When I was dreaming about what I wanted my future blog to be, I went through a series of discussions with friends, family members who are my friends, and of course my bearded husband to discern my platform, my voice, my raison d’etre– if you will. And this is what we found:

I am continually and surprisingly drawn to this idea of place. The concept that your geography, which is also your community, your culture, and the home and resting place of your spirit, shapes the content you create, the way you speak, the food you eat, and for me, the words I write.

The more enamored I have become with the old Southern gothic, the more I wish to contribute, in my way. In a modern way. In a way that gives homage to the past, and places us directly within the present. I’ll take the food, and the hospitality, and the casseroles, and the drawls, and the bayous, and the slowness, and the beauty. But I’ll also take the history of injustice, the dark past, the troubled economy, the moonshiners, and the rural Appalachia poverty.

Because there is something in the South about taking both. The good and the bad, the sweet bread with the bitter wine. The dogwood blooms with the whiskey.

And there is something about being a Southern woman that takes the steel with the magnolia. And honestly, I wish to be both. But, at the end of the day- although I can put on a nice dress, and bake a damn fine pie- I am more whiskey. A little brash, a little opinionated, a little I’ll take my bourbon neat, type of gal.

Hence, The Stillhouse. It will be my place to explore my voice which is a product of this land, this bucolic irony of tobacco farms and bible belts. I will still write about all that love– community, family, faith, food, etc. This is only a new platform, with a bit more clarity.

This is my modern, Southern, female voice. And that’s all for now. Please follow along, and I promise I won’t quote Flannery O’Connor everyday.

  • Rebecca Martin

    Rebecca, this is lovely, just lovely. The name is perfect and so creative. I look forward to reading more. Also – bring on the Flannery O’Connor! I’ll never complain. (Is there by chance an O’Connor biography you recommend?)

    November 27th, 2012 9:07
    • Rebecca Payne

      thanks Rebecca! you are too kind. and i WILL bring on the flannery, just you wait 🙂 i actually haven’t read a bio of her, just many of her letters (which to me stand as an autobiography of sorts). if you find a good one though, please let me know! would love to read it.

      November 27th, 2012 9:55
  • Shannon

    I cannot wait to read every word, my friend. Keep ’em coming!

    November 27th, 2012 9:39
    • Rebecca Payne

      shannon! thank you! you are the best. honored to have you read this 🙂

      November 27th, 2012 9:56
  • Kate Magee Joyce

    So. Proud. Of. You. Get it, girl.

    November 27th, 2012 11:04
  • Riki Price

    This is so good! I enjoyed every word. Looking forward to more. Proud of you!!

    November 27th, 2012 17:06
  • becky schmidt

    Excited for future words from you Becca. Always a good read.

    November 27th, 2012 19:37
  • Claire Lewis

    Love it Ms. Parker Payne. Also love that “And the band played on” is in the foreground.

    November 27th, 2012 22:49
    • Rebecca Payne

      claire! thank you! and you’re awesome for noticing the book. well done 🙂 totally read it on my honeymoon and its totally not honeymoon material. oh well! loved it.

      November 27th, 2012 22:56
  • Ann

    Love it Becca!
    The name itself. . . Puts me in a good place.
    From a kindred spirit,
    A. I.

    November 28th, 2012 22:52
  • Sarah

    I always secretly wanted to live in the South so I could claim more kinship with Flannery and Will Faulkner, but the closest I’ve been is Kentucky 🙂 Looking forward to living vicariously through your writing.

    November 29th, 2012 17:19
    • Rebecca Payne

      Thanks for reading Sarah– and yes, our writers are great. However, I swear you can channel the southern spirit and not hail from here (see Gillian Welch!). You can be an honorary Southerner 🙂

      November 29th, 2012 17:31

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