The train that carried the author south from Kansas City to his native Cajun homeland was named “The Southern Belle,” which the young Atchity believed referred to his mother’s all-powerful control over his imagination. He left a world of grape leaves, cabbage rolls, and houmus for steak & gravy, shrimp etouffee, gumbo, and boiled crawfish—and a welcome world of tall tales, endless jokes, and fishing stories that kept folks on the front porch for hours at a time. Where Vol 1, Daddy Holding Me, focused on his father, My Southern Belle analyzes the parent who inspired his multiple careers as an editor, writer, professor, literary manager, and producer. Where his father was a straightlaced accountant, Atchity’s mother was a raconteur, jokester, and improvisational spinner of yarns of varying levels of veracity. Passive-aggressive, with boundless energy, and intensely optimistic, she created an environment that drove her children to excel and entertain in whatever they undertook.