Another Thursday, another day between Wednesday and Friday. And, more importantly, another new chapter of Ashes to Asheville.
Today’s installment of the story, Chapter 10, is Charlie’s coming out story.
If you haven’t read it, go. Read. It’s awesome.
If you have read it, then congratulations: You are helping to revive the great American serial novel.
Seriously. That actually is what we’re doing here. (For a bit more on that subject, I can totally recommend What Is Ashes to Asheville?)
This week’s chapter opens thusly:
Standing on the eastern bank of [the French Broad River], already tens of millions of years old when the earliest members of that upstart species, dinosaurs, first drank from its waters …
Wondering about the veracity of that clause? Then wonder no more!
The French Broad River, which cuts right through Asheville, North Carolina (the setting of Ashes to Asheville), is an astounding 300 million years old. It’s older than the Appalachian mountains through which it runs, which are [!] the oldest mountains in the world.
Dinosaurs first evolved about 230 million years ago.
So (thanks, math!), the French Broad River is 70 million years older than the first dinosaurs.
But were there, I hear you wondering, dinosaurs in North Carolina? There were! I know there was one, anyway (and I quit researching the matter once I’d learned of that one, since then was on Tuesday, and the clock on this chapter was ticking so loud I could barely hear myself think).
230 million years ago, Carnufex carolinensis (meaning “Carolina butcher”—so yikes) was roaming about in North Carolina’s Deep River Basin. The creature—really more of an extinct relative of the alligator than a dinosaur proper—grew about nine feet long and five feet tall.
Look at its neck! It probably got invited to precious few formal dinners, since it couldn’t wear a tie. Poor thing. That’s probably why it’s so angry.
Anyway, all that is why I felt safe writing that first half-sentence.
My wife, Cat, took the photo above, which accompanies Chapter 10 on the Citizen-Times website. I was with Cat when she took that picture. It was a long time ago, around 1985, when we were living in Palo Alto, CA. We were out for an early morning walk; we cut across a soccer field; some birds took flight.
You can help support this revival of the great American serial novel simply by liking its Facebook page.
If you’d like to receive a notification in your inbox each Thursday morning of the newest chapter of “Ashes to Asheville” having been published on the Asheville Citizen-Times website (along, of course, with a link to it), all you have to do is subscribe to this blog, via RSS feed or email. You will then get word of a new chapter being up, because each Thursday I’m also now publishing here a blog post, in which I provide some background/behind-the-scenes information about each chapter.