Top Ten List
Ten fun facts about the book: Trouble Blows West
1) Ginnie’s teacher, Mrs. Johnson, is based on my high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Marion Joyce Johnson.
2) Mrs. Johnson, my teacher, is the mother of astronaut Gregory H. Johnson–he piloted the Space Shuttle Endeavor twice.
3) Colonel Gregory H. Johnson read Trouble Blows West and wrote a Foreword for it.
4) Heart of the Wests (Ginnie’s home) is a real place in Ohio.
5) The blonde girl on the cover (Gracie–who is modeling for Ginnie) lives in the real West Farmhouse.
6) The brunette girl on the cover (Jessie–who is modeling for Tillie)–is Gracie’s cousin in real life.
7) There are real goats, chickens, cattle, dogs, cats, turkeys, ducks on the real West farm–but NO horses.
8) I spent a lot of time at the “real Wests” farm–as a teenager–babysitting the kids that lived there–especially Gracie and Jessie’s dads–and their aunt.
9) Gracie and Jessie’s cousins grew up on a different farm I mention in the books: Chandler’s Crossing–Toran and Ginnie’s friend, Austin’s home.
10) I raised a lamb named Appomattox (because I was fascinated with the Civil War) on the real West farm and showed it at the county fair as a teen.
DAD FINDS OUT GINNIE GOT SUSPENDED:
Ginnie relaxed, pleased to hear the merriment in her dad’s voice. She waited for him to enter the kitchen and notice her.
No sense bringing on a lecture earlier than need be.
“Hi, Uncle Ben!” Uncle Jake stopped and took a second look at Ginnie, obviously puzzled at her presence in the kitchen. “Hey, Trouble. Are we late from work or are you early from school?”
Ginnie shrugged, and turned toward the scale, the candler, and the cartons that littered the blue countertop. She put the dropped egg on the scale. It was still whole.
Dad felt her forehead. “Hi, honey. Are you okay? Did you come home sick?”
“Now that you mention it, I have felt better.”
Uncle Ben cleared his throat.
Dad’s gaze moved from her face to Uncle Ben’s, waiting for an explanation. When Uncle Ben didn’t say anything, Dad crossed his arms in front of his chest and looked her straight in the eye. “Am I going to like what I’m about to hear?”
Note to self, comic relief isn’t a good strategy.
She turned away and studied the pot of violets on the windowsill.
Well, here comes the lecture.
“That depends on how you feel about me getting suspended for defending my brother.”
“Been there. Done that!” Uncle Jake teased.
Thank goodness for Uncle Jake!