I’d like to talk on the topic of being “different” and how it relates to being a writer. Specifically for me, one of the ways I am segregated by some people is because I am a Southerner (Northwest Florida).
I wear it like a badge of honor. I shall not hide it. I polish it everyday for the world to see. It is the badge of being a Southern Lady. I am proud of my raising. I grew up poor. I wasn’t raised on a plantation like Scarlett O’ Hara but I didn’t freeze every winter in a little shanty on a railroad track. I didn’t marry my cousin. I don’t chew tobacco. And for the love of all that is sacred, I am not ignorant! Maybe those people are ignorant for thinking that way. Maybe it’s my job to open their minds up a little…
In a society where we are encouraged to be tolerant of others and their unique features, I still get fake Southern accents thrown my way every time I talk. It sickens me. They slather it on as thick as mayo on a hamburger at a fast food joint. I don’t know if they think they are being witty, or just trying to break the ice, but I really wish they would stop.
I’m on my high horse as I write this, opening a floodgate of emotion through my written words. I refuse to drop the slur that naturally rolls off my tongue just to please others. To do that is to deny all that makes me who I am.
It is with this lack of understanding by others that I write about the South and all there is to love about it… People flock to our Gulf Coast to eat our seafood and have their portraits made on our sugar sand beaches. They buy up our rolling farm lands. They try to re-create our rich desserts in their upscale kitchens. They tour in awe at our architectural genius. They grind up against the one they lust after while listening to the beats of blues or rock and roll. They hang on the descriptive words of Truman Capote, Harper Lee, and Tennessee Williams.
I use what the Good Lord gave me (a talent to communicate and my life experiences being an outsider) to tell stories that EVERYONE can relate to. There comes a point in every persons life when they feel like they are the “black sheep”, although they may not openly admit to it.
There’s nothing wrong with being different. A person who stands out in a crowd is in a better position to see a situation differently… to think outside of the box. As a writer, it is vital to be an originator; to be creative.
So, as long as the majestic Magnolia blooms forth its large, fragrant flowers, I’ll keep fighting the good fight. I’ll keep putting my armor on,wear that badge, and deal with the blows from the sharp edged tongues of the those “insiders” who think we all must be cookie cutter versions of each other. When I fight back, they will know that there is more to this Southern Belle than a big smile and sweet drawl. I am a Southern Lady…hear me roar!
About the Author
W. Charlene Ammons was born and raised in Northwest Florida. As the daughter of the local chief of police, she was exposed to the law enforcement community early on in her life. She later received her degree from Florida State University and entered the field of law enforcement, where she has served as a field training officer, a traffic enforcement officer, and an investigator.
In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, playing guitar, and collecting all things related to The Beatles. She currently resides in the Florida Panhandle with her husband Brian.
Mrs. Ammons has penned two books: The Plan, the first book in The Honeysuckle Chronicles. The second book in the series, The Lesson, was released on Feb. 15, 2012. The third book, The Bloodline will be released in the spring of 2013.
Paperback: 320 pages ISBN-10: 1434851206 ISBN-13: 978-1434851208
Omega, Alabama in 1941 was a place that only storytellers could dream of. Times were hard and faith was wandering; until Mode Lee entered the picture. The handsome preacher brought what appeared to be miracle after miracle to the tight knit community. However, evil things lurked in the wake of the arrival of this “Man of God”. It would take a frightened, mentally unstable child; the mother of the county sheriff; and a wild natured redhead to bring the truth to light. Everyone claims to have a plan. Only One is The Plan.