Johnny Cash inspired Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale

I thought I’d share one of the inspirations behind Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale, where fear’s as blind as love. There isn’t a better day to do it than today, what would have been Johnny Cash’s 81st birthday. It’s hard to believe he was only eight years younger than my Dad.

Everyone always asks me about the title. “Winnemucca? Where’s that?” Most of the people who’ve been to Winnemucca ask if I’ve ever been there, especially when I tell them that Winnemucca, NV is the Emerald City of the novel. When I heard Johnny Cash’s version of the song, it inspired me to write about an enchanted road trip. “I’ve Been Everywhere” is Ginny’s father’s favorite song. She has no idea why, not until the end of the story.

But Johnny Cash did more than inspire the plot of the story.

Ginny, a seventeen-year old girl who’s happily ever after has gone bad, meets a truck driver who is more like a fairy godfather. He’s a fairy truck driver, and his character is also inspired by Johnny Cash. He not only teaches her guitar but also speaks to her soul. This story of a girl listening to her intuition for the first time, no matter where it leads, is a story of faith. Along the way she meets many characters that help her find her own path in life. Even if it takes her where she never expected.

Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash!

Here’s one of my favorite quotes of Johnny Cash:

“The Master of Life’s been good to me. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where others saw oblivion. He has given new purposes to live for. New services to render and old wounds to heal. Life and love go on. Let the music play.”

Winnemucca Wednesday : Staying Inspired, Libraries, and Who Are These Voices?

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Ginny literally told me her story in a flurry of two weeks nearly six years ago. I had just traveled to Romania at the invitation of the Alvigout foundation [which means “good works“] and was settling into a writing class that met once a week with the amazing Val Hobbs when Ginny started to tell me her story. I think because she told me her story so fast and in such a condensed period of time her voice was strong. Only thing was, she left out one little part–the end. And so it went. I had a beginning and a bit of a middle, but no end. In the meantime, Joe and I would raise our daughters and see them off to college and careers of their own. And our lives would change drastically from our stable, suburban LA life to one of spontaneity and the road.

So how did I keep inspired all the while I was trying to figure out where Ginny was headed? Continue reading Winnemucca Wednesday : Staying Inspired, Libraries, and Who Are These Voices?