Thank you first and foremost to Heavenly, for being the story’s first reader and giver of honest, direct feedback.
Thanks to Adam Hammons of the Berkeley County Elections Commission for giving me insight into the day-to-day operations of Erlon’s day job.
Thanks to my many Geology professors at the College of Charleston, especially to Dr. Norm Levine (the inspiration for Dr. Ayala in this story), for first teaching me about the unique geomorphological feature of Carolina Bays. They are an actual phenomenon found in the Lowcountry, as well as all up and down the eastern coast. No single theory of their origin explains all of their features, so they continue to be something of a geological mystery.
While little, if any, of the actual plot of this story bears much resemblance to it, I want to acknowledge the influence of Jonathan Green‘s painting Seeking, and also to the poetry and commentary found in the painting’s companion book, Seeking: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green. The debt I owe to Green’s art and to the book is one of imaginative inspiration, as well as a nod to some of Green’s painting’s imagery and especially his use of light and color.
Erlon’s early life (and the fictionalized island it takes place on) was inspired by the book Ain’t You Got a Right to the Tree of Life?: The People of Johns Island South Carolina. Moving Star Hall is (or was) a real place on Johns Island, although the Farmers’ Lodge is actually from the Gullah community of Sol Legare Island.