Welcome to “Dixieland”

Here’s what I posted last night as my novel info for National Novel Writing Month, which launches in Columbia at midnight Nov. 1. There’s a large group meeting at Country Kitchen at 10 p.m. Halloween night, and when the clock strikes 12, we’ll start writing/typing and the 30 days of madness begins! Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to some of the characters that will breathe life into “Dixieland,” a spiritual/religious/historical fiction novel set in the Deep South, Natchez, Miss., 1944-45.


Feeding stray cats and taking in a “retarded” boy and a blind girl crippled by polio made townspeople in Natchez, Miss., view Edna Mae Ferguson with pity, but when she shelters unwed black women, she becomes a pariah, not simply a young woman coping with her husband’s status as a POW in World War II Germany. When hidden details of an unspeakable act against her are revealed, Edna Mae flees for her life, leaving behind her beloved “strays.” The journey uncovers sinister family secrets and the birth of a faith that propels her courageous return to Natchez to seek redemption.


Here’s the Western Union telegram that Edna Mae received:

6 Jan. 1945
The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your husband, Major Alva Ferguson, has been reported missing in action since 26 November over Germany. If further details or other information are received you will be promptly notified. Office of the Adjutant General.


Filed under "Dixieland", Living Write, National Novel Writing Month 2012

5 responses to “Welcome to “Dixieland”

  1. Sounds great, Jodie. Be careful though. You’re not supposed to start writing until Nov. 1 …

    • The NaNoWriMo site asks for a synopsis and excerpt. The latter is basically impossible, at this point, because the noveling doesn’t start ’til Nov. 1. I’d done some research to see how families were notified of a loved one’s MIA or POW status, so I changed a few facts and came up with the “excerpt.” I may or may not actually use it. I’ve got several character sketches and a basic outline, so I’m rarin’ to go.

      • You’re on the ball, and I like your ideas. I’m rolling some ideas around in my head and might finally take the dive. I’ve contemplated participating before but have always let November come and go without taking part.

  2. This is great! I can’t wait to read more, it seems like just the kind of novel I like.

  3. I’ll provide a daily word-count update. Someday I’ll actually finish one of these. I just love the process. Have an outline, fairly well-developled plot, some subplots, a wide cast of characters — and there’s always some twist or turn the story takes as it’s being written. That’s what I love. Not even I know exactly what’s going to happen next.

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