Guest post by emerging author Rickey Pittman…
The Stories Left Out of the History Books
I am a storyteller and I search for the stories that have been lost, forgotten, or neglected, the stories that have been left out of the history books. Sometimes I search for them–sometimes they come to me while I’m searching for something else, providing a eureka moment, a lightbulb moment. They come as serendipity, the unexpected discovery. I am eclectic in my tastes and areas of interests, and the discoveries I make are widely varied. Yes, I am part bard, part seanchaí. I want to tell the stories that make a difference, that can touch a heart, rattle the mind, instruct us. Some stories should be shouted, told everywhere. Others, more terrible or sad, should be whispered.
I tell stories of the Scots, Irish, and Welsh. I resurrect the legends of their saints, the beautiful mystery behind their languages, the raptures and terrors of their Otherworld. I talk and sing of the Irish Pirate Queen, the monk who discovered America, the Irishman who spilled his blood on the banks of the Rio Grande. I speak of doomed lovers and wandering harpers. I am their voice now in this world, and theirs are stories that must be told.
I share stories of America’s Civil War, of what it really was–a war between the states and fought actually over the question on whether the South had the right to walk away from the Union. Walk Whitman, maybe America’s greatest poet, was a nurse during that terrible war that changed everything in America. He said, “The real war will never get in the books.” Like other great poets, he was part prophet, and I believe he saw things he knew would not be told. I tell of the real people of this war–the saintlike and the monsters, the suffering civilians, the free child of color adopted by the President of the Confederacy, the men who marched into what they knew would be their last battle, the lady schoolteacher who fought in an artillery unit and bore a child in a cold northern prison, the black Sunday that was created by a Confederate general, the seventeen-year-old boy hanged for knowing Morse code. I tell of the people of color, mistreated in both the North and the South, and of the free people of color who fought in both armies, of the slaves who hated their masters, of the servants who loved theirs. I tell the stories that Hollywood does not tell.
I am a songwriter and folksinger. I sing ballads, stories that illustrate our human condition, songs that speak of the bottomless grief of love, of choices and their consequences. I tell my audience of places many have never been to, of people just like them, of people not like them. I sing of Irish gypsies, of forgotten soldiers, of ancestors and leaders–some possess greatness, others who do not. I honor the dead and the living, the lovers and lost of our world. I bring their words and feelings and lay them before you. I write and sing the songs that have not been sung before.
I tell the stories that we know are true. We know this because they hurt so much. If my books and music do any of these things I’ve spoken of, then I’ll know I’ve done my job.
Thank you for joining me today, Rickey! You are indeed a storyteller, and what a excellent storyteller you are!
Sheridan didn’t believe in witches, not in 1972, not until he met and fell in love with Bronwynn, a dark-haired beauty in North Dallas. Then, he learned more than he wanted about the sinister side of magic, witchcraft, and satanism hidden in the underbelly of the city. Follow Sheridan and other members of that Led Zeppelin generation as they self-destruct, create beautiful art, and crash against dark forces they don’t understand and are not ready to face.
Under the Witch’s Mark is full of Celtic mythology and British history mixed with a phantasmagorical trip back to the 70s. A smart read, the story is full of references to fine literature and poetry, not to mention its very own soundtrack of vintage rock! You can make an awesome playlist from all the songs mentioned in the book and really get into the groove of it. It’s a magical love story with a hint of mystery that will leave you breathless and wanting more.