Apologies for the second post for today, but last night’s updates fell into a cell-hole.

Keep those questions coming, and I’ll keep answering them!

To see the best photos from Day Seven of my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr

And don’t forget to Tweet, Facebook, type and review your way to Charleston, South Carolina in the To Live Forever Journey to Charleston Contest. Click here to find out more: Support My Aching Feet. Don’t forget those hashtags #ToLiveForeverBook

You can finish the book before I’m done walking. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these great places: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

“Don’t hit that deer, Andra!”

“I SEE IT, DAD!!!!!!”

“Golly Molly, Andra. You’re gonna kill us all. I hope this restaurant is worth all this trouble.”


We wandered into the Gibbes Store in Learned, Mississippi in search of the best steaks around. After clocking 90 miles in six days, I. Am. Always. Famished.

Dad started his Roy Variety Show before his gigantic butt hit the seat.

“Looks like you like antiques, huh?”

The female owner of the place asked us where we were from. I was too busy shoveling salad with comeback dressing into my mouth to answer, but that never matters with Roy The Talking Machine.

“South Carolina!”

The lady took a step closer. “Do you know a town called Denmark?”

I stopped chewing. Dad said, “I know it!”

“Have you been in that three story antique store there?”

I whirled on her. “You know Caroline????”

Her eyes got wide. “She’s my only cousin.”

“She’s my friend Alice’s godmother!!!” I shrieked. “Alice was with me until this morning.”

“I know her parents!”

And so it goes. In a tiny dot in Mississippi, next to the Natchez Trace, we came upon someone who was practically family.


Back when I set off on this journey to write a novel, I had an appallingly awful writing tick. I used to gaze adoringly at words that end in -ly, those deliciously clumsy things called adverbs. They’re supposed to be insufferably bad in the context of writing, though I was indecorously ignorant of that fact prior to beginning my little writerly adventure.

I felt horrifically inept when parsing the simplest of sentences. How could I constructively cajole thoughts together when I could not gracefully use words ending in -ly?

Hmmmmm. It was a hideously fatal conundrum for which I seriously had no solution. Other than to write a ponderously imperfect blog post in an effort to exorcise the glaringly bad adverb demon once and for all. I peppered them thickly into a post, hoping they would studiously avoid my main project.

Inexplicably, I now look for adverbs everywhere when lazily reading. Does this author randomly use them? Does that one patiently invoke one here? Or there? How am I supposed to graphically construct a sentence when I cannot casually use an adverb? Most definitely, I must possess falteringly simple imagination, or perhaps, I was unfortunately deprived of one entirely, rudely relegated to the back of writing class way back when.

Surprisingly, I still believe I can write, even with my harrowingly serious writing tick, insidiously infiltrating my sentence structure at every dastardly turn of phrase, every colorfully executed description of character or context, until I am perilously close to throwing up my hands and abruptly calling the whole thing resoundingly off. Once and for bloodily-well all.



Okay. I think I’ve put enough adverbs in one blog post to see that they’re clunky. And ill-advised. And downright weird. Hopefully, I will cease to use them in future.

Oh. Wait. ‘Hopefully’ ends in -ly.


Back to the drawing board.