The River’s Memory’s Origins
The generosity of strangers—that’s what any writer who does research knows about. My generous strangers include the staff of the Silver River Museum, the Marion County History Museum, the Matheson Museum, and the libraries of Alachua County and the University of Florida.
I also have to thank the people who make Ocali Country Days such a grand celebration of the area’s diverse history. And whoever it was who put those oral histories of Ocala online—you should write your own book.
I’m also lucky enough to live in a community of friends, a lot of them lesbians, some not, some writers, some not, who have supported me in all the ways there are to support a person.
So to those who bring me birthday presents of ink cartridges and reams of paper or just straight out give me money for writers residencies, to the dog sitters and apple pie bakers, to the writers who squeal with me at each small success, to the ones who drag me out of the house to have fun, to those who edit draft after draft of manuscript after manuscript—thank you, all of you, for the unrelenting belief in my work, in me.
And to the monthly Lesbian Readers Group and Potluck, thank you for the twenty-six years of listening.
Much of this novel was written propped up in various beds at a variety of writing retreats. The bed in the back of my wheelchair-lift van was parked at the Everglades National Park as well as the Silver Springs, Collier-Seminole, Little Talbot Island, Kissimmee and Paynes Prairie Preserves and the Ochlockonee and Myakka Rivers State Parks.
I’d recline into my pillows with the van’s back doors thrown open and write for days while bobolinks scurried past or turkeys scratched around the tires. I procrastinated by watching cinnamon ferns unfurl or alligators lounge in the mud.
Thank you to all the rangers, volunteers, and activists who love and protect these natural places.
The beds at the Corporation of Yaddo and the Atlantic Center for the Arts came with food and a long tradition of support, and saying thank you to them will never be enough.
My bed at home, under live oaks and palms, is my, well, I was going to say bedrock, and perhaps I just will.
Finally, Joan Leggitt had this dream of starting an independent literary press. And here we are. I’m so proud to be part of Twisted Road Publication’s debut year.