Heartwood – Author's Note

Howdy y'all. Firstly my apologies to those of you who naturally thought this was a new chapter and were squeeing, only to find it is just a lousy author's note….

I am writing to let you know there will be a short wait before the next chapter. I have had a lot of issues with my internet access over the holiday period, and my Word functionality only works if I am on the internet, so it has been hard to get any writing done. My hookup is via T-stick (remote wi-fi) and there is a holiday camp just down the road, I am sure as soon as the holidaymakers have sodded off home my access will improve. Darn those kids who instead of making the most of NZ's (recently voted) best beach, and going swimming and windsurfing and fishing, are instead sitting on their tablets and whatnot and getting on the internet. And blocking the rest of us from doing the same, ha ha.

Next chapter is the penultimate chapter, and the final chapter is already written, so there will be no delay on that, once the next one is up.

I have greatly enjoyed everyone's reviews; thanks so much to everyone for leaving them. It has been interesting to see people's speculations as to who is leaving what message etc. And some of you have come up with points that never even crossed my mind, so I have really enjoyed that two-way flow of ideas. Shall I let you in on a little secret? In some cases even I don't know who left the message! The Muse just told me what to write! The first one was, actually, Rick. We know about Carl and Martinez of course. I believe that for the one Daryl thinks is Carol, he is right. And as for the most recent chapter (the page from the Bible)… well, my money is on Beth, who is actually more resourceful than some people think. I think the sharpie on the bedside table is just a red herring.

Thanks to Surplus Imagination for her (?) info on berries and jam. I needed something that would be available in autumn (fall) so I just googled "berries ripe Georgia fall" and raspberries were what came up. It's so weird to hear Americans saying "canning" when they're talking about putting stuff in glass jars – what the rest of us would call "preserving" or "bottling". Until recently I honestly thought they were putting stuff in cans! It is nice to know the Prison Gang would have lots of yummy things to forage in the woods; Daryl would be able to tell them what was safe to eat – and probably Hershel too. I bet he had to forage occasionally when he was a wild young man.

Now, I should mention that this fic was inspired by another, which I would credit if I could remember what it was. It was a longish fic, but had a brief paragraph where Daryl carved Merle's name and dates into a tree. I liked that idea and ran with it. My apologies to the author that I cannot credit it.

I look forward to seeing you all again when the next chapter is up.

Cheers, What Evil Lurks.