wasps. They liked the same places.

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