I have big goals for this year. There’s so much that I want to tackle. Like finishing up my first draft of Etta & Emmylou, editing it into something agents will want to take a look at and possibly getting a writing contract. I’d love to announce my first ever poetry publication when the time comes. More on that another time. And then there’s graduating college. One more semester. One more that’s all!
I’m back in the new year with Miss Pearl Jackson, best friend extraordinaire to my novel’s main duo, Etta and Emmylou. I didn’t have to use any special bribe tactics to get Pearl to let me interview her.
Me: Hi, Pearl!
Pearl: Hey Miss, Cherish.
Me: Thanks for letting me introduce you.
Pearl: Thank you. I didn’t think I was important enough for an interview.
Me: Of course you are! The story wouldn’t be the same without you.
Pearl: Well thank you.
Me: First, introduce yourself.
Pearl: I’m Pearl Ada Jackson.
Me: Now tell me how you met the twins.
Pearl: I can’t remember back that far. Our daddies been good friends for a long time. They always lived down the road and we always been friends.
Me: What do you think about them being conjoined?
Pearl: I don’t think much ‘bout it really. I can’t imagine them not stuck. They do the same things I do mostly.
Me: Like what?
Pearl: Like singing and taking walks and eating and talking.
Me: And crushing on boys?
Pearl: That one I really ain’t think ‘bout at all, but I guess so.
Me: Why’s that?
Pearl: Well, what’s the use in crushing if they stuck?
Me: So the three of you never talked about boys you thought were cute?
Pearl: Not exactly. They was always famous. Boys we probably would never lay our eyes on for real. Like Frankie Lymon or Chubby Checker or Nat King Cole. Even Thurston Harris. I think Jake looks a bit like Thurston Harris, but Emmylou don’t think so and Etta always disagrees with me. Plus, it’s not like boys ever really looked our way either.
Me: Are there no boys in school you have your eye on?
Pearl: No ma’am. Truth is they not that kind to us, with Etta and Emmylou being stuck and me having my arm.
Me: I see. Can you tell us a little bit about your arm, though? Why is it such a big deal?
Pearl: It’s not too much of a deal for me. I’m used to it by now. When we was ‘bout six or so me and the twins was playing in the woods and I climbed a tree too high and fell out. Broke my arm bad. My daddy said we ain’t have the money to go to a doctor, so he fixed it his self. He tried his best, but it ain’t heal right and now I can’t bend it or nothing like that.
Me: That sounds horrible.
Pearl: Wasn’t that bad. Was more upset ‘bout how the kids at school teased me after that. Calling me all sorts of mean names. Talkin’ bout how I was eating too much of my mama’s cornbread and that’s why the branch snapped and knocked me out of the tree.
Me: Awww, well I wouldn’t pay attention to all of that. But I do hear your mother makes the best cornbread. Is that true?
Pearl: That’s what everyone say. Folks like to tease and say it got special powers. It just taste really good to me. Besides, if it had special powers maybe our family wouldn’t be in the trouble we’re in now.
Me: I don’t want you to start tearing up. We don’t have to go there. Somethings the readers can find out once they read the book. One last question if I can?.
Pearl: Go on.
Me: Why should people read this book?
Pearl: ‘Cause half the trouble the twins get into is ‘cause of me somehow. And it only seem fair after all they went through for me, y’all read about it all.
Me: Thank you, Pearl. Remember, you’re just as important as Etta and Emmylou.
Pearl: Thank you. I ought to bring you some of my mama’s cornbread!
No thanks! Legend says the cornbread is why Mrs. Jackson has twelve children.
Miss Pearl Jackson everyone! Honestly, I had no plans to write Pearl into the story. She literally appeared out of nowhere in the first chapter. And Etta merely mentions her and her arm. Pearl doesn’t even show up until the fourth chapter. She’s been a great foil though. I put her through the ringer, poor girl. I got to find a way to make it up to her some how.
Wow, my first post of 2017! Thanks for reading! I’ll be back soon and I’m thinking with some music!
Here’s an amateur drawing of Pearl that I drew. Her skirt is way too small, so is her head, and her shirt is too tight! Poor Pearl.