When I was eight I used to daydream. I played pretend and I loved to write. I still remember my 8th birthday present and the feeling of joy it gave me. What was it? A journal, covered in beige leather, with a writing pad of white satin pages and a black fountain pen that attached to the inside of my elegant and beaming new friend. And this is me, at that age, when all I wanted to do was to tell stories.
Friday, August 9, 2013
At the Candy Shop with Author Jo Ann V. Glim
Tristan Wolf, our imaginative hero is eight years old when his adventure begins. He is as dreamy and clever as only a child can be. We were all Tristan once in our life and maybe now, we have one in it. My guests- smart, creative and inspiring personalities- have accepted the challenge to go back to those years, to go back to when they were around eight or ten to answer some questions about the world around them.
Let me introduce you to author Jo Ann V. Glim, when she was eight.
Hi, Jo Ann, it’s very nice meeting you. Where does Joanie live?
Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’m looking forward to doing this interview and introducing you to Joanie.
Joanie grew up in a 3-room, cedar-shingled house that occupied ¾ of an acre of rich farmland in a little town called Anacortes on the Island of Fidalgo in the Pacific Northwest (90-miles north of Seattle). The house was definitely a fixer-upper. Dad added an indoor bathroom shortly before his tour of duty in Japan in 1948. He was career Navy. He also converted the wood-fueled kitchen stove to oil after Mom put the axe through her shin while splitting logs.
After Dad left, times were difficult! To help make ends meet, my mother’s aging parents left all they knew in Chicago (including their younger daughter and her family) and moved in with us. Our home was tiny and furnished only with the bare necessities.
Joanie was raised as an only child. Her sister, born the year before her, died 3 days after birth; and her brother died in-utero in the 7th month of pregnancy. You asked if she had any brothers or sisters… Let’s see what she has to say about that…
“I wish I did!” Joanie said as she blew her bangs out of her eyes. “Mom won’t let me go play with my friends on Sundays. She says that’s family day.” Joanie crossed her arms and pursed her lips. “On Saturday, I have to wait for Carolyn to finish her accordion lesson. She’s my best friend, you know.”
“Carolyn and I have a secret. Do you want to know what it is?” Joanie asked as an impish grin settled on her face. But before Mariana can say anything, the little girl blurted it out, “Carolyn practices outside. She lives down there,” Joanie added as she pointed over her shoulder. “Her mom says that noise box is too loud for a house but this is our secret… she plays ‘Lady of Spain’ last, so I know when we can go play.”
What School do you go to?
"I go to Central Grade School. Miss Davis is my teacher. She’s very nice! We had to write a story last week. Anything we wanted. I was really happy because I’m going to be a writer when I grow up, and a nurse, and an actress and maybe a teacher or a cowgirl… maybe not a writer. Mom says I have writer’s block. She said sometimes it’s contagious, so, don’t sit too close. Anyway, I couldn’t think of a thing to write. My friend Susan’s story was voted the best! Mom said it’s my first rejection and writers get a lot of those. She told me to never stop trying."
Joanie’s small for her age. When she sits back in a chair, her feet don’t touch the ground. Instead, her legs swing out in rapid motion, and today stopped only when she tapped the side of Mariana’s chair. Her mother gave her that look. Joanie stopped.
“Mom says I have to act like a lady,” she told Mariana as she smoothed her dress. Grandma says, ‘if I don’t mind my manners, I’ll never dine with the Queen of England…’ Have you met her? I wonder what Queen’s eat?”
Is there anything you hate about school?
"I hate report cards! I don’t like math, either. I like English and I love geography. I’m going to travel around the world when I grow up! I get good grades but I always get into trouble because I talk too much. Red checks… that’s all I ever see. Do you think I talk too much? I don’t think I do… well, maybe… sometimes."
Joanie looked past Mariana’s shoulder toward the kitchen. “Miss Mariana, Grandma wants to know if you’ll stay for lunch. She’s a really good cook!”
What is the food you absolutely dislike eating?
"The only time I make a fuss about eating is on Christmas Eve when she makes Luté Fisk! I can’t open my presents until I finish my dinner. I hide it in my mashed potatoes and swallow really fast! She says all good Swedes eat Luté Fisk. Even my dog, Boola, won’t eat it. Why can’t Grandma be Italian? I love spaghetti!"
Are you scared of the dark?
“Nooooo... I don’t think I am… When I go to sleep the lights are still on ‘cause I sleep on the hide-away sofa in the living room and grown-ups stay up late. Mom lets me bring all my books to bed with me. She reads me a chapter every night… the ‘Bobbsey Twins’ is one of my favorites. I also love ‘Little Britches’ but it makes me toss-n-turn trying to figure out the ending, so, she reads that one to me after lunch. My bestest memory of reading is from the first grade when I could finally read a story to Mom about Dick and Jane and Spot. I felt so grown up."
Who is your favorite star?
Joanie’s eyes were wide as she reverently said, “The Lone Ranger… him and Tonto.”
“Would you like to see my favorite toys?” Joanie asked as she pulled them from her toy box. “Here’s Howdy Doody and Clara Bell the clown marionettes. Clara Bell can’t talk. He has a horn I honk when he has something to say. But I can’t find it… it’s been missing for weeks. I don’t know what happened to it.” Joanie didn’t notice the faint smile on her mother’s lips. “Oh, and my doll, Blondie, whose hair is now brown because I gave her a haircut. When mom sent her to the doll hospital, they were out of blonde wigs. Now, I have to ask before I use the scissors. Carolyn has a doll just like Blondie except her name is Nancy and she still has blonde hair.”
Do you think you’ll ever get married and have kids?
Joanie laughed and twirled around. A muffled voice could be heard through the hands cupped over her face as she responded, “Someday.”
Thanks for sharing with me, Joanie. I hope we can be friends for a long time!
“You betcha!”And this is Jo Ann, now, in her own words:
My husband, Bill, and I live on the Sun Coast of Florida on the gulf side (north of Sarasota and south of Tampa Bay); a far cry from where Joanie spent her childhood.
We both love Scotties and share our home with, Lucy, a sweet, 2-year-old rescue dog that’s nothing but unconditional love on 4 paws. We’re both retired and spend our time doing what we love: volunteering in the community; serving in our church; and (for me) writing, (for Bill) singing with the church choir. One of his biggest honors was singing at the Vatican in Rome for Pope John Paul.
Carolyn and I have remained friends all these years. Carolyn was my maid of honor; Bill and I are god-parents to Carolyn’s younger son. We may not play dolls anymore but every once in a while, have been known to play a round of Chutes and Ladders. Now (ohhhh, help us all), we’re learning how to Skype.
I did become a writer. My career began as a disc jockey/copywriter in Chicago. I've written one-liners for well-known comedians, verses for Hallmark Cards, and an award-winning weekly column that appeared in 14 papers in the northern Illinois area (as well as hundreds of articles on an assortment of topics).
My book, “BEGOTTEN: With Love,” is gaining in popularity thanks to venues like Goodreads and bloggers like Mariana. Thank you, Mariana for your support.
Copies are available in print through www.BEGOTTENtheBook.com