by Barbara J. Robinson
Barbara Robinson introduces us to Magnolia in this excerpt from her new novel. Smiles and tears--they’re all here!
I was only four years old when my father died one cold Christmas Day in a charity hospital.
Four years earlier, I had been born in a charity hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. We never had much, but I had not yet realized that. To me, before Daddy died, we had everything.
We lived in the small town of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, on South Third Street in a rambling, white apartment house. We only rented, but I didn't realize what that meant at the time. To me, we were rich, for I was rich living in my make-believe world of fairy tales, rich in sunshine and fresh air, swinging in my board-and-rope swing underneath the giant pecan tree in our front yard.
I was a happy little girl who had everything she could possibly want. I had a doting daddy, a loving momma, and a precious little sister, Alicia, who was only four months old when our daddy died. Daddy would rock us and sing us to sleep, singing about our beautiful blue eyes, or Mother would read and rock us to sleep with fairy tales. My world was rich, happy, and content. I wanted for nothing. Little did I know then that my life would be no fairy tale. Happy endings were all I knew.
I was an outdoors child who bounced up early to run outside into the sunshine, yelling for Daddy to push me in the swing he made for me underneath the old pecan. It didn't matter to me that it was not a store-bought swing like Shelly across the road had, for my daddy pushed me so high that my tiny feet nearly touched the low-hanging branches. I'd squeal with delight and scream, "Push me to the sky, Daddy!"
Daddy would laugh and say, "That's my girl. She already knows the sky is her limit."
My mother, Myrtle, would tell everyone, "Magnolia is the apple of Edbert's eye." It was plain for the world to see that I was Daddy's little girl. Momma had named me after the beautiful white flower because she and Daddy had gotten married in Magnolia, Mississippi. I often asked her to tell me about how she met Daddy. Her hazel eyes took on a faraway look, and she described how she met him on a bus. She was from the small town of Springfield, Louisiana, and he was from Brookhaven, Mississippi. Momma always told me it was fate that they met that day . . .
Teacher Barbara J. Robinson’s writing credits include My Special Mother, The Lord Had Something Better in Mind and Magnolia: A Wilting Flower. Robinson has also published numerous articles, essays, poems, and short stories in local newspapers and other local publications and anthologies. She is often published in The Osceola Magnifier. A member of the Florida Writers Association (FWA), she and her students are often published in The Florida Palm. She loves children and animals, and happily makes her home with her husband in Central Florida.
Gary Roen reviewed MAGNOLIA: A WILTING FLOWER, and reviews ran in the March issue of Senior Beat and in the April Senior paper in Daytona.
Roen's words: "MAGNOLIA: A WILTING FLOWER by Barbara J. Robinson (Publish America $19.95, 201 pages) is a very touching story of a girl's coming of age. Her hard life will either make or break her. At a young age she has to deal with the death of her father and later her mother's remarriage. One thing that kept her going was her father's belief that to have a good life you had to have a good education. 'Somewhere along the hard row that Magnolia seemed to have to hoe, she had learned how important reading and writing skills were for a good education and future, though she actually had no idea at the time just how important those skills would really become to her someday . . . Magnolia still had many of life's lessons left to learn, and sadly, she would learn a lot of them the hard way.'"
This book is available at www.bn.com and wwww.amazon.com, and by searching "Barbara J. Robinson."
Publish America writes:
We are proudly announcing today the introduction of our new e-book library.
We have selected approximately 1,000 titles that are now also available in an easy-to-download electronic format, including this book. Our e-books sell for $5.95 each.
They are easy to order (Publish America ordering) and easy to read. After the order has been placed, the e-book will be delivered, with how-to instructions and as an attachment, by e-mail.
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