SPUNKY SENIOR AUTHORS AND TALENTS - The Forever Young at Heart
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Marian Allen Models Her Book After Her Spunky Aunt Ruth
One Aunt Inspires Another
When I was growing up, the head of the family was my Aunt Ruth and her second-in-command was her twin sister, Aunt Rose. Through one of those peculiar juxtapositions of birth orders of siblings and siblings' siblings, they were the same age as my grandfather AND his aunts.
They grew up bossy, especially Aunt Ruth. When she said she was praying for something, we knew part of her report was going to include the words, "So I told Him...."
EEL'S REVERENCE called for a spunky senior, a female priest of small stature but immense inner strength. Naturally, I thought of Aunt Ruth. The character, Aunt Libby, became her own person as I wrote her, of course, but I kept her true to my vision of her by measuring her against Aunt Ruth.
Now that I'm a senior, myself, I appreciate my aunt even more. She was born early in the century, lived through two world wars and the Great Depression, raised three children and mentored many.
Aunt Ruth ran a popular teen club in the basement of Grace Lutheran Church for years. The only refreshments she ever served: dill pickles and potato chips. She directed the Youth Choir. She called anybody younger than 45 "kiddoes" and said teenagers had to be handled with kid gloves to keep them involved.
Our whole family was poor -- er, financially minimal -- but I was never ashamed in any company and I never looked for somebody to look down on to make myself feel big. Why? Because I was raised hearing Aunt Ruth say, "We're no better than anybody else, but we're every bit as good!"
One night, after a full day of chauffering women younger than she was to the grocery and doctor appointments (she called them "my old ladies"), she sat down in the living room under her picture of Jesus and went to sleep. She never woke up.
I used Aunt Ruth to model Pearl, the main character in my short story "The Dragon of North 24th Street", and I couldn't have written EEL'S REVERENCE without thinking of her; her fire and compassion were exactly what I wanted for Aunt Libby. My dream casting for the role would be Betty White, if the director can refrain from making her do her "naughty" thing. I loved the way she worked on the tv show Boston Legal, so I know she has depth and breadth.
Thanks again, Aunt Ruth!
Marian Allen was born in Louisville, Kentucky and now lives in rural Indiana. For as long as she can remember, she has loved telling and being told stories. She writes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, humor, horror, mainstream, and anything else she can wrestle into fixed form.
Allen has had stories in on-line and print publications, on coffee cans and the wall of an Indian restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Eel -- Where the coast meets the sea. Where merfolk with snake-like tails mingle with land-dwellers in uneasy truce. Where that truce is about to explode into violence.
Aunt Libby -- A crone, a short-tempered scrapper, a True Priest of Micah.
Loach -- A genderless young mermayd not above a spot of robbery.
When corrupt priests, greedy merchants, and local revolutionaries try to use Aunt Libby to enflame one side against another, they all learn that an old woman and a young mermayd make a serious stumbling block to their plans. Libby and Loach race against time, before the sea of the Eel runs red with blood.
Read "Line of Descent", a free short story set in the EEL'S REVERENCE world.