To everyone who is considering reading,

This work needs some introduction and explanation, so I'll be providing it here. I apologize for the length, but I believe in letting readers know what they're getting into so that they can make the best decisions for themselves. I hope that you will choose to read the story, but I understand if you do not. I am anticipating somewhere in the neighborhood of one to four people who might be interested. (Haha, it's funny, but it's true.) Still, I'm offering some explanation.

Originally the "Dixonne" saga that I was writing was going to have four parts. The first part was What Future Is There? The second and third parts were intended to be written at any time, or even simultaneously, since one didn't really rely on the other. One would be Long Way 'Round and the other would be a (as yet untitled) prequel of sorts that would chronicle life on the road between Georgia and the Highland Settlement. The fourth part was going to be As Dawn Follows Dusk which would see the group at the point where the children have officially taken over as the leaders of the group since they are, essentially, no longer children and our past heroes and heroines have reached the twilight years of their lives.

If I were proceeding with the stories for publication, that is how they would be written. However, I'm not publishing the stories. At least, not in the traditional sense. I suppose that one could argue that publishing them as fanfiction on websites is publication, but it's not the traditional format where they're all released at once. Instead, all the stories are episodic.

As a result, I've decided to do something that is, perhaps, a little unorthodox.

As anyone who has followed the story knows, I write Long Way 'Round for my own pleasure and enjoyment. I am greatly pleased that some people enjoy the story. I am grateful to those who read it, and I am especially grateful to those who let me know that they read it and enjoy it. But, ultimately, I write it because I enjoy it. It is, essentially, a story of life. It's not meant to have a necessarily epic beginning or end. It's simply meant to be the story of the lives of people that, hopefully, readers have come to care about. Think about the episodes like watching a television series. As viewers we always know there might (OK, probably will) be an end, but we're not focused on how things end. We're focused on the journey that we're taking and where that journey takes us.

Because of that, I'm not ready to end Long Way 'Round, and I don't know when I'll be ready to end it. I'll know when the time comes, but now is not that time.

Still, I wanted to be able to offer those who are dedicated to this group, another way to enjoy the characters. A parallel story of sorts. That is what I'm offering here. The world is different. The characters are different, even if most of the faces are familiar. The POVs will include those of characters that we've known forever and some new ones—including but not limited to those we've only known as children.

This story, like Long Way 'Round, is meant to be a story of life and the experiences of our characters, and is meant to (hopefully) entertain. As such, I'll be adding to it when I'm able to slip into that world and provide you more of the story of these people as I see it.

Because the two stories are parallel, however, I must stress that this one is not to be seen as true sequel. To know the characters and the world built here, it will be extremely helpful to be aware of what's happened up to this point in Long Way 'Round. However, this story is something of a parallel universe to that one. People may be alive or dead in this story that do not have the same fate in Long Way 'Round. There may be events that take place in Long Way 'Round that are not part of the world built here. There will be some differences between the two universes.

Therefore, suspension of disbelief and the enjoyment of the stories as two separate entities (with some common ground) is requested and appreciated.

I'm sorry to make you read something so long, but I want you to know what you're reading so that you're prepared to decide if you want to continue or not. If you have questions, leave them in your reviews or message them to me and I'll do my best to answer them.

If you choose to read, then I appreciate your support and I welcome you along for the journey. If you choose not to read, I respect your decision and I wish you a good day. I hope that, if you're reading it, you'll continue to enjoy Long Way 'Round since I know it's something that I greatly enjoy!

Thank you for your time!