Billingsby's novel WILDWOOD: CONFESSIONS OF A MOON WIFE,
a tale of love, laughter, and betrayal down on the family farm,
was published in February 2007. Visit www.themoonwife.com
for excerpts and ordering information.
Joyce's short story Mountain Wife and poem The
Betrayal were published in Muscadine Lines, Volumes l7 and
l8. Follow the Wind was co-winner of first prize in
the seventh Talent Among Us contest and was published
in Inspirations (www.mainstreetpublishing.com).
is a Weakley County farmwife and grandmother. As the daughter of
a Baptist minister, she attended 9 schools in 5 states before returning
home to Tennessee. She married her army penpal and they lived in
Michigan several years before moving to the Latham family farm with
their 4 children.
IN THE CORN
If only I had room to grow, learn all the things I did not know,
Sharing all the wondrous joys that life can bring;
Like the sparrow soaring high who left his nest to learn to fly
I could have been your Queenand youMy King!
Sharon felt like Lady Robin Hood leading her merry band of boys
and girls through the perils of Sherwood Forest, fleeing from the
tyrannical sheriff, Charlie Red of Nottingham. Grateful to escape
the fiery temper of their father, the children scattered gratefully
in all directions.
In an unguarded moment of emotion, Sharon glanced back across the
corn fields toward her latest battleground. The chivalrous knights
of King Arthurs Court were inspired to noble deeds and
high thoughts by their fair maidens whom they worshiped, for
Christs sake. The face of Helen of Troy launched a thousand
ships. And Charlie dared question why Sharon thought she was wonderful?
She and her children were the Musketeers Fiveone for all and
all for one. And one of them was tottering on the edge of treason!
novel in the Rainbow trilogy, SONG OF ELIZABETH,
will be published in the near future. In this historical love story
of passion, joy, and heartbreak in the Tennessee frontier, two sisters
share each others dreams and secrets as war clouds gather
over the land.
was the most gracious year of our Lord l840 A D. when Papa
and I left the tired depleted hills of North Carolina for
the Western District of Tennessee. Ever since my sister Jenny
and her family had moved to these Indian hunting lands between
the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, Papa had dreamed of
Elizabeth MacDougal, he announced on a cold January
morning; pack up your bagswere heading for
the Promised Land!
His pale blue eyes shone with excitement. His thin receding
hair was white, his frail shoulders stooped, but his voice
was firm and heartythat of a young man filled with hope,
vision, and ambition.
After Andrew Jackson had negotiated with the friendly Chickasaw
Indians in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek for the purchase
of this new virgin territory, land hungry settlers had poured
through the mountain gaps on primitive trails.
Maybe Ill find a husband in your promised land,
I said dreamily. The pickings are mighty slim around
Lord have mercy, what chance did I have, ugly, skinny, and
redheaded as I might be? However, when beautiful Jenny, the
belle of the ball in Winston-Salem, had made her surprising
choice of a husband by marrying quiet, colorless Tom Collier,
I had questioned whether beauty indeed was the answer to all
In His Omnipotent Wisdom, surely somewhere in this expansive
new world, God had created a husbandloverjust
for me! A man who would cherish, respect, and protect mea
man whose contentment would rest with my magnanimous power
as I filled his life with joy and pleasure.
Surely happiness was waiting to be plucked from the tree of
life. I looked forward to new opportunities and new worlds
with Papa in the Western District of Tennesseewith a
life surrounded by hopes and dreams, sunshine and passionate
from THE GLEAM (to appear in the March
/ April 2008 edition of Muscadine Lines)
The idea erupted like an artesian well in the barren desert,
so preposterous and unbelievable that she doubted the ability
of her mind to even validate its existence. It suddenly occurred
to her that all great ideas in the history of mankindthe
inventions and discoveries, the literature, paintings, and
musichad all originated from a single gleam in the darkness
of someones soul.
Evolving through the centuries, pushing aside all other unknown
thoughts, it emerged from the unexplored oceans of the subconscious
into living, breathing, reality. Once an idea was bornthere
was no unbirthing it. As stunned as she was by its sudden
appearance in her mind, she was equally amazed that it had
not occurred to her sooner. She would murder her husband!
of Big Hatchiepoems describing the lives,
loves, battles, and betrayals of the Chickasaw Indianssoon
to be published
LEGEND OF BIG HATCHIE
In the swamp lands of Big Hatchie
In the state of Tennessee,
Natives roll their eyes in terror
When they tell this tale to me.
Indian warriors left this legend
Of a swamp that has no end;
Many paleface dare to enter
But never come back out again.
Once there dwelled a happy people
In Big Hatchies Hunting Ground;
Living on fruits and berries,
And the wild life that abound.
Chief War Thunder had a daughter
Who was known both near and far;
Of the fair, she was the fairest
And they called her Falling Star.
Came a handsome blue-eyed hunter
Leaping across the river bend;
Stole the lonely heart within her,
And she named him Laughing Wind
Oh, their love was sweet and tender
Greater love could not be known;
But War Thunder would not listen,
And he bid the hunter go.
Should some night you watch the heavens
Just above the river bend,
Should you see a star thats falling
Listen close for Laughing Wind.
Where he goes, there yet she follows,
Gently watched by Hanging Moon,
While her father vainly seeks her
In that dismal dark lagoon.
Evil spirits guard Big Hatchie,
Casting fearful, frightful spells,
And no white man dares to enter
In that wild and tangled Hell.
Up and down that gloomy river,
Eighteen red eyes flash and burn;
Should you bravely wish to enter
Fare thee wellyoull not return!