Why is there a picture of people picking cotton on my blogpost?
My current work-in-progress is set in the rural south. One of the hardest jobs I have ever done (with the possible exception of giving birth) is picking cotton. Yes, I am old enough to have picked cotton.
My grandparents were tenant farmers and their main crop was cotton. Even as late as the mid-60’s, they were hand-picking the crop. They usually hired locals to help them. The days were long and hot, and the work was back-breaking.
If you’ve seen Places in the Heart (Sally Field) or even Gone With the Wind, you have an idea what I’m talking about. The only thing worse was chopping the cotton earlier in the season. Same deal: long hours, hot, pesky insects, dirt in your shoes…
I’m not complaining, it was good for me. You know, what doesn’t kill you…right. How did they survive such a difficult life? The work was hard and constant, but they didn’t give up. Year after year, they planted the cotton. It is beautiful in full bloom, by the way. And the sound of the wind through the leaves is so peaceful. The green plants made a wonderful playground for energetic children. I spent many happy hours there.
I’m enjoying writing this book, because it is so close to my heart. I feel I know the characters. Many of them sprang from memories of long ago. People who passed through my life during the sunny days of my youth. I hope the end product will be something you’ll want to read. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.
Thanks for reading!