Friday, August 17, 2018

Meet Jolie

You probably know by now that I am an author with two published books to my credit.  If you're curious, check out my website:  How would you like to meet the main character of my upcoming novel The Keeper? Fantastic!  Here she is now.

(A short and slim young woman with flaming red curls moves into the spotlight and slides gracefully onto the high bar chair in front of me.  The gray polo uniform shirt she wears does nothing for her porcelain skin, but her green eyes pop nonetheless.  She smiles shyly.)

Curly Redhead and freckles  
How I envision Jolie, only with green eyes!

FFL:  Hi, Jolie.  I’m so glad you could join us today.  I can’t wait to introduce you to my readers.  Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?

JS:  Okay. Well, my name is Jolie Sowell. I’m a zookeeper and a single mom, for starters.

FFL:  A zookeeper?  That’s a fascinating career.  I’m sure my readers would love to hear all about that.  What kind of animals do you take care of?

JS:  All of them, actually.  (She laughs nervously, flinging back her red curls with tapered fingers.)  I am one of the few night keepers at Timber City Zoo, and we take care of all the animals in the zoo.

FFL:  I bet that's an interesting job.  How long have you worked there?

JS:  About three years, I think.

FFL:  Is it scary working at night, with all those strange animal noises and things going bump in the night?

JS:  It was at first, but I've gotten used to it.  I barely even notice that it's nighttime any more.

FFL:  What is your favorite animal at the zoo, Jolie?

JS:  I couldn't choose just one.  I love them all.

FFL:  Even the snakes and scorpions and lions?

JS:  (Chuckling) Yes, even those.

FFL:  Well, then, what is the best part of being a zookeeper?  Let me guess, being with all those animals.

JS:  I know it sounds cliché, but I suppose that is the best part of working there.  Besides my coworkers.  They're pretty great.

FFL:  It's always good to like those you work with, right?  Okay, then let me ask you this: what is the worst part of your job?

JS: (Laughs) Probably shoveling the barrels of poop we have to clean up every night.

FFL:  Barrels?

JS:  Yes, the elephants and rhinos leave huge piles of feces that have to be picked up with shovels, loaded into barrels, and disposed of.

FFL:  Where in the world does one throw away elephant poop?  I mean, there is no toilet that big!

JS:  (Laughs again) The zoo actually has a huge trash compactor that it goes into, and it is also composted.

Animals wallpaper entitled Elephant

FFL:  I would never have guessed.  Switching gears here, you mentioned you are a single mom.  Tell us about your children.

JS:  I have one child.  Her name is Ellie and she is eighteen months old.  She is bright, beautiful, and the sunshine of my life. (Jolie smiles at the mention of her child.)

FFL:  Does she look like you?

JS:  You mean the red hair?  Yes, but her hair is more strawberry blonde.

FFL:  Curly?

JS:  Oh yes, very curly.  Ringlets all over her head.  Like I said, she is beautiful.

FFL:  I bet.  So, what else would you like people to know about you? Are you looking for Mr. Right?

JS:  Hm, those are good questions.  (She pauses a moment.)  I guess that I’m just a mom trying to make a decent life for my daughter.  I hope to raise her right so that she grows up to be a happy, caring Christian woman. And I’m not in the market for Mr. Right at the moment.  But who knows what the future holds?

FFL:  I’m sure Ellie will be a wonderful young lady, and that there are men out there who would love to meet her mother. Thank you, Jolie, for allowing me to interview you.  I can’t wait to read your story, and I know my readers are anxious as well.

JS:  It was my pleasure.  See you between the pages.


I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into one of the characters of my new romantic suspense novel The Keeper.  Stay tuned for more information about its release!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Chinaberries and the Great Cedar Tree

The trail leading from the James house to the Hough's residence cut through a small forest--probably just a wind break--full of chinaberry trees.  They dropped china berries which we used to pelt each other in china berry fights.  I steered clear because those marble-sized things hurt when they hit you.  I enjoyed that small trail because I would walk it, pretending I was Little Red Riding Hood or Snow White.  I loved to walk through woods, pretending the trees in their different positions created rooms of a house.

See the source image

There was a large thorny growth on the other side of the property that lent itself well to playing house, as long as I avoided the thorns.  I liked to collect the small toys from boxes of Cracker Jack and I had a favorite plastic clown that I lost somewhere in the backyard.  I searched and searched but never found it.  I always wondered what happened to it.

Similar Cracker Jack toys of the 1960's

In the front yard was a large cedar tree that I actually climbed.  Now cedar trees are not the most friendly tree to climb, with their peely bark and stickery leaves.  But they do offer loads of privacy.  It was fun to sit in that tree knowing that no one could see me.  If I tried that today, my allergies would have me in the hospital.  Back then it was a great hiding place if you didn't mind a few scratches.

The James house property offered lots of opportunities for us kids to play outdoors with its sandy long driveway, plenty of trees, and picket fenced yard.  We made lots of memories there.  We lived there when Mama took us to swimming lessons at the city pool.  I also lost my first tooth and experienced the boring wait at the neighbor's beauty shop. 

Stay tuned!